Showing posts from July, 2009

Before sleep

Walking along Orosa Street, with a paper cup of commercial hot chocolate on my left hand, a cheap, black umbrella on my left, and a dangling bag full of review materials, I desperately wanted to sleep. The exam was a beating, and everyone, perhaps even the best of us, felt exhausted, one way or the other. What lessons on humility, dependence, and trust in the Lord I have been learning for the past few weeks. Just as I was finishing a homework, my mother texted me, "How are you?" My brother Sean then went online and asked me how to configure his router. As he was leaving, he said: I'm still smiling. * * * People have come up to me and said they stumbled upon my blog. Thanks for dropping by! Please feel free to browse around. I assure you, though, there's not much of a blackmailing material here.

Second class lever

HT: Heather Champ

Week 15 (Anatomy)

I get teary-eyed studying the anatomy of the human body. In my mind, "Lord, what an intricate, marvelous body you've given us." I am just amazed.

After class, right after dissecting the rotting gluteus maximus of our cadaver

A classmate and I are walking back home. Dalvie, a smart guy four three years younger than me, says, "Alam mo, Lance, may kakaibang amoy kayo." "Talaga? Ano'ng amoy?" I ask. At the back of my mind, I already know, but it's different hearing words come out from other people. "Parang nabubulok. Kayo nila Jegar at Marv." Instead of being offended, I was so pleased I would have offered to embrace him with my oily, smelly arms.


She had thick skin, dark and burnt-looking in certain areas, brown in most of her arms. We just met our cadaver. Ours was the biggest and fattest among them, and therefore, the hardest to dissect. I suppose all medical students have to go through the ritual of cutting up a dead body open, with the hope of gaining information from that person's muscles, nerves, and bones. After all, the cadaver is the first patient. It was, for most of it, a surreal experience: the kind that made me wonder, “I only used to think about how dissecting a dead body would feel like, and now, I'm actually touching one.” The things we have to do can get a bit overwhelming. There's time pressure: we have to finish everything before 5 pm. There's mental pressure: we have to know and understand what structures we're looking at. There's peer pressure: the other groups are done, and we're not yet halfway. But I'm glad I belong to a great group. There are six of us. Ching is

Week 13 (Outside)

The view outside my window. I'm sorry I haven't posted the weekly diptychs. Medicine gets the better of me these days. But I'll try.


I should've known better: I live in Manila now. And when it rains, chances are, the streets are going to be so flooded blue whales can swim in the water. Imagine my shock when, on a free Friday afternoon (free because classes were cancelled, thankfully), I settled business with the internet provider at UN Avenue, a 20-minute jeepney ride from where I stay. The irresponsible bloke that I was, I headed to the streets with no umbrella, hailed a cab, and waited for about half an hour in mid-traffic, watching cars detouring because this or that street was in deep water. Literally. On my way home, I decided to take a jeepney that ran along Taft Avenue—yes, that dirty, third-worldish, claustrophobic highway where time seems to stand still because, more often that not, you'll reach your destination faster when walking than when riding a vehicle juxtaposed between two humongous buses. The ride seemed to go on forever that I had nothing else to do but to stare at the other passengers'

Por da win

The lectures can get really monotonous, especially in the afternoon. The sight of people falling asleep is so common the lecturers are practically used to it. But the sight three or more people falling asleep in a row—now that's noteworthy. (HT: AA )

Long day

Today has been a long one. Three exams in a row. Lunch with med dudes. A Bible study meeting after class. Dinner after. Another late dinner with old Koronadal friends after that. My idea of detoxification—a term people use here to denote a certain form of leisurely activity that should take their minds off medicine—is to eat a hearty meal, sleep, and have some quality time alone. I've done some of these myself. I'm thankful for God for helping me get past this day. I've had the chance to listen to His Word and engage in edifying conversations with classmates who are seeking Him. Katrina, Ronald, and Jet also came over to have dinner. The last time I saw Ronald was in high school, and he looks mature now—a far cry from how he looked like when we rode the same sundo. Katrina is reviewing for the boards, and I'm excited for her career. She'll make it big out there. I have so many things to be thankful to God for. As I prepare for sleep, I listen to this song (download

First year medical students

All these were taken by Gino Gomez , our selfless class photographer. It's a shame, really, that someone who takes the great pictures can't be seen in them. Right after the first neuro exam. How the class typically looks like after the lecturer finishes. Our seating arrangement is permanent. I sit near the aisle, second row, quite a strategic spot, but one that's unfit for sleep.

Uniforms and brains

The thing with medicine is this—everything is crammed. You practically finish a book's worth of information into a week-long lecture, and there are exams weekly. I'm glad my class— Labing-apat, walang katapat! —has a way of making things easier to handle. A group of four people are assigned to take down notes for a given lecture, encode these in a template sheet, and reproduce them for the 160 of us. Because of time pressure, most of us refer to these transcriptions (or trans , as we lovingly call them) to study, only referring to the books for the topics we don't quite grasp yet. I'm also thankful for classmates who've gladly explained anatomy to me. I had a hard time with it, and I felt, at one point, that I was the dumbest in class. But God provided friends who've painstakingly answered my questions, explaining to me which artery goes where—among others. Yesterday marked the first day of wearing white uniforms, as well as our first major exam. It was a surrea

No sound

I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one. When I installed the latest Ubuntu version on my Compaq Presario CQ40, I later found out that my sound card wasn't recognized—in which case I had a silent laptop. Ironic, when you think of it, because the owner­ can get unbelievably noisy. Naturally I searched the forums, and it was a comfort to know that I wasn't the only one suffering from acute laptop speaker deafness. Misery loves company, they say. Apparently, I had to do some configurations. The kind people in the forums have posted numerous tips, but some of them were rather too technical for me. So imagine the thrill I felt when I learned about this tutorial . It didn't work at first because I forgot a fundamental rule: after tweaking the computer and finding out nothing works yet, a restart may do wonders. And restart I did, and, for the first time, I'm hearing my laptop speak. I knew this couldn't have been genetic.


A day of firsts: wearing scrubs and handling a preserved brain. Everyone was giddy, taking pictures here and there. As for me, I'm barely hanging when it comes to anatomy. The brain is one huge wonderland . The Lord just amazes me—for making a complex brain, and then giving it to us.

So it's real...what they say about med school

That you can only read and study so much because there are just so many materials and new knowledge to process.