Sunday, July 31, 2011

Deathly Hallows Part 2 & Pottermore

Finally watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 the other day. I caught it in 3D, which was cool though I'm not sure how much I got out of the 3Dness asides from ooh, I'm floating past the Dementors and whoa, it's like I can reach out and taste Voldemort's drifting ashes. But all in all, the movie was great and I left the theater feeling pretty numbed after I spent part of the time clutching a wadded tissue. it wasn't even so much about all the deaths; I started tearing up when they started warding Hogwarts for battle. So epic.

General Impressions (Beware of spoilers ahead!):

  • Voldemort's public announcements were creepy. Especially to those two girls in the movie who screamed their heads off. The girls were so shell-shocked, I actually thought something magically horrific was happening to them and he was melting their brains inside out and soon we were going to see blood trickle out of their ears, eyes, and noses during the close up. Oh, oh ... not so. Voldemort's voice amplification just inspired screams of the normal variety.
  • I cringed and wanted to beat off Nagini with a bat when Snape finally met up with Voldemort. I liked how they showed the attack; even offscreen, the death sounded grisly. Poor Snape.
  • They did not do Fred Weasley's death justice. Oh, Fred, we didn't even get to see you fall in combat or mourn properly over your dead face. Folks who haven't read the books probably wouldn't have even known which Weasley died, let alone which twin.
  • Before, Lavender Brown was the annoying girl who got in between WonWon and Hermione and should have just disappeared for good already, gosh. After seeing a werewolf feast on her body ... Lavender Brown, forgive me, I didn't really mean it. No one deserves a werewolf mauling. :(
  • I had not particularly enjoyed Narcissa Malfoy's portrayal in the previous movies because of the skunk on her head and the lack of any memorable scenes, but she was ... wow here. Leading her son away to safety without a backward glance while her husband stumbled after them ... she was so badass. Her main priority had always been to keep Draco safe. Mother's love ftw. Screw the dark side. Work that skunk.
  • Dayum, Neville Longbottom, how to successfully get through puberty, indeed.
  • Dayum, Hermione Weasley, how to successfully get knocked up early enough to look like one good looking 25 year old mother of a 11 year old daughter?
  • I wished everything was longer. 
Good-bye for now, Harry Potter. End another chapter of childhood, take another step into real adulthood.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I recently heard of Pottermore and was discussing it with a friend yesterday. After doing 400 USMLEWorld review questions, my brain felt a bit mushy the whole day and to me, Pottermore sounded like darn good fun ... (keep in mind though that my idea of really fun games have been the Sims and Cranium).
Me: Apparently, it's supposed to be sort of interactive and you can get sorted into Houses and    stuff. I know this is pretty dorky of me but ...
Friend: I WANT A SPOT!
Real adulthood, indeed.

It's supposed to open up in October to the public, but starting July 31st, people can solve these Magical Quill clues based on the books to register for early access. They don't announce what time the clues go up though so around midnight yesterday, I was like yeah, this sounds pretty exciting (some of you might be scoffing at me now, but I have a sad life revolving around studying at the moment and even finding ice cream in the fridge turns into a momentous highlight of the day for me. Plus, come on, it's like freaking interactive Hogwarts world so I judge you more for not loving Hogwarts - alright, just judge me less harshly) ... but this is ridiculous, am I really going to stay up all night refreshing the Pottermore site in hopes the clue would appear? Sure, I guess I can technically use the time to continue studying and check back on the site hourly, but ... I like sleep too much. Dilemma of the night.

I went to bed. Dilemma over.

Around 4:20 am though, I got a text from friend: "Answer's 245!!"

And then a few minutes later: "You awake??"

Yeah, no, I was completely knocked out.

Around 5:30 am, I jerked awake and checked my phone groggily for the time when I saw her messages. Of course, by then, registration was over and I was like, "Nooo! Thwarted by an hour!"

And then I laughed because I couldn't believe friend had been so dedicated to still be up past 4am. Rolled over and went back to sleep.

At the rate these clues are getting posted up, I'm pretty sure I'm just going to wait for October and be one of those non-special early folks to check out the site. I don't quite have the stamina the hardcore Potter fans have, but it's still incredible to see such enthusiasm over something Harry Potter again especially with the last movie over. The fanbase is definitely still as passionate as back in the days of midnight book release parties, if not more.

Happy Birthday, J.K.Rowling and Harry Potter. Thanks for the good times.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Vagina Actresses, Penis Actors

A while ago, we had gynecologic and genitourinary sessions to teach us how to perform a Pap smear, breast exam, and hernia assessment, digital rectal exam etc. on female and male standardized patients respectively.

Our standardized patients were actually instructors who walked us through the various steps and procedures as we practiced on their own bodies. They must get paid really well.

One distinct difference between the female and male sessions: females are a lot more complicated. Haha, generally, those who were doing the Gyn sessions got out later than the those in the GU sessions and the GU instructor said that was because for women, they want to know every detail and reasoning why we're doing such and such. We have to use the proper terminology and be careful of how we word things, i.e. "I'm going to palpate your breast now." versus "I'm going to feel your breast now."

As opposed to men, who are too busy staring up at the ceiling and thinking of other things so they don't have to focus on us examining their genitals to really process what we're saying during the exam anyway. Men are apparently more likely to feel embarrassed and may choose to turn a blind eye to any medical condition they have, especially of the GU type, rather than come in for a doctor's visit.

My group of three students started off with a GYN session where we spent some time staring at the instructor's breasts and describing them, from their shape, color, lesions to the way they hang. These instructors better be paid well.

After the breast exam, the lady got into position with her feet up in stirrups and legs spread apart while we learned how to work with a speculum and Pap smear test as the instructor watched our movements down below with a handheld mirror. I really, really hope these instructors get paid well.

Classmate got reminded several times to kindly keep his thumb on neutral position while wielding the speculum.

After the session, he murmured, "You know why I kept doing that? It's because I got so used to holding my game controller like that. I think she probably hates me."

"Catching you texting in the background while she was still exposed probably didn't win you any extra points," I said.

"I wasn't texting! I was checking the time on my phone."

Other classmate who had been wielding the speculum at that moment laughed and said that things couldn't be too safe, to which he was like "What? What was that? I didn't catch that."

"She means the instructor might have been worried you were texting pictures ..."

"No! I really was only checking the time!"

"Yeah. And then you asked her how many actresses come to do these sessions."

He covered his face with his hands. "It came out wrong. I meant - I meant like - I blanked out on how to refer to them ..."

The instructor had had a half amused, half puzzled expression on her face. She mused, "Actresses? What kind of actresses do you mean exactly? What, like vagina actresses?"

He stammered a lot.

All of the instructors were really nice and patient with us all and they were incredibly relaxed and professional even with a whole bunch of us getting all up in their private bits. My GU instructor, who works as a nurse in his daytime job, had a great sense of humor. He actually gave a little cheer when I asked him if he was circumcised. And ... that sounds completely wrong out of context so long story short, we were all supposed to ask if our patients are circumcised before we lift the blanket off of them to avoid a whole fiasco of staring at a penis and going ...
"You are not circumcised."
"Yes, actually, I am."
"Oh. Sorry, my bad."
So I was the only one who remembered to do so before the unveiling of the bits and the funny man actually pumped his fist in the air. We all cracked up and I thanked him for his support.

That's not to say I had no problems though. Since I was the last one to do the digital rectal exam, I had a bit of a ... lubrication mishap. Basically, I sat on the stool behind him for the longest time, my gloved finger probing for his anus in between his butt cheeks. It was a very surreal experience.
Instructor, elbows propped on the examination table and legs spread: "Ah, I'm sorry, this isn't your fault but since your classmates did such a good job before, I'm afraid there's a lot of lubrication and you just slipped away from the opening."
Me: "Uh ... okay ... right ... I have it now."
Instructor: "... No ... try a little higher."
Me: "Um ... here?"
Instructor: "Not quite."
Me: "Here?"
Instructor: "Eh ..."
Me (a little desperately now): "Here?"
Instructor: "Yep, good. Now you can push in."
I really wish all of our previous physical diagnosis sessions had these great teachers; it was a lot more thorough, hands-on experience of course and the one-on-one practice with the instructor really helped with correcting our mistakes and enforcing what we learned. But I guess the budget for hiring these folks is pretty limited.

But yay for vagina actresses, penis actors! (Really, those are not their official titles.)

Other news: I have not done any real writing except for a few pages for the next TM chapter. Sorry! I've been busy studying for Step 1, rejecting friends' fun summer plans, taking practice exams, then freaking out and postponing the date ... rinse and repeat. Haha, so I'm still studying, holed up in my room in this sweltering heat, but I will be taking a day off next week to finally see the last Harry Potter film with friends. We wanted to go later to avoid the mad rush and the kids. I don't think I've actually seen all of the HP films and I haven't particularly rated the earlier movies as must sees even though I think they were pretty good family fun movies - but I liked Deathly Hallows Part 1 and this is the last HP movie ever and just the idea of this being the last production together before the cast finally leaves these film sets they grew up on ... sadface! Plus, this being the epic conclusion with Hogwarts going down in flames and so. many. deaths. ... sadbawlingface.

Anyway, I thought this blog needed a long overdue update since it's been a while since I posted. I am still alive and once again, thank you all for your patience and support.