25 December 2010
17 December 2010
16 December 2010
13 December 2010
Barb is also running Android; on her new Dell Streak. Her contract was up on her old phone, so she cancelled her old phone and USB Internet stick and got the Dell instead. She is loving her phone way more than I thought she would. It is also huge with a 5" screen.
03 December 2010
Also, Apollyon got naked (for a cat). She was starting to get uncomfortable in the heat, so we borrowed a pet clipper from a friend (thanks, Robyn!) and did the job ourselves rather than pay the vet $120 to do it. Granted, the vet sedates the cat first. I can now see the logic of that approach! Here's a clip (pun intended):
Lastly, I kept up the Klassen tradition of making gingerbread. Except I found ninja shaped cookie cutters, so now they're NINJAbread men! Very fun, and the friends we have shared them with get the joke. That's nice.
21 November 2010
12 November 2010
MSAT went OK, but not great
First day writing was terrible (Anatomy section: Name all the ligaments in your ankle, and how they attach to everything. Don't worry, we will entirely ignore your knowledge of muscle origins, insertions, blood supplies and innervation. We never hinted once to focus your study on ligaments. Sucker.)
Second day of writing was good, and third day was also good. So hopefully it will come out in the wash. Which would make me a third year med student. YAY! only 749 days to graduation!
Just to mess with people, the whole class (via FB) decided to write our very last exam dressed as either pirates or ninjas. It was very fun, and the confused looks on the invigilators' faces made it so sweet. I think the pirates outnumbered the ninjas (the ones you could see, anyways). After the exam, we all met at the Regatta (the meddie's favourite pub) for some celebration. It was such a relief to not think about the JONES criteria for Rheumatic heat disease or the pathophysiology of Parkinson's.
That night, Rob and helped process boxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. There were at least a gazillion, but it was good to go and help out.
The next day, I filled out the paperwork to officially become a Christmas elf for Australia Post. I will be working in one of the mail processing centres to sort the extra mail that comes through during the holidays.
So that's the scoop so far this week.
06 November 2010
Tomorrow is the first of 4 days of exams for me. Day one is the MSAT, or multiple station assessment test, is five stations involving showing off our "Mad Skillz" at clinical diagnosis, history taking, physical exam, ethics reasoning and advanced life support. Mine is at 8 am. So much coffee will be consumed before 6:30 am to get me hopped up enough to be awake and coherent. Good thing I'm not addicted, AT ALL. The next 3 days after that are 3hrs each of written exams, covering the last two years. Again, early consumption of caffeine will take place. Thursday morning, I will begin coffee detox, and expect to have a monster headache, be moderately constipated, and sleep until Saturday. So looking forward to it. For some reason, finals always make me remember and repeatedly recite the poetry of Alfred Tennyson to myself. Specifically "the Charge of the Light Brigade":
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!" he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
Time to continue to make ready for the charge. 400 of us will be facing the cannons tomorrow.
29 October 2010
27 October 2010
25 October 2010
And just make sure I didn't clash with Barb's dress
24 October 2010
23 October 2010
Early next month the students are having a drama production and i get to do sound effects, help with lighting & props and generally just be a techie.
BTW: There is a new school starting next year that I have done a bit of work for. I've made the placeholder website for it at www.HymaYumba.qld.edu.au
18 October 2010
First off, we found out about half way there that we we supposed to bring fancy clothes for the supper that night. Barb had to pick up a dress and I a tie at Target in Toowoomba. We changed at McDonalds. After the dinner and keynote address, we found out that we were supposed have brought a sleeping bag as we were staying a Camp Toowoomba the first night. Lucky Brody brought a few extra and Barb & I shared one sleeping bag.
The next day was the drive to Stanthorpe. We we supposed to go to the horse races that day, but the excess rain canceled them. Instead we went on a tour of the wineries in the area. We ended up going to three wineries; had lunch in one and dinner at another. We also stopped for dessert at "The Bramble Patch". All in all a very pleasant day.
The photos for the weekend are now up at the website:
15 October 2010
14 October 2010
OK, shiny thing. I was distracted. I invited as many (and more) than our apartment would hold, and set into planning. My Aussie guests were genuinely intrigued, as most had heard of the holiday, but had never celebrated it. Do you dress up? Do you bring presents? Is this about pilgrims? It suddenly struck me that there is never an end to the growing season here. In Canada, everything that will be food for the year is off the fields by October, hence the Thanksgiving for the harvest. As a child of farmer's children, the farm cycle is familiar and has a comfortable rhythm. Here bananas and mangoes are local produce, and it never gets cold enough to signal the END of the growing season. It was a moment of culture shock for me. The second shock was the bird. In order to procure a turkey, I needed to make arrangements with the local butcher 2 weeks in advance, and it was flown in (not under its own power, I assume) frozen from who-knows-where. It also cost $75.00!!! Yikes! Nevertheless, we returned home with our bird and a large bore needle and syringe from the chemist. I injected him with butter all over, and into the oven he went. 5 1/2 hours later, 16 guests arrived, each contributing to the feast, including made-from-scratch pumpkin pie. It was spectacularly delicious. A good time was had by all, even though it got very cozy. There are pictures on the website, courtesy of Rob. Thanks, indeed! God is good.
I am now employed. I work for Chermside Medical Centre as a casual receptionist, and so far, so good. It's good to know I will have something to do over the Christmas break, and making some income won't hurt either.
07 October 2010
I've also been able to play with graphic arts with our church. I've been video taping the sermons, editing and uploading them. You can see it at:
I have to admit the seasons here are very confusing for my Canadian head. There is not a huge change from winter to spring to summer. I know it's October, but it doesn't "feel" like October; no fall leaves, no slowly getting colder. We are having a Thanksgiving dinner here on Saturday but it does seem like Thanksgiving time. Also, we saw the first of the Christmas goodies at the grocery store yesterday; candy canes, fruit cake etc. Christmas is a summer holiday here, no snow, no snowmen, no walking out into the bush to cut down a tree. I guess eventually it will all make sense.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, we are planning to have a big meal here on Saturday. We ordered a 7kg turkey from the butcher, and invited some friends over. Barb got a bit carried away and now we have about 16 people coming. It will be crowded in here. Should also be a blast.
30 September 2010
As far as the latest news, I was able to attend a med conference in Goondiwindi (or "Gundy" as the locals call it) with excellent speakers and good networking opportunities. Best of all, it was all expenses paid for myself and about 15 students from all over the state. I got to meet John and Jill Murtaugh, who authored one of my textbooks. He and his wife were wonderful speakers and people, and were a joy to get to know. Jill later mailed me some palliative care resources and an encouraging letter. So a very positive experience. I put some photos up on the photo page from the weekend.
I also managed to experience food poisoning last Saturday, and will now never forget the effects of Enterotoxin B, courtesy of Staph aureus. Blech.
In kitty news, Rosie is really cute and really destructive. Most of my notes now have holepunching that is kitten tooth sized. She also has a fondness for munching cables, and has made several pieces out of my cell charger cable and Rob's laptop charger cable. Chewed right through the copper wiring. Both were plugged in at the time, so it's a wonder she didn't electrocute herself. I guess babies are challenging no matter their species. Also , one of my best friends had to put down her furry buddy of 12 years this week. It's so painful to lose these animals, even though they are just that. It made memories of putting down my 14 yr old Siamese-Himalayan friend in 2004 very fresh. So she and I cried together over the phone and the miles.
This week I have an exam on Friday, as well as 2 job interviews for work over the Christmas break. No pressure!
08 September 2010
I've also been asked to be part of a thinking group about international students in rural training here in Qld, and was Quoted in the RDAQ (Rural doctors' association of QLD) newsletter:
Foreign medical students a solution, not a problem
...Foreign fee-paying medical students represented an untapped opportunity to solve Queensland’s rural medical workforce problems, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Dan Halliday said today. He was responding to calls reported in the Courier-Mail for their numbers to be regulated.
“We know that Queensland is training hundreds of foreign fee-paying students: we’re training in English, in Queensland, to Queensland standards,” he said. “What more could we want?”
Dr Halliday knows why most return overseas after training. “At the recent RDAQ Conference in Mackay, we were all stunned to find that they’re not guaranteed intern places. That was a surprise to us and to the Deputy Premier, Paul Lucas who was at the conference.”
Completion of an intern year is essential before a doctor can be registered or further trained, but is only guaranteed for citizens or permanent residents. “Many would stay, but we throw them all out as soon as they’re qualified,” Dr Halliday said.
“I spent a year apart from my husband and will carry a quarter million dollar debt by the time I’m finished,” said Barbara Bradshaw, a second year medical student at University of Queensland, who dropped the bombshell on the Deputy Premier at the conference. “I want to stay. I want to go rural and serve the health needs of Australians.”
Barbara is not alone, as there are 80 internationals, predominantly English-speaking Canadians, in her year at UQ. The Courier-Mail has reported there are 170 in this year’s intake. Two thirds may remain as doctors in Queensland and Australia if they could get intern training here.
“We train these doctors, to Queensland standards, and send them home whether they want to stay and work for us or not,” Dr Halliday said. “On the other hand, we import doctors from overseas and put tremendous effort into verifying their training, and their language skills, and we can still run into problems.”
RDAQ points out that country Queenslanders’ health would be devastated without international medical graduates (IMGs), who make up 50% of the rural medical workforce.
“Queensland internships for foreign students are a smart option”.
So, um, yah. Didn't expect to be grabbing the limelight while here, but it's happening anyway.
"I'm going to Disneyland!"
06 September 2010
03 September 2010
Last weekend we went to the Festival of Flight at the Watts Bridge Memorial airfield near Esk. It was a fly-in event were people can bring whatever interesting plane they have. It ranged from a replica of a 1909 Beriot, to a 1934 deHaviland Dragon transport, a WW2 era P-51, private planes from the 50s & 60s, pre and post-war trainers, even a home-built jet. I have pictures available on our website and a video on YouTube. It was also just nice to get out of the city for a bit. Esk is about an hour and a half drive. Going there we took the shorter but slower route over Mount Glorious, but came back through Ipswitch.
For all my Canadian readers, August 24th was the 196th anniversary of troops from Canada burning down the White House and much of Washington. Hopefully that will teach the Americans, and they won't try to invade again.
Next weekend is the big fireworks display in Brisbane; Riverfire. I am quite looking forward to it. This is also supposed to be the last time the Australian Air Force's F-111 do their famous dump and burn display. It is supposed to be spectacular.
At church I have been volunteering to video tape the sermons and edit them afterwards. If anybody wants to see they are at the church's website: www.windsorroad.com.au.
18 August 2010
19 July 2010
Rob and I have purchased a Christmas tree. We were actually driving to a fabric store (which would make your brain explode, it has soooo many different bits and baubles) (Second parenthesis: My husband OFFERED to take me to a fabric store. Proof positive he is nuts, or loves me, or both) and low an behold, we observed a large inflatable Santa on a low set building. This required investigation, as Christmas is a fairly big deal at our house. an hour later, we escaped with a seriously reduced price tree, and some lights and decorations. Now we need a tree topper. But I have 5 months to obsess over that.
And WAYYY to late, it was reported that I went to a conference in Mackay, QLD. This is actually true. It's just taken me this long to get around to blogging about it. About a dozen UQ med students were funded to attend, and I was one of them. This was asuch an amazing opportunity, as my budget generally doesn't allow for $1000 weekends. I had a chance to engage the Minister of Health (also the Deputy Premier) Paul Lucas, had coffee with the AMAQ president, created a press release with the RDAQ president and generally rubbed shoulders with the movers and shakers in QLD rural health. In addition, I had a chance to room with my good friend Rachel Norton, who is part of "The Sanity Crew" as we 6 or 7 students call ourselves. The sessions were on current issues in rural practice- emerging diseases, Indiginous health, maternity centres, etc. The entertainment was wonderful, and we even had an impromptu party in our suite with members of ALL the QLD med schools' delegates (I took a picture of the contents of the fridge, but will not publish them as it was full of booze- even though I was not). All in all, a fantastic weekend. Many thanks to Dr. John Hall for sponsoring my place there.
Oh, and via my friend Kiva-Marie: "Neuroanatomy on Monday morning is like tequila shots on an empty stomach. Seems like a good idea at the time. 'What's one shot of tequila?'/'What's a little neuroanatomy?' Lol. Fortunately, tequila goes quite well with salty & greasy food - and SO DOES NEUROANATOMY. It is amazing how much better something gets when combined with chips and aioli!" Just thought I would leave you with a small picture of where my life has devolved to.
13 July 2010
12 July 2010
Also this morning I picked up our order from www.OCanada.com.au. We now have a little stash of Canadian things to eat. For lunch today Barb is making President Choice White Macaroni. It seems weird but it is somehow comforting to see French & English on the box. Dinner's almost ready, so gotta go. Abbey Faire photos should be up later today.
10 July 2010
Well, today is Barb's 35th birthday. She had only one class this morning. We went out for celebratory Whoppers at Hungry Jacks. And are planning on seeing a movie tonight.Tomorrow we are going to a Renaissance Faire the Abbey Medieval Tournament. Here are what our costumes look like. More info about it tomorrow.
08 July 2010
Those of you on Facebook already know this, but I am no longer an unemployed bum. I got a job doing tech support at a girl's school on the south side of Brisbane. It is a temp position for two months while the guy that is currently does it goes and sabbatical with his wife to the USA. (She's a prof). It is for 8 weeks in August & September. I have already worked there for three days doing a video for a new school they are starting. I am excited that I have a job and it's even something I think I will love doing. HURRAY!!!
We just ordered 90 bucks worth of stuff. To be fair, most of it is groceries. Should be ready for pickup tomorrow or the next day. This also means Barb has access to a local source of Tim Horton's coffee.
04 July 2010
On Canada Day we had a bit of a party here. We watched the Olympic men's hockey game and then an episode of Corner Gas. We barbecued, Barb made some poutine and Naniamo bars. This is quite an accomplishment as we have been unable to find cheese curds (used soft Mozzarella) or graham wafers (used cookie crumbles).
We thought about getting some Canuck beer. I even found a company in Perth that imports Molson Canadian, but they wanted $90per case plus $30 shipping. I figure $5/bottle is a bit much, but then again I case would last us months and months. Either way It would of never of made here on time.
Barb was very giving and shared some of her Tim Horton's coffee stash. I am informed that Timmies uses Colombian coffee, whereas most of the coffee here is Arabica. I am told this makes a difference. Although I actually enjoy the smell of coffee, I just think it all tastes like burn beans.
29 June 2010
"We would love to stay here and work in rural Australia. With the various roadblocks put in place for foreign students we may not be able to. Why would you not want people that are passionate enough about medicine that they move half way round the world and pay 4x as much just to be able to go medical school? Are these not the kinds of people you want in your rural hospitals?
Just to answer a few questions; the reason there are so many Canadians coming to UQ is because the various federal and provincial governments have very few medical school positions available. For example the province of Alberta with a population equal to Queensland has only 150 seats each year, whereas UQ alone has about 400 seats. They figure it is cheaper to bring in fully trained doctors from South Africa, India, the UK, etc. instead. As one who grew up in a remote rural area I can tell you that it doesn't help rural medicine in the long term. The doctors stay in the rural area for the minimum requirement and then move to the city. Why not train doctors that want to work rural?"
27 June 2010
- I just uploaded some pictures I took last night at Mt Cooth-tha. I was planning to catch the full moon rising over the ocean, but it was too cloudy to even see the moon until after it has risen. I did however, photograph a time-lapse of the city growing dark. I also took a few night shots of the city. We are currently in the throes of winter (for all you northern hemisphere, people think December). It is starting to get a bit chilly: I even wore a jacket for the first time since moving here.
Since Barb had the week before last off at school we went for a beach day with some friends at Gold Coast. Since we are in "the throes of winter" I was the only one of us who actually went in the water. The water temp. was "only" 21C. Afterwards we went out for chocolate a Max Brenner's, kind of a Second Cup but serves chocolate.
The weekend before that Barb went up to a Rural Medicine conference in MacKay. She had a lot of fun, and was able to smooze with a bunch of the big wigs in the Queensland medical community. (I think she is planning to blog about it, so keep you eye pasted here)
That's about it for the news. Good night everyone and remember less than 6 months to Christmas ;-)
08 June 2010
I am writing the first of 3 exams tomorrow. Each one is 2 hours long, and can and will be about anything from first year to now. I am more than a little stressed. I even got Rob to lock me out of my Facebook account to decrease the distractions. However, humour is always good. So here's a fun poem that's been circulating:
Twas the week before med exams,
And all through pbl
Some unshaven creatures
Are acquiring the smell
Of sobered up students
Eating things out of cans
Tired yet driven
To excel at exams
Saleem told us to study
Why did we not listen?
As we crack open our books
Some so new they still glisten
Gone are PBL triggers
And the comic relief
From our dear PBL groups -
Whom we part from in grief
Locked inside as we study
While winter doth fall
Waking from the best nap
Upon Guyton & Hall
To Matt Devine wepray,
For his knowledge and skill
As we cram everything in
To prepare for the kill
Exam 1 will come soon-
EBM is the devil
We’ll stagger out in the end
Looking doubly dishevelled
Hold off on the cheers
Don’t forget Exam 3 and 2
Two more nights of lockdown
Till sweet freedom for you
When it’s all handed in,
We’re 3/8 through the race!
Ask Santa for a Seven,
Now please go shave your face
"Now I lay me down to rest,
a pie of books upon my chest.
If I should die before I wake,
that's one less test I'll have to take!"
25 May 2010
10 May 2010
- got strapped to a spine board several times
- facial burns lighting a BBQ
- crashed my bicycle into a car
- got shot with a gun in a mall parking lot
- got hit over the head with a pool cue in a bar fight
- fell down the stairs drunk
- got paralyzed by a falling cylinder at work
- got kicked in the kneecap by a horse.
It was kind fun pretending to be hurt. The easiest one was the bar fight because I was unconscious. Plus, I made $60.
In the real world I Barb & I went to the Mother's Day run & walk. I ran the 8km in 1:02:47. Barb did the walk. I didn't really train much for it and now I hurt. The race course was here (Opens Google Earth)
I have started a new enterprise since this job hunting thing isn't going so well. I've been making custom keyboards in a Steampunk style. The first two items are now up on Ebay. The website is at babbage.eh-team.net.