Saturday, October 31, 2009

Love is Blind-Ibn Hazm's Take

I know a youth that loved a lass (1)
Whose neck was short and somewhat stout;
And now, when long-necked maidens pass,
He thinks them jinn's, without a doubt.

He is content, to justify
His claim that he has chosen well,
Upon a logic to rely
That has some substance, truth to tell.

Thus he would argue: " The wild cow
Is famed in proverb and in song,
And no man lives, but will allow
Beauty doth(2) to the cow belong.

"Now never was the wild cow born
Whose neck was long and angular;
And are not camels held inn scorn
Because their necks stick out so far?"

I know another lad who loved
A most uncommon wide-mouthed dame
He said, " Her loveliness is proved
By the gazelle, whose mouth's the same."

And still a third young chap I know
Whose well-beloved was unco(3) small;
" Tall women ", he would say, " are so
Stuck up-they're devils, one and all."

(Ring of Dove, Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi)

(1) A girl/a women/a sweetheart

(2) A third person singular present tense of do

(3) adj. so unusual as to be suprising, uncanny

Just reading through the Ring of Dove, by Ibn Hazm the famed Dhahiri jurist who wrote a treatise on the subject of Love. Interesting read I would say from the famed Islamic scholar. He wrote the treatise when he was a youth and revised it when he was older.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dummies' Guide to First Year Med School

It's been ages when I did first year. But there are a few things that I wish that I had known earlier.

  1. Get a life!
  • Don't waste your time on your medical books, it's not worthwhile. This is my final year of medicine and I barely know any of the things that I knew when I was in first year. Yes, you need to pass your exams, but really, that's it. But don't get me wrong. You need to understand a few basic principles here and there. Just to make your life easier later
  • Anatomy is important but only to the extent that you know that there is such a thing as liver and it lies on your right side of the abdomen, or your stomach is where the food goes to, and on top of that, a basic knowledge of what is connected to what but don't get deep unless it's in your exam or you have this desire since you were like toddler to be a surgeon, then if that's so, go for it
  1. Don't waste your money on books
  • Just before first year, I spent like hundreds for medical books but trust, except for only one exception, the rest of the books that I bought (with someone else's money) spend their entire lifetime on top of my bookshelf.(They are still there when I'm writing this)
  • My advice: Stop the temptation to buy the new books until you have actually started your medical course. Go to library and look at the range of books there. Most often, the library will have the prescribed textbooks for your medical course (as the case for my university. My wife's university's library is pretty crappy when it comes to books but mine seems to provide the latest and the number as well (so we have enough to borrow)
  • So, if the library books are in abundance, don't buy new ones. Trust me again, it will be a waste of your money. You don't have to be obsessed about having current edition unless it dates way back in the 60s
  1. Study and exams
  • For those who are keen just to pass the year(like me), just go to the lectures and it'll save you hours of study time but just be there at the lecture and listen and then you can do whatever you want.
  • The most important bits to study is your lecture notes + your prescribed textbook (don't read more that this unless you think that you are destined to win the Dean's Award)
  • For your prescribed text, only read the parts that are relevant to your lecture notes. No more! Yes, I know you would have more knowledge than some of the other students but for me, it is only good to win Dean's Awards/First Class list or impress the girl sitting next to yunou.
  • Study past exam questions. This is the case of my university but I don't know about others. They usually recycle your exam questions. It seems like cheap stake because they don't have to make new questions but their argument is that the past have been tried and tested and they found from "statistical analysis" has shown its accuracy and reliability to differentiate the ones who deserve to pass and the ones who don't (for a slacker, an ample opportunity not to study much)
To be continued...