Monday, September 19, 2005

Quite far yet so near...

It has been too long since I’ve last posted on this thing, and for that I apologise. So many thoughts, ideas and reflections have been through my mind in the last month and I’ve been trying to sort through them as opposed to putting them on this site for public perusal.

I can’t believe that I’m almost done my first year of medical school. It’s quite a scary thought – I know only a few people that have not had a freak out in the last little while. Right now, we are in Week 31 – which looks at central nervous system and higher brain function. The academic year is 38 weeks (the last 4 weeks is the medical elective period; the rest of the university only has 32 weeks). After this week, we have another week of the central nervous system and then the last two weeks look at psychiatric issues and suicide/depression. Rumour has it that this is the School of Medicine’s implicit way of providing therapy to the MBBS I cohort, as final exams are fast approaching.

Apart from trying to keep on top of my studying (which is getting to be more difficult that I imagined as there are heaps of past exams, my notes, and weekly quizzes to go through), I’ve been counting the days down to a number of key events that will be my rewards for finishing the exam. First off, there is a tradition that MBBS I students go to Stradbrooke Island after they finish the last exam. Straddie, as it is called by locals, is one of the largest sand islands in the world and from what I’ve heard from Brisbanites, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Australia. During the same weekend, Ruth will be coming up to Brisbane (tenative - but a friend can dream)! I can’t wait to show her the sights and sounds of Brisbane, as she did with me when I vistied her in Adelaide. It will be a bit difficult to get her around as I don’t have a car. However, that will hopefully change at the beginning of next year when I buy myself a shitbox with wheels. Ruth’s arrival also means that those student members of MAPW QLD that are interested in NWIP will be having a retreat and having workshops on how to conduct non-confrontational dialogue and things like that. There are some future plans with NWIP coming out of Australia, however, I reckon that I will just keep those ideas to myself for the time being because I don’t want to get my hopes up about it and then have them come crashing down because I was just a bit too eager.

After the Straddie trip, I have a few days to get my shit together and leave for Delhi! I’ll be leaving on November 3rd. I’ll be stopping in Kuala Lumpur for the day and then make my way to Colombo, Sri Lanka for a couple days. I’ve never been to either Malaysia or Sri Lanka. It will be nice to add those two places on my travelling belt. Regardless of the fact that they will be whirlwind trips, I can’t wait! I’ll arrive in Delhi on November 5th. I’ll be picked up by some people from St. Stephen’s hospital and then taken to my hospital accommodations.

I’m so excited about having a medical elective experience in India. I will be going to Delhi with a number of other students from the class; fortunately, I like them all. My only worry is that we will all hang out together (which is fine) and that most of them will use me as a conduit for their experiences in Delhi. I reckon that I already know who will hate it and who will love it. I know that seeing India from a tourist perspective and as a person who claims the place as a source of ancestry often yields in different paradigms.

Regardless, something that is even more awesome, I will be meeting up with Mum in Mumbai on November 13th. We are then going to fly to Porbandar, Gujarat (her birthplace). One of my cousins (on my mum’s side) will be getting married and one of my dad’s cousins will be getting married as well. After the weddings, her and I are heading up to Ahmedabad to do some shopping for my brother’s wedding which will be next year, and to do some personal shopping because when in India, one goes shopping. :)

My elective period goes until December 2nd and I will be in India until December 13th. I fly back to Brisbane via Colombo and a night stopover in Kuala Lumpur. I arrive in the evening of December 16th, only to pack and move, and then get on a plane to Calgary on December 20th.

Now, if only I can get through the next 5 weeks without having a major upset or freak out session. Wish me the best of luck…I’m going to need it.