Not slacking…too much

September 28, 2010

Meant to post earlier but am somewhat behind in anatomy with the heart and lungs.

Nothing new, more school.  Anatomy is more exciting than previously (looking at an arm).  Histology is more boring than previously.  EBM is about the same.  Embryology is picking up the pace since the exam is sooner rather than later.


Block 1 Hiatus over

September 26, 2010

I thought it would be best if I focused my attention on block 1 and making a solid foundation of my study habits, so I had to give up blogging for 3 weeks. My apologies. It was a last-minute decision, but proved to be a sound one.

So now that block 1 exams are done, lets see…In the past 3 weeks I spent most of my time sitting in class and/or studying. I was telling a friend that much like electrons orbiting a nucleus, it’s very easy to make an educated guess on where I will probably be, either 1) in class, in my same old seat, 2) in lab, with my same old cadaver, or 3) in my room, sitting on my bed, studying. (The desks here are adequate but the desk chairs leave something to be desired, so for comfort, bed it is.)

I posted photos on facebook of the island, my room, the walk to class, and the occasional views I get to steal to verify that I am indeed on a beautiful island in the middle of the Caribbean. It’s not nearly as bad as everyone feared it would be, but at the same time, I can see what made people trash it. Claustrophobia and boredom are major issues for people here, and who could blame them? It’s true that we spend almost all of the time studying, and there are only so many places on an island where you can study where air conditioning and the absence of mosquitoes are guaranteed. I think what bothers people most is that when they decide that they might actually have time to go out and do something other than study, the options are quite limited. There is this neat little restaurant within walking distance of Potworks (the dorm and conveniently, the Burrow where the school is located) called Flavours which is quite new and has tasty food. But, aside from Flavours, there really isn’t much between here and Charlestown, a 20-30 minute drive on horrible roads.

Speaking of driving, I should mention that since we last spoke, I got a car! My favorite Canadian next door and I decided that we were absolutely fed up with waiting for people on “island time” to pick us up and take us places, so we went in together on a car that we bought from a Med 5 who will be leaving the island after this semester. It’s not the best car and we’ve already had an interesting episode with the tires, but it gets us from point A to point B and we’re both secretly elated.

Well, speaking of the car, I’m due to go for a grocery run/alleviate some claustrophobia at noon, so I should probably go.

Thanks for your patience, I’ll write more frequently now. Promise!

Moving Hiatus Over

September 5, 2010

Sorry I didn’t talk much for a while there–moving in was kind of a hassle.  Not that I wasn’t expecting it, but things really do move on “island time” here.  The main barrier was my internet not being installed until I had already been here for a week.  Then, too, there was a lot of unpacking and the profs decided to jump right in when school started, so I’m still catching up.  It’s absolutely glorious having weekends to study here, rather than worry about work.  The entire day is obligation-free–I got soo much anatomy done today!

That said, I’m getting ready to go to bed because we have class in 6.5 hours, on Sunday.  Because Hurricane Earl was supposed to pass relatively close to the island, orientation was called off last Monday, but what they didn’t tell us was that we would have to make that day up.  There was an announcement Friday in class that we would be having school on Sunday–we thought it was all a horrible joke, but no, it’s quite true.  I guess since we’re not under the US Dept. of Education, the school can hold classes whenever it wants.  Now that said, not all of our professors are making it a regular day.  The first two classes are taught by the same professor and she has given no indication that it will be different from a Monday, however, our anatomy professor is actually cutting us some slack.  He has decided to make today a review day of the brachial plexus (one of the most difficult to understand concepts in basic sciences) and make it optional.  If you think it’ll help you, show up, if not, he won’t hold it against you…for now, that is.  Wait until the first block ;).

I have made some lovely friends here who happen to be on the same hall I’m on.  I enjoy hanging out with them when time permits.  My immediate neighbor to the left is one of them, except that she’s the only one in the pre-med program, and I get this horrible feeling that we’re unintentionally excluding her sometimes.  Even conversationally with our casual references to the upper limb that so controls our lives right now.

As far as classes go, embryology is ok.  The lectures have been skipping around quite a bit so far, but maybe they’ll improve.  We’re moving pretty slowly–we’ve covered spermiogenesis and are going to be covering oogenesis today.  We’ve only had one EBM class so far and it’s easy to see that no one’s really sure what they should be teaching us (during the past 5 semesters, it’s never had the same profs twice).  The librarian who is helping team teach it has a cool accent–he’s an Aussie–though he’s quite nervous in class.  Histology is scary.  Lots of detail.  We’ve learned fun stuff about stains and different types of microscopes but now we’re getting into slides where the differences between tissues that are so obvious to the professor are increasingly difficult to spot.  Anatomy is by far the toughest class right now, simply because it moves so fast.  In the 3 days of class that we’ve had, we’ve already covered the major movements of the muscles, the muscles of the superficial back and arm, the blood supply of that area, and most recently, the brachial plexus, or the nerve supply of that area.  Everyone makes a big deal out of it because to draw it schematically, it looks a bit more like a utility blueprint or a map than a nerve system.  Thankfully, the way our prof taught it, I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble with it.  I remember how to draw it, it’s just remembering all of the branches and what nerves they innervate.  And then too, I’ve got to learn it backwards so if he gives us a question saying “Patient X comes in and complains of difficulty moving his/her arm in _____ direction.  Which muscles/nerves could be the source of the problem?” I can answer that without wasting too much time.  Anatomy lab is crazy too.  There is a TA and a prof and they’re both giving us different information.  We had a question about our dissection the other day and the prof and TA both told us completely different things–who do you listen to?  It was vaguely reminiscent the other day, though, the prof was teaching us how to side the clavicle and it brought me back to Human Osteology from Junior year.  Lat is flat!  What ever works, right?

Must get some rest before class.