Monday, June 20, 2005

Would you like fries with that?

Well, it's Saturday morning and I'm in front on my computer attempting to write an update. This is pathetic. I finished my exam on Thursday morning and I'm updating my blog as opposed to sleeping in. Hmm...note to self: turn off alarm on mobile phone.

Yes, so the exam preparation went very well (at least I thought it did). However, when it came to the exam itself, I buckled. I think I failed. It's a serious possibility. There was nothing on the exam that was new or "what the fuck is that? I've never seen or heard of that before!". However, the depth, or I should say lack of, was astonishing. So many of the concepts I knew in great detail but when it asked for 2 mechanisms of something that could easily be a PhD thesis topic, my mind got liquefied (and no, there was no liquefactive necrosis happening). :) What I've taken away from the experience - a) detail is shit; b) take a silent stopwatch; c) it's only worth 25%; d) more study parties.

The exam finished at 11:10am, I was outta there and heading up to the PBL room to meet the other people in my PBL and some other friends. I opened the bottle of Grappa that was given to me by a very good friend of mine from Berlin (Danke Peter!). For those of you that don't know, grappa is a traditional Italian spirit made from the pressed seeds and skins of grapes after the must (grape juice) is used in winemaking. Grappa is very strong, between 80 and 90 proof, and is served as a digestive after heavy meals. But there were no heavy meals to be had in the morning. A big crew of us went down to Pizza Caffe and had a few rounds of pizza and jugs of beer before heading down to the Red Room to partake in more debauchery and to celebrate the fact that we have officially finished half of first year (regardless of what the results of the exam will be).

After spending 6 hours at the red room, Claire, Kim, Leanne, Rob, Rob, Hal, Brownlie, Soozie, Dave, Lou and I headed back to Claire's place to drink some more and have pizza before going to Finnigan's party. Lou and I slept on the sofa and believe-you-me, it was one of the best naps of my life! That was until I was to get up. My head was pounding! Good god! Never have I felt like that...ever. But by inhaling two panadols, I was good as new and we all made our way to Finnigan's. Finnigan's was a blast! Lots of good conversations with people and had the chance to reconnect with those that I've sort of lost touch with. A conversation that I distinctly remember is that a lot of people were astonished at how white my teeth are. HAHAHAHA. They didn't believe that I've never had orthodontic work or use whitening toothpaste. I guess some people will believe what they want. :)

After Finnigan's, Nabila, Katrina, Anthony and I headed down to the Regatta to meet up with some friends. There was much dancing and drinking to be had. It was probably the longest day I've experienced in a quite some time.

Friday morning was weird - I got up around 8am, and then realised that I didn't have to go to uni. I almost got so excited that I nearly couldn't go back to bed. :) I slept a few more hours and then headed over to Claire's to watch some movies. It felt so good to use an afternoon to chill on a comfy sofa and watch movies, with not a care in the world. That evening, I headed over to a friend's house party. Alright, most people know that I hate cold weather. Brrrrr...I'm getting cold just thinking about it. But Brisbane has been getting quite cold lately - perhaps maybe because it's almost winter here. When I mean by cold, I mean 6 or 7 degrees at night. Most people would scoff and think that I am crazy for thinking that. But here's the kicker - there is no central heating here! So, when you people are thinking that I'm crazy just know that you are sitting in a place that is always 22-25 degrees Centigrade! Most of the people were huddling in the kitchen, striving off of other people's body heat. Rob and Dan had left all the windows and doors open in the house. Tis was funny to see people, full on, wearing toques, gloves, scarves and furry jackets.

The next morning, I headed into the Valley to meet up with Lou for brunch. Finally, I am able to do things that I've been putting off because of that exam! Food was good - I'm thinking that any amount of grease after a few days of drinking is a good thing. :) Afterwards we did some window shopping and she showed me the places that are worthy of going shopping. As I've said before, Brisbane is Australia's fashion capital. I, then, went into the city to look around for some warm winter clothes (because I didn't bring as much as I thought I should have). I ended up buy a jacket from ESPIRIT and a jumper from Roger David. And I ended up getting a free beanie/toque from Roger David! I went in there and the salesperson came over and asked about my hair. He asked how I was able to manage it and asking all these questions about where I was from and what I was doing in Brisbane. I realised that this bloke was trying to chat me up. I took the jumper that I liked and tried it on in the dressing room, and this girl was definitely talking me up about the jumper. She told me why it worked for me and left her hands of my shoulders and sides a little longer than what most people would. I bought the jumper and left the store as I was on a mission to find some more winter clothing. After leaving the store, I realised that I forgot my receipt at RD. I went back and the bloke and girl were at the front till. The bloke told me that I had forgotten my receipt and he kept in on the side waiting for me in the event that I'd come back to get it. He gave me a free beanie (it was $25) and it's uber nice! I thought, "if this guy expects me to put out...he's going to be really disappointed!" Hahahahahaha. After the shopping upheaval, I headed home to get ready and meet up with Nabila and Phil.

We haded down to West End to partake in some great food, hookah, and fantastic vodka infused drinks courtesy of the Lychee Lounge. Around 2:30am, Nabila had a craving for Macker's fries and we headed to the Valley, ate fries, and then went to a club called Birdie Num Num. In Brisbane, there is a newly instated 3am lockout. This means that if you are outside of a club and it's 3am, you will not be able to get in. Apparently this measure was taken to reduce the number of people loitering around after 3am in the Valley and City. From what I could see, it wasn't working so well. Yeah....back to Birdie Num Num. Absolutely packed! It felt good to go dancing again - sometimes its the simple things that we miss doing the most. However, the part of the club that we were dancing in was concentrated with people that were on all sorts of shit - speed, ecstacy, and whatever else. Needless to say, I didn't get home till 6:30am.

-------------Monday Morning------------

Yes, so this update it taking much longer than anticipated.

Alright, Sunday...Sunday was a rainy and very cold. A perfect day for the movies! Claire and I wanted to go and see Batman Begins, but alas, it was sold out. So, we went to go and see Mr & Mrs Smith. Tis was okay - Brad and Jolie definitely have an interesting chemistry together. The plot was a but the dialogue made up for its shortcomings. It being a rainy day and all, we thought that touch footy would be cancelled. Half way through the movie, I get this text from Dave saying "touch is wild, wet and still on!" Our team was really hoping that the other team would forfeit and then we can go home and be dry and warm. The other team showed up...and clobbered us - 8 to 2. Oh well, you can't win every time. After that, I headed back to Claire's and made mushroom and red capsicum risotto and we watched tv. Ahhh...what life is like when you don't have to do any uni work...fantastic!

Alright, it's Monday afternoon (12:01pm) and I've so much shit to get done today - washing/packing for my trip/packing for my upcoming move (yeah, that'll be another update)/cleaning my room and getting things sorted with student loans and shit. It's still cold and grey out. I might just fuck it and go take a nap. Yes. I've decided, I will do the latter first and then the rest later. :)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

What is a person to do?

Hmm...I'm sorry for not having posted anything for the past couple of weeks. Things here in Brisbane have been a bit crazy.

The MBBS I mid year exam is looming and quite a number of people are starting to get stressed and pissy due to being in exam mode. I, on the other hand, have been quite calm (well, that's quite egocentric but most people have told me that I seem as solid as a rock). I think that that is scaring me a bit. I know that this is not the end-all/be-all of exams that I will be writing in the next 4 years. I am thinking that this exam will be similar to an immunisation shot. It will prepare me to know what to expect for subsequent exams. Also, I can test whether my study habits have been working. The exam is 3 hours long (8-11am) and will be covering materials from the past 19 weeks. What has the past 19 weeks been about? It's been about: cardiology, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, renal, reproduction, immunology, aboriginal healthcare, intellectual disability, ethics/law, and to public/preventive health with a healthy mix of microbiology, histology, and anatomy. So, 3 hours to cover all that?! What is a first year medical student to do??! I know that not all of those topics will be covered but it's not like you cannot studying something because you have a hunch that it may not be tested on. Hmm...sure. At this point in the game, I'm trying to solidify all the major concepts and know small amounts of detail in different areas. There is no need to give yourself an aneurysm in trying to get all the details about all the different systems and how different things are negatively/positively effect through the myraid of feedback loops - simply not going to happen.

I cannot believe that after this exam is over, I will have completed half of first year medical school. Tis crazy! After I come back from holidays, I have 14 weeks of uni (no holidays except for a Wednesday in mid-August) until finals, which are in October.

I had a bit of an episode a few days ago. I'm having some issues finding the best stethoscope, so that I can do the necessary auscultations. I was told by a professor that there was a 2nd year med student who had similar issues and that I should get in touch with them. I sent an e-mail to someone in the SOM (who will remain nameless) several weeks ago asking them whether they can send my contact information to this 2nd year med student. On Tuesday morning before leaving for uni, I checked my e-mail and I got a response to that e-mail. It stated that there was no 2nd year medical student that fit the description that I gave and that I should look for finding resources myself. I was absolutely shell-shocked! I called up the medical bookstore, which looked into a number of options for me (albeit none of which I am able to use because they aren't loud enough). The very first prac I had Tuesday morning was how to take blood pressure, which would be pointless because I wouldn't be able to use the conventional stethoscopes. I was in no mood to be left out while watching my class mates taking part. What is a deaf Veevek to do?! And note: a deaf Veevek is not a happy Veevek.

So, that's on the exam preparation side of things. Also, Mr. Thankey is having some issues on trying to decide where to do his medical electives for the month of November 2005. In years 1 and 4 we are allowed to an elective anywhere in the world. I know that I won't be able to do as much travelling as I would like to in the next several years, so I thought that these sort of opportunities might be perfect for going to a new place, whilst learning about clinical medicine. So far, I've shortlisted the following: India (Delhi/Ahmedabad), Sri Lanka (Colombo), Kenya (Nairobi/Mombasa), Vanuatu (Port Vila), Guyana (Georgetown), Malta (Msida), and Canada (Calgary - last resort). However, there is a part of me that is looking into doing an elective within Australia, most likely in an indigenous community in South Australia or the Northern Territory. We shall see, time is running out has placements need to be confirmed and approved by the SOM in August. What is a crazy nomad to do?! Any suggestions about where I should go (even if they are new places) are welcome!

Other than that, I'm looking forward to my upcoming trip to Adelaide and Sydney! I'll be seeing Ruth in Adelaide. I'M SO EXCITED! I love Ruth - she is someone that I know that no matter how I'm feeling will always be able to relate to me. When both of us were living in Calgary, we'd used to get fries and milkshakes from Peter's Drive-In and go up to Nose Hill Park and finish them off, while taking long walks. Or we'd go down to Banana Jak's (a place that serves bubble tea - every time we are there, we're the only non East Asian people in the establishment and we get these looks from the other patrons. I love it! The best would be having marathon conversations in my car when I would drop her home. I'm truly lucky to have a friend like her (and I'm even more blessed to have more very close friends like her - you know who you fabulous people are! MWAH!). Needless to say, I'm uber excited to see her again. After Adelaide, I'm heading off to Sydney. I'll be staying with Dave for a few days and then heading into Sydney proper and hanging out with some friends, doing some much needed shopping (because Brisbane is known as Australia's fashion capital) and being a tourist. Indeed something to look forward to after this exam is over. Also, I have a particular goal while I'm here in Australia. What is that goal? I would like to have visited every State/Territory capital. After my midyear break, I'll have 3 under my belt and 5 cities left.

Hmm...also, there is the whole thing about me moving out of my current place of residence. I really like where I'm living, as it is very close to grocery stores (Woolies/Coles), the RE and Regatta, and a major train and bus stop. I'm thinking of moving in with a good friend, who is in first year med as well. It's a bit further west than where I am now, but close to all the amenities (a major shopping centre, train/bus stops). The rent is marginally lower. Why do I want to move? I guess I'm tired of always being alone when I'm at home. I've got Philipe but a cat's company can only do you so much good (especially 1. when I'm allergic to them; and 2. I hate cats). I like living in an environment where people are around, it's jovial, warm and filled with effervescent personalities. I can say that this has definitely been the case in the past few places that I've lived (Ottawa and Nairobi come to mind). What is a person to do?