Sometime around this time of the year in 2006, Heather walzted into the house I was renting with a stunned look on her face as she read to me her acceptance letter into the UNC School of Pharmacy (our nation's 2nd best pharmacy school [in the nation!]).
It is an under-statement to say pharmacy school is difficult to get in to. Not even every state has at least one pharm school, and with the prescription drug industry growing like weeds runnin' from a wild fire there is a large need for pharmacists. UNC accepts up to 150 pharmacy students each year after sifting through 10 times that many applications. The application process entails submitting lengthy documents, essays, a high score on the graduate record exam for science called the PCAT, and an intense interview. Most do not get into pharm school on their first attempt.
The program includes 3 years of class work followed by 10 months of practical, hands on, unpaid clinical work. During her second year, "the hell year," Heather and her classmates took over 40 exams--not little quizzes, but study-hard-large-portion-of-your-grade...exams. Frankly, I didn't see her much that year.
For her forth year, we had to relocate our lives to the western part of the state to a quaint little homely town, Asheville. While still paying graduate school tuition prices, she worked all year, 40+ hours per week. Each month she changed to a different work location having to re-learn every time how each pharmacy and staff operated. Some rotation sites were in the same building, some were down the street, and some were in the next county.
In short, pharmacy school is no cake walk. At one point, some of the other husbands of pharmacy students and I almost formed a Pharmacy Student Spouses Coalition to bring voice to the demanding professors in order to have some time with our wives once again. More than once did Heather and others wonder if it was worth it, and by graduating she has taught me a thing or two about perseverence and character. Alas, pharmacy school is now relegated to the past tense!
The crew at dinner...
Poking fun at dinner...
And finnally, here's the video of Heather graduating. Our row got pretty loud cheering for her, and when the clapping died down someone gave a shout-out to her which produced a gratifying laugh from the crowd and a nicely embarrassed graduate. Enjoy.