i spent my afternoon at a festschrift today.

Festschrift (/ˈfÉ›stˌʃrɪft/; plural, Festschriften, /ˈfÉ›stˌʃrɪf.tÉ™n/) is a book honouring a respected academic. The term, borrowed from German, could be translated as celebration publication. A Festschrift contains original contributions by the so-honoured academic’s close colleagues, often including their former doctoral students. It is typically published on the occasion of an anniversary. A Festschrift can be anything from a slim volume to a work in several volumes. It often includes important contributions to scholarship or science.-wikipedia

it was for a well-respected senior colleague who is a past president of a royal college that i am a member of and an important figure in my field, nationally and internationally. he was knighted by HM the queen for services rendered to medicine and despite that, is a humble gentleman who does not command an air of self-importance around him (unlike some little napoleons with a datukship we are tired of seeing / reading about). in his days as president, he would still turun padang with us plebs, providing an excellent diagnostic service and an inspiration to us trainees. every time he sees me he would greet me with a faultless salam. every friday afternoon, he’d ask me if i was “spiritually recharged”, never questioning my hour-long absence at lunch. to any medics who read this, you’d probably have read his textbook which is core reading in most medical schools in britain and other parts of the world. he is retiring and will hold an emeritus professorship at the end of this year, and he will be sorely missed.

as i am leaving my trainee days by midnight tonight to enter the big bad world, i would always remember these words when he personally congratulated me on my current appointment in the corridor at work last wednesday:

as one ends, a new one begins.”

thank you for inspiring.