Sunday, October 31, 2004

sucker

Yikes!! Tomorrow’s SOCA (Student Oral Case Analysis) :P Oh man. There’s just SO much to memorize even for a single disease: definition, epidemiology, classification, pathogenesis, clinical manifestation and its connection to the physiology of things, basic science like anatomy, histology, pathology etc, management and complication. And the worse thing is, we won’t even know what’s going to be asked of us!! It can be the most scary thought. All I hope is that I don’t clam up and shut down. It wouldn’t be the first time. It happened once for Biochemistry oral exam. Invisibility powers would have been very helpful then. I don’t even know what really happened back then… it was such a hazy memory. All I knew is that I was scared sh*t, walked into the examination space, picked up my chosen envelope, revealed the discussion topic, went blank, stuttered, yapped about sheer crap, scribbled more sheer crap onto the whiteboard, thanked the examiner and left. I barely passed but I was lucky, at least I passed. Anyway its highly urgent I score well cos now they’re going to use the marks here to represent almost half of the mid-term results. And I need this to back-up my other papers. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the SOCA anxiety. Barely breathing.

flop poppy

2 papers down and 1 practical + 1 oral + 1 paper to go. I kind of confused myself with all the rate and ratio calculations. I just hope that I matched the correct statistical formula to which ever they require or the whole paper is going to be a blunder. I forgot the difference between Total Fertility Rate and General Fertility Rate (or is there even such a thing as GFR?). Crap. Anyway the light papers are out of the way, now it comes to the CRUNCH and they’ve put Student Oral Case Analysis up first between the trio. I dread that the most cos I’m just not good at it… it’s going to be my 7th time but I still can’t seem to master the skill of presenting a case. If only there’s tuition for this. I miss tuition!! I hated it back then when there was abundant of it but now that there’s no such thing as tuition for the Gastrointestinal Tract system, I really wish there was. I just want to sit on a plastic chair under the fan in front of a white board and have someone teach me everything I should know. I won’t even mind the homework and mosquito bites.

It’s different being in the tutorial-based process. We students basically lecture ourselves. That is, every other day we attend a mini seminar where we will discuss the problems of a case and list out learning issues. We go home, refer to a million books on our particular assigned topic, make notes for each other and pass it out during the next tutorial session after giving a mini-presentation. We are required to thoroughly know our nonsense so that we can answer questions proposed by other group members. It takes a toll on social life since it’s almost a daily obligation. Plus we have a 100% attendance requirement so you can’t just turn up without doing your work or you’ll earn snide remarks from your “colleagues”. Yes, I give out snide remarks too. Besides, like I’ve mentioned, we have to teach each other so if we don’t teach then there will be a lesson left untaught and will pose to be highly detrimental come exams *sigh* I had to give up my only favourite weekly activity in order to concentrate on my academics this year. It’s the last year before we step into the clinical years and I just want to make sure that I get there… therefore, French classes must go. Especially since it’s in Bandung town which is 2 hours away!! Je manques beaucoup la francais. And I feel the basics I’ve learnt so far are slipping away and come next year, I would probably be in a position where I first began learning French given the lack of practice. Giving up French was hard, now I have nothing to look forward to in the week… I used to be so knackered having to travel so much for classes but I loved it anyway and it always leaves me with such a buzz and this smile. I miss trying to memorize nouns and daily greetings in car rides with Ah Virdio or Miss GradiGradi’s. Miss KosKos is trying to get us a private tutor. That might help rejuvenate things. Currently the one she found is rather pricey so we’re still taking it into consideration.

Friday, October 29, 2004

food glorious food

I’m so hungry!! It’s 3 pm and I know it’s just a miniscule 3 hrs more to “azan” but I’m just SO HUNGRY!! I really don’t know how models and celebrities do it but starving is such hard work. I can’t really study much with the word FOOD FOOD FOOD just chiming in my brain. Miss KosKos is most concern about me going home and binging on all the good Malaysian food. It would forfeit all my efforts till now. And I’m really afraid of myself too because I cannot control myself most of the time. I wish I had a “pendirian yang teguh” when it comes to eating. I tend to just throw food into my mouth like nobody’s business. Now it’s goodbye “ayam percik”, goodbye Secret Recipe cakes, goodbye McDonald's Filet-O-Fish + vanilla milkshake, goodbye “roti telur + kari ayam”, goodbye Breadtalk floss buns, goodbye “nasi lemak”, goodbye A&W chilli-dog + Root beer FLOAT, goodbye Auntie Anne’s pretzels + large lemonade, goodbye blueberry + apple Cinnabon, goodbye KFC Zinger burger, goodbye “char kuey teow” oh “char kuey teoww”… I forgot how much I miss “char kuey teow” and “bak kut teh” and COLISEUM SIZZLING STEAK. Man, this renouncing of food is torturous, kinda brings a tear to my eye.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

men are from timbuktoo

Exams are at the end of this week and will last till Friday of the next week. Crap. I know people hear this more than often enough but I really am NOT prepared for the exams. As the years go by, I have become less disturbed by pressure. Kind of numbed to the sensation maybe. I know I’m scared because I feel nausea and my respiratory rate quickens but I still don’t really bother to study. I just want to go home. I usually can’t stand this place but it gets most unbearable when I set the dates to my flight ticket. That’s when the whole ‘I wanna go home’ syndrome kicks in and all I can do is hope the sun sets faster. Sometimes I just don’t know how to explain how much I despise this place.
I got a reply. I sort of signed Mr Semangka's guest book some days ago and HE replied. Not much of a progress though. HE sort of gave a stumped reply. Nothing that could carry on the so-called non conversation. I don’t know whether I should keep trying. I’m torn between trying to remain classy and developing a hot pursuit. I’ve consulted a few parties regarding this dilemma.

Miss KosKos, Miss MasMas, Miss IyanIyan: do not pursue any further, do not risk being labeled pathetic.
Miss PetchiPetchi, Miss RenjitRenjit: keep going or nothing will happen

Boys are such complex people. Moreover, I don’t know how to go about all this whole trying to attain attention thing. It’s hard. The last time I had such a heavy crush was 4 years back. And I don’t think I did a good job developing that relationship. It’s definitely the FAT thing. I bet things could have had a better prognosis if my pants size was equivalent to Cameron Diaz’. And after what happen pre-prom (1998), I don’t think I could ever muster the guts to ask a boy out anymore. His name was IvanL and we were in the same class through out higher secondary (Form 4 + Form 5). I’ve never really noticed him around but I did know he was relatively popular among his friends. Anyway we starred in the class play together and I was intrigued by this pleasant, well-mannered boy who was great with people, studies and sports. Frankly, I didn’t even realize we went to the same tuition class till I started being fascinated about him. I would sketch the back of his head on my “karangan’ notes and find all opportunities to try to get a conversation going. I suppose he was just trying to be the nice gentleman that day when he offered to carry my stuff when we walked to tuition class together but I thought perhaps he MIGHT be interested in this FAT girl after all. I was plainly wrong. Fast forward a few months and our school prom was a few weeks ahead. I decided I had done enough waiting so I approached him to ask him to be my date to the prom. I still cringe when I reminisce what happened. My friends were tagging behind as my support banisters as I ran up to him. I laid out my proposal and he looked somewhat petrified. Like I opened Pandora’s box or something. He started to give excuses and I tried to remedy every excuse. WHY DID I EVEN BOTHER? So anyway at one point he just… kinda… ran away home. Literally. Like that scene out of Forrest Gump. I don’t think I could have been more mortified. He never talked to me after that. Sometimes I wonder what it was about me that left him so horrified. The FAT thing I can understand but also maybe (horrors!!) I wasn’t smart. Yup, society not only demands perfection off your looks but your mind as well. So in order to work out with the social order you must be Einstein in Claudia Schiffer. Right.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

skinny pants

It’s the 2nd week I am fasting and sometimes I feel so weak that I think, should I just close my eyes, I could drop dead. And there’s a box of steamed chocolate brownies in my refrigerator just calling out to me, I can feel their shrieks travel down my spine. Miss KosKos calls them the call of the devil. Therefore I must refrain. Things are going pretty well till now. I dropped 1.5kg since my first weigh-in last week. But that’s just water weight. So really, it’s nothing to be beaming about. I’m so dehydrated that I would drink my own piss. I have this size 10 pants I bought from MNG that I have to hold double breaths if I want to zip them up. I love them pants to death but they are wayyy too small for me. I don’t know why I even bought it considering the fact I have to shove my stout thighs in them for 15 minutes before it can ride up my ass. FAT girls always have a small-sized pants lying discreetly in their wardrobe for their ‘one-day-when-I-am-thin’ day. They usually don’t work towards the ‘goal’ but it’s just there… sitting patiently for THE day to come. Like as if, one day miraculously we’d wake up thin and slip them in like powdered gloves onto fingers. Mine has been a wardrobe resident for about 2 years now. It’s a black knee-length corduroy Capri with cargo pockets by MNG.

I should start exercising.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

reticence

Today marks the first week I am fasting. I can’t really help but to fast, partially because it acts well as a crash diet and partially because there just isn’t any food to eat. It’s not like back home in Malaysia where restaurant business still goes on as usual but you won’t see a Muslim in sight. Over here, there are local Muslims who don’t fast but yet all the eateries are shut. Very bizarre. Also in a sense, I am fasting for my Buddhist society friend. She has recently been diagnosed with cerebral infarction… that’s a stroke for you non-health personnels. I am deeply saddened by this because she’s only 21. 21 year-olds should be out partying and having the best times of their lives with their newfound freedom, not sitting put in a hospital with aphasia (inability to speak).

Miss Yaya and especially all my 2001 Buddhist society batch mates have been very generous to me especially when I first arrived in Jatinangor. They made me feel welcomed and guided me through many awkward moments. They are lovely, simple people with such faiths that move. I know I was moved. They did not ridicule me for not memorizing my ‘Namakaragatha’ though they did find it weird that I don’t regularly go to the temple. My family isn’t very religious. I didn’t even know the temple protocol 'till I came to Indon. So in a sense, they quite enlightened me. Since religion was a formal subject worth 2 credits of lectures, I now have a good basic knowledge of Buddha and his teachings. As much as I found religion to be such a new subject in my life, they too found me as nouveau. Maybe because of the bizarre things I say and do as well as the bizarre way I dress. I brought cheerleading and Britney Spears dance moves into the society and they brought meditation and prayers into me. So Miss Yaya, this year’s “puasa” is for you. I wish you speedy recovery:

"Araham Sammasambuddho Bhagava Buddham Bhagavantam Abhivademi

Svakatto Bhagavata Dhammo Dhammam Namassami

Supatipanno Bhagavato Savakasangho Sangham Namami"

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

FAT girl

So hello. I am a FAT girl. I weigh 64.5 kg and with my mere 153cm height, makes my BMI a whopping 27. I am not obese yet but I am definitely tipping the scales at overweight. You would think I should be proud of my body now with the new-age love-yourself movies and bootie culture but no, I am not. Society still reserves their silent recognition for the stick insects. So today, I have decided to put down some weight. For a boy. A boy I met on the internet. I christen him Mr Semangka.

To tell you the truth, I’ve always wondered how I’d look like if I was thinner. I don’t ever remember myself being slender.. ever!! Well, perhaps there is an exception to this. At one point in my life when I enrolled into a ballet school: the Federal Academy of Ballet (FAB), I believe I did slim down quite abit then… I was 9-ish years old and had come from another ballet school in SS2. Mmmy, had read or perhaps heard about FAB and decided to sign me into a better ballet school. Either that or the previous one had to close down or something. Whatever it is, I cannot remember. So FAT-ty 9 year-old me sauntered into class in my low-grade blue leotard and tied-up ponytail (bad mistake, the dress code was FAB blue leotard and pinned-up bun with mountains of hairspray) eager to learn the ‘better’ technique. I should have known better because the moment I waddled my chubby feet into class, Miss Yeong shredded my ego like a lion to a carcass. She was frank and brutal. No one had really called me FAT to my face out loud before till her. It was a nightmare. She would tell me that my legs looked like pieces of FAT drumsticks and that I must have ate mountains and mountains of chocolate, which is why my stomach was horribly gigantic. You might feel sorry for me, but it’s OK, cos there were 2 other FAT girls in my class so we three shared the weight of her snide comments. I was the only one of the three who made startling progress in the slimming department. I reduced my portion of food to almost nothing, ate only fruits and ran around the “padang” 3 times every evening. The only downside was that I had killer peptic ulcer but it was a small price to pay to get my back off Miss Yeong. The slimming-down process was at its peak till I developed a case of chicken pox. I was embarrassed to return to class with all the scabs plastered around my body so I begged Mmmy to let me stop having ballet classes. Bad mistake, I ballooned up and gained all the weight I ever put off then and more!

So it’s been 14 years since and I am 23 years old now. Still overweight and not a day younger. Last week, I stumbled upon this website. It was an online diary of this person. Almost instantly I felt the strongest attraction to Mr Semangka. I wanted to know everything about HIM: HIS fears, HIS prized possessions, HIS memories, HIS experiences, HIS thoughts on matters etc.. unfortunately, I don’t think HE’d wanna know anything about me. Well, I don’t blame HIM. No one really pays much attention to FAT girls anyway. We do make good friends though. We remember birthdays, listen closely to conversations and are almost always jovial. FAT people are stereotyped to be bubbly people. They dare not call me FAT so they call me bubbly. Sometimes I feel like throwing a chair into their faces.
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