Sunday, September 30, 2007

scary forest! aaaah! run away!

just thought i'd show you what that scary forest looked like...more specifically this is elastic cartilage from the epiglottis stained with a silver stain to make all the elastic fibers show up black. you can see that it's "contained" within some somewhat horizontal lines on the top and bottom...that's called the "perichondrium". see? scary forest!


and with that, i shall continue on studying for biochemistry and histology tests that are tomorrow. studying for biochem really is pulling teeth. we're learning about membrane proteins which are as thrilling as licking a million stamps. histology, on the other hand, i have come to enjoy, and i hope that i do decently on the test. can't mess up my standing too early in the game now, ya know...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

good news, woo

i just received an email from a prof saying that he was going to accept a certain answer on our last developmental anatomy test on a certain question, and my answer was included in that, so my score went up about 4 points!!! i'm quite excited about that turn of events. you know, i will say that my position this year is a lot better than last year, i mean, it feels great to be mostly on top of things and doing well (in my opinion). granted, i'm nowhere near the top of my class, but yet, i'm learning, i'm making decent grades, and i'm happier.

today we had a thrilling cartilage/skeletal tissue histology lab. i really enjoy that lab, it's nice to put a slide in, see what you're supposed to see, then change slide. and it's there for you. nothing is hiding, and it's all in pretty colors (if you like pink and purple). you just have to know what you're looking for. i find that i'm able to recognize the patterns rather easily, and i have a good idea of what's going on. i also like to think of crazy descriptions, like a silver stained slide of the epiglottis makes all of the elastic fibers in it show up black, so i call that the "evil scary forest". it is quite scary looking. but then when you use a different type of elastin stain, it can show up as lavender, and it's not scary at all. then a normal H&E and it's dark pink/red and that's kinda scary again. plus i have a cool lab partner, and he said he was going to check out my blog one day, so let it be known that i said on this day, thursday september 27, that i said he was a cool dude.

i've got to study some biochem and histology...test is monday. i'm not too worried at the moment, for i have been studying a lot, it's just that there's always something else you could learn. that's the basic story of med school...you can know so much, but then you can always know more. i guess that's why this is a lifelong educational venture...deep.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

random quotes

these are just a list of random quotes that i've been meaning to post....

from a gross anatomy prelab lecture on the palm of the hand (also said by a prof with a thick middle-east type accent):

"you can close your eyes and reach out and touch something and know exactly what it is."
- referring to how packed with neurons your hand is, but when uttered had sort of a porn-ish vibe which made the class feel kinda squirmy.

"baby when you touch me, i know how much you love me."
- same professor quoting a song he heard on the radio further describing the palm.

from a genetics lecture, student is curious about inter-blood-related sexual liasons:

student: "how close is too close?"
prof: "is she pretty?"

from a cancer clinical correlation led by an obviously arrogant doctor:

student: "so are the health care providers in any danger giving out cancer meds to patients (since they're so toxic)?"
doctor: looks to the 2 PhD profs in the room. "excuse me for what i'm about to say." looks to the class of M1 students. "ok, you and i, we are NOT health care providers. WE are DOCTORS." uncomfortable silence ensues.
all other students in class: "so i guess doctors aren't health care providers anymore..."

just thought those would give you a chuckle or two...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

09 22 2007 in numbers

this week in numerical form:

-tests taken on monday: 3
-students freaking out about grades: ~120
-ribs sawed through to get inside thorax: 8
-lungs personally removed by me: 1 (and it was like delivering a baby!)
-cost of my stupid "clicker" for physiology: $42.75
-how much i charge per transcription: $35
-money made so far on transcriptions: $70
-steps per flight in the library: 9
-plasma cells found in small intestine slide: ~5
-pairs of shoes brought to school: 2
-how much dinner cost thursday night with tip: $110
-how much H put down: $10
-amount of free gift certificate: $100
-days left until next test: 9
-annoying persons in class: 2-3
-cost per hour for parking in garage: $0.50
-employee discount at cafeteria: 20%
-employee discount at my old hospital: 24%
-hours to be spent in gross lab tomorrow: ~2
-hours to be spent studying this weekend: a lot
-professors that i absolutely love: 2
-professors that i absolutely detest: 2, but should go up as the year goes on
-start time of class: 8:00AM
-usually leave school: ~5:00PM
-times i thought school was stupid: at least once a day
-girls in my gross lab group: 3
-boys in my group: 1
-alpha female to non-alpha male ratio in said group: 3 to 1
-hearts taken out in rex: 1
-incisions made in heart to study chambers: 4
-number of celebratory "i passed my first gross anatomy exam" drinks last night: 5
-thoughts of regret this morning: 0
-days until it's my birthday and last day of M1 year: 236

i will try to think up some more numbers, but it's kinda hard! school is definitely not as numbers oriented as working was...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

day before first gross test

poo on the brachial plexus! poo!

so i'm not really freaking out about tomorrow's tests (gross anatomy written and practical, and developmental anatomy written), but i think i should be. or maybe i've passed the threshold of freaking out to accepting my fate and not freaking out anymore. hahaha.

tomorrow evening there is going to be a throw down, mark my words.

the rest of this week there will be some major cleaning going on at my place. i have too many "clutter piles" and they are bothering me. i also need to vacuum since my hairs have decided to molt everywhere. and i inquired about some massage therapy services offered at my local Y to see if i can get in on that action because i need some therapizing done on me.

i think also this week i'm going to make another "numbers" post. stay tuned for some numerical fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

i think i'm still making it...

hello all...

the biochem/genetics/core concepts tests on tuesday went alright. overall, my averages are doing just fine, but i am a little disappointed on my biochem performance. but, i have talked to the professor and he gave me some more test-taking tips (because that's a big problem for me...understanding how the heck to approach multiple choice questions) which i think will help me. granted, at this point compared to last year i'm doing so much better (and i'm also passing every class!), but i know i can do more. with that all said, i have gross and developmental anatomy exams and practical on monday, and i feel better about those tests. granted, i have a lot of studying to do, but the subject material is SO much more interesting to me, and i enjoy reading about it, whereas in biochem it was like banging my head against the wall. bam bam!

i can't wait to get some time again to go back to the gym.

oh, and yesterday at school we had a family residency fair, complete with free food, tons of door prizes, and other little freebies. my name was actually called out for a door prize, and i won a $100 gift certificate to a really fancy restaurant in town! so yeah, i'm definitely going there after my gross test next week and enjoying a relaxing evening with H. and yes, i've already checked out the menu and it's going to be really hard deciding what to get.

and one more thing...right now in gross we're finishing up the upper extremity and whatnot, and it's so cool to see how the muscles in the forearm work. and the names make so much sense to me. you tug on a muscle, see where the tendon is going, and then see the action of the digit. oh, so the pointer finger is extending? obviously that's the extensor indici muscle. this muscle has a bunch of tendons flexing the fingers. flexor digitorum superficialis muscle! with the human body, the muscles are pretty much quite logical. the nerves though, that's still weird to me. though they're still cool too. in rex on one side his brachial plexus contains runaway median nerve fibers (they branched off to join the muskulocutaneous nerve, and then decided to come back home to the median nerve, hahahaha). but then you look at the other side, and it's not like that at all. really makes me think about why it would do that. (and i know that probably doesn't make sense to the layperson reading this, but the take home point is that there are so many non-symmetries in the body.) also, the other day we had a really cool lecture from a neurosurgeon who talked about "stealing" nerves from one area and putting them in different areas to give movement back to muscles that have had their nerves severed in accidents, etc. i honestly didn't know that nerves had that kind of regeneration capability, since you're always told that nerve cells never grow back and whatnot. turns out that's not really true anymore in certain situations. granted it's not going to be 100% better, but if you can get 75% function back in a muscle that didn't work at all before, that's pretty nice.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

what would be your vision of hell?

ok, so it's finally been decided. my vision of hell (well, my current vision) is:

having to stay up past a comfortable bedtime of 10:30 pm while having someone poke your arm to draw all your blood out and while mosquitoes are constantly biting you and you can't scratch AND you have to study biochemistry.

'twas the weekend before test

this weekend as you can infer from the title, is the famed "weekend before a test" where all activities not peripherally related to studying for said test are suspended until further notice. with that said, i have just cleaned out my refrigerator of all things in tupperware type containers that i could not identify anymore and washed all dishes. i also made a cup of lady jane grey tea (for all you earl grey fans out there, this is just like it but not as dark with hints of citrus!) that i am sipping. it's just hard for me to concentrate and study on biochemistry! aaak! i could study gross anatomy forever, and don't even get me started on genetics (which is like the coolest class ever).

speaking of gross anatomy, this morning we had a "practice practical" and i must say that i did decently on it. scored myself and i made a 67%, where 70% is deemed passing at my school. and most of my errors were because i omitted and/or added one word, like forgetting "cutaneous" when labeling a "posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerve", or "superficial" for "superficial radial nerve". and the ones where i wasn't sure of, i would put a second choice down, and that would usually be the one that was right. so for the most part, i think the way i've been approaching lab so far is good, just have to ramp it up. always having to ramp it up, i suppose, but at least i didn't tank it like a lot of folks did. thank God for practice. however, we have one more week of lab before the test, and in that week we will be tackling the posterior upper extremity and the entirety of the hand. eeek. a lot of learning.

so now i shalt study biochemistry. grrrr RNA metabolism!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

it's a biochem wednesday

well, actually, it's biochem and gross, but all our morning lectures are of the biochem nature, which means that they are kinda boring. i admit, in the 8:00 talk i struggled to stay awake, but during our break before the 10:00 class i did some power walking and youtube surfing so i think i'll be alright. (plus it's a different lecturer that i "jibe" with a little better, so that should be good.)

today is a pathology interest group meeting, and i must say that i am interested. i know i know, they're weird and cut up dead people or whatever, but the thinking process (to me) is really interesting. you are presented with a case and you are told "figure it out". then you can battle it out with the clinical doctors and confirm or deny their treatment plan. plus, no call, etc. so it sounds very interesting to me, but at the same time, i don't know. hence, going to the meeting. (i have spent some time in a morgue and it was extremely cool in more ways than one, but yeah.)

also today in lab we'll be working on the back of the shoulder and down the arm. (and in medical-speak, the portion from the shoulder to the elbow is the "arm" and from the elbow to the wrist is the "forearm". same for the lower extremity: thigh and leg.)

i'm also running for class secretary. i think i would have fun with it and feel like i was really doing something important for the class. i also think i have a good chance to get it too, but i'm not counting chickens before they hatch of course.

my plans for tonight include going over bones of the vertebral column, doing some biochem, and starting up some genetics. oh, and cooking dinner i believe. maybe not though.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

obviously i am in gross lab now


yeah, so this is what it looks like when you take your lab group's icky dirty lab coats and wash them with tons of bleach and then hang them up to dry, only that they are so stinky you can't let them dry inside so you hang them up outside so that the stench doesn't fill up your apartment. and now of course all your neighbors think you are a weirdo that barricades her balcony with white lab coats. and yes, that is my sad little "garden".

on to biochemistry...