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Quotes of the Day

The following are all actual quotes from today’s MiC lecture. The lecturer is an anthropologist:

  • “What makes someone a particular age?”
  • “I’ve got to look beyond the grey hair”
  • “SAGA left before lunch to go for lunch in the local hotel”
  • “I keep coming back to buses; they’re very important”
  • “A grunt will always help”

I would like to remind you that I am studying medicine. Given the ‘quality’ of this particular lecturer, it’s probable that there will be more posts like this in the future, because she officially makes NO sense.

And in other news, my new t-shirt has arrived…it’s the one I’ve always said I’d buy – it says “Dressed as…” on the front, and “Tilly O’Shea” on the back. And you haven’t got one. So ner.

I’m being forced (well, practically, anyway) to join a badminton club, mainly because many of my friends are (peer pressure!). I keep trying to explain that I’m utterly crap, but they refuse to understand, claiming that they are ‘beginners’ too. The issue is, I’m NOT a beginner, I’ve played badminton many times, I’m fairly confident on the rules, but I can’t hit the thing. In all other respects, I suppose I’m not a bad player, but hitting the shuttlecock is probably a crucial aspect, therefore I’m crap. I’m also supposed to be joining a book club (I can do that ) and supposed to be going swimming on a regular basis with Sarah (Quite looking forward to that, I used to do a lot of swimming competitions and stuff, it’ll be good to get back into it) – Only snag is, I haven’t found the local pool yet.

That’s your update for now.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: University.


Scrubs is undeniably one of the best comedies on TV. Whilst there are many good things about it (It was Scrubs that introduced me to the dulcet tones of Lazlo Bane, for example) it has also brought with it a whole new level of medical politics.

In the blissful, but less amusing, pre-scrubs era, British doctors had a choice of stethoscope colours: Black or grey. In the post-scrubs era, thanks to Scrubs’s popularity and use of multi-coloured stethoscopes, there is now a much wider choice. This places the first-year medical student in something of a dilemma, as the stethoscope colour you choose inevitably says a lot about you.

Obviously, you can’t go with black or grey because they’re boring. Green is unlucky (or so I’m told ), and red looks, well, blood-like. Pink would be a bold statement, but unfortunately isn’t yet available – the closest is burgundy. Therefore, I chose the wonders of Caribbean Blue. I’m not entirely sure of the connotations associated with this particular colour; after all I’m not a large black woman with big breasts dancing round in a grass skirt (at least not around patients). As such, I thought it was a pretty safe choice. But JRC seemed to disagree, as his initial reaction was “You are joking?”. Well I’m not.

I have a book which includes a section on rectal examinations. Mainly because I’m cruel and like to scare people, I chose to read this section on the train at the weekend. It’s amazing how indiscrete some people are when reading over your shoulder. Since I know you want the highlights…

“Reassure the patient and explain that the examination may be uncomfortable…”
“If anal spasm is encountered, ask the patient to breathe out and relax”
– “Ask the patient to squeeze the examining forefinger with the anal sphincter”
– “After withdrawal, examine the finger for stool colour…”

On the return train journey, I was reading a journal article entitled “Time, Hope and HIV”. I was surprised how few people asked to sit next to me when I was reading it. It seems a good tactic. I’m off on the train again next weekend, so I’ll have to find “Living with Herpes” or “Coming to terms with Leprosy” in the library to make the journey more comfortable.

Someone in my flat has bought one of these . Fantastic fun.

My headphones are dead. This is another thing I discovered on the train. And so I surfed (don’t you just love that metaphor) for a new pair, and ended up ordering an mp3 player – and not a particularly good one at that. I’m not entirely sure exactly how it happened, but it seemed a good idea at the time, and it does come with headphones included.

The staff here at Durham have come up with the single most fantastic way of defining where you can and can’t wear your labcoat, after queries of whether you have to take it off when moving between labs, or if you can keep it on during breaks etc. Instead of creating some beaurocratic and impossible to follow set of rules, they’ve come up with this: You are not allowed to wear your labcoat in carpeted areas. Short, simple and to-the-point. I like it.

Michael (I know far too many Michael’s – half of them should change their name or something), a medical student here, is absolutely fantastic at impressions. I don’t mean he’s good, I mean that he’s better than people you would go and pay to watch doing impressions. He had me in stitches (an unfortunate expression, considering the course) all the way through histology today, doing impressions of the world’s most boring woman, my MiC lecturer, and Scandinavia’s finest export, my biochemistry lecturer.

For the first (and last) time this term, I have no lectures tomorrow. A whole day off. I demand a big shiny medal. And a blowjob. Which apparently is a drink (I discovered this after being sent an email from the MedSoc committee offering me a free blowjob. Imagine my disappointment. Though I did get free pizza, and 12 of the second year lasses are doing a full monty strip for charity at Christmas, so I don’t think my MedSoc membership money was wasted. They also gave me a condom and a lollipop – personally, I would have thought one or the other would have sufficed, but clearly there are some people who are heavily into sucking. But I digress…)

As for the whole Paul Burrell thing , I have one comment to make: “Go Girl!”. He’s written a book, and that’s fine. People write books that are deeply upsetting to people constantly, why should anyone give a toss if his book upsets the royal family? Just because Diana died in a nasty accident six years ago doesn’t mean that somebody’s opinions about her cannot be aired. Get over it. If you don’t want to read it then don’t, but don’t stop the poor bloke publishing it in the first place – I don’t like Star Trek, so I don’t watch it – I don’t try and ban it! If Diana had died six months ago, then I could see that it would be disrespectful, but we’re talking six YEARS here.

I have to interview my Family Project pregnant woman next week. Whilst I’m very grateful, I never understand why these people take part – they don’t get paid, they just have two medical students turning up on their doorstep wanting to ask them personal questions. And on a similar note, I have found a new way of annoying cold-calling sales people: Ask them a completely unrelated question. Wait until they’re in the flow of their spiel, and say something like “Sorry, can I just ask you, do you like doughnuts?”. It throws them completely. Tee hee. Alternatively, you could try asking the Homebase Checkout Girls the same question. Particularly if you’re in the Sotuhport branch between 2 and 6 on a Saturday or a Sunday.

Frankly, I bored now, so I’m going to go and do something else.

Yours truly,

That Weird Medical Student with the Blue Stethoscope

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: News and Comment, University.


I must thank the following people:

Percival Turnbill
Following Blair’s dodgy ticker story , this fine upstanding gentleman wrote a letter to the Guardian. It consisted of one word:

Carey Chapman
Another newspaper letter:
“So Diana wrote that ‘X is planning an accident in my car’, but didn’t fasten her seatbelt.”

For such regular posts on his site

For having such a fantastic sense of humour

My MiC Lecturer
For such hilariously boring lectures, filled with useless knowledge (eg Germany’s pessimistic traditional ending to fairy tales – not “…and they all lived happily ever after”, but “…and if they’re not dead yet, they’re still alive”)

For making tomorrow’s lecture optional, so I can hop on a train and go home tonight

Mr Muscle
For loving the jobs I hate

For reading this

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: Miscellaneous, University.

Shameless Plug

I have a fantastic offer on my site at the moment – up to £10 off orders from Splash. The link is that big yellow thing in the middle of the page. I order from Splash quite a lot, and so will be using this offer myself, I reckon.

In other news, it’s raining. It seems to do this every time I go out without a coat, but today it did it in a particularly amusing (though not at the time) way. I was just walking across the Millennium Footbridge , saying how I’d got away with not wearing a coat, when there was a huge lightning flash and thunder, followed by buckets of rain. I got so wet that the clothes I was wearing are now in my shower, drying off.

I ordered four books from Amazon the other day, on free supersaver delivery. They sent each book in a separate box, all of which arrived on the same day, and resulted in the porter thinking it was funny (since they arrived on four separate vans from three different delivery companies). Oh, how he laughed. And today, Blackwells did a similar thing, though they only sent two boxes for three books.

I had to go and buy more glasses (as in the things you drink out of) today, because of my poor washing up habits. I never have any clean ones. Currently, I have three and a mug on my desk. I decided it would be easier to buy more than to wash up more frequently. But this does make me look stupid when I cart four or five glasses from my room to the kitchen. I have a similar problem with emptying my bin – I can never be bothered, so I end up carrying out four or five carrier bags of rubbish at once . I’d worry that people would think I was a freak, but they already know that, I’m only reinforcing the idea.

Last night, Channel 4, Pornography: The Musical was really good. Despite it not being the main focus of my attention, I still can’t get the music out of my head.

I have a pile of work to do, and I desperately trying to avoid sitting down and doing it. If anyone can tell me which bit is the “Upper Respiratory Tract” and which is the lower bit, I’d be happier . Alternatively, you could just tell me what the nerve supply of the visceral pleura is, or basically anything. “Is the visceral pleura sensitive to pain? A simply yes or no will NOT be sufficient, please explain your answer fully”. I don’t even know whether it’s yes or no.

Anyway, I have a session tomorrow which involves examining other people’s nipples. This from the same lecturer who told us to ask friends to help us out with our anatomy. Disturbing.

I’m waffling now to avoid the work, but I’m going to have to do it some time. Go and order some DVDs. Go on. And I’ll go do some work.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: Miscellaneous.

Good Evening

I have just returned from the union (so it’s probably not the best time in the world to be posting on t’internet, but never mind). Just as a sidenote, I’ve just performed my own unique karaoke version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (With a group of obliging females, of course). You may notice that it’s only 10pm, but that’s because us medics tend to run our ents 6-10, instead of 10-1, due to the fact that lectures start at 9 tomorrow. And I’ve still got a load of lecture notes to write up from last week, but that’s by-the-by.

I want suggestions for an ironic poster for the back of my door. Everybody does the traditional scantily clad man / woman thing, and I want something different. I tried photographing the door to print out and stick on the door, but it looked more weird than ironic. We did have a really good Reservoir Dogs poster in our kitchen (“Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?”), but it’s mysteriously disappeared. I blame JRC. Or Jack, he’s closer and could steal it more easily.

I had lunch in the flat next door today, with Wendy, Sarah and James.

Please comment with your poster suggestions, or I’ll cry and maybe even sing again.

Hugs and Kisses,


Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: University.

Apostrophes’ Officer 2003

The university election for the above mentioned post is now underway. I have no idea what the job entails, but I did notice this gem from one candidate’s manifesto:

Vote for me, I’m great and know about apostrophe’s.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: University.


I may have already told you how the Durham University Rag Week (DRAG) was officially banned by the Home Secretary following a break-IN at a maximum security prison, and the suspension of a lecturer’s car from one of the many bridges in Durham. Therefore, DRAG was replaced by DUCK – Durham University Charity Komittee.

I have just received an email detailing their latest fundraising stunt…10,000 bright yellow rubber ducks are to be released from Elvet Bridge (with the aid of 3 JCBs) and raced down the River Weir. It’s happening around 12.30 on 2nd November, so if you’re in the area, go and have a look, it should be good.

That’s the end of Tilly’s Travel Tips for Today, see you again soon!

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: University.


Fightbox – 7.30, BBC3, Daily
Is this the worst thing on TV in the history of the world? Quite possibly, but you should really watch it at least once in order that you see how bad it really is.

Teen Big Brother – 10pm, C4, Daily
I was invited to audition for this. I didn’t. I think I made the right decision.

BBC News 24
Could their CSO studio be less convincing? Why not be normal, and use a temp studio? Or even their second one?

If he spins this right, this could be hugely beneficial to the party – if he’s cleared of any wrongdoing, he could come out of it looking like the honest man standing up for his family and integrity. Of course, if it doesn’t go that way, he’s for the chop.

I’ve just had my first session with them. It’s not in any way freaky, and it didn’t smell horrible like everyone tells you it does. But that’s all I can say as they still count as patients and so are protected through confidentiality and general respectful agreements.

My Morning
I spent two hours this morning, requiring me to start at 9am, in a two-hour IT training session, which included this invaluable advice: “If you don’t want to print in colour, don’t use the colour printer”. Fortunately, the lecturer realised how pointless the exercise was, and didn’t bother that the majority of us spent the two hours on the internet, while he stood and told us how to drag and drop. Luckily, the remaining three sessions are optional (But I do have an hour tomorrow on how to use the library).
Little Britain, 9pm, BBC Three, Tuesdays
Fantastic, almost as good as the radio show

Sexism in Medicine
Regulations prevent two male medical students from doing family visits, during my Personal and Professional Development Family Project. You’re also not allowed to go alone. This means that I effectively have to have a female chaperone, whereas two females are allowed to go together (two lads are allowed together two, if there’s a girl with them). Also, male doctors doing intimate examinations of female patients are legally required to have a female chaperone. Female doctors with male patients are not required to have a chaperone. I think this is sexist, and it makes me want to cry.

Cheese and Wine
I’ve been invited to a Cheese and Wine evening – a MedSoc event. The invitation says that wine will be on sale, but the cheese is free. This made me laugh.

That’s all for now!

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: Miscellaneous, Politics, Reviews, University.

Entry #138

This amused me to the extent that I felt I should double-post:

I’ve just been up to the Library, who have stuck a new slogan on the announcements board as you enter…

“The Library, the Library, it’s better than watching TV”

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: University.


Please forgive my excessive salivation. After a week of waiting, I have finally been patched in to the university network in my room. All these years I have thought that broadband was ‘fast’ internet access. Pah. Bah, humbug. Broadband isn’t fast. I have a 10Mbps connection. Yes, 10Mbps. That’s 10 times faster than the current fastest ADSL connection available. Finally, webpages actually appear instantly. That tiny delay on broadband is eliminated. I am your God.

In other news, I have now been at university for a week. In my flat, there are (including me) three guys and four gals. This is interesting, particularly as I never see the guys. I don’t know why, but they never seem to be here. And when they are, they demonstrate the world’s WORST taste in music. Matt, the person in the room next door, was playing Sting at high volumes yesterday. I thought ‘interesting’, and ‘different’. It was only when he moved on to Craig David and Daniel Beddingfield that I started to wonder if he was, actually, a woman. The other guy, Tony, plays dance music. But we can forgive him, because he’s from Essex and doesn’t understand that it is not normal to wear shorts in October.

As for the girls…they’re all pretty much OK, friendly enough. They’ve done the usual girly thing of forming a little clique which involves them all going into one room to watch Hollyoaks and Eastenders. What fun that must be.

I’m in a special block. It’s special because it is one of only two blocks in the university to have shower doors instead of curtains. This wouldn’t normally strike me as the most interesting fact in the world, but so far I’ve had at least five people of the female persuasion asking if they can come over and use my shower some time. Of course, I didn’t try to dissuade them.

This week has obviously been Freshers Week . Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not one to get hammered, but I have been, shall we say, uncharacteristically tipsy on a few occasions. As someone who is crap with names anyway, being pissed doesn’t help.

So far, I’ve been told that I look like the following (in order of the number of times I’ve been told it):

1. Richard Griffiths

2. A Vicar

3. A GP

It worries me that I’m studying for five years to become something that’s only number three on my look-a-likes list. Maybe I should be doing acting instead.

As far as the course itself goes, it’s freakishly interesting. Did you know that the Bozo tribe (I WANT that tribe name) in Mali celebrate the urine of their young men turning red, as a sign of reaching adulthood? It’s actually blood in their pee, caused by an infection that all the men of the tribe tend to catch when they reach sexual maturity. So there you go.

As of 00.34 this morning I am an uncle. My new nephew is called Jensen (definitely not my choice), and weighed 7lb 2oz. Just thought I would share that with you.

It’s Sunday and that means that JRC is working today. That makes me laugh. And another thing that makes me laugh: The way people round here say newCASTLE, as opposed to NEWcastle. I also have a Scandinavian lecturer for biochemistry who can’t pronounce the word “protein”. He says something along the lines of “protyne”.

The whole IDS thing is starting to bug me now. I think his conference speech was enough, so do the polls. And yet the party still can’t unite behind their leader. Poor IDS tries to sort it by demanding that the ‘rebels’ explain themselves, and, in the process, makes the story run for longer. I still have a huge problem with proportional representation – in my opinion, the party that gets the most votes should come into power. I don’t care how you choose to rectify this, just do it.

The whole England / Rio Ferdinand thing is a bit much, as Jack said earlier in the week. But Beckham’s speech, you know the one, has become my news highlight of the week. It was pure comedy.

The Derren Brown thing was fantastic. The actual trick may have been fairly simple, but that’s not the bigger illusion: He’s managed to go from getting millions of people and the media interested and watching because he was supposedly risking his life, and his critics saying ‘it doesn’t matter if it was faked, it was great TV’. If you can show me one other magician who can pull that off, I’ll be impressed.

It’s my first session with the dead people tomorrow , so I’ll let you know how it goes. But that’s all for now.

Originally posted on The LBSC

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics, University.

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