Sunday, 27 January 2013

Settling in?

So I've been here more than a week now, and not a single page of medical textbook has been read. Thought I'd get that sad admission out of the way right at the beginning of this post!

So most of last week was me going to and from the city getting clothes and supplies. I bought two suits -- the first is a business suit for the first week of semester (we're visiting a hospital, and they told us to wear stuff we'd wear to an interview), and the second is a tuxedo for the black tie event at college that's happening on the 29th of January. Suffice to say the bank account is losing weight! I also caved to popular culture and bought two pairs of vans (a type of hipster footwear). They're surprisingly comfortable, and I think I can justify them as long as I don't go full hipster and get funky coloured ones (not that I'll be getting many more at all -- they're damn expensive)(my current ones are black and white, and just white).

From friday onwards it has all been 'orientation weekend' here at college. It's all about going from just knowing people's names and what they study, to actually knowing the person I guess. I have to admire the social abilities of people -- no matter who they're speaking to and no matter how conversant the other person is, they can just whip something up to talk about out of nowhere, and they perform this trick countless times and for hours on end. I'm not incapable socially, but I can't keep it up this long. Anyway. I've come to just saying that I'm an MD student, because it sounds somehow less pretentious. Some people luckily don't know what an MD is as well, and sometimes they don't ask which avoids the whole issue. Like other people I've spoken to, I'm sure that at some point I'll just start saying I study architecture or politics or something.

So, what else is there to say? I did my first ever load of washing (can you believe it). It was a front loader machine as well, so all my prior training on top loaders came to naught. I put a white sock in with the blacks and it came out still white, so the colour didn't run on the warm wash. This is very good news because it means that I can put everything into the one load and not feel like I'm overly risking the whites, while at the same time saving $2 by not having separate washes for the colours. #washingmachinetactics I'm also going to need to purchase some pegs because I had so much to wash that I basically took up all the free pegs that were on the lines.


I bought a stethoscope, and worked out how it worked. You're meant to be able to put it on different places on your chest and hear different aspects of the heart as it beats, and to my highly trained ear...everything sounds exactly the same all over the chest. So there you go.

I'll leave it there, it was my bed time 2 hours ago.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Move

So today I finally made the move that was set in motion all those months ago when I put down that I would do medicine here at Melbourne. I write this on my familiar laptop at a desk that I don't know, in a room that I don't know, in an environment that I have no experience in (college), in a city that I barely know. The room is in that familiar state of 'unpacking', with things strewn across the floor and desk as they await my brain arbitrarily deciding where they should live for the next indeterminate time. My time here has been a whirlwind of meeting new people, trying to impress them despite them talking as if they speak essay. The tour was great but it's filled my head with names and locations that I can't quite reconnect. I have two keys, none of which look anything like keys -- one opens most doors but not all, the other opens some doors but not most, one will replace the other soon, but I can't remember which is which for any of that. On the topic of keys, my wallet will soon explode from them -- not only do I have the two keys from college, I also have a medicare card, HBF card, my red cross card, soon it will have my student card as well, and sometime soon I will get myself a concession card for the public transport here (a myki card, I think it's called). All of those cards are additional to ones that I already carried in perth (eftpos, mastercard, driver's license, etc)! Phew.

The good news I guess is that for the moment there's no undergrads here, which means I can settle myself in quite nicely. Being a graduate student I'm part of something called the Middle Common Room (MCR) here at the college (undergrads are in the junior common room, JCR; admin staff and others like the master and chaplain are in the senior common room, SCR). The orientation for MCR is in a week and a bit, so we're all going to arrive fairly soon. People apparently are arriving in a trickle though, which is great because it'll give me that chance to get to know people over time instead of in one great whack. Also, being no undergrads around there's no big parties happening and overall college isn't intimidating at all. Just a warm and welcoming place so far!

I've put the 5 medicine textbooks that I could bring with me on the bookcase, and they stare down at me even as I type. I fear for my safety when I sleep. Tomorrow is a day for shopping and handing in forms for medicine, but then I must study or I'll be left behind in the very first week of the course -- I promise you, books!

Meanwhile, quite a few tears are shed back home unfortunately =( it's so hard to leave behind your whole family, the missus, and all your friends, just to pursue your own dream. It feels selfish in some way! It's all part of the bigger picture though.

Step one into the future complete. A billion to come, all increasingly difficult. This blog will cover it all, so it's time to buckle in and tighten the suspenders!

Yours, from Melbourne,