Wednesday 29th January
My quest to do a different thing every day lead me to join Dr Dollery and Ms Millar again, accompanied by Ms Mahalingam and Dr Dinusha Kanatiwela Niriell, Head of Biomedical sciences at IIHS. This time on a quest to visit the local schools to provide a bit of education and speak about applying for medicine in the UK and in particular Aberdeen.
The first school was a smaller school, with bright colours, airy bright classrooms and enthusiastic engaging students. The delightfully helpful guidance teacher, Andrea, had baked us some chocolate scones which were delicious and just what was needed. Dr Dollery and I ran a couple of classes about Medical equipment. In the same time that Dr Dollery managed to teach her students how to fully assess an acutely unwell patient using the blood pressure machine, thermometer, and oxygen monitor I had only just managed to cover how to take a blood pressure. However, I would like to think I included more science in my discussion, and it was the quality not quantity of teaching that was important!.
In any case the students were funny, intelligent and interested. I would love to see any of them studying at the University of Aberdeen. We stayed for a while for a Q&A drop in session where many students asked questions about the University, Medicine and Aberdeen.
We were a bit stretched for time in the second school, with only 35 minutes to deliver our planned content to a select audience who were planning to apply for medicine. Compacting two presentations and one talk in this time, we did manage to pack a lot of information in a short period of time. Opportunity for question and answers was more limited though.
We ended our road trip with a visit to the British Council an international organisation involved in cultural relations and educational opportunities. Nishika Hassim, Manager Higher Education and Education Services kindly spared the time to tell us of the good work they do and some of the challenges and changes they are promoting. I had been told that Sri Lanka, values educating every individual very highly, and speaking to Ms Hassin strongly reinforced this impression. As a teacher and a doctor this is music to my ears, education empowers individuals to open up opportunities, and I have never met a young person who really didn’t want to learn. (My children occasionally say it, but I know they don’t REALLY mean it!)
Of course, the day was not over. Nadeeka Jaysinghe, Director Projects and Promotions IIHS, IIHS, had arranged for a lovely large chocolate cake for Dr Kay. For the third time, she had colleagues and strangers sing Happy Birthday to her. To add to her embarrassment another diner at the restaurant came to say he shared her birthday, only to be informed her actual birthday was the day before. We helped him overcome his disappointment by sharing the large chocolate cake with him and his friends.