Howard Hwai, Apprentice, C7

Howard Hwai, Apprentice, C7

3 years ago, I was sitting in the interview room at the NTU medical school. 6 professors, 12 eyes were staring at me, and I sat there like a stone waiting for their question.
They asked me, “Do you really really really want to be a doctor?”
”Of course. It is my dream.” I answered.

Then they replied me with an evil smile and said “Everyone says that it is their dream. And I also know that you want to become a doctor like 史懷哲 since you were little. You want to become a doctor because your grandmother had cancer. Your grandfather died of stroke. Your father was sick. And your mother had Ebola. Poor medical students.”
“Hmm, Ah. No? I am not an orphan. But how did you know I wanted to become 史懷哲?” I asked with confusion.

“That’s easy! Because your name had 懷, too. You students made up stories like that all the time. Nothing special~You need more creativity.”
I thought I was going to fail. But to my surprise, I was accepted. After I saw 柯P, I finally knew why. Because professors in NTU are just walking canons. They bombarded me; didn’t mean that they don’t like me.
But besides the joke, indeed I had high expectation and ideal to become a medical student at that time. Me, as a medical student, is more like an apprentice. We learn through teacher’s mentoring. Just like what we do in NTUTM.
However, the first two years in medical school I was not happy. Usually teachers care about their research not about teaching. I was depressed, not because I couldn’t understand the content of the class. Not because of the heavy load of studying. But because I lost a sense of direction. I felt like I was a floating dandelion seed flying and being carried by the wind, but couldn’t find any fertile soil to live and to grow. I was wasting my time to float on the tide, but no wave to pull me aside to the coast.
Not until the third year in medical school did I finally meet the best teacher. I learned that in medical school, there are two kinds of teachers, one is those teachers who read the boring PPT on stage, leave the classroom and say goodbye to you after the lecture. Then you will never see him again. The other one doesn’t have a ppt, they don’t have any script to read off , they will stay in the classroom even when the students have left, what we do is say “Hi” to the teacher by praying with my deep respect before the lecture. The most interesting thing is that they lie down on stage.
I guess none of you have ever seen a person delivering a speech and lying on the stage before, right? But now you do. I was astonished like you when I first saw somebody lying down to teach. . Who are they? In fact, they are not alive. They have already died. It is what we called “大體老師”.
I guess no one wants to be cut, to be pointed and stared at, or even to be naked in front of dozens of people. But, with their selfless spirit, they decided to give themselves out to teach us, to make contribution to the society, to make the value of their lives glow. A dead person taught me what is passion, what is purpose, the true spirit of being a teacher. The teacher will not scold you if you make mistakes. We, as an apprentice, learn to do the right thing, but grow by doing the thing wrong.
A teacher with passion doesn’t have to be like political candidates during election campaigns. They stand on stage, call for action, put their knees down and kiss the ground. Passion does not have to be so exaggerated. Passion is to put into practice, devote yourself fully into something you think is right. it is contagious and will spread out to other people. Only true teachers can transform a student without direction into a true apprentice, because we learn it with our whole heart. We follow the teacher because of identification. We are no longer like a dandelion seed flying around on barren land.
At that time, we are not only passive students. We become a humble apprentice. We take learning as our priority, and feel guilty when not learning well or being lazy. We were nurtured and prospered on the land, and finally we are inspired to become a true teacher someday. TME



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