Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, it's not quite Christmas yet, but it may as well be. It's been freezing and drizzly here for the last few days. We've had 5 tests since the last time I wrote. Things have gone well!!! I managed to pass them all - even making a 96 on a developmental anatomy test and a 91 on a gross anatomy practical (over the thorax and abdomen - perhaps internal medicine is in my future?)...
Things are getting a bit more difficult, but overall I'm optimistic about it all. This might have something to do with the fact that we're over 1/2 way done and Christmas is looming and I haven't even had a mental breakdown or emotional meltdown or any of the above. That's a very good thing. At the beginning of the year they told us this was the hard part and by the end of last year about 40% of the M1s were on antidepressants. I've only had 2 slight hissy-fits and those were before the 1st 2 biochem tests. I know how to study for that now, so it's not so bad. There are only 4 more big test days before Thanksgiving and then just 4 after that before Christmas. This does not mean I only have 8 tests. This means I only have 8 days of testing - which usually last most of the day and cover 3 - 5 subjects. It's kind of like having my finals from undergrad all crammed into one day. Not fun.
Anyway, on to happier notes. The next test we have is November 5, so I'm taking a break and heading home this weekend. Our class has reserved Hal & Mal's for this Friday night for a Halloween party and I'm planning on going, but I need a good costume idea. Last year Kris was a devil and I was an angel and that worked out pretty well. We might have a repeat performance this year. Anyway, I shall be home this Saturday. I know Julz has already reserved me for dinner Saturday night, so if you want an appointment, you'd better book one fast! Time slots are filling up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's All in the Details

Well, there's not much to report here in StudyLand. I took the most miserable test of my life Monday. We started the day off at 10:00 am with a developmental anatomy test covering the formation of the heart (it's more complicated than one might think - it starts out as a single tube!), formation of the digestive system, respiratory system, and body cavity. It was interesting. Anyway, then me and Austin had Back Yard Burger and a panic attack for lunch. It's important to mention the Back Yard Burger part because in order to not have a more severe panic attack before the next test, you must distance yourself as far away as possible from the other (smarter, more gunnerish) people in your class. In our case, the best we could do was the Back Yard Burger a hundred yards away. It worked though, not a classmate in site.
There we reviewed for the gross practical and written test while eating ice cream to soothe our worries from the test before. Then we huffed it back to school and rushed into the practical. The practical actually went pretty well. By well I mean that I only had question marks by 12 of the 70 structures tagged. On the 1st practical I only had 6 smiley faces on my paper. A definite improvement I must say.
All hopes were shattered once we stepped into that written test though. I think I may have gotten the 1st 2 questions correct. I really enjoyed periodically hearing the people around me mutter cuss words or flip pages frantically before lowering their heads to do deep breathing exercises. One of my lunch table buddies told me she prayed over all the questions she didn't know at first, but it just got too time-consuming near the end.
I'm generally a speedy test-taker, but I only had 10 minutes left on this one. Of course I sat out in the hall to see everyone's faces as they walked out. We're in a general consensus. It was a horrible test. It's really funny when you see a few of the "smart" med school kids come out after you with a glazed look in their eye, walking like zombies towards their lockers.
I went home immediately and showered, got ready, and made Kris take me out for queso, margaritas, and a movie. Then I came home and tried to watch all the shows I missed last week online. Because I was trying to cram all the fun from 2 weeks into one night, I stayed up way too late and woke up at 7:35 the next morning. This was not okay because the geniuses on the curriculum committee thought it would be smart to put a mandatory "professionalism" (read, bullcrap) class at 8:00 the day after our horrible tests. The really ironic thing is, the presentation was on time management, and the lady giving the talk was 20 minutes late - just like me :)
Anyway, there is no time to cry over the test, we have another one Monday. This time it's biochem and histology though, so hopefully it will be better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Pause Button is Broken

So, this post can't be very long because I need to be ________________. If you guessed studying, you were correct. I seem to be overwhelmed, but unfortunately the pause button is broken. We have a Physiology test Friday and a Gross Anatomy Practical and written test along with a Developmental Anatomy test which is 25% of our Developmental grade. Everyone is borderline in that class, so we all need to do really well. The point is, there is no time. Just for fun, there is also a Biochem and Histology test Monday after the gross test.
Anyway, enough griping. There are some positive things going on. I managed to find a really good study buddy who reads just a slow as I do and doesn't ever confuse me when explaining things. It's nice. We went to Ole Miss and were in the Honors College together, but just didn't ever end up studying together. Anyway, we've been helping each other along through gross. It's a good thing.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a mechanic to fix the pause button.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And Then... I Beat the Class Average

So, the 1st 2 biochem tests did not go so well. We're talking 20 points below the class average. I'm no brain surgeon, but that's not good. Well, we got back our last biochem test today and let me tell you, the studying paid off. (And by studying I mean: my car did not leave the garage this past weekend, except for 1 late-night run to McDonald's). Not only did I pass, I *almost* made an A. The only 2 questions I missed on the new material were thrown out due to their amount of detail. So that means the only questions I actually missed were off the old material. Anyway, the point is, I beat the class average. This is a day that shall go down in history.
Also, I might actually be learning how to prioritize. I was planning on going to the fair tonight, but... then I realized I'm playing on Jennifer's tennis league tomorrow night and everyone knows it's a sin to do more than 1 fun thing a week when you're in med school. So instead I stayed at the gross lab with a study group from about 2:30 'til 8:30 with a dinner break in there. We got some learning done - let me tell you.
Randomly, I would like to give a shout out to my mother for all the tasty food she brought last week. It was so delicious, it's all gone *hint, hint...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fair Time!!!

For those of you not in the know, there was a test this morning. It was 46 biochem questions and 30 histology questions. Also, the questions were a tad-bit nit-picky as usual. I don't really know why I'm surprised anymore. It's probably because when I look back at old tests I see questions like this:

What is GIST?
A. gastrointestinal stromal tumor (***correct, in case you couldn't figure it out)
B. gastrointestinal superman theory
C. gastrointestinal stinky tract
D. gastrointestinal salad trap

Then, for our test, there are questions more like this:
There is a deficiency in the cKIT gene for GIST which leads to an upregulated expression of KT which causes cells to proliferate. What is the cause of GIST?
A. a single missense mutation leading to a defect in the 1st catabolic cascade.
B. a single missense mutation leading to a defect in the 2nd catabolic cascade.
C. a single nonsense mutation leading to the deletion of an entire amino acid.

Well, you get the point. Just rest assured that if you ever need a doctor and I refer you to one from my class, they're all rockstars. We probably have to know 3x as much as our older counterparts, so there...

Okay, maybe I'm still seething a little bit. I'm not bitter though - nope, not at all - ha.

Anyway, now that that nightmare is over, it's on to more important things like cramming everything I've wanted/needed to do for the last week into 1 or 2 days. These include:

1. washing my sheets - don't even want to think about how long it's been
2. going to wal-mart - need light bulbs, haven't been able to see in my room for the last week
3. cleaning house - Jennifer might kick me out if I keep on like this.
4. mowing the yard - if the Kris fairy doesn't get to it first... maybe i'll be surprised later.
5. planting some flowers - if I can remember to pick them up from Wal-Mart
6. going to the FAIR!!!

Yes, the Jackson fair is coming to town. It will be here Wednesday night. While I know that it is not technically the best night to go since the machinery is probably more likely to break down the 1st night due to faulty construction on site, I'm going to chance it. Maybe I'll give a review on it if I survive :)