Monday, February 16, 2009

Exam Fundae

I ought to be all "My exams are over! Yay!" but I actually am "Damn! It's back to class again."

Now, I can hear a lot of excited voices ask me, "How were your exams? We want every little detail." I realise I am hallucinating, but I have a feeling that the the voices have got to be answered, or the Universe will implode. On the other hand, if I do that I will lose all my readers (namely, me, my cat, and uh, me. I am not sure if my cat can read, but he stares at the screen for long periods.) So there will be only a few details about my exams. Very few.




Before that.

I have some good news.

No, it's awesome news.

It's the best news I have heard in a year.

I came second on the Paediatrics end posting exam.

< pause for applause, and letters of congratulation >

Come on, you stupid cat, clap your paws.


< /pause >

Anyway, that was old news, because the end posting was a couple of weeks ago.

So, the theory exams. The very important ones that contribute 20% marks to my final total. They sucked.

The Paed people, you know what they did? They announced that the portions included were the first ten chapters of O P G hai (which is Mr. Cow's* book is known as in certain circles), and then proceeded to set a question paper based on chapters 11 through 20. I would have boiled them in oil if I hadn't come out second on the end posting exam.

I don't think I have said this before, but ObG is my favourite subject**. Not a word of what I read got implanted in my head. Except for that bit about 'multiple sexual partners' being a risk factor for carcinoma of the uterine cervix. As you might have guessed by now, there wasn't a single question about risk factors for carcinoma of the cervix.

During the Surgery exam, I got a full blast of the tropical sun RIGHT IN MY EYES and I don't really remember much else about the day.

Medicine was not any better, either. I did not know most of the answers, but I couldn't finish writing them out by the end of three hours and they had to forcibly eject me from the exam hall.

Although you are going to find this hard to believe, I did learn a lot of new things.

That's good, right? Please say yes.

Here they are.

No, I am not going to talk about Lyme disease, which is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by the bite of Ixodid ticks. It has three stages- early localised infection, early disseminated infection, and late persistent infection. Whew!

The Things You Learn During Exams

  • No matter how long the study leave is, you start reading in earnest only the day before the exam.
  • The night before the exam, you will ring up your friends for 'moral support' and end up chatting for an hour.
  • Your appetite increases exponentially while you read, only to disappear when you are at the dinner table.
  • You have to keep your lids propped up by the time it's eight the night before the exam.
  • You can stay up comfortably till two if you watch some TV for a 'wake up break'.
  • The topics you painstakingly spent hours over will not be asked.
  • If they are, you won't remember them.
  • But the areas you skipped will find their way into the question paper.
  • Every time you get stuck for an answer, you will see everyone else around you writing furiously.
  • Nobody else ever gets stuck as much you do.
  • You notice that the exam hall has quite a lot of lights and fans.
  • Your voracious appetite returns.
  • Occasionally, you might write an answer incompletely and then leave some blank space, where you scribble "Think, dummy!" with a pencil.
  • You never remember to erase such comments from your answer sheet until you do the same thing on your next exam.
  • You don't remember to erase those bits in the next exam, either.
  • The cleverest of insights don't enter your mind until the invigilator holds out his hand for your answer sheet.
I am sure there are more, but my tortured brain is still reeling from the effects of the clinical features of viper bites. I never knew that windscreen vipers bit you. See? That's another thing I learnt. Don't you wash your car ever again.

That is the message of this post.


I can already see the Big Brother jumping for joy.

* 'Gai' is the Hindi word for 'Cow'.
** Refer sarcasm.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Being Examinated

So I have good news and I have bad news, like in all those terrible jokes. And to stick to the formula, I'll tell you the good news first.

The good news is that I have completed my Paediatrics posting, and probably even passed the end posting exam because my examiner kept saying "Very Good!" at the end of every answer. But he was a vann kidu who expected me to know the three stages of Lyme Disease, and I was all "Lyme disease has stages?" And then it went downhill from there, and turned uphill after a brief visit to the Underworld, then I was on level ground and then rose and fell so many times I lost count. Hopefully, the highs and lows will balance themselves out and he meant it when he appeared to be impressed by my answers*.

The bad news (get out those tissues, you are going to need them) is that my semester has ended *sob* and what's even worse is that I have exams. And to add insult to injury, I have just one more semester left in college. *bawls*

Think of it as my funeral, and let the tears flow. That probably requires tear gas, but please, oblige a heart broken medico who knows nothing about the stages of Lyme disease.

The exams last a couple of weeks. Until then, it's farewell and adieu to you, sweet readers. If you can manage it, say a short prayer for me. It doesn't matter if you don't believe in God(s), just hint to Hippocrates that some day he's going to be proud of me for being THE expert on Lyme disease, and he will do the rest.

*My head keeps saying "Fat chance!", but I shall ignore it for now. Please, please, God, let me have passed.