TERM 2: MOVING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

SEALY SKATERS

It’s hard to believe it’s just been two weeks since we started because it feels like two months already. As for the Christmas break, there was hardly a dull moment. At first, the rain tried to frustrate my plans and dampen my fun-seeking spirit. But after a couple of days cooped up inside trying to wait it out, I made up my mind to take a bold step and brave it outside, or get wet trying.

I had heard so much about the Christmas sales, and had to see things for myself. The crowd was absolutely crazy and some shops were just too chaotic to venture into. I used to think I was a great walker, but after two days of trudging through the shops on Oxford Street, Marble Arch and Westfield at Shepherd’s Bush, I promptly gave up on that line of fun. So I did a bit of sightseeing instead, which included having another go at skating at the London Eyeskate with some friends. It proved to be even more fun than the first time, partly because we helped ourselves to the plastic seal-shaped supports provided for kids. For one hour, we were the  ‘Sealy Skaters’.  Then to start off the new year, I set out for the midnight mass at Westminster Cathedral but, true to type, I somehow got lost in the crowd of people waiting for the firework display at Westminster Abbey. It had not occurred to me that they were two different places. (Now I am convinced that whoever is responsible for making people lose their way in London must be working overtime on my case!) Through all my wanderings, my faithful friend, the rain, kept me perfect company.

And then, just when I was struggling to distance myself from the holiday euphoria and get reconnected with my books, a “welcome-to-term-two” mail from my Course Director a week before school resumed did a perfect job of bringing me back down to earth. Once again, it was a race against time trying to finish up my Stata Data Analysis assignment due on resumption, as well as meet other private reading targets I’d set for myself. And all too soon, it was Monday the 13th, the beginning of term 2.

Everyone looked refreshed and some had even gained a few extra pounds. We barely had enough time to say our hellos and swap vacation tales before it was business as usual. We’d been warned that term 1 would seem like child’s play compared to term 2 and that is so true. We have got lecture venues spread all over Bloomsbury, classes all day, reading lists as long as my arm, summative assessment deadlines in a couple of weeks, and the summer project is fast becoming the topic of most discussions.

But am I complaining? Certainly not! Everything seems to be coming together nicely and the “big picture” is becoming clearer now: epidemiological principles, proper research methods, critical analysis of articles, clinical practice versus public health, health systems, integration, etc, all in the context of eye care, and how ultimately, the patient is at the centre of it all. It’s amazing how the eye seems like such a small organ on the surface, but is actually more like the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Kind of feels like being in a maze and never wanting to leave, because each turn brings you face to face with new dimensions of each subject in ways you had never imagined. So even though the workload seems enormous each time I look at the time table, I’m definitely loving every bit of it. Every day is a new experience. My favorite part of it all is the practical half of each lecture where we have to brainstorm, in groups to come up with water tight strategies and solutions to practical problems. And there’s still so much to look forward to. For starters, there’s the School’s Open Day on the 5th of February…

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