Drama: The Persistent Weed Pt 2

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!!

The view at the end of a new PB run :D

The view at the end of a new PB run 😀

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.

Motivational Quotes to Get Through

100 Inspirational Quotes, directly from Forbes.com

  1. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill
  2. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs
  3. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
  4. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost
  5. If you can dream it, you can do it. –Walt Disney
  6. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
  7. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
  8. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. –Babe Ruth
  9. Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. –W. Clement Stone
  10. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. –John Lennon
  11. We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale
  12. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain
  13. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –John Maxwell
  14. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. –Tony Robbins
  15. The mind is everything. What you think you become.  –Buddha
  16. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb
  17. An unexamined life is not worth living. –Socrates
  18. Eighty percent of success is showing up. –Woody Allen
  19. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. –Napoleon Hill
  20. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi
  21. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey
  22. Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. –Pablo Picasso
  23. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus
  24. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou
  25. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn
  26. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford
  27. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain
  28. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  29. The best revenge is massive success. –Frank Sinatra
  30. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar
  31. Inspiration exists, but it must find you working. –Pablo Picasso
  32. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh
  33. There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. –Aristotle
  34. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. –Henry Ford
  35. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  36. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau
  37. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck
  38. Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” – Brian Tracy
  39. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb
  40. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt
  41. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair
  42. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. –Plato
  43. Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. –Christopher Reeve
  44. Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe
  45. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. –John Lennon
  46. Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb
  47. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. –Helen Keller
  48. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucious
  49. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. –Anne Frank
  50. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. –Lao Tzu
  51. The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will. –Vince Lombardi
  52. Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama
  53. The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. –Arthur C. Clarke
  54. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. –Aristotle
  55. If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. –Latin Proverb
  56. You can’t fall if you don’t climb.  But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground. –Unknown
  57. Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. –Vincent Van Gogh
  58. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. –Les Brown
  59. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. –Joshua J. Marine
  60. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. –Walt Disney
  61. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. –Leonardo da Vinci
  62. Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. –Jamie Paolinetti
  63. Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.  You are free. –Jim Morrison
  64. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. –Bob Dylan
  65. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. –Benjamin Franklin
  66. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. –Bill Cosby
  67. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
  68. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. –Chinese Proverb
  69. There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. –Roger Staubach
  70. It is never too late to be what you might have been. –George Eliot
  71. You become what you believe. –Oprah Winfrey
  72. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. –Vincent van Gogh
  73. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. –Unknown
  74. It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.  –Ann Landers
  75. If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. –Abigail Van Buren
  76. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. –Farrah Gray
  77. Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. –Frank Zappa
  78. Education costs money.  But then so does ignorance. –Sir Claus Moser
  79. Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  80. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius
  81. Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others. –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  82. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. –Dalai Lama
  83. You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have. –Maya Angelou
  84. Dream big and dare to fail. –Norman Vaughan
  85. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.
  86. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. –Teddy Roosevelt
  87. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker
  88. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. –Gloria Steinem
  89. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison
  90. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. –Beverly Sills
  91. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt
  92. Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. –Grandma Moses
  93. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. –Ayn Rand
  94. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. –Henry Ford
  95. It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. –Abraham Lincoln
  96. Change your thoughts and you change your world. –Norman Vincent Peale
  97. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. –Benjamin Franklin
  98. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn
  99. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs
  100. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. –Zig Ziglar

Quality Use of Medicines

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.

Where’s the Line?

I think western society (very generally speaking) pushes a lot of boundaries. Sometimes that’s a good thing, like when it’s to challenge certain inequalities. Sometimes, certain boundaries are better left in place. Normally, I have a healthy respect for existing boundaries, particularly personal ones.

5 or 6 years ago, I had my boundaries pushed quite far. K was the second person I’d ever fooled around with, and certainly possessed a sharp tongue. K would say some truly appalling things, smirk at me and give me an appraising look to see if I’d rise to the bait. And I mean along the lines of, “those stupid fags” and regularly mocking the Asian accent. Interestingly, K never wanted to try full penetrative sex. Rather vehemently, K said, “I’ve been fucked over and I don’t want to do that to anyone else.” Oook…

If you asked me then if I’d ever push someone’s boundaries for the sake of it, I’d immediately answer with a horrified, “No!” But here we are.

Today in lab, we were doing a few different activities. M, who has given a flirty vibe since Day 1, immediately sat next to me and said, “Partners?” (Note: this is a different M to the one who sends unwelcome texts. This M is Australian, not North American.) The activities included testing the ability to discriminate distinct touch, temperatures, taste and proprioception. All very touchy-feely. I thought to myself, “Stuff it.” and went for it. I made sure M kept the blindfold on for the entire 2 hours. I subtly stroked M’s wrist with one hand while using the compass. I intermittently brushed my inner forearm against M’s leg when testing styluses against the skin with different temperatures. I grazed M’s cheek and jaw with my left hand when I held it still and put the different solutions on the tongue. I blatantly flirted by pouring a solution of quinine all over M’s tongue, ducking out of the way, laughing teasingly and rubbing M’s back.

Do I feel guilty? Not really. It was a low-budget lab.

But was that cheating? (vis-a-vis my last post)

Good question. Well… M is cute, there’s no denying that.

  1. What was my motivation for doing what I did? To see how far I could push the boundaries and see the results.
  2. Should I have done it? Probably not, but it was pretty fun. Particularly when I saw a certain someone else get a bit jealous and engage in a bit of physical flirting too. J does have a boyfriend, though he’s in Melbourne.
  3. Have I led M on to think that this could be something? I don’t think so, M knew what was going on and played along just the same.

Can bantering that ever so slightly verges on flirting (ok, not at all in this case) be considered crossing the line? In this case, M is happy to give mixed signals and knows the game. I’m never going to get involved beyond lighthearted fun. If both parties have full knowledge of the situation and there are virtually no consequences… is that so bad?

What do you think?

Making An Effort

My dad flew back to North America recently. It was P’s birthday a few days later. After 6-7 weeks of parental hovering, I was overdue for some fun. I mean, finally, a point where I wasn’t given the third degree on what I was doing, who I was going with, how long I was going to be, queries on why I wasn’t studying….

GOOD GOD I HAVE A PROFESSIONAL DEGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have tried to assert myself beforehand, saying that if I failed this second one, it was on me. After all, I’m paying for it. But my dad has this inexorable persistence. So that left me with one choice when Dad left: spend craploads of time at P’s. I think I overdosed a bit.

  • We went for Korean for birthday lunch.
  • Dinner with my workmates, then had waffles for dessert.
  • For P’s birthday dinner, everyone came over for some champagne and cheese. I know it’s usually wine, but it’s not my birthday. Besides, I got told off for nearly cutting the nose off the cheese. Oops. “Dragged up” was how P put it, teasingly. And then we went for some delicious French food. But I was so full by the main, I couldn’t finish the ratatouille. And this is odd for me. I usually eat everything bar garnish. Hello, I’ve said it before, what’s the point of running if you can’t eat what you want?
  • Sleeping over nearly the entire weekend.

Now with exams looming, I’m getting organised. It’s nose to the grindstone, it’s crunchtime, it’s go-time, it’s non-stop, it’s DEFCON-1.

The invitations to go for drinks, for dim sum, to hit the running track with a uni mate.. they’re still coming.

I’m realising there’s a certain wisdom to my dad’s strict discipline:

The cost involved is always greater than what you think it is.

Lunch is more than the 2 hours to order. It’s travel time, it’s parking, it’s attention elsewhere. Star Trek Into Darkness this Thursday with P and P’s best mate is going to be more than a 2.5 hour movie. I’m going to be thrilled, my senses heightened… how am I supposed to come down from that and get my game-face on for study? Could I study after? No. That’s why I’m going to see it later at night, then sleep.

I’ve calculated the number of hours I need just to finish my notes (never mind studying them!) and doing my readings. All of a sudden, there’s that much more impetus NOT to go to lunch with my frenemy. I’ll write about that another time.

My dad was right. Dammit, how does this always happen? I can do this, I can say no. They will be there for me after my exams. Delaying gratification! I’m doing better with time management though. I’ve scheduled study for each day for the next 7 weeks till exams are over. I’ve studied from 8 to 6 today, with breaks for lunch and dinner. That schedule still has room for me to have drinks in the city at 9 with uni mates. Don’t make that face, I’m staying for 1 hour and then to bed! Promise.

Confessions

This blog was meant to be a place for me to write down crazy things that happened so my relatives and friends could read it. Then I looked at my stats and found out they didn’t read unless I told them I’d posted (sensibly). Then I decided I’d write down things I’d prefer they didn’t see, like a diary. With this in mind, I’ve made a new category: Confessions. This may be haphazard as far as categories go; it’s not like I intentionally plan my weekend around regrettable acts. Although, I did plan a pub crawl for me and L who is leaving the city for good. Thank goodness that break-up was easy. Anyway, time’s a-wasting!

 

Confession #1: I thought vagina dentata was a real thing. According to wikipedia, it’s a supposed condition where a woman has teeth in her lady envelope and is central to cautionary tales against rape. And the source of inspiration for an anti-rape device.

However, I was most firmly disabused of this notion by the medical doctor in my study group today. At least he was nice about it. Let’s pretend it never happened, like most of high school.

Confession #2: Normally, I snack on crackers while I study because they’re plain and cheap. But one day, I decided, no, it needs something more: Nutella. After a midsemester on Monday, I came home, opened up the jar, and saw that I’d eaten 75% of a 750g jar of Nutella over 1.5 weeks. Oops. At least I didn’t eat it with a spoon. Which I have done before.

As for the midsemester, I didn’t do that great, but I am consoled that other people who did study heaps were unhappy about random questions. Why would I ever need to explain “primordial juices” to a patient??

Confession #3: I dreamt I had a threesome with P’s best friend and his wife. Twice. It was so naughty, but good. The thing is, I felt so guilty, even in the dream! Crazy. I have no idea why, but I nearly told P about it during sex. Why? I don’t know. Thankfully, I restrained myself. Even I know a topic like that is a mood killer.

 

Ok! And we’re done! Let’s never have another embarrassing thought or incident, ok?

Picture an Inspirational Montage.

Megan: Yeah, Annie wants to have a little pity party. You’re an asshole, Annie! You’re an asshole. I’m Life, is Life bothering you? You better learn to fight cuz Life is .. I’m Life and I’m gonna bite you in the ass!! It’s not me! Turn over! I’m trying to get you to fight for your shitty life and you won’t do it. You just won’t do it! Stop slapping yourself. Stop slapping yourself! I’m your Life, Annie! I’m your shitty – oh! …. Nice hit. Alright, I’m glad to see you got a bit of spark in you. I knew that Annie was in there somewhere.
[…] You’re your problem, Annie, and you’re also your solution. […] Come on, bring it in, there’s the Annie I knew was there. And you gotta wash your hair, you gotta wash that hair.

Oh dear. I wish sometimes I had someone who would come tell me they were Life and bite my ass. Or, you could picture a montage of the drab, boring parts of your life set to inspirational music. Well, we make do with what we have. Library ho!!!!