Monday, August 17, 2009

Day One

Frankly, I'm exhausted. I've been running full speed since I landed in the wee hours of Thursday AM after having been delayed by two hours on the tarmac in Miami. But, I'll leave you with this until I find my missing Energizer Bunny....

It's a few words of wisdom from the Bioethics professor. Point one: ”When in doubt on an exam question in medical school pertaining to medication side effects, always select the answer choice that includes diarrhea and vomiting.” Point two: “Avoid Killing people”.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yup. Still cleaning.

Among today's finds:

April 19th, 2004
Dear Simrun,

Here is something to help make the day a little easier. Know that I'm thinking of you and wishing I were there with you.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel and I can promise you that you will feel less lonely when you have finished this step of the journey. I believe in you. I believe you can do special things.

Don't give up when the end is so near. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger and this task will be worth its weight in gold.

I would never stand by and watch you endure something I thought was bad for you. Never.

**Sent via messenger with a thermos of piping hot Moroccan mint tea and a box of Swiss chocolate.

Where is a guy like that while I'm in med school : )?

Oh, and as I recall - he was right. The task was well worth it's weight in precious metal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Archaeological Artifacts

You might be wondering what on EARTH I’ve been doing to occupy myself now that I’m not taking Anatomy. No? Shame, ‘cause I’m going to talk about it anyway…..

First of all, I never mentioned how the summer started. Although, I feel a separate entry for that is definitely in order. So, how about I back track later, eh?

Aside from working here and there for a temp agency, I’ve been doing an INSANE amount of cleaning and organizing of the years of my life that got stuck at my parents’ house. And, for those of you who don’t know – that’s quite a few calendars to plough through. Consider that I’ve essentially lived away from home (not counting school vacations) since I was 14 (I went to boarding school for High School, soooo….you do the math).

This brings me to the fact that I’ve discovered some wondrous things in my archaeological exploration of artifacts like boxes that remained still packed in the garage from my move back to CA from New York…apparently I ditched some randoms with the rents sans opening before booking it for LA. It seems I wrote a lot. Or, I sorta scribbled a fair amount. Oh, and I used to save random letters and cards that people gave me. Well, not totally random ones, but things that had some sort of meaning at the time. This has turned out to offer incredible insight. Although, it has been clutter inducing - a fact which I am now remedying, thank you very much.

Letters from my parents offering words of encouragement during tough times, letters from the very same parents admonishing their delinquent daughter, Valentine's Day cards of note, anything from my brother, birthday cards with witty wording, remnants of former trysts....

I found a card from someone that I dated briefly but remain friends with to this day, and am coincidentally having lunch with next week. It was an apology for missing my birthday party one year. After reading it, and noting that it was dripping with sarcasm, I couldn’t stop smiling. I remembered exactly the events that took place that led to the writing of that note. I am tempted to show it to him when I see him. We’ve both come a very long way since the ink went onto that card.

There were many more such tidbits that fell out of the most random places. In another box, this one from the top shelf in my closet, I found an old journal of mine. The first few pages described my sentiments towards someone that has, until a few hours after I read the entry, haunted me for more than a decade. The epiphany that came from seeing a reflection of my former self was that I was in the same place with that person as I had been for 13 years. Suddenly, I could acknowledge what had previously been impossible- It was simply not meant to be, nor should it be. I haven’t felt this free since the day before the two of us met.

I found a hilarious piece of evidence that I did in fact have some semblance of a friendship with a member of my extended family that I let myself believe I never had. Yet, there it was, in an all too humorous printed copy of an email from her to myself and two other people expressing her angst at having to deal with her parents giving her the “marriage talk” over a perfectly innocent inquiry into when would be a convenient time for her to book her flight to such and such a place. Seems unrelated, right? Indian parents are unbelievably capable of turning just about anything into a marriage talk once you are over the age of 20. I wish I were kidding.


Back to the boxes. Did I tell you about the one from an ex-boyfriend that broke up with me in a handwritten letter (sent via messenger to my place of work) that compared our relationship to the Sword of Damocles? No?

Well, I had to Google “Sword of Damocles” to even get a clue what he was talking about.

But, that’s also a story for another time.

‘Night kids.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

So, It Turns out…..I really am a pussy

I thought I’d be clever and save myself some agony during Term 1 by taking Anatomy at UC Irvine over the summer.

Yes, I can hear what you are thinking. I DID take Anatomy in Foundations To Medicine and YES, I know that early burn out could be an issue- but I’m stubborn. And, I DO in fact recall how miserable I was as an undergrad at UC Irvine.

But, I told myself that this time it would be different. After all, I am such a far cry from the person I was in my college days. And, since I just took Anatomy, it should be a pretty straightforward review, right?


In I walked to a tidal wave of memories, associations, and many of the old issues that are apparently still very much alive and well at the University of Chinese and Indians – one of the many beloved acronyms for UC Irvine which I feel I am at liberty to use since I am in fact, Indian. Let’s start with how the prof. made it very clear that there will only be a certain number of “A’s” and how he intentionally makes his exams very difficult in order to insure this fact. I am not really sure how that ties in with good teaching and an optimum learning environment. Call me crazy, but why not just write a good exam that tests what you think your students should have learned in that amount of time? I know, I am SO avant-garde sometimes I astound even myself.

Beyond the grading issue though, just being ON campus made me feel depressed- which is odd because I do use the unbelievably awesome campus gym regularly. Me and Kobe Bryant have that in common. Anyway, the point is that the gym is kind of off to the side and not near any of the teaching buildings. Hence, the difference in my psyche….I think. That plus the fact that endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t kill people.

But seriously, it wasn’t just that it was a depressing feeling, it was that the professor kinda sucked to be honest. I was pleasantly shocked to discover what a good preliminary education I seem to have gotten in Grenada already. The man couldn’t even define a condyle properly. Hello, basic anatomical term definitions? Furthermore, he doesn’t use ANY visuals at all. Ummmm, isn’t it important to identify the structure you are referring to….VISUALLY. Instead he makes crude drawings on the white board that are supposed to resemble things like the bones of the skull. He claims that he doesn’t want to inundate us with images when we have a book that has plenty of them.

The only somewhat redeeming factor is that he does have good notes that are online (sans images of course) but then he ruins it by basically repeating them verbatim during “lecture”.


Needless to say, I hit the “Drop” button 2 days in. Surprised?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Nature Of The Beast

There are certain truths about life in Grenada. For instance, one’s expectations of what is “convenient” must shift for maximal adaptation. There are those among us, including myself from time to time, that either forget this fact, or never learned it in the first place. Case in point – summer storage.

The “well adjusted” perspective would realize that it is incredible that the school not only thought to provide us with it, but seems to have SOME sort of system in place with which we can in fact place belongings in between terms.

Then there is the “But, I’m still in America” perspective. This outlook is appalled at everything ranging from the sparse hours that are available to actually place your things in aforementioned storage location to the fact that there is a disclaimer stating that SGU is NOT responsible for any stolen or damaged items. Furthermore, they are enraged at the shear number of logistics they are being asked to undertake themselves in order to be moved out in the time and manner outlined by the housing office.

In the words of one of my favorite bloggers and fellow students, all I can say is, T.I.G.

The sooner you take it to heart, the better off you’ll feel.

P.S. - finals went beautifully, now all I have to do is take the PMSCE on Monday and I'll be home onThursday!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Miss Manners

I know we’re all a tad stressed out heading in to the home stretch here, but I’m not completely sure how that needs to correlate with the state of affairs in Taylor Hall these days. To start with, when I arrived at this palatial hall of perfect cubicles and wireless internet this morning, it was looking much less than it’s usual pristine self. There was trash everywhere. Partially filled water bottles were strewn all around, candy wrappers, plastic bags, a sticky dried soda spill……At some point before 9:00 AM the cleaning staff came through. But, I honestly don’t think that they should be picking up our trash.

Cut to later this evening – same location. I left for an hour and change to eat and breathe a bit. But, knowing that I needed to keep my claim clear on my favorite spot, I, like most of us, left behind some items to make it obvious that this particular cubicle was spoken for. These items were not at all small and hard to notice. I left a sweatshirt hanging over the back of the chair, two books (one of them is approximately 4 inches thick and bright red – pretty hard to miss), and some notes. When I returned, in addition to what I had left there, I saw an empty backpack on top of the desk along with a huge stack of notes, an ID with attached keys, and a cell phone.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear – this is not the storage cubicle. I’ve been sitting in the SAME spot since 6:45 AM this morning. I asked out loud whose things they were only to discover that they belonged to the gentleman on my right. He reluctantly took back his things and assembled them at his OWN cubicle immediately adjacent to the one I had been using. I was shocked that there was absolutely no attempt at an apology. It was more a look of resentment for coming back and crowding his personal space even more in these anxious days of cramming.

So, to you in the red shirt on my right I say – I am sorry that your manners got left at your departure terminal. I do hope you find them soon.

Now, back to the male reproductive system. May "Red Shirt Guy" use it with caution.

Yes. Finals really do bring out the best in moi.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The moment before I open the first page of an exam, my hands shake a little. Sometimes my entire body shakes. Then there is a hint of hesitation before I throw the page behind it’s staple and dive my eyeballs downward onto the top of the page to see what Professor X has on his menu this evening.…..

Professor X was kind I think. That wasn’t bad last week. Until the next morning, when professor Y served up a rather unpleasant after breakfast tidbit and called it biochem a la nit picky. Not fun. But, in the end, not horrible either.

This was last week.

Last week was a trying one on many levels. I feel like I grew up a little. Had to make some tough life decisions and am going through the process of bearing burdens that come with life circumstances and decisions made. In retrospect, it feels good. Well, not good exactly, but more like appropriate. Then it dawned on me ….this must be how my parents feel all the time. That’s nuts. That’s not such a great feeling. Or maybe you grow into it and ultimately take ownership of it until it becomes a skin that you are comfortable in - this whole adult thing and adult decisions thing. I’m trying to fight the urge to bury my head in my mother’s lap the moment I arrive home. Then again, what else is a mother’s lap for?

21 days.

14 days until my first final exam.

S out.