Introverts and the QMH

An Article I have written for the university newspaper. QMH refers to the teaching hospital.

Believe it or not introverts hide among us at the RVC! And that is no bad thing.

We all know everyone is different; it’s been ingrained in us since primary school. How we learn and engage in particular, practically, visually, aurally, reflectively, sociably etc I could go on.

Introversion or extroversion is another broad spectrum that we all sit somewhere along and if rotations has taught me anything, it has shown me that we all deal with a long week in the QMH differently. But usually involving some form of alcohol.

I am an introvert but I’m not shy. Whereas I can talk to anyone, I don’t necessary feel the urge to. I’m happy not to talk and sometimes would prefer not to. Rotations are tiring regardless and I want nothing more than an hour to myself to recharge and refocus at the end of it. It’s not because I haven’t enjoyed myself. It’s that I have so many thoughts whirling through my head from the day’s escapades that I need a moment to breath and clear them. Then I’ll be fine again.

Extroverts, so the definition describes, are the opposite. They gain more energy being with people and so prefer to stay with people after a long and stressful day, they don’t necessarily need that break.

Most introverts hide well because they can be found in busy areas and cope totally fine in crowded and loud places on the condition that they know they’ll get a breather occasionally. Going to the bathroom for the second ‘wee’ in two hours is because those couple of minutes on the lav are beautiful. We focus our thoughts, think about what’s happened, decide who I want to chat to next, what will I eat and drink next, what time I’ll wake up in the morning etc it goes on.

Rotations have difficult but exciting. For the sneaky introverts out there I feel that we may have had it that much harder and I think that some small changes could make a big difference to the year without affecting extroverts or too much in general.

First of all, seminars in the morning: By three in the afternoon, after spending seven hours with lots of other people, being quizzed, running around trying to find the right people, the right patients, talking to stressed owners and trying to convince clinicians that I know what I’m talking about. The last thing I need is to then walk into a room to intensely discuss someone else’s case and what their next steps are going to be. I have too much of my own cases going on in my head to have any concentration or discussion left. Make the seminars in the morning. By the following morning I’ve had the previous evening to unwind, go through my own thoughts and sleep on them and plan for the morning. In the morning I’m yours and I’m happy to discuss a diarrheaing boxer for as long as is deemed necessary.

Second, create a quiet space in the QMH. This might be quite hard, I appreciate that. Everyone will agree with me that the student room is generally mental. Bags on seats, loud excitable students, computers buzzing, kettles going, microwaves pinging and phones ringing. There was one or two afternoons where I struggled and went to the library for an hour. It only takes for a stressful morning to need some time to recoup over lunch. I’m not suggesting a large room or a room with anything in particular in it. Maybe some desks, maybe some chairs, but an absolute must would be on the outside of the door, a sign that says “strictly quiet”. People could eat, people can be doing something on their phones but no talking. Or else, make it easier to go to somewhere quieter, like the library for 30 minutes. You may find that a room such as that will free up some of the toilets frequently inhabited by the secret introverts, as it is our only refuge in the QMH.

Third, quizzing and feedback: I particularly enjoyed tracking with the smaller groups and often one on one teaching. Personally, that suits me far better than big group teaching but that’s not the same for everyone so I wont suggest changing the current system. And without being totally negative, I do think over the year, I have become slightly more assertive. But too often I felt dread towards group sessions.

What was particularly difficult with the big group sessions is being pointed out to give an answer. There is no sure fire way of an introvert not giving you the answer you’re after than by pointing at their face a second after you have asked the question. Then to make it even better, only giving them five seconds to answer before moving to another person. You can make a bet that the minute the pointing finger gets directed elsewhere the answer comes straight to the mind of the introvert. But it’s too late.

It was disheartening after the first few rotation blocks to be told I need to be louder. I understood why yet I’m being told that my knowledge, communication and ability is fine, I just need to be louder. Why? It’s not me to be louder than other people. I’ll get what I want to say across and heard. Usually I’ll wait until other people have said what they want to. But my voice will be heard. And therefore I learned to ignore this comment, as I got more confident in my own ability.

Similarly I got warned with a cause for concern after the first week of a two-week rotation for not giving enough answers. Second week I was so on edge trying to force out answers and so aware that I was being watched and analyzed that I didn’t enjoy it and I don’t think I gained a huge amount.

Therefore, I suggest devising other ways such as spot tests, mock papers and one on one conversations. I know these are all more time consuming than a half hour session of who can shout out words the loudest and fastest but I think it would be a bit more of a rounded approach. Success seems to come from being loudest too often. Yet it just proves who the loudest is.

I often wonder if it is as hard for an extrovert to not say something when they want to as it is for an introvert to say something when they don’t want to?

Just a reminder that there are introverts out there and it’s not a bad thing to not be loud, we make up for it in our ability to listen, understand and reflect.

From,

a proud introvert.

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Looking back.

It’s scary how two months have gone since my last blog post. My initial thoughts were that It has just been an empty kind of two months. It has felt like I’ve just been eating, working and sleeping. The eating and sleeping bits have been great! But I haven’t enjoyed them as much as I could have because of the working bit.

I don’t have much to complain about, I’m just being worked hard at the moment. I want more freedom, I want to know what the day is going to bring and when I will be able to go home. I’m quite fed up of being a student and I’d like a job and to stay in one place for more than two weeks is a dream at the moment. It feels like i’m tip-toeing around trying to please everyone and even pander to their whims just to pass each week. I just can’t be arsed anymore. I feel like maybe I don’t need to prove myself anymore. It’s a nice feeling in a way.

But here are some of the good things I’ve been up to in the past two months!

Dorset

I spent a month around Dorset on some farm placements. I explored Chesil beach before spending the weekend with Rosie and her family. We visited the beautiful Sherborne Castle.

I spent two weeks with two other vet students in Shitterton. It was really nice to get to know the two of them. It was a hard two weeks with tons of work to do but we still managed to have fun and visit a couple of pubs while we were there.

I have also discovered Huel, a meal replacement type thing. It’s now what I have for lunch. It is vegan and supposed to have all the dietary requirements needed. I’m usually and was at first against the idea of it. But actually I bought it in the end to make it easier to travel and not to have to worry about lunch, to be able to monitor how much i’m eating better and i think really, i just wanted some control over what I was eating and in my life in general! It has been a blessing regards lunched. Just three scoops and add some water and i’m good to go. I don’t have to get up early or make sure I get to a shop or buy anything. Just that extra thing to not worry about. Possibly lazy, but I’ll take it.

Utrecht

I visited Utrecht university for another farm placement. It was a very long and tiring and sometimes hard two weeks. But it was fantastic getting to spend a decent amount of time in one European city. It was great to get to know a place. We cycled into the campus every morning and evening and checked out a decent number of pubs.. again.

I love stroopwafels! Ah!

Rosie even managed to come and visit at the weekend and we rented a gorgeously cute little apartment looking over one of the canals. It was lovely. We all checked out the gay bars one night forgetting how bad we are at drinking these days.

We did all the touristy classics going up the tower and going on a boat trip.

 

London

But I was glad to finally get home and chill with the Doggo!

I’m working in central london for three weeks and got to stay with Rosie for nearly two of them which was great fun! One Tuesday evening we bought tickets to a book talk with Ali Smith at Foyles. We’re both big fans of her work and just her in general. She is so grounded and fair and honest and sees the world in such an incredible way.

One evening we watched a documentary about an anorexia clinic in London. Rosie knew of someone who had been into one. It was a hard documentary to watch. But a very thought provoking one. I have had some issues in the past that could have been a lot lot worse and I watched the people in the clinic and wondered why I seemed able to avoid getting as low as they were. Why i seem able to get by by knowing my signs and managing them yet others can’t and suffer so much more.  This will have to be another blog sometime in the future. It just made us think about personality types and how difficult, demanding, intimidating and out of control our world is at the moment.

Glasgow

Rosie went to Glasgow while I still had work in London. She went up for a concert on Saturday evening. I joined her on Friday evening and we had some of the weekend to chill and explore Glasgow together. Rosie knows the place a little from previous work but i had never been. It was a beautiful weekend which probably made it even better, but I loved Glasgow. It has some amazing places and spaces, parks and museums, shops and resturants. We got a hostel looking over a park and it was beautiful. Crisp air with everyone walking around in scarves, lots of doggies, we could see ourselves living there. Maybe one day!

On the evening of the concert we met up just before to grab some dinner. We went to a Southern India restaurant which was delish! Never eaten Southern before, we tried different chapatis and a lamb curry and it was so yum!

I was a bit of a soppy git and bought Rosie some roses and a keyring with out photo on it before the concert. It was a big deal for her and I could tell she was quite nervous. But she was fantastic and pleased with how it went. She definitely underestimates how good she is, but I feel like most people do when they’re trying to get somewhere. It’s hard to know what people expect and want and are looking for… in many careers i think.

After the concert we checked out a couple of gay bars and got ridiculously tipsy and giddy and no drinks whatsoever (cheap dates) and headed back picking up some  Belgian fries on the way home 😛 nommm

In the morning we checked out one of the restaurants Rosie has been too for breakfast and I had a full English which was FULL ON.

Glasgow

London

Back to London. I Stayed at Rosie’s for a couple more days and we had dinner with some of her friends and made mince pies one evening! We were both doing different hours to each other so often we didn’t have much time in the mornings or evenings but I love spending an hour or two just chilling with her or even just talking about our day in bed before one of us falls asleep first.

I’ve got into crosswords and puzzles again, first time since I was a kid! The guys in my placement group have been picking up the newspaper on the train and we’ve been working on them during lunch. It made me want to go back home and finish them with Rosie. We spent a good couple of evenings working on them. We are rubbishly awful at the cryptic ones though!

I had the first Amnesty talk this week too! It wasn’t very well attended but it was really interesting to hear more about what Amnesty does and make some connections. I feel like our group can only get better and stronger as it’s only early days yet. It’s just a shame that I’m not on campus very often and so it is difficult to meet up regularly or get bits done.

Rosie has gone back up to Scotland for more work so I’m currently staying with my grandparents who live in central London too. I’m so lucky to have family in London.

I went to watch Young Marx last night at the Bridge theatre. It is supposed to be one of, if not the newest theatre in London. It was great, a fantastic theatre with leather seats. Different. Doesn’t have the same detail architecture that the older theatres have. But a nice big stage!. The play was great, really funny, definitely recommend. I got a £15 ticket and it was definitely worth it and I could see most of the stage, all of the action anyway!.

The story outline kind of annoyed me though. Marx in the play was an absolute arsehole that used and was awful to his friends, family and supporters and yet he got away with it because he was a genius. I don’t know. Just rung of ‘boys will be boys’ and that’s rubbish. It was funny and lighthearted but not a great message. There was remorse at the end of course. And it was a comedy but just a bit samey really.

You can see a photo of one of the cuties that I helped look after while being in London. It has reminded me of how much I enjoy small animal work. I really do enjoy both small and farm. And I wonder whether I could just do small animal. It would be quite a lot easier than finding somewhere that has both. Would I regret only going into one and not the other though?

 

So yeah! Actually really an amazing couple of months! Haha! I really don’t have anything to complain about. Just haven’t had a massive amount of time to myself to be able to write a blog I guess! I have basically been working and then chilling to recoup for the following day.

Na, yeah I have nothing to complain about in life.

I do feel used by my university and I am fed up of being a student but diddums! I’ll suck it up and keep going. There isn’t really a huge amount left!

Glad I have written this blog. Need to remind myself actually how great things are for me. You so easily get absorbed into the problems of you’re own life and forget how easy you actually have it.

Write again, sooner next time.

Rebecca x

Lions and Trail mix

This weekend has been great!

I found this website that gives a list of different shops in London that you can buy bulk and avoid plastic ….http://eco-boost.co/where-to-buy-bulk-in-london-zero-waste-grocery-shopping/

so my plan was to check one out in between going to a play with mum and meeting Rosie at the station.

This didn’t happen..

Mum and I got tickets to the Lions and Tigers play at the Sam Wanamaker theatre so we met in Borough Market beforehand- One of the best places in the world..

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I’ve wanted to visit the theatre for a while as I’d heard how beautiful it is. It didn’t disappoint at all, was even better than hoped. It was all lit by Candlelight, all wooden and just perfect.

The play was beautiful. It was about an uprising in India against the British police and government over there. It was very poignant about what makes a hero, a martyr and perspectives in making change. Definitely recommend.

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We went for drinks after to properly catch up. See the plastic D:

So easy to not think about it and be given straws and cups. You think if we used these, how many other cups are being thrown away every day.

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We departed about 40 minutes before Rosie’s train arrived so I knew I wouldn’t have time to get to https://www.earthnaturalfoods.co.uk/. So I thought I would go to wholefoods in Piccadilly instead and pick up some food for us. Then realised the northern line wouldn’t take me anywhere useful and went on a crazy journey of delirious tipsy-ness. Anyway, got to Wholefoods eventually and was so overwhelmed and with 20minutes to go I entered the shop and then ran straight back out and onto the train because i wanted more to meet Rosie at the station rather than have food and not. lol. Crazy.  Made it to the station with 6 minutes, ran up all the escalators and had time to pick up some flowers (more plastic..) and chocolate. Naww was so nice to see her ❤ Gush.

We ended up going to a Thai restaurant that we’ve wanted to try out for a while – Rosa’s Thai http://www.rosasthaicafe.com/ – and it was great!

This morning we headed off on our separate ways and I went to check out this shop! I got off and walked from Kings cross along the canal. It was a really nice walk.

I came to a cafe place and assumed this was the shop I was looking for. I stopped for a coffee, used my newly bought food carrier bags and filled up. I then thought I may as well have lunch there! It was super good! Very very healthy!

I then headed to the station expecting that that was my day of shopping done and then came across the actual shop that i was meant to be visiting!! Suddenly it all made sense. The first place “natural’ is more of a health food shop and cafe than a bulk buy though it had lots of good options. It sells loads of plastic packaged stuff. So I was a bit confused but took it as it was lol.

Earth Natural Foods is just down the road and everything I was hoping for! It has loads of spices! loads of pulses and carbs, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. It also has washing up liquids and detergents than you can refill or alternatives in paper packaging. Obviously, by this point I’d bought pretty much everything I wanted in the first shop. But i picked up some trail mix and have already picked out and eaten all the banana chips 😛

So here’s my hoard ! Cranberries, dates, trail mix, lentils, chickpeas and rice.

Will definitely be going to these shops again! they had pretty much everything! Earth Natural foods also does bread, cakes, dairy and salads. I think because it’s a sunday there wasn’t much choice but they clearly normally have loads.

Rebecca x

P.S

I was quite anxious about going into London on Friday night. With everything that is happening at the moment. But Saturday morning I realised there’s just nothing you can do. I had a feeling of defiance and boldness. If my life is to end then let it be doing something that I want to do and have chosen to do. All the support to those who have been directly affected. x