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Note to self

26 Feb

I think you gotta just be happy with what you have today (soooo lame! Cheese attack!) but it’s true. One good thing and one good day at a time, makes a life of it. Do good things that make you happy, be happy day by day, and then before you know it you’ve got a happy life.

– The one and only Wholly Marvelous

Life and loss imagined

2 Feb

When I was little, my family used to drive up to Toronto on weekends to have dim sum with the grandparents and cousins, and to pick up some Chinese groceries for the week. I didn’t want to go but once I was there I didn’t want to come back either. My mom would bribe me with Chinese candies and I’d drag my feet in our Toronto apartment, enjoying the plush carpeted floors while I could. These memories feel so far away, but also so familiar as if it could happen again this next weekend.

On the drive back I’d pop in cassette tapes of Fairy Tales – readings of silly and sometimes serious or creepy stories for kids – or Classical Music for Children – famous pieces done in synthesized beeps and boops. Being the youngest, I always wanted my brothers to be my friends, and I’d hope that they’d stay up on the car ride home and be in good enough moods to sing or joke with me. When everyone was too tired, I’d just look out the window at the stars and my mind would wander.

I’d think how amazing it was that the stars were so old and everyone sees the same ones. I’d think it’s strange how each of the other sets of headlights on the road had at least one person in them. I’d think how unbelievable it was that one day I’d be older and an adult and living a life somewhere. I wanted to live in an apartment with carpet and lots of Chinese sugared jellies and chocolate original Pocky. I wondered if my mom would still be nearby. I wondered if I’d still be alive when my mom died. I’d assume I would be, and I’d feel so sad that she would die one day that I’d start silently crying to myself while my mom, alive and well and unaware of her suddenly tearful distraught little daughter beside her, drove down the 401.

Obviously I’ve always been a sensitive kid. I grew up with anxiety, a healthy level usually but sometimes a little too much. It makes me indecisive but also careful and thoughtful. The trouble is I have a hard time telling when my worries are justified or when my mind is just getting away with itself.

I was driving through the ice sheets and snow today and my wipers were iced, useless. I was thinking about loss and feeling loss of things that haven’t happened. I’ve been mourning death of memories that haven’t been made, as if these moments once had life and now are sick, shriveling. There has been so much good and happiness in my life and in friendships but I find I’m wishing to have things returned to me that haven’t even happened. “Keep your promise!” I feel, out to life, the universe, or nothing. “I have lost!” I want help finding it, keeping it, preserving it before it’s all gone.

I’m not sad about anything that’s happened, which makes all this so strange. I’m so happy for everything. Yet I feel so much loss right now and I hope it’s just my mind getting away with itself but I think that I need to just let myself be quiet and let myself see that life continues to move and all it is in the end are memories made – lived, lost, and yearned for.

I knew all along

11 Apr

But I didn’t want to believe it.

The signs were there.  I stepped over it every day, pretending it wasn’t there.  I  even caught a glimpse once in a while, thought I saw something fly up at me; but I just ran my hands over my pants and still I chose to ignore it.

Until.  I run my blue highlighter dry.  While writing notes for Pharm, where blue means a drug, this won’t do.  My now useless highlighter barrel does not fit in my life anymore, and in line with my clawing toward a more organized, structured life, I go to throw it out in the kitchen bin under the sink.  I open the cupboard door and there it is.  It flashes by.  I can’t ignore it anymore.  A cockroach running across the top of the bin.

I shriek.  I slam shut the door.  I back away.  I don’t throw out the dried highlighter. It’s on my desk.

Right outside my door, just down the steps.  For days.  Dead, on it’s back.  A cockroach.  Surrounded by what can only be tiny cockroach babies, one of which I believe flew up at me as I skipped over it with my dirty laundry bag.

In other news: I hate you mosquito, get out of my room and out of my life.

Go home

13 Dec

One of the most frustrating things about my school are the other students and the things some of them say.

On my way home to Toronto via Trinidad, the first leg of the flight was in a Turboprop with about half the plane full of students.  In this small plane, some are talking about how desperate they are to get off the island and never return.  You couldn’t pay me to come back, one said.  When the cabin was sprayed for mosquitos, one joked about the next thing waking up in a strange place, Hostel-style.  Reply was that even being drugged and abducted and tortured would be better than staying in Grenada.  And so on.

It’s embarrassing to be in the same group as these people, so harshly ripping into an amazing, beautiful country in front of people who have grown up there and live there now.  Totally without a clue, these guys are.  I feel pretty certain that they’ve hardly ventured out from campus except the usual trips to the IGA or beach, and doubtful that they’ve had a conversation with a Grenadian outside placing an order for food.  Because that’s the only way I can explain how anyone can live here for 1-2 years and still talk like that.

An ode to the last exam

9 Dec

[8:50:01 AM] Shane:

“Twas the night before finals, and all through the college, The students were praying for last minute knowledge. Most were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds, While visions of essays danced in their heads. Out in the taverns, a few were still drinking, And hoping that liquor would loosen up their thinking. In my own apartment, I had been pacing, And dreading exams I soon would be facing. My roommate was speechless, his nose in his books, And my comments to him drew unfriendly looks. I drained all the coffee, and brewed a new pot, No longer caring that my nerves were shot. I stared at my notes, but my thoughts were muddy, My eyes went a blur, I just couldn’t study. “Some pizza might help,” I said with a shiver, But each place I called refused to deliver. I’d nearly concluded that life was too cruel, With futures depending on grades had in school. When all of a sudden, our door opened wide, And Patron Saint Put-It-Off ambled inside. His spirit was careless, his manner was mellow, When all of a sudden, he started to bellow: “On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes! On last year’s exams! On Wingit and Slingit, and last minute crams!” His message delivered, he vanished from sight, But we heard him laughing outside in the night. “Your teachers have pegged you, so just do your best. Happy Finals to all, and to all, a Good Test!”

How doctors learn to do pap smears and pelvic exams

27 Nov

Stephanie: in lab the other day
Stephanie:  we did our first pelvic exam (ie genital!)
Stephanie:  but on models
Stephanie:  but the vaginal model was kind of weird to watch classmates do
Stephanie:  feeling around, rectal exams pap smears and feeling uteruses
Stephanie:  our model wasn’t working right so our tutor had to stick his hand in it to work it properly
Stephanie:  and he had his arm up to the shoulder in this fake lower body model
Stephanie:  and then my friend had his hands in the other end
Stephanie:  it was just kinda weird
Ktown: oh myyy

Ktown: you must get quite comfortable around each other
Ktown: so the model like looks and feels real?
Ktown: i guess that is a silly question
Stephanie:  it looks real
Stephanie:  and kinda feels real
Stephanie:  but it’s not flexible, it’s kind of rigid
Stephanie:  so when we were trying to get the speculum in for pap smear
Stephanie:  you had to really force it
Stephanie:  and it seemed really violent, painful
Stephanie:  or pulling it out, people were like wrenching it out
Ktown: ahhhhh omg
Stephanie:  then it fwapp’d back
Ktown: fwapp’ed?
Stephanie:  the noise it made
Ktown: i wont even ask

Stephanie:  you’re supposed to inspect the rectum and the vagina at the same time at one point
Stephanie:  like have two fingers on the same hand in both
Stephanie:  it’s basically the shocker
Stephanie:  and did you know there’s a special order to which finger you take out first? (the vaginal one)
Stephanie:  and my friend was too shy to say vagina or anus
Stephanie:  so he was trying to describe his finger that was in the anus the longer one
Stephanie:  to avoid saying anus
Ktown: oh my

Ktown: youve shockered a fake girl!
Stephanie:  it was for science!

Ktown: why must you do both at the same time?
Stephanie:  it’s to feel the septum between them
Stephanie:  it’s supposed to feel like the webbing between your thumb and first finger
Stephanie:  (i bet you just felt it! because i did in class when i heard that)
Ktown: i see
Ktown: felt what?
Stephanie:  the webbing on your hand
Stephanie:  nevermind i was wrong!
Ktown: i was thinking about feeling my finger webbing
Ktown: then i read that and freaked
Stephanie:  it’s hard not to. I’m just curious!
Stephanie:  (i was anyway. In class i tried to hide that i was feeling it. I don’t know why i cared!)
Ktown: i keep thinking your talking about the other one

From Baba

22 Oct

Hello ,

Your birthday is coming up.


Clean an inbox, accept a change.

7 Oct

The National Stadium

Grenada is really great!  Although.. I haven’t had as many opportunities to leave the area around campus since August.  School has picked up quite a bit since I first arrived in June (from now until December they say is the heaviest part of the coursework) so most of the time I’m indoors in the cranked up AC (they say it’s to keep mould out but it seems ridiculous that there are students wearing coats and sweatshirts here) surrounded by stressed out North Americans.  Now that I’ve been here longer I’ve had more time to experience the less favourable parts of living in the tropics (humongous cockroaches and invincible mosquitoes) but once in a while when I’m walking down the hill on campus I’ll get a view of the green hills and colourful houses or pink sunsets and be reminded of how nice it is here!  I’ve been playing some soccer with a group of girls here, just a practice once in a while.  Last week we played against the Grenadian National team (not joking!) at the national stadium as an exhibition game to open for a men’s team tournament.  We thought we’d be clobbered but we actually won (2-1)!!  We didn’t even have a goalie going into the game, but luckily their substitute agreed to play for us and was really amazing.

How are things going in the lab? I hope you are enjoying the fall time (I miss it!)
– Steph

On 6 October 2011 16:23, ex-MSc Supervisor wrote:Sure … I have removed that.

Still have you done for jobs.

What is Grenada like or are you still in England?

MSc Super

On Thu, Oct 06, 2011 at 03:15:15PM -0400, Stephanie Sun wrote:
> Hi MSc Super!  Hope all is going great.
> Just a quick message that I’d like to change my settings to the mailing list <that was relevant to my previous life as a grad student when I was about to graduate but not sure where to commit myself and strangely even though I’ve started medical school and picked a different path I’ve been willingly filling my inbox with the messages because I like looking back on new opportunities for a past part of my life and sometimes those opportunities still excite me and make me wistful for those days when I was scared and excited about how I didn’t know where I could end up and what I could be doing> to be removed from the grad student positions message list.
> Thank you!
> – Stephanie

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