Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Fortnight Not Featuring Monster Trucks

I’m not really sure what I have learned in this first fortnight back at uni. The first few days seemed almost light-on, and for possibly the first time in this degree I had the pleasurable experience of sitting in lectures on things I actually remembered having studied before. I understood things. This was reassuring. Now however I am just feeling somewhat hazy. Not sure my brain is fully engaged.

Highlight reel of the last two weeks: Catching up with med buddies after the break, good times. Went to the Medium Smoke four times; 140km round trip. Received a small inheritance – think, enough to go overseas for a couple of months but not enough to buy a new car. Almost enjoyed a fountain in the front garden; the liquid bubbling up was not water but raw sewerage. Almost enjoyed a Monster Truck Rally in the rain; trucks had magically transformed into souped-up lawnmowers. Retired to fibro shack overlooking Lake Caca to watch Star Trek on DVD. Went swimming in the rain; felt overdressed. Revolution in the Medical School: Coffee now allowed into lecture theatres and tute rooms. First dissection session in the anatomy lab; learned I am ambidextrous when it comes to scalpel use. That was a nice surprise. Managed to get the word ‘Gynaecomastia’ into a song. Made jelly shots using Cointreau, Frangelico and lime; tasty and lethal.

All in all a pretty good couple of weeks.

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Back to School and Two Big Questions

Question One, which I have already answered: are papaya seeds poisonous? According to Dr Wiki, they are not. In fact, they are quite edible. I found this out after eating a couple, which is what made me think of the question to begin with. The first one tasted like cucumber, and the second one more like radish. If the rest weren’t already in the compost, I’d probably try another to see whether there is progression through the salad bowl.

Big School starts again tomorrow. I’ve been reviewing the lecture slides for the first lecture. There are fifty-six slides. The lecture will go for maybe fifty-five minutes. My head already hurts.

Question Two, which I am currently pondering: do we ever really know who we are?

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Cloudy Days

Some days are cloudier than others. As with life, so with swimming pools. Sometimes the pool water is downright cloudy. Sometimes it tastes a little salty. I don’t think my local council uses salt, though, just chlorine. So as I swim, I wonder: just how much sweat, kiddy urine, and other bodily fluids could it possibly take to make this water taste just a little salty?

Last week I lost one of my silicone earplugs in the water. No huge deal, I had some old ones kind of spare. Couldn’t help looking for it while I swam, though. It was a little distracting. So today, I was almost at the end of a lap when I thought I saw my earplug on the bottom of the pool. Please note that I am virtually blind when not wearing glasses.

In the two seconds it took me to stop and pick the thing up with my toes, these are the thoughts that went through my mind:

You’re blind, as if it’s going to be your earplug. If it is, how much am I going to want to put it in my ear after a week of marinating in this. Don’t silicone earplugs float?

I’m pretty handy with my toes. Also I seem to think to myself in both the second and first person. Needless to say, it was not my silicone earplug that I picked up, it was some random piece of grey plastic that might have been part of a shopping bag. I don’t really know because I released it immediately and recommenced swimming. Only to find myself dodging the bit of now floating plastic material on the return lap. And the one after that. And then it was in my mouth. The End.

Meanwhile, I was thinking about the cloudiness of the water. Turns out the water is a lot cloudier after I’ve swum a lap or two. Is it me? No… It’s my goggles. They steam up. The water looks cloudy. But it’s actually just the same old soup as before. Duck feathers. Hairs. Dead bees. Bits of random plastic. Salty stuff.

I swam two and a half kilometres in that soup today. It occurred to me that I have not yet joined the swimming club. It also occurred to me that I have never been much involved in organised sport, nor organised religion. Nor organised study notes. I swam these kilometres in two shifts, one before breakfast in the rain, one before lunch in the sun. Thanks to fifty metres of backstroke and some leisurely post-lap floating, I now have a lovely swimming cap tan line on my forehead.

Things I learned today: Sometimes the clouds are only in your eyes. If you don’t want ooky stuff in your mouth, fling it from the pool. My hair is too short to warrant a swimming cap. Even on cloudy days you can get burned.

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