them and us

we show up for our psych tutorial, all 3 of us. we were there at 2pm sharp. we stayed til 2.15pm and headed to the library. one of us left soon after that. i was ready to leave around 2.25pm only to bumped into krusty the clown, as i'll christian my tutor. he was in a huff and would've collided with me had i not stopped dead in my tracks. it was like seeing a ghost, after expecting him to have forgotten. i whirled around to zap a set of raised eyebrows at the only other groupmate left. it was promptly returned with one of his own as subtly as he could.

krusty the clown instructs us to page him next time with a hint of annoyance that was dismissable as part of his normal intonation and both of us nod. after telling us in about 4 different ways to page him next time "because i might've forgotten or i may be in the middle of something, so page me to remind me or so i can tell you how long more i may be"...after telling us that with me asking for his pager number the last 3 times and my groupmate ostentatiously searching for pen and paper, he finally acknowledges my question and proceeds to give out his pager number. i had my pen poised over a scrap notecard, ready to scribble as he began with "my pager number is..." and then promptly stopped to tell us he's gotten a new pager number and has forgotten it "but you can look it up on those computers or switch or something" with a wave of his hand in the general direction of the library computers. i tried really hard not to let my eyes roll too much with some success.

he asks if we have cases to present, i tell him yes. it's not written up properly but i can still present. he rambles on, my groupmate suggests discussing my case but i guess krusty the clown missed seeing the mouth my 6ft tall friend open to tell him that. krusty proceeds to ask how many more sessions we have left. my friend replies "two" and was heard this time around. krusty calculates that for the 4 of us in the group, there would be enough time for 2 presentations per session and then says "see you later" before walking away.

i later find out krusty found us at the library only by poking his head into the tutorial group of soak, another tutor who's in charge of running the psych module and is a very lovely lady. she'd be a very cool mother to have =) that's where krusty was hurrying off too after bidding the pair of us g'day... to rat on us and tell soaks that only two of us showed up and none of us had cases to present. soak's horrified admonishment was "oh, but they know they're supposed to prepare a case! naughty, naughty!" i can imagine krusty's nod of agreement with a secret smirk.

i used to stand up for the guy, having worked with him for a month at his psych unit at the hospital last year. people said he was a flake, people hated him for various reasons. now i'm beginning to see a bit of that shine through. *grinds teeth*

why is it ok for them to forget appointments, show up an hour late without apologies or explanation and expect us to sit there and be their unpaid secretaries, to wait hours for them to show up and be grateful that they showed up at all.

they expect us to be professional in our behavior, to be punctual and dress appropriately. they want us to think for ourselves and when we do make decisions, we get the short end of the stick.

them. there's always some version of them at some point in my life it seems. *grinds teeth some more*


white fright

beauty and the bleach has unleashed the bitch in me. i henceforth dub this post, beauty and the bitch. puke-colored quotations from the article are fully intentional.

undoubtedly, there is a lot of cultural baggage that has somehow been left onboard as the rest of the world moved on and jetted to newer destinations. i acknowledge that back in days of emperors, eunuchs and concubines, the fairness of one's complexion was proportional to the status of one's background and family ~ in other words, "a porcelain-like white face is the feminine ideal, reflecting a long-held belief that pale skin represents a comfortable life." in layman's terms, it reads: look like you've had the living hell scared out of you and other people will assume you're from a tycoon's family.

i don't get it, i really don't. is that really all there is to beauty? can i look like the phantom of the opera (the one as described in the book, not the movie versions. all the movie versions are rather charming *grin*) and be called beautiful because i've got a white face... well mask rather. wait a sec, the phantom's a guy. would you call a guy "whose skin now resembles a pink-white peony" handsome or would you call him a freak? where does michael jackson fit into this spectrum of beauty then? oh wait, he doesn't. according to one of the women obsessing over becoming whiter,
Any whiter, Qiu said, and you look sickly.
"Then they look like Michael Jackson," she said. "He looks terrible."


forget the cultural stuff, forget the hidden prejudices and political correctness... ie: "But others — younger, American-born Asians — question whether the obsession with an ivory complexion has more to do with blending into white American culture, or even a subtle prejudice against those with darker skin."

why the hell would you wear something like this, besides having a fetish for welders. note her poncho. oh dear gawd, whyyyy...?! it's see-thru for goodness sakes.. frosted, but still see-thru. that's supposed to keep the sun from tanning her? wait a sec, maybe she wears it to remind herself that it's the shade of her ultimate skin tone. apparently, she bought a whole bunch from taiwan and passed one to her 22 year old daughter who uses it every day as she walks to her college classes. i wonder if the mother's ever walked with her all the way to class to make sure the kid's got it on her head the whole time. having been in several parent-induced embarrasing situations, i can relate to the 22yo daughter if you told me that she wore that thing out her front door and promptly stuffed it in her backpack as her mother waved goodbye and shut the door. i would've done the same. i HAVE done the same, except with a fanny pack among other things. my mother forgets it's not the 80s anymore and fluorescent yellow fanny packs aren't exactly my thing now.

and this!!
Mar, who grew up in Taiwan and oversaw the Chinese-American Debutante Guild in Irvine for a few years, said she tries her best to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. So do her friends, with whom she often goes on morning walks.

a mental picture of some 50 year old chinese lady jumping from shady spot to shady spot in her own house comes to mind. it's like the wicked witch of the west, but with sun instead of water! to have your life dictated by where the sun strikes... i can't imagine the pain. obviously, they're ok with it but it just makes me wonder if there's anything else more exciting in their lives than to play hide-and-seek with the sun. i know i'm being harsh here, for other people may label me as having a pitiful life consisting of sleeping, classes, blogging, eating, sleeping but hey, i have dreams and aspirations and my aim is life isn't to bleach myself as white as possible.

oh dear women, you make me embarrased to be associated with anything chinese. to pursue something with such obscession makes me wonder if some cognitive behavioral therapy might help you more than shisheido's UV white toners. why, oh why... please enlighten me. please do.


the tuesday that was a monday

::note that names of patients have been changed::

jessica was an angel. sweet little girl just less than 10 years of age. had a horrible past 2 weeks comprising of constant fever + vomitting + inability to breathe. by the time i saw her at the wards, she was almost well enough to go home - she laughed, blushed at compliments and was a delight as a patient and a kiddie.

i thought she'd be an ideal case to present during prof skills session with my tutor today. apparently, i was only supposed to pick out a patient so my other 2 groupmates could take a history today while i stood back and watched. obviously, i misunderstood as i happily told the tutor i saw jessica last nite and if she'd like me to present. she got discharged today so our tutor wasn't happy that there were no patients for us to interview today... argh!!! that's her job though! it's her job as our tutor to find patients for us to interview and examine but to her, that idea was somehow preposterous.

so instead of an angel, we got a cheeky little 3 year old devil called wallace. he was a pudgy little tyke who was obsessed with thomas the tank engine and his hot rods. man, the kid had attitude. he bossed his poor mother around, demanded lemonade until he got it (lemonade as in sprite. deprieved people over on this isle of oz... they need to taste real lemonade that comes from real lemons over here...) he refused to let us near him and ran to the ward's play area where we later found him sprawled on his tummy. he didn't trust the stethescope, he snuck peeks at us and had to be constantly distracted by everyone else so that one of us could listen to his lungs at a time. two thumbs up plus a big toe to his mother for her patience!

the more i see naughty kiddies like him, the less i'm inclined to want kids of my own.

speaking of kids, i had a sudden flashback to elementary school days. it was awful..
i went for the pediatric grand rounds and stayed for all 2 hours of it. our tutor saw me there but didn't see my other 2 groupmates. one was still in bed at the time, the other went off to get lunch. fair enough.. we had been in class from 10am with no break til 4pm. taking an hour off at 1pm to get lunch is fair, i thought. anyway, she met up with us and chided them about missing grand rounds. (it was interesting this week... 2 cases of toxic shock syndrome, 2 very different presentations. 1 case was of a girl who tried to be a bright spark but prolly overshot. she was 14, tried to give herself a brazilian shave/wax/goodness knows what she actually did. also left a tampon in her for 30 hours a while after her beauty treatment. happened to be sexually active. after her hospitalizations, she learnt her lessons well. was noted in her medical notes, among other things she was advised to refrain from, that she said she'd never have sex again. rightio. whatever you want to do girl, so long as you change your tampon a bit more often and stop the brazilian craze.)

anyway, our tutor goes up to the three of us in the group... "you two should've been at grand rounds today! it was really basic stuff and interesting. now you'll have to go home and read about toxic shock syndrome, unlike amy. she stayed and now she doesn't need to read books about it. maybe you can get her to explain it to you later"

if you had looked at my expression as the tutor said that, you would've seen my face turn ashen, my eyes would've been surveying the floor to find any minute crack so that i might somehow have willed myself to melt wicked-witch-of-the-west-style and seep under the carpet of the pediatric ward. woman! nobody's ever talked like that to anyone i know in the past 15 years, if not more. it's so belittling and urgh... the whole situation left an awful taste in my mouth, tinged with embarrassing memories of being the teachers' pet. not that i ever was per se. it's just that ... well, i've never heard of people comparing other people in a very long time. it's like having your mom tell you "why can't you be more like so-and-so, she's so obedient and talented" ~ lucky for me, my mom never did that. had friends' parents who did and they hated it. mind you, we were all about 8 at the time, hence the momentary shock at having the same thing happen at the wards today.

i'm glad my groupmates understood. i was trying to blink them "omg how embarrasing, don't listen to her, she's crazy" the whole time. *sigh* i guess it helped my cause that the groupmate who nicked off for lunch doesn't like her. he decided that last week when we first met her. needless to say, his feeling of dislike deepened significantly after today.

5 more weeks of her. help...

oh no, my day didn't end there. after starving all day when you discount 2 granola bars + a pack of bbq chips, i came home, got changed and dashed to the gym for the next hour. some of that toxic shock girl's bright-sparkness must've rubbed off on me. i almost felt like fainting at certain times thru the body combat class. i got heat rash and had to will myself to refrain from scratching like some flea-infested animal about 10 mins into the class. don't get me wrong, i love that class tho.. we get to pretend to be ninjas and punch imaginary villains, sometimes fighting off several at a time with the more complex punch-kick sequences. it ends off with a cool-down yoga routine too.. yayyy! (yes, i have an aggressive streak in me). then i come home to a hilariously horrible replay of the australian idol auditions. it was so bad that at one point during the program, A was compelled to call up. we pissed ourselves laughing for at least a good half a minute before we could settle down and talk properly. i also simultaneously got a link from dkxeon. in his own words that sum it up beautifully:

*deep breath*
omg... that's so.. what's hilarious and chillingly disturbing at the same time?? O_O

click at your own risk people, click at your own risk. i hope, for her sake, that half her problem is having a bad command of english. somehow, i doubt it.

seeing how my day's been like, i'm surprised that the customary fire drill at the beginning of every semester didn't happen tonight too. oh, what a tuesday that was a monday.


nothing is something

random thoughts seem to be making a habit of passing by as i'm drying my hair nowadays. by huge leaps in logic that can be described more as a flight of ideas rather than brainstorming, a question was posed. what happens to blogs and webpages when the author/webmaster dies? in particular, what'll happen to my blog and my domain when i pass away?

besides the obvious answer of having no further updates, i couldn't really tell. it's much more clear-cut if one's talking about company websites. the layout may change and so may the links, but ultimately.. so long as the company or organization exists, there will be someone who's job is to manage their website. it only gets tricky when i started wondering about the fates of personal blogs and homepages. does one leave the story of their life on some server located in some part of the world only until the service provider decides to allocate this space to someone else after a certain time period, maybe a paying customer? is one able to dictate in one's will: keep renewing domain registration indefinitely? will the site eventually get hacked, as selfish greedy kick-seeking thieves are wont to do when they see potential areas of security vulnerability? will one truly be left with nothing as one departs from this world? would you ensure that your legacy lives on or would you just let things be - so be it if the page dissapates into thin air? *poof* what does one doooooooo?

speaking of leaving with nothing.. i used to agree when people comment that all of us arrive with nothing as we enter this world and that all of us leave with nothing as we depart. now i disagree. in days of yore, i would have agreed if you had squeezed the word "tangible" in there so it reads that we arrive/leave with nothing tangible but now, i don't even agree with that technicality. after all, we do arrive with functional body parts. for those less fortunate, they still arrive with body parts albeit a tad dysfunctional. doesn't that count as something? in terms of the intangible, we arrive with the capacity to learn, to love, to play, to see, blahblahblah... you get the picture. we also arrive, already owning/belonging to a family irrespective of what that family structure may be. my family, one may call it. my suggests ownership, no? and leaving...! so many many things we leave with! peace, pain, hope, dreams, experiences, regrets.... you name it, someone's prolly taken it with them as they passed away. and of course, don't be silly. of course you can take it all with you!

and with the execution of another leap of ideas that would put any ballerina to shame...

i teleport back to the days at sierra canyon. we would've been in 6th grade when californian schools still had 6th grades in elementary schools. (man, i feel ancient.) the class was playing some form of tag with a name that evades me ~ the one where one person is "it" and runs around tagging people as you do when you play tag. when "it" manages to touch a 2nd person, that person needs to join hands with "it" as he/she becomes part of "it" and they go around chasing for a 3rd person to join them. it's only game over when everyone playing has become "it" and joined the huge line of people. anyway, i was one of the few remaining people left. i got cornered with maybe half a foot of space between "it"'s fingertips and a fence. i sucked in my tummy, got on tippy toes and spent the next 10 secs inching across, hence earning my unfortunate nickname of "fat-free amy lee" from mr. garrity for the rest of the year. he was inspired by my health poster on which i had cut out the words "fat free" from some ad and had stuck it at the bottom right corner of the poster, right before where i had signed my name. i digress...

it was after this game, some good half hour later when all of us had become "it" and disbanded, that piper and i were sitting there by the fence "philosophizing" about nothingness. i loved conversations like that and i still do. one of us started the conversation up with:

is nothing nothing or is nothing something?
nothing is nothing because there's nothing!
but nothing is something because it is nothing
yeah, but there's nothing there for you to call something so it's nothing
but if you close your eyes and think of nothing, isn't that something that you're thinking of, even if it's nothing?
well yeah. so i guess nothing is something, but how can nothing be something and still be nothing?
nothing is nothingness and nothi.....

and so it went until we felt our brains twinge with cramp-like jolts of pain.



bright eyed and bushy tailed

first off, before i forget and launch into one of my incessant monologues.. heeeere's *drumroll*

i thought i'd link to it, just because it scored pretty high on my neat and/or wacky scale. details are on the page but here's the gist of it for all you people with a lazy index finger, brought to you my Control Cee and Control Vee.

Blogathon is coming back for 2005. For those that have been blogging long enough. Blogathon is a blogging for 24 hours (one post for each half hour) for a charity of your choice. This is a WORLD WIDE event. In 2003 401 bloggers raise over a 102,000 dollars figure amount. The money does not go to you directly rather you will let your charity know that you are doing it with Blogathon will act as a go between to help you keep track of your donors amount for you. The money goes DIRECTLY to the charity, the money does not ever touch your hands.

i'm past the age where i can successfully pull off all-nighters but if anyone's gonna be game enough to participate, lemme know and i'll be happy to sponsor you. that being said, i'm not gonna be randomly chucking money around ~ it'll depend on what the charity is and whether i'd support it in the first place.

i had several things to rant about as various thoughts whizzed through my head. then i finished drying my hair and all those thoughts evaporated. well.. sorta.

i had wanted to:
  • whine about signs that things are wrong
  • recount my crazy day yesterday, including an a&e shift that ended at 1.30am
  • document the little kiddies and chat with the pediatric resp fellow i had seen today
  • whip out a list of random paragraphs from books of old written by authors such as roald dahl, l.m. montgomery, c.s. lewis, madeleine l'engle, m.w. benson, etc just to prove that j.k.rowling's set of books are not "all that" ~ kiddies nowadays are missing out on all the literary (mis)adventures of the fictional world! name me 20 english childrens' books that any child of reading age between 1990 - present will know that isn't a movie. here's my list of books for those of us born in the 80s: charlie and choc factory, chronicles of narnia, a wrinkle in time, anne of green gables, great expectations, adventure of tom sawyer & huck finn, alice in wonderland, treasure island, the call of the wild, pippi longstockings, choose-your-own-adventures, charlotte's web, animal farm, nancy drew, hardy boys, dune, the bfg, the hobbit, sweet valley twins/high, babysitters club. there, twenty! i could go on forever with this list...
  • write a haiku or two about current situations with a couple of friends
  • feed my technolust and debate over getting a pda with a palm os vs windows os. the palm lifedrive looked good until i heard that it was slow. i wanna test drive =D
  • imitate my friggin' neighbor. he's the girliest guy i've ever seen ~ i wouldn't be surprised if he bats his eyelashes to get what he wants. pansy.

now that i'm all clean and comfy, i don't feel like ranting and raving anymore... except for the point about lacking good books nowadays. some may argue that it's a good thing a lot of the old books have been made into movies to appeal to the kiddies today (or not) but i personally disagree. let the kiddies enjoy the books and use their imaginations! "i like her books because they've got good imagination" says a little boy with a lisp when asked why he liked the harry potter series. good imagination my foot. has he travelled back to the times of camelot to sit at the round table with king arthur? has he ever been shrunken down enough to enter thumbelina's home? has he ever spotted an interstellar pig or gazed in the eyes of a spice trader? hmph. good imagination my foot. more like lack of..

it's not been 2 weeks into term and i'm feeling a burn-out coming on. news of J leaving wasn't exactly a picker-upper at the end of a long day either. glad to have caught up with T though ~ hope she liked her prezzie =)


putting on my power suit? not quite..

my note-to-self

pediatrician or plastic surgeon?

had a talk with dr john cassey after the pediatric grand rounds today. small world ~ he was my nugget supervisor last year and a year later, i meet him again in the hospital circles. he looked different today although it's prolly just my failing memory. i did after all meet the man just once. im surprised he even remembers me, even with my reminding him about the nugget thing.

so i did that and asked him how to get into his specialty. he's a pediatric surgeon you see..
now that i have a clearer picture of what paths can be trodden, i'm at a dilemma although this really is a tad early to be presenting myself with such a quandry.

there are basically two paths i can choose:
1) pediatrics ~ be a pediatrician. finito. mebbe express an area of interest in reconstructive surgery...
2) plastic surgery ~ train up, specialize in pediatric reconstructive surgery.

Path 1 is the long and winding path.
Path 2 is the straight and narrow.

Path 1 lets me do what i generally love, but not really love.
Path 2 lets me do what i really love and allows for the capacity to wander over to pediatrics throughout the course of my training.

Path 2 seems to be the better deal ~ short, gives me the freedom to wander all over pediatrics
Path 1 seems to be tugging at my heart. i can't bear the thought of not being a pediatrician even though i know path 2 will get me somewhere close in the end.

decisions decisions. thank goodness they don't need to be made today.


never full

me: argh, you never listen do you?
brain: what do you mean? it's not my fault!! blame the hand.. the hand!!
hand: hey, stop pushing the blame on me. it's that 2nd finger. i couldn't stop it from clicking
2nd finger: eh, if you hadn't placed me atop that mouse button, amy wouldn't have seen that website. it's not my fault i was on top of the button.
me: well nobody told you to move when you were on the button.
2nd finger: nah-uh. brain did.. i couldn't help it, i swear!


have i scared away enough of you?

for those of you brave enough to stay and read on, the offending website was this taiwanese food group on flickr. i mean offending in a good way.. if that's possible. i'm glad i live alone in this little apt of mine. it'd be awfully embarrasing to have someone walk in and see all that drool... *sigh* i'm a glutton, yes i know. i also know that some of you'll agree with me that one can't help but salivate for some hometown local dishes =)

get ready for some food porn... in powerpoint handout order from left to right, top to bottom: ba-zhang (rice dumplings), your typical stall of "lo ba" and other things broiled, chong yo bing (shallot pancakes.. salty, not sweet!), shuay-jiao (meat dumplings), yeee-ah/tang yuan (glutinous rice balls in sweet soup) and oodles of instant noodles @ the local 7-11 store. i couldn't find pictures of the yummy ba-wan that i got L hooked on when she was in taiwan earlier this year... nor were there any pictures of bubble tea that would do it justice but ah well.

i've always laughed at the menus from chinese restaurants, but after trying to describe what some of these dishes are, i can now empathize with the people who came up with those hilarious menus in the first place. things somehow sound odd, funny or plain unappetizing when it gets translated to english. they also end up having names that sound like run-on sentences when a simple couple of chinese characters would've done the trick.

outta all the stuff i miss, i think it'd be the ba-zhang.. but then there's the carrot cake, the da-bing, the lun-piao kao (spring rolls) and and ... argh. i wish it was summer already so i can go back and chow down. so i can maybe swing by singapore and congratulate E in person for her recent engagement with a hug and a catchup session. so i can get away from here. so that i can see my cousins. so that i can deal with "the bold and the beautiful" plotlines that make up life back there. so that i can enjoy the first few days and seethe with frustration when i hafta be with my parents 24/7 for the next few weeks of the break. so that i can say to myself "i can't wait to be back in newcastle" ....hmm. mebbe it's not such a good thing to wish for after all, to want summer to come now.

peas! peas! ... lol, i'm still not over that.

i think i might've hit my head too hard, too often lately ~ i apologize for this loony that seems to have taken over for the time being!


peas on earth

corny corny.. i know, i know. arggghhhh! veggie overdose!! you scream? *grins* this doodle.. i doodled it on a notepad, took a digicam and wanted to color it in but the photo didn't come out so i had to redo everything using circles and an icky mouse. wish i had a tablet =(

anyway, it was inspired by a comment or two involving peas, namely carlos' "visualized whirled peas" comment and joyceline's "peas on earth" comment =)

my caption for this doodle? "we may have peas but shit'll still happen" you can blame everything from the way my faculty works to society in general for making me cynical heh.

hope the weekend's full of peas everyone!

trippie linkie winkies

i wish i could pretend to be cool and say that i found the following links myself, but i couldn't steal the credit from the blog of cool over at cool hunting. that's where i first stumbled across the power strip liberator and the city kitty. mebbe i'm too easily impressed, but i thought both were great ideas. the lightbulb kinda lighted and then fizzled out as i had one of those "why didn't i think of that?!" moments.

and then i saw the spell caster, a must try for fontaholics and flickr fans alike. speaking of flickr, have you ever tried making a post-it note mosaic? by then, cool hunting had earned it's place in my list of bloglines subscriptions and was part of my blogstrolling rituals *yay* been meaning to share these links for a while but never really got around to them and it just sorta accumulated.. here's the last one that i found fun. Airtreks. (it's a flash page, so for those of you whose browsers run away screaming from such pages... you've be warned!) my only gripe is that i can't see the flights/airlines without submitting it for a quote for a travel agent to process. i don't wanna reaaally do that when i've just randomly selected a syd-singapore-taiwan-japan-korea-hk-london-edinburgh-iceland-new york-toronto-chicago-san fransisco-los angeles-hawaii-syd route! at least it told me the price ~ 'twas much cheaper than i was expecting at around either $2k or $4k.. i don't quite remember.

speaking of trips ~ i think i might actually make it to singapore this year! the plan last year was to snitch a quick weekend getaway to singapore whilst in taiwan but that never really happened. too many relatives, too many spur of the moment plans. that's what i've always hated about my vacations back home as i grew older. it didn't matter much right up to about 4th or 5th grade because i was usually left at grandma's house to play with my cousins while the adults did their thing. i started being dragged along to "what the grown-ups did" right up 'til... well now. argh. i hated the spontaneity of it because the places we went to weren't exciting in the first place. the office.. whee! the bank... whee! it was almost akin to harry potter @ the dursleys' except i wasn't physically locked in my room. (speaking of harry potter: lotsa luck shoving all the little kiddies out of your way A! i'm waiting for the kid count and news that you got a copy of the latest harry potter book when you come back!) i would come back from the vacation laden with the latest pens/stationary/gadgets i managed to trawl during my break, but would still come back kinda empty emotionally. it was just one huge month-long shopping trip in a way, interspersed with "spending time with [insert name of random relative]" or going out to massive tiring boring dinners comprising of at least 5 courses. i haven't been back a lot these past few years but the last few trips have been more autonomous, even if it's just from cousins and the rest of the family. i'm currently working on having some autonomy from my parents ~ having minimal ability to read chinese (think pre-school level), being a girl in a more or less foreign country with overprotective saftey-paranoid parents who expect me to be independent, but treat me like a 4 year old... well, it doesn't really tip things in my favor now, does it? since my parents have just moved into a new place there and seem to be settling there for good, i might actually get to feel at home and not at a house this time. hopefully, they'll feel more comfy and stable and ease up with the invisible leash.

haven't really decided on exact dates for the coming winter/summer break but it's ok. i've got plenty of time to work out flight plans. should i do syd-sg-tw-syd or syd-tw-sg-syd or syd-sg-tw-sg-syd ...bleah. a lot of airlines have cut out the sg-khh route so i can't get a direct flight back home anymore >.<

*mulls away whilst drawing the fetal circulation*


temporary liberation

there's a little light peeping through the awful storm clouds of late and that's a good sign eh? that horrible meeting with the dean of the school was about attendance. 'twas nice of them to not tell me what it was about and let the suspense nearly kill me for the week. "we support our students" my foot. on the opposite side of the spectrum are all the rest of the people i call friends and family.

to A, with her very sound advice and just realizing that she's sitting there helping me play devils' advocate in a way to preempt certain questions and situations i might've faced ~ i'm very touched at the gesture =) to L, who got more mad than me at the ridiculousness of some of the faculty policies and actions, who squealed more loudly than me when i broke the news of passing ~ thank you for surprising me with so much care and concern =) to E, with his constant intermittent msgs of "how?" ...to N & A for the emails of concern and support. to YJ & F, for the goofy attempts to cheer me up, to P, T, F, A & C for their little notes of encouragement and support on the bloggie.. and just for taking the time to visit in the first place! gawd, i feel like i'm writing some sorta acceptance speech for the oscars or something.. "and to the producers, i couldn't have done this without you. and to my parents, i wouldn't be here without you. and my lovely dog, for his constant support... and the lady from across the street..." really though, despite the aggravations that've manifested themselves as grimaces and stares of death in the past week or so, i really do appreciate what my parents have done. they've stood steadfastly tall in a very brave attempt to remain my pillars of support through thick and thin, even if they secretly think that there's no hope for me. even then, they sit there believing in a miracle just so i won't suffer too much. although it may be rather stifling in large doses, drowning me in too much tlc, it's really sweet and i couldn't ask for more from them =)

i really just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's kept me in their prayers in one form or another. i'm sorry for causing unnecessary worry for those that did, and for those that didn't, i'm glad you didn't worry =) you have no idea how much it meant to me, and how much it kept me sane through these past couple of weeks.

basically, my 3rd year results are out. i passed =) now waiting for 4th year results but in the meantime, i'm thoroughly enjoying this pediatric rotation. it doesn't hurt that this is what i would like to be in the future, but it's also a very refreshing change from general medicine just because everything is new and i'm learning it for the first time.

right now, i'm taking a little break until tomorrow and gonna be painting the town red tonite *wheee*


fuzzily pink

after being away for a week or so, with the first day of my pediatrics rotation looming ahead tomorrow starting at 8.30am and my grades still in a limbo, i feel the way that fuzzy pink blob looks.

that fuzzy pink blob btw, had itself a photoshoot, courtesy of the 2mpx camera embedded in the sony ericsson k750i on macro mode. not too bad a photo quality, i must confess. i was expecting worse. i've got more pix but comp's not happy with them at the moment so they'll all be uploaded later on, prolly straight onto flickr rather than individually introduced here.

as far as how the past week has gone... well there's so much to say! i don't really know where to start. everything's in a muddle, swirling around in my head. things have mostly been on the happy side for a change and that roller coaster my emotions have been hitching a ride on lately seems to have rolled to a quiet chugga-chugga instead.

in a nutshell, the developing world conference was aweinspirantastic! met plenty of new people and did that networking thing, found plenty of keepers in terms of friends, stuffed ourselves with yummy food throughout the conference, heard from very inspirational speakers ~ some were fellow med students, others were doctors working with médicins sans frontières. at the end of it all, i not only took away some invaluable snippets and anecdotes that may be useful in the future, but as a group, we've decided to set up a national body to network all the individual international health groups of each university. think of it as an amsa focused on international health. at universities such as ours without such a group, we're hopefully gonna set one up. would be a waste of time and conference resources ~ would be a shame really, not to.

and then there were the issues! so many injustices, so much to do, so little time, such a great feeling of powerlessness. besides feeling inspired, i was rather frustrated at the end of the conference. felt helpless, felt useless, made me want that bloody piece of paper signed by the dean saying that i've graduated even more than before. all these random, disturbing facts, pictures, faces and stories...every 22 minutes, another child uncovers a landmine and gets hurt. there are communities who rely on food drops every day to survive ~ what happens when the airport is shut down for the day because of a visiting dignitary? what about those people whose village has not only been hit by the dec '04 tsunami, but have to also muster the strength to rebuild after an earthquake, and then a volcanic eruption a few months later? out of the 13 women in labor in the obs ward, 5 were in the middle of delivering their babies when the tsunami hit the hospital. pictures of a random hand on the hospital grounds, a bloated body hanging off the jagged 2nd floor landing wrapped with muddy palm leaves, flattened land up to 8km inland, dead cows, muddy water lines more than a foot high marking the walls of the remaining buildings.. i didn't mean to remember these particular images. they were some of the ones that just stuck as we listened to speaker after speaker, seminar after seminar throughout the conference. makes for some good food for thought.

ok, so that wasn't such a tiny nutshell. i was never good at paraphrasing...
as far as my grades go... the situation isn't as bleak as it seemed last week. i think that besides trying to settle into pediatrics mode, i will be taking up as many religions as i can this week and pray/bow/kowtow to as many gods as i can that things continue to look sunshiny-hopeful.