Thursday, November 23, 2006

some updates

I havn't posted for a while. Why not, I will disclose later.

What has happened lately? Well, last Friday night my brother broke his arm. He fell at after-school-care, while under the care of my friend stacy. (Apparently she was egging him to run really fast and he tripped over a slide and flew for 5 seconds before landing on his hand and face.) So I took him to the GP, who said it was definately broken, and may indeed need reduction (!). He recommended us take him to the Mater Children's hospital rather than the QEII which was closer. Apparently, QEII didn't like paediatric cases and may indeed send us to the Mater anyway. So I went home and picked up my mum (and cousin and cousin's husband too, since they were visiting and wanted to come along) and we went to the emergency department at Mater Childrens.

The whole experience was quite exciting and therefore exhausting for all of us. Most of all for me, I think. Because I am a health care professional, somehow I became the spokesperson and 'Arranger'. I manipulated through Southbank in the chaos that is Friday night traffic, and arrived at the hospital without making a wrong turn. (This I thank God for, since I had neglicted to look at a map before we left and I hadn't been to the Mater since first year uni, and even then it was by foot).

We were attended to fairly promptly by the staff, but it was still 10pm by the time everything (x-rays, plastering, etc) was done. We had spent around 3 hours there. It turned out to be only a very small break, called a 'buckle' fracture, barely visible on the x-ray.

During the waiting and everything, I, as usual, thought a lot. As I was thinking it, i thought: "my thoughts are strange. I must put this in my blog". But I was very hungry (my brother wasn't allowed food or drink in case he needed sedation, so I fasted with him) and very tired (started work at 7.30am that morning). So I don't remember a single one of my interesting thoughts.

The fracture was so small that I personally don't think it deserved a full-forearm plaster cast. But I guess it's hospital protocol. It gave my brother a couple of days holiday from practicing his violin and piano. However, when he saw the specialist on Tuesday, the plaster was removed, he was given a brace, and was reassured that he could indeed practice his musical instruments.


I also had a birthday party on Saturday. (I turned 20 on the 20th on Monday). It was pretty good, I was worried because the people who were coming were a mixture of people I knew and they didn't know each other. But it turned out pretty well. The only thing is, once again, I showed myself to be the most disorganised host in the world. People were like: I need a spoon. And I'm like: spoon? Oh yeah, just wait, do we have enough spoons? I didn't buy birthday candles because I thought the idea was a little silly and didn't think it mattered. But apparently it did matter, beacuse a friend insisted on holding a lit match for me to blow out.

On a final note, I don't think you will see me blogging as much now. There are two main reasons for this. I am finding that my blogs getting more and more religious. I put my religious reflections on here because I feel like writing it down, but I withhold some of my questions because I have my audience in mind. While I pride myself in making my blog 'raw' and honest, some things are between me and my God. So I have started keeping a spiritual journal, where I record my doubts and questions and the way God answers them. After writing in such a journal, the importance of my everyday activities dim in comparison. The other reason is that I am trying to spend less time on the internet. Besides, I don't think many people read my blog anyway, and therefore it is really for my own benefit than others.

Not that you won't see religious entries on here anymore, it is too entwined in my life, too constantly on my mind for me to ignore it altogether in a journal that records my ponderings.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ballet and afterwards

I went to see ballet by the LiaoNing Ballet Company last night. Liao-ning is the province in China where my dad was born.

The ballet was not a story and did not really have a theme, it was just a series of dances put together to showcase the talent of the company. There were a few traditional dances, like the 'Four Little Swans' from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, and also Chinese ballets (names of which I forgot but are rather famous stories, and very nicely done), and a couple of 'modern' dances. (One of them was rather artistic, so much so that it looked to me more like the dancer was rhythmically having seizures than dancing.) All in all, it was very nice. Especially the love dances, because love is probably the easiest thing to express in ballet. There was a Chinese one that was so cute.

I can understand now why little girls want to be ballet dancers now: I never did understand it before. The costumes! So pretty! The hair-pieces! So shiny! And they dance with such ease, it makes me think that I can leap and step like that too. But I had the sensibility (unusual for me) not to try, I just know that I will dislocate something, and end up in the emergency department being x-rayed by my co-workers. The other part little girls love is the charming muscular princes or male dancers. Unfortunately, the male dancers I saw were not very good looking at all, not at all like the ones in ballet that you see on TV.

I parked my car at the train station close to my house (I catch the train to work) and met my parents in the city straight after work to have dinner and watch ballet. When we went to the train station to pick up my car, it was a devastating sight. The window on the driver's side was smashed - most of it was on the ground or inside my car. The door was unlocked, but nothing was missing from it. (The most valuable thing in my car was the Red Cross Basic First Aid kit, bought at $16)

My car had been vandalised before, when a tyre was slashed while parking at pretty much the same spot. Last time I looked at it and laughed and called my dad. This time, though, it was a pretty devastating sight.

So this morning I spent trying to arrange for it to get fixed and cleaning the glass from my car, and vacuuming it. As I was doing this, I said a little prayer in my mind for whoever did this: that they may one day find the Lord and repent and change their ways. My mind wasn't really in that prayer though... I just wanted my car fixed ASAP so I can enjoy the beautiful day by shopping inside a shopping centre. Somehow, even though I was wearing gloves, I still managed to cut myself. Worst thing is, when I called O'briens, they told me that they would clean the car and it was included in the price. ARGH! Oh well, the whole thing has been an exercise to practice stoicism, particularly when I handed over $233 for the replacement window.

Reflections on getting into Medicine

I was thinking about it all, and it seems pretty weird. If you asked me when I was younger if I wanted to be a doctor, I would have said "no way". To put it simply, I was just not altruistic enough. But here I am. Not only that, we know the doctors are the cream of the bunch. It is hard to get into and they are very smart. So how did I end up here? How did I end up with a gamsat score of 71, and how did I come to get a CSP place?

I came to know God through the Gamsat. I first read the bible when I was studying for it the first time. Des said it was good to read texts that were difficult to understand, considered 'classical', and translated from another language. The bible fits perfectly in this description. Anyway, I wanted to know what it was all about, since so many of my friends tried to convert me. I prided myself on being an intelligent, educated person, and how could I call myself that if I havn't read the most influential text in western culture?

Even though I came to read most of the bible, I still didn't commit myself totally to God. I placed my studies first, particularly studying the Gamsat. When it came time for the exam, I couldn't bring myself to pray about it: how could I pray to God to give me good marks? Time that should be devoted to worship, I spent studying (well not studying, but sitting around procrastinating). I had put my studies before God, so how could God reward me for my sin? I have read his Word, but have not applied it.

But God did, and He showed to me his infinite patience. Gamsat score of 71. It is just not possible for me. 96th percentile. Me. 96th percentile. How is that possible, but through God?

Now, it is apparent I also passed the interview and got a CSP place. I am going to be a doctor, with God's help.

Right now, I am so excited. Both to start learning, to meet other students and lecturers and professors, and also to see where God takes me next. What will you have me do now, Lord? How can I live out your plan in my professional life? What will I specialise in? Where will you take me? I am so excited...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

got my UQ offer!

I got my UQ offer today! Woooohoooo!

When I got my letter I screamed and screamed. Then my knees went weak and I knelt down and cried and praised God. Then I was up and screaming again, and called a lot of people. When it became apparent that I could not to afford to call everyone on their mobile that I would like to inform, I sent sms to everyone. Then I screamed some more, and planned a big party with my best friend. My birthday is coming up too.

I'm going to be a doctor!

I seem to be the only one surprised. I'm the most elated person. Everyone else is happy for me, but it's like they saw it coming. I guess they didn't have the tummy aches I had.

Went out to have dinner with family. Resturant wasn't that good, food was pretty average, but I ate so much, couldn't stop. I realised I hadn't eaten properly for many days now.

Right now, my voice is sore, I'm very tired, and very very sleepy. And very content.

Dr Chen (aka Peter) says I ought to capture this moment in my blog. Which I have. Now I am going to sleep. I have the wonderful task of informing my bosses tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

uq offer to come... SOON

I had a HORRENDOUS day at work. I participated in a lumbar myelogram that gave the patient severe muscle spams, and x-rayed a little girl whoes arm was so broken that the two ends of the bones were no longer touching. Overall it was tiring and horrible.

So imagine me, coming out of work, looking at my phone, and a message from my friend Peter. "Don't want to alarm you, but there is some information on the Paging Dr forum about UQ offers. Don't rush home, it's not today." Silly boy! Of course I can't rush home, I'm working!

As it takes me around an hour to get home, I called him straight away, and when he didn't pick up, I gave him 5 missed calls for good measure (Ha! take that!) and left a message (actually, I acted in moderation - I've been known to leave over 10 missed calls on someone's phone). He called me a hour later, after i got home. (I shouldn't be generalising, but isn't that a typical guy thing to do?)

He calls me, and I'm sure it was the most hilarious thing I heard in ages (but that could be because I am so tired and depressed from work): "Hi Sida, I didn't want to alarm you, but I just called to tell you it's coming soon..." I thought "Yeah, Peter, no duh!"

Anyway here is the climax of the story: apparently, someone on the Paging Dr forum called UQ and it is getting posted TODAY, which means I will get it TOMORROW or DAY AFTER. Woohoo!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

on how I committed the Original Sin

For a few days now, I have been praying to God for wisdom, so that He may open my eyes and my mind, so that I may know the question of life. As Douglas Adams put it, the answer to everything. In the Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren asks us the question: "how do you picture your life? Like a race? A competition?"... when I thought about this, it was evident: I saw life as a puzzle. Always discovering new pieces, always trying to make them fit, a puzzle that frustrates my intelligence. Thus, I prayed for God to open my eyes and my brain: "God, show me your secrets."

Last night, I prayed to God again, and an inner voice (my bible study leader would probably call it God speaking) asked: "What exactly do you want to know?"

It took a while for me to come up with the exact response: "I want to know how all the pieces fit together. The reason for everything. The reason for my sufferings, why the world is the way it is, why things in history happened the way it did. I want to know how it will all end: what Your divine plan is for the world, and for me personally. I want to know the beginning and the end." And I realised that I wanted to know what only God knows. Put more precisely (and more damningly) I wanted wisdom like God. How could I have thoughts and desires like these? So wrong, so ridiculously impossible, so damning!

In Genesis, in the garden of Eden, the Original Sin. The serpent promised the woman that the fruit would bring her wisdom, and she would be like God. (Genesis 3:4-6) She fell for this temptation, and so had I.

I wanted wisdom, but not for a bad reason, really. I wanted the wisdom to communicate the gospel accurately (and persuasively) to my friends, I wanted to feel closer to God, and I wanted it all to make sense. But perhaps, I don't need wisdom to be close to God, after all, he sent his son do die for me, so it's not like I need to pass an exam. Perhaps it doesn't have to all make sense to my limited brain. All I really need to know is that I am in God's hands, that He sees further than me, and is much more organised. Perhaps I don't need Godly wisdom to convince my friends, all I need is to let God speak through me, and live a life that doesn't smear dirt on His name. Perhaps, one day, everything will be revealed, but for now, all I really need is the truth of the Gospel. This , although it sounds obvious, was something that I had to learn. People who have known Christ for longer would know this already, but as it were, I am but a 'baby christian'.

On an entirely different note, I have been going through some rough times this week. The UQ offer is still yet to come, and some family problems have also arisen, which I don't feel like disclosing here. I prayed to God that He make everything right, I read the bible for encouragement, but nothing came. I was still powerless to change my situation. My encouragement finally came today, in church, when I read, in 2 Corinthians 12:9 : 'But He said to me: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me.' Whatever I go through, His grace is sufficient for me, and His power will rest on me. Amen.