…Ivan’s been burrowing deeper and deeper into his study nest and, simultaneously, needing more and more a break. He never quite bounced back from midterms. I don’t mean to say that his grades have or will suffer due to a lack of enthusiasm; so, concerned family members, don’t fret. The fact is medical school is just more demanding than undergrad. When you’re a medical student, there are some crucial changes you must make to your lifestyle. Try to keep in mind that your understanding of weekends is shot; vacation and time off are myths. Your concern will never again be when the week begins and ends, but when the term begins and ends, because everything between those two points is the same defeating and overwhelming work, regardless of the day of the week. Gone are the fall and spring breaks of college; after midterms, you keep trudging through one dense lecture after the next.
Ivan, apparently, really needed that spring break that never came. Though he dove right in when the new lectures ensued after midterms, his enthusiasm is petering out now, in the last leg of this first-term journey. He’s so burnt out, he’s unintentionally looking for distractions while studying. He’ll actually get up two or three times an hour to scout the apartment for mosquitoes to kill. He’s taken to asking me “whatcha doin’?” even when it’s pretty obvious what I’m doing; for instance, when I’m folding clothes he’ll ask me what I’m doing and I actually have to stop and make sure that he’s not being rhetorical before responding, “Um… folding clothes?”
Needless to say, we were pretty stoked when an opportunity for a real break presented itself. A friend had set up a visit to Lavera beach on the north end of the island (we reside on the south end) to view the critically endangered leatherback sea turtles coming ashore for nesting. Unfortunately the trip was cancelled at the last minute due to flooding on the beach because of recent rainstorms. We were bummed. Big time.
That same evening, SGU was having a fundraising event at the school. It was a Wii tournament (Grandparents: Wii is a Nintendo video game console—stay tuned for non-video game updates) and participants were student-led SGU organizations, one of which was the Significant Others organization. Being that Ivan and I are self-proclaimed über turbo-nerds, we not only attended, we participated.
To my despair, of the five gaming stations, four were sports (or pseudo-sports): golf, bowling, tennis and baseball. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that I am a fairly fit person. I exercise regularly and vigorously and am mindful of what I eat. But if there is anything I’m worse at than real sports, it’s simulated sports. In high school gym, I couldn’t even hit a whiffle ball with my golf club (though the turf took a beating); my high score for bowling is 86 (no, that’s not a joke); the only time I tried to play tennis I missed the ball so much, I checked my racket to see if it had a hole (it did not); baseball is stupid. And I’m even worse in video game versions!
Fortunately, the rest of the team (Ivan included) was pretty good. Not so fortunately, the rest of the competitors were apparently super dooper über turbo-nerds (say that out loud five times fast!) and we failed, epically. That’s not to say it wasn’t still a whole lot of fun.
I took my Rebel to Limes this week. The main reason for not doing this earlier is an odd phenomenon in which my face becomes attached to the camera and I am rendered useless to the other volunteers. As was to be expected, I watched the afternoon at Limes unfold through the blinking lens of the Rebel. Later, as I compared the day’s photos to others, I really realized how much I love that camera. My Canon Powershot (and its twin backup) is a nifty contraption and does an admirable job for a “point and shoot,” but I much prefer the quality of the DSLR and its profound ability to capture more in a moment than its dinky counterpart.
|Goats behind the Limes building|
Yesterday proved to be a slow Limes day again. The children colored, read books, completed worksheets and jumped rope. It was uneventful without knife-wielding riff-raff or vindictive mothers, but that’s okay. If I need a thrill, I’ll just ride a roller coaster when I get home.
Here are a few more tidbits from this week:
We bought a bag of local cherries from a peddler on campus last week. They were fat and red and looked delicious! We hadn’t had cherries since last summer. But when we tried them, we nearly choked on their tartness and three pits (yes, three!). I swear, we could’ve tasted the disappointment if the bitterness wasn’t so overwhelming! So we unloaded the cherries in a saucepan and tossed in a roll of cinnamon bark, and boiled them for an hour. Whatever they lacked in flavor they made up for in scent. My kitchen smelled divine! With the cherries (which could’ve doubled as cranberries) and the cinnamon wafting around, I felt like Christmas had come again. Then I used the cherry-cinnamon water to cook up some rice for rice pudding. Success!
A couple nights ago, we found one of our evening musicians on the doormat outside. This weeny frog (smaller than the tip of my thumb to my first knuckle) was tiny enough to be overlooked, but Ivan somehow spotted him and he remained still long enough for me to snap a photo (or five). My understanding is that these frogs are all over the island and their chirps constitute a large amount of the “music” we hear from Grenada’s wildlife every evening.
Well, we’re into the final stretch now. In sixteen days, Ivan will be finished with finals and we can relax together. We’ll have an extra ten days to lounge around or explore the island or whatever we want to do. In twenty-six days we’ll be flying home. But, hey, who’s counting?
|Oh Calendar, we have such a love-hate relationship, don't we?|