Friday, September 24, 2010

Lists: Things that warm my cold, cold heart

1. Bonfires, preferably on a slightly chilly night and on the beach.
Too bad there is no beach here. When I'm at the bonfire, I'm always complaining about smelling like smoke. But I love watching fire and feeling warm more than I dislike the smell of woodsmoke. I haven't been to very many bonfires so I remember each one. Even the bonfire jam session at orchestra camp in Interlochen without a bonfire.

2. Wearing a nice outfit on a stressful day
I've never been a sweat shirt and sweat pants kind of person, especially since I've come back from Denmark where athletic apparel is strictly for athletics. Maybe it's silly to look nice when I feel like crap but aren't you glad I'm not exerting control over my life by destructive means like starvation or binge eating? 

3. Cats
I aspire to have a cat. A friend sent me this link of cats in Ikea. I'm not going to put Ikea on this list because I decided not to include shopping. But really I love Ikea too. Those two things are the way to my heart.

4. Cuddles
If you don't like cuddling, I don't think you're human.

5. Getting mail or post, as you Europeans call it
I'm still at that point where I don't get many bills in the mail so among the advertisements I'll sometimes get a gem of a letter or postcard. It really makes my day. Please send me a postcard from your travels or even when you're not traveling. I have some empty picture frames that I'd love to fill with correspondence.You'll have to ask me for my address since I won't write in her.

6. When my friends decorated my door/locker for my birthday
In middle school and high school, I'd walk down the long hallways of identical lockers. Sometimes one would be festooned with hand-drawn signs, streamers, and sometimes balloons for the locker owner's birthday. When I was in undergrad, some friends decorated my dorm door for my birthday. That cheered me up a lot and I still remember it to this day.

Knock off of Inspired by The Secret Society of List Addicts

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lists: Things I'll Find in Norfolk

In one of my favorite books, Never Let Me Go, Norfolk, England is where lost things end up.
Kazuo Ishiguro writes: "When we lost something precious, and we’d looked and looked and still couldn’t find it, then we didn’t have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day when we were grown up, and we were free to travel around the country, we could always go and find it again in Norfolk.”

Norfolk wasn't just a repository of lost objects. It also held missed opportunities, words left unspoken, and roads not taken, friends who grew apart, and other experiences forever receding from the present.

Heart shaped pendant
My mom gave it to me when I was in middle school but it sat in a box for years because I thought it looked too dowdy. Everyone else had those silver Tiffany chokers. Then in senior year or maybe junior year of undergrad I began to wear it continuously. Before then I didn't have one necklace that I wore  all the time. But I soon got used to it hanging around my neck when I woke up in the morning.

I lost it the day I left Detroit Metro Airport for Denmark. Later walking past the dancing water fountain in McNamara terminal I felt the chain sliding oddly around my neck. It had broken but was still draped around my neck. But the pendant was nowhere to be found. I must have lost it when I was taking off my layers at the security checkpoint.

Before I left Denmark I bought a daisy pendant, a very popular design by Danish jeweler Georg Jensen, as some sort of compensation, but it's just not the same.

A pair of angled forceps
My grandfather had a tremendous influence on my life. He was also an otolaryngologist. He taught me never to run around, laugh too hard, or talk too much while eating nuts. One of the last times I saw him before he died, he gave me a pair of forceps not because he wanted me to be a doctor but because they're just so useful for picking at things!

Sometimes when I get something valuable, I squirrel it away in a safe place. But I decided that I would honor his memory by actually going to use this tool, or at least looking at it everyday, so I kept it at home on my desk in a pen cup. But somehow throughout the years of undergrad, I lost it.

You can by forceps shaped exactly like the one I had at any surgical supply store. But of all the things I've lost, I would most like to find this one.  I would give a lot to get it back again.
My hospital birth certificate FOUND! 
My mom dug through a lot of boxes of my school projects, notes and childhood mementos to find this little slip of onionskin paper. It says my birth date, time, weight and was signed by the attending physician, who apparently was a family friend of my grandparents. There's no way my mom will let me hold on to anything important anymore.

The movie adaption of Never Let Met Go has been reviewed by various media outlets. But if you haven't read the book, you MUST NOT read any reviews of the film or book that give away the reason for the children's isolation. You will do yourself a great disservice.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feminist med students!

I have found my angrier med school feminist alter egos. You CAN be a feminist and in medical school! Well maybe not in medical school while being lectured to for four hours but I can still maintain a blog. There is hope yet in the world.

Their blog is here.

If only I could be so angry! Or actually, if only I could express my anger!

Oh no. No hope in the world. I have too much to study before Friday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lists: Things I Bought that I Love

Time for something lighthearted. My newest blog obsession is the Secret Society of List Addicts where contributing bloggers make lists. Their lists are funny, honest, and touching. I particularly liked People From My Past that I Regularly Googlestalk and Boys I Totally Crushed on for Years Even Though They Were  Unattainable (And Totally Wrong For Me) and wanted to try my hand at such lists. But I decided that it's a bad idea to make my own version of these because this blog is TMI as it as and because with facebook, you can find out the names of everyone of these boys. They would probably be freaked out and you'd think I'm weird. So I'll stick with this safe one.

Things I've Bought That I Love

My new bed
It's my first big girl bed (read: not twin size). I really like it and I get the whole thing to myself. At first it was like I was swimming unmoored in the sea but now I like being sprawled out. 
 Bed: post-assembly, pre-linens.

Pentax K-x camera
Sure it was a brick around my neck when I traveled in Europe. But I've taken at least ten good photos with it. Even one good one makes it all worth it. Too bad I won't have time to take it for walks now that i'm in Medical School. 

My camera, while waiting for a bagel in Amsterdam

The Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum

Northface Recon backpack
North Face brand anything is expensive but my backpack has held up nicely through biking across MSU, stuffed to the seams on Ryanair flights crisscrossing Europe, two transatlantic flights and medical textbooks. And it reminds me of Europe every time I use it now.

White purse with multicolored embroidered flowers
Things you buy are worth it if it's really expensive but you use it a lot, decreasing cost/wear. But you know their real gems if they're cheap and you still use it all the time, like this purse I have. It's the Rorschach test of style. I've been told it looks hippie, modern, and Polish-people-from-the-mountains. Because the flowers are different colors, it matches everything. It was from the clearance bin at Kohl's, that paragon of lower-middle class consumerism. 

Black and white dress for 40 Danish kroner ($7)
This and the purse mentioned below are the best purchases from Studenterhus' secondhand bazaar, where Danish (mostly) college students (actually mostly girls) sell their used H&M and equivalent clothing. Very cheap and pretty trendy. If you've seen my weird tanlines around my neck and shoulders, you have this dress to thank. I love it because it doesn't wrinkle and makes me look really skinny.
Brown purse for 100 Danish kroner ($18)
So the secondhand bazaar sells used apparel, but this Esprit purse was brand new with tag for only $18. I was frequently seen wearing above mentioned dress and this purse when I traveled to warmer climes. It's especially good because I can fit my dslr case into it. I will cry the day the strap breaks, which it's already starting to.

more photos by my trusty k-x:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Budgeting time

I had a viola teacher in middle school who gave me the following rule about practicing my viola: You practice every day that you eat. He meant that if you were ill, and thus had no appetite and could not eat, you could take the day off.

At the time I never followed his advice, but these words came back to me this past week as I try to re-orient my lifestyle to the relentless pace of medical school. I'm still don't know how many leisure activities I can allow myself.

Should I take 1 hour go to DSW this weekend to buy boots? No. I'm trying a new line of thinking: If you find that you need something from the store, wait a week anyway. That goes for clothes, groceries, random stuff for the apartment. I hope it works.

All sorts of people -- faculty, administrators, fellow students, second-year students -- have been giving us advice about studying. But in the end, none of them are that helpful. A professor told us that we must study everyday. He specifically used football Saturday as an example of what we should not do. He said that we can't wake up early to tailgate in the morning, watch the game in the afternoon, go to the bar in the evening. Those days are gone! Oh wait, I never did those things in one day anyway. But for me it translated into checking facebook less and blogging less.

But some students say that it's not THAT bad. A second-year told me to take one night off a week. Don't study that night. But that confuses me somewhat too. Should I count Thursday night as my "break" night? I'm not studying much on Thursday anyway. On Thursday I already have class from 8am to 8pm, with an hour lunch break and breaks between classes of at most 15 minutes. I'm really just going home to get ready for bed. I feel a little cheated of my supposed free time if I count it as my "free night".

A fellow student, when asked about hobbies, replied that she reads every night before going to bed. I actually checked out a book from the library that I plan to read for 10 minutes everyday. This means I probably won't remember the beginning of East of Eden or The Unbearable Lightness of Being by the time I've reached the end. But I hope I can get some reading one this way.

I can't remember the last time 10pm or 10:30 was my cue to get ready for bed. I get up at 6:30am now and I need at least 7 hours of sleep to function at all the next day.

Lastly, I will make an effort to blog once a week. See you next week.