Archive for May 2009

How to Survive Semester 3

May 22, 2009

Although I promised to pen this post two weeks ago, I’ve hesitated, not just because in 4th semester you have to hit the ground running, but because, having passed 3rd semester by the skin of my teeth, I might not be the best source of advice. There are few concrete things I can point to that caused me to struggle so much with microbiology and, other than studying more diligently and not choking on Mini I, I can’t really think of what I could’ve done to avoid the difficulty I encountered. That said, here are my suggestions for making it through with less difficulty than I did: (more…)

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頭にくる 6 – Liat Airlines

May 13, 2009

Despite having flown in to Dominica on Saturday, I only just received my luggage yesterday afternoon. My bag made it from JFK to ANU (with a layover at MIA) just fine but when I checked it at the Liat counter at the V. C. Bird International Airport, it disappeared into a black hole (maybe the Bermuda Triangle) and resurfaced on Sunday. It then sat at Melville Hall for 2 days, wishing it could answer the phone at the Liat Luggage Counter (since no one else was answering) to tell me it was okay and to ask me to pick it up and bring it home before the ants got in it. Alas, ants got in it anyway.

This is not the first time that Liat has failed to send my bag along with me – over Christmas break, my luggage somehow missed the flight (even though it had been checked in 4 hours prior to takeoff) from DOM to ANU and I didn’t get it back until a few days before my flight back to the island. Nor was I the only person to suffer this mishap – scores of people were lined up on Saturday when my flight got in to file lost baggage claims and dozens waited at RUH on Sunday and Monday, hoping that our bags had been sent. When I lamented to my pals, quite a few of them, while not unsympathetic, asked “What did you expect? It’s Liat.”

There are two airlines that fly to Melville Hall, Liat and American Airlines. Unfortunately, American Airlines makes only only flight a day to Dominica and that flight usually fill up pretty quickly. Often, Liat is the only option for hundreds of students trying to travel to and from the island between semesters. They don’t have to provide good customer service or assure people that their luggage will arrive on the same plane they do because most of us haven’t got any choice other than to fly Liat. All they have to do is make sure none of the planes crash. That other stuff is just frills.

The  worst (or best?!) thing about Liat is that all their fares are non-refundable. So even if I called them up to curse them out and cancel my return flight (provided they answered the phone, which they seldom do), I couldn’t get my money back. And what would they care, they’ve already got my money. Sigh. I’m seriously considering canceling it anyway.

There but for the Grace of God

May 5, 2009

One point. That’s all that stood between me and a repeat of third semester. It was tough, friends, but I managed to crawl one point past the minimum passing score in microbiology, thus ensuring my ascent to fourth semester. This is no great accomplishment – the MPS was pretty low and given all the time I put into studying, I probably should have done better. But I made it and I’m very, very glad. Fourth semester, here I come!

The death of my camera and some family issues have made this interterm break a bleak one but it has given me lots of time to relax and reflect on how I got myself into the situation with micro and how I can avoid such a situation again. I’ll be posting a ‘how to survive 3rd semester’ post later this week, but for now, forgive the long hiatus and allow me to enjoy a few more days of solitude.

Oh – one more thing: This semester, I’m president of the Ross Chapter of SNMA, a great organization that you can help by checking out our website and leaving a comment or donation.

Lots of stuff on the plate for fourth. I hope I can handle it.