Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

So it's Christmas! (if you start singing that John Lennon song I'll cut you).

The best Christmas present I could possibly ever ask for was GETTING THE HECK OUTTA DODGE (Dominica). I don't know why I do this to myself, but invariably there's a class that comes down to the wire, and it was pharm!! (yet again). I literally passed by two points. I'm not that proud of that fact, but at this point I'll take it because it lets me move forward. I've had several friends along the way have to repeat because they "missed it by one or two points"... so I'll happily accept PASSING by one or two points to prevent such an occurrence. It's a little surreal to think I won't be going back there any time soon (if ever). It is a LITTLE sad. There are one or two people there whom I wouldn't mind seeing more of...But I'm elated never to have to board that flight in SJU again (Unless I'm getting paid to!!)

I'm now allowing myself to think about Miami. I'm finalizing arrangements and starting to put together lists for the move. It's going to be interesting. Some of it is indeed a bit ridiculous the amount of STUFF I'm going to need for just four months. Some of it is just excess to treat myself for living in a dump for 16 months. I'll need furniture in the future, so might as well buy it now. The cost to rent pieces for the time I'm there is more than the cost of some of the pieces anyway. It creates a small logistical issue, but just one. Oh well, Miami, Miami...you've got style...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Post I wrote like two weeks ago...but never published...Ooops.

I'm so ready to go home, but I'm so wary of EVERYTHING that has to occur then (those in the know know more or less what I'm saying without really saying it, haha). There's just so much to do. I've got one or two more things to square up for my apartment before I can move in.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A political note

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/09/tax.plan/index.html?hpt=T1
It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the Obama administration. He was the first POTUS to be elected in an American Idol-style election. Is it too much to hope we've learned our lesson about that one??

Personally, I think this goes beyond the issue-at-hand. I think the DNC is getting ready to hang the President out to dry. He ran a great campaign, and he just happened to have someone loonier and even more clueless than he is in the House to push his agenda (if you can even call it that) through. Then it all went South when he couldn't deliver the moon that he'd promised. It's going to be an interesting election (I'm sensing a 1980 Reagan-Carter election).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yet another rambling whiney post...

Aren't you thrilled??

I'm so ready to go. So ready to be done. At this point it's just apathy, nothing else. I feel like I couldn't pay attention to anything if my life depended on it. I literally have no ability to focus right now. Shoot me somebody??? Kthnxbai.

When I get stressed my aggravation is usually focused on one or two people...rightly or wrongly...and I don't like that. I need a time machine. I'm ready to move on. I'm tired of the stasis that is this island. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, nobody new to meet. It's always the same cycle. I'm so ready to be at home where not only my friends are, but there are new people to meet, prospects, chances, opportunities, and just plain variety. For a very long time I've been a bit of a lone wolf, recently that's begun to change, and it's incredibly frustrating, because I'm HERE...and who wants to get involved with that...Perhaps being here has made me more aware of my desire for companionship simply because there was no opportunity, regardless of whether I ignored it or not. Skype is only so good...

It doesn't look like I'll be with any of my close friends come January. Three are going to Michigan (which, to be frank, I anticipate will end in an all-out disaster). Even more are scheduled to still be here. As harsh as it sounds...some of them I'm glad I don't have deal with day and in and day out anymore...the drama is just too much. Some I will miss a lot.

Perhaps I'll go find myself some vermouth, and make myself a martini, shaken, not stirred.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love"

Heaven, heartache and the power of love

They say up in Heaven the streets are gold
Once you get past the Pearly Gates
And the angels are singin'
At the top of a dove white staircase

And I say heartache can burn you down like hell
Leave you beggin', "Baby, please don't go"
'Til you're scrapin' rock bottom
And cryin' in a deep dark hole

Oh, and love can make you fly like a rocket
Put you on top of the world

I'm talkin' 'bout
Heaven is where I hope I'm goin'
Heartache, that's where I've been
Heaven, heartache and the power of love

Well, the preacher says when your time is up
You take a chariot to the Lord
Well, I'm hopin' my chariot's
A torch red Thunderbird Ford

And my old flame said
"I hate to break it to you, darlin'
I was born the leavin' kind"
Left me standin' in the dark
Cryin', "Why baby, why baby, why?"

Oh, but real love's got me back in the saddle
Shoutin' amen again

That's what I know about
Heaven is where I hope I'm goin'
Heartache, that's where I've been
Heaven, heartache and the power of love

I gotta keep lovin' and livin'
And learnin' and burnin'
Movin' on down the road

Heaven is where I hope I'm goin'
Heartache, that's where I've been
Heaven, heartache and the power of

Heaven, it's where I hope I'm goin'
Heartache, that's where I've been
Heaven, heartache and the power of love
Heaven, heartache and the power of love

Heaven, where I hope I'm goin'
Heartache, that's where I've been
Heaven, heartache

Heaven, that's where I'm goin'
Heartache, oh, that's where I've been
Heaven, that's where I hope I'm goin' 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Most Bizarre Dream

The dream occurred in that delightful space between asleep and awake (the place where Tink will always be with Peter Pan for those familiar with the movie “Hook”.)
My Canuck and I were at a part with a bunch of other people, when suddenly she pulls out an Erlenmeyer flask (!!!!!) and puts some rocks of crack in it. That should’ve been my first clue that this was a dream...but then again...Canuck is certifiably nuts. She passed (the Erlenmeyer full of crack) to Yauser (Yauser!) and she took some, then she went all ghetto/gangsta Canuck on me (PS, does that great white nation of Canada even have a ghetto? If it’s indeed the most awesome place in the world you’d think it wouldn’t...) and went all hoopdy on me trying to take a hit (from the Erlenmeyer) of crack...
Fast forward about fifteen minutes and I’m on a stage (somewhere, I’m not sure where) and apparently the Ice Truck Killer is trying to kill me, but he’s in a costume, and keeps throwing things at me on stage. Fast forward a few more minutes, and I’m at Deborah Morgan’s apartment...trying to not only latch, but merely CLOSE a door that for some reason keeps getting slammed open, and is straining against the latch, deadbolt, and chain, just to keep the Ice Truck Killer away...I was then awoken by a purring cat in my face. W.T.F 
Did I mention that when I finally woke up this morning I felt like I had been on a serious bender and I was dizzy and groggy for at least thirty minutes after waking up. That never happens. Who tried to date rape me last night???

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Kolya...

Ok I'm not completely crazy (well maybe I am...) Anyway, I'm taking this series of videos featuring Kolya the Kat because I'm taking care of him for a friend who had to leave early. Because they literally take an hour with our delightfully slow internet connection to share via skype, I'm posting them on my blog. So just grin and bear with how pathetic they are, because they make said friend smile to see her "kitty." Also, yes, I am well aware how much of a disaster area my apartment is right now. I'm leaving in less than three weeks, and stuff is accumulating into respective and appropriate piles for easy cleaning!

My (temporary) cat


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Totally unproductive day

Wow, I literally have done almost NOTHING today so far. One path packet and three pages of a pharm packet... Some days I just cannot focus. I think I had too much caffeine at lunch. Two cokes? Perhaps that was a bad idea...At the moment I'm sitting here in the study room beebopping in my head to "Dance in the Dark" by Lady Gaga. What a sad song, yet it's one of those dance floor stompers that makes me forget I'm in a room with one hundred other people... I cannot recall how many times I've come THIS CLOSE to busting out in song or gesticulation...So far I've caught myself every single time. I'm waiting for that sad day when I don't catch myself and shout out the lyrics to some of the gayest songs ever...I have actually had a similar occurrence. I was listening to the song "Candyman" by Christina Aguilera (ok what does all this say about my taste in music, haha) and my headphone jack got knocked out. Awkward party of ME your table's ready...Of course this never happens when I'm listening to songs like "Enter Sandman" or "Thank God I'm A Country Boy"...oh no...it must always be the booty shaking songs...or as my former coworker Nasty says "hoochalolly." Gahhh sometimes I miss working right next to her putrid micro lab....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's all about perspective

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqikqw_RPd0&feature=related

Watching this GEM of a match on youtube. During the prematch commentary, Bud Collins, whom I find incredibly annoying, speaks of Steffi Graf as an underdog and a long shot in this match. He also stated that Steffi Graf was going to mature to be a "fine player." My half asleep brain did a Scooby Doo/Tim Taylor "uuuughhhhh???" Steffi Graf? We are talking about the same Steffi Graf. It was just funny to me because I predate this match by about four weeks, so for my entire life Steffi Graf has been a tennis giant. And with that...why am I still awake....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fourth Semester Banquet

Last night was our banquet celebrating what should be (hopefully) our last semester on the island. I wasn't overly thrilled about going, but then again I'm usually not bouncing on the tips of my toes in giddy delight at the prospect of being crammed in a small space with several hundred obnoxious inebriated buffoons. That is indeed what turned out to happen, but thankfully I was able to avoid most of said individuals and just have a good time with my friends. Ok ok, I MIGHT have danced with a certain professor known for her chipper demeanor and ability to teach Renal physiology...

The food was not the best, and it turned out that it made a lot of people sick. I would imagine that the food had been cooked several hours before our banquet began and that the various species of E. coli said PARTAY! at Cabrits...which then extended to the GI tracts of unsuspecting medical students.

I still continue to be amazed at how a lot of my peers haven't quite left the high school/first two years of college mentality. You know the attitude whereby we need to get blitzed and act like complete idiots in front of everybody, and how everybody else things it's AWESOME! Personally, I enjoy my wine, and yeah, I might enjoy dancing, but my clothes stay on, and I do not get in other people's "business." Perhaps I also have a little bit of perspective and self respect. I keep the getting the feeling that most of my peers have absolutely no idea what the real world entails, and went straight from party undergrad without actually having to step into the real world. It just bothers me that they A) feel inclined to act that way to begin with, B) feel inclined to do so in public, and C) think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Somebody do please explain to me why it's a good idea to chemically alter oneself to the point of memory loss...and try also to explain why it's simply delightful to do that REPEATEDLY.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mi Vida Loca

If you're coming with me you need nerves of steel
'Cause I take corners on two wheels
It's a never-ending circus ride
The faint of heart need not apply

Mi vida loca over and over
Destiny turns on a dime
I go where the wind blows
You can't tame a wild rose
Welcome to my crazy life

Sweetheart before this night is through
I could fall in love with you
Come dancing on the edge with me
Let my passion set you free

Mi vida loca over and over
Destiny turns on a dime
I go where the wind blows
You can't tame a wild rose
Welcome to my crazy life

Here in the firelight I see your tattoo
Mi vida loco, so you're crazy too

Mi vida loca over and over
Destiny turns on a dime
I go where the wind blows
You can't tame a wild rose
Welcome to my crazy life

We'll go where the wind blows
And I'll be a wild rose
Welcome to my crazy life



-- "Mi Vida Loca" Pam Tillis

37 Days and Counting!

It's that point in the semester where every single person has a countdown. It's also usually the exact same countdown: how many days until we go home. Most people in my semester are all leaving on either Friday the 17th or Saturday the 18th. I myself am leaving the 18th, and hopefully it's for good. I went to Miami this past weekend to find a place, and hopefully no ugly little surprises will pop up and prevent me from moving in!
Exam 2 over and done! The results were much better overall, no nasty pharm surprises! Once again my highest grades were in questions and subjects directly related to the clinical practice of medicine as opposed to recitation of encyclopedic facts. They have their merit, but I am not, and never have been overly skilled in the rote memorization of vast tracts of seemingly unrelated facts. String them together or give them some direct relevance and we have a different story, but in fairness to my professors it's difficult to do that for every single thing. SO we get stuck with rote memorization of vast tracts...blah blah blah. I find I have to study a bit less for the clinical information because up until now we've learned most of that hands on. That can be more nerve wracking at first, but I enjoy being in the clinical setting. Perhaps this bodes well for me as a practicing physician???

Sidenote: there is a bird that loves to sit in the entryway to my building and CHIRP its blasted mating call at 645 in the morning. The main downside about my building is that everything that happens in said entryway can be heard by every single tenant. Said bird might find itself dead and stuffed if it doesn't leave me alone. Ok, I'm not really THAT violent. Sometimes it likes to come sit on my windowsill and do its chirpy thing, in which case I usually go bang on the window to make it leave.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Newly updated to Mini 2 bug list: I.cantrememberu, U.dontstayinmymind, B.lessdetailed, C.howdumbthisis and G.usuck, T.Hisisbullox

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ay me...

A thought just occurred to me. Not that it's profound or life-changing, but that's what this blog is for...my thoughts. We're not allowed to appreciate this island, whatever good it has to offer.
We're forced to just sit here and be grumpy and busy and completely at odds with its culture.
 Of course we're going to hate it!
I think I'd hate it regardless because I'm just too Type A for a "relaxed" culture, regardless of whether or I not I have an exam next week
As a side note:  putting a thousand arguably OVER-eduacted people in one of the cradles of idiocy where people do not think past the end of their nose and do not care what is going on around them...what genius came up with that idea.

Case in point... Not only did the incident itself absolutely blow my mind, but the sheer ignorance found even in statements condemning what happened speak volumes about the views the people here possess. This is such a closed-minded society. I really think that if Dominica wants to not necessarily keep up, but just move with the rest of the world, they need to open their eyes and at least acknowledge that the world is out there. I read on wikipedia (okay okay consider the source) that over 10, 000 people have emigrated from the island since the year 2000. That is astounding considering the island's population is only about 70, 000. That should be an eye-opener to people that a number that amounts to OVER TEN PERCENT of your population has left in ten years. Sadly, I predict the people who remain (the grossly uneducated) will simply walk down the street in their fog. Fine, let them do so, I want out of here, STAT!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

PARTS and PROBLEMS

This past week, and the next week, we are covering what I not-so-affectionately call PARTS and PROBLEMS. In other words, STI's. Woo. I'm trying my best to be professional about it, but I don't think even a gynecologist would see this many vaginas (let alone sick ones) in one day. Good grief, it's just.too.much.

No names to protect the not-so-innocent..



A: how can you be "like" a virgin, anyway?
B: I don't know, Preparation H?? 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Miami it looks like...

So, for those not in the know, in January we have twelve weeks in either Miami, Saginaw, or back here (why why oh why). The majority go to Miami. Saginaw, by word-of-mouth, is the "better" of the two programs in the states. I would personally prefer Saginaw simply because it's not Florida. I'm not a fan of Florida. Either way, given I do not have a STELLAR GPA, a good, solid one, but not a stellar one, and all of the people who do have the stellar GPAs AND say that they want to go to Michigan are people I find incredibly obnoxious, I put in for Miami. That is not to say that everybody I know who wants to go to Michigan is obnoxious...but rather that it seems everyone I FIND obnoxious is going. Verstehst du? Now, that would require a place to LIVE for twelve weeks.

When I came to Dominica, I had no idea where my apartment was when I signed for it. Simply that it was well rated and within walking distance. I am not taking such chances with Miami!!! I want to know where I'm living, how far away it is from campus, and all sorts of other things!! That and I need a break. My trip to Puerto Rico in July did wonders for my sanity. So I booked my flights.

Because I'm just that lucky, American Airlines was booked solid out of Dominica on my outbound leg, so I had to get a little creative. Luckily, I'm an airplane/travel geek and know pretty much all of the routes and major operators everywhere in the world. Thus, one can deduce I'm familiar with the same in the Caribbean. That's all well and good until one considers that there are only four nonstop destinations served out of Dominica: Antigua, Barbados, San Juan, and St. Maarten. St. Maarten immediately got the axe because the nonstops are operated by Winair and their ten-seater planes. No thank you. San Juan was eliminated on the outbound due to American Airlines being booked. (Thankfully, American Airlines DID have open seats to Dominica on my return leg). That left Antigua or Barbados for the outbound plane--cue Suzy Bogguss.  This was pretty much perfect, as it meant one less flight on LIAT, an airline I abhor. Had I not taken American on on the return, it would have  LIAT out of Antigua or Barbados and a tight (Antigua) or next day (Barbados) connection, . Neither of those was acceptable. All in all, I would rather do a short connection in San Juan and I get to avoid Antigua--an airport I abhor, see the trend here--completely.  I do, however, have a rather lengthy 8am-240pm layover in Barbados during which I can read and study.

I made all my flight arrangements, paid for it, then looked over it. I discovered I was an idiot and booked the return flight for one day early...BONK! Thankfully I just called up American Airlines and they changed it no charge. This was literally minutes after I'd made the initial booking. My opinion of American Airlines is SLIGHTLY raised. They still have a year's worth of flight schedule-related aggravation to overcome. I'm currently debating whether or not to put this and any future American Airlines flights on my Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account. The AS account gets much more use as it is attached to a credit card.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rainnnnnnnn

Last night/early this morning is rained incredibly hard. It had started rumbling with a little bit of lightning about 930 last night, and I was so tired that I put a movie on about 1030 and unplugged the internet. I had to have fallen asleep by 11 because I have very little recollection of much of the movie.  Toll! for sleep :P. I was woken up about 245ish by the LOUD rain and thunder and I also had to go the bathroom. I get into the bathroom, and I'm knocked over by this absolutely PUTRID smell. Water (and anything and everything suspended in the water) was backing up through the drain into my shower. My shower looked disgusting this morning. I dumped bleach in it and rain it on scalding hot for about twenty minutes before I even thought of getting into it this morning...I love Dominica. . . 72 days and COUNTING!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Just spent twenty minutes...

...shuffling through my notes trying to remember which form of viral pneumonia children tend to get versus adults. For the three people who care: children tend to get viral pneumonia cased by the Respiratory synctial virus (RSV),  a paramyxoviridae (eveloped, pleiomorphic, ss-(-)-RNA). Adults, you will be delighted to know, predominantly develop viral pneumonia from influenza A&B, orthomyxoviridae (segmented, evenloped ss-(-)RNA). Woo?? Somebody pull the plug...This better show up on the test!

All this goes out the window however, when BACTERIAL pneumonia shows up (now I know you're REALLY excited, bouncing in your seats yet?) That delightful disorder is caused by the wonderful little creatures (in order of prevalence) 1. Streptococcus pneumoniae, 2. Hemophilus influenzae, and 3.
Moraxella catarrhalis....you can sleep better tonight right??? RIGHT???
Sooooo.....still not wanting to study, but I'm actually being fairly productive. Amazing how that works isn't it? My eyes, however, are KILLING me. The delightful combination of fluorescents and staring at a computer screen for HOURS on end have accumulated into a painful and uncomfortable periorbital THROB!

This morning at yoga, I was sweating so bad, my hands were slipping all over the place. Didn't help that every other position was a downdog! I was sliding and slipping, trying not to faceplant. It was probably the most challenging session I've gone to yet! Ugh, back to studying. Boo!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mini's around the Corner...

...so what am I doing...not studying right now of course. As much as I love what I'm doing I despise studying for hours on end. I always have. I've never been a big proponent of endless studying. PROPER studying wins out always in the long run.

Today I was eating lunch with Canuck, Yauser, and Pillow Pants. Yauser's repeating this semester, sadly :(. Pillow Pants and I got into a somewhat involved conversation with a fellow student who was having a very difficult time coping with the class load and stress that all this induces. We were trying to talk to him about how we dealt with. Now, I've had nights where I'm so wound up that I could not fall asleep, so I can certainly sympathize with him. Though they have been rare thankfully, they always come more toward the end of a semester. Anyway, we were talking to him, and I just felt really bad for him. You don't even do it on purpose, but you just get so wound up. Sometimes you just have to put the stuff away. I remember one evening my first semester (and by evening I mean an hour that would have allowed me to call a friend in London and not wake them...) I was studying, and I read the word "roller coaster." About a minute later, I realized that I had indeed read it, and I went back, and the word I substituted "roller coaster" for was "varicella zoster." For those who care that's the virus that causes chicken pox. Then and there, lesson learned or unlearned, it was time to put it away. Perhaps we'll see him at yoga tomorrow trying to relax, I really hope he gets the help he needs.

Try a Little Bitterness...

The title of this post is a bit of a play on words on the song "Try a Little Tenderness," for those who care. I've noticed--and it certainly has been pointed out to me--that I've been incredibly touchy/quick/short/irritable/crabby/cantankerous and just downright unpleasant the past week or so. I'm somewhat sorry to be taking out my frustrations on others, even if they are only a very small part of it. Sorry, but as much as you love them, your friends can irritate the hell out of you. On the flipside I'm not sorry because I'm done bottling all of my emotions. It's unhealthy and stressful. With three of them it's downright aggravation and lack of any more capacity for an ongoing situation that just reeks of a sixth-grade mentality. With another it's more of a reflection of my general state of pessimism, unfortunately. When you're already aggravated the "flaws" you normally overlook in people because you see the bigger picture just irritate you simply because you're irritated. Is there a manual to this machine??? Do I kill the chicken or shatter the egg????!?!?

While we're being honest and reflective...I would have to be completely transparent and say my overall bad mood is probably twofold in cause: 1) a nasty case of loneliness and 2) stagnation. Despite it being second on the list, let's address stagnation first. It's my blog if I want to be inconsistent I shall! Being here in Dominica is like watching the flight you were ticketed on depart from the gate without you on it. We have to deal with emotions and feel like that much more so than students not stuck on an island. Dear God please let the 89 days go quickly. I feel like I can't do anything with my life while I'm here. Most of the people I care about/am interested/want to be around/want to be with are all back in the states. Yeah you make some friends here, but then you go back to the states with no promise them again because the schedules and locations of your rotations might vary. On top of that you see them every day, so you don't necessarily miss them. I probably will in the future when I don't see them, but that is not causing the problem. It just feels like we're in limbo here, and people at home are just as busy and just as slammed, but they don't feel nearly as isolated.

Case 1, well, let's just say some of the most concrete steps I've ever made were taken toward amending that particular problem. I had a great time over break thanks to a certain one or two individuals. That's all on that.

Monday, September 20, 2010

this...just...happened...

Me: You like my new picture (it's a Dexter promo)
E: lol, you suddenly got a lot hotter
Me: You saying I wasn't hot before?
E: You know my present feelings about your hotness.
Me: So, what I'm hearing is that I have to look like somebody else to be hot??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Annnnnnd we're back

So, back on the rock (currently listening to LeAnn Rimes screaming "How Do I Live?" in my ear). It's rather apropos. How does one live here?? It is MUGGY, and my AC is raining... If all goes according to plan this should be the last three or so months I have to be here. woo for that! As usual I had my whine fest on Sunday. Everything was "BOO!". Also, sick and tired of childish drama involving three of my friends. Over it, and done. I'm going to try to stay away from them as much as possible. Just can't deal with the bullox. That's all.

I had a great break. I spent a few days in Phoenix and San Diego with Steele and Jules. I loved it. San Diego was so beautiful. It was also a bit odd feeling cold in August in Southern California. Phoenix was actually quite pleasant as well! Yuma and El Centro on the other hand...well let's just say that they're good for what we used them for -- gas and a drive through -- and no more! I met a few cool people while I was on break too :)

On the way back I got upgraded to first class at the gate. Woo, gin and tonics and wine. The flight attendant made me laugh, she asked if I wanted more wine. I told her, "You don't need to ask that again. Just keep it coming. I'll tell you when to stop!"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Almost there...

A former colleague of mine got married yesterday. Unfortunately I couldn't attend this one as I'm not quite done with finals yet. This whole geographic separation thing is a real drag...Thankfully I WAS able to attend Nasty's wedding in May. The same people were there, and that was a lot of fun. I wish I could have been there for AD's wedding. I, of course, sent my congratulations and she sent back with "We missed you and played You Spin Me Around in your honor". It's kinda nice to be remembered that way. Most of my friends at work know that is one of my favorite songs. We played it all the time in the lab, and danced to it all the time when we went out as a group :) Happy thoughts. It's kinda nice to be remembered for something like that. That was MY song, and it became OUR song. A QA geek thing! At Nasty's wedding in May it was the second song played and we were all on the floor in a circle, spinning around (duh!). It was our own little thing and it was fun. The guests there with whom I hadn't worked with were looking at us like we were nuts, but WHO CARES!! I wish I could've been there to dance around in a circle again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oi, where does the time go??

Like the title says. T-5 days until my plane (hopefully!) touches down in Atlanta. I cannot wait. I'm scheduled to leave THIS PLACE at 8:50 that morning. I've been obsessively checking my booking on aa.com as if it were some dream or shiny object that will be yanked away from me at the last minute. After landing and doing the whole delightful customs, immigration, and UDSA bag thing scan I have a four hour layover in San Juan. Not really sure what I'm going to do for that four hours as that's one of the decidedly more mundane airports to visit. It's nice, but the concourses are small, and you can walk all the way around it in twenty-five minutes or so. For a plane geek like me a bigger airport where I can look and see where everybody is going is much more fun. As a result, San Juan is boring. It's nobody's hub, so unless you walk to the one corner where American Eagle operates their puddle jumpers to the various islands, it's very easy to tell where the planes are going. Frankly that doesn't interest me because living here has dulled any interest or enthusiasm for visiting the Caribbean for the foreseeable future. For me, this takes all the fun out of looking around. US Airways?? Well they're either going to Charlotte or Philly. Yawn. United? DC or Chicago. Continental? Houston or Newark. American has a little variety, but only if you walk around after dinner, by which time I'm gone. So otherwise all their flights are going to Miami. Yawn. And Delta? Well, that's my flight, so I already know where that's going... Compare that to walking around the big hub airports like O'Hare, Philly, and of course my stomping ground of ATL. Walking around those airports I can look at the various gates and then I check out where the flight is going. Its exciting, all that activity. Ok wow. blah blah blah.

We're at that point of limbo where we have nothing to do BUT study, and frankly, it's annoying. I spend all day looking at the computer, and as a result I don't really truly get tired. The other day I played tennis for about an hour-and-a-half and I was a zombie afterwards, and basically went straight to bed and was out cold until 7 the next morning (yesterday). It was delightful! I was in Classroom 6 by 8:30 (usually at least an hour before I even contemplate waking up). It's amazing (and incredibly annoying) how toward the end of the semester the sleep schedule goes haywire. When I'm at home I'm almost always out before midnight and up by 830. When I was working I was more-often-than-not in the bed by 9:30 in la-la land by 10, if not 11, and wide awake at six. I do miss that regularity and sense of normalcy. Looking back though, I see that a lot of it was because I was simply bored and tired from the long day of work, and had nothing better to do than lay in bed and watch movies until sleep came. Toward the end of my time working I frequently found myself not even home until 8:30 or 9 as I was branching out a little. I found myself more willing to get home a bit later in order to see my friends, even if they were an hour away.

Anyway, I'm rambling. This is me being incredibly thankful that we only have one day of finals this semester (as opposed to THREE last semester). That, combined with only one semester's worth of material to cover makes it much less stressful.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rediscovering Old Favourites

Since I spend a lot of hours staring at the computer (admittedly a few more doing nothing than I'd like) I listen to a lot of music. Usually it's just to have something to drown out the background noise. I've found myself listening A LOT lately to Patty Loveless, one of my favourites growing up. (Yes I'm intentionally misspelling "favorite"). I think as I've gotten older I'm appreciating more her ability to wrench your heart out with a mere syllable. This is one of her more upbeat tunes, but still one of my favourites.


Break us down by our elements and you might think he failed

We're not copper for one penny or even iron for one nail

And a dollar would be plenty to buy twenty of us

Until true love is added to these handfuls of dust

Handful of dust handful of dust sums up the richest and poorest of us

True love makes priceless the worthless whenever it's added to a handful of dust

However small though our worth may be when shared between two hearts

Is even more than it would ever be measured on its own apart

And our half what it could be is now twice what it was

When true love is added to these handfuls of dust

Handful of dust...

Handful of dust...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rain

We have entered the rainy season in Dominica. Indeed, the name says it all. It has literally poured throughout the day for the last few weeks. This week has been particularly wet. Monday I was looking forward to playing tennis with Steve. We had just warmed up (including that delightful filmy layer of sweat) when the bottom fell out of the sky, drenching the court, and us. Sweat and rain do not a pleasant combination make. Well Sheisse! I've also had the pleasant fortune of having the bottom drop out of the sky seemingly every time I need to step outside. It's pretty annoying because it's almost always windy and therefore it rains sideways, rendering that ever-so-useful umbrella much less useful...

Last night I was watching Dexter and eating dinner at E's place. Of course it started to rain (HARD!) as I was just leaving to go to her place...and the sky everywhere was black. Growing up watching squall lines come through I could tell this wasn't going to be a short storm. Indeed I was right (I mean of course I was! :P) and it ended up thundering and lightning for over an hour, and raining very hard for almost three. My road was almost completely washed out, and I was dodging puddles left, right, and sideways as I was walking home. But at least I didn't have to fool with umbrellas and horizontal rain!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Caribbean English -- a language unto itself

I had a conversation this morning with a friend with regards to one or tow professors who hail from the various parts of the Caribbean that went something like this.

Me: he just tears up my nerves!
E: lol, you'd better stop watching him before you implode!
Me: I have such a hard time figuring out what he's actually talking about. I can understand what he's saying perfectly well
E: you just don't click.
Me: there's something about the Caribbean prosody that just makes no sense to my Anglican brain
Me: the musicality of the words just don't flow
Me: give me a Brit and I'm fine. Germans, cools. Indians (some accents aside): ohne problem. Russians, meh. Caribbean -- forget it
E: lol, I understand. I'm the same way. I can barely understand when I call for KFC...
Me: they speak in clauses and phrases instead of constructed sentences. TANGENTS. OMG
E: yeah, their brains go places mine don't

Even though we all speak "English" there is something incredibly distinct about the English here that at times can make it nigh impossible to decipher what someone's words mean. Understand the words usually doesn't present with a problem, but there is a huge gap in prosody and phrasing between the English that I grew up speaking and hearing and the English I'm finding here. I very rarely have problems understanding non-native English speakers, especially those from Europe and India. That makes sense when one considers that a) British English is what is taught, and American English has its foundations in British English and we have a lot of British influence in the media and other places, so were used to the phrasing b) most of those people learn English separately from their mother tongues and as such learn it as English. I get the impression that frequently the local island languages are just translated word for word into English and that results in the odd-ball phrasing. The wording is often completely backwards from what one would expect to hear.I would imagine that as most of the European languages are from the same group (Indo-European) the phrasing and "mindset" of the languages have a lot in common. Here, however, much of the local langauge, Patois, is influenced by African and Caribbean languages the phrasing and rhythms were brought over. To my ears they don't tango with English. And that's all I have to say about that!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kagan hearings

Because I have absolutely nothing else do (massive tongue-in-cheek) I was reading a little about Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings. Aside from the fact that a big chunk of CNN's reporting reads like it was written by a third grader with the impartialness of the SED (East German Communist Party) was this little gem:
Legal precedents should be respected as binding, Kagan said, but she added there are circumstances in which a precedent can be overturned: If it proved unworkable over time, if the "doctrinal foundations of the precedent are eroded," or if the factual circumstances critical to the original decision should change.
How brilliant they place that particular gem of wisdom at the END of a long article, I'm usually very analytical when I read, being incredibly suspicious and reading in between the lines, ESPECIALLY when I ready something about the windbags in Washington. So...when I read that, I ask myself, what "doctrinal foundations" does she refer to? Last time I checked the SCOTUS referenced and interpreted the Constitution of the United States to make their ruling. I wasn't aware that they used anything else...Do please define "doctrine" Ms. Kagan. Secondly, either the writer's for CNN never learned how or cared to accurately quote somebody (which really wouldn't be all that surprising) or he paraphrased what Ms. Kagan was saying when he wrote the bit about "factual circumstances". I'm going to have to do some searching to find the rest of that one, because frankly that bothers me!
Click here for your own amusement

Then, there's this. Either this woman is really all over the place and giving lip service to every side in the confirmation hearings, or she really is a moderate. I'm not sure how moderate one could possibly be to be appointed by President Obama...but I digress. I shall be reading more into the confirmation hearings of Ms. Kagan, maybe I'll write about it and maybe I won't. Like a lot of people I know very little about her because she doesn't have a track record, but then again, neither did William Rhenquist. Either way, she could end up being one of the nine most powerful people on the planet. Something to think about, eh?

Another delightful headline I came across was browsing was this one "CLINTON DEFIES OBAMA" The story is actually pointless in that it's simply Billy Boy endorsing a different candidate than Obama, though an Obama endorsement hasn't held much political clout lately... The headline is so hilarious I'm not even sure I can put it into words -- do not be faint of heart I shall try! Defy??? Who is President Obama that he cannot be defied??? He was elected to represent the citizens of the United States (which like most POTUSes recently he's done a lousy job of doing, if not worse) -- he is not an elected king! If anything it is he who is most capable of defying us...

Godfather!!

Ok, I'm so honored! I was just asked to be Godfather to a friend's son!!! That's so amazing to me, I'm not even sure I have the words to type what it means. WOW! Of course I said yes, but wow! Maybe later I'll be able to coherently write about it, but wow!!

Over and out!


Okay, a day later:

I'm incredibly honored and humbled that my friend would ask me to be godfather to his son. There are few things more important than bringing a child into the world. And I love kids!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Music

I was walking to my usual study spot this morning when I walked past a car playing (at an obnoxiously loud volume of course) a reggae version of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature." I must say it was pretty good. However, I have noticed a trend since I've been here in Dominica that a lot of music is simply covers. Often they're recognizable, and almost always they're enjoyable but sometimes you get one that's indistinguishable from four year olds banging on trashcan lids. The best example I can think of is a frantic remake of Real McCoy's "Run Away" which can be heard here. If I didn't know the words I would not have recognized the remake!

We also heard Garth Brooks' "Papa Loved Mama" while waiting in line at Subway. However, this was not a cover, but the original. Dominica is one of the last places I would have expected to hear that song.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just for you Redd...

Hmmm what to say what to say...
As I've mentioned earlier I'm rather complacent right now. I don't really have a lot to gripe about. Pretty much everything is status quo. Everything I could gripe about would be repetition :P
I'm looking forward to Puerto Rico immensely...three weeks and counting.

I guess I should mention something about school, that does, after all, occupy a disgustingly large portion of my time. I'm thoroughly enjoying just about everything we're studying right now (epidemiology withstanding, shoot me please kthnxbai). I'm sure that factors into why I'm not overly gripey/complainy/whiney/ME/ cantankerous/insert synonym for "grouchy" ad nauseum to describe my frustration with the skullduggery we endure to get those two blasted letters next to our name. **Sidenote** I'm not sure if that's a run-on sentence...but it could be...I guess I don't see such material as a chore and thus nearly as stressful and deserving of cantankery (I think I just made up a new word). I've enjoyed neoplasia, but the METRIC F***TON of drugs and bacteria they're going to give us to learn (in nine days I might add) today and tomorrow I'm not quite so giddy about.

Wimbledon is HERE!!! Which, like Roland Garros means my productivity potential invariably takes a long trip, detour-filled trip to Sydney. I'm rooting for Rafa to win again. Go away Federer please, vielen dankt. I'm enjoying Wimbledon so much I just can't get enough tennis that's on TV. I've discovered a plethora of tennis matches on youtube (dear God take them off!). The current offering is the 1988 US Open Final, Graf vs. Sabatini. Steffi just bricked a routine slice backhand into the net as I write this, followed by a winner with the latest forehand I have ever seen ANYBODY hit. Anyway, back to Wimbledon: today the longest match ever played ended after three days. I know you're dying to know who was playing so I'll just tell you: John Isner vs. Nicholas Mahut (who?). I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable tennis fan and I must admit, Mahut...no clue who that is. Anyway, these two schlubs played a match that finally went Isner's way 70-68 in the fifth set. That's more games in one set than many players will play in an entire tournament. Isner went to UGA so I had to endure three days of GO ISNER!!! on facebook. All the while I'm coming back to this match thinking to myself: this is not impressive. This is two guys serving. One guy has the biggest serve in tennis and moves about as well as a beached whale (Isner, he's 6'10 after all) and the other guy, well, he's mostly incidental in the outcome of the match. Could Isner move even as well as I do on a tennis court (ok, USED to be able to move) he probably would have won that match on Tuesday. So I'm watching everybody around me jump up and down with such excitement they're leaving puddles on the ground going: what's.the.big.deal?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm finding myself INCREDIBLY relaxed right now. I landed back in Dominica, and expected the "rush", "pressure" or "madness" to ensue, but to date--knocking on every piece of wood I can find--it has not. Part of me just doesn't want to tie myself in knots and live on the edge of exposed nerves like I did last semester. It was not a pleasant experience and I would prefer not to go back to that place. Part of me knows that I got through it, so I can do it again. Taking the relaxed approach did not affect my grades on the first Mini, so perhaps I shall continue on the "free and easy" route. That does NOT mean that I'm being lazy, it just means that I'll do my work, do it well, and not WORRY about it. Verstehst du? Either way I'm feeling pretty happy right now, so all's well right? :)

It's nice to know that I'm on the downhill slope. Hopefully if all goes well I'll be off the island in December. I'm tentatively considering my options about where I want to do fifth. Up until now I've tried to keep my mind on the here and now, but considering it's June and that move would have be made in January I don't think it's too much to at least start considering. Initially I was just saying to myself that I would do Miami because it's closer to home, however, at the moment I'm giving a little more consideration to the Michigan program because I've heard it's very good. Another part of me wants to avoid living in Florida at any and all costs. Guess we'll see what happens.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Perfectly describes immature drama

Everywhere you look you can write a book
On the trouble of a woman and a man
But you can not impose you can't stick your nose
Into something that you don't understand

But still you wonder
Who's cheatin' who, who's being true
Who don't even care anymore
It makes you wonder
Who's doing right with someone tonight
And who's car is parked next door

I thought I knew her well I really couldn't tell
That she had another lover on her mind
You see it felt so right when she held me tight
How could I be so blind

But still you wonder
Who's cheatin' who, who's being true
Who don't even care anymore
It makes you wonder
Who's doing right with someone tonight
And who's car is parked next door

A heart is on the line each and every time
Love is stolen in the shadows of the night
Though it's wrong all along it keeps going on
As long as you keep in outta sight

But still you wonder
Who's cheatin' who, who's being true
Who don't even care anymore
It makes you wonder
Who's doing right with someone tonight
And who's car is parked next door



~ Who's Cheatin' Who, Alan Jackson

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wow where does the time go

It's been over a month since I last posted something at all, much less thought of something interesting (at least to me).

After a little bit of reflection, I've decided that Second Semester had it out for me. It tried to kill me, and almost succeeded. Eleven (ELEVEN!) tests in three weeks is a serious mettle tester. Well I've got mettle! What did it take? A metric f***ton of caffeine (that come to find stripped a nice bit of enamel from my front teeth, no more Coke for me), little sleep, and a boatload of cortisol, though I'm not sure if that was a reaction or a prod yet. Either way, for three weeks in April I went home at least three times a week wanting to barf and twitch. What sadistic fascist invented this game again? I want to find him and eviscerate him. Oh wait, maybe I'm slightly sadistic...

It was nice to get home. A surprising number of us walked out of the last of our six finals and literally into a taxi. It was pure bliss and relief to know that whatever our scores were, IT DIDN'T MATTER because we were getting on a plane that afternoon! And wait, HOLD THE PHONE, LIAT was only thirty minutes late leaving the island for Antigua. Jimmy and I overnited there (with some uncertainty as to where we would actually be staying until we landed, I can elaborate on that later if anyone desires), and after only getting about four (and that's rounding) hours of sleep, we got up at the UNGODLY hour of 4am to catch a cab at 4:30 for the airport. Why you ask? Well, of course, our flight to San Juan left at 6:45 and we figured we'd prefer to spend an extra hour in the airport and be assured of actually getting on the plane. Thankfully American was on time (ie. less than 15 minutes late) and we were in the air by 7, and on the ground in San Juan before ten. It was a great feeling to not have to rush!

On the way to the airport we drove past people who flagged us down. They were on their way to the airport (and on our flight it turns out). They consisted of an American University of Antigua student and her father. They run a similar program to ours, whereby they're on the island for sixteen months and then return to the states for the remainder of the mind-numbing road we call medical school. As we were driving we got to talking and she found out that we were from Ross, while she was from AUA. Ok, that was redundant, eh? Anyway, she goes on to tell us that she knows "all about Ross" because AUA gets a lot of transfers from Ross. She continued to say that she felt it ridiculous that Ross requires students who fail to repeat an entire semester, and that all the school was after was money. Now, to be fair, I have no doubt that a good chunk of the policy is monetarily influenced, however, I think it has a beneficial result. I have no doubt that repeating only makes the student stronger and the process is designed to arm repeating students with better study habits and strip them of the deleterious ones. So, having said all that, I have no problems with the policy. As she was prattling on about this I wondered to myself if she knew that the majority of students who transferred to AUA were those that were ineligible for repeating here...ie those who failed more than two courses OR failed their repeat semester. Comforting isn't it? After all that I just said "well, it's definitely an extra incentive to pass." And let it go at that. I have no allusions about why I'm here...it's because I didn't get in where I wanted to, and sometimes you just have to take your lumps and move forward. So here I am...

Once home I did as much as I could to do as fantastically little as possible. (A Canuck, not the lovely one, friend pointed out that we Southerners use contradictory descriptions like "enormously small", so I threw that one in there for kicks and giggles...) I went out with Redd and Amigo one night in Athens, and was immensely tickled that fifteen "mature" college-aged guys were screaming Justin Bieber's "Baby" at the top of their lungs at The Loft. *Sidenote: that is an immensely catchy and simultaneously unfathomably annoying song, and yes, it's in my iTunes*

I also went up to Pennsylvania with my mom and Grandmama to see my mom's Aunt. It was for the most part enjoyable. I got all the rest I needed because Mom and Grandmama went to bed early. We had separate rooms so I was able to unwind and just decertify myself as needed. It was much needed too (see above)! We went to Lancaster and Gettysburg, and I enjoyed both. The countryside and farmland are just so beautiful there. I enjoyed doing most of the driving too, aside from trying to figure out which way to go in Philly. Picture it: Philadelphia 2010. An out-of-towner is following signs to the airport. It says, Philly Airport - I-76 East. But wait! The road splits, and both splits are I-76 East...BONK! Oh goody! Well I'll just take my chances with this one. Turns out both got us there, but oh yes, my exit was the only exit on that highway for twenty miles that exited TO THE LEFT. Picture me dashing across four lanes of traffic in a Mercury Grand Marquis. It's kinda funny in hindsight. After that we had no difficulties. Oh yes, did I mention the Grand Marquis??? I reserved a Taurus sized car...and they give me that monstrosity! All in all though, it was a good break!

Not to be taken ENTIRELY literally....


Been a whole lot easier since the bitch left town
Been a whole lot happier without that face around
Nobody upstairs gonna stomp and shout
Nobody out the back door gonna throw my laundry out
She hold the shotgun while you dote-se-doe
She want one man made of Hercules and Cyrano
Been a whole lot easier since the bitch is gone
Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong

Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
Ain't nobody gonna bow no more when you sound your gong
Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
Whatcha go 'n' do to get into another one of these here rock 'n' roll songs?

Other people's thoughts they ain't your hand-me-downs
Would it be so bad to simply turn around?
You cook so well, all nice and French
You do your brain surgery too mama, go get yer monkey wrench

Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
AIn't nobody gonna bow no more when you sound your gong
Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
What'd ya go 'n' do to get into another one of these here rock 'n' roll songs?

I hope them cigarettes are gonna make you cough
Hope you heard this song and it pissed you off
I take that back I hope you're doing fine
And if I had a dollar I might give you ninety-nine.

Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
AIn't nobody gonna bow no more when you sound your gong
Little miss, Little miss, Little miss can't be wrong
What'd ya go 'n' do to get into another one of these here rock 'n' roll songs?

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Home (literally) Stretch...

Tomorrow morning I will take the first of three (THREE!!) finals. Up until now I've spent most of the day at the end of my rope. I now am settling into that feeling of calm that I usually have before finals because (unlike last semester) I do not have to deliver a bang-up score on any of my subjects. Something happened on Mini 3 last semester that prevented that, so epic fail on my part. Thankfully I was able to correct that momentary lapse. And hold the phone: IIIII (that's me) got a high A on DPS...what's happening...

The past weekend has not been without it's moments though. Since Friday night (it's now Monday night) we've spent most of the evenings in a pile of people and papers in somebody's apartment on their bed. As Epic Fail eloquently put it in her blog (yes I'm stealing from you), we'd occasionally drift off only to be kicked awake and told to snap out of it. Not only were we snapping out of it but we were also snapping at each other. I think every single person has repeatedly been chewed out only to turn around and do it themselves. I don't think anybody is taking it personally because we all know that it's a high stress time and medical students are weird to begin with.

I did have one moment in Subway the other night that now I just have to laugh at. I was the next-to-last at the counter to pay for my sandwich. Getting there took forever and a day all by itself. The person in front of me left her sandwich on the counter and took all her stuff and put it down on a table. Thinking (like I have often done) she spaced out and walked away from the counter without something I picked up her bag and handed it to her and asked her if she forgot her sandwich. She looked at me like I had just spit on it and said "EXCUSE ME!" not really yelling but in a really snotty voice. I wanted to say pardon me all to hell and "eff you!" for trying to do you a favor you stuck up wench. But I held my tongue and just said, "Oh, sorry, I thought you had forgotten your sandwich." She proceeded to look at me like I had three heads. If looks could kill...she would have a hole right through her...Heaven forbid you do something friendly...

Anyway, I was pretty hot under the collar about that (why I let things like that bother me I'm still trying to figure out) so I didn't say anything about it while we were eating, but I asked a friend who knew Miss Prissy about the next night. She said that yeah, she was really awkward and didn't know how to deal with people and a lot of people have had similar experiences. The only thing I can think of is...WHY is this girl going to be a doctor if she cannot even be polite in the blasted Subway line...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Who Doesn't Love a Good House Flood?

I came back from lunch (after sleeping until 11:30) to find half my bathroom and about 6 feet of my bedroom flooded. BONK. Can you say aggravation? I was coming back to get my books and I was in the frame of mind to hit them hard to start getting ready for the final, then that happened. I think it's an understatement to say I was less than pleased. If anything because now I only have one clean towel...oh well, only one is fine for the next week, even if it is annoying, and then it dawned on me, I only have 8 more nights in Dominica, which is a rather pleasant thought :) because then I get to go home and see my friends and family.

Thankfully the floor is just tiled, and not carpeted so I just wiped it up, then actually watched Little House on the Prairie to put some innocent happy thoughts into my head before resuming the drudgery. For the first time In several months I can say i went over 24 hours without giving any care in the world to whether or not I was studying. It was a nice feeling.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cortisol Released!!!!

Ok, the title of this post refers to the stress hormone cortisol, which is (duh!) a glucorticoid, not to be confused with that all important mineralocorticoid aldosterone which mainly has fun regulating your kidney function. I can elaborate if you like. I can also withhold from elaborating if you like. It's your call (insert Reba McEntire singing, "it's your call, it's her, would you rather take it in the other room...") yes, that just went through my head. Be a hater if you want. I don't care.

Anyway, cortisol is related stress. With tests this week (and finals next, what speedballing squirrel disc jockey made this schedule!) most people are in full stress mode, and it manifests in different ways. Most people, like me, get crabby and are itching to go postal on anything or anybody. Things that go through your head are:
- is it really that difficult, the menu's right in front of you, and you've been standing in line for TEN minutes
- give me my food NOW
- is it absolutely necessary for you to slam your crap down EVERY TIME you sit down
- in a similar vein -- is it ABSOLUTELY necessary to scrape your freaking chair across the floor so loudly that the whole room hear it....most everybody else manages to get up without sounding like a dying elephant...
- if you insist on sharing your smoker's cough with us, please do us all a favor and take your freaking hands/arms OFF the desk. Every time you hawk up a lung you shake the entire desk. I counted, you've coughed three times in the last two minutes, and spilled my drink from shaking the desk. Better yet, use Robitussin you idiot.
- WHEN YOU SAY 7PM SHOW UP AT 7PM
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh rant

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hell Week (one) is over

This was, as the title suggests, hellacious. Four practicals in four days. LAWD.  It goes something like this:

Tuesday: Neuro practical -- 50 questions, 25 chosen carefully from about 3000 slides that we have to identify (and of course correctly spell, not that I'm opposed to that...). Following that was 25 wet brain samples whereby the professor would put pins or a probe in random places about the brain. We spent three days studying for that one because it was going to be the most difficult as a) my Neuro grade would benefit from a healthy injection of a high A (I'm not failing, but would like to be doing better) and b) it wasn't multiple choice.

Wednesday: Immediately following the neuro practical it was time to study for the Histo practical. About 300 slides from which 50 questions would be plucked...A friend and I were studying at my apartment because it's closer to the Annex (where the exam would be given) and we had eaten lunch at Rituals. We were due to take the practical at 2. At about 1245 I noticed a slide that we hadn't covered during the two days prior, and realized, AHHHH, there was an extra lecture we had forgotten about! Ducky, just ducky. So, we spent the last hour going over that one. Thankfully we were pretty familiar with the material anyway from studying it for Minis. We just had to know what it looked like...Good thing too because because about six questions came out of that lecture and we would have been SOL. Thankfully I think I got them all. After THAT practical we went back to my place so my friends could get their stuff, but we were exhausted from the weekend, plus the stress, plus all the studying. We ended up watching a movie and I'm pretty sure I conked out for like thirty minutes of it. I was finally woken up by a very loud "MORNIN' MISS DAISY!" coming from Morgan Freeman. It sounded like he was screaming right into my ear. After that we went to grab some dinner, and then did a bunch of nothing for a few hours while you brains healed. I then scribbled out something for my DPS practical the next day. It was supposed to be short, so I happily complied.

Thursday: DPS practical. I'm not a fan of this class. They want to teach us how to interact with patients, but that entails only limited instruction without actually interacting with PEOPLE. As a result it seems like they just end up grasping at straws as they end up repeating the same hogwash over and over and over again. Often it seems like they also make up stuff. Every time you think you get it though, they change the answer to the same question. It's a moving target. Makes you wonder if they even know the answer...We've discussed this, and we get the feeling that they want to teach us behavioral, but since that's not scheduled until next semester they end up propping up their egos by preaching at us about nonsense. Thankfully that practical took fifteen minutes and I was done. On to anatomy!

On Wednesday I had attempted to go into the lab to look over a few things, mainly the liver and the arteries of the mesentery. Unfortunately there were 700 people in there who all had the same idea. (side note, I just typed the word "idear" for that one. Inside joke, but it's making fun of a Trinidadian professor who says "aorter" and "placenter". I didn't know Trinidad was in Kentucky until I came to Dominica...). All I really wanted to do was look at the liver, as apparently the lectures and dissections had done nothing for me...Well, a rather annoying individual latched onto our group of four as we were starting to open up the bodies, and it all went downhill from there. He wanted to run the show, as opposed to everybody working together (we have a system). He also was one of those people who have no concept of HEY-YOU'RE-IN-MY-BUBBLE. I would take a step back because HEY-YOU'RE-IN-MY-BUBBLE, and he would just step right on with me. HEY-YOU'RE-IN-MY-BUBBLE jerkwad. Anyway, I went off to a different body while they were playing this really loud and annoying video that was done on a body that had every possible aberration and rarity that you could find in the human body. I went over and checked out the colic arteries because I had botched those on the practice practical as well. I was on that body literally thirty seconds before the smell just knocked me down. Imagine, if you will, roadkill covered in bowels and boiled with chitterlings. That's how that smelled.  I held my breath and did a mad dash for the colic arteries and covered that one back up. I then decided that between the rotting, moldy bodies, body preservative, and 637 of my fellow classmates that this was a lost cause. I went home and watched dissection videos.

Thursday, after the DPS practical I didn't even bother going near the lab. I just reviewed the dissection videos again and looked over the list of whatnots I had made for myself

Friday: Because a disc jockey-squirrel who had a speedball habit made the exam schedule, the D's ended up going first, while the O's and Q's went after the Y's and Z's who went before the M's....anyway, my exam was at 1645...yipeeeee. I spent the morning going over radiographs and reading a little biochem. I'm not sure why I bothered to go over the radiographs. All of the radiographs that were included in the practical were changed, and I swear she threw some in there from lectures we never had. Oh well, I only missed one. One of them turned out to be the stomach, though I saw it on the computer screen when I entered the lab, and had no clue what it was. I stared at it for five minutes as I made my way down the line to that question (we have 45 seconds per question) I kept staring at it. At first I thought it was the pancreas b/c two of the choices were Superior or Inferior pancretoduodenal artery (say that five times fast please). Then, FINALLY, the little hamster got on his wheel and I noticed, OH, there's duodenum...this has to be the stomach. And where they're pointing could only be left gastric artery. Patting myself on the back as I went to the next one, which I saw from literally across the room as situs inversus. Thankfully that was one of the last things we looked at thinking, well, really, if they put that on there then they're being jerks. Well, chalk one up to the jerks. I walked out of there with my tail between my legs. But today when I looked at the answer sheet, I think I only missed 4, which is pretty darn good on a mad-dash practical!
Note: I ended up missing 6, for a still solid 85, not complaining as it puts me in a very good position going into the final.

Word for Hell Week being over. Now, 4 more, and then I can begin the sure-to-be-stressfull journey home. Why oh why couldn't American have added that extra flight when I was rearranging my travel plans. Oh well, the plus side is I have to overnight anyway, and do not have to entrust LIAT to get my baggage any further than Antigua.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The mind...

I had the most bizarre dream last night. What's even more bizarre is that I vividly remember it. I dreamed that I was traveling to Vietnam. Why Vietnam I'm not entirely sure, but that's mostly irrelevant. I remember walking through the airport (or at least what my brain thinks an airport in Vietnam looks like, as I've never been there) and then realized I DON'T HAVE MY PASSPORT. A minor problem. At this point I still hadn't woken up. Somehow I get out onto the streets in Vietnam (sans passport and obligatory Vietnamese visa that had, and still have, no recollection of applying for and obtaining...) and go to change money. I hand somebody my credit card and say, give me $5,000 USD in dong please. (Yes I got my credit card back, but I don't recall the fool ever running it...). I then looked at the money as I was walking down the street and was seeing bills with valuations of 11,550. I have no idea the valuations of Vietnamese dong, but I digress. I then started shuffling through the money and realized that many of the bills were cardstock copies of the US dollar...and they weren't even cut out on center. I then realized, I MUST be dreaming. Time to wake up. I think I'll go make sure I still have my passport...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Adventures...of Cows...

I needed a break from staring at the development of the genitals (wouldn't you) so I went outside around 5 when it was actually tolerable. I sat down next to a field and observed that there were several cows grazing in it. I noticed the cows were obviously feeling frisky, so I actually started to watch them. One cow got too close to another, and it was promptly headbutted. Another mooed LOUDLY at a cat for five minutes. The cat was behind a gate and just sat there looking at the cow like "what, I'm not going anywhere, and you can't get me, so shut up". I agreed with the cat, which is a frightening thought if you let your mind go there... Later the cows decided that the soccer goal was going to be their playtoy. One got his horns stuck in the net and dragged it like ten feet before it would come out. Three of them then proceeded to kick and shove the goal. After a while I lost interest. Such is my life right now...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Annoyed

I sat down this morning at Rituals for a late breakfast, early lunch before tackling a LONG day's work/stuff/hell/entanglements/etc/etc. Just as I was getting underway reading all about the uterus and ovarian duct the "news" show--HLN network for anyone who cares--came on with this celebrity dog squeeze about Kim Kardashian (who?) and Demi Moore (ok, I actually know who that is). Three or four "commentators" proceeded to inject their opinions into this "fued" over the song "Big Pimpin'". After the realization that I had actually been watching this drivel and then a second realization that I had actually been paying attention a small part of my soul died. It died for those three or four commentators' pitiful existence. It died for the brain drain television that we're subjected to and the people who would rather watch that drivel and its American Idol, Survivor, Desperate Housewives ilk. Shortly before I could scramble my headphones to drown out this mind-numbing hogwash a story came on about how Levi Johnson (remember him, Sarah Palin's daughter's baby's father) was going to, in his own words, "slam" Sarah Palin's current show. At that point I literally wanted to rip the television off the wall. Thankfully common sense and a heavy dose of ear-splitting techno put an end to that idea. Then a new idea came into my head: Can we please send Sarah Palin and her cronies, and all of those numbskulls turning their lives upside down over Kim Kardashian to some shack in the Alaskan tundra? Then I thought, well, there might not be many people left. Frankly, I'd settle for Sarah Palin and her cronies because they have the potential to actually make decisions...and that disturbs me immensely.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pet Sounds

My toilet broke the other day. The bulb that turns off the toilet when the water level was high enough, the arm broke. I told the landlord about it and he promptly replaced it. I have a good landlord, hence why I've renewed my lease for a second time. Anyway, they replaced with a device that instead of having the floating bulb-arm thing, it's all in one, and the floater is on the apparatus that lets the water in. So it's a more compact unit. One problem though: the new unit is uber-sensitive to the water fluxes, and as a result it turns on for like two seconds ALL THE TIME. It now sounds like mating whales or elephants or something in my bathroom. Usually it doesn't bother me but sometimes I have to turn the toilet off in at night if I can't drown it out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some Days the Force Just Ain't With You...

The title says it all. What a blah day. Possibly because yesterday was a long day that required me to be on top of a lot of things. Eight (EIGHT!) hours of lecture, a meeting in a room with no air conditioner, and the realization that crunch time is pretty much here...lord, it adds up! Throw in the fact that I really want to see my friends back home and talk about/do things that are completely unrelated to medical school and you have the makings of a BLAH day.

On the bright side I was able to plan my trip to Arizona/California during the August break. Five days with Steele (and no med school!) should be amazing. Lately I've had the most awkward travel schedule: Chicago in January and Arizona in August. Actually this will be the third year in a row I'll be in Arizona in August/September. But we're going to San Diego for a nice chunk of it, so the heat shouldn't be TOO oppressive :P What is really funny to me is that it will cost me $1 less to fly to Phoenix and back (both flights non-stop) than it was to fly to Chicago. Coming back from Chicago we stopped in Detroit to knock $100 off the price of the ticket! Chicago is 606 miles by air. Phoenix is 1,587. Perhaps the weather in August doesn't exactly attract snowbirds? Either way, Delta deposited a 1500 mile bonus in my SkyMiles account, which is always nice! Delta has been incredibly accommodating as of late, as I've had to change my flights twice thanks to American Airlines' shenanigans, and neither time did they charge me a change fee! Either way, I still get to go on a little vacation and see some friends I haven't seen in over a year. Friends for the win!

I think in April my mom and I are taking my Grandmama to Pennsylvania to see her sister, my great aunt. I haven't been to Pennsylvania before, so it should be fun. I really hope we get to go to Philadelphia, because the history dork in me would like to see the cheesy things like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall :P Gettysburg for the same reason.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Birthday, Island style

So my birthday came and went on the island. Instead of spending it in the preferred fashion with friends at 8E's we instead spent it watching a few episodes of Dexter and then a no-holes-barred game of Spoons and BS. I still like to call BS "Bible Study" in the spirit of those many many many games played on a ten hour bus ride to New Orleans on a church trip back in the day. Let me also add that Spoons + Wine makes more some hilarious NO THAT'S MY SPOON moments. Thankfully either I completely miss the spoon or get it well before the fight ensues because I would probably just give up the spoon. I also remember a game of spoons a couple of years ago where I conked heads with someone else who was diving for the same spoon. Said person began to cry like a baby because of a bump on her head.

The best moment of the evening, by far, however, was when Meg had to drink wine out of a measuring cup. We will make a redneck out of her yet. And school/class was not mentioned. Not.A.Word.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pet Peeves

* People smoking around and/or blowing smoke and/or cigarette breath in your face.

* Numbskulls who leave their phones for hours on end, but leave them on hard surfaces. When they vibrate, we can still hear it...

* Slowpokes in the fastlane

* Lack of punctuality -- if you say 7pm...why aren't you there at 7pm...ah Germany!

*LOUD NEIGHBORS

Monday, March 1, 2010

Odd Dream

I had a strange dream last night. I was insulting Air Canada and My Canuck took some offense to it. She took such offense to it that she was throwing hockey pucks and clay pots at my head. She missed with them all...What does that mean?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Medical Students are WEIRD

This makes me wonder what bizarre things I do that I don't realize. Aside from my neurotic need to draw lined boxes all over sheets of paper and in books, and wear my sunglasses indoors, I'm not sure what mine could be. Nonetheless...THIS is ridiculous. I only wish I had a picture of Towel Head to accompany it. Honestly man, if you want to be that comfortable go home and study on your bed/couch/floor. After this picture was taken, he covered up with the blanket you can see in the background. WTF...

So, who is Towel Head you ask? Towel Head is a kid who, true to his name, carries the same freakin' towel with him everywhere. Instead of sleeping in his apartment like a normal person he takes random naps all over campus and goes home once a week. His reason? He doesn't like his apartment...This is not the Iron Curtain. You can move to another apartment at any time.

Also, the smell of Monster...is revolting...