Friday, June 26, 2009

Bad news at the Arts Club

Alex lives (lived) in Notting Hill, right across the street from a place called the Notting Hill Arts Club. It sounds like a community center, but it's an uber-hip, alternative nightclub where they play emergent hip-hop artists. Alex says there's always a line in front of it and we've talked about going there someday. But she's in Africa now, and Alicia wanted to go, so I jumped at the opportunity. It was a really cool place and I'd like to go back. The performers were talented and I was really enjoying myself, until one group, in the middle of their set, announced that Michael Jackson had just died. They were visibly shaken, as they clearly saw him as an influence, so they had the dj play some MJ songs. It was so bizarre, no one could believe it and we all got on our cell phones or Blackberries to verify the news. But the weird thing was that people were dancing. I mean, it's hard to deny the urge to dance to a Michael Jackson song, but it didn't feel right. I've never been a big fan of the man, but I couldn't get jiggy to his music immediately after hearing of his death. It didn't seem reverent. I genuinely hope he finds peace in death. It certainly seemed out of his reach during life.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More Amazing Adventures in London

GRRR! People in administrative positions who process many applications should learn how to read them properly! I turned in a form to get travel insurance from the school and received a confirmation for travel cover for Kenya...even though I'm going to Uganda. And I received an email about my ethics form (which they are taking their SWEET TIME processing!) asking me if I have local ethical approval for my project and could I please submit the info sheet and consent form I'll be using to interview people...even though I stated very clearly on my form that I do have local approval (and I listed the multiple institutions which granted it) and that I will not be interviewing anyone, so I don't need friggin' consent forms. READ, people!

Grr. Mustn't get cranky now. I've had a good (if tense) week.

Exams are over. I feel that I did not fail either of them, which makes me happy. With this school/course, the point isn't really to pass with a good grade; the point is just to pass, which is nice. After the second exam, on Wednesday, we all headed to a nice pub where I proceeded to get tipsy (and then announce to everyone repeatedly that I was drunk). Then a few of us went for karaoke, which was super fun, then I met Carina and Alex at a nightclub. It was absolutely packed (with people under 21 years old) and we were all dripping with sweat. At one point, some dude with his back to mine was trying to edge me out of my dance space, so I kind of gently pushed him backwards to give myself more space. He then leaned against me really hard to push me into Alex, so I elbowed him...several times in a row. He didn't like this, so he shoved me hard into Alex, spilling both our drinks on us and Carina so we were all dripping. I turned around in full fight mode, and Carina and Alex were pissed off as well. We all started yelling at him and I looked at him and realized he was a full head taller than me. I came up to his shoulder. This of course made me feel feistier, because I knew that a guy that big wouldn't dare fight a girl my size. There was a tense moment until he realized he had shoved a 5'3" girl, and then I think he might have realized that wasn't cool. Meanwhile, his girlfriend was also in fight mode and started wiping the two drops of spilled drink off of his arm as if we were bitches for having spilled our drinks on him. This made Carina angry, seeing as how we were all dripping from our own drinks, so she wiped the drink (which was mostly sweat, really) off of her face and wiped it on the girl's face. Is that not the most amazing thing you've ever heard? Carina's insane. Of course, the girl didn't take too kindly to that and she looked ready for a fight, but for some reason, thought better of it and the whole situation diffused. Weird, huh? I *almost* got in my first bar fight!

Later on in the evening, some guy was dancing behind me (I hate when they do that; it really makes you feel like an object) and he kept sliding his hands up to my boobs, and I kept redirecting them back down to my hips. I turned to look at him, and he could not have been older than 18. I got felt-up by a kid. Ew.

Last night was our school's end-of-classes-and-exams party. It was super fun, although Alex had to leave early in order to get ready for her 3:30 am taxi to Heathrow. Poor thing. I'm going to miss her massively. Back at school, my crush randomly walked up to me and showed me his underwear. Yep, his underwear, which had his name on them. Classy. I sure know how to pick 'em. At the end of the night, he told me I should "email and stuff" so naturally I started imagining our wedding (JUST KIDDING!) Holly and Kate both danced with the Silver Fox, a teacher at our school who they're both gaga over, and Holly has decided to never wash again in order to keep his DNA on her as long as possible.

Now my friends will start disappearing one by one. Well, not really. Many of them are doing summer projects in London, but we are all dispersing and I need to deal with the fact that my super amazing year in London is over. I'll stay here until December at least, and probably still have an amazing time, but it won't be the same without everyone, without school. My closest friends will still be here, but everyone else will be gone. Time to let go and move on.

But if you'll excuse, I need to go shopping for a Tinkerbell costume for a Disney-themed birthday party tomorrow. Guess it's not time to move on just yet.

PS I miss you all!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stress starts with S, just like Schistosomiasis!

Another day of studying and I'm back in stress zone. This time, no wine was involved. Coincidence? I think not.

I hate stress. It feels awful. It makes me feel like I want to die (without actually wanting to die, of course). I can't wait for this to be over, even though I know I'll just replace this stress with other stress. But at least it'll be stress minus the hours and hours and days and days of cramming facts into my brain, facts which I will, without doubt, forget as soon as exams are over.

Hugs, please?

And yay for Jody for graduating (and Amy back in May)! As I'm sure everyone in the family has said (and if they haven't, they're missing prime teasing fodder), It's about time! j/k

I'm gonna go put my poor, beleaguered brain to bed, as it has obviously already turned to mush.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I am studying REALLY hard

It's 2am on a Friday night (make that Saturday morning) and I just got home. Out partying all night? Dancing the night away in a club? No, way better than that. There ain't nothing like hanging out at school with friends until the wee hours, drinking stolen, quality red wine, listening to country music (which I still hate) and studying communicable diseases. Ah, this is the life.

I have more or less been studying for 5 weeks now. Two weeks of working on assignments for my last term of classes, and three weeks studying for the big final exams. I have two 3-hour exams, one each on Monday and Wednesday. I have spent the past few weeks fluctuating between a quiet acceptance that I will do poorly on the exams and full-on panic that I will know nothing I'll be tested on. It wasn't until around midnight tonight that I started to feel like I might finally be absorbing some of the facts I've been staring at for two weeks. I'm sure the wine helped. I totally feel like I could respond to an outbreak if I needed to! You just have to assemble a team, confirm that there is actually an outbreak, come up with a case definition, and...oh, some other stuff. Hypotheses and shit like that. I still only know four of the five criteria for figuring out whether a diarrheal disease is water-borne or water-washed, but that's better than knowing none!

I'm feeling prit-tee good. And now it's time to put myself to bed.