Year-end exam galore…

We only have less than three weeks before the school year ends. As much as I want to celebrate the feat of staying sane up to this point, the biggest hurdle for this year is still yet to come. We are all white-knuckled for the upcoming two-week major examathon which includes our 4th shifting tests and the cover-to-cover final exams.

This is a very crucial period for most students, including myself, and I feel the need to be constantly reminded of how these exams could change everything for us (throw us to 80s or drown us with 74s). I must admit that the biggest driving force for me at this point is my grades. It is completely understandable, I think. But I also know that there is a bigger purpose behind this. After all, these tests are here not just to assess the technicalities that we’ve memorized through our books (Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s just about that. ;)) but also to evaluate how well we’ve grown as learners. This is a checkpoint, a safety precaution, a chance to look at how far we’ve come and to ponder on how far we still have to go (Oooh, pathways, lots and lots of them with more to come). Let’s just make the most out of this experience.

Read and recall and read and recall…and don’t forget to flex those hands and fingers; shading hundreds of items on scantrons could be an endeavor, too. 😀

 O well, it’s time to hit the books once more. Cheers to all of us!

Cyber Library

Blog

I have seven open PDF documents and five browser tabs on my desktop, each one of them I’ve been trying to peruse for hours just so I’d have something to present in our class tomorrow.

I wonder how medical students half a century ago did their version of such research.

(Oh, I won’t go too far, I wonder, and sincerely at that, how Doc Es prepared for seminar reports when he was a student.) 😀

Just ranting.

Reading Berne and Levy offends my eyes;
Reading Snell offends my memory;
Reading Harper’s is just downright offensive at all levels.

It doesn’t help that I have to do all these readings while my younger siblings are enjoying the luxury of justified indolence. Lame.

On a positive note, I really have to catch up and these holidays offer the badly needed time, well, provided I turn down the perpetually tempting Grey’s Anatomy DVDs and 2Fuse. So much for the best of both worlds.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to me.

Quarterlife

I’ve just turned 25 today.

First thing I realized when the clock hit midnight: Things would have been different had I not taken a 4-year rest after college.

At this age, I was supposed to be in my post-grad medical internship. One boards away from being a young hot doctor with sparkly quarter-life sneer, curly hair, and white coat flapping against the wind.

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Someone please remind me to lower my expectations later in life.

Instead, I am in my first year, confused with Cori and Cahill, and still squirming my way out of adjustment phase (plus the  unnecessary thoughts on being a high-risk primigravida by the end of residency).

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Late bloomers’ club

O well, we can’t turn back the time, can we? So, scratch the thought. And besides, the hiatus  has its own advantages:

  1. Gained me the financial aid needed to kick start my medical education;
  2. Inspired my very Ms. Universe-ish responses during the pre-admission interview (to the line of age is just a number);
  3. Busted my wits trying not to be a bum so that I could have no. 1 (Nurses aren’t the most easily employed professionals at that time);
  4. Gave me a taste of monetary compensation for hard work (Ah, old times…and the Christmas bonus);
  5. Instilled in me that despite no. 4, money  is not everything;
  6. Showed me that there’s more to punctuality and responsibility than class attendance;
  7. Shocked me with how not everyone is of the same age as I was, hence no. 8;
  8. Taught me that social skills go beyond group assignments and recess;
  9. Made me realize that age does not readily translate to maturity and vice versa, which leads back to no. 7;
  10. Evaluated and reinforced my virtues;
  11. I can go on…but an optimum list should not exceed 10 items, I think. 🙂

Had I not spent the past years learning matters that a classroom can’t teach, I could now be a number of things: a medical school drop-out who never learned to appreciate the chance given to me, a job hopper who never understood where my heart really lies, or a recklessly shallow intern who cares about nothing but earning my MD at 25.

See? If not for the 4-year gap between college and medschool, things would have been really different. 🙂

Christmas ’13

Dear Jesus,

It’s Christmas.

I’m reading Berne and Levy – or at least I’m trying. Pardon me if I didn’t spare your special day.

This time last year, I had nothing but uncertainty. Today, I have a fighting chance, hence the reading.

Thank you for last year’s Christmas gift.

I’m sure you know what’s on my list for this year.

PS: I’ve been a nice kid. 🙂

Happy Birthday!

Lots of love,

Maris

Room Nurse

My two cents on Cynthia Villar’s controversial statement:

“Sinasabi po namin sa kanila na actually ang nurse e hindi naman kailangan matapos nung BSN kasi itong ating mga nurse, gusto lang nila maging room nurse or sa amerika or sa other countries, e ano lang sila, parang mag-aalaga. Hindi naman sila kailangan ganung kagaling kasi sa ibang countries…..(buzzer).”

Let us be wise, not just in our thoughts and actions, but also in our choice of words. It can make or break the context of what we are trying to convey; one does not need to be a genius orator to know this.

It’s not just elementary, it is imperative.

For Mrs. Villar, it’s probably too late. Mareng Winnie Monzod’s emphatic question, along with the not-so-helpful timer, has gotten the best of you. I wonder how your campaign manager is doing.

For my colleagues, it’s been four years since I last looked at a patient’s chart, but I’m with you on this. Just a few reminders though. Let us be the emotionally intelligent individuals that we are. Our patients, their families, all health care practitioners, and more importantly, ourselves know better.

Stones need not be cast. Yes, we are in a democratic nation, but keep in mind that we are also professionals. Dirty anagrams, foul wordplays, and pictures or comments that assault the eye and the ear won’t do us any good.

Let the votes speak in our behalf.

Planner

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While some people can’t live without the doodles and the nerdy checklists, others find it compulsive, adding stress to a work week which is in itself tough and daunting. Well, it boils down to personal preference and effectiveness of strategies.

Spontaneous vs structured.

Scattered vs organized.

It is highly subjective.

Honestly, I’d get by either way. I am more of a “bahala na” individual, but being a highly visual person, a note here and there usually helps keep me on track. Besides, isn’t it fascinating how little boxes and checkmarks can give one a sense of control over personal motivations that sometimes feel larger than life? We all have aspirations that entail humongous amount of tasks, which are exciting at best, but otherwise suffocating. Why not jot them down and fend them off one by one the same way traditional protagonists box off enemies in Filipino action movies (How can a one-man assault come to par with thirty to fifty armed thugs?! – off topic). We can never underestimate the psychological input that a laid-out plan can bring. It helps us evaluate how far we’ve come along the way, making us more appreciative of what we’ve done and optimistic on what more we can do. Tell me what’s more satisfying than ticking off a mission accomplished (other than contributing to world peace or giddily watching Sir Chief on TV)? Also, a concrete to-do list in life reminds us of our original objectives in times of purpose-numbing hurdles. My father always tells me that cross roads are best tackled with a map on one hand and coherent judgment on the other. Who knows? Maybe a handwritten note in a corkboard sometime in the future would decide whether or not I’d come to my own grade-defining exam, career-saving interview, or even a life-changing wedding. (O, it’s a bit far-fetched, isn’t it? FOI on the roll.)

Words of wisdom teach us to live one day at a time, to take things as they come, to cross the bridge when we get there (?), yada yada yada. They all make sense and I completely agree with them, but more importantly, a tad of planning won’t make them any less true. 🙂

I originally wanted to brag about my S-planner. I think I missed the point. See what flight of ideas and lack of planning do to me? :S

Buy Now button

I had a slew of self serving reasons when I bought my netbook – novel writing, journal keeping, fiction reading. None of those was achieved. Nonetheless, buying this gadget has proved to be a good leap of materialistic faith. This is my only tool – well, apart from my selective and inconsistent grip of English language – for my current home-based job. I guess I had made the right choice when I took my chance on the expensive decision.

I am in that same crossed paths again. This time, it’s for another gadget, with another string of rationalizations. For one, I want to purchase a tablet for my studies. I can definitely make use of it for my readings, note takings, and all other pretentious acts, assuming I’ll make it through the portals of my prospective medical school. The rest makes less sense. And take note, I am eyeing a pretty expensive device – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (N800). I have read all reviews, which were all devil’s advocates, and I have come to a decision to buy one. The question is when. I have the money in my bank account; I can easily run to a store and bring home the fragile but powerful man-made piece of illusion (?).

I am scheduled to meet up with an online reseller today, but truth be told, I’m still undecided. I want to play mature and decline the worldly calling (wtf), or at least delay it, but I’m too excited to lay my fingers on that freaking tablet. What to do? What to do?

Such a tough decision. I hope it saves the Earth from doom.

Panalangin

Lord,

Ako po ay kinakabahan. Sadya namang hindi ito maiiwasan. Anong higit na nakatatakot sa bagay na hindi pa batid ng kaalaman. Naniniwala po akong hindi Niyo ako pababayaan, ngunit likas na siguro ang minsan ako ay tablan ng takot – suspense. Ilang araw na lamang, interview na. Sampung araw pagkatapos nun, MCAT na. Ang susunod ay ang paghihintay sa pinakamakupad na araw ng aking buhay, habang kinukumpleto ang iba pang requirements na bukod sa may kamahalan ay labis na matakaw sa panahon – effort! Ito ay sa kabila ng kawalan ng kasiguraduhang ako ay makakapasa.

Ilang ulit ko nang nakita sa aking isip kung anong posible kong maramdaman kapag ako ay natanggap. Ang hindi ko magawang paghandaan ay ang balitang ako ay hindi pinalad – kung sakaling iyon ang naaayon sa Inyong plano.

Ikaw na ang bahala, Lord. Ito ay simula pa lamang. Ilang taon mula ngayon, babalikan ko ang araw na ito. Anu’t ano pa man ang mangyari, alam kong lahat ito ay may dahilan.

Nawa po ay malinaw ko itong maunawaan, sa tamang panahon at sa tamang paraan.

Amen.

Pahabol sulat: Salamat in advance na rin po kung sakali. 😀

Wala pa man.

Tumitibok ang kanyang sintido. Ilang araw na siyang kapos sa tulog. Ang pinakamahabang idlip niya ay sa ibabaw ng lamesa, kaharap ang librong minana sa kung sinong hindi niya kilala. 

Nangangatal ang daliri habang mahinang niyuyugyog ang isang binti sa pagkakaupo. Nilunod na ng kape ang natitirang kalma sa kanyang katawan.

Gusto niyang tumayo para kumuha ng makukutkot na pagkain, subalit alam niyang walang maidudulot na maganda ang dagdag na abala.

Itiningala niya ang nangangalay niyang leeg, isiningkit ang mga mata, at sinipat ang oras. Madaling araw na. Muling yumuko at itinuloy ang pagbabasa.  

 

Hinintay ng oras ang ungot ng hinaing ngunit ito’y bigo.

Walang lumabas sa kanyang labi kundi pasasalamat.

 

Ikinatutuwa niyang siya ay nahihirapan – iyon ang kurot na nagsasabing siya ay gising at hindi nananaginip lamang.