19 June 2014

Of cabbages and kings

Hi hello~ It's been ages, you guys!

Since the last post (over two years ago! I am so ashamed of myself), I have finished two and a half years of medical school. That's right, I'm back in the northern hemisphere and halfway through my third-year clinical rotations.

Which means I really shouldn't be blogging right now. Shhhh.

But can I just say, it's true what they say about med school: every year is better than the last.

The workload increases every year, for sure, and there is less time to study more material, which is utterly overwhelming. But I am learning so much, every single day. Most of that learning comes from the best teachers out there -- real patients who are nice enough to take the time to talk to a medical student -- with guidance from some awesome doctors doling out wisdom.

So... If you are ever in a teaching hospital and a student asks to talk to you, please say yes. It may seem like a waste of time to have to answer the same questions twice, but students have more time and fewer responsibilities than a resident or attending, so we can focus better on you as an individual patient. Besides, just by talking to a medical student, you are contributing to his/her education.

That makes you a teacher! Of medical students!


I am actually serious. Say yes to medical students. You just may see us a few years later, looking exhausted and harried, but proudly sporting the long white coat in place of the short one.

Anyway. When I'm not at the hospital, I'm usually passed out at home. I know. I am properly ashamed. I'm in NEW ORLEANS, for goodness' sake. But I have been squeezing in a bit of exploration whenever I could!

And of course, Mardi Gras! This year it fell smack in the middle of exam week, but my roommates and I managed to see a few parades and get lots and lots (and lots) of beads.

We also ate so much king cake, you guys. Apparently it's a thing here -- people bring king cake to share at work.

So I found a recipe and made king cake to bring to the hospital.

I mean, what else is a girl to do?

29 January 2012

In which there are adventures

It's the rainy season here in Aus. That means wet and hot (bleargh). Oh well. I'm thankful it hasn't flooded like it did last year.

Mostly I just feel very cooped up, and will be very glad when the rain does finally let up.

We did get a lovely respite from the rain on Australia Day, of which my friends and I took full advantage for a day at the beach in Miami (oh yes) on the Gold Coast.

And of course the pre-rain days were filled with explorations and adventures, as is only right. :)

Guys, a kangaroo ate out of my hand.

I felt like such a cool kid.

We also got to pet a koala, and saw loads of other cool animals like platypuses and wombats and Tasmanian devils, all at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It is by far one of the coolest zoos I have visited, because seriously, what other zoo will let visitors mingle freely with kangaroos and wallabies and emus?

In other news, school has been chugging along nicely (contrary to the impression I may be giving my readers, I am actually here to study, not to frolic about and make you all madly jealous). We just finished the introductory module, and will be diving into the "real thing" tomorrow.

So, uh, if you find this blog rather neglected in the months to come, please pardon me.

Last week some friends came over to make pizza dough and bread. The pizza dough was just allowed to rise, then divided and frozen for later use. It will be used tonight, and I've been invited over for dinner, so maybe next time I'll write about how that turned out.

The bread was shaped and baked that day, and proved to be quite popular.

This was based on a recipe I made up while I was in Madison, just before coming here.

The thing I love about baking bread is that there is infinite room for experimentation with ingredients. The recipe I'm posting is the original one I came up with, but the one I made with my friends had some ingredients added (e.g., Craisins, sunflower seeds), some substituted (e.g., raw sugar and honey for brown sugar, sultanas for raisins), and others omitted (e.g., flaxseed). I'll probably revisit this original recipe once I've had a chance to visit the organic foods store for some flaxseed and wheat germ.

13 January 2012

We're off to see the wizard

G'day mates!

First of all, I apologize for my long absence, to anyone out there who actually reads this blog. I'll try to make it up to you with an extra-long post with plenty of pictures.

It has been a very full several months, involving many people and even more miles.

I spent the summer in Korea, three full, glorious months. It was the longest I have been back since we moved to the States seventeen years ago, which meant a lot of family to see, cousins to catch up with, and friends (old and new) to meet.

Oh, and did I mention my cousin got married?

Isn't she beautiful? :)

She is the eldest of the grandchildren on our dads' side, so she always took care of us all. She's really more like a sister to me, and it was lovely to see how happy she and her husband are together.

This was also the first time that our grandmother had her eleven(!) grandchildren all in one place, so of course we took a photo to commemorate.

When I wasn't catching up with family, I was playing with a lot of really cute kids. Every day.

You are so jealous right now.

There were also adventures, with limits to push and lessons to learn. And sometimes, just laughter.

And there was, of course, loads of delicious food to cook and eat.

After that lovely vacation, I was back in Madison for a spell. This was again the longest I have been back since leaving for college. Having been away for so long, I could really appreciate how autumn brings out the best in Madison.

I spent a lot of my time cooking, baking, reading, running, seeing friends... and occasionally thinking about packing and getting ready for the big move.

Well, believe it or not, I actually did get through all the packing and the intricate bureaucratic dance, and have been in Brisbane for two weeks now.

I am in love with this place so far.

There is so much to explore and love about it, and so many people to meet before classes start next week!

It's summer here, which is all kinds of confusing for my Midwestern winter-accustomed brain. The sun also rises super early (around 03:30), which throws off my sense of time even further. What with all the sunshine, and the crazy flora and fauna around, it's no wonder Dorothy was amazed when she stepped into Oz for the first time.

By the way, the Aussies have a great sense of humor and take immense delight in warning tourists about drop bears, or rabid koalas that will jump from trees to attack passersby.

It's okay, we tell them all about the killer moose we have back home.

It's all in good fun and quite silly, and you can see why it appeals to me (simple minds and all that). :) Another simple pleasure in life, of course, is cookies.

My house, while lovely and equipped with almost everything I could ever need during my two-year sojourn in Brizzy, does not have any baking pans or cookie sheets. It does have three rice cookers, but I have serious doubts as to their oven-safeness. So yesterday a friend and I made a trip down to the Ikea in Logan, involving three bus transfers and several nerve-wracking moments during which the Google Maps GPS failed to locate us. We finally made it there, though, and I got a cookie sheet and a loaf pan.

And then, you guys, it was time to make cookies!

I had forgotten to get vanilla when I bought baking ingredients, so I used orange zest to flavor these cookies instead, which turned out rather beautifully! These cookies are not too sweet, and I love how thick and soft they are.