Friday, January 16, 2009

w3-09 : Week in review

Medgames 2009 has been the topic of the week, allowing my blog to fall behind on the daily happenings of my life. But today, I got out of class at noon. Class times have been cut for the upcoming weeks in order to allow us to study for our impending exams, but I have decided to defer this noble activity until tomorrow. It feels so nice to get home while the sun is still up and have virtually the entire day to spend. Hard to believe that Ottawa students live like this everyday. In light of this new found wealth of time, I thought I would play catchup - highlighting all the entertaining happenings of this week in one fell swoop.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My time in Montreal for Medgames came with a slew of exceedingly late nights and early mornings. This was compounded with inability to nap on the bus and with the fact that my sleep hours were already a bit off from the recent Christmas holidays. I woke up Monday morning unbelievably tired and feeling like I had just come out of another time zone and was suffering from jet lag... minus the jet.

Over our longer-than-usual lunch period, Stewie, Kon, and I decided to crash at Kushima's place for two hours and nap a bit. Mello also seemed keen to come with us, which was a bit weird. I think she failed to realize that when we said we were going to sleep, we actually meant close our eyes and lose consciousness. We were tired. I don't live downtown. I needed a safe place to pass out. Sleep was not a codeword for "go to Kushima's place and chill." We left without her, but we had only the best intentions in doing so.

We picked up some lunch from a Chinese food truck, then walked back to Kushima's suite-style apartment complex. There wasn't a whole lot of room, so there was a bit of improvisation utilized in finding enough space. I myself ended up sitting on the floor at the head of the bed, asleep in an upright position, with my head leaning on a pillow. Adding to the difficulty, there was some kind of maintenance work going on just outside the window that was quite loud. Luckily, I still had my airline mask and earplugs from Medgames, and therefore managed to catch some Z's. I have since resolved to carry them always.

After class there was a "career night" featuring physicians from various specialities talking about what they do. When Kon asked Stewie if he was planning on attending, Stewie replied, "There's a Korean night?" In that moment of misunderstanding, a half-dozen thoughts shot through his brain: How does Kon know about this? Is there going to be a Chinese and Japanese night too? Korean girls ftw!

When we told Yubin about this miscommunication she chuckled, "You guys want a Korean night? We can all go have Korean food and I'll bring Korean girls."

Before Stewie could get too excited, I interjected, "Umm... I'm not really sure if you should be pawning off your friends like that."

"Well we can just have Korean food. Not everything is about girls, you know."

"I don't think Korean food is sufficiently exciting..."

"What?! You don't like Korean food? Well you'll be eating it everyday if you live with Evey!" she retorted in mock anger.

For the record, I don't actually dislike Korean food... I just find many aspects of it a little too flavourful (read: spicy) for my palate. That said, I do enjoy Korean food now and again, and I'm rather enamoured to kimchi. But who knows, maybe we'll just eat dim sum.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Tuesday I caught Stewie and Kon messaging each other on MSN from only one seat away. There was literally only Yubin between them. Clearly, their laptops have improved their efficiency in lecture. /sarcasm

It reminded me, however, of something incredibly amusing I saw in the 2005 Tricolour (the Queen's University yearbook):

Above: Two roommates discuss which Kingston night venue to party at via MSN. Stewie and Kon's side-by-side messaging reminded me of it.

On the same page of the yearbook was an even more amusing anecdote:

I have this foreboding feeling that I will be having a similar conversation with Kon in a few days. Drama 1, Us 0. Speaking of which, I started watching my first ever Korean drama called Alone in Love. It follows the antics of a young, divorced couple who obviously still love one another. They're both retarded, but at the same time adorable. Maybe I'll pick up some Korean long the way too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You may recall the little buggers that used to sit behind me in class. Yes, the angry ones who think they're exceedingly clever, make obtuse comments about professors and fellow students, act condescending, and never shut up. They always wound up behind me because I like to sit in the middle of my row, and so do they. I thought many times about moving off to the side, but by principle, I thought that I shouldn't allow these people to force me to move - after all, they are the ones who are being disruptive.

Now I'm not in the habit of making New Year's resolutions, but I decided in January that I should just move. It's a much better alternative than going mad with anger and impairing my learning experience because of my silly pride. On Wednesday, however, the rows filled up in such a way that I was back in the middle. I was quickly distracted by the following discussion from the girls behind:

A: You know, the common people always say things like "I'm sure science will find a cure for cancer." There's no cure for cancer, you morons! You need like 300 cures.

B: You know I think cancer research is just a huge waste of money.

A: No no, cancer research isn't a huge waste of money. HIV research is.


A: You know all those drug resistant illnesses? People f*cking deserve it. That's what you get for using antibiotics carelessly.

I'd like to note that while there is no one cure for cancer (because cancer is not one disease), many treatments have an effect on a wide range of cancers. Furthermore, whether we make advances in curing one type of cancer or a hundred types, we are continually moving toward better and more effective treatments.

But regardless of the validity of this conversation, you really have to question how such pompous, vindictive windbags got into medical school, why there are other people who are willing to embrace their trash talk, and what kind of doctors they're going to graduate to be.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Wednesday, Zo asked me to save a seat for her in class. Even though I did so, she walked in late and sat down beside another of our friends (in the same row). I felt a little bit bad, because I had already turned Kushima away. I received my deserved punishment though...

You may recall that at Medgames, we played a game of Truth or Truth (Truth or Dare minus the dare). One of the questions asked was, "Who do you think should not be in med school?" While I was tempted to say the ladies from the row behind, my mind flitted to yet another.

Above: An entry from a series of comics about medical school stereotypes. This one, the "Questionable Admission." How did they get here?

My pick for "questionable admission" was a lad who I'll refer to as "Sandoval." I've had a couple of run ins with him here and there. From what I can tell, he is loud, vulgar, and doesn't take anything seriously. He rolls into class late, exudes an aura of flexible morality, and acts vaguely gangster.

Because of Zo's conspicuous absence beside me, Sandoval slid into the adjacent seat a few minutes into our second class (he had skipped the first). What made it worse was that Kon, who had been sitting by himself early on Wednesday, had subsequently added a chair to our row so that everything was super squished. Sandoval immediately dropped a cache of belongings onto the desk. Then he began to eat a stack of granola bar type snacks.

Now I ought not to complain about eating in class. I do it too, and I also have noisy wrappers. But Sandoval chews loudly, as if his mouth is slightly ajar. It's accompanied with an unbearable smacking sound. He also frequently made strange groaning noises, and constantly tapped his leg and the floor. He was permanently in my personal space, either shoving his elbow my way on the table surface or leaning his elbow on the back of my chair. Whenever I was leaned forward and then shifted backwards, I found his elbow on my chair against my back. Usually when two people make physical contact and one is invading the space of the other, they move. He did not.

Near the end of class, he began drawing a large alphabet letter in pen on the table, adding devil ears and a tail to give it some extra character. I leaned over, "Hey dude, stop vandalizing the table." With a grin he replied, "It's art." Why don't you put your art on paper, like other polite people do, I thought to myself. Now I know many people think that Sandoval is a pretty chill guy - he's talkative, and funny... And maybe he is. But for now, my impression of him is that he's crass, disrespectful, and in your face (or at least, in your space).

(Please take my ranting with a grain of salt, I know I really ought not to be so judgemental. I'm Andy... and I have a problem.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today was my return to Clinical Skills class after Christmas break. I must have missed my bus, because I had to wait at the station for almost 15 minutes and was therefore ten minutes late. Most people commute to the hospital from downtown and take the shuttle rather than transit. The shuttle stop is only a short walk away from most of them and it only comes every half hour. Therefore, they know which one to catch and nobody is late. I have only had to take transit to the hospital three times (usually I can get dropped off there, since it is not that far from my uptown home). The previous two times I had left the house at a similar hour but had arrived on time. My lateness was unexpected and inauspicious. Because of the aforementioned shuttle rigidity, I was, of course, the only one late.

I had not done any history taking or physical exam procedures for weeks and was a little bit rusty, and very much nervous. Luckily, while I expected my peers to have been more diligent than me, it seemed we were all in the same boat. Student doctors are like student drivers - uncertain, clumsy, and in need of practice. It didn't help that our patient had an undiagnosed occluded radial artery, which in layman's terms means we were looking for a pulse but could find none - because there was none.

After class, I got a ride to Lawrence subway station from a kind colleague. His car, however, was a bit hazardous. In the back seats where I was sitting, one side had brown gunk all over it. There was also cereal strewn everywhere and a finished yogurt container kicking around. I tried to find a way to sit so that I wouldn't get up again with bits of food or goo attached to my rear end.

From Lawrence I took the subway back up to Finch and drove home. On the way, I arrived at a nonfunctional traffic light. I saw cars several hundred metres ahead of me go through the intersection. The car that was only a few metres ahead of me, however, stopped when he got to the light. I stopped also. I could see the police officer who was directing traffic was busy signalling the opposing lane to go forward. In my mind I was thinking, Maybe we should be going forward also. It doesn't make sense for one side of the street to go forward but not the other. It's not like the traffic going perpendicular can go forward while the opposing lane is going forward, so really we are sitting still for nothing. Sure enough, the police officer turned around and took a step back as if he was thinking, "What the heck, didn't I just get this lane going?" and signalled for us to continue.

I got home at a lovely hour. I was compelled to draw a bath for myself for the first time in many years. I dozed off in the water for a bit, then got out, ate lunch, watched Korean drama, and blogged. Tonight I plan to get a good night's sleep and tomorrow... hopefully study.

Exams are coming. I need to study...

...But the final season of Battlestar Galactica starts tonight!


Michael said...

When we told Yubin about this miscommunication she chuckled, "You guys want a Korean night? We can all go have Korean food and I'll bring Korean girls."

Before Stewie could get too excited, I interjected...

And for that, I will never forgive you!!! :P

yubin said...

Michael michael...
One day.. I shall have a Korean night just for you.
with lots of Korean kimchi
and Korean dramas
and Korean... boys!! haha

So anyways..!
I enjoyed reading this blog especially because:
1. Reflects my own weekly events and therefore leaves room for my own reflection :)
2. I was in it (haha) and I am glad you remember my conversation with the Korean food because I strongly believe that you should try out more Korean food and u will learn to enjoy it more! I know u do already but I am doing this for your own good! Remember!
3. It gave me certainty to my dislike to the girls behind us... and I was not just being a mean crazy person by disliking them.
4. I also watched Korean drama when I got home.. haha and yes, it felt weird coming home when the sun was shining brightly. It made me feel like I was in Undergrad again haha

If there is anything that I want to add to the blog.. is my dislike of the subway system..
It took me an hour and a half to get home today.. since I had to take the shuttle and therefore basically my early free afternoon was pretty much wasted!!
It is not their fault since there was a power outage.. but I would think they would fix the problem earlier! The power outage started last night at 9pm and they still hadn't fixed it by noon the next day! They should have handled this problem better. Well.. i cannot blame it all on ttc.. but still... i was mad.


that was my rant of the day.

have a nice weekend!