fall asleep to the tik tik tik of the universe expanding

Dated: 23rd March, 2018

I…have my anatomy sessional tomorrow. It’s currently 7:03 pm. I’ve been awake since 4:30 am and been studying since. We had regular classes until yesterday. I had a good panic cry around 6pm when I realized I still have all of neuroanatomy and osteology and histology to go over, and I’m not even done with all of the gross anatomy yet, but I decided to stop and take a shower and I’m currently immersed in sweet-smelling body lotion. I haven’t moisturised anything other than my perpetually parched face since the last time my parents gave me a bath, which I’m guessing was probably like a good 13-14 years ago, so this is nice, I guess.

Look, it’s okay, I just have to breathe and do whatever I can, and I will have done my best, because I did try really hard this semester compared to the last one; I’ve been doing fairly okay in the weekly tests, I’m pretty happy with the majority of the test results but none of those will matter if I don’t do well tomorrow and there’s just so much to do.

Neuroanatomy is…it’s. It’s fun but it’s also very overwhelming.

 

Dated: 24th March, 2018

The exam got over at 12:30. I came home about an hour ago. It actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, or as bad as it could have been. I don’t know if I wrote as much as I should have, but I barely finished on time as it is, I don’t think I could have written anymore without completely missing some questions.

Physiology on Monday. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t even know where to start with physio. It isn’t a difficult subject, really, but we’re doing several systems at the same time which makes lectures confusing. Only two of the professors actually pause to recap and it’s just such a haze.

In other news, I’m getting stress zits, which isn’t a big deal–just a mild inconvenience at best but I’ve also lost a third of my hair in the past 2 days! I’m going to be bald by 21!
I! Love! Education!
No, but I really do though. Even though they’re stressful times, I really like exam season—I only have to spend 3 hours in college every other day and they go by really fast and we get 4 days off after. 4 entire days! We have the practical exams on the day we get back, and those include both actual practicals as well as theory viva and discussion—which is where they give you a specimen and ask you questions about it.
So, if you mess up, you can witness their disappointment in real time!

I kid. I’m fairly certain I will mess up even if I know the answer just because of sheer nerves—but that’s okay! The purpose of these is to get us used to it so we learn to keep our cool.
Point is, FOUR DAYS! Plus my practicals only start on the 3rd, so I’m gonna take an extra day off.

 

Dated: 26th March, 2018

I have the physiology exams in 9 hours. It’s past midnight, I’m going to try to get at least an hour of sleep but there’s so much??????

 

It’s done! It’s done, it’s over with. Went…alright, I guess? I managed to get TWO and a half hours of sleep, I’m not even tired.

 

Dated: 28th March, 2018

I had biochem today. It could have gone better, but it wasn’t too bad; I should pass. I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep.
ANYWAY, I’m going home today! I enjoy packing my little handbag for travel so much? It makes me feel so grown up, hey here’s the book(s!) I’m going to read on the flight, and here’s the lip balm and the moisturiser I will forget to use and here’s a gold glitter pen and the little sketchbook and my credit card and passport.

I’ve also had to pack textbooks and notes because practicals (which include theory viva voce) start the day after I come back. But! I’ve also packed the first edition of the chronicles of Narnia (it’s been 10 years since I last read it, can you imagine? Ten) and the first instalment of a 3 part series by Stephen King (the other 2 parts are obviously not in my possession, how else am I meant to continue the tradition of unknowingly stumbling upon a series and causing myself great upset) so I’m all set to lead a double life for the next 5 days!
(the last day is 4/5th waiting around the airport, so I should have plenty time to revise)

I haven’t been home since classes started, which was last September, and I just miss existing in that space so much? Like, the night air is different and the lights are different and I miss the feel of the earth upon walking out of the movie theatre at 10pm with my mum.

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the kids are all right

double mint cold to soothe your mortal bones

I got a face potion on, hair potion on, hand cream giving my formaldehyde-abused hands some much-needed reprieve and I’m taking a little study break.

Adjusting to this sort of a study routine and this vast a coursework is difficult, and I didn’t do the best in the series of tests we have every week, but I did pass in all of them so I’m hanging on. By my fingertips, sure, but still.

I had some bad couple weeks a week ago; I got sick one Monday and missed a test and an entire day of class and that gave me a lot of anxiety and it was just a lot of ‘hey maybe I’m not cut out for this’ and I felt like everybody else wasn’t having as difficult a time keeping up, but friends are good. Friends make you realize that you’re not in this alone, and everybody feels like everybody else is doing much better than they are and it’s normal.

There’s a learning curve to this whole thing because school was mostly messing around and now I’m studying things I actually want to be studying which means I have to put in an effort now, which is something I’d forgotten how to do, and I’m allowed to take my time. When things seem like they might be getting too much, I remind myself that grades aren’t everything and I shouldn’t place my self-worth on my academic performance. I could be a terrible, boring, untalented, unkind person and still ace the exams.

Another thing about college is that you can’t help but feel a little insignificant–just because there’s just so many people and the professors are still only getting to know you and it’s very different from the sort of atmosphere high school had where everybody knew everyone and you felt like you were heard. Not that the teachers aren’t always available and willing to listen if you do approach them, but I did feel a little alienated. I’m going to college halfway across the country from where I grew up in, and the kids here are different, and while I have a solid group of friends, I still do sometimes feel like a stranger on the outside looking in. But I felt that way when we first moved in the 8th grade as well and then I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had and we’ve stayed together for 5 years so I’m guessing that feeling will pass.

Speaking of things that will pass, time is going by so fast. I haven’t painted or really written anything these past two months even though I keep telling myself I will on some weekend. I have classes 6 days a week, and then Sundays off, but I have a test on a different subject every Monday so the weekend feels more like a study leave but I’m managing. I pulled an all-nighter this week and then got maybe 3 hours of sleep for 3 consecutive days because I had an Anatomy part-completion examination on Friday and all the tests are held alongside regular workdays so you have to keep up with the daily portions while studying for these, and even though the test didn’t go very well, I’m okay with that because I did as much as I could and there’s always the next test to do better in.

I then slept for a solid 8 hours last night, so this past week has been good.

We have our first semester exams just before Christmas, and then I get 3 whole days off where I don’t have to study anything before we start with the second semester and I’m very excited for that. I’m also super excited for the 3 months long break we’ll get at the end of the first year after the university exams as well. Its only like 7 months away.

So, yeah I had a rough patch briefly and I’m kind of struggling with time management and someone gets yelled at, at least once every day, but there are also girls who swoop in and put your hair up before the teacher notices when it comes undone while you dissect, and frantic, collective, last minute gross anatomy diagram prep an hour before submission that makes you feel so good once it’s done on time and you can all laugh at all the silly panicking, and hanging out with people you don’t even really know post-exams on the top floor, laughing and bonding over shared sleep-deprivation, staring at the trees and blue rooftops and feeling like the only people in the entire world.

The only thing I’m really worried about is feeling like all my youth is going to be spent on tests and classes because and I’m not going to be drawing or painting or writing until I’m suddenly 32 and wondering where it all went. But I’m sure once things settle down, I will learn how to juggle academics with my more creative pursuits (which currently have been relegated to the occasional hurried verse at the back of a notebook between classes, and sub-par pencil sketches) and everything will be okay.

Getting all that out felt nice. I shall now go and shower and then prepare for the biochem exam I have tomorrow.

 

love letter #18

I took a bus for the first time by myself
and by myself I mean with a friend that I made a week ago
and I saved the ticket stub. Pressed it between pages behind other pages behind other pages behind other pages behind other pages at the back of the cupboard
except that doesn’t make sense so I just stuck it on the front page of a notebook I keep by the bed.

I took a bus for the first time by myself
and by myself, I mean with a friend I made a week ago and realised I’ve never felt so lonely.
Which is a strange background score to the sound of my friend’s laugh and the echoes of my own.

I miss you
are words I’ve never felt. Not like this, not this…what? Something that whips around my head slow and heavy until I have no words except
the constant litany of I’m happy I’m happy I’m happy I’m happy
which I am
because I took a bus for the first time by myself
with a friend I made a week ago and shared ice cream with

Ice cream that tasted like the future and I swear I was so happy I skipped my way back to class.
I’d never known the taste of missing you.

(it tastes like the glass of water I had at 4 am today)

sounds like every call to prayer I grew up hearing.

Feels a little like heartbreak.

Feels a lot like telling myself the hurricane’s really a zephyr,
like the string lights I don’t put up that have found their way around my lungs, tighter and tighter until all I have is copper bittersweet flowing into them and words can only help if you speak them, I once heard

And what I would give to have the words but all I can offer is the zephyr I’ve wound around copper wires,
and memories of stolen mornings I woke up early just to be able to lie in bed in. Trace the sunrise as it moved across my wall

I did that the day I took the bus for the first time by myself. It doesn’t feel the same, it feels a little like heartbreak.
but

I am happy
and I miss you.

animation3
in which I am homesick and tried to animate for the first time.

Pancakes

200

I started school today. By which I mean we had the orientation today and actual classes will start tomorrow.
I don’t exactly know how to deal? I spent my entire childhood saying I want to get into med school and now that I’m here I don’t know how to handle it not being a distant goal to work towards. I suppose becoming a good doctor could be the new, currently distant goal to work towards.

I also got my textbooks. And I bought gouache paints (which I’ve never tried), dip pens (which again, I’ve never tried) and an entire embroidery kit (also never been tried). All this in addition to my regular acrylic paints and watercolours. I don’t think there will be much time to dedicate studiously to these pursuits but I don’t want to let them go but also I don’t want to get behind on my academics either. We’ll see how it goes. Five pancakes, right?

Anyway, these sort of things aren’t very entertaining to read so there won’t be much of these, but there will still be tiny updates.

Do I call myself a med student now or do I wait a couple years?

betty smith, the youths, and disjointed journals

Dated: 5th September

I have this book I’m reading right now. I started it properly on a flight to the city where my college (!) is and now I’m on a flight back home and I don’t want to finish it. It’s happening just a little too fast and it’s not a small book but it feels like it right now in my hands with the clouds within grasping distance and the distant, waning cries of an infant settling itself into my skin, the seats, my knees.

Dated: 10th September

I didn’t read the book at all this past week and now I’m on a flight to what will essentially be my home for the next five years again. I finished the book. I love it. I feel a little bit like sobbing.

Dated: 4th September

I look at this one blue building, yeah? And I wonder if I’d disappear right now if I could. I don’t know. I knew a couple months ago, but I don’t now and that.
That’s good, though.

There’s a woman in the car beside mine. She’s holding her child’s head up to the sky and they’re both grinning and something blooms warm and golden and happy and I know this, I’ve known this forever.

Dated: 17th July

Or maybe the metaphor hacks and coughs her way onto a bed, falling just shy of profound coherence. Maybe it’ll slip through the cracks and everyone will heave a sigh of relief.

The hyperbole flings itself onto oncoming traffic.
Or. More peacefully. Sinks into blue on warm evenings, deeper and deeper till its elbows rest alongside colossal mammalian corpses teeming with life

And the sibilants draw on the backs of each other’s hands and one hums, and the other chokes on splintered spoonfuls of syrupy joy.

Maybe it’ll fall into the chasm and everyone will dance all night.
Maybe it’ll never return and it’ll whoop for joy.
Maybe it’ll go to sleep and take a shower on awakening.

Dated: 4th July

Today was a good day.
I think I’m slowly losing my mind.

Dated: 9th September

I feel old. That’s silly, of course, I’m only 18. Still, being 14 sounds awfully young.
Maybe I’ll be 70 one day and think of being 65 as awfully young.

Dated: 10th September

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a heaven sent.

Dated: 6th August

7a4ac1fcc05c677a5d25864ec94293a8

daffodil more like daffo-damn girl

hello hello it’s me again

I got in??????????????????????????????????

 

To college, I mean. Medical school.

As in I’m going to college this year after all, as opposed to next year. Because I got allotted one in the last round of counseling which was something I was not expecting, evidenced by me whining through the entire application process because why are we wasting time filling out all these forms when nothing is going to come of it, I’m taking a drop remember?!

I’m slightly stunned and very grateful, however.

It also means my writing hiatus has been cut short ayyyyyyyyyyynobodycares

Classes start in a little over a week and it’s all happening very fast and I’m both elated and also sad because I’m leaving home which means parents and siblings and  my dogs and I’m still going to be staying with family, namely [redacted], unless the admins insist on hostel and the beach is close by and the college is great and the hospital has white corridors with doors and windowsills of the prettiest blue shade and I’m going to be a doctor (!!!!1!!!!1!!!!)

Anyway, ya. Things are good and textbooks are expensive.

 

A Break

a single manly tear rolls down my paper smooth skin yO MOMMA

I will be taking a break. From blogging that is (and just social media and writing and anything that brings me joy in general? except going biking at the local national park because ey monsoon’s here and everything is green–i saw a fawn playing with a baby monkey and a peacock dancing during a light drizzle and a turtle maybe communicating with a bird and okay so maybe I’m not giving up everything that brings me joy).

giphy

Not that very many people would care or even notice but in case some poor unfortunate soul stumbles by for the first time in a couple months and wonders why there isn’t any recent stuff, this blog isn’t dead just resting. Feel free to click over to some of the older stuff while you’re deprived of any new content.

Not like doing this will even make any difference, seeing how normally I posted maybe once in two months anyway (barring the last couple recent stress-infused months).

But yeah I’m taking a break, albeit reluctantly, but I gotta keep reminding myself this is all in favour of achieving something I want to do. Which is to go to med school. Which I hopefully will next year if I work hard enough.
I’m taking a drop year to prepare for the pre-medical tests and I’ve been known to be distracted by this platform instead of studying so it is probably for the best, even if it will take some getting used to.

I won’t enjoy it but hey this something I want to do so gotta make sure I do end up doing it instead of, to quote internet sensation, faniel towell, “procrastinate on our one shot at existence”.

Whoop-de-do.

 

giphy2

Yours Truly,
Simran

p.s. rice has the prettiest of the plant scientific names: Oryza sativa, as does the sweet pea: Lathyrus odoratus 

p.p.s. rice + Arabidopsis thaliana were among the first plant genomes to be sequenced before the Human Genome Project.

p.p.p.s. carrots were originally purple.

And that concludes your botany lesson for today. Tune in same time next year for some juicy deets on the rich and famous from the sorta-journal I will maybe kinda hopefully keep while away.