At the beginning of this year, the Glasgow curriculum was semesterised. The medical faculty use this word with the same kind of distaste that I normally reserve for words like ‘vomit’ and ‘poo’, but, in practical terms, all it means is that our term dates have been shuffled around. In the past, first and second years had two terms of ten weeks and one term of three weeks plus exams, and, as our teaching was broken mostly into five week blocks, this worked out well and presumably the people who organised the whole thing were quite chuffed. Now, the term dates have been replaced by three terms of seemingly random length (although I suspect much of the rationale behind it involves, “how close to Christmas do you think we can keep them before actual riots break out?”). The system has… well, not quite descended into chaos, but close enough.
The start of a new term used to mean the start of a new block — on the first day, everyone would turn up and collect their FRS notes, and then, normally, we’d all freeze under the air conditioning in the Boyd Orr while someone made a point of telling us that the forthcoming five weeks was going to be be the hardest and most important block we would ever do. The messing around with terms means that we’ve come back from Christmas and gone straight into the middle of Block 9. The only thing on my timetable for today was a one hour plenary on “How Do We Investigate The Lungs?”.
I dragged myself out of my lovely, warm bed and inhaled some caffeine and trudged the half-hour from Partick.
I sat in a lecture theatre with my colleagues for twenty minutes, waiting for a lecturer who didn’t turn up.
I turned around and walked back home.
There are days — most of them, if I’m honest — when I absolutely love what I do. There are days when I need to prop my eyelids open with matchsticks and coffee. There are days when the matchsticks and coffee don’t work quite as well as I’d like them to.
And then there are the days when all I can think is, “But I could have stayed in bed!”