Friday, 28 November 2008


Imagine if you were shrunk down to a size smaller than a cell, and somehow you are floating or swimming around in the body. What would you see?

Cells that go around eating everything at comes in their way, white lymphocytes bringing around spears and guns and what other weapons they can get fighting with mean looking bacteria and viruses. There'll be some ninja lymphocytes as well who have shurikens that they can throw at those mean bacteria so that they will stick on them and some other white cell will kill them.

Then you will accidentally get swallowed by a cell and you find yourself in a chamber which you cannot get out. Suddenly lethal liquid will be poured into the chamber, filling it up quickly, which is intended to digest you. If you are lucky, you will be able to escape and swim in the cytoplasm to reach the nucleus where you can see strings being unwound and wound and floating here and there.

Ok, I don't know what else can be seen if you were there. That's all the extent of my imagination, seeing white cells are actual people with weapons going around killing those evil looking bacteria.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Our lovely landlord

So, it's not even December yet....and our ever so lovely landlord call us up to tell us he's coming on Sunday to collect the rent. Sunday is only the 30th and they want to collect rent on that day, just because they will be in town on the 30th.

Kept saying that by right we have to pay by the 1st, so we have to pay on the 30th... what kind of logic is this? Don't we at least have the first week of the month to settle the rent?

When we say that we don't have that amount of money now, he says however much we have we just give him.. isn't this daylight robbery?


Friday, 21 November 2008

Hearing experiment

I went to volunteer as a subject for a hearing experiment today, with money being the primary motivator for me to join. It was a two hour experiment based on hearing and whether training improves hearing.

First, I had my hearing tested where I had to press a button if I hear a sound and let it go when I don't. And fortunate to say, I have good hearing.

Next, a little game was played where I had to identify which one of the character emitted a different pitch compared to the others. I don't know how much can I actually say anything about this experiment but one thing for sure, is that the characters had really sleepy eyes. They made me feel like sleeping as well. It got a bit tedious at the end where they used the same characters over and over again.

Anyway, I was paid quite well for my time there. Maybe I should go for another one next time.

Friday, 14 November 2008


I'm in PAIN!

There's nothing more terrible than waking up in the morning with a sore shoulder. Can't make any sudden moves or else the pain will be unbearable.

I think I need a better bed...

Friday, 7 November 2008

Pharmacy pre-registration troubles

During the 3rd year in pharmacy, we are bombarded with the fact that we need to prepare to apply to various pharmacies at the end of the year for a pre-registration placement. If we have an eye on certain pharmacies, we might have to think about it even earlier as they require you to do a 3rd year placement in order to qualify for a pre-reg. And if a place couldn't be secured before the start of 4th year, we would need to worry about it when term starts as well.

I, for one, did not have much trouble with securing a placement, and I am thankful that I did and do not need to go through what my friends are going through. Take a friend of mine for example (let’s call her R), who has gone through a bit of tough times just to get the placement that she is finally happy with.

R did a 3rd year placement with X pharmacy, which was a pre-requisite for a pre-reg. When she applied for her 3rd year placement location, she did not realize that the pharmacies in the northern region actually bonded a pre-registration student for 2 years – meaning the pre-reg year plus one year as a qualified pharmacist. If you were going to break that bond, you had to pay a huge sum of money. She had her own reasons for not wanting to be bonded, so started searching for alternate arrangements by asking for advice from the university tutors, who were happy to help her in trying to find a new location.

About a month ago, she had an offer from Z pharmacy, which she had gone for an interview for during the summer (yea, long time ago), and thinking that she could not get a better location with X pharmacy, she verbally accepted the offer, not knowing what will happen next.

R heard back from X pharmacy, offering her a location that she was happy with. Whilst comparing X and Z pharmacy, she found that X was more attractive and rejected Z though email, and thought nothing more about it.

She got a call from Z pharmacy early in the morning, asking her why was she rejecting their offer. Being too honest, she told them that she had another offer from another company, with better conditions than Z. The caller from Z (let’s call her T) then said that they can still negotiate for better conditions, but R stressed that she really was rejecting their offer.

As it is too long to repeat what was being said in their conversation, I’ve decided to extract and edit what R had wrote in her blog (I feel that it’s better than she remain anonymous so excuse me if I do not put her blog address in). Below in blue is what was being discussed and in red is R’s explanation of what really happened. (“She” in the extract is T, and “I” is R)

She said I had been unprofessional because they actually sent me two offer letters since September but I took long time to reply their offer.

This isn't true because Z Pharmacy had only made an offer to me recently. I was on hold since August .

She said there were actually two offer letters but first offer letter was lost on its way. After a second check, she found out the offer was made on 10/10/2008.

T then changed topics and she said since an offer had been made on 10/10/2008, why did I take so long time to reply?

I said I had only received offer letter from them after two weeks, which was on 28/10/2008. I received offer from another company (X) after I had received offer letter from them. I took about two weeks to reply them because I needed time to make my decision. (She later found out that she only had the letter for 8 days.)


I replied her saying that I think I have the right to make decision in two weeks. Even for first round candidates, RPSGB also mentioned that they must given enough time to decide, how come I can't have that TWO WEEKS?

Fact: There wasn’t a reply-by date stated on the offer letter.

She said because of me they had to turn down other candidates.

I explain to her that I was told by her manager that the place I was offered to already have enough students and my offer was by special arrangement. So, I had taken it for granted that no other candidates are waiting for my post.

That phone conversation ruined her whole day. Imagine waking up to a call like that. She was also told that she was being unprofessional and a complaint would be submitted to the university about her. She again went for advice from her tutor and staff in the school and was told that they would support her and that Z pharmacy had no grounds to do anything to her, but to email them regarding what had happen so a response could be given if and when a complaint letter was submitted.

I would not say that my friend was totally blame-free. She was being a tad unprofessional by verbally accepting and then rejecting Z pharmacy but I would say this is due to naivety about how the world is. How can it be that they expect students who are in their last year of pharmacy, to know all about the working environment? This just discourages students when they think about having to work soon.

The caller from Z, was being unprofessional herself when she made groundless accusations. She should’ve gotten all her fact right before accusing someone else of being unprofessional.

I would like to commend the School of Pharmacy for standing by their own students first and in helping R a lot in her decisions.

Several things to take from this situation:

  1. Do not give a verbal agreement if you are not sure. Tell them, “Thank you very much for the offer, but I would like several days to consider this offer.” I, for one, was very lucky as my future employer told me to go back and think about it first.
  2. Be sure that you are happy with any decision you are going to make.
  3. Be sure that you are able to back up your decision with valid reasons and that you can stand firm in your decision even when faced with accusations (especially when those accusations are false). This is something you would have to do when you are working.

I wish everyone the best in their applications for a pre-registration placement and may what I have told you help you in what not to do when applying. It is good to keep options open but do not respond in the affirmative when you are not sure about it.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Bonfire Night

We braved the heavy winds and rain, and managed to drag ourselves to the Forest Recreation Grounds to join in the Bonfire Night celebrations. Ok, I'm exaggerating. The wind wasn't that heavy and it was only really heavy mist.

Anyway, we went for dinner first before going off to marvel at the "great" fireworks. Again, with every dinner outing, I always forget to take photos of the good food that we had. So, you just have to take my word that Zizzi is an Italian restaurant that is worth going to. The food isn't as highly priced as others and the food is quite good (I really need to find more synonyms for good). The restaurant atmosphere is very conducive for a romantic dinner or a quiet meal between friends.

Off to the recreation grounds. Firstly, I was grateful to my memory that I managed to remember how to get there by bus and which stand to take it from (was kind of worried that I might have lead the group to wait in the cold for the wrong bus). We got there early and caught the end of the Children's fireworks and waited for the bonfire to be lit.

Some random kid

Some little kid was jumping in front of my camera while I was taking photos of the fairgrounds so I took a photo of him. His mum kept having to drag him away and apologising to me.


The bonfire was then lit and we were mesmerised by the fire (ok, maybe not all of us, others seemed to be more interested in taking photos). There is something about the fire that just captures your attention (no, I'm not a pyromaniac, thank you very much).

Burn Burn Burn fireworks

We stood there until our legs were rubber just to wait for the fireworks to begin. It was just ok. There wasn't a very good choreography of the fireworks leading to fireworks being lit simultaneously on both the left and right side so you did not really know which one to see. It got really smoky in the end and that spoilt the effect of the fireworks, as we only saw gray.

It was fun spending time with friends and this year being the last year to be surrounded by friends, we need to find fun things to do together (not only expensive dinners).

I realise that I need to complete one blog post without doing something else in the mean time or my train of thought gets sidetracked and I always have to cut short what I was writing as I forget what I wanted to write. hehe..

Monday, 3 November 2008

Don't know what to title this..

For some reason, I find myself in the same situation as I was in last year. I wonder how lucky can you get that a year ahead you experience déjà vu, which in this case isn't the feeling that it has happened before but the fact that it is history repeating itself. Ok, I don't think I'm making any sense here, so you can just ignore that last sentence and just know that I am going through the same problems that I went through last year.

I'm craving for lemon chicken.....