Thursday, July 21, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

My third semester of BDS (Bachelors of Dental Science) was extremely busy, so much so that I wasn't able to upload anything on my blog after the exciting, explosive cricket match of the century - between India and Pakistan (unless you happen to live under a rock, you might have heard about it. The excitement and tension was tangible - impossible to miss!). As I mentioned previously, I was extremely busy this semester doing all sorts of things. The following are a couple of things that kept me occupied this semester:

1. Studies for one was the last thing on my mind this semester - which was pretty pathetic (yes, pathetic! I felt absolutely pathetic by the end) since then there was a huge pile of stuff I hadn't studied by the end of the semester and time was, well - obviously - not on my side. For the first time in my college years, I suddenly found myself cramming things/concepts/theories/teeth size/pharmacology at the very last moment - like an utter m-a-n-i-a-c. I entirely went against my own study mottoes, beliefs regarding studies... it was a huge fiasco and things got very tricky when exams suddenly popped up of nowhere a week or two earlier than expected and our oral biology department - crazy and utterly disorganized as they are - suddenly decided that this was the opportune moment to suddenly load us with a research project that required a lot of running around and taking impressions of patients - who we had to summon/ conjure up out of nowhere! And if that wasn't enough, we had a whole platter of other things going on at the end of the semester which are quite a lot and jumble-y to explain!

2. Secondly , a research project (other than which I previously mentioned) was assigned to our batch by the community department of our college. Alhamdolillah (Thank God) , however, it was assigned at the beginning of the semester and we had ample time to deal this research thingy. It was also, unlike the Oral department research project, organized and well-thought out even though it too had it's share of problems - but every project does come with it's portion of problems so we didn't mind much.

This was the first time my fellow students and I had come close to anything research-y. We got to learn the ABC's of research. Also, our batch was divided into groups of ten with each group being given a particular topic to focus on. My group and I were assigned the topic of 'Oral health practices of mentally handicapped individuals' which was a very interesting, but was a bit challenging because we had to do a lot of literature review and then gather our information from a special school for mentally challenged individuals, in Karachi.

This research project was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed doing it. But like any research project it was time-consuming and had its own share of problems, ups and downs, unexpected turns and twists - at unexpected times! Sometimes, all our work was done and the head of department suddenly felt like making a change - out of the blue - and then we would start from scratch. In the end, our whole group got really tired of the work - not because it wasn't fun or interesting but because it got so hectic that we hardly found time to study. All in all, I'm still glad we did it because a learned loads and my first visit to an institute for the mentally challenged individuals was absolutely amazing, eye-opening, humbling and energizing.

3. Visiting relatives. It's funny but somehow relatives always end up visiting at the peak of your exams. This has been happening since my very semester. I'm learning to get a hang of it now and know just how to adjust to exam time relatives.

4. Other activities: I had not participated in a debate competition since my school years and I suddenly felt compelled to take part in one. A month or so was spend in trying out for a couple of inter-college debate competitions. It was a really refreshing experience. Studying purely science and making that your subject of focus is tricky gamble. On one side, you do gain a lot of knowledge related to your body - but the overall process can make you a bit dull and drain your creativity - especially if you're attending a government college where most of the time the learning procedure and the exam layout is based more on the rote-learn principle, rather than learning through interaction. Sad really. But one has to make the most of everything in life. I rarely quote singers, but some of them can wittingly - or unwittingly - utter (sing) words of great wisdom. As Avril Lavigne says (I can't believe I'm doing this! lol) :

"Life's like this, you
And you fall and you crawl
And you break and you take
What you get and you turn it into
Honesty Promise me I'm never gonna find you fake it."

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