Another exam week has come and gone. I am pretty sure that school is measured in exam weeks, not terms. Sure, 5 term until I leave Grenada. But what I really see is 5 midterm weeks and 5 final weeks. My life revolves around the exam cycle. The lull right after exams end, the continual work in the inbetween, the intense seeming 24-hour blur of studying the couple weeks right before and then the amazing feeling of relief the minute you put the pencil down and hand in the scantron of the last exam. And no matter how aweful the week was, it always never seems half as bad the weekend after (and certainly not once you receive good marks)
With each round of exams it gets both easier and harder. The material gets harder. There are more complex things to learn, more diseases and drugs to memorize, more material covered, and of course more to integrate. But it also gets easier. I get better at it. I learn how to pace myself better, how to motivate myself. I learn what work to do throughout the term so I enter exams in a better place. I learn how early to start so I am not rushing and cramming at the end. And most importantly for me, with each exam week Tyler learns how to be a more supportive husband. Living with a med student during exam week is not easy. I don’t even like being around my fellow students during exams sometimes. But he handles my stress better, helps me relax better, calms my nerves better, and learns not to take my short temper to seriously when I have only had 4 hours of sleep and one cup of coffee. And I too learn to maybe lay off the stress-induced rants about the dishes or curtains, or really whatever it is that I feel so frustrated by. We work better as a unit, learning to have a little grace and to try and bite the tongue when needed.
I am currently in the post-midterm lull. Exams finished last week and I am quite happy with how I did. However, trying to recouperate about 3 weeks of shortened nights and living in a continued state of stress and busy is hard to do in a weekend. It seems quite cruel to give us but a mere two days off. But alas, Tyler and I sought to make last weekend fun and relaxing. And as Tyler said, he was just happy to have me around again and to not have to spend any time in the study halls.
Friday started off with me and my study buddy getting massages. We have now decided that this will be a post-exam tradition and are pretty sure we will book now for after finals. So relaxing! And it gave Tyler a chance to finish up his work day without my distraction. Friday night we decided to go to dinner at a nice restaurant up near Grand Etang called the Spice Basket. We had never been there before but it was supposed to be a nice local food restaurant that forms part of the cultural center of Grenada. In true Tyler and Stefanie fashion, we decided we would take the local buses up there (changing buses in downtown and all) instead of taking a taxi. And of course it was rainy, we never get good weather when we want it. So we headed into St. George’s at about 6:30pm on a Friday night to be the only 2 white people there (seriously!) and to stand in the crowds of people waiting for buses to take them home.
Now I have long complained about how pushy the students are when getting on the school buses. People push and shove and rush the bus, and it is simply ridiculous. Well, apparently I hadn’t seen anything yet. The way the locals behave, I am surprised that people don’t wind up injured. After about the 4th bus came by heading the way we needed to go, we managed to get on. And naturally, we were the “odd white people sitting in back that wanted to get off way before everyone else did.”
The restaurant was truly lovely. We were the only ones there, likely due to the rain, but it was still lovely. The food was amazing, the drinks beautiful and tasty and we had a great time. And had great service since we were the only 2 customers for all 5 servers that were there that night. We loved the food and discovered a new local favorite, Callaloo lasagna. I think I am going to have to try my hand at whipping one up. Maybe in time to impress Tyler’s parents when they come this summer.
Our trip back was naturally no less adventurous than the first one. We can sum it up by saying that we were impressed that our driver was driving a stick shift in the pouring rain, drinking a beer, and watching music videos. I know, you are all probably terrified for our safety but like it or not, that is typical around here.
Saturday was a day of relaxing and adventuring. We went out to breakfast at the most adorable French Cafe! We love going out to breakfast, but it is not a typical thing to do around here. This is now my new favorite place, we will be going back for sure. The food and the coffee was delicious. I have never had better french toast in my life. And Tyler told me that he will by me the sweet Le Crusset ramekins so that I can make him the eggs en cocotte he so loved once we are back in the States. After a delicious and filling breakfast we decided to head to St. George’s to walk around and explore.
It turned out to be a weekend full of crazy bus experiences because while riding in the bus to town, he suddenly started blaring his horn, sped up and zoomed through traffic the wrong way down the one way street and powered up this stepp shortcut up the mountain that leads to town. It wasn’t until I recognized the route from taking it when I go to the hospital that I realized where we were going. It turned out that once of the passengers was having an asthma attack so the bus turned into an ambulance. And once we got the the ER, the weirdness continued as some random man came up to the driver begging him to take back this shirtless SGU student. It is against the law in Grenada to be in a car without a shirt so the bus driver graciously decided to take the guy, who likely was brought there in some sort of post-exam drunken stuppor, home. The guy swore someone at the hospital stole his short, so it was quite an amusing scene.
Once we made it to town, the real fun part began. There are so many little stores and we never have time to just walk around. Our day ended up being not only fun to walk around and see new things, but we came home with the most beautiful, huge canvas painting. We had been talking about buying a painting by a local artist from the art gallery for a while, and when we saw this both one we both died! It is all wrapped up now, but hopefully it will have a spot to be displayed in our new apartment and we can post a pic then.
Saturday ended with some sunset coctails at Dodgy Dock and watching a movie over some of my homemade taco bowls. Tyler missed my cooking I think. It was great! While Sunday was mostly cleaning and all that productive stuff, it was great as always to forget about school.
Thanks for all your prayers during exam week! It paid off, I did great. 🙂