Wednesday, March 09, 2005


yes, today was indeed a very lugubrious day. For those of you that aren't up to speed on your vocabulary, lugubrious means mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree (I would like to thank for that wonderful definition). I got up this morning, already late for my (only) morning lecture. My eyes were quite sore (damn corneal ulcers!) and I had no energy to face the day when my eyes were hurting really badly. I made it to uni and Dave texted me and told me that the lecture wasn't worth it. I went in and then out again, realising that I should have heeded his words in the very beginning. Today was my hello day - 9 hours of straight lectures, expert tutorials, and practicals. I wore my sunglasses the entire day (even inside) because my eyes just weren't liking the bright and sunny weather. The pain got to an unbearable point and I decided to skip my evidence-based medicine tutorial (I got into an argument with the professor the first time - he is my 'black list' as Dave likes to call it).

I went grocery shopping (yes, it was very important because I was living off of museli, a few tomatos, Pacific Fruit cordial, and my whey protein powder) and got me enough food to cook for the next two weeks! FUN FUN. But soon after the novelty wore off and I was back to being lugubrious. I went home and tried to go over the missed lecture and looking over my anatomy of the abdomen but my eyes just didn't want to. I took a much needed nap and headed off to Pete's place for a study group session - which turned out to be a waste of time (at least for me). I have gotten behind on Week 6 (stomach/small intestines/colon) and this is week 7 (which is a continuation of the gastrointestinal tract and looking at whatever part of the abdomen we haven't covered). Tomorrow, I only have a clinical communications skill session at Princess Alexandria Hospital. Hopefully, I will be able to play a kick ass game of catch up!

So, some of my readers want to know more about my friends here. I don't mind putting up mindless drivel about them on here (perhaps I should ask their permission before I do that...nah, that wouldn't make it as fun). But who to start with?? :) A character sketch of all my mates...that will be quite interesting. That will be an ongoing project, that's for sure.

Okay, it's bedtime. I just wish that this throbbing pain in my left eye will just go away. Where is a melon baller when you need one! I have an appointment with an optometrist tomorrow afternoon but I have a very strong feeling that I am just going to be referred to another specialist that will be in the middle of buttfucknowhere. :)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Touch Footy!

Yes, that's what Mr. Thankey has signed up for. I suck but that's more than half the fun! A few weeks ago, I signed up for (so did about 30 other people) a MBBS I touch footy team. Today was the first week of three weeks trials. Teams are made up on 7 people, and you can have extras to swtich on and off. There needs to be a minimum of 3 women per team. Dave sent me a text this morning, trying to round up people. Those that showed up: Dave, Dan, Greg, Graeme, Vanessa, Mel, Lene, Matt, Nathan, John, and me. Those that should have showed up: Marlo. She was going to come but apparently a movie got to the best of her. :)

We played two games, which were 20 minutes each. In the first trial, we drew (2-2). The second game, were were obliterated! The second team was hardcore. I only played for maybe 10 minutes out the 40 minutes. I had never played before and felt a bit handicapped (well, moreso than usual) with the game. As a result, I am decided to start training for touch. Yes, social exercise with the rest of the team will build some team spirit and get to know the strengths and weaknesses of our team mates. I can totally see every Sunday arvo being about touch footy and then going to the PBL room to do some studying before heading back home to sleep, only to get up 5 hours later for the 8am Monday PBL session.

Oh, what's the name of our team...FLAMING SAMBUCAS! Only Pete would come up with a name like that. God loves him. :)

Also, today was a day in which I realised that some of the friends that I have are so invaluable and they truly do make me be a better person. My heart and love goes out to those people (you know who you are!).

Sunday, March 06, 2005

"You're worse than a nigger - you're African."

This was a quote from Nick Nolte, who plays Colonel Oliver in the movie "Hotel Rwanda". I went to see Hotel Rwanda with Param, Nabila, Marlo, Kim, Sonia, Pete, Dave, and Dan. I wanted to see this movie before I left Calgary but knew that I would be missing the release date. I reckon that everyone in that movie cried - everyone.

The movie was incredible - I can see why it was nominated for an Oscar and Don Cheadle did an absolutely fantastic job of playing the role of Paul Rusesabagina. The quote used in the title was during the part of the movie when international reinforcements had arrived but only to evacuate foreign passport holders, not Rwandans. Colonel Oliver was telling Paul of what the world thinks of this draconian situation that was unfolding in front of them. It's true - people in priviledged parts of the world see these things on the television, computer, newspapers. When they are finished with it, they continue to eat their hot dinner, go to work/school in an environment which is safe, and they are in a home which provides them with all the comforts that they are afforded with. Rex Murphy (a Canadian television personality) said it perfectly, living in the West, is like winning the only lottery that matters in the world.

Hotel Rwanda is, for the most part, a deeply personal story, and it’s uniquely focused on one building (the hotel), the people within it, and the relationships between them. The filmmakers deliberately avoided focusing on the overwhelming horror of the genocide itself. The film does an absolutely fantastic job of creating a bizarre, surreal atmosphere, to let the audience feel the psychological terror of the genocide without going close on the slaughter.I have no doubt that this is one of the few movies that I have watched in the past year that got me completely and utterly emotionally involved. For other movies, I might be interacting with the story by way of associating my personal experiences with the characters, discerning opinions upon them, examining the development of the story, ways of expression, the cinematography, acting, etc. BUT, Hotel Rwanda simply took me over as I was watching it. My emotion was going along with Paul ( Don Cheadle) all the time. The director (Terry George) did a great great job in capturing the feelings of people facing uncertainty, horror, ridicules, anger, death, waning faith. Family, life and dignity/integrity become the largest things in the situation. What's more is that it squarely shows the realist thinking in international politics. It honestly shows the weakness/helplessness of the UN and the non-governmental organisations. It truthfully tells how indifferent most of the international community (and individuals) are towards the deprivation of social justice taking place in other parts of the world. It makes you question to what extent that it is true to say what we see is what we tolerate. It shows you how monstrous human being can be. It scares you how sanity would fail. At the same time, the uglier the people become, the more beautiful you find those who have managed to keep brave and maintain humanity. The movie fully succeeds in showing me the spirit, faith, and compassion that the world is dreaming for. It was a movie that exemplifies why I want to be a doctor.

For those of you that haven't done so, there are two things that you need to do. First, GO AND SEE HOTEL RWANDA. Second, go and read "Hope in Hell" by Dan Bortolotti. This is a book about the personal stories of doctors, nurses and nonmedical volunteers working under the aegis of Médecins Sans Frontières. It looks at how how these volunteers often work in poor and dangerous places, and the experience changes all of them. Some are traumatised, kinapped, even murdered. Many watch their idealism become disillusionment, their friends become strangers. Other feed on the adventure, fall in love, or find the family they never had. This book reveals the human face of an organisation that truly does provide hope in hell.


It's been a while since I have been able to post as I have been studying and revising for an exam, albeit a practice one, and trying to be on top of my game in terms of the course work. On that note, I am not on top of my game in terms of course work - I still have a fair bit of work left to do on the stomach, small intestines and colon.

From the last entry, I promised that I would write about Sports Day. Okay, I am sure that I have written about Sport's Day in previous entries (in fact, I know I have. If you don't remember, I ask you to scroll down and read them again before proceeding further). The night prior to Sport's Day, I went to the Royal Exchange Hotel's infamous annual Toga Party. Initially, I wasn't going to go because I wanted to be well rested for Sports Day and make sure that I can get enough work done so that I didn't feel guilty losing an entire day's worth of work towards my social development learning. :) I went toga shopping with Celia (she's in my course) in the CBD. We were looking for a gold fabric as she thought that that would suit me best. At the fabric store, she jokingly picked up a bright fuschia bolt of fabric and said that this would be better. And what did Mr. Thankey do next? He bought two metres of that fabric! It was awesome. HAHAHAHAHAHA. However, at the actual toga party, I was dressed conservatively - some people were just hardcore toga enthusiasts! I guess there were somethings that I just wasn't meant to go all out for. :) Since the theme at the RE was Toga - the patrons were definitely all praying and prostrating to Dionysus - the Greek god of wine (in this case, alcohol in general). Matt, myself, Celia, Nabila, Katrina, Dana, Marlo (her sister and some mates of hers), Sherin, Vignesh, Bali, Claire, and Colleen had a great time! Those of that were in med (everyone for the exception of Claire, Colleen and Marlo's sister and mates) were gonna be hurting for tomorrow's Sports Day.

So, the morning comes and Veevek rubs the sleep out of his eyes - dresses in his recently 'acquired' scrubs and heads out to meet Claire (different Claire from above) to walk over to a barbeque for 9:30am. We buy some food (curried veggie sausages...mmmmm) and make our way to start the day with some good tucker in our belly. So, what was the first thing that I have for breakfast? Beer...yes, the carbohydrates were making their way through my system (still have to finish that learning objective for this week). I made sure that I ate more than my fill before heading over the the Regatta. At the Regatta, there was a large congregation of MBBS I in their scrubs and with jugs of beer and other drinks in their hands. I had a few beers and a couple spirits - nothing like jolting your alcohol metabolism to a quick and shocking start! Law John (he is from Western Australia and has an undergrad degree in Law) brought along a very dangerous weapon...a black marker! See, when you have clean scrubs (or any potential writing surface, it will be bound to come upon a black marker and someone will write something that will haunt you for quite some time). Pete, for example, was Dr. Assman (the name came from me - the Sienfeld episode where Kramer got the license plate "ASSMAN" was the inspiration), Law John was Dr. M.J.Jackson - Pediatrics, on the back on his top was written, "I love children, is that a crime?" So, what was mine? "Dr. V-MAN, OBY/GYN, "Vulva? Vagina? You decide" The upper years came running along Coronation Drive, following a (presumably) 4th year wielding the torch (similar to the Olympic torch). They came in for quick rehydration (or dehydration if you want to be specific) and we all headed off to St. Lucia campus, where the festivities will be held. Now, people have the choice of getting to St. Lucia by any means. You can take the ferry, bus, walk, run, in a trolley, drive, on the back of a donkey (or another class mate) get the picture.

Anyways, I was running with the alpha pack until I had to stop off at my place to drop off my mobile (I didn't need to talk to anyone or send texts today), get my sunglasses and take some medication before enjoying what the day had to offer. I ran most of the way to uni (which is about 3.5 km). I am telling you that running with some beer in your gut and the sun being at its highest point in the day can lead to TROUBLE!

After arriving at the Sports Day (held at one of the fields on UQ St. Lucia campus), there were heaps of people from all years enjoying themselves to beer, wine, snow cones, fairy floss (cotton candy) and a barbeque. There was a jumping castle, a live band, a dunking tank, and of course, a large open field to play games. I bought 5 drink tickets so that I can keep count of what I am drinking. I was a good boy because I didn't buy any more after that. :)

I did manage to get myself a haematoma (bruise for those that aren't familiar with medical jargon) above my right eyebrow. My mate Pete (imagine a 185cm teddy bear) went in the jumping castle with me. Pete justs towers above people - combine this with a jumping castle and he is an ANIMAL! So, Pete tackled me and took me down whilst giving me the people's elbow above my right eyebrow.

As for the sports, I didn't partake in them. People asked me but my response was to them, "if you want to see a short Indian man having an asthma attack on the field, then by all means I am game!" I had a great time meeting new people and having great conversations with them.

Sports Day was held from 1pm to 5pm. At 1pm, the School of Medicine purposely held a clinical symposium for the MBBS I students, knowing full well that Sports Day would be held. The UQMS (UQ Medical Society) had informed the SOM (School of Medicine) that this day would be Sports Day (on Fridays, we have the afternoon free from lectures, tutorials and practicals). So, it was a sign of protest that I didn't go to the Symposium. Apparently lots of students went to the symposium (good for them) and then came to the festivities afterwards.

At 5pm, I, along with some other mates, went to get a bite to eat before heading back to the Regatta for the evening festivities. After getting some food in the gut, I headed back to the Regatta with Law John and Ryan (a bloke from my PBL). There were a number of people, from our class, that were there. Most of them changed out of their scrubs into something a little more classier. I kept on my grass and beer/wine/spirit/sweat-stained scrubs...didn't want to ruin the charm (shyeah right). The night was spent dancing to some great tunes, sharing and making merry with my mates. Yes, there were some other things that went on - but I reckon that that is for those people that were involved and actually there. :)

I didn't get home until 2:45am on Saturday monring...good god - that was almost than 18 hours worth of 'making and having merry'. :) Ahh...the woes of being a student.