Sunday, January 13, 2008

Breaking out is easier the second time

The holidays are winding down and we are all preparing to return to uni. I have had a very busy break, as I was working in my old profession the whole time and had little time to catch up with uni friends, most of whom were overseas or interstate anyway.

There are a number of advantages to being able to return to your old job in your holidays. These would have to include:

1) Having the reasons why you hate your old job and want to complete your studies in medicine rammed down your throat again and again and again until you have to physically restrain yourself from putting your head through the wall. I am going to study so much harder in the coming year with this extra motivation driving me!

2) Topping up the old bank account. I have made a resolution to not buy any textbooks this year. Let's count the weeks until this resolution fails! ;)

3) Catching up with old work-mates, who are generally the sole reason I am physically capable of returning to work. I love my colleagues! (With the odd exception, of course.)

4) Being in the air-conditioning over the hot Australian summer. I'm not kidding - for me, this is an advantage.

5) Having some time feeling like a competent professional, walking around the hospital with a purpose rather than floating like the average medical student. Sadly there were no other medical students on prac at my work-place whom I could pimp on my area of expertise. I just had to quiz the students who are training in my area instead. ;) (Note: I am really nice to students, and take the time to teach them. I know what it is like, having had very recent experience myself. :) )

6) Did I mention the money? Oh, and I like opening payslips, too!

I am now back to being an unemployed student (or an unpaid domestic worker, as I have some things to do to the house) and taking some time off before things return to the fun and insanity of student life. I love being a medical student, more than I have loved being any kind of student before. I'm old and mean enough to know that if I didn't love it, I wouldn't be here, so that is of great comfort to me as we slide head-first into another year of study madness!
Getting out of the old job is much easier the second time. I know where I am going and I am aware of how challenging and rewarding it is going to be.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hunting accidents

Another hunting accident story has produced my favourite line from a news article this week:

"It is not uncommon for hunters to be shot by their dogs."

Man's best friend indeed. Perhaps we underestimate the intelligence of dogs if they frequently shoot their hunting masters - the ability to be able to fire a weapon without the use of opposable thumbs and actually hit something should actually give us pause and make us wonder whether they can actually open doors, drive cars and operate telephones, all the while managing to hide it from the human population.

I know I'm being flippant about an incident in which somebody died, but still. The man gave his dog access to a firearm. What should he have expected?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Spring Cleaning

If you look to the right, you will see some slight changes.

I took the chance to add a poll, which should be particularly relevant to the medical students amongst you - although feel free to flash back to the days of your student life and remember how this phrase made you feel, too!

I also did some sorting out amongst the blogs - there were getting to be so many of them there that they needed tidying. For some reason, psychiatrists seem to be more prolific bloggers than radiologists. Interesting . . .

This way I will be able to find them more easily at a glance.

I don't quite know what the cat has to do with spring cleaning. I don't think it really matters - SO CUTE!!! AWWW look at the kitty!! :D

Hope your new year is treating you well!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas PTSD

Thank god the new year is here. This means that Christmas Day is officially over, and is not able to come back again for at least another eleven and a half months.

There are those who say that Christmas Day is all about families, belonging, and welcoming people into your home and creating a sense of togetherness. I don't think the people who say this have ever experienced a Christmas where performing these acts would be at all uncomfortable for them, or create one little bit of excess tension. They would certainly not have experienced the Nightmare of the Imploding Christmas Day.

I say that it is a lovely thing to invite people over to share your Christmas Day. But BEWARE! The success or dismal failure (and extreme discomfort of your main family and friends) can be directly related to who you choose to invite.

I can't be particularly specific on the particular horrors of my Christmas Day for fear of incriminating myself, so I will write a helpful list concerning who you should and shouldn't invite if you want to have a happy, harmonious day. I am all for people inviting anybody that they genuinely want to be there. This list pertains more specifically to the fringe-element that can get sucked into the whirling vortex of pain and death that is the Family Christmas Day.

Top People To Add To Your List:

1. Friends of the family who have nowhere else to go on the day, who you genuinely want to be there, and who are going to have a good time.

2. Distant relatives who wouldn't normally be invited, but who are also lovely people who you care about, and who are going to enjoy the company.

3. Random neighbours who fit the above criteria, and who are a good fit for the party. (See, I'm not that picky!)

Slightly Less Fantastic People To Add To Your List:

1. Distant relatives who you don't really know, who have never really made the effort to get to know you, are a token invite due to their proximity but are likely to show up anyway for the free food and booze. These could go either way - they are likely to know people at your party better than they know you, particularly if it is a big family get-together, and you might get to know them well and find they are a good time.

Or it might end in dog bites, barbeque burns and calls to the police. You just never know.

2. Distant cousins with slightly shady pasts who are getting back on track with their lives. They are family. One of the things that Christmas is supposed to be about is family. They could enjoy catching up with people, making new acquaintances and having a chance to socialise.

Or they could steal all of the booze, take the gift certificates from the present piles when nobody is looking and scrape a whole row of cars on their way out. They may even kick the dog.

Hopefully they won't trip on the dog. They might sue.

3. Serial whiners. Miserable relatives who spend all day whining will bounce off these people, sending other revelers around them into spirals of doom and gloom, killing the Spirit of Christmas, making fairies die by the score, and allowing the grinch to be one happy little critter. Sit them with the right people and it might work. You never know.

4. Anybody you feel obliged to invite out of guilt.

The No Go Zone:

1. The boyfriend of a distant cousin who has just spent time in jail and spent the last Christmas gathering at your place telling disgusting stories about close family members of yours, while they are in the next room, and while sitting next to your 86-year-old grandmother. He used up his first chance, and inviting him again would be like positive reinforcement. Particularly if he starts inviting friends or family of his own.

Work out some way of not inviting them the next year. Spend the months you now have up your sleeve thinking of a good way to let them know they are not on the list, otherwise you might end up finding yourself fantasizing about changing the date or location of your party. You may even find yourself looking up the real estate section of the newpaper, considering a Christmas Eve house move.

2. Anybody who thinks it is funny to make another Christmas Day guest cry. On Christmas Day. In the year that their husband/son/dog died.

Seriously. Don't. Invite. Them. Back.

3. Relatives who think it is okay to tell you that you somehow kept them out of your dying father's inheritance, while he was dying, and then still expect to be invited to every function that you put on. This also applies to weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, random coffee meetings, and any other event put on by you.

Several of the above may or may not have happened on my Christmas Day. If the guest list next year looks the same as this year, I am going to spend Christmas Day on a beach in the middle of nowhere where nobody can reach me, with a bottle of champagne, a very full i-Pod and a swarm of annoying but friendly and harmonious mosquitoes trying to dive-bomb me through the thick canvas of my tent.

Hopefully this year I'll learn about some little-known random maladie that I can diagnose myself with after getting the Christmas list of invitees. It would have to be highly contagious, so horrible that nobody else would want to get it, yet resolve spontaneously with no apparent ill-effects by New Years Day. Ideas? ;)

Happy New Year!