This is a continuation of my last post.
I stopped writing last night because I have a race next weekend. This morning’s run was fantastic, and the endorphin rush and energy lasted me till 5pm. I’ve been so reticent about running in the morning in winter because the sun won’t have risen yet, and it’s usually windy/rainy/crappy. However, with the big race so close, I got up and ran a new personal best, which I’m quite happy about. 10.5km in 57 minutes = 5:25 min/km!!
Anyway, my life is currently overrun with drama. Let’s talk about uni, which has once again become a large part of my life.
Teaching hospitals are hotbeds of politicking and drama.
1. My year is the first cohort of post-graduate students for this course. They gave us fanciful labels, like “pioneers” and “scouts.” Oh please, you mean “guinea pigs.”
I wish I’d gotten a photo of what MF from my study group wrote on the whiteboard one session:
Welcome to Journal Club. In your first year of uni, can you say that you’ve killed/sued/brought on a nervous breakdown on your professors?
Or something like that.
2. They have tried to treat us like the usual 17-18 year old undergraduates, who are basically children. When Nurse G tried to reprimand us, we immediately gave feedback to our class representatives, who got the staff to speak to her and say, “You can’t do that.” She got the message.
3. They are trying to dictate new clinic coat standards. P has told me there is no evidence for cross infection control, or research on the incidence of proven patient/patient transfer in our setting. But they remain adamant that we must meet their new requirements, despite the fact that students for the past 10 years have had short clinic coats, and neither they nor their patients are on anti-retrovirals. Fucking saliva splatter studies.
4. The replacement for the course coordinator who had a breakdown is a real piece of work. Why?
- I can understand that you want our undivided attention, but it’s unbelievably disrespectful to snap your fingers at us. Our cohort has students of a comparable age, qualifications, and life experience. Your attempt to avoid conflict by a dictatorial attitude is not appreciated.
- We will be your future colleagues. Who the hell do you think you are to tell us to lower our screens because we don’t need to take notes?
- I don’t want to hear your life story, about how you went to the best university in America, and “dated your professor on the quiet” and got married. I don’t care that your son has final high school exams, or about your “amazing” daughter who’s never dealt with death before, but has taken on all the cooking for her friend’s mother’s funeral. Shut up. If you absolutely must, finish your lecture on the history of the topic, and then talk through actual important, clinically relevant topics, you twit! Jesus fucking Christ.
5. I’m not encouraged to excel with my practical work. Last week, I was ahead of everyone else for one activity, standing around, waiting for 45 minutes to get something checked in 30 seconds so I could proceed to the next step. The tutor asked me why I was rushing and the coordinator told me to hide my frustration.
But you know what? I get it. This is the way things are. I just need to keep my head down, use my time more effectively instead of standing around, get through, and then leave this crap drama behind. Water off a duck’s back. It’s not worth the emotional energy. I have more important things to worry about. Like study.
Today, I was ahead again. We were allocated 6 hours for our practical work. I finished in 3 and a bit. People started asking me to critique their work, so I did it a bit. And then more and more people asked. I felt like such a twat. I mean, I learned it at the same time as you and I’m ahead, but I’m not more experienced or anything. And here I am, playing tutor. Oh well, they asked for my feedback. It was better than twiddling my thumbs.
I have seriously considered transferring back home for the course. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes time.
There may be a part 3, on my clinic partner, and a small group of girls who have distinguished themselves in our cohort as bitches.
There’s this one unit that has been giving me such a difficult time.
- It’s disorganised, topics are all over the mulberry bush.
- The course was squashed together into 7 weeks, instead of 12 or 13.
- The unit coordinator doesn’t give a shit. He uses the conflicting arguments to support badly cobbled-together lectures. They include: “You as post-grads should be independent in your study.”, “Some of you guys have no background in this degree, so you’ll need to do more study.” and “I want to have your academic backgrounds so we can tailor this course to you guys.” Why aren’t you making it equally accessible for everyone considering there are no pre-requisite units for this post-grad course?
Thank goodness for drugs (used appropriately and as prescribed.): Caffeine. Ritalin. Ativan. They wake me up, help me focus, and help me not freak out.
First exam tomorrow. Oh fuckity fuck.
I don’t drink coffee. I used to, but found I prefer tea. At least I can sleep with tea. If I’m sleepy during afternoons where I need to study, I take caffeine tablets (100mg) and quarter them with a pill cutter so it’s not so strong. Evidently even roughly 25mg is too much since I couldn’t sleep last night, from 2-3:30am. I tweeted that I couldn’t sleep and the next thing I know, I get a text message from the ever persistent M.
Uhhh….. Alarm bells are going off like crazy. Don’t say I’m adorable! I’m sleepy, dammit! I need sleep for the two long labs and lectures I had today. I replied with a high-five smiley and didn’t reply to his texts.
Why can’t we just be friends?! I swear I’m not leading you on!!!!!!!!!!!
We’re going to have to talk. ARG.
If anyone has read far back enough, you might have seen a post about M, wherein I had no idea how to respond when M said they were in serious like with me.
Ok. We were ok for a while. It wasn’t awkward that I turned M’s affections down, no, because we weren’t in the same city anymore, just the same country. Since the incident, M has flown from Sydney back to our hometown and got international texting.
Now, it must be said: M is very nice. M is also a bit young. Like 19 years old young.
However. HOW. EVER. I have counted 100 texts that I’ve received over 5 days. AUGH!! It’s driving me mental!
I realise that being nice is not truly possible if I wish to maintain my sanity and SPACE! I have given as little of a response as possible, sometimes none at all since theoretically, the less material M has to work with, the less there is to talk about. Alas and alack, hints are steadfastly ignored. M makes do with what little I give.
Ways to decrease M’s attentions:
- Avoidance. I could continue to give as little response as possible. I doubt this will be successful as after 5 days, M remains quite persistent.
- Be blunt. I could say quite plainly, “Go. Away.” Cold, but potentially effective. Like John Lyly wrote in Euphues, “The rules of fair play do not apply in love and war.”
- Diversion. “I’m with someone else.” This could work, but given how determined the texts have been, this line could precipitate a confrontation.
- Play matchmaker for M with someone else. Not a bad idea.
I don’t want to be cruel since I was also so painfully earnest in my crushes when I was that age. Whatever I choose will have to be some compromise, firm but kind in setting boundaries. If I were on the other side, that’s what I’d want.
FYI, 3 more texts in the time it took to write this. GAH.
Dante Alighieri wrote the famous epic poem, Divine Comedy, detailing a journey through Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. The narrator observes nine circles within Hell: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery.
Sidebar: I am glad that the word epic is finally dying out from common usage. It was bandied about too readily and usually used incorrectly. Unfortunately, it’s now been surpassed by “literally”. North Americans, your grammar and vocabulary is pathetic. I’m not a grammar Nazi. I just use it correctly. Most of the time.
Parents. More specific to this complaint, dad. Why? Why must you be so goddamn obtuse and frustrating? I mean in a tear-out-my-hair-grit-my-teeth-scream-incoherently kind of way. It’s torment, that you won’t listen to me. It’s so bad you could ring Dante and ask if he’d mind adding a tenth level to his Inferno.
1. Jump-starting the Corolla
I have a 1995 Toyota Corolla that is very inefficient, but did the job in my first degree. When the 29 year old was packing up to go live with her husband in Canada, she transferred the Prius to me. It is about twice as fuel efficient as the Toyota Corolla. When faced with the two options, I’ve chosen the more fuel efficient one. However, the battery went flat in the Corolla. Dad emailed a friend and got booster cables to jump start the car. It was pretty easy to get it going again, but why was it frustrating?
- On way back from the run this morning, Dad tells me to relax, he’s had old cars before when he was younger and is quite familiar with jump-starting cars. I remind him to read the Prius guidebook. I googled the process myself, took a shower and went downstairs where a suspicious silence prevailed. I walked outside, and dad’s popped out most of the gear from the back of the Prius where the battery is, and has managed to damage the cap over the Prius battery. To be fair, it’s tricky, but don’t force it and nearly break the plastic! Fuck.
- I get the plastic cap off, and we’re pushing the Corolla so that the cables can reach. I tell him to push it to line it up with the Prius, and he stops to ask me if we should ask our neighbour for help. Their garage door is opening. I say no, use what we have. After all, you can’t impose on someone else. But C is a nice neighbour and offers help when he drives up and sees our predicament.
- There’s more cursing on my part with Dad’s refusal to listen to me when I tell him we need to shift the car to give C room and so the cars are more parallel. Look, this guy is being nice enough to help, just cooperate with me to make it easier for him to help us!!!!
Bullshit lots of practice. It’s exhausting.
2. Social Ineptitude
A couple our family knows has been immensely helpful and kind throughout the years we’ve spent in Australia. They’ve been welcoming, cooked for us, taken us to dinner, introduced us to other lovely people… very nice, overall. Anyway, Dad takes it upon himself to thank them for lending us some gear to fix up the house and re-grout the bathroom. He’s decided to do it with food. However, I have some suggestions.
- Learn more than one dish to say thank you. Pizza is very well and good, but you’ve done it before. No one likes a one-trick pony. Besides, pizza doesn’t really say, “Thank you!” I think convention is usually baked goods of some kind. Or alcoholic beverages.
- Timing. Why would you give a pizza to them after the event tonight? Or before? There’s a group of you tonight, so going to their house with a pizza is weird. Or you can do like you did, Dad, and invite them to dinner on the spur of the moment.
- Do not spring it on them. Calling someone to say, “I’ve made you some dinner!” forces them to accept and possibly change plans they already have.
- Language. Ok, I’m getting better with using expletives widely, but I mean language generally. If you must invite them to dinner an hour and a half before you all go to meet up with more friends, then don’t use the words, “Can you tell [your wife] to hold off?” Just overhearing it made me cringe with the awkward wording. It makes it sound like she’s a child and doing something wrong.
- RELAX GODDAMMIT. Look, it’s very nice that you’d like to give some to everyone at the event, but it’s not feasible after we’ve already eaten and there’s only 6-7 slices left. You don’t know how many people are going to show up tonight and they’ve probably already eaten dinner before showing up. So take a cue from me kicking you under the table (three times!!).
Holy fucking goddamn shit. FUCK. How has he survived so long being so socially unaware? How the fuck did I gain any kind of social awareness? SHIT.
I should take my own advice and not care so much. It’s not worth the effort. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You know, the thing is, if it was anyone else’s dad, I’d probably be much more forgiving and say it was ok. Well, that time T’s dad called one of our mates a fascist was pretty hilarious.