The message was from Joel Smith, one of my former interns, who graduated 10 years ago. He was breaking the great news that he has just passed the most recent board exam and become a newly licensed acupuncturist. I knew it wasn't an easy job for him after so many years while all of his classmates have already been in practice. To me, this message was more exciting and urgent. I immediately called him back to congratulate him and also scheduled a lunch the next day to celebrate.
During our lunch, I could not help but ask why it took so long for him to take the test as I did not feel comfortable to ask how many times he had attempted to pass the exam. Joel smiled and slowly opened his right hand while uttering, "This was my fifth time to take the test." As soon as I heard his answer, I immediately froze for a moment while thinking loudly, "Don't we always say third time's the charm?
During my twenty plus years of teaching in the US, no one student has ever even tried three times on the test before giving up, but this gentleman has had the gut to try five times and succeeded. While he was still holding his right hand in the air, I quickly came back and gave him a big high five. I have no doubt that with his passion and perseverance, Joel will soon become one of the best acupuncturists...
Today, I gladly paid for the lunch and learned a new phrase from my student and teacher: "FIFTH TIME'S THE CHARM!"
Frank He, L. Ac, QME
Kindly edited by Ben Lee, L. Ac.