When I woke up on Saturday June 25thand saw the dark, cloudy skies and felt the cooler temperatures I was hoping that it wouldn’t rain during our graduation ceremony or the pictures. Graduation is not only an important day for staff and faculty at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine (CCHM), it is an equally significant day for our graduates.
Graduates and their friends and family; faculty and staff began to gather at 5 pm for pictures in front of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. The weather was cool and luckily it did not rain during pictures or even later in the evening. It is always wonderful to see the students dressed up in their finest; their faces full of pride and accomplishment.
The ceremony itself was held in the chapel at Victoria College. We had a unique situation in which there were three Valedictorians this year. Annabelle Menezes, Carol Anne Rayson and Lesley Mead co-presented a wonderful Valedictorian speech that included a jazz riff on aphorism 3 of The Organon! Faculty and staff were also able to share their thoughts with the graduates- imparting their words of wisdom to graduating students as they enter our beloved profession of Homeopathy. I even addressed the graduates. Here is an excerpt of my speech:
“Today is a day of celebration and reflection. This is the moment when you look back at the last three years. You learnt from your teachers and from each other, you challenged yourself. And you all worked very, very hard. You were tested intellectually, emotionally and physically. Now, you are about to receive your diploma. This is an accomplishment for which you should feel very proud.
Right now, I want you to think about why you wanted to become a Homeopath in the first place. I am betting that for most of you, that you wanted to help people heal. With the skills you have acquired, you have a duty and even a responsibility to go out into the world to help people.
“This is just the beginning of the watershed of your new career. Now is the time to focus all of your energy in becoming the best Homeopath you can be. Take all of that passion you have for Homeopathy and do whatever you need to do to become the best Homeopath you can be.
I believe that one of the most important lessons we can learn from the life of Samuel Hahnemann is that he had to struggle. He was so committed to Homeopathy that he lived most of his life in poverty and spent long hours working toward creating a system of medicine rooted in the laws of nature. As human beings, we all find struggle uncomfortable. Yet, struggle is good for all of us. It builds character and strength. It tests our passion and persistence. In those moments when you struggle with a hard case or find practice challenging, remember Hahnemann’s struggles. Reach out to each other, find a mentor. But most of all, be persistent and keep working at it. Never forget your passion for Homeopathy because it will serve you well.” (©Rebecca Gower 2011)
Of course, the pinnacle of any graduation is when a student receives their diploma. The diploma is not only the paperwork that gives our graduating students entry into our profession; it is representative of three years of hard work.
The graduation ceremony was followed by a lovely (and delicious dinner) at Victoria College as well. It gave graduates and their families/supporters the chance to celebrate and mingle with their teachers and staff at the school.
It was a lovely event. I personally felt very proud of our students as they become Homeopaths. I know that they will go out into the world and spread the word about Homeopathy and make a difference.