9.23.2006

meltdown



the ringing of the phone and the voice on the end
made me realize tonight that i'm not on the mend.

i had prided myself as the atlas of my plight
but alas i was wrong, like a bird shot down midflight.

the stoic front quickly dissolved at the seams
ran out of optimism, hopes and dreams.

yelling and screaming into that plastic little piece
i'm sure that people could hear me all the way in greece.

what more do they want from me, i've given it my all
they've left me burnt & charred and am damn scared to fall.

asked the prof for some direction, and well what did i get?
half-assed advice to study it all again, lest i forget.

what more do they want from me, i've given it my all
my solutions they keep burying under some grassy knoll

asked the dean for some support, and well what did i get?
look, concentrate on passing and then you'll be set.

what about internship and the deadlines to apply?
a future needs planning, please don't make me cry.

a flood of waterworks from a deep furrowed brow
i collected more tears tonight than milk from a cow.

the aftermath left me with a migraine of sorts
wouldn't be a shock if my brain suddenly aborts.

the events of this first week have taken their toll
hell, these past few months have been out of control.

you all say it'll be ok, a brighter future i'll soon see
but can you understand the pain of skewers twisting in me?

the gnashing of teeth and the tears of frustration
to hell with all them pregnant ladies and bloody menstruation!

a proper grieving process, that's what i think i need
i've tried friends & family and glasses of mead.

an antidepressant, i'm half seeking to find
something to settle this unstable state of mind.

the ringing of the phone and the voice on the end
made me realize tonight that i'm not on the mend.

9.21.2006

drinking is to beer belly as wolfwhistles are to death stares

some people would be flattered, others would be disturbed. i happen to fall into the latter when it comes to random strangers lavishing unwarranted attention on oneself. for all you guys out there who may understand where your fellow males are coming from, please do enlighten me on the logic behind wolf whistles and sleazy walk-by pickups. where does the attraction bit come in when you've thoroughly embarrassed the girl in public and make yourself appear shallow?

yes, it's a nice feeling to be noticed but when you know that these guys' eyes hungrily gobble up anything in a skirt or anything with bumps in the correct places... well it becomes slightly insulting, if not downright offensive. and then there are those with one hand on their girlfriend's butts, the other holding her hand and both eyes focused 10 feet away on something remotely resembling the female form. or those who ostentatiously follow one's every move like one's personal shadow. oh, and you definitely can't forget those who move around in a loud raucous mob and have perfected synchronized ogling. typical specimens of the human male at your local grocery store. *sigh*

people have often wondered why i'm uncomfortable in a mob of asian strangers. some have wondered if i'm a redneck in disguise upon hearing how much i loathe going late night shopping at the local minimall or sydney's chinatown. really though, it's not so much the asians i fear as that disturbing feeling of being regarded as some object, some thing based on a shallow one-second impression by a total stranger. some gutsy moron drawled a "hey gorgeous!" as he walked past me. didn't even see what he looked like, just heard him as he breezed past. would've been flattering had he been a friend. guess i'm not the greatest in handling situatations like this - i usually turn stony cold and flash that "i'm pissed with the world" look as reflex. last time i tried to be civil with sleazebags nearly had the police involved for harrassment. so.. apologies if you ever get a deathstare from me in public. you either have embarrassed me greatly or i may have embarrassed myself by mistaking you for a lewd stranger.

9.19.2006

wankers

was sorting out things to hand in at the end of the rotation just now and stumbled upon my student diary logbook thingamajig we had to do as part of the student portfolio. i disctinctly see that smiling facade with curly hair helpfully pointing out that i sat in with a mostly junior staff for outpatient clinics, trying to mask that tone of smugness with some empathy. what a load of bull. i' wrote down attendance to 15 clinics, 8 of which were manned by consultants. junior staff indeed...

and you, prof. you show me examples of "excellent" student portfolios, telling me mine was "satisfactory" but not "excellent" ...what constitutes as "excellent" in your books? the girl who showed up for 35+ ward rounds and palpated 100+ abdomens in 8 weeks. the girl who included a couple of anatomical drawings from scratch. the guy who included obs/gyn newspaper clippings and wrote up a short commentary on his reaction to it. the ones who included a table of contents to their portfolio. the boy who included twice as much extra clippings and old reports as the required components. obviously, my expanding folder all accordingly tabbed wasn't good enough for you because it was a "shopping cart" of random things without a table of contents. obviously, my 8 extra case reports other than the required 2 weren't good enough for you because i hadn't included any self-reflective comments. obviously, my mindmaps weren't impressive enough because they were only done in monochrome with a smidgen of orange. obviously, you are a weasel for telling me that attending operations wouldn't benefit me in passing my exams and i was exempted yet penalize me for only attending one session as stated in my logbook. i guess the other girl with the 20+ theater attendance dazzled you too much.

you know, instead of showing me examples of other people's work yet again... it might be useful if you had shown me mine at our arranged meeting and pointed out areas where i could have improved. you know, instead of chucking as much info at me in hopes that enough stick for me to pass exams, it might be more useful if you had actually gone through my MCQ paper for yourself and done it again with me. the family doctor, the one who happens to be the program convenor, had to sit down with me to go through my exam paper and he didn't know half the answers.

i wonder if you would tell me my portfolio was an excellent piece of work as soon as you saw a pretty cover page followed by a neat table of contents and beefed it up with random journal articles with flashes of highlighting and scribbles. i wonder if you would notice that i have submitted the exact same student diary as before with changed dates this time around.

and then you! the other prof. the dean of medicine. don't you dare tell me what to worry about, telling me that if he would be concentrating on passing obs/gyn if he was me. well sir, you aren't. he wasn't willing to approve of my doing courses over summer because that would be "overenrolling with 60 credit points" and how it wasn't suitable for a student who's already failed something to do so. man, did i get mad. having told him that course coordinators were happy, that IMET was asking for university support to allow me to undertake summer courses so i could be allocated properly, that the summer courses don't actually have exam components and wouldn't clash with other rotations during the semester proper... none of that mattered as much as policies eh. i nearly shouted at him, demanding to know how they expect me to plan the next year, apply and organize internship and lifestyle arrangements if all he wants me do at the moment is concentrate on passing obs/gyn. did he expect things to magically resolve once i passed the rotation? would he take any responsibility when i've missed application deadlines because i've taken his "advice"?

i think i need to yell more often. he instantaneously agreed to make arrangements with relevant people and write whatever letters were needed so i could start internship next august, seeing that he refused to budge regarding summer courses. of course, one must not forget who one is dealing with... can't trust 'em until it's in writing. they are after all, a whole bunch of wankers.

a year ago today

i was proclaiming that i don't like it. little did i know how prophetic those words would be one year later. bittersweet memories about my rumored doctor boyfriend surface as i perused my ramblings four days into obs/gyn as a bright-eyed bushy tailed impressionable 4th year, three days short of a year ago. it's been a year since i've come to know those obs/gyn registrars who have come and gone. it's been a year since my mom discovered the internet and added me to her msn. it's been a year since i first sat in that gallery listening to the prof deliver an introduction to the rotation. it's been a year since i first came into contact with obs/gyn. it's quite depressing to find myself in the same situation one year later, as if i haven't gone anywhere at all.

it was an odd sort of feeling to be there today. same ol' me, a tad more cynical perhaps, but still just me.. surrounded by a different sea of familiar faces. instead of laksh to get me through all the thicks and thins, i now have s but things aren't nearly quite the same. things have changed. i've done something to change things and diverted my life down a different tangent. it's like trying to unkink a paperclip once you've bent it in one direction. no matter how much you try to flatten it back out, it refuses to conform back into its original unmangled form.

in another year, i'll hopefully be working either as an intern or on some research project that will beef up my cv for when i'm ready to apply to a surgical training program. in another year, i'll hopefully be rid of the awful politics that drive this faculty... and probably acquire another set of bureaucratic red streamers that are just as suffocating at my workplace. time's a funny concept... one that tickles me pink, especially notions of time travel and anomalies like madeleine l'engle's a wrinkle in time or in the lake house *swoon* how do i know that the you i'm talking to today isn't the you from my past or future? how do i know that there's a reason for me losing my keychain or for repeatedly failing obs/gyn? maybe i'm in denial, maybe this is my way of escaping harsh realities but really.. how do i know? how exciting to imagine the possibilities =)

9.17.2006

brainfarting out on a limb

so i hear that the muslim community has now brought up death threats as a manifestation of their unhappiness and anger arising from the pope's quotatation of an emperor long gone. seriously people, what else do you want the man to do? he's already apologized for his statement, his camp has said there was a misunderstanding whether you believe them or not. what else do you want him to do?

with all this random talk by the mostly ignorant about identifying terrorists, violence and all things along those veins with muslims, this outcry of violent angst sure won't be helping their plight. every religion preaches all the good stuff... all that peace love and happiness. theoretically, it's all sound. in practice, human nature somehow manages to take over and screws up the best of any intentions at the worst of times.

what did the pope do that warrants his death? this is one of my "i wish i could stand on top of the world with my giant megaphone and yell into each and every person's ear" moments. if i had that megaphone, my little rant would go something like this:

the man is a very public figure, yes. public figures have a duty and image to uphold, yes. oh wait, you forgot the fact that he's also human. what exactly are you accusing him of? giving your religion a bad name? the man apologized to the entire world already. what else do you want him to do to make up for his words? cut his tongue off? really now... unless all you empty vessels out there protesting can tell me that you have never made a single mistake in your life, please shut up and do a bit of self reflection. who is tarnishing the very image you are protesting the tarnishment of? how dare you have the gall to point fingers at someone for quoting something from another man long since dead and insist that it is his own beliefs too.

*sigh* i'm tired. tired of the lack of tolerance, tired at the knee-jerk responses, tired of the frickin modern world. i love how the world now seems to work... this whole "you can't do that to me, but it's ok when i do it to everyone else" attitude. it's ok that my faculty breaks the rules and screws up my plans but sure as hell outrageously unacceptable that i ask them to do a bit of extra planning so i can take up courses over summer. it's ok that people can perpetrate socially unacceptable actions and glorify them in national textbooks but woe is me when another set of people do the same unto them. it's ok that one can yell at one's maid and treat her worse than one's pet but how dare the government turn away asylum seekers and refuse them any help.

sometimes you wonder if there's any point to saving certain people whom you have managed to cross paths with. like the alcoholic who represents every fortnight so you can "do that thing" and drain 10L of ascitic fluid from him, he says he's stopped drinking and he's taking your diuretics. you know he's lying through his teeth or is suffering from wernicke's... or both. to refuse treatment would cause outrage and prolly get you sacked but what's the use when you know fully well this guy is gonna be a frequent flyer and his 85 year old mom's about to go mental from acopia?

i guess i'm being a hypocrite in thinking that there's no use, for my little devil's advocate is screaming in my ear that i have no right to determine how much value or use another person's life is, that i should just do my job and treat the guy if possible. out pops the self-righteous angel on my other shoulder, preening her wings and adjusting her halo... but any medical officer will tell you that the mantra is to "do no harm" and by prolonging this dying alcoholic's life, you are doing harm to him by putting him in pain and discomfort as well as doing harm to his immediate family, namely the mother.

bah humbug. seeing that christmas decorations are already painting the stores red, now would be a good time to crank out all those "it's a wonderful life" reruns on every tv channel, haul in the fake snow machine and break out the eggnog. peeeeee-ewwe! was that one huge brain fart or what..! =P

9.14.2006

kinks and winks

another day of misadventures.. is this a sign that life will be returning to some form of normality?

along with the several kinks of late, i discovered a similar one in my necklace. got it as a prezzie when i was about 13 or some other age that was just as awkward. i've forgotten what the occasion was. am able to count on one hand the number of times i've taken it off since i've been here in oz and those occassions have lasted no longer than one evening. kinked necklace turned into half broken dangling necklace later today so i went online to search for a replacement. yes, i know real stores exist in real life but plastic's so much handier... no need to jostle for parking, to line up and such. (i find it ironic i spend waste more time shopping online for the same things.. and more than i do at shops with physical storefronts.) anyway, was in for a nice surprise to decipher the tiny writing stamped on the silver clasp. 585 it read.. right above italy. no wonder i couldn't find something similar earlier with "silver snake chain 20" 1mm" as search terms. had no idea i had been walkin around with a 14k white gold chain all these years. really now, who gives a kid somethin' like that? only people i know who do that have the word dowry in the same train of thought. not that i'm complaining about being the recipient of such a prezzie... but still!

now i'm facing the prospect of lugging my lazy butt down to the nearest jewellers' to see if it can be fixed or stare at replacement chains in envy as the cheapest of them stare back at me with a $200 price tag. others with price tags nearer the $500 mark just mock me. =(

surprise two came later tonite as i was about to leave for an informal concert by the newcastle chamber choir. friend's housemate is in it - beeeeaaautiful soprano voice! they've been shortlisted as one of the top 3 finalists in ABC Classic FM's Choir of the Year national competition... votes much appreciated! =P sat there with shivers down my spine.. was like SYF all over again. thanks to googling links for any mention of prior SYF involvement (none! gasp!), i stumbled across stella's page she whipped up nearly 10 years ago, the year rgs choir won "best secondary school choir" award at the annual singapore youth festival in 1997. those were the good ol' days..

i digress. got a surprise package .. a curious white parcel from new zealand with a label saying "medical goods" whoa. i hadn't bought anything online lately and i haven't signed up for anything. somebody sending me sample freebies? i dug in, eyes gleaming with devilish glee as a prelude to the two littmann classic IIs staring at me. pretty generous freebies.. wait, no that can't be right. emptied the parcel baggie but no stray wisps of paper materialized to explain away my confusion. finally noticed the packing slip sealed at the front of the package. my name there alright. wrong room number tho. and who in the world was that sender?! someone from the same building i'm at. *blink* shite, another stalker.. ohcrapomgomgomgohcrapohshitomgohshit.

tsk tsk, narcissistic me. all things have a logical explanation! took me another 5 minutes to notice that the stethoscopes have been engraved with names-that-did-not-belong-to-me. at the end of it all, i'm guessing that the rightful owners of these two stethoscopes got a friend to order 'em (mebbe lack of credit card?) and one of them prolly has the same english name as me. the hazards of staying in a place too long... everything with my name on it gets diverted to my mailbox even if the address is completely unintelligible. office is getting a parcel return tomorrow morning, tho i wouldn't mind a couple of free stethoscopes. while we're at it, might as well send me an otoscope and opthalmoscope. though this surprise parcel comes close, the package from world vision 4.5 years late still takes the cake.

9.12.2006

overdose


it's not even humpday yet and overdoses have occured.

an overdose of red red tape mixed with an overdose of support and a faint lingering of sticky date pudding overdose from last night with a bit of grey's anatomy and future plans thrown in.

dropped by to say hi to Prof H and give him the box of chocs my parents got him, and also ran my wanting to speak to the dean prof idea by him. left feeling relieved. trotted down to ED to see Dr. D. he was happy to take me on over summer until he spoke to Pee. he no happy man after talk. face no smiley after talk. hrmph. see, he was happy as a course coordinator to let me do the rotation. he wasn't so happy setting a precedent by letting me do it and getting entangled in university/course policies and such. fair enough from his point of view. extremely unfair from my point of view. what are they running here.. an educational institution of higher learning or a business franchise where they follow instructions from up above with nary an original thought?

they're worried about setting precedents eh? telling me i shouldn't be pushing my luck too much, that i'd already gotten credit for the 8 weeks of work i've done when they should've forced me to withdraw from the course before my appeal went through. telling me tuff luck, deal with it.. that one screwup in med can lead to such situations. that back when dr. d was going thru med school, one failed subject would set them back a year so what's the big fuss about my half year setback? telling me to go relax and take a vacation during the wait. wtf. seriously.

my summer courses wouldn't overlap with anything. that's why they're called summer courses. duh. yet.. they chuck spanners at me left right and center. the faculty's saying i would need to be overenrolled next semester with 60 credit points and this would need the pro-vice chancellor's approval. don't count on it, they tell me. he would need to see ur academic transcripts and we have a duty of care to fulfill, especially to a student who's failed one subject before. duty of care my ass. where was this duty of care when u left me hanging for the past 2 months? where was this duty of care when i went over my mcqs and found that one of the questions had 2 correct answers?

*seethes* sigh, this has turned into a rant. one more year with these people amy, one more year. anyone have suggestions of where else might be a good place to intern at? =)

***

caught up with my bloglines after a week away, stumbled upon booyahman's meme he tagged me with. was never one to do memes but i feel bad. i mean, someone's taken the time to think of me and tag me so i guess the least i can do is return the favor. hence... a whole blog dedicated to memes at aemii.vox.com!

9.10.2006

moonshine



back from a weekend in sydney with the parents ~ they'll be leaving tomorrow for taiwan and i've got unfounded baby nigglies about them being anywhere near airports tomorrow considering the date and australia's current popularity with the generic terrorist. most likely unnecessary but it wouldn't hurt to keep my fingers crossed til tuesday.

the break was a much needed one although it wasn't ideal. i've let loose a mini torrent of whinges upon anj that would've rivaled the rains that flooded the area throughout the weekend if i had the chance to talk to her every night. there were nice moments filled with warm fuzzies scattered throughout the six days i spent with my parents.. never would i have dreamed of watching the knights vs sea eagles on tv with my dad and having a ball rooting for newie knights, let alone watch it with my mom *gasp* you heard right. my mom watched a whole game of rugby with us.. the same person who has no patience to sit through movies and just wants to know how movies end. the one that fast fowards past huge segments of anything on video because there's too much talking/fighting/music/silence/plotting happening. i think i saw a pink squealer flap past our hotel window that night..

came back up to newie tonight with mixed feelings. there is still so much that can be done in terms of salvaging my academic timetabling fiasco, yet i'm so worn out by the past 2 months that i feel nauseaous planning ahead, knowing fully well there's a possibility of getting shot down anywhere and anytime by red tape and politics. sometimes i wonder if i should just let things be, start internship in 2008 and use the extra 3 months i have to gain extra experience, undertake overseas placements and mebbe even study/take the usmle.

i've got everything i could want in the material world (well, i wouldn't mind a few extra things but really, if i was to die this second, i'd die feeling contented). emotionally, even the blind could see that i've got plenty of love and support from friends and family alike. yet.. i still have this awful nigglie know at the pit of my tummy. it's easy to plan ahead but it's hard to invest any faith in future plans now. this would be one of those times where i prop myself against the windowsill and let my eyes glaze over as i stare out as far into the sunset as i can, hoping that my prince charming will emerge from the shadows and sweep me off to his castle.

9.04.2006

letting go

it's a hard thing to do but it's something i need to do on many different levels.

parents arrived today and considering that i wasn't in the best of moods, today went quite well with no flareups. yay!

red tape begone!
a lot has happened, that's for sure. what i'm not sure about is how bad things really were. perspective is the key and at certain points throughout these past 2 months, i've asked myself if it was time to let go a little. now i'm thinking it's close to the time where i should be letting go completely and get on with things. enough red tape, enough tangles irregardless of who's to blame.

i still don't see how they could possibly twist the sentence stating "In deciding whether a student who is "Not Satisfactory" in one or more asessment instruments should nevertheless pass the course, the Course Co-ordinator will give equal weight to all three of these aspects of professional development." the 3 aspects were incidentally the acquisition of knowledge, the development of skills and the development of appropriate attitudes and behavior. in having flunked my mcqs by 10%, i can only assume i didn't perform well in the "acquisition of knowledge" bit. well equal weight they said. any reasonable person would interpret that i got 2/3 of the aspects and hence i should pass? *shrug* tell me how else one can interpret it if you think otherwise. i'll get "feedback" on thursday and i'm very very interested to know what They have to say for themselves.

at this point in time, i'm in the frame of mind where i know i've got the evidence to prove that there was fishy business. i'm confident that if i took this down the legal path, i'd win. it would be a pyrrhic victory and wouldn't be worth it tho, so what i can do is grit my teeth and leave them stunned in 9 weeks time. i swear imma know obs/gyn so well they will be staring at me in disbelief, wondering why the hell they didn't pass me this last time. little laksh indignantly gloated on my behalf just last week.. "go get 'em girl. shut them up this time around and do so well they'll be begging you to join them as staff.. and then u can turn ur nose up in the air and tell them no thank you." *giggles* a tad melodramatic but i wasn't about to complain about the support she's shown me through this whole mess.

i've got my huge pair of scissors out and i'm ready to snip through all those red tangles of bad bad tape. i hope that i won't get too carried away and hurt myself with them, but at the moment... it feels damn good to be slowly clearing the clutter.