Monthly Archives: May 2010

Bunny Brain

“There is a suprise on the table for you when you get home… Don’t get too excited, it’s Foster’s”

That’s what I heard. Free beer is free beer, even if Foster’s barely fits the definition, so I was reasonably excited at the prospect of cracking a cold one before hitting the textbooks again.

But it was not beer on the table, it was a foster-bunny!

A tiny, white, fluffy bunny with pink eyes and pink ears. There is only one correct response when confronted with a tiny surprise bunny on the dining table, and that is to pick it up and love it and take many photos of its cuteness.

“Her name is Pinky because she is Pink.

Well there is no arguing with that logic. Pinky proceeded to assist me with my neurology homework, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Pinky and the Brain.

On inspection later in the evening, I discovered Pinky has boy-bits. However his name had stuck. Just as well that there is cartoon precedent for a boy called Pinky.

While peripherally observing Pinky hippity-hopping all over the desk (“It’s not a desk, it’s the dining table! Just because you have your books all over it doesn’t make it your desk!”) it occurred to me that my study method is disturbingly reminiscent of Pinky’s exploration method. I flit from one topic to another without ever really drawing a line under any one subject.

Perhaps in the same way that Pinky’s leaps, bounds, stretches and tiny hops will eventually reveal to him the entire topography of the text-covered desk, so my random dipping, quizzing and tangental reading of said texts and accompanying bits of internet will eventually reveal to me the entire Phase One curriculum. Perhaps. Here’s hop[p]ing…

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Lend Me Your Watches

It would be false of me to pretend that I am anything other than inept when it comes to the idea of time. I am not punctual. In fact I am downright tardy in most things. This is not a quality appreciated by the medical profession, and therefore I know I need to work on my awareness of minutes and seconds. I need a sense of how long five minutes is. How long it takes me to get ready for stuff. And so on. I know it.

Anyway tonight I have a story…

This afternoon I had Cliniskillz at 13:30. I frequently cut it very fine with my arrival at this compulsory class, but I shouldn’t. The facilitator’s judgement on punctuality forms part of the assessment of my ‘professional development’ for the course. So today, as I was driving in, on the speed limit, my eye on the clock as well as the road and the speedo… I realised I had achieved peak efficiency! I would be walking in the door exactly one minute prior to the start of the class!

I duly parked the car, crossed the carpark to see two of my fellow students pulling up in their car… confirming my Peak Efficiency! Sadly, however, as I entered the hallowed hall of the Glorious School of Medicine, the Time Keeper was in the hall tapping her clipboard [no kidding, tapping her clipboard].

PEAK EFFICIENCY. I says to her. I AM NOT LATE.

“Tsk tsk tsk”

“I AM NOT LATE. I AM EXACTLY ON TIME”

My colleagues walk in behind me. The Timekeeper and the Hall Monitor both launch in at them.

“We’re not late!” they appeal…

“We go by the clock in the common room. You are five minutes late and the class has already started”

“THE CLOCK IS FIVE MINUTES FAST” [you speshal peeple!]

We all proceed to the designated skillz lab AND WAIT 10MINS FOR THE GP TO REALISE THE CLASS IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE STARTED. 

zombies

The End.

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Countrymen

The state of Australian politics is a source of constant disappointment for me. Now that campaigning for the November federal election has officially commenced (though I honestly believe it has been going on for the last two years), I am once again struck by the depths to which the major parties choose to descend in their efforts to appeal to ‘working Australians’ or ‘Australian families’. Ugh, I feel ill just repeating gunky catchphrases like those.

I could catalogue the distortions, scaremongering, the populist rhetoric and the lastest incarnations of wedge politics. But I won’t because it hurts my brain to let all that crap linger in there for too long, and I need to keep enough room for all the medical stuff I need to know for exams next month.

Suffice to say this: The thing that irks me above all else in the grey-on-grey of the Australian political landscape is the blatant assumption that the electorate is dolt-ridden and imbecilic. Sure, there’s been a dumbing-down of the media, and some might say the same of the education system. But we’re not a nation of idiots, and I am tired of politicians speaking to us as though we are.

Conversely, it is said that we get the government we deserve. Looking at our representatives on both sides of Parliament, maybe we are that freakin’ stupid.

[Bob Brown aside. He’s incredible.]

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Romans

I used to fly to Rome a fair bit for work. Those days are long gone. If I could be there tomorrow, these are the things I would enjoy…

Coffee. That’s an obvious one. Walking through the Jewish Quarter from where the bus would drop me off near the Teatro Marcello, getting lost in the strange back alleyways, filling up my waterbottle from an ancient water pipe. Popping out through a ruined archway somewhere near the Portico di Ottavia and getting a slice of pizza cut to size and sold by weight. Mmm pizza with rocket and freshly shaved parmesan. Zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella and anchovy. Cobblestones. Vespas. Ochre-coloured walls. Ruins. Flowers at the Campo Fiori, not quite sure how I got there. Rounding the corner to see the Trevi Fountain. Gelato, eaten with a plastic spoon from a cone while perched in front of the Pantheon. Men in robes. The Spanish Steps, for Keats and Shelley. Shopping for clothes. Shopping for leather. Those crazy honking sirens. More ruins. Bellinis. Piazza Navona, for the sculpture. Salami. Pasta somewhere, with peas. House wine, red. Dim light. Limoncello. Sore feet. My hotel. Too much velvet, too many mirrors, and strange bathroom linen. Sleeping like a baby.

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Friends

It’s that time of the year. Seven weeks out from exams, six weeks of classes to go. Nerves are frayed – and since it’s Neuro Block, we should probably be able to figure out exactly which nerves they are. Fuses are short. Every setback, inconvenience and piece of bad luck looms bigger than it should. Relationships are rocky, friendships strained, nails are getting chewed, and for me, tears are a lot closer to the surface than I’m comfortable with. There are cold sores, ulcers, shingles and the flu. Even the most consistently studious people seem stressed.

Two days of exams will cover this semester’s work, along with all of the material from last year. This is crunch time: ‘End-of-Phase’ examinations preceding our shift to Phase Two of the MBBS program. On the upside, we know what we’re about to face, because the format of these exams is the same as the end of year exams. On the downside, we know what we’re about to face….

I’m having a tough time for reasons that go beyond study, and I am uncomfortably aware that my mood is observable. I am usually much, much better at keeping a lid on things. I know, I know, it’s important to ask for help when you need it, and so on, and maybe I’m doing that a little, although I feel like the things that are going on in my life are just things that happen and there’s not a lot that can be done to help.

That said, the smallest and the biggest things can lighten the load or brighten my mood. My friends have, variously (and this is not an exhaustive list): made me hot drinks, surprised me with a tin of biscuits, recorded a song for me (!!), listened to me vent about seventy thousand different things, given me ginger tea, made me laugh, kept me from spinning off the deep end, taken me to the footy, taught me critical facts about spinal tracts, reassured me, played guitar with me, made room for me, shared baked goods, amused me with messages, rubbed my shoulders, and reminded me of a little thing called perspective.

Once again, humbled by the generosity of my friends. I can only hope that I am as good a friend in return.

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