Jan 20, 2008

Me likey the 3rd term

Though granted, it's only the end of the first week, and I haven't had an exam yet.

Behavioral: Interesting, and so far, easy-peezy. I resist the soft sciences, but they keep beckoning me back. Highlight/lowlight of Behavioral Sciences so far was the mental hospital visit, also allowing for numerous jokes among family and friends about my "having to go to the mental institution", with my dad's line of "Well, don't let them keep you."

Why the mixed bag? Well, it's an underfunded mental institution, which should allow you to pretty much imagine what the low points would be. The staff seems to do their best, but the facility still has way more patients than beds, areas in desperate need of maintenance and upkeep, and a yard for the patients with an ostensible lack of things for them to do. When you go, you can hear people screaming; you can note the wear and tear, and a lot of the general misery that permeates. The overseeing doctor also explained to us that once you've been taken there once, pretty much all you have to do is sneeze to be landed right back there.

I do feel like it's a very positive educational experience. At the superficial level, you get yet another free and organized bus tour of a part of the island most of us haven't been to, but you also get to see the inner workings of the institution, talk to the patients, have an interview with one of the patients, and learn about where there are problems on the island, how they're handled, and what the social perceptions are, both of the patients and the facility itself. By talking to a patient (who was convinced that the local cable and phone companies were watching), we were able to see those awarenesses (like being powerless over one's own situation) even in the presence of strong delusions

Didn't get to hear the song though. One extremely well kept young man in the yard offered to sing to us, but we had to go before he got a chance, and he was gone by the time we got back.

There is a temptation in third term to skip scheduled events (I should know), particularly since you are allowed to miss one and still get attendance credits, but definitely don't make it the hospital visit. And arrive at the bus stop early. The only reason I didn't miss it (despite giving myself enough time to catch the bus) was because as I was waiting for the bus to go TO campus to catch the ride, a little reggae bus started to scoot by and a friend of mine in my group yelled "ISHIE!!!!" out the window and got the driver to stop. Phew.

Statistics does not have similarly interesting visits, nor is the class similarly interesting, a fact lamented by many. Statistics is what it is, and is precisely what it is in undergrad: An extremely important and relevant subject that is damn near impossible to make compelling. So just prop your eyelids open, pay attention, and realize the number of times you're going to be reading medical journals where things like selection bias and study size really are critical bits of information for making informed decisions. Then, drink another cup of coffee, because you're going to need it.

Jurisprudence hasn't started yet, but it has "prudence" in the name, which means I'm probably going to fail it.

Baggage update status: A week without my luggage! Let's hear it for American for winning the "Who's gonna lose Ishie's bag for the longest period of time without any form of compensation?" competition! Woo! I've thwarted them by having the vast majority of the stuff I need either on the island already or in my carryon. They've thwarted me by having my path book for 4th term. I'm still going to convince myself that I came out ahead.

So in the minor breather that is 3rd term, particularly now that I've gotten my Sonic back up and running, what have I been doing?

Friday: Predominantly vet school party! They know how to do it up. Highlights were George's exquisitely made mojitos, real Mexican food, and an impermeable pinata (no tilda, I know) shaped like a parrot/toucan.

Best lines: "Look at the vet students beating on the bird!"

Best situation with best line: In response to inability to get more than a couple pieces of candy by repeatedly bashing the pinata until the stick broke into two pieces, and then using the sharp bit to stab the thing, heavier artillery was required:

Line shouted to attacker: "Do you want the blindfold?!"

Afterparty at Banana's. They've opened a little subbar on top of the "Carib Cave" which serves as ANOTHER bar, which combined with the one inside the club/restaurant proper, and the two inside the "Club Banana's" special area, or whatever, makes Banana's one of the few places in Grenada that you can get a drink in under a half hour. If you go to Stewart's, BYOB, holy crap.

So given that, I would do the responsible thing on Saturday, and study, right? Well... for a half hour. Then, phone call from Lori: "Wanna go to the beach?" Hell yeah.

Worth it though. Nice long swim with choppier conditions than usual, but at one point, there were DARK clouds over the mountains, the nearly full moon out in the daytime, and a rainbow completing the scene. Ahhhhh, medical school.

That also marked my first trip (after the beach) to the Food Fair in Monte Tout, which actually does have drastically reduced prices on certain goods and a better selection of meat and wine. IGA has more general stuff though, and they were well stocked on Saturday, so a good and relatively inexpensive shopping day. If you're over in the Food Fair shopping center, make sure to either get a rum/raisin or nutmeg ice cream cone from Rick's. YUM.

Today? I'm studying behavioral. No, really. It'll be at least another hour before I give up and go back to the beach.

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