Monday, November 26, 2007

Crunch Time!

Well, it's officially crunch time. In 2 weeks and 5 days I will have finished my first semester - hooray! Now, we won't know for a few weeks whether or not I successfully finished the first semester, but it will be finished nonetheless. The only reason I'm able to blog right now is because I've decided to start bringing those little frozen dinners [+ Mom's homemade food] in an effort to save time and money. So, now I have a few extra minutes of dinner break to play.
The money problem is being solved. I'm signed up to do 5 transcriptions this week. At $40 a transcription - I will make $200 this week. Not too shabby, eh? Now, for the studying problem... That's not solved so easily. I just have to study until I can't study any more for the next few weeks and then even if I do badly I'll know I gave it all I could. I'm sorry school is all I talk about, but it's all I do these days.
Today we talked about a disease called "pica." I had heard of people eating clay before, but I never knew there was a whole disorder for it. These people eat things like clay, dirt, chalk, ice chips, etc... Our lecturer even said that at some truck stops you can find dirt and clay for sale - to eat - seriously. He then proceeded to ask the class if anyone had ever been to a truck stop and seen dirt for sale. Then about 5 people raised their hands. So I asked the girl beside me about it and she said that she has 2 aunts that have pica. They prefer chalk, and will bring each other chalk as presents from New York. P.S. - They're art teachers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mo Money most Definitely does not Equal Mo Problems

So, there's this rap song and I believe the chorus says: "Mo money, mo problems." (Mo = more, just in case you're not fluent in ebonics like me). The point is, I tend to disagree.
I started out this semester with $10,000. Now there is only $1,000 left. This, my friends, is a problem. UMC sucked out a little over $6,000 for tuition and then another $1,000 went to books and scalpel blades and lab coats, etc... Now there's not too much left. Fortunately, I have signed up to be a transcriptionist for the class. This is how it works:
Our class has this thing called the Note Service. What happens is, we record every lecture and one person is required to attend the class and type that lecture up into concise notes which are posted onto a website we all have access to. Sometimes people don't want to type their notes because either they don't have time or they don't like to type, or they are really slow, etc, etc... Anyway, the going rate is $40 per lecture, so I'm thinking if I do like 4 a week I should be golden in the money department - especially if Kris helps me fill in all the words I couldn't get while I was in lecture :)
Another positive is the fact that apparently there is a scholarship for people from counties that are medically underserved. You get bonus points if you went to public school or your parents don't have too much income coming in. By bonus points, I mean extra $$$ - ka-ching!
Between that and Sumner's grant [thank you Sumner's people, I've been meaning to send you a nice thank you card for that huge chunk of my college education you paid for], I should probably be fine and not have to take out any more loan money before this year is over. Maybe I'll even get to work this summer and make a little bit more.
Austin and I were seriously discussing the possibility of skinning cadavers over the summer for the dental students - because their bodies come pre-dissected, but that's a whole other rant of mine. Anyway, when I asked Austin if we'd get paid per body or what she replies: "I think it's just $2,000 for the whole lot of 'em." For a second I forgot we were in med school and thought maybe we were fur traders or something.
Right now lots of interviewees are coming through for next year's M1 class [God, I hope I'm not with them as an M1 again next year.] and apparently one of them got in because as Austin and I were facebook-stalking her profile we saw that one of her friends had posted this quaint little message:
"Oh my Gosh! - I'm so jealous - you get to be the real-life Meredith Grey!"
These girls have no freakin' clue what's in store for them. No clue. At all. The end.
Back to money though, doctors really have to make a lot, because
1. We don't start working till we're 30 - or 35 for those really smart ones.
2. Most of us have ~ $100,000 - $130,000 of debt from medical school.
3. Those first few years we work, we make ~$30,000 - yes, just like teachers, and last but not least...
4. I'm seriously thinking of skinning people for money - and I've had to clean explosive diarrhea from a dead man's bisected colon. I deserve it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hell Week is Over!!!

Well, I say hell week, but in fact it's been 2 weeks of hell. Austin and I realized late last night when delirious on caffeine and pent-up energy that we've been studying 12-18 hours a day for the last 12 days. Ridiculous, no??? Especially considering that I probably just failed the 2 tests I took this morning... They were a tad bit... shall we say - convoluted and detailed. I can now draw every step and intermediate and enzyme of the citric acid cycle and electron transport chain/oxidative phosphorylation. However, those things only helped me with about 6 questions out of 64.
Anyway, on to happier thoughts. There shall be NO studying tonight. I will not look at one electromicrograph, one histology slide, one CT, or one book. Kris and I are having a pretend-7-year-anniversary. This is due to the fact that :
a) The actual anniversary was the day before the last gross test
b) We both forgot
c) We both forgot because we've been together 7 years.
d) all of the above are true.
D is the correct answer. I'm not sure what we're doing, but I bet it will involve dinner and a movie - or maybe ice-skating. I've been meaning to go ice-skating for over a year now.
Oh, P.S. - Kris is now a productive member of society! He has a job! He is working at Game Stop over in Dogwood. I think he likes it, or will like it since he's really into video games and movies, but he's only worked 2 days so far, so we'll see. I'm just happy to see $$$ coming in instead of rolling on out.
Anyway, I'm about to spend the next 30 minutes blissfully returning any e-mails I've received over the last 2 weeks, playing on facebook, and checking out to see what stupid things the celebrities have done this week.
See you all over Thanksgiving! [that's next week, y'all!!!]

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Life is Busy, Will Write Again Soon

I am currently shackled to a table in the classroom wing studying my butt off for what will probably be the hardest test we've had all semester in Biochemistry. The test is on Tuesday. This past week we had a gross written, gross practical and developmental anatomy test on Monday, then a physiology test on Friday and now in 2 days another test. Hence, things are not all sunshine and butterflies in the land of Allison.
It doesn't help that I had to spend $500 on repairs to my car this week - that'll get you 1 oil change, 2 new tires, new rotors, a front end alignment, and a plethora of other things. It's riding very good now - as it should be.