Post Block 2

February 20, 2012

My goodness–meant to get back to writing before now.  Much has happened since last post:

Birthday–Was honestly dreading it because it happened the week before block.  Thought everyone would forget, or even if they remembered, wouldn’t want to do anything because they needed to be at home studying for blocks.  Also was right in the middle of a school inspection.  Was pleasantly surprised.  Got sang to 3 times throughout the day, had 2 cakes and got to spend dinner with my favorite people on the island.  A very happy way to celebrate existing a quarter-century.

Block 2 exams–Ugh.  Why does my class have to cheat?  The path exam was the fairest exam we’ve ever had from that group of professors–all of the questions were do-able, though there were a couple trick ones, but nothing like the crap they usually try to pull.  I came out of the exam feeling great and optimistic, though apparently so did everyone else.  The average after the quiz points were added in was an 85.  The ICM test went well too–nothing too difficult and actually felt really triumphant at finally understanding acid/base.  Average ended up being an 88.  Are you kidding me?!  I think the class memorized quiz questions (which were then recycled by the ICM prof.)–the majority of these people can’t answer basic questions in lab.  Either they’re geniuses who just decide to keep their mouth shut during ICM lecture and never answer and single question, AND do the same thing in lab, or they cheated.  Hmm…I wonder which is the more likely scenario.  The shelf will tell.

Valentine’s Day–Yet again, another holiday I thought I would be disappointed.  It’s not really fun being single on Valentine’s Day, much less spending it on the island the day after block exams when everyone’s tired and/or hungover.  Ended up taking my first afternoon off from Kaplan to go to a new beach with friends and play in some incredible waves there.  Also there was a restaurant at this beach which had a pool–first time in a pool on Nevis.  Very cool.  Followed up the afternoon on the beach with dinner at Indian Summer which was festively decorated with balloons and candles and mood-lighting.  Had magenta-colored, heart-shaped rice crispie treats for dessert.  Yum.

Another bake sale.  Joy.  No I didn’t learn my lesson from last time.  This one ended up being a cluster because the bakery that supplies the yummy addictive bear claws wasn’t taking orders for the week, so we got the bulk of our baked goods from the Jamaican bakery in town.  Not so good.  Ended up having to give stuff away.  Won’t do that again.  Also, when they were supposed to arrive at the school to deliver the goods, we got a call that they were cancelling–something about wires getting crossed, 2 large orders for the day, and they told us they weren’t coming.  We were steamed, but then right after we got out of ICM and were setting up for the delivery from Indian Summer, and here comes the bakery delivery person with our full order.  They show up, we tell them what had happened over the phone and they’re just as confused as we were.  Weird.  Samosas came and went quickly, always think we should get more of those, but pres doesn’t, so we stick with our usual order of 40.  Finally, ended up getting a late order from Nevis bakery of bear claws, raspberry danishes, and donuts though it was after we’d already lost the Med 1’s for the day and when other people weren’t exactly in the mood for pastries.  I think we ended up selling all the bear claws but had to give away a couple of the raspberry danishes.  Pres didn’t want to go to town to get plates and napkins, so we ran out.  It was awkward.  Pres.  didn’t want to go to the bank to get change, so we ran out.  It was awkward.  ::sigh::  Ended up getting my third absence in path because I sat down there for 5 hours manning the table, though happily a good chunk of that was with some new friends who were taking a break from home school.  And, all-in-all, pres tells me the bake sale went really well and we ended up making over $1000 EC.

Game night–Was invited over along with a group of friends for game night at our new friends’ house.  Ended up making giant pitcher of margaritas, and host cooked homemade Mac and Cheese, fried chicken, cabbage salad, fresh sliced veggies, seasoned carrots, and we had homemade ice cream for dessert.  Played a new game involving nouns and being very creative with them that everyone loved so much, we played twice.  Arguably one of the best nights I’ve ever spent on the island.  Had a WONDERFUL time.

First Kaplan post-test–Ok, this didn’t go so well.  I’ve been ignoring the Kaplan videos in the afternoons in order to work on my path and ICM notes for many reasons–1–I’m not at a point where I want to review that stuff yet, 2–videos are shown at regular speed which is waaaay too slow, and 3–they vaguely try and keep up with what we’re doing in path and ICM, but when the three classes are out of sync, it’s too much to handle being on 3 different organ systems.  Needless to say, I’m not the only one who had been skipping the Kaplan physio videos–most of the class does something else during this time, or at least watches the videos on their own but at higher speeds.  So the plan by most of those people was to go through the post-test choosing only one letter for all the answers–like C all the way through.  Apparently all of the questions (50) were from Kaplan Q-bank questions which we would see again anyway, also, the post-tests don’t count for a grade–it’s just to monitor your progress.  Well I felt guilty picking C the whole way, but at the same time, have no clue what’s going on in physio.  My conscience won–I sat there and attempted the test, at least making educated guesses on the questions–silently triumphing every time I knew the answer to a question and it was a non-C answer.  The result?  While I did better than I would have just choosing C the whole way through, I REALLY need to study physio.  At least I got to find that out in a way that doesn’t skew my stats on my personal learning page on Kaplan.  Did it shock me into paying attention to the Kaplan videos in the afternoons now?  No.  Not even close.  Can’t do it.  Can’t sit through 3 solid hours of path, only getting 15 minutes for break, then have the brain power left for anything else.  Schedule is just not conducive to it.  ::sigh::

Windward Beach–After the fun had by all at the beach on Valentine’s Day with new friends, as well as on game night, the same group of people was scheduled to meet up at the school and go to a new beach with guaranteed waves, yesterday.  The boys ended up flaking and deciding that they should study instead, but the remaining 5 of us went to a beach in the middle of nowhere out in Gingerland.  AND got to see the Nevis Horse track on the way down.  It was about how you’d imagine a horse track would be on Nevis–dilapidated and lacklustery, but it was still my first horse track and here I was thinking I’d never see the one on Nevis.  Pshaw.  The beach, once we got there, was oodles of fun.  The water was clear, the beach was wide, the waves didn’t disappoint.  We played in the ocean for close to 2 hours, then after having a snack, flew a kite, practiced cart-wheels and soaked up the afternoon sun.  Can’t wait to go back.

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Emotions

February 3, 2012

All people deal with stress differently.  I get that.

But my goodness.  It’s not even comp time yet, we’re still only half-way done with path and ICM but everyone is terrified to the point of rudeness.  My classmates have done so well during our 4+ semesters together, but now it seems like everyone has suddenly slipped into this panic state where they completely forget their manners and become selfish little egotists.  Why?  You’ve all proven that you paid enough attention to get through the first four Med semesters–there isn’t going to be anything that odd-ball on the exams coming up that you haven’t seen before–calm down.

Hopefully I’ll be able to look back on this experience in a few months and laugh but right now, it’s disturbing.

There’s this big push during the 5 semesters here to bank money for your class.  Every semester the school gives you money, and you can take that money and hold fundraisers: bake sales, raffles, etc.  The ultimate goal is to raise enough money so that after the white coat ceremony in Med 5, your class can have a nice reception at one of the hotels or at the botanical gardens.  Unfortunately, this usually costs about $20,000 ECD or $7,500 USD.  If you make a concerted effort throughout your time here, then it’s not that bad.  Alas, our class doesn’t like effort.  Effort usually requires work, dedication, and some degree of self-sacrifice.  Currently we have less than $10,000 ECD in our account, so we have less than half of the money we’d need for a proper reception.  Instead of being motivated and putting in a solid group effort to improve the situation for everyone, no one wants to help.  We had a bake sale scheduled for yesterday.  No one volunteered to bake anything.  No one volunteered to go to town to pick up the baked goods.  And worst of all, no one would sit downstairs (even for an hour) to help sell baked goods.  This was after an email went out the night before telling them that we had no help, whatsoever.  I had perfect attendance up until yesterday and didn’t want to miss class, but no one was going to do it and our orders at the bakery and Indian restaurant (Samosas) were already placed.  You can’t be flaky with the locals who already have a lowered opinion of the students and ruin the opportunity to have bake sales for the whole school and classes to come.  So the class president and I skipped ICM to ride to town to collect the baked goods and get change from the bank.  Then when we got back, the tables that we had reserved to place in the main hall were being taken away.  We had to chase down the maintenance department and ask them to please leave us just one table because we were standing there with boxes of pastries in our hands and had to put them somewhere.  We decided on prices and caught our class during its first break.  Sure, some people came down and bought pastries, but then they ran back upstairs.  I ended up standing there by myself, after the president snuck back upstairs to sit through pathology.  You’ve got hundreds of ECD worth of money sitting on a table (because no one thought to bring an envelope) and you can’t even go to the bathroom because there’s no one to cover.  I was so angry I could spit fire.  Then, to make matters worse, when our class came down on the next break and I had sold all but a box of the pastries, they have the audacity to come up to the table and say “Aww, you’re here all by yourself” and then WALK AWAY!  Flabbergasted.

Quit being selfish!  Think about someone other than yourself.  I am trying to make sure you have a nice graduation.  Sure, I’m probably going to go somewhere else with my friends and family after the ceremony, but I know there will be lots of people who don’t have family members come down and would like a proper celebration.  Ugh.