Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tis the season?

I really dislike the holiday season.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally okay with what it stands for, I know it's really an important couple of days for a lot of people. I just hate shopping, I hate those stupid Christmas commercials, I hate Christmas music playing 24/7, I hate that people spend money they don't have on gifts no one will use, and most of all I despise those goody two-shoes who decide that it's the season of giving and decide now is prime time to do food/clothing/money donations-and scoff at me when I refuse to drop a few cents in their tin or purchase a can to donate, when I've already done both about a million times already that year. And hey, what about the other 364 days in the year, why don't we show the same compassion towards people on those days??? It's just so fake. It bugs me.

You might ask if there's anything I do like about the holidays? Well, yeah, of course there is. I like having time off school, I like going home and getting to see my family, I like the food, and the lights, the colors, and the snow, I love the magic, I love seeing the look on peoples faces when they open the prefect gift that I spent hours shopping for (because I'm that bad at shopping and the mall was that packed), I like watching 24 hours of "A Christmas Story," I even like the feeling of somehow being closer to G-d that I only feel on occasion throughout the rest of the year.

One of the things I like about being in Poland around this time of year is that I can pretend there isn't a holiday happening at all. They don't go crazy here like they do in the States, they decorate a little bit, but the shopping, the greediness, and the general madness is nothing like back home. When I do go home in a few days it's going to be a serious shock for me I think.

The holidays are rough for a lot of people, but everyone seems to forget that this isn't the only time of year you can be with your family or help others! Family is always important, and there will always be those who need some assistance. I know the season is about family and giving, but if this is the only time of year that we hold "holiday ethics" in high esteem then we as a people are pathetic.

What I'm trying to say is, go enjoy your family, go to religious services, enjoy the good food and the bad music, but don't let this be the only time of year that you cherish the important things in life-  to really live life you have to appreciate what you have everyday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chrismukkah 2012

The friends I have in Poland are the best friends I've ever had. I call them my "Polish Family," because that's what they are. Without them, I wouldn't be here right now. So as the holidays commence and we prepare to head to our respective countries it was only fitting that we had one last bru-hahah before we headed out!

We had a test in Pathology last week, so everyone was pretty much wiped, including myself, but we still had a great time! I had the party at my place and did all the food and decorating, which was a first for me. The party was on Sunday, the second evening of Hanukkah, and 16 days until Christmas, but I started preparing on Friday because there was so much to do!!!

Friday Night: I made all the dough for the pie and cookies, and made the baked beans. I also went grocery shopping and ended up with lights and art supplies to make my own decorations.

Saturday: I was dog sitting for a friend and also went to a local indoor Christmas Market. It was really great, and I got a ton of traditional Polish gifts for family members. I still have to shop for the 'men' in the family, unless of course they want embroidered tablecloths and porcelain nick-naks. The market had  so much stuff it was overwhelming! I told myself I wasn't going to buy anything for me, but I ended up with a new purse/bag- my reasoning being, "you're not going to find anything similar and at such a good price!" I'd write more about the other stuff I bought, but seeing as they're gifts and I'm not sure if my family actually reads this, I'm not going to risk it. After I came home, I started making cookies, realized I had no apples for my apple pie, ran to the store, and then dashed back to complete the cookie and pie adventure. You'll be pleased to know that I did not burn down my apartment complex or myself. Later in the evening I made a paper chain, hung the lights, cut out snowflakes, made Hanukkah decorations, and sprayed my windows with spray snow.

Sunday: I slept in, BAD idea. I was still dog sitting (a few of my friends went to Berlin and for the weekend), and I also had to go pick up a heating blanket I had bought. While I was out, I also had to stop at the grocery store and pick up rotisserie chicken for that evening. By the time I got back it was 3:00 pm and the party was supposed to start at 4pm. I very quickly, threw the beans in the oven to warm up, made up mashed potatoes, whipped up the instant stuffing, and put some corn on the stove. And because my apartment looked like a bomb had gone off, I also dusted, vacuumed, and bleached my bathroom in record time! I was just lint brushing the sofa when my first guest arrived! 

I had fifteen people come in total! And three dogs, including my own! The food all turned out great, and everyone had an excellent time! We mostly ate, and talked, but we also did a gift exchange, which was a good laugh.

Everyone left by about ten so I helped myself to the leftover dessert and watched a Miracle on 34th street before heading to bed. 
Take that Martha Stewart!!! 

My gift from the gift exchange; from the Berlin Christmas Markets! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Med School Doodles

Most people would like to think that med students are studious, diligent, and attentive during lectures. The truth is, we get as bored as the next person- yeah it's interesting as long as the person giving us the info doesn't drone on, and on about the same thing for hours on end in the same monotone, broken English voice.

The difference between us and other types of students is that we know how to make it look like we're paying attention when we need to.

Do you know how to sleep with your eyes open? Half my class has that down to an art!

How many games of chess/spider solitaire/bejeweled have you played while sitting in the front row of a lecture? I know a guy who plays at least five games minimum per one hour lecture (this obviously depends on the game and his skill level).

How many pages of a ridiculously detailed textbook have you read in class? We can bust out at least fifty pages per 2 hour lecture. (Most of the time it would have been better to stay at home reading anyway).

The best part is that we have it down so well that we can even take notes in this half awake semi-stuperous state. No one even realizes we're only half paying attention. This is probably because the professors are so wrapped up in what they're saying (yes, I'm insinuating that they enjoy hearing their own voices).

My favorite "not paying attention pastime" is doodling. I don't do it too much- just when certain people are lecturing; sometimes it's the ONLY way to stay awake.

So, I thought I'd share some of my latest "works." Hope you enjoy!

If anyone has any cool doodles they've done and would like to share, feel free to submit them and I'll make a special posting of all the best ones! 

Patho lecture...

This is normally a great class, I was just a bit tired so I figured I'd draw. 
Don't worry, we all make it a point to learn the material, something else that makes us different from a lot of other students!