Sep 24, 2008

A Monastic Lifestyle

The start of term marks a lot of excitement for different categories of people:
  • the freshmen - their first weeks in school sampling everything the institution and its people has to offer, and seeing the beauties of Hualien
  • the sophomores - gossiping about good looking juniors and dishing up a really exciting orientation camp. They would soon learn how to juggle between work and play in a highly competitive environment both academically and in co-curricular activities
  • the juniors - dissecting, studying, dissecting, studying...the cycle continues
  • the clerks (Year 5) - at long last, they can jump out of their elephant skins (uniforms of TCU). They would have a shorter version of a physician's robe with their name on whenever they're in the hospital. And they would start the endless days and nights working in the hospital - where sickness, politics and passion blinds the mind.
How am I coping you ask? I find the monastic lifestyle of anatomy and dissection not as bad as it sounds. The key, according to seniors, is to get a good night's sleep, every day without fail. When you attend classes with full concentration, that automatically reduces the time for revision and subsequently improves life quality - sounds something out of an economics textbook.
As we are studying long hours, we would avoid staying in the dorm as the PC will always tempt me into idling time away. I also put some of my studying strategies on trial this semester - here comes economics again - the higher scores you intend to pursue during the exams, the effort you have to invest is exponentially higher. For example, you would have to study 10 hours for a score of 70, but for a score of 85 you might have to do 25 hours and for 90, 40 hours perhaps. Moral behind the story? Just do my best and don't blow out.
I regret I would not have as much time and energy as last year for exciting activities. The urge of passing will drive me to study, but in the meantime I would learn new ways of leisure to suit my highly demanding lifestyle. A few examples to quote: a highly seductive novel such as Harry Potter would be a no-no; a movie is only yes on weekends, and when I've finished studying; a brief read of Time magazine is a yes; a weekend outing to Taipei is a no...
All these are for nurturing a conscientious doctor in the future - you'll see if I do. And remind me of the effort and sacrifice so many others did for me when I turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to compassion.