September 28, 2011

Getting ready to go to PD lab, but will be back to write later, promise.  Been busy since blocks and have much to catch up.

It’s been a long time

September 14, 2011

Hmm I’ll try and not end with no explanation this time–the last post was either post then or not get to post at all.  I’m saddened by the fact that my updates have become weekly but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So after classes improved they sorta plateaued.  PD is about the same most days–it’s interesting but then you look at all the other people around you getting notes done and you suddenly feel guilty.  But then the prof tells a joke and looks to you with a grin on his face for your reaction and you forget that you were even thinking about being more productive.

We’ve played professor switch in path.  The prof who started was good the first couple of days, but after that he started reading right off the slides and became not nice about timing–our breaks got shorter and shorter and our lunch was ravaged.  My classmates couldn’t understand how he got behind when we have 2 semesters of path, but I get it: he’s a new guy and wants to show the other profs that he can stick to a schedule so he tries to impress them, much to our detriment.  I’m still getting caught up on the notes, but the quiz was very do-able.  The prof who took over for the first guy is very interesting.  He was married to one of our Med 2 profs, so now we finally get the other half of the husband-wife duo.  We’ve only had him 3 days now, so I think I’ll give him a bit more time before I decide whether I like him or not.  It’s looking hopeful.  He asks interesting keep-me-on-my-toes questions like what does the CD in CD-21 stand for?  Ugh but then he breaks rules like telling us very important information that’s not on the slides and could easily be missed in a lapse of attention, or changing the slides and adding new slides when everyone has already downloaded the powerpoint and started editing it.  He needs time.

Pharm is quickly becoming everyone’s least favorite class.  We went REALLY slow at first, but now it’s picking up.  The prof is a bit hard to follow and with our first set of major drugs, ANS, he has so far decided to put the cart before the horse and ask us all these crazy-difficult questions about drugs that we couldn’t possibly answer yet.  He asks us questions sounding like he expects an answer, but then we look at him confused and I mouth things to him like “I don’t know” with an exasperated look on my face, and he explains slowly and almost painfully on the board a concept, seemingly out of left field, that seems like just a distant fact that we should memorize and use to get the question right the next time.  What ever happened to learning background and major concepts, then trying to tackle hard questions that require application of the topics?  He swears he’s “building a foundation” with the questions, but they really make me want to listen to him less and catch up on my path notes more.  Hmm.  Wonder if he knows that?  Also the phrase “I know you learned this in your physiology class” has been thrown around a LOT lately which makes me start to sweat even in our 60 degree classroom.  Eek.

The first wave of mentoring is over for now.  It was fun.

I’ve gotten in the habit of going to the gym relatively regularly during the week, every other day, with a friend of mine who carpools with me.  It’s fun and I’ve started to look forward to it–the cardio at least.  I think I’ve been outdoing myself on weights–I end up with sore muscles almost every time.  I think part of the problem is that it’s usually guys there when I’m working out, so my silly little 50 and 60-lb machine settings seem so silly and insignificant when they hop on and are inconvenienced to move the peg all the way down to the bottom, to the 11 or 12.  Cardio’s getting easier.  I’m trying to convert over from the bike and do more on the cross trainer and the treadmill since it burns more calories, but time isn’t on my side.  I manage to do 5 miles each time which I think at least sounds impressive for someone of my BMI.

We’ve been having horrible weather lately.  Tropical storm Maria passed by us on Sunday and managed to knock out power for 8 hours in Brick Kiln.  Then Monday, we got bitchslapped by the tail or lower eye of Maria.  I know that’s coarse language for me, but there’s really no other proper term to describe the weather.  After school on Monday, the skies looked horribly pregnant with storm but Sunday’s powerless festivities had ruined everything in my fridge.  I drove to Gingerland on my own to pick up Mayo, Milk, Yogurt, and Meat for the upcoming week and ended up barely making it home.  It was raining quite badly when I checked out, but then the drive home was dark, foggy, and itched of hydroplane.  It was like 5000000 gallons of water was dumped on Nevis–the roads were flooded except for the very center of the road; the drainage gulleys on either side of the road were overflowing and producing rapids.  I could only ask myself if this was how a RBC felt traveling down an artery when someone was having their blood pressure taken–is turbulent flow this terrifying?  I could barely see except for the lightening and window-shaking thunder that seemed to be happening right outside my window.  I got home and the driveway was blocked, but that wasn’t my first concern.  It was still lightening right on top of me.  I was afraid to get out of my grounded car–I had to grab my bookbag, my groceries and walk down the driveway and open up the big METAL gate to my apartment without falling in the mud; that’s more than enough time to be electrocuted.  Finally the lightening took a break and I made a run for it.  I got in the door with my two cartons of milk only to find that my flipping of the lightswitch was futile.  The power was out.  Of course.  It was a horrible storm–why would there be power?  I just knew I’d be $40 EC out on the milk but low and behold, the power came back on an hour later.  I was shocked and pleased.  Of course, the power went out again that night, only for 30 minutes when it wasn’t even raining, but this whole being helplessly stranded with no computer, light, or ability to keep my $16 USD worth of milk cold just makes me angry.  I felt silly, but when I looked at the radar this afternoon and saw a red cloud heading towards Nevis, I immediately stopped cooking my pasta, made up 8 hours worth of Slim Fast to go, and booked it to school where I could be with the reliable internet connection and generators.  I spent this evening on campus waiting to hear the horrible storm ensue outside, but other than a little thunder, lightening and light rain, there was nothing.  Not even power loss in Brick Kiln.  Hm.  So this is what paranoid old ladies look like?

So I sounded pretty pitiful after day 1, but apparently it was just a bad day.  School has gotten so much better since then.

PD is really picking up–our prof is hilarious.  We just sit and listen to him for his hour every day and wait for him to crack a sarcastic joke.  We giggle and he smiles and keeps going.  His jokes are odd and catch you by surprise, but for a man his age, he’s really quite funny.  I can see why my other prof likes him.  Lab starts this week–eek!  Thankfully I’m in lab with all of my favorite middle-of-the-alphabet folks, so perhaps we’ll be able to have a good time together.

Path was a lil scary at first, but it’s quickly becoming my favorite class.  It’s like a happy combination of histo and all the clinical from every subject we’ve had so far, so basically my favorite stuff.  I’m really excited about it, but trying to take it as seriously as possible because I don’t want the tests to bite me and kill my enthusiasm.

Pharm was scary and reminiscent of physio but I’ve found that if you concentrate on the prof and actually pay really close attention to him, he knows what he’s talking about and you can really learn something important.  There are mumblings all around me that these first couple of lectures we’re doing contain some of the highest-yield stuff on the Step I, so I’m drinking in every word the prof has to say.

The Mentor program is going well.  Sent out the assignments on Friday to give everyone plenty of time to email their mentees and have gotten good feedback so far.  I think the key to the program is having a solid introductory group with generalized suggestions on what to bring, how to pack, where to fly out of, etc.  and then having plenty of reliable students around to moderate and troubleshoot wayward questions.  I still think requiring people to fill out an application is arrogant and unnecessary, but at the same time I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have second thoughts about a couple of the mentors before I looked at the numbers and realized I could use every able-bodied student I could get.  On the one hand, people who have made mistakes and are in-between semesters know exactly what you’re not supposed to do and can guide people away from that kind of behavior.  On the other hand, what if they haven’t learned from their mistakes and are full of bad advice?  Well the same could be true of people who haven’t dropped/failed any classes.  I’d love to take a liberal hippie approach and just say that everyone who wants to mentor can, but then I think back to some of the conversations in group chat that I had on the early September 2011 group on facebook.  There were some real idiots on there who wouldn’t shut up and were giving out HORRIBLE advice and, to add insult to injury, were contradicting the GOOD ADVICE that was being given out by legit people which was confusing students.