Monthly Archives: July 2011

First Day Nerves Again

Tomorrow will be my first day at the practice for my year-long GP placement. It is only a half day, and there is a new GP Registrar starting too so we will be inducted together. No patients. Maybe I won’t even meet the doctors. I have no idea what to expect.

I have a small case of the I-Can’t-Sleeps and a large case of the I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Wears.

Wish me luck and a wardrobe malfunction-free day?


Filed under Med School

Better Than Before

I have to correct some misconceptions – my own. It turns out that my oddball study methods don’t suck as badly as I thought. In fact, in the written exam, for once I skated right over the top of the cohort bell curve and landed nicely with both feet firmly down the right-hand slope. Basically the inverse position compared to my performance in the first two years.

So my initial post-exam gut-feel was on the money, I did ok, and from now on the whiny little voice in my head that undermines my confidence can just shut the hell up.

Another thing I was right about though: I did fail the OSCE eye station. In OSCEs I am average, so there’s nice room for improvement.

I’ve found three four-leaf clovers in the last few weeks, and coincidentally have been granted a one-year scholarship that I am particularly happy to hold. Consider me officially happy.

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Filed under Med School


For a long time, I wore a jade bangle. It was a part of my arm, part of me. It had threads of deep and lighter green, red-browns, and specks of white. In Chinese culture, jade has a particular energy and significance, and the jade bangle is believed to protect the wearer.

I was walking home from work one day when my bangle broke in two places. I didn’t notice it break because largest part of the curve stayed on my wrist. I wondered what it had protected me from – a breakage is supposed to represent an escape, a dodged bullet. I retraced my steps and found the missing piece.

I liked that bangle, even though I detest the word ‘bangle’. Something in that stone – its colour, its weight, our shared warmth, a vibration – it resonated with me. It fit.

So carefully, I glued it back together. I let it set. It broke again, in different places. This time I let it stay that way, until the night before my med school interview. Glueing it together, I superglued my thumb… but that is another story. I wore it. It broke again.

All the time I was doing this it I knew it was a futile exercise. The circle was broken. The milk had been spilt. The nature of the thing had changed.

Some things mend themselves. Fracture a bone and the faultlines heal stronger than they started. Slice your hand open and bit by bit the fabric of your muscle and skin will knit itself together until you barely see the scar.

But some things are just broken. They start off broken, they break before their time, or they were always meant to break. No matter how neatly you glue the handle on the teacup, if the porcelain is truly crazed with faultlines there is no fixing it.

Sometimes the nature of the thing has changed for the better, sometimes for the worse, or not at all.

Some things can be fixed. But some things, some people, relationships, lives – some are so riddled with faultlines they are broken, just broken, always broken. They can mend, but they have to mend themselves.

And that is nobody’s fault.

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Filed under Family

That Awkward Moment When…

I was reading this post and was reminded of my own recent special moment. That awkward moment when the bank manager suggests you have a baby so that you can borrow some money.

No seriously, he did. And helpfully added “…but even that would take nine months…” Ah, buddy, if only it were that simple.

“Well then, could you lend me eight bucks for a turkey baster?”

Ok maybe that last bit didn’t happen.

A couple of days after the end of exams I zipped off to our mortgage lender to see if we could leverage some of our essential renovations into enough of a buffer to keep paying the bills until I graduate. Sadly for us, government study allowances are not considered a secure form of income. Whereas if we were receiving a family allowance, we would apparently be a much safer bet.

It was a good-natured encounter, and I walked away feeling that I had put my argument well. Plan A, not to be. Luckily we had Plans B through D up our sleeves.

I guess we could develop Plan E, in which E stands for Embryo… It just seems a little extreme.


Filed under Family, Med School, Sexuality