Sunday, February 27, 2005

A voice for others

Today was an interesting day. Besides it being the day after Sports Day (that will have to be another posting for tomorrow), I witnessed something that drives me to a point of rage and it leaves me wondering about how the world is in an urgent need to rid itself of ignorance, intolerant and cruelty.

This evening, I went to see Bride and Prejudice with my mates Kate and Maie. The movie was great - a bollywood film in English. Afterwards, we made our way to our friend's Renee and Phil's condominium complex. After having an ice cream cone, I decided that I should be heading home. I walked down to the train station (Taringa) and waited for the train to come. While I was walking to the station (which is less than 250m outside of Renee and Phil's complex), I noticed that there was a man who had a physical disability (I would guess that it would be cerebral palsy but I am not certain). He was also heading in the same direction as me. There were a few guys (I would say they were from the ages of 18 - 21 years old) and they were taking the piss out of this guy. They were calling him extremely vulgar and rude names and making gestures at him. Other people on the platform were looking at what was happening and no one intervened. Well, not no one...I did. I told those guys to lay off and that what they were doing was completely childish and utterly assinine. I could feel my blood boiling. Why on God's green earth are there people like that in this world? Why is it such that people with physical and intellectual disabilities (including socio-economic differences) face such hardships from members of their own society? I could feel myself shaking with anger. I know that if I were the only one on the platform, then I would have placed myself in danger by confronting those guys but I didn't care. I noticed that some people were smiling and making comments after I told those guys off. In fact, the gentleman that those assholes were making fun of, came up to me on the stop that we got off on (Toowong) and thanked me. It was hard to understand him at first but I have had experiences with having long and complicated conversations with people with cerebral palsy (an acquaintance of mine in Calgary - Mike - him and I went to the same high school and university. He has severe cerebral palsy and he is doing a PhD in political science). From what I could make from the short conversation, he told me that no one has stuck up for him in a public place such as a train platform. Most of the time he ignores it and continues what he is doing. We shook hands and I scurried up the stairs and out of the station. It was the first time that I have cried since leaving Calgary.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Back to you...

Yes, back to you my friend. I am listening to John Mayer's CD, which I have recently acquired from my friend Kate. It's great - good for studying, good for getting lost in your thoughts, and great for putting a huge ass smile on my face.

Today has been a first. Mr. Thankey put together a bbq (with the help of Peder - a Norweigan MBBS I)! Won't my parents be proud! HAHAHAHAHA. Actually, I can hear my parents say (in the fake, albeit fantastic, Indian accent that I do), "oh my goodness, what have you done? Are you starting to eat meat? I don't like this one bit. You come home now." HAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding. It was one of those moments where I wished that I had an IKEA-style instructions booklet. De acuerde, ese es la vida.

The barbie this arvo was hosted by Graeme (for those of you that are new to the blog, Graeme is the IronMan triathlete, which means he is absolutely cut and ripped - I mean you could get the grill marks on steaks if you laid them on his abs). It was nice to sit around have a few veggie sausages and talk about pretty much nothing for an afternoon. It's nice to know that the friends I have can be hardcore during the week - keeping their noses in the books, pracs, slides, and notes. On the weekend, however, they can be effervescent (like moi), uplifting and just down right kickass! On that note, it's Sunday evening (18h00) and I am in my PBL room with Dave learning about the structures and functions of the skin, hair and nails. Yes, it's hardcore. But as I have said before and I will say it again, GO HARD OR GO HOME. And I am here to go hard. Well, right now we are learning about sweat glands (eccrine and apocrine - who would have known that there were different types? From my dad, I would have thought that there would have just been one and that would have been the apocrine aka Thankey's Trademark).

Okay, I gotta bust a move. The skin is calling to me...(well it's actually St. Patrick's Day on the JM cd).

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Trying to open from within…

This entry will mark the 1st month that I have been a medical student (and it’s long…so, I would set aside about 10 minutes to read this). Amazing how fast time goes. Friday is a day that every student looks forward to. It’s the gateway to the weekend, it’s the sigh of relief from all the work that was done (or should have been done) over the past week. For me, Friday is a day where I don’t have many classes (suggesting that I should be in the library, at home, or any place that I can finish my weekly learning objectives), however, this past Friday was an absolute GONG SHOW. There was only one lecture scheduled, which was from 9 to 11am. It was a lecture on Student Directed Learning. All week, some people (like my friend Dave) had been mocking the lecture. All this negative build up of thought probably led me to believe that this lecture was going to be good. How wrong could I have been! The lecture was given by a very nice Polish woman, with a very dense Polish accent. Looking around the room, I would say that probably 1/5th of the class decided to come to the lecture. I got the room and realised that it was going to be a waste of time, I pulled out my mobile and sent as many texts as I could (my phone lets me do 5 at a time) telling my friends, “do not come”. Now, don’t get me wrong. I completely understand and appreciate the importance of student directed learning but this seemed to be the most illogical time to do it. Our biweekly PBL sessions would have been the perfect forum for such discussions, or even the first week of uni would have been good.

Regardless, after this awful lecture was over, and those that were remaining in the theatre after an hour, I went to the library to work on the previous week’s learning objective. Yes, I know that I am a week behind. I am hoping that I will be all caught up by Sunday night – yes, that is extremely ambitious but I reckon that I can do it. I waited until about 12:30pm when I met up with Dave to go to Princess Alexandria Hospital to visit our fellow classmate who is in the hospital. Our classmate was taken into emergency last week for severe pain in his abdomen. It turned out he had a massive obstruction of the transverse large intestines. He had to get it surgically removed, leaving him with a very long scar. We stayed with him for about 1.5 hours, getting him all caught up on the weekly gossip and finding out more about his operation and things like that. We were all laughing and at those points during the conversation, I felt as if I finally understood a point that Patch Adams was trying to make – that health is an intimate combination of wellness and the environment, and that laughter can bring so much hope to people. While we were there, we tried this drink called Enlive Plus (don’t ever try it, even if you are in the hospital). We were so blessed to have it as being “Peach Flavour”. The first few ingredients were water, maltose dextrin and whey protein isolate – thinking of that combination almost activates my gag reflex! Regardless, Dave and I managed to drink one box (which left this awful film in our mouths not to mention an aftertaste that just kicks you in the mouth!).

After leaving our friend to have his rest, Dave and I were on another mission. The mission was, since we chose to accept it, was to ‘acquire’ scrubs. Every year, the UQMS hosts an event called Sports Day. It begins when MBBS IV assembles outside the School of Medicine at Herston. The torch is lit and the Hippocratic Oath is recited by the Patron of the Society. The torch then travels on foot through Fortitude Valley where it is warmly received by MBBS III at Tom Dooley's Public Watering Hole. After cordial greetings are exchanged, the upperclassmen set off to recruit MBBS I & II at an array of other time-honoured pit-stops. Finally, after assembly at The Regatta Hotel, the flame is held aloft for a final push the rest of the way to the University of Queensland St Lucia Campus. The arrival of the mob with the Sports Day Torch paves the way for battles of strength, endurance, and gastrointestinal mucosal integrity. There are different events such as the Tug O’War, Iron-Man & Iron-Maiden competitions, and the infamous Boat Races (which I will be participating in as my time and I will be upholding our title from our orientation week barbeque).

(That was a major digression…sorry). The purpose of acquiring scrubs for that day is that everyone participating in Sports Day should be wearing scrubs (or patient gowns for those that want to leave their asses hanging out from the back). Now, scrubs are not easy to come by, especially for MBBS I students like myself. So, with our recently minted hospital ID cards, Dave and I set off to find ourselves a few sets of scrubs. We kindly asked different ward nurses who told us that they don’t have any scrubs on this floor and that we should check another one. Thinking that that might be the response we’d get, Dave did his homework. He talked to a third year student who gave him the 411 on how to get scrubs. It involved getting yourself past security doors (we don’t have access to those doors on our hospital ID cards), finding the change rooms (making sure that no one is in there), and taking what scrubs you can find. So, Dave and I waited patiently outside the Anaesthesiology department because we didn’t have access to get in. These two ladies swiped their cards and we pounced on the opportunity. We told them that we were medical students and we needed access in. They checked our cards and were let in. Okay, the first hurdle was a successful jump. I felt my heart racing a little faster. Moreover, I felt as if I were a young child thinking that he is stealing candy from a convenient store or something. We managed to found the common area that had loads of booties and caps (which at the time we didn’t take any). The entrance to the change room was via the common room. We ducked into the room to find scrubs were everywhere! There was a huge linen basket but we didn’t want to get caught rifling through there. After the first initial awkward looks and glances, we both grabbed a pile of scrubs that were on a bench, stuffed them in our bags and walked fast until we got out of the hospital. Upon our exit, Dave and I were laughing so hard! What a rush! When we examined our goods, we were pleasantly surprised that we both managed to get two complete sets of scrubs (shirt and trousers). SCORE!

After our hospital adventures, we headed off to the City because I had to go and pick up one of my hearing aids that I had sent in to get repaired. The apparent reason why is wasn’t working is due to moisture damage. I asked the lady what could I do to prevent it and she didn’t give me anything except, “if you think it’s getting moist, then just take it out and put it aside for it to dry”. Hmmm…yeah, sure, thanks. I need to get my hands on silica gel (you know those little sachets you get when you buy a new pair of leather shoes). Those little beads help absorb moisture that maybe trapped within the air surrounding the product in order to prevent water damage. The lady will get back to me on that. Afterwards, we go eat a very light snack at Govinda’s Vegetarian Restaurant. It was a Hare Krishna place. I will leave that discussion for another day outside of this blog. :)

After a fun day at the hospital and in the city, Dave and I head back to our respective homes to get ready for a party at my mates’ Kate and Matt’s place. On the way home, I was so excited because I would be able to wear my other hearing aid (remember, a deaf Veevek is not a happy Veevek). I put on the mould and insert a new battery. I turn it on…nothing. Yes, nothing. It was like reading an intense book and when you come upon the climax, it turns out to be some sick joke by the author. It’s not a big deal, I have gone almost 4 weeks without it and I am doing fine.
So, I met up with some friends at 19h15 so that we can all go to Kate and Matt’s place (it wasn’t along any major bus or train line and none of my friends had been, while I had been there numerous times over the past week as I was studying with them in the evenings). We get ourselves to their place, and Dave and Marlene (aka Lenny) were there. It was nice to party at someone’s place as opposed to a bar or club where it’s difficult to talk to people and you have no control over what people you interact with. Kate and Matt were a little worried about how many people would come because they didn’t tell many people. Little did they realise that I put my social butterfly suit on and got to work. During the week, I was telling all those around me about the party. So, instead of 10 people showing up, there were (at one point) 32 people. For a medium sized flat, that’s a decent size. So, as with any party, people start boozing it up and having a great time (I am always amazed how potent alcohol is as a social lubricant…incredible!). At one point during the evening, Graeme and Michael propositioned Lenny, in that if all the men in the room took off their shirts, then she would too. Good god…I don’t remember playing games like that when I was 20. All the men in the room, for the exception of me, took off their shirts. See, this is what happens when too much testosterone builds up in a room. (Side story – there is a guy in my class named Shaggy Shawn, as his hair is quite shaggy. Before last night, there were rumours that he had 4 nipples. Yes, 4. And last night, he took off his shirt and exposed the 4 nipples for the entire flat to see. I tell you, there is nothing worse that seeing a guy use 4 fingers to get his nipples hard…nothing.) I didn’t take my shirt off because a part of me knew (or at least I was thinking that at the time) that Lenny didn’t want to take her shirt off (she was wearing a bra underneath). She did a little show which caused a huge uproar and people went back to praying to Dionysus and other gods of wine and drunkenness. So, Kate and Matt’s party was intended to be a pre-drinks party, whereby we would be going to the Royal Exchange Hotel afterwards to meet up with the others. So, after a healthy buzz, people were getting geared up to leave. Now, if you are still reading this (good for you), then you will also remember that the title of this post is “Trying to open from within…” People tried to open the front door and couldn’t. At first I thought that some people might have just had a little too much to drink and their ability to open a door has been impaired. I walked over there and tried. Nothing. I used my credit card (as people do in the movies) and that didn’t work. That was the beginning of the end of the night, folks! Tool boxes were brought out, people were trying to unscrew the door’s latching mechanisms out of the door, they were trying to unscrew the hinges from the sides and the top. At one point, Dave and Matt jumped off the balcony (good thing that the flat was on the first floor – NOTE: they have ground floor, then first floor, etc). They went to go and open the door from the front, which didn’t work. Dave, who lives down the street from them, went home to bring a tool box kit (not quite sure about this part but I reckon that it is true). The joke that I came up with is “how many medical students does it take change a door?” Any answers on that one because I am still trying to figure it out. It seemed that almost everyone had an opinion on how the door should be opened. Kate ended up calling a locksmith, who was able to get the door open. His reason why the door closed on itself and locked from the outside was from general wear and tear. General wear and tear my ass! That was a very dangerous situation as if there was a fire or something else that required everyone to evacuate the flat, it would have been impossible because the door was jammed. People were starting to jump off the balcony (which was an incredibly stupid idea as some of these people were a bit tipsy and the probability of breaking or damaging something is quite high). I stayed inside nursing someone (I would normally write the person’s name but I am sure that this person would be harassed for quite some time if everyone knew) as they had WAAAAAY to much to drink. It’s a nice role to be in, helping a friend in a time of need such that you ensure that they are drinking water (which is a hard task to get some people to do), not going to vomit all over themselves or getting hurt by attempting to use the toilet, etc.

Afterwards, a bunch of us headed off the RE to meet up with some friends. After 4 weeks, I am still amazed at my friends. You learn things about them when different situations come up. It’s like opening a present that has so many layers of wrapping paper.

Wow…this has been the longest posting. I should get going and learn this past week’s learning objectives.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Wednesday...I love Wednesdays. I have heard it being called the most productive day of the week. And how productive have I been today? Well, believe-you-me, it's been a productive day. :) I had a histology practical today (which was quite informative and, honestly, I have learnt more at this practical than any of the others ones) and now (well after I finish this blog) I am going over my lympathic system and immunology notes from last week.

This week's problem-based learning stuff is the skin and acne. FUN FUN! I can tell you that dermatology isn't for those people that have weak stomachs. The pictures I have seen in the past few days have been quite gross...yes, gross. You wonder how people could have left an infection for that long before a person thought, "hmm...perhaps I should get that photographed and use it for a medical journal or something."

Alright, this posting was just to kill some time (then again, I don't need computers to kill time, it seems that most corners I turn, I see someone that I recognise from the class and I have a small chit chat with them, which is great! The social butterfly is back again - but not without sacrificing my studies, which is of utmost importance :))

Monday, February 14, 2005


It's going to be Monday tomorrow and I am so stoked!

Most people would be grumbling around 22h00 on Sunday night, thinking about all the work that they have to do the next day and how the week will be hard to get through. I am sitting here with a few friends studying immunology and cardiovascular system and I am smiling because I know that I will be going to uni tomorrow to see my friends and learn about things that I want to learn about. Good god I love it! From time to time, I have to pinch myself to determine whether this is all real or if I am in the best dream of my life. It seems that for the time being, it is a bit of both.

For the most part, medical school has been great and the friends that I have met and will continue to meet and develop into lasting friendships keep me going. I don't know how to explain it. Now, those of my friends that I love (you know who and where you are), I know the distance sucks, yet our friendships are based on such strong pillars that not even Atlas can hold up and shake.

Okay, I am going to stop this mushy melodrama and get back to learning how to play like a doctor. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Paging Dr. James*....

(* names have been changed)

I had my first clinical communications observation at Princess Alexandria Hospital on Friday. Another person from my PBL group, Ryan, and I went down together as we were supposed to go in pairs. Our session was at 1pm and uni finished at 11:30 (the morning was quite the gong show with a clinical immunology lecture at the Education Centre at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and then we had 30 minutes to get back to UQ campus and have the next lecture - that might be a reasonable amount of you time you reckon...but it wasn't. If you were to take the bus it would take you 45 minutes (and that's matching up the connection times and everything). I was fortunate that I got a ride on the way back.

Ryan and I got to the hospital and finally found the doctor that we were going to be observing (not after having some issues with finding which outpatient centre we had to go to). He split us up - Ryan was shadowing a registrar (that's similar to a resident in the Canadian world of medicine). I was with Dr. James* (names have been changed). Now, Dr. James* was 40 minutes late. Apparently, he didn't start the day until 1:40pm. Does the medical school now about this? Why were we (the students) made aware of this. At times, it feels as if we (medical students) are the bottom of the totem pole for everything - and I mean everything. I do believe that in a hospital setting, patient care overrides everything else, including medical education. However, if a doctor is supposed to be somewhere (and Dr. Scott had approved of this observation well in advance) and has no other commitments, that scheduling time should be honoured. Regardless, he came late and started the show (of course without no apologies to Ryan or myself).

The very first patient of the afternoon was a 50+ year old woman, who seemed a bit mentally slow (almost as if she was a 7-year old in a older body - her mannerisms and the way she was speaking). She was experiencing bouts of spontaneous DVT (deep vein thrombosis...oh look at me, already using medical acronyms! Schmecktyo) and required a mammogram and pelvic ultrasound. The doctor turned on the xray light box and placed her mammogram on it. Even though I haven't done radiology/oncology yet, I knew what I was seeing - Mrs. Smith* had a tumour in her left breast. The doctor was quite somber and told her that this does not mean anything yet as a biopsy would be required to make any diagnoses. Mrs. Smith started to cry and I mean CRY. Dr. James* had no tissues for the patient (which is an absolute no-no, a physician should have those sort of things available for her/his patients). She was almost unconsolable - then again, I would be too if I just found out that there I have a tumour growing inside me. As for the reason why she was there (spontaneous DVT), the doctor ordered more tests. So, he gave her some forms that had to be taken to Pathology/Radiology/and Haematology. Now, as in any hospital getting to point A to point B is never as simple as anyone makes it to be. Dr. James* gave Mrs. Smith* verbal directions on how to get to Radiology from his outpatient clinic. She seemed really confused on how to get there and asked the doctor if he would draw her a map or at least write down the corridor names. He told her that that was not necessary and that finding it is an extremely easy task. My jaw almost dropped to the floor! I was thinking, "as her doctor, why not help her in such a simple task that puts her mind to ease. She just found out that she may have cancerous growth in her breast." Instead of placating her, he sends her off just having discovered something that may inevitably change her entire life.

All the rest of the patients that afternoon (the session lasted a little less than 2 hours) were 60+, except one man who was in his early 50s and had serious hepatic (liver) infections and jaundice. His reason - binge drinker for past 4 years. Mr. Scott* is now retired (not by choice) but when he was working, he would often set aside one day to drink. Yes, he would spend the entire day drinking. His exilir of choice was vodka. From his reports, Dr. James* told me that he would drink 2 - 3 bottles (and in one case 4) on the binge day. Good god. There were several public health issues that were raised - family history of alcoholism, depression, and the increasing hardships that people face today. Mr. Scott* had not consumed any alcohol since his last visit (which was October 2004) and this was verified by regular testing. However, Dr. James* questioned him as if he just had a drink last week. Mr. Scott* brought his younger brother along to verify the story that no alcohol had been consumed. Dr. James* sent Mr. Scott to blood services to have his blood check. During all of this, I realised that this isn't the type of doctor that I want to become - a doctor that has become disillusioned and jaded by their patients and the system that they work within. I know that I am a newly minted medical student but upholding the dignity and respect of your patients should be of paramount importance.

After finishing up the observations, I headed home and then went to a friend's place to meet up with some more friends (Kate, Maie, Phil, and Renee) to study. I have noticed that I quite like to sit down with a group of people (albeit a small group) and study (yet, there are the intermittent conversations but they become more and more related to the topic at hand as the session progresses - I like to call it "nerd talk"). I finished up the rest of immunology ending it with T-cell immunity and cell-mediated immune responses. The study session lasted for about 5 hours and then I headed off to the Regatta to meet up with Dave, Suzanne, Yvette, Dan, and a whole bunch of other people from class. I like being able to reward myself after a long day's worth of work. And at the moment, the best reward is being able to spend time with friends in an environment outside of medicine.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Medical School and I

This is Week 3 of uni and I am getting my ass kicked! An expression that is used in Canada and the US with regards to medical school is "it is like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant." This is exactly how it is. Since Monday's PBL (a huge case about an infant boy who has Severe Combined Immune Deficiency), I have been trying to keep my head above the pages upon pages of immunology. I am quite cognizant that I don't have to know/learn all of this stuff in a week; the learning objectives provide an outline of what we need to know from this week (which is certainly doable - if there were 35 hours in a day). It's just a bit daunting knowing that there is so much that you don't know, and that the more you know, the more you don't you. Good god.

I had one lecture this morning and then a microbiology laboratory. I attended half a lecture on how to secure evidence-based medicine articles and sources onlines using PubMED, Medline, and other online medical sources. I sat down in the biological sciences library at 12:00 and left at 5:30pm. This has been the longest day of revision for me thus far, considering that I don't have an exam tomorrow. :) I know that this is going to be a regular occurance, which is something to look forward to as it prescribes some level of routine.

I came home at 5:30 and quickly made dinner before rushing off to a study group session with Dan, Dave, Dave, Meliene, and Pete (All Aussies, except for Dan, whose a Kiwi). We went over the issues from last week's PBL (cardiovascular) and the formative assessment questions. I realized that I don't know as much CV as I thought. God damn. I had a few moments of "HOLY SHOOT, I need to get out of here and start examining all the holes in my knowledge and learn what I don't know." The group worked well together (at least that's what I thought) - we got through all the objectives (and then some), had our nerdy medical conversations, and watched a new episode of The Simpsons. I felt as if I didn't contribute enough to the group (definitely a first time for that one to happen); the learning curve is huge and I respect that. I know that for the next meeting, I need to get my ass into gear (which I have been doing since the group study session) and maximise my studying time.

Speaking of maximising time, Graeme (IronMan) and I have decided to help each other out. I am going to teach Graeme the basics of cooking and he will train me into a leaner and meaner Veevek. :) I am going to keep up playing squash with Dave (and rumour has it that others have come out of the squash closet and want to play as well), and try to run with Graeme 3 to 4 times a week. I will go over all the basics of shopping for groceries, preparation, and cooking with Graeme. This is his first time from living away from home; due to the fact that he was either in school or training, a lot of his domestic skills are underdeveloped. This combination of me teaching him to cook and him helping me get back into a peak physical condition is quite exciting! By allocating time to excercise, I reckon that that will put take out the extraneous time for other things that would be 'useless' (note: I am using that word in it's loosest sense).

Alright, it's a little past midnight. What does that mean? It's means that my dress will become rags and my coach will turn into a pumpkin. No, I haven't been wishing I was Cinderella. However, the moral from this is very similar to the tale of Cinderella. See, Cinderella's fairy godmother told her that she was able to go to the ball, in all her finery, if and only if she would return by the last stroke of midnight. Okay, how does this fairy tale apply to me? Well, first off, I wish that I could be the princess at the ball...hahahaha...just kidding. Seriously though, on a uni night, midnight is the time that I want to bring things to a close and get to bed. I get up early (6:15am or so) and want to make sure that I can get enough hours of sleep without sacrificing study time (I haven't decided if this will be the case for the weekends, but I have been getting relatively early on the weekends - between 8:30 and 9:30am). On that note, I am signing off.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Could you step aside...

…this seemed to be the theme for Saturday night. Perhaps, I should start from the very beginning.

Friday night’s debauchery was indeed foreshadowing as to what will come. Saturday morning I was awoken by the dancing sunlight that shone through my window and landed upon my bed. It was indeed a great way to be woken up, as opposed to someone switching on the lights (when it is pitch black outside) and tearing off the thick warm duvets off your body (this method was used by my dad when I slept through my alarm – this was during high school, which was many years ago). Regardless, I had a wonderful morning, which was spent over a good breakfast and the local newspaper. Around 11am, I got a call from a friend (we will call him Dave). PseudoDave (this is not Dave) was having a bbq at his place and they wanted me to come over. I tell you, these Aussies are hardcore! I arrived there and everyone looked quite lethargic but the atmosphere was awesome. We all shared some good laughs about the night before. Normally, there is alcohol at barbeques, but this time, water was the beverage of choice.

The bbq lasted for a couple of hours and I headed back to my place, hoping to sort out the remaining unpacking fiasco. I have a huge desk with no drawers or other compartments. At the moment, all my textbooks, leisure books and knick knacks are placed on the left side, while photos are on the right. My laptop sits in the middle. This means that I have no room to open my huge ass Moore’s Anatomy or Sherwood’s Human Physiology textbooks. Spatial arrangement was something that I will have to master, along with cardiovascular anatomy and physiology (edit: the desk has been cleared and organized in a fashion that Martha Stewart would have approved).

Oh, back to the story. So, Saturday afternoon was spent getting the room organized and doing laundry. On Friday night, a bunch of us made plans to go to a club, in the Valley, called Family. It was voted the 2004 Australian’s Best Bar/Club. We met up at Family. Some of the group went in early as they had their own transportation to the place. Myself and 3 other people took Brisbane’s wonderful public transportation system (seriously, it is really good) to Brunswick St. After making our way to Family, we queued up and presented our Australian ID/foreign passports. Two other people and I were able to get in but one of my friends wasn’t able to. Okay, for those of you that are living in Calgary will know that Calgary is anal about IDs and that sort of thing. You haven’t seen anything yet until you come to Brisbane! HOLY SHOOT! Seriously. Most clubs/bars require Australian ID – driver’s license/birth certificate/18+ card – or passports (NOTE: foreign driver’s licences are a useless piece of ID down here). Now, I don’t know about y’all but I don’t want to be carrying around my passport to the bars. Also, most bars/clubs have signs that say “Managements has the right to refuse entry”, which basically means that if you aren’t who they are looking for, then you don’t get to go in. So, the bouncer and the girl that was checking people’s IDs and style told us that our one friend couldn’t get in. He was dressed in a white collared shirt, jeans and tan shoes. You’d think that that would be okay. No. In the beginning, they said that his shirt and shoes weren’t good enough. We were a bit taken aback. The bouncer told us that we should come back in about 30 minutes and he will see what he can do. In the meantime, the group that came with this friend decided to go to another place (RG Hotel), while the group that was in Family went back inside. At RG, each one of us shouted a round and 5 rounds later, we decided to try our chances at Family. We got back to Family and were told that the one guy still wouldn’t be able to get in. I called a friend inside the club and she brought down one of my friend’s shirt (he was already inside the club). He changed his shirt (and now he looked more dressy than I did) and the girl who was checking the ID told him, “Could you step aside?” He was so frustrated and rightfully so. After talking to the bouncer, who wouldn’t let him in because he still didn’t have the right shoes, I asked him if there was anything else besides the shoes. The bouncer said no and he said that even if he did change the shoes, he still wouldn’t be able to let him in because his sense of style didn’t match the club’s. MOTHER OF GOD! I would have felt humiliated and quite pissed off. We gathered the rest of the crew that was inside the club and headed off to a few other places in the Valley. Nevertheless, the night was a lot of fun. I made new friends, saw and experienced a different part of Brisbane’s nightlife.

Sunday morning, however, was a different story. I have never had a hangover – never. I mean my mouth might be dry but I have never felt the after shocks of a night of drinking (I can say that with confidence because I had to do a presentation in my Problem-Based Learning group about how alcohol is metabolised and it’s effect on the body). But, the when I pressed down on the area of the liver, it was tender! I have never had that feeling before – ever. Good god. I was indeed a sign that I should lay off some of the alcohol for a bit (well, at least until the next huge party, which is a Keg Party that the University of Queensland Medical Society is hosting on Friday). Sunday was a chill day – I realized that the first week of uni has gone by and that I was one week closer to becoming Dr. Veevek Thankey. (oh my god, if that wasn’t melodrama, then I don’t know what is!)

Alright, I have spent enough time not doing work - I need to get on my cardiovascular anatomy and physiology.