How NOT To Tackle Exams

For the first time in two weeks, I’m up before the sun is. Seeing that sunrise is at 9.54a.m., you know what I’m getting at. I wish I could say it’s because I’m hard at work, drinking in page upon page of my Surgery textbook, but the truth is, my friends and I have never been this lazy before an exam, especially not one this important.

Today is the day I attempt to do work instead of sitting around like a House-addicted twat (yeah, I know. The show’s not even cool anymore.)

But before I do that, let me pull some wisdom out of my bum and tell you how NOT to prepare for important state exams that determine your future.

1. Get At Least 10 Hours’ Sleep

I’m usually a person who only needs about 5-6 hours of sleep and some coffee to function somewhat well. While I was happy that classes were over and I wouldn’t have to wake up before birds did, I was confident I wouldn’t sleep more than the luxurious 7 hours I normally give myself on weekends.

What rubbish.

My body has been a pathetic disappointment. I’ve been sleeping at 5a.m. and waking up at 2p.m., followed by a 90-minute nap after brushing my teeth and reading the news. Add my chores like cooking and laundry to my day and I’m left with very little time with the books.

2. Eat Lots

This is my procrastination method of choice. I could read while snacking or having tea, but this person who used to sneak a book to the dining table as a kid now has issues with reading and eating at the same time. Let me give you an example of how I use eating to ruin my chances at a decent exam results AND fitting into a Karen Millen dress:

2p.m. – Roll out of bed

2.10- Weigh out the pros and cons of my breakfast options while reading tweets and Facebook notifications

2.30 – Have breakfast

3p.m. – Brush teeth and make myself look generally presentable for human interaction.

3.30 – Realise that I could’ve had lunch as soon as I woke up. I mean, it’s the afternoon, right? It makes perfect sense.

3.35 – Surf the Net for lunch recipes that are healthy and not boring.

4.30 – Decide that everything on the Internet is too fancy and settle on making anything that has the chili supply of a small country in its gravy.

4.35 – Have a cup of coffee and biscuits before I begin cooking (you know, because cooking is such a taxing task and breakfast may not be able to sustain me till I’m done.)

5 p.m. – Start cooking.

6.30 – Have lunch

7p.m. – Have tea and Kinder Bueno for dessert

7.20 – Hang out with friends while food makes its way down the GI tract.

8p.m. – Have coffee so I can stay awake to study

8.30 – Realise that it’s late enough to have dinner…

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

3. Live On Social Networking Sites.

Imagine Twitter is a bright shiny thing. Well, I’m the fucking magpie that keeps flying to it. I swear, the tab is always open and I check every.bloody.new.tweet. Heck, if Twitter were a person, they would have a restraining order out for me. What’s worse, I talk to my roommates about tweets I find funny. I bet they’re looking for a Twitterholics Anonymous in Moscow or something.

4. Find New/Interesting/Creative Music Videos On Youtube

Every time I have an exam, I create a playlist of about 400 songs that I’ll never be able to listen in one sitting because I have the attention span of a goldfish with ADD. This year is no different, except that I’m a little bored with the songs on my iTunes and the world is not coming out with anything worth listening to. Thankfully, the good people I follow on Twitter sometimes share music links. While I may not like the song they’re sharing, the related videos featured on the page may have some gems. Here are my current top three favourites:

1. Utah Saints – Something Good
( I prefer the High Contrast remix, but this video is pretty cute)

2. David Armand (as Johann Lippowitz) and Natalie Imbruglia – Torn

3. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

Okay, I probably should use my burst of early morning energy to read about pancre….Oh, new tweet! Gotta go.

Pudding And Pools

This summer held a lot of promise. While in Moscow, I was told that I would be living in a new place, and not only did this new place have an air-conditioned room for me, it even had a swimming pool. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to coming home.

You see, ┬ámy fifth year in med school was nothing less than a bitch in heat that no dog wants to fuck. It was so hectic, I don’t even want to talk about it. You would need to hypnotise me if you wanted to listen to my traumatic experiences. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad. It was stressful, which made me eat a lot. When I say, “a lot” what I mean is, “I only stopped short of raiding my guninea pig’s cage for snacks.” Eating a lot made me put on quite a bit of weight. In fact, it’s the weight gain that I find traumatising.

What does my weight have to do with summer, you ask? Everything. A summer in Malaysia usually ends only in one way: with people leaving as proud owners of a second chin. Food is good, cheap and available everywhere. In other words, the chances of the numbers on the scale going down were very, very low.

Now that I live in a condo which has a swimming pool and since I love swimming, you’d think that I’d make full use of the pool and lose all my exam weight. Yeah, sure. Not even my toe has seen the cool, chlorinated water that I had great plans of splashing around in.

Note How I'm Not In The Photo

To make matters worse, I have an uncle who doesn’t snack between meals; one meal just blends in with the next. He doesn’t want to eat alone, so I’m roped in to keep him company. My stomach has forgotten what it feels like to be empty. Poor bastard sure is gonna suffer when I’m back in Moscow.

If you’re wondering whether my uncle is overweight, let me assure you that he is not. He does enough exercise to keep 3 middle-aged women fit. What he fails to understand is that I barely do enough exercise to keep myself fit. In fact, I probably do just enough to not get a heart attack.

This awful combination of minimal exercise and obscene amounts of food has led to the fastest weight gain I have ever experienced in my life, and I am quite the expert when it comes to..ahem..excess baggage. I’ve only been home for 24 days. Shorts that fit me when I arrived can’t go past my bum anymore and the loose T-shirts that I bought last week show off a pretty revolting bulge where my hip bones used to be ( I prodded and poked, I can’t find them anymore.) There’s only so much shrinkage I can blame on my clothes’ dryer.

That said, I sadly admit defeat and accept that getting into a size-10 dress is a bit like riding a pink and turquoise talking unicorn to Narnia.

It’s May. Let The Mistake Making Begin!

Clearly I’m a random sort of person and at the rate I’m going, I may graduate before I write something proper. So here’s some stuff I sifted out of my head.

1. Forensic Medicine classes have begun. My major plan to ace this one is to download and watch as many episodes of CSI my puny little laptop is capable of holding.

2. The Malaysian Students’ Annual Dinner is in two days. The past weekend was spent consuming fajitas, burgers, fried chicken, loads of fries, moist chocolate cake covered in melted white chocolate, and enough barbecued meat to make up a decent sized lamb leg. I might as well just go wearing a saree.

3. Speaking of barbecued meat, I had such a great time at a barbecue party on Labour Day that I’m still raving about it. I don’t know whether it was the different company, the wonderful food or the fact that every beverage I had between 11a.m. and 9p.m. was alcoholic, but it KICKED ASS.

4.Exams are in a month. Seeing that I did crappily in the one paper everyone said was as easy as Paris Hilton, I’m already worried about this semester’s papers because they’re all hard. Am I doing anything to reduce my worry? Nah, I’ve got a month.

5. My term as a glorified letter writer is coming to an end. I am over the moon about this. My heart is singing and the birds are dancing to the melodies playing in my soul. I’m exaggerating, of course. I barely did enough to warrant such joy. The work I did this past year makes the previous secretary look like a rabid workaholic. Or maybe he just is a rabid workaholic and I’m normal. Either way, I’ll be done and I can go back to my quiet life of ignorance and sloth.

That’s all folks!

My Winter Break (I Kid You Not)

I can’t believe I’m going to type this. This used to be my least favourite topic to write about in primary school, and here I am, posting it on my blog for people (yes, all four of you) to read. The exams must have fucked me harder than I recall.

My two-week winter holidays have finally come to an end. I’m looking forward to classes, mainly because this is what I’ve been up to:

1. Swatting flies. Literally. Thanks to Pedro, my half-blind, fully annoying guinea pig. Apparently the perfectly balanced combination of rodent poo, bedding and hidden stashes of food is excellent for breeding noisy, filthy flies. There are so many of them that I’ve gone slightly nutty. I am convinced that they have favourite spots, strategies to avoid me (sitting anywhere above 160 cm from the floor seems to do the trick) and personalities. I’m pretty sure that any sane person will know that I’m expecting too much from an insect that lives for less than a month.

Pedro in his home a.k.a Diptera Love Shack

Either way, I’ve invested in a decent fly swatter. Whenever I go on my daily “hunt”, it looks like I’ve combined badminton with basketball and pro-wrestling. I add pro-wrestling into the mix because there’s a fair amount of smack talk from me while I’m on my killing spree, ranging from “I’m going to kill you and spit upon your buzzing corpse” to “Hah! Go ahead, fuck around with me. Make my day.”

2. Shopping. This one was quite disappointing, not because there weren’t enough outlets with mad sales, or because there was nothing appealing to me. I just can’t shop. I’ve tried. I’ve gone with friends, I’ve gone alone, I’ve tried going early to avoid crowds, I’ve tried going when I had more time than I could care for. For some inexplicable reason, I cannot walk into every shop in a mall and scrutinise every item on display just for the heck of it. I rarely buy stuff because I want it, and even when I do, I rush into a store, quickly scan the place, buy the thing and scurry out. I’ve been in denial for some time now, but last week, when I was impatiently weaving through people to get out of a mall when I has absolutely NO reason to rush, I knew that it was pointless; I just don’t do shopping.

3. Eating. This wasn’t part of the plan, well at least not my plan. My plan was to spend some quality time walking outside with my pedometer on so that I could finally conquer virtual Tokyo and maybe have a small victory in the Tight Jeans Battle. My friends’ plan was to cook all sorts of lovely, decadent meals that would render us motionless after consumption. The choice between gobbling good food and walking in subzero temperatures was not a hard one to make. Class is on Monday, I’ll be wearing track bottoms.

At this rate, my Gynaecology cycle is beginning to look very inviting.