Wednesday, August 29, 2007

good lab day

today's lab was awesome. we got to flip rex over and check out his pecs...pectoralis major and minor, that is. in the process we discovered some anterior cutaneous branches of intercostal nerves, and some lateral nerves as well. we also dissected out the deltopectoral triangle and found the cephalic vein and saw where it forked from the axillary vein, then also the thoracoacromial artery and its four branches (acromial, deltoid, clavicular, and pectoral), as well as some medial and lateral pectoral nerves. one of the professors told one of the girls in my group that she was being "too meticulous", which in gross lab speak means "badass". hahaha. (i'm telling you, my group is AWESOME. it's so much fun to go in there, do a good job, get along, and really learn.) oh, and we all have nicknames: skin flap queen, the juice man, fascia girl, and the nerve finder (but i think she's going to get a more appropriate nickname once we see more clearly what her powers are...hahaha.)

the rest of school is going well too. we're learning about genetic disorders in genetics, and how proteins are made in biochemistry. we also started the brachial plexus in gross, and it's a little confusing, but yet, doable. (for non-medicalese folks, a plexus is a really crazy looking network of nerves.)

it's so weird. compare how i was last year at this point in school, and i would believe you would have been meeting a completely different person. this year really is so much better for me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

we have a name!

one of my wonderful gross lab group partners came up with a name for our dude...behold...REX LUTHER. rex for short. since he's the best guy in the lab, he's the king, so therefore, rex!

and my group is so great, we learned everything from the lab that we were supposed to, and all 4 of us can recite it. i'm so happy. i'm trying really hard to learn everything while we are in lab to maximize time, etc, and it helps to teach it to others and have all of us quiz each other and give positive reinforcement. like i say, we're all going to make A's! from learning the serratus posterior inferior to the dorsal scapular branch of the transverse cervical artery, i'd say my group is miles ahead of everyone else...hahaha.

in other news, the back to school party is tonight, and i'm excited about going. mostly excited about the free beer, but seeing friends will be good too. so i'm definitely ready for the weekend. man, this has been a great week. passing all my tests, and having a great gross lab group. can't ask for more, school-wise.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

good news!

i passed all my tests that were today! and my gross lab group is awesome! and our cadaver (who has not been named yet) is nice and muscular and not full of fat! everybody was coming by today complimenting us, and we were so proud of him for having been a seemingly active person.

today in lab we started on the back. my group is really getting along well, and i think we're going to be a great team. and now i have real proof that my new study strategies are working, and now i've just got to vamp it up a little more to really get the grades that i want.

Monday, August 20, 2007

monday is blood gas day

after today, i will have sat through all of the lectures that pertain to our first test. and i will say that at this point, i guess compared to last year, i feel more confident in my understanding of the subject material. i just have to remember to just 1) keep studying and 2) study broadly. and i think that i'll do well, at least i feel confident to say that i'm in the "passing range", hahaha.

the first test will include:
  • biochemistry: cell structure, proteins, myoglobin and hemoglobin, enzymes, and how to analyze blood gases. (66%)
  • histology: light and electron microscopy, how to tell what a cell does by looking at it, and cytoskeleton. (17%)
  • developmental anatomy: from fertilization to the end of the 4rth week of development. (17%)
and actually, all that information isn't that much. gross and genetics start after the wednesday test, so it will quickly become more hectic. how unfortunate! or more fortunate, i suppose depending on what you consider fun.

and with the first test being so soon after we've started, i feel like i've been in school for a long time, when it's only been 1 full week plus 1 day. it's an odd feeling, to say the least. and today i went overboard and brought an extra bag of books, lunch, and water bottle so i could survive the 3 hour mid-day break. and i survived it alright. i reviewed a lecture, did a biochem quiz, and did some practice questions, but then i went ahead and read my online news for today so i wouldn't feel compelled to do it later on today. but normally i would just bring my laptop and a binder for note taking. got to keep it simple. (k.i.s.s.!)

i should leave here around 2:00 or so, and then go home to start studying more. or maybe i'll go to a coffee shop and study until rush hour, but then that would waste some time i think. i can always make my own chai latte in my own kitchen after all. it's so weird...in undergrad when i lived like 3 minutes from campus and the small town had NO traffic whatsoever and you could get from one end to the other in just a few minutes, i never really had any issues of losing time. it didn't matter. i could get anywhere in under 5 minutes. however, living where i do now, it's like, ok. 20 minutes to get from school to home when i'm NOT in rush hour traffic, but if i am, it takes longer. ok, then to get to a coffee shop i have to drive to get there, and depending on where i got that's about 10 minutes. oh, and then to actually leave school to get into my car, that takes about a 7-8 minute walk. but then when i get into my car to go anywhere, i'm drenched in sweat since it's so hot. and since when i'm sweaty, i get disgruntled and lethargic as to not make my clothes get sweat marks on them. i guess you can get to what i'm saying, which is i should just go ahead and go home after class is over at 2:00. and that's probably what i'll do.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

starbucks is evil!

as i was browsing slate.com this morning, i came across the starbucks oracle. after putting in my drink of choice , a tall cafe au lait, this is what it told me:


The all-knowing Oracle of Starbucks

Behold the Oracle's wisdom:

Personality type: Lame

You're a simple person with modest tastes and a reasonable lifestyle. In other words, you're boring. Going to Starbucks makes you feel sophisticated; you'd like to be snooty and order an espresso but aren't sure if you're ready for that level of excitement. People laugh at you because you use fake curse words like "friggin'" and "oh, crumb!" Everyone who thinks America's Funniest Home Videos is a great show drinks tall cafe au lait.

Also drinks: V8
Can also be found: On the couch at home


eh, i guess it's to be expected that i'm boring. blast, that's such a not nice word to be called. i guess i'll take my boring self over to yoga in a little bit, since that's exactly what boring people do on a saturday morning. and also, mind you, i do not go to starbucks, i in fact make my own coffee in the morning, and for any other coffee needs i go to the local "family-owned" coffee shop in town. and i bring my own mug. boo-yah!!! how's THAT for boring...

oh, and here's the link to the starbucks oracle.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

stupidity

this morning as i was walking onto the university hospital campus (we have to walk across a busy street to get there), i saw a patient in his pj's carrying his iv pole complete with an assortment of bags and monitors walking down to the street to smoke a cigarette. how stupid. i almost wanted to say something to him, but then thought, eh, he's the idiot, not me, let him smoke and see what happens.

in other news, school is going decently. i'm starting to really get into developmental anatomy, and my notes are all cute with multicolored drawings of embryoblasts and squiggly lines for syncytiotrophoblasts. biochemistry is starting to annoy me since we're talking about hemoglobin and blah blah blah, and histology is alright. for now. i hope. hahaha...

oh, and last night i made a scrumptious dinner (with some assistance from H) that consisted of green beans, angelhair wheat pasta, and pan seared salmon topped with a butter tomato garlic worcestershire and fresh from my mini-garden oregano and thyme sauce. delicious!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

class update

dear readers,

today was our 2nd day of class, and things have been going well. i have successfully managed to sit through all of the lectures with my computer turned OFF. i listen to all of the lectures, and try to take my own notes to make sure that i'm paying attention. i'm on the note service this year, so i have access to audio recordings of all the lectures too, as well as a written transcript. i've been reading the "required material" the day or so before lecture and writing down any words or ideas that don't make sense to me. (i figured out that i'm a "writer", so i need to write things down for them to really stick with me.) i also try to review what happened the day of so i don't get "behind". my biggest goal this year is to stay on top of all the new material, and then use any time during the weekdays that are left over and the weekends to review all the old stuff.

my only complaint so far is that it's been so hot outside, and today when i got home i just laid out on the floor! i was just trying to cool off (i laid down under the fan) and stop sweating, but i guess that turned into a nap. luckily it didn't last too long! but now i am all non-sweaty, i have a glass of water, and i have my developmental anatomy book. oh yes, DA, it's so fun. we watched a video today about development of an embryo and it was really really interesting, but unfortunately it was also boring, so it was hard to concentrate.

and last night was our M1/M2 buddy party at a local bar in town. that was fun...free drinks, good music, and good sweaty times. it was fun, even though a ton of folks from the M2 class (that i never spoke to anyway last year) came up to me and talked to me as if i had been on a psychotic rampage and then been committed to a mental institution and had just been released. i mean, come on people! first of all that's rude, and second, a simple generic "hello, how are you doing?" is appropriate and sufficient for someone that you never took the time to say hello to during normal school. a grilling question/answer session about my mental status is not appropriate even if you are inebriated, and all those people better be glad that i am a nice person or several folks would have gotten an earful.

ok, DA time! yay for fertilization!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

just so you know

today i started studying. yes, classes start monday, but i decided to get a head start on my reading. see, last year i was too busy trying to cram in last minute visits to see friends and whatnot. this year, i'm smarter. haha. on my plate today, what is in a cell, acid/base chemistry, and a little bit of gametogenesis. oh yeah oh yeah.

oh, and after i sat myself down to read, etc, i realized that i still have my thing of not being able to sit in one place for forever. my solution is to give myself 20 minute blocks of "you must sit here and study" time, then after 20 minutes i can get up and walk around and then come back to study. that way my slightly ADD self can be harnessed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

orientation recap

hello boys and girls! now that orientation is finally over and i've had a chance to just sit down and not be doing something, i will recap all that has happened in the past few days...

tuesday

showed up, got the "be a doctor in this state because it's a good thing" speech, talked to some people i recognized from my undergrad school, met a few new people, took a new ID badge photo (which looks great!), and went on about my merry business. that business being going to the cath lab at the hospital down the road to train the new person, which was interesting.

wednesday

got to school early in the morning for the long and boring "whole school" orientation talk. we learned about HIPAA, compliance, privacy, financial aid, etc, etc. got a free lunch of a nice sandwich, cookies and fruit. then the afternoon consisted of us getting a talk from the associate dean of student affairs, and she explained to us how they "track" our grades and then call us when we're doing bad. (i'll have you know that she never called me last year. ha.) she also explained other logistics about class rank (not ever reported, only used internally), how they report our scores to residency program directors (compare us to our class average), and other programs the school offers to help us along the way. we had a more in depth talk about privacy and compliance, and then went on our merry way. and my way was back to the cath lab. blah!

thursday

early morning talk was mostly inspirational stories and whatnot, and then a group of friends went out to lunch. i then went to a different hospital for privacy and security and computer training. luckily my fingerprints were still on file from last year, and the nice lady (who remembered me!) was able to expedite my file just a tad bit. i got a new ID badge there too, and it looks good as well. only thing left is to do a background check, but i do that on my own time. however, my group didn't leave until 5:45 pm, and our white coat ceremony "cocktail 30 minutes" started at 6:00 pm. so i walked like a mile back to my car from the hospital, raced home, took a quick shower and changed, and raced back with about 5 minutes to spare before our fancy dinner. inspirational speech, creeds were recited, and we were called up one by one to get our short white coats. how cute! afterwards, me and H and some other friends went to a bar/restaurant to celebrate, and that was fun and quite low-key.

friday

today was easy. i went into the cath lab in the morning, and then went to school for "computer training" that i didn't have to go to. then ate lunch with H and some of his coworkers, then came back to school for a library tour. then i went back to the cath lab and now i am at home. tiring!

***

so yeah, all in all orientation was good. lots of nice people, and i have a better feeling about this year versus last year. at least i'm a lot more motivated, and i think i'm actually going to start some reading tomorrow so i can get a head start. i know, nerdy, but if this was your last shot at school, i think you'd be getting a head start too. i also got to see all my M2 friends, and that was good too. it's always nice to see friends.

so tonight i'm going to take it easy. i should do some dishes, but eh, i don't think that will happen. hahaha. but i will take a nap and eat a nice dinner somewhere, so it shall be pleasant.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

first day of orientation

so orientation today was nice. i saw some familiar people, and talked to a few new people. nothing really exciting happened. just got a new ID picture and some papers to fill out. the most exciting thing that happened was being catcalled at (we had to "dress up" today) by some old dudes in a garbage truck. they called to me, i waved, and they hollered more. fun.

i'll write more about orientation tomorrow. i'm tired after creating some yummy sugar snap pea and shitake mushroom and teriyaki chicken pasta.

Monday, August 06, 2007

less than 24 hours...

oh wow. orientation. tomorrow. 1300 hours.

it feels weird to not be at work right now, but i am certainly enjoying my day off. i ran some errands, went to the gym (i rode a bike and finished my kafka), went grocering, and then came home and made a badass sandwich. honey wheat berry bread, smoked ham, baby swiss, tomato, avocado, crispy bean sprouts, and a touch of mustard. delicious! the only thing missing was some onion and/or cucumber, but yet, the sandwich was so good anyway.

i found out that we're getting free lunches this week at orientation. i think one is sponsored by a bank (so we can give them business, i suppose), and the other is sponsored by some military group. and i always feel bad eating military sponsored meals, because i have zero intention of ever joining a military group. it may be for some others, but not for me. this year, if i can help it, i won't go to those because i don't want to give a false impression. and it's weird, because i have no qualms about eating lunch bought for me by a medical device sales rep, because it's THEIR money (go capitalism) that they're throwing away, but if i eat lunch from the navy, or army, or etc, i feel bad because it's taxpayer money (or just government money in general), and that's not how that miscellaneous money should be spent. (why not end war in iraq? universal health care for babies? give me a bigger tax refund?) i say if you want to join the military and let them help you through med school, you don't need an extravagant free meal to tell you to do that, i would imagine you would already know what you intend to do since it's such a big decision anyway.

*jumps off soapbox*

oh, and the other day a friend an i went to the local coffee place. i ordered a cafe au lait, and my friend ordered a soy chai latte. and the guy ringing it up said "one choy latte" and i thought it was clever.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

almost there...

i'm just sitting around in my *clean* apartment waiting for some friends to show up. now it's just started raining, which hopefully will cool down the outside since it is so hot and humid. i heard today had the potential to be the hottest day (as far as today's records go), but with the rain, maybe that won't be the case.

i dropped of my white coat, pin, and book yesterday at school. found out i don't have to get a new ID badge picture taken, but yet, i think i will get a new one because a new badge = new beginning. i know, all symbolic or whatever, but i've got a new hairstyle (no more weird colored hair, and definitely no more bangs), dropped some weight, and want a different colored shirt on so it won't look like i'm almost naked next to the backdrop. almost as if i underwent a metamorphosis (by the way, i'm reading "metamorphosis" by kafka) but it's a nice one, and i don't leave sticky stuff on the floor while i walk around. and most definitely don't do walls or ceilings.

i went to a vietnamese restaurant for lunch today. it was weird, because for a while there were only asians in there. this place is a hub for all sorts of asians, and i have seen vietnamese, chinese, and koreans there that i know of. (note: i am a fully americanized born and raised in the usa half-asian.) and there were TONS of full blooded asians in there, and it was strange because a big group came in and stood right next to my booth (where i was reading kafka) and one of the ladies practically invaded my space and almost sat down across from me. (i had my feet propped up in the seat that she was about to take.) and it reminded me of my encounters with some "old school" asians and how they can be really nosy (asking questions like "what is your gpa", "how much money do you make", "how much scholarship money do you have", etc., without even batting an eye, and don't try to evade answering, they'll keep badgering you) and encroaching of personal space. there were PLENTY of other places to sit, why they chose to hover around me, i don't know. however, i have learned not to be perturbed by it (from them) since i look like i'm supposed to know "the ways" (and the language, for that matter, and i don't), and having been subjected to it many a time, i wasn't too bothered by it today. luckily they sat a good distance away from me, and i was able to continue reading and eating at my leisure.

Friday, August 03, 2007

happy blog birthday!

happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear blog
happy birthday to you!

one year of blogging, and hopefully many more years to come. woo!

and today at work has been great. they had a party for me and there is so much food! medtronic brought chick-fil-a, cordis brought a cake, and a bunch of staffers brought cookies and oreo pie and other yumminess. i haven't eaten anything green today, and that's a little scary. (note to self: eat only vegetable and fruit matter for dinner.) and i'm leaving a little early so i can take my white coat back to school so they can "regift" it to me at this year's white coat ceremony. how nice! hahaha...

one of the cardiologists here gave me some good advice for school. he told me to try anything and everything (as far as rotations go). he said, "frylime, if you're interested in internal medicine, then do as many rotations in other stuff as you can, because you'll never get to do things like ob, or derm, or ent, ever again. and also look into the long term lifestyle commitments. if you want to get married and have a family, you might not want to be in a job where you take overnight calls often." wise words from a nice man. i'll definitely have to remember all of that.

in other news, my old cell phone died and the cell phone people were unable to transfer all my numbers to my new phone. it is quite sad because i had amassed a large quantity of numbers.

also, I FINISHED THE LAST HARRY POTTER BOOK! wow, after reading the last one EVERYTHING fell into place. it was really good. the last 150 pages or so had me laughing, crying, anxious, upset, happy...oh it was so good.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

ruminations

i just realized that i started this blog a year ago tomorrow, and that's the day i get to stop working. how ironical...

so much has happened in that year. wow.

so today i sit at working rewriting the inventory coordinator manual because that's what i do. i'm holding up the front office by myself, and it's a little annoying because i'll get into a groove and then have to answer the phone, and that totally throws me off. but it's ok, it's my job. and i'm kinda getting a little bittersweet about it. people who aren't going to be here tomorrow for my party (!!!) are finding me today and giving me hugs and stuff, and that is making me so sad!

and i'm actually starting to feel some doubt about starting school again, and a teeny tiny part of me wants to just go off and get an engineering job (since i do have a ChE degree and i wear my "order of the engineer" ring religiously) somewhere and go on with my life, but yet, i guess doctoring is my "calling" at the moment, so i need to just stick with it for now. i know it's normal to have doubts and fears sometimes, and i guess i'm just worried that i'll just repeat the horrors of last year. then again, i know exactly what i'm getting myself into this go around, i have amazing M2 friends that will help me out, and a better all around attitude. i've got my schedule pretty much lined out:
  • get to school around 7:30-8:00 and go to class or the library to commence studying. and since this year i'm going to get on the note service, i can afford to not go to certain classes where my time would be wasted and go straight to the library. i can catch up on the class lecture later on my own time.
  • i will only go to classes that contribute to me learning, and not go to classes where it is too confusing for me. that's an hour i could have learned something else.
  • take a break for lunch.
  • study in the afternoon, or labs, whatever it is.
  • take a long break for exercise, running errands, cooking dinner.
  • in the evening, pre-read for the next day and lightly review what i learned earlier in the day. i suppose that some study group stuff could be done in the evening, but since i go to bed around 10:00-10:30 that could be a problem.
  • on the weekend i will need to review what happened that week.
and see, i definitely did NOT do that last year. i let the stress and my contempt of school get to me, so that as soon as i could get away from school i would. then i would end up trying to cram everything a few days before each test block, and that would be horrible. i would understand what things were and how they worked (so engineering), but all the minute details that they want you to know for the tests, well, since i crammed, they didn't stick, so i wouldn't do well. i would stress myself out because i wouldn't pace my studying like i should have. and i have definitely learned from that.

i will be more tolerant of people, but at the same time, i won't force myself to hang out with people or try to impress people. i actually did that last year...the whole "let me hang out with you because i want to have a group and be kind of popular" or something, instead of doing my own thing which i normally do. and then when that didn't work out, i became more and more antisocial. that is not what i want myself to be, and at the same time i am so thankful that i had friends outside of school, and also that i have a great boyfriend who helped me out by making me happy or cooking me dinner, haha, and going with me to study in weird places so i wouldn't be lonely or anything. but this year i have more friends, especially Sunny, who has really been there for me and will continue to be there (or i'll have to do something mean!!!) and we'll cheer each other on because that's what friends do.

gah, this post has really turned kinda sappy and emotional, but it feels good to get stuff out of my mind. i'm afraid of disappointing people if i don't go through with school this go around, but at the same time, i'm ok. worst case scenario, i'm a chemical engineer, and i really enjoyed my time studying and learning engineering. it really wouldn't hurt my feelings to wash my hands of all of this, pick up and go somewhere else, but i have this opportunity now, i'm still young, and i have to try. so there you have it. my long introspective post on the eve of my blog birthday. stunning.