Venting about SANDBLAST

March 21, 2005

So SGA throws SANDBLAST which funds all the workings of SGA for the year and then some. They raise this money by getting businesses to donate items for raffle, and they get those businesses by throwing a yolk on my back and whipping my flesh. I’m schlepping (Rochelle?) around every day before and after class trying to get donations, only they don’t want to give anything to me unless I write a formal letter. Local custom or something I hate this. So I go back, with the letter, and then I get the donation. Only, I don’t have any envelopes. So I go to the Dean and beg for envelopes. He says that they don’t have any envelopes for SGA, but I could get some if I went and had a stamp made (How do they not already have one? How is this my job?). So I go and get a stamp made for SGA. Oh wait, here are some envelopes from last year. AGARAGA!

If I controlled the world, I would just walk into every business with a typewriter. A very noisy typewriter. And anyone who felt the need to ask a stressed out student to type a personal letter would get to HEAR ME TYPE IT IN YOUR FACE!

More fun things about SGA: people complain to you constantly. People complain that you’re no fun to complain to. The professors want your cell number and call you to pitch ideas for the class. This segues nicely into Biochem, were I’m learning about cyanide.

Kelly (a white african american with a girl’s name) and his roomate Sam (just plain old white) were giggling all week waiting for their spear guns to come in. Spear gun fishing is illegal here with a penalty of 8000EC (the value of a nice car). They just don’t care. They came back yesterday lobster red, grinning, with no fish. What did they do? Speared the sand, a lot. “Topher, you don’t know. It’s so cool just to watch it stab the water!” Once again, the future doctors of America.

Action movies have been completely ruined for me. Just so everyone knows, if you got shot in the shoulder, your life is ruined. Shot in the chest, life ruined. Your body is so packed with important stuff that if there WAS extra room anywhere, we would all probably have another organ to fill the space, just so you couldn’t get shot there either. Ever laugh when someone gets killed in a Japanese flick by a single arrow? Don’t laugh; that guy is really dead.

still studying, topher.

Been a while

March 18, 2005

So I’m getting complaints that I haven’t written anything funny in a while. Sorry. Midterms are the week after easter and I’ve been studying for them since my unified quiz a few weeks ago. My Anatomy final (last one) is on Monday the something.

I’ll take a sanity break sometime this week for an hour and try to write.

I have done a poor job of responding to personal emails from everyone. So this week I’ll make this promise: if you write something to me, I will personally respond.

Actual overheard exchange:

Guy #1) I am so burnt out from studying.
Guy #2) (immediately) You should drink, a lot.
Guy #1) I can’t. I’m too far behind.
Guy #2) (immediately) Got to. How do you put out a fire? Liquid. So do the same to your brain. You’re burnt out? Alcohol. Stop that fire.
Guy #1) (thoughtful pause) Screw it, let’s go.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the future doctors of America.


Unified and How I Spend my day

March 8, 2005

Well captive reader, I have done my best to snare and spare you with these pages from my journal. If you’re reading this one, I’ll assume you have the rest. I will assume that you are jealous. Very very jealous. It eats at you. So here is some Tums: Grenada is not all sun and spice.

My slackline CONSISTED of three ribbons of webing (two ten feet sections and one forty footer) and three caribiners. It now consists of three ribbons coiled at the base of my bed. That’s right, someone STOLE the defensless carabiners. I have yet to get new ones from a fishing shop here.

A full bottle of light or dark rum costs 10EC/$4. A rum and coke at a bar costs 14.5EC. An ENOURMOUS bean burrito with lettuce, rice, tomato, onion and cheese costs 10EC. A ceaser salad without chicken (that could fit on a tea saucer) costs 15EC. A 2lb. banana shake costs 5EC when a glass of fruit juice costs 3EC. Basically, Grenadians charge on inconvenience and size, not expense to them. That banana shake is a pain to make because Mr. Green Jeans doesn’t own a blender; I can hear him hammering away behind the wall. The fruit juice costs nothing to make and is easy to serve but it’s in the same size cup, so he feels compelled to charge a similar price. Ditto for the salad and burrito: No one wants to shake the salad. The bars operates on this idea: you’ll probably pay a huge pice for something because you’re American, and when you’re drinking you’re not in the mood to perform currency conversions. Also, EC looks like Monopoly money and we spend it as such. Also, there is no dollar bill here. They have 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000. I think we are ridiculous people for holding onto the $1. Give Sacajaweea a chance (I know, I know).

Typical day (unless you’re my Mom, feel free to skip this):

Go to school at 7am for bagel and coffee. The bagels here are funny. I imagine some frenchman came over and started making croissants. Someone asked him to make a bagel, and he just bent the croissant around, faking it. We haven’t decided whether to call them Cragels or Boissants. It’s like cruck and trar, there may never be a consensus. While I’m enjoying my breakfast I watch my Histology teacher, Mr. Paparo, fight off the devil. This man walks out onto the basketball courts below, puts on his headphones, and morphs into a maniac, maniac, on the dancefloor. Here goes: turn yourself around using ten stuttersteps, glide around the court punching randomly at gnats and make sure to roll your head on your shoulders every now and then. Now speed that up 5x and be COMPLETELY into it. All of orientation should consist of a video of this. Not kidding at all.

I walk up the hill either to Anatomy Lab and cut people for a few hours, Histo Lab to look at slides, or Living Anatomy where I get to “play doctor” ( I mean this in the 7-year-old parent-heart attack way). I’m out by noon and go to Mrs. Patel for Indian food, then lecture from 1-5. On days that end in “-sday” I skip lecture and go to the beach. Something about that “s” rubs me the wrong way. Would you like to know what the water feels like? When you walk in, there isn’t that little OOPS when your hips drop in, you just glide through it. And it tastes nasty, like salt.

I have no climbing here, so I jump onto everything and just hang. I have people push my hips everywhichway and then I try to stay myself. I can now hang from a round or flat surface for one whole minute from both hands. For those who don’t climb, this is like the coolest thing ever for serious. Very close to the one-arm pullup with either.

I listen to Interpol “Bring out the Bright Lights” constantly. Yes right now.

I study harder than anyone I know, which is awesome, because then people come up and ask me to explain our Nervous System or Placental Folding and I get to teach it, which is better than studying in the first place. I did very well on the Unified Quiz. Midterm’s in three weeks.

The weekend is three straight hours of beach, lunch, hour siesta, campus to study for six or seven hours, dinner, then dancing and incessant flirting. Nanda was one of the first friends I made here. He used to teach Latin and Salsa. He had an apt, and now a very happy, pupil.

I have included pictures this time. One is of Mrs. Green Jeans, wife to Mr., one is where I eat and stare at the beach, another is the sundisk from an earlier email, one is of my room, and the others are people I know.

Cheers, topher.

Election Results

March 3, 2005

Here’s what new.

I was elected to student government along with ten other first-termers. No other class has that many representatives. Here’s what we did:

Three days after we became reps, we joined the reps from each term to vote on chairs and co-chairs of various committees. We snooped around a little and discovered that first-termers rarely get the good posts. So screw that. A half hour before the general meeting, all 11 of us got together and figured out which post each of us wanted. We designated certain members to nominate others. We also decided to nominate members of other terms to compete with our hopefulls to crowd the field. We then voted as a block to win largest minority vote and the chair. People were freaking out. By the time the general assembly figured us out, they weren’t organized enough to stop it. Politics, it’s FANNNNNTASTIC. I would like to give props to The West Wing.

I’m chair of the Orientation Committee, and we also control Student Resources, Disciplinary Panel, Campus Housing, and Food/Sanitation. The current leadership is very nervous.

We have a unified quiz on Monday. It’s an hour long quiz containg questions from all five courses designed to let us know that we know nothing. People are studying for it like it’s a final. Very funny. What am I doing? Studying like it’s a final, but at least I recognize that I am ridiculous for it.

I found out that the name for the pinky finger is “minimi”, for the middle finger it’s “vulgaris”, and that a fetus breathes its own pee for five months. There is a taint bone and it is called the pubic symphysis. My medical dictionary under pronounciation guidlines says “‘a’ as in ‘abortion'”. I can spell and pronounce syncytiotrophoblasts. If you want an American-style haircut, you can go to two people: Hot Boyz or Mr. Bubbles. I chose Mr. Bubbles. Yes, I asked him. Passport says Jean Bubbles, go figure.

I noticed for the first time that Grenada has no stop signs, no speed bumps, and no street lights. Instead they have roundabouts, pot holes, and accidents.

I like medical school.

P.S. When I was nominated for Orientation, they wrote my name on the board: Tolbert. People are calling me Tolbert, giggling.

Cheers, Tolbert.