Friday, January 9, 2009

Rapper's Delight

I'm back in Newcastle. This jet lag was horrendous. Although I found no time to sleep on the 15 hours I was in the air, I made some crazy play lists. I'll put one up later.
My body still thinks it's 9 o'clock...when it's almost 3 am. CRAP!
School is back in session in Monday, and I couldn't be less excited. I have gone out the past couple of nights just to be social, and stay out of the house I'll be in for the next 5 months avoiding the library.

There were a few things that made the trip here easier. I have a place to live, I know my way around, I have friends here who greeted me with hugs and coffee, and I actually missed them.
I still can't help but have my doubts about medical school, as the word "forever" is starting to sink in....and my biological clock ticks on. Do I want a family? I have friends that are married with kids, and the only thing that I am guaranteed is 3 1/2 solid years of studying with the same group of people that are more familial then marriage material. I am from the south, just not that "southern".
Well...I need to take more advantage of my location. How many people can hop on a plane to Paris for the weekend? And yes, I'm doing this in three weeks. The Madrid to see my cousin very soon, I need a strong dose of optimism. Is this considered self-medicating?
I just remember being on the beach with Sam and Rachael, in the heat with paint and canvas, not a care in the world. I like being care-free and warm, is that so much to ask? So, we ran to a "Miami bar" with the coolest drinks I've ever seen and I completely let myself go on the dance floor. I was dancing until my feet were so cramped that standing was a challenge. Did I mention they played early 90s rap? ODB and I had a wonderful evening together.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Happy New Year. Yeah, no exclammations. I am so sick of flying, and I have to pull another 20 hour plane ride out to jolly 'ol England in 3 days. I am excited to go back, but the work load is looming.
I feel really jaded after my trip to Florida. I was so stoked to surf, and mother nature was against me from the start. My plane was delayed over 24 hours, so my Friday night out with Jessica was destroyed. After that, I managed a cool 5 hours of sleep only to trekk back out to the airport for an early morining jaunt down south.
Then I landed. I don't know what it is about having someone meet you when you walk off the plane, but it makes you feel better. Jess was running a little behind to I grabbed my bags and met her curbside. As soon as she got out of the car, I felt like bawling. I had finally made it. Finally.
The weather was glorious. I'll never get a trip like that again. The heat was perfect enough for bathing suits and sun bathing, although Lake Atlantic allowed 1 1/2 feet of surf...not gnarly at all. Even after the cold front moved in, the waves were not giving me anything to work.
Bonding with Jess was fantastic. We ran around the Towns Center, and just caught up on life. She's in law school and I'm in med school, being friends since second grade has kept us closer with the sparse conversations about our stressed out life styles. For this I am greatful.
The majority of Saturday night was lost to me. I was up 23 hours, combining the stress of traveling and booze...well it knocked out the majority of my Sunday. Due to miscommunication, I cancelled my trip to Gainesville and was unable to contact Carolyn. Darling, I will see you in May! Promise!
I learned who my true friends were, and I made some of my newer friends integral in my life. Sam and Rachael played in the sun with fingerpaint all day with me while Jess was at work. We bonded over yoga, the ocean, and salsa! Corey and Caleb met us at Paco's and we sauntered around the beach and headed over to Lauren's apartment. I saw a bunch of my old buddies from UF and felt the urge to fill another void: ANGIE'S! I got to catch up with Corey over my epic fail of a Saturday night, and enjoy the best food Jax beach has to offer. I was finally at home.
Full of sand and Peruvian sauce, Sam and I ran around Jax and framed pictures, grabbed food...Omar and Jatin(much to his unwant) pulled me out of PVB and after an errand I ended up getting cavity searched at the Ritz. Awesome. I really hate american bars with a passion. The drunks are worse, I always get accused of being 14, and they let you smoke inside. GROSS. I spent the night sober and chatted it up with some Stanton/UF grads that were a few years ahead of me. We spent the night reliving some amazing/embarrassing memories, and I got to see Nader and Steph for the first time after getting married! After they headed to Lynch's, I just sat around with Omar/Jatin/Shelton/Bryce/Christine and just talked.
The next evening was nice and calm. Brandon picked me up and took me to see The Valkyrie with my boys. I finally saw John and Mason for more than two seconds and I met Tony! The movie was great, and I slept really great that night with all the windows opened in Jess's room. It's the little things.
Sarah drove up from Gainesville to see me and we walked the beach for a few hours and sipped a cocktail. I miss her so much. She is so steady in my life.
NYE 2008. Could not have been better. I can't imagine a situation where I was happier, more in control of myself, and just....ready. For everything.
Reverse culture shock is horrible. You start replacing fabulous goodbye memories, with breezy hellos....I learned what it meant to say "I wish you never changed."
Don't get me wrong, I loved my trip. I just don't love everything I learned from it. I am really lucky to be able to pack up my bags and be myself. I miss my friends, but I feel the majority of my dynamic friendships....well they aren't the same anymore. A handful will always be there for me, but my next visit to Florida won't be for quite sometime. Probably no sooner than 2 years from now. I can only stand having my heart stomped on so many times a decade.
Resolutions? HA! Never.
"I felt you in my legs/Before I even met you/And when I laid beside you/For the first timeI told youI feel you in my heart,/And I don't even know you/Now we're saying/Bye, bye, bye/Flew home,/Back to where we met/Stayed inside/I was so upset/Cooked up a plan,/So good except/I was all alone"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Avalanche

Where have I been? Well besides having snow dumped on me....

I am officially 1/8th doctor. Like a measuring cup, I am slowly filling with little factoids and truths of the human body with all of its problems.
Sad point. I came out with 3 A's and 1 B. Not what I wanted, but I'll keep it up. I think I just had a tiny mental breakdown in the middle of finals. Shit happens. I feel like that is my new life motto.
I am home. As I type this from a mattress on my semi-packed home surrounded by my two cats, one dog, one brother and a slew of electronics and books. Oh happy, I've gained five pounds in the past 5 days. I can't stop eating real food.
I've gone hiking and run outside for about an hour a day now. Hopefully, I can start racing again. As soccer is way to time consuming, rock climbing is a pain to get to/expensive!, and swimming is impossible with the weather....I'll stick to running. It's free, and I'm exploring more. Plus Sadie (my pup) loves walking my cool down with me.
I'll be in Florida in a few days, and I'm a little jaded about the whole trip. Don't get me wrong, the beach is in my blood. I feel like my re-fueling session with be a solo trekk. I just want to ride a bike around the beach, run riverside by the Elin's house and gawk at the Christmas lights, hang out with Jess again, just see everyone. Sorry I don't feel like dropping 30 names. I just can't wait to not sleep and be surrounded. I really need a boost to get through another semester in the motherland.
Ok, I've got my brother and a board game to tend to. Until Christmas!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Funky Bahia


I haven't really gone anywhere, been too busy finding out what Newcastle has to offer me...mostly in the area of housing!

I am now a tenant in a 6 bedroom townhouse, with 5 of my finest nerd friends, 20 minutes from doorstep to my seat in class (NO MORE METRO!), a real living room, huge kitchen, a patio, restaurants that aren't Indian, and a washing machine in the house! You have no idea how much the little things in life are taken for granted, and don't get me wrong...I love Indian food, but that's every other dining place here. I think it has something to do with that whole Imperialism era thingy?

I felt in the light of the election, my past birthday, and looming finals in 4 weeks, this the opportune moment for a memory dump.

First and foremost, Ben James! I love Kings of Leon, and I don't care how whiny you thought they were, I've seen them before and plan on seeing them again. As stated previously, finals are close to the I may have to hold off. Ryan Adams is Tuesday, and for lack of vocabulary, I AM STOKED.

Obama. Well, yeah. I didn't vote for him, and I don't want to lose any liberals friends...but I am still a Republican, moderate none the less. Between the taxes, loss of loan money, and possible socialism of medicine....well let's not go there. Anyone is better than Bush, so I will be open and give him the chance. I only have to deal this for two years when I return to the States, I just hope I don't spend 30 years of my career paying off loans after working my ass off and completely giving up my soul and life to medicine. I didn't give up my life/friends/mental well being to be in debt up to my eyeballs the rest of my life, regardless of my love for medicine. We'll see America, we'll see.
Yeah, I'm 23 now. It was the most depressing birthday ever. I was in class from 9-6:30, went out to dinner with some of my loves, and then went home an studied. I am officially old. I had my mental breakdown that week and actually skipped a class (don't worry I watched it later on Sonic Foundry-oh, they record all of our lectures. All of my smart ass comments are forever engraved on the Internet.) I didn't realize how hard it was to be alone in a new country, everything is really foreign. No pun intended. Don't get me wrong, the change is fabulous, but there is no familiar. Enough of the pity me mode! Just contact me once in a while if we're friends, I may not write back right away, but your communication means more than you know. After my new friends realized my predicament, off to Floritas! Oh so many good memories, I actually got off my ass and had fun after 2 1/2 weeks of reading time. I forget that I'm human sometime, now I schedule fun time. Silly as it sounds, the gym and Friday nights after the library...they're all mine!
Halloween was fantastic! Party Tyne is the biannual party marking the halfway point in the semester. It fell close enough to the 31st for us to celebrate Halloween royally. We have our main formal dinner next Friday, so I have to plan my schedule accordingly. I feel a lot better now, and my group of friends is expanding. I even had an amazing coffee date with Heidi last Friday after 8 hours of class! I love meeting new people!
I've met some locals now. Sadly, everyone in S-bux knows me by name. Gladly, they keep my caffeinated at a great rate =). I've also started to branch out and try new cafes and little restaurants, Europe is amazing. I wouldn't trade this for the world.
Home in 5 weeks. I will have all A's, see you then!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All I Need

The beginning....
Yana Banana, my Aussie friend.
Guinness factory taste test! Yes, please~

It has been one hell of a week. Well, two or three now...Radiohead fits my mood.

Midterms have come and gone, I can't believe finals are in 7 weeks. School is flying, and I am already back into persistent study mode.

The weekend in Ireland (ooooh Dublin), was an experience of a lifetime. It seems like a dream now, two days with no school books....did it really happen? I made friends from Canada, Australia, Ireland, and I met some local Geordies on the plane who are coming to our Breast Cancer Awareness social Friday. So, school is back into the rotation that allows for weekends to be social again...just as long as I spend the majority of the week in the library.

Good news! I got all A's on my midterms, by the grace of God and multiple IV drips of caffiene. I started to hallucinate the last two days of 3 hours of sleep. 3 weeks of that, and you'd visualize little creatures in your armoire, too. Also, my Uncle Dicky is funding a trip for me to visit my cousin in Madrid. BONUS!

Bad news! Even though I got my Ryan Adams tickets, Kings of Leon sold out. My trip to Central Station turned fruitless, and Karan and I trekked back to the library empty handed with laden heart. I'm scalping that shit. I will be at that concert.

Other news: I have been really homesick lately. Feel free to drop me a line, send me some Florida love! Don't get me wrong, everything is amazing here...but nothing beats what you have back home. Well, maybe the traveling...but even vagabonds need to rest!

End transmission.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sex On Fire

Well, long time no type? Probably because I have been typing objective after objective after get the idea.
I had a few huge tests the previous two weeks, and two weeks from now I have midterms. I can't believe how fast everything is going. It's as though half of my body is cemented into the ground, but my hands are still flailing around trying to keep my upper half mobile. Equate this to the pancake theory I read about:
You wake up every morning to eat 4 pancakes for breakfast. But, after a week of eating pancakes, you save two for the next day and only eat two for breakfast. So, the following morning you have six pancakes instead of four, and there is no way to eat that much in one sitting. And before you know it, you have a stack of pancakes the height of the empire state building and the appetite of an anorexic.
This is medical school. This is what happens when you get behind or try to plan your studying, it's a joke.
For the "Unified Quiz" (ummm...miny MCAT, 2 1/2 hours for 100 questions, you get the idea?), I was behind in my studies even though I have consistently done something every day. I've gotten a lot better than I was in Undergrad, and I am finally learning how to read and use a planner. You laugh, but it's a skill that isn't so easy to acquire. I poured my heart into Biochem, which was 30 pancakes high, and as a result my other studies were rushed. Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Bioethics...even my cake class needed necessary attention, as four days after the quiz we had our final.
By the grace of GOD, I got an "A" in Histology and Bioethics. By mistake, I didn't miss one question in Anatomy, not one. How the hell do you get a 100 on a test in medical school? I'm not that smart, so I attribute it to my studying. Biochem was a solid 60, which in medical school, is failing....just for your information. The questions smacked me in the face, as I received high marks in Biochem in college, I realized this class is on a whole new level. Who cares about structures and pathways? You have patients coming into the E.R. with acedemia, and you need to know exactly how their body is compensating for this, and what part of the pathway is knocked out to treat the source...and what to do for the symptoms in the meantime. That tricky son of a bitch got me this time, but I'll be damned if I don't know every clinical application by the 10th of October. D-day for Biochem, I'm going to rock the test so hard. Rock it like a hurricane (sorry, it had to be said).
As a celebration (I got an "A" as a final grade in Bioethics), I ran away with ten of my lovelies to Scotland. It was the perfect release after torturing myself and creating indentations of my ass in chairs scattered throughout the library. The pictures don't even do Edinburgh justice, much less my words. You have to go, you have to see the castle and let the culture take over everything you thought about Scottish people. Being Scottish and a descendent of the Mackenzie clan and Mary Queen of Scots, it was the best trip I've ever been on. Educational, yet intriguing, it made my homesick feelings melt away. I really like it here, sincerely, the whole "dumb-Amanda-leaving-the-country-for-medical-school-makes-you-look-like-a-loser-as-if-you-couldn't-tough-out-a-US-school" is gone. I feel bad for the people who stayed in Florida for school, or even the U.S. People get sick everywhere in the world, and you're narrow minded to even begin to think your education's superior to mine. I've had the chance to meet people from so many countries, I have worldly colleagues for networking, and my options are only growing.
I know I sound like a b****, but I wouldn't trade Harvard Medical School for this. I've seen Boston, but after midterms, I'm going to Dublin. How many medical students can say that? Worldly experience (relational) is worth so much more to me, and if there is a social stigma for attending overseas school...well then I will just work harder than you, score higher on the tests, and earn that residency spot. It won't be because of my citizenship, it will be because I want to be the best in my field. I'm not working my way to the top of the food chain to sit on my ass and draw in cash. I will do Doctor's without Borders, I want to educate other students, I want to continue my education until I die, because it makes me happy. Who knows? Maybe have kids and raise them the way my Mom raised me, to do something because it makes me feel happy/good/virtuous.
I think that's what it boils down to. I am so happy right now, I don't know what to do with myself.
Who'd of

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Kick in the Teeth

You may not realize when it does or why, but it may be the best thing. ~Fischerspooner

On a light note, whenever I get into a deep study mode my music changes to fit the mood. Broken Social Scene, an obnoxious amount of Ryan Adams, Feist, Air, The get the gist.

School is suffocating. You can't ever really catch up, so it's more mental than anything. I figure within the next week or two, I will have a set schedule. Time management is crucial to me not killing myself before the huge unified "quiz" not this Monday, but the following. I haven't been able to write, post cards or e-mails, and my contact with the outside world is quickly thinning.

I have trips to Dublin and Munich planned, both plane tickets under 100 pounds (YEAH!), but they seem so far away with all of the information I need to jam into my head over the next couple of weeks. I can't even begin to fathom midterms or finals. Ugh, it makes me shudder.
I went back and looked at the photos of my colleagues before school started. When the coast was a regular stop, and I could manage the amount of work thrown at me, now I feel like the boat is beginning to capsize and my futile attempts to throw pails of water back into the ocean aren't going to cut it.
Side note: I hate any and all nerve plexuses, especially the brachial one. That bastard.
Other than that, it's raining a ton, and I have a surf trip scheduled Thursday morning. For my personal sanity, I beg God to let the waves break at 4 feet again. Radical riding brahs!
Until next time....