First day to catch up on some rest, I slept very soundly and surfaced about 11am. I was ravenously hungry and assembled a curry from the scraps of chicken left from earlier in the week - wholegrain rice is not suitable for serving with curry.
I spent most of the day tidying the kitchen on our floor and organising my room, which included filing the many pieces of loose paper I seem to have accumulated during the first week. Scanning through a slightly crumpled copy of the Student BMJ I noticed two useful articles, one concerning how to take patient histories (the main focus of our early clinical skills lectures) and another detailing how to approach your first ever OSCE. From talking to coursemates it became clear that not everyone had picked up their own copy of the magazine, so I will scan those pages and upload them to our shared Facebook Group so everyone can make use of them.
In the afternoon I went for a brief run and located a self-service laundry just up the road from our house - very useful as the equipment in the house is notoriously unreliable. I did also manage to make a start on anatomy revision, going over the lecture notes again and using a textbook to try and cement my basic understanding of what we'd been taught.
The real event came in the evening - the Warwick Medical School welcome ball! I had reserved a ticket a few months in advance, but sadly quite a few of our peers were unable to get them. While one medical housemate was at home for the weekend, the three of us that remained made our way to the Chesford Grange Hotel, for a night of celebration and debauchery (at least as much debauchery as can be committed in front of the medical school staff).
There was plenty of wine at hand, to go along with a three course meal consisting of a goat's cheese and beetroot starter, with chicken and vegetables for the main followed by a marvellous frangipane tart. The food was delicious, and very amply proportioned, such that I felt completely stuffed by the end, although not uncomfortably so.
After dinner a DJ appeared to service the dancefloor, blasting out a myriad of 'school disco classics', including such treasures as '500 miles' and 'La Macarena'. I also experienced for the first time a strange dance wherein everyone sits down a line with their legs in a V formation and sways from side to side, to 'Oops Upside Your Head by The Gap Band. It was entertaining but groin pains are a concern should you try it. You have been warned.
When it became clearer that the staff at the event had a very good view of the dancefloor and a glass was unceremoniously smashed upon it, most people headed for the social area outside the dining room, where we reflected on the week we'd had together and what lay in store for the weeks to come. The reality of being at medical school is finally starting to dawn on us, and it feels like we've been here far longer than a mere five days.
To reiterate something I've alluded to before, there is such a difference in this case because everyone shares a common goal. Not necessarily a particular area of study or field of interest, but we're all here because we want to be doctors and the maturity of the cohort compared to how we would have been at 18 has made everyone much more welcoming. You can happily talk to anyone around you without fear of rebuttal and there is no sense of distinct groupings - everyone is your colleague.
Q: Do you prefer to take baths or showers?
A: I am an advocate of showering. Uses less water, is far more timely and is crucially rather more difficult to fall asleep in (although I have managed that in at least one instance).
Interesting Fact: The Spanish national anthem has no actual words in it. Go figure.