Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tomas Comes & Goes

See my related YouTube video!: Clicky

Today, Barbados was the first target of the tropical wave turned tropical storm turned hurricane, Tomas, a fiesty storm with a lot of spunk to share. Without warning, we were hit with brutal winds and rain. Tomas was reported as a strong tropical wave on Friday evening and by 11pm the same night, Barbados was under hurricane warning. How did that happen?

I went to bed one night to some overcast skies and a little rain and I was woken up by a text from my cousin celebrating that she didn't have to do her music exam today because the island's on lockdown. Wait. What? On lockdown? What happened overnight?! I'm a pretty heavy sleeper so I really didn't hear the gusts of winds and heavy showers that went on while I was living happily in dreamland. Oh, and then I realised that electricity had left us.

Photo by: Kreigg Yearwood

We don't have a battery operated radio at home but I was lucky to have charged up my battery last night! So that was my radio for the day. Listening in on 94.7 FM, I heard of all the damages and atrocities happening around the island by, at the time, tropical storm Tomas. Things were pretty light in my area but it sounded to me that St. John had the biggest burden. Roofs went flying, pailings went flying, trees started falling and taking some power lines down with them. One lady even reported that a power line in front her home was on fire. And a few people lost their homes to the strong gusts that wound up to hurricane force winds in some parts of the island. Poor souls. Lucky for them, there are people around who are willing to lend some homeless families shelter.

Photo by: Stefon Griffith

Tropical storm Tomas was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane by 11 a.m. this morning. Err? Yeah, that's right. A tropical wave became a hurricane in much less than 24 hours (I'd say about 15 hours). And Barbados was in the centre of it all. Slightly unusual, no?

Waking up at 5:40 a.m. and being without electricity for the following 11 hours, I've had a rather uneventful day and some difficulty studying for my upcoming exam on Thursday. At the moment, it's still a bit windy and rainfall has been heavily on and off all afternoon. With the reinstatement of my electricity, came the re-establisment of my internet and so, here I am! Unfortunately, many parts of the island won't be so lucky as they'll be without electricity over the next few days as the Barbados Light & Power works hard to fix the fallen poles and broken lines.

Who'll be in line for Tomas' terror next?

Feel free to comment and share your Tomas experience here. =)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Indications of Change

Everyone goes through various stages of life trying to find who they are and what they like. People are constantly changing as they grow.

When I was a little girl, I used to love the colour pink, Barbie, long nails, nail polish, long hair, dresses and wearing my Mom's oversized shoes. A was truly an adorable little girl.

When I was a youthful teenager, I developed a nasty hate for the colour pink, discarded any prior attachments to Barbies, left behind my positive feelings about heels and pretty much became a tomboy who liked dark nail polish, long hair and nails. When I started taekwondo, the nail polish and long nails went "bye bye!" and I happily left them behind. By then, I developed this interest in awesome baggy pants and had couldn't give a care in the world about things like make up or fashion. In fact, those things were virtually non-existent to me.

Ever since I've entered medical school, I've evolved further into another person altogether. I still have quite the distaste for the colour pink, grew to like heels (but only thick ones that aren't any taller than 3"! Those pointy stick heels are absolutely absurd), grew out of the baggy pants but still prefer pants over skirts. I'm starting to grow to like skirts too! I still like my nails short, but that's because it's easier to handle my touchscreen accessories with short nails...or, no nails. I'm not a big fan of nail polish because it's like poison to your nails. Bad stuff. My hair? I'm absolutely loving it short these days and that's because I have problems with keeping it long. Recently, I've gained an interest in make up.
It's interesting to think back on my interests in previous stages of my development and I often wonder how I will further develop in the some point, I'll reach a level that's just right for me. I've developed reasons for the things I do as life moves my reasons for keeping my hair and nails short, and why I don't use nail polish.

In much the same way as a single cell develops into a talented human being, I'm developing. I'm changing. I'm learning. I'm growing.

What about you? Have you ever sat down to think about how you've evolved over the years? 

This was my reflection on my physical appearance and interests over the past 20 years. As for my personality and internal development, I guess I can save that for later. =)

I'll tell you one thing that hasn't ever wavered: my love for cute things and stuffed animals!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Looking Towards The Future

This past week, I've been absolutely obsessed with one thing in the whole entire world: Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine!


I've looked at a couple of naturopathic schools, gracefully skipping over the ones in the U.S. If you're wondering why, it's just because, for some reason, I'm not very fond of having to reside in America for any length of time. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just New York that I'm uncomfortable with, but the country just doesn't sit with me very well. Granted, I haven't visited many other states...I've been to Florida but my memories there are too vague. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to visit and I'd very much like to visit other states in the U.S.

So, I've looked towards Canada and England. I haven't found any places in England that's really caught my eye the way CCNM has managed to. In fact, I'm starting to wonder how it so firmly managed to gain my priority attention. Maybe, just maybe, it was meant to be. Things just happen like that, you know?

CCNM is a very well accredited naturopathic school that would allow me to practice as a naturopathic doctor (N.D.) in Canada and U.S. states that allow such practices. It's got a rivetingly rigorous programme that would seriously challenge one's mind and skills. Clinic work is even incorporated from semester 1! I think that's pretty amazing. And the degree encompasses a wide range of natural medicine techniques from acupuncture, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy and Asian diagnosis techniques (such as pulse and tongue diagnosis)! It's amazing! It's just so exciting!

I've been looking at the website every day since the day I discovered it and I manage to find new information floating about. I've even found a Survival Manual from last year on the Naturopathic Students' Association (N.S.A.) website. It's an excellent guide for people (like myself) who are unfamiliar with Toronto and the general area, as well as a basic guide for surviving first year. I've discovered a list of clubs at the college, the nearest food places, shopping places, health food stores, subway exits and more. It's just been all fun for me.

Now, if you've managed to read this far into my slightly obsessive post, you may (or may not) be thinking that I'm a little crazy for finding all this information for a school that I cannot attend for, at least, another 4 years. Yeah, that's right, I've mapped out my future for, probably, the next 4-8 years. So, I know exactly what I want in life, big deal. You may be thinking "Geez, why don't you just focus on the studies at hand so that you could get good grades to make it into the school!" Well, you should read my previous post.

I've lost any motivation I once had to properly study for medical school. It's been one boring day after the other and I feel like I'm being taught little in my classes. No motivation = No studying. Discovering CCNM has lit a fire in me that no other school or programme I've seen has managed to do. I'm motivated to do well once more because I have something to work towards...somewhere to work towards. An escape. A dream, almost forgotten.

Of course, there's also the fact that I don't know what kind of procedures would be necessary for me to apply to CCNM. Now that I know, I know it's not exactly the simplest procedure and I know that my university is far from efficient. So, it's best to learn these things early so that I'm properly prepared and don't waste any time in life.

That almost-forgotten dream? I remember when I made the resolution like it was this morning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More complaints...

Dear all,

I've not forgotten you. I could never so easily forsake my blog without any forewarning (though I'm sure I've gone much longer without making an entry). Life has just been...a bore.

This is more or less the set up of the class I'm in. Every day. Minus the American flag. It often feels like I'm in secondary school again. The only upgrade is that I'm in a building with solid walls, roof and floor. I basically spent my final year of secondary school in a broken down shack. Not that I'm complaining.

Often, I wish we could make use of our own lecture theatre on campus but that's a dream that will have no chance for realisation. I'm moving over to the clinical setting next year. That lovely lecture theatre I'd like to have my lectures in? No more of that. But day by day, I drive to campus, sign a sheet of paper with each hour of class I'm in to indicate that I was indeed present because attendance is oh-so-important, you know, just like when we were in primary school.

A daily routine of sleeping, eating, going to class, eating, going to more classes, eating, studying and sleeping once more (with some showers here and there to keep clean) has taken it's toll. I've been doing this for 16 years of my life without a break in between and, you know what? I'm tired of it. Tired of living the same days over and over again. Tired to the point where I've no motivation to pick up a book and study anymore. No motivation. Every opportunity for a break from this cycle is welcome. That's partly why I'm glad I joined the brings the only difference in my current academic life. Starting January, there'll be more hands-on experience and not-as-much classroom experience and I'm looking forward to that, immensely.

It's no secret that I've been dying to leave the island too. The life I live here is, as stated above, quite routine. A cycle of daily events. There's little else to do in the country and I can't do anything about it. Today, I gave myself a little excitement: I searched for naturopathic schools in Canada. I searched for naturopathic schools in England awhile ago too. I know these two territories are great places for me to obtain the degree I strive for. Search and search and I found the one I'd absolutely love to go to for my ND: Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

So, watch out Toronto, I'm making my way over in 4 years' time. Wait for it. My great escape.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Proper Supplementation?

I'll admit that I'm not really a big listener when it comes to class these days. For some reason, they bore me and don't keep my interest for more than 30 minutes, if so much. Those that I can listen to for an hour or more are certainly the interesting ones. That said, this semester we're doing a course in human nutrition. In my most honest opinion, all doctors desperately need to know about human nutrition...desperately. So, I'm glad that it's a part of the degree here.

Who better to teach a course about nutrition than a dietitian? Well, I can actually think of more qualified persons for that role. Regardless, this is one of the persons we have teaching the course...the others, know little of nutrition. As previously stated, I'm not a big listener in class and the dietitian is impeccably boring to listen to but, from the little I have attempted to hear, dietitians (or maybe just this one?) are only knowledgeable in diets and food nutrition. You must be wondering, what more do they need to know? Well, I'm certainly being taught about supplementation where needed but the knowledge in this aspect of nutrition is so mightily limited that a biochemist could teach this same information.

What a bore. And a disappointment.

This is why doctors who do happen to know something about supplementation and natural products don't actually know how to properly use/suggest them. Because they're not properly taught. Not even basic general things about supplements like the fact that not all brands are good for everyone. The cheaper 'brands' are incredibly low quality compared to the more costly ones and so they do very little to supplement the body's need. And then there's the fact that one brand that may do well for one person may not do so well for another. 

But such is life. This is how doctors and medical students are taught. If they want to learn about all aspects of nutrition in its proper form, they'll probably have to go to a natural medicine school...or make good friends with alternative or complimentary medicine practitioners, though that sort of relationship isn't very common. Why? Because, for some reason, consultants in natural medicine and conventional medicine manage to clash instead of mesh. And I must add, it would actually be rather beneficial for the medical and wider community if everyone got along instead of bashed each other's treatment/management options. That's all I have to say.