Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Some People Never Learn

Some people never learn.

Some people keep making the same mistake, over and over and over again.No matter who they hurt, no matter how much trouble they cause to the people around them, and eventually themselves, they never. Fucking. Learn.

This time I'm not even angry at anyone else. This time I'm angry at myself.

Because no matter how hard it is when other people betray you, it's always worse - a hundred times worse - when you betray yourself.

So now for once when I'm not talking crap, listen to me. Learn from my mistakes, so you never have to go through what I'm going through.



You don't know what it'll cost you - until you've lost it. But you can never turn back the clock. Never. And maybe, just maybe, you don't deserve to.

Addiction sucks. Don't ever, ever, let anything suck you in until you lose yourself.

Because that's not the only thing you'll lose.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life at Imperial College London - In Meme Form!

(DISCLAIMER: I did not make any of these memes. If you are offended, don't send me hate mail - address your complaints to...okay so actually there's no one you can complain to. You can, however, shake your fist in the air and curse youngsters and the deplorable state of society these days. I find it helps.)

In my last post I fried your brains brought laughter into your lives by highlighting some Cambridge memes. Now let's look at some Imperial College ones. These are a lot more subtle. And show some definitive patterns. Can you guess what they are?

 This was the first one I saw and made me laugh so hard I almost sued the author for keyboard damage due to spraying Coke all over my laptop through my nose. It's commentary on the infamous gender ratio at Imperial. Don't get it? Here's a hint.

Same trend as the above. This is why Jay-Z doesn't go to Imperial anymore. Getting it yet?

Okay, now on to the trend Imperial is perhaps, um, most famous for. Stop me if you've heard these before:

The 'Inception' meme, but this one has a creative use for Leonardo DiCaprio's slitted eyes. It's commenting on the ethnic make-up of most students at Imperial. Get it? No? Here's another one:

 If the meme above made me spray Coke out through my nose, this one made me spew other fluids out through other orifices. (Saliva. From my mouth. Stop being dirty-minded. --Ed.) Imperial's library is open 24 hours - except for one night per week, on Friday.

Walking from the engineering campus to the Bio building is like entering a different country. Kind of like driving into Ealing from pretty much anywhere else in London.

If you still don't get it, a popular saying at Imperial is "Imperial College is the best engineering school in southern China. Imperial College Medical School is the best medical school in southern India". These may not be statistical facts, but hell are they good for meme-making!

But wait! It's not all obscure satirical trends - we can still bitch and moan about normal university stuff too!

The Central Library is a battleground. Too many students, too few computers. Seriously. I know of students who were diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after an afternoon of trying to find spare computers in there.

 And if you do, you better damn well make sure your question's intelligent enough to need a PhD thesis with at least three Chinese graduate students to answer. Or else.

This one pisses people off. A lot. Somehow the past-year papers end up being e-mailed around by seniors though. When you first started pirating porn movies, music and games, did you ever think you'd one day be pirating exam papers?

And again, it wouldn't be Imperial if we didn't take a shot at our favourite rival London university, courtesy of the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter:

UCL = University College London. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't know what that stood for. It's just some small-time university up north of London with a bigass hospital and way too many club nights. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Angry Medic Discovers University Memes: Cambridge and Imperial

The 'Slowpoke' meme, used to make fun of someone who is slow to catch a trend, or...
okay actually it's pretty self-explanatory.

Having gone to two universities has given me a unique outlook on life. I have experienced two very different cities, with their own learning environments, outlooks and views on important issu-- ah screw it, it means I have over a thousand friends on Facebook (most of whom don't know who I am --Editor) and I can waste even MORE time on Facebook browsing not just one university meme group, but two.

If you, like me, are an out-of-touch old fart slightly late to the party, you may not know that university meme groups are sprouting on Facebook like warts on Martin Lawrence's butt in Big Momma's House. Because I'm so generous and like to share things that bring laughter to the world (and by that I mean too lazy to come up with original blog posts --Ed.) I'm putting the best of the memes on here. Let's start with the Cambridge ones - see if you can detect a trend here...

The popular Lion King meme. Every university seems to have one of these, making fun of their own
'bad places' - for Nottingham Uni it's Trent, for Imperial College it's Silwood Park - you get the idea.
Heck, I've seen two for London with Hackney and Tooting.
For those of you who don't know, Girton is the farthest away of the colleges, needing a bus or a cab to get to. This means it's gotten a bad rep, and is considered an easy college to get into. Poor sods.

 You detecting a pattern yet? 

The 'Oh My God Karen' meme. I'm told this has something to do with the film 'Mean Girls'.
And if you already knew that, you better be a girl. (If you're a guy and you watched that film, 
get the hell away from me. Now.)

Social commentary on the ethnic make-up of St John's College.

 Social commentary on the public view of  students who go to St John's
(in a nutshell: they're dicks. 'Nuff said.)

But wait! It's not all insider college jokes! We can make fun of individual courses as well!

That's a bit unfortunate. Usually at least McDonald's hires them.
("Got a 1st" = got a first class degree)

'Compsci' is the local slang for Computer Science.
I used to think their reputations for being nerds without social lives was unfair - until I met one.

And last but not least, it wouldn't be Cambridge without a snobby insult towards the other, much smaller, much less famous university in Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University:

There's the University of Cambridge, and then there's the university IN Cambridge.

What's that you say? Had enough of bad memes? Okay okay, tomorrow I'll put up the best of the Imperial College London memes. They're not all one of them involves Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. As if I needed his help to fry your brains with my writing...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Last Valentine

This patient's story is dedicated to those who are frequently overlooked on Valentine's Day - those who have lost a Valentine.

 Today is Valentine's Day.

The hospital is usually busy on Valentine's. Families come to visit, young patients take their loved ones down to the cafeteria, and those who are too sick to move have bouquets delivered to their bedsides. I smile at the relatives as I walk about, blood forms in hand. An elderly lady smiles back as she sits by her husband's bed. A couple of young kids smile sweetly at me as they play hide-and-seek around their mother's bed. I feel bad for interrupting them today, and take bloods as fast as I can.

The clock on the wall shows three o'clock in the afternoon. I am almost done. Just one more patient to bleed. I head to the bay in the far corner of the ward, checking to make sure I have the right bed.

Then I see him.

He sits on his bed facing away from the rest of the ward. The afternoon sun, peeking out from behind a distant hill, falls lightly on his bedsheets as he stares out the window. He is young. I glance at his notes, wondering why. My suspicions are confirmed. Autoimmune disease, and a serious one at that. He has likely been in pain for the best part of a year now, and will feel that pain until the end of his days. Which, sadly, is not too far away.

He turns and smiles as I approach the bed. "Come to take blood, have you?" I nod. "Sorry for the interruption," I say. "No trouble at all. I'm used to it." A tired smile. I know he has recently come out of a long, complicated surgery. I roll up his sleeve and set up my tools.

There are no flowers on the table. No cards on the windowsill. No chairs for visitors either. He sits with his phone, looking longingly at the screen. I steal a glance. A girl's picture smiles back at me.

Medical school teaches us to make conversation with patients to distract them from the blood-taking. So I ask the obvious question. "Is that your girlfriend?"

He sighs. "No."

"Oh..." I did not mean to offend him. "Your sister?"

"No." He says, looking away. I am afraid I have touched a nerve, but he does not turn the phone off. "My last Valentine."

"I see..." Now I am embarrassed. I have dug too far. I don't know what to say, but he saves me the trouble.

"We dated...for 4 years. It was amazing. We were at uni together. And we worked, you know? We had ups and downs, but who doesn't. When she first called herself my girlfriend, I told her she wasn't my girlfriend - she was my other half."

"I see," I add weakly. I do not know what to say. But again he saves me the trouble.

"She died."

I forget the blood bottle and the needle for a moment. "I am so sorry."

"No, I'm sorry. I broke up with her for another woman. She was demanding, and I felt it wasn't working, ya know? But it was partially my fault too." He looks out the window again. The sun peeks out from behind a particularly thick cloud. "Car accident. Three months ago. I never got to say sorry."

For a moment I think I see a tear in his eye. But he turns to me and blinks it away. "Sorry for keeping you, doc. I know you're busy."

"No, no trouble at all. I'll come back later when I'm not too busy."
I smile, and turn to get up.

Suddenly he grabs me by the arm. I turn to find his hard blue eyes staring straight into mine. "You're young, doc. When we're young, we don't realise how fleeting life is. You know that cliche 'live every day like it's your last'? It's a cliche because it's true. Don't have any regrets, doc. Don't be like me."

He winces in pain as he lets me go. I know his wrists hurt. "Thanks," I say. He shakes his head apologetically. "Sometimes I wish that surgery really had killed me".

I find myself wondering if he would be better off if it did. I do not know if that makes me a bad person.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Man Walks Into A Bar...

That looks painful.

Today I suffered head trauma when an old enemy hit me on the head.

As I walked into the kitchen heading for the phone, it watched silently, just out of sight. I didn't see it smile viciously, recognising its old adversary. I fiddled with the phonebook, ignorant of the danger, as it quietly plotted my downfall. Then, as I bent forward to reach for the phone, it struck.


Damn you, wall-mounted cupboard, why must you be the same colour as the damn wall?!

As I was busy trying not to spray-paint the wall with my blood (which ironically would have made that %^#*% cupboard easier to see), a friend texted asking why I hadn't replied. I texted him back saying I was busy bleeding. And this, full of heart-warming concern and care, is the reply he sent me:

"LOL. if u had more hair on ur head dis wudnt hav happend"

Wow. Thank God for caring friends*.

Anyway, that's why I've been delayed putting out the hair-rippingly butt-slappingly funny (read: not at all --Editor) post I promised in my last post. Just lemme put some stitches in my own skull and I'll get right to it.

*For those of you who have just started reading/have forgotten/don't give a rat's ass, yes, I'm bald. THIS IS TOTALLY BY CHOICE. I shave, and I'm not balding. No, really. Don't listen to people telling you that's a bald spot, my head is just naturally pointy and hair grows at different lengt-- ah fuck it. 

Life hates me.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

So I'm A Junior Doctor, Now What?

Yes, that's right, I'm now ACTUALLY a real doctor (Am I dreaming? Is this real? Pinch me! Wait, you're female? Pinch me, lowwwerrrr...what's that you say? Kids and my parents read this blog? Oh HARHAR, only joking. Hi mom! --Editor) and I have to admit, it's not...exactly what I thought it would be (As in, there's no marching importantly onto the ward banging through double doors or sex three times a night in an on-call room. Kids, if you're thinking about doing medicine because you saw an episode of Grey's Anatomy, STOP NOW. Go become investment bankers. --Ed).

Things are a little busy around the house now so I won't be typing my mega-long and totally super-interesting and funny post on what I'm doing after med school, but I do have a blog post series coming up about nurses* and how they can't keep their hands off me have affected my life as a poor bastard medical student, for better and for worse. I did however discover this blog post from the Militant Medical Nurse about junior doctors and why you should shower them with tender loving care:
I had some real bad days as an NHS staff nurse. I felt like the stress and frustration would kill me. But there was a never a day where I felt like I would rather be a Junior Doctor.
 Damn straight, Militant Nurse. (Can I call you MillieNurse? MILFyNurse? No? Okay I'll shut up now. --Ed.)

I've always been a big fan of nurses, and recently they've played a bigger part in my professional and personal life than usual. But I know they don't always get along. It's nice to see one of em sympathising with us**.

*coming up soon on The Angry Medic/Doctor/Whatever the hell I am - what medical school doesn't tell you about nurses! How I manage to piss off a nurse! How I manage to piss off a non-nurse by calling her nurse! Okay so maybe that last one doesn't require much explanation.

**okay, so in her very next post she also says "But once they [doctors] get past the level of "junior" I just want nothing to do with them." It's a, um, love-hate relationship...