(The original version of ‘Sixteen Things About Vincent’ appeared in Facebook on 31 January 2009. Thanks to my friends’ feedback, the arrogant phrases were modified.)
My mentor tagged me. I guess I just have to follow suit.
1. I studied in three primary schools. My mother thought that was like Mengzi’s mother, who moved house three times to pave the way for the great scholar. Through the process, I did learn how to adjust to new environment. In essence, you have to make friends quickly, and respect that others may do things differently in different places.
2. I entered primary school at the age of 5 and have been the youngest in class ever since. While I was OK with language and mathematics, I could never manage craftworks.
3. Contrary to what child educationists may suggest, my mother constantly emphasized that I was not smart at all when I was in primary school. She believed this would make me more hard-working. Some of my friends would probably agree with her – that I am hard-working and not smart.
4. I am a Wah Yan boy. Although the Wah Yan spirit has never been formally defined, most Wah Yan boys think they get it. It is very much like the Dragon Scroll in Kungfu Panda.
5. I thought I was good at physics. I am humbler now. I am glad that Stephen Hawking deleted most mathematical formulas in A Brief History of Time.
6. I was made the producer of a joint-school musical play when I was in Form 6. While all my classmates were busy dating girls, I was worried sick about how to settle the budget everyday. This was meant to be a fund-raising project for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, but the stage staff and actors spent almost every penny in the end. During the last rehearsal, the stage curtain was torn in half by a handrail at the edge of the set, costing another $5000 (I know. Similar things happened when Jesus died on the cross.). This was the only time when an opera moved me to tears. After the event, I was rather depressed and ashamed for letting the Cancer Fund down. In retrospect, this was no big deal, and we learned a lot through the project. But it took me years to forgive myself.
7. I can play piano, violin and pipa. If you only want ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, I can almost play any instruments.
8. I learned handball in the university. Two other medical students attended handball class with me, but I was the only one who had scored at all (only 3 goals in 10 games).
9. Prof Jean Woo was my Physician on my first day as a resident. I later learned that she did not want a first-year trainee, but Dr Michael Fu convinced her that I would be good enough. Of course I can never be good enough. I only strived to become better everyday.
10. After my MRCP exam, Prof Sung told me that I failed. I was glad he got it wrong this time.
11. I presented an abstract in a European meeting right after the MRCP exam. After I stepped down from the stage, Prof Anna Lok praised me. This was very important for my development. Before that, I had quite severe stage flight. Now I try to praise young doctors and students whenever I could. If you have read Henry’s notes, you will know that Prof Sung and Prof Lok are the grandparents of my career.
12. I wrote my first paper with Dr Nancy Leung and Henry. I could not find ‘chi-square test’ in the pull-down menu of SPSS, and Prof CC Szeto taught me right away. I did not mention his help in the acknowledgement section because it was quite embarrassing to thank people for teaching me chi-square test in a scientific paper. I would like to thank him now.
13. My wife and I prepared a presentation on osteoporosis in my final year. The presentation went badly, but I got my wife.
14. My favorite movie is The Pianist by Roman Polanski. My wife thought I was crazy when I repeatedly played Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in the movie. Now that my daughter is 3 years old, we can only watch Strawberry Shortcake at home.
15. I tell my daughter bedtime stories every night. Since I am bored with her story books, I have started making up stories. The latest hits included Strawberry Shortcake meets Spiderman and Strawberry Shortcake meets Mr Incredible.
16. I know I seldom attend social gatherings now. But on the first day I went to work after the New Year holidays, my daughter complained to my wife. “My Daddy doesn’t miss me.” What else can I do?
Want to read the arrogant version in Facebook? Don’t be silly. I have already modified it.