Friday, November 19, 2010

Serenity now

There comes a time before each exam when you must find the balance between learning and de-stressing.  For me, that time is now.  And the balance is learning 0%, de-stressing 100%.

This is particularly true of studying medicine because there seems to be no limit to what we might reasonably be expected to know, even though in actuality what we are expected to know is quite reasonable and sensible.  In fact, to put it in the words of an Esteemed Colleague, "They just want us to be sub-lethal".  Just make sure you know Plummer-Vinson (Paterson-Brown-Kelly) Syndrome back to front.  Sure, it's rookie stuff, but you'll look silly if you haven't reviewed it.

Everybody de-stresses in different ways.  Some people hit the gym.  Some people meditate.  I like to behave like an effete retired dilettante.  So here's what I do:
  • Feed the birds.  Tut-tut over the crows that have been pushing the rosellas around.
  • Put some string quartets by Mozart on the stereo.
  • Slowly nibble some avocado and smoked salmon on whole-grain ano-bread while sipping my eco-coffee and browsing The Guardian online.  Tut-tut over government spending cuts in the UK.
  • Gaze vacantly out the window at the garden, thinking about where I might plant some bulbs for the winter.
  • Put some waltzes by Chopin on the stereo.
  • Go to my blog and dispense some patronizing and sanctimonious advice to my long-sufferering readers.
  • Do some tai-chi in the front yard where the neighbours will be sure to see me.
  • Throw open all the windows in the house and stand in front of them with hands on hips breathing deeply and saying, "Aaah, it's a beautiful day!  Feel the air in your lungs!"
  • Put some Bach violin sonatas on the stereo.
  • Idly wonder what might be on the OSCE tomorrow.
  • Hurriedly snatch up an excrutiatingly detailed textbook and attempt to memorize specific gene defects for a range of rare diseases for the best part of an hour before collapsing sobbing into a corner.
  • Put some Rachmaninoff piano concertos on the stereo.
  • Tell everybody on Facebook how bored I am.  Tut-tut over the young folk these days.
The next time you have a big exam looming, why not try my method?  It's never failed me!


Anonymous said...

I'm bored too. and my brain feels so dead i can't think of anything witty to say (not that that's unusual). just wanted you to know that you're not alone in the cycle of sheer panic and apathy.

Anonymous said...


All that wanky music - your neighbours must hate you with fervour!

PTR said...

Okay, since my exam I've been listening to Rage Against The Machine. Or is that too obvious and try-hard? It's so hard to garner cred with playlists these days - everyone's an expert...

Anonymous said...

Better than Simple Plan which warrants admission to Margaret Tobin!