Saturday, September 22, 2012

Calmer Weekend

Since the beginning of school, we've all been counting down to this Monday that just passed. As you may recall, students in their first semester get a mini-test a few weeks before midterms. This examination is a small percentage of our final grade, but it's put in place to test your ability to grasp the information and make adjustments necessary so midterms goes more favorably. 

We received our scores the following day, and while I wasn't too pleased with my scores, I now know what adjustments I need to make in my studying habits. This mini-test did provide a chance to review all the material covered in classes so far - so it was a great review. Midterms are around the corner and I'm starting to review material starting today. I've noticed med school is a constant repetition, and I'm just not reviewing enough. I have a big picture down, and I think that's really important, but there are lots of little details (I shouldn't really say "little details", because they're actually quite important) that I forget time and time again. 

In other news, Monday was a nice night off. I finally folded my laundry - what's the best part of folding laundry 10 days after they've been washed....? There's NOT much to fold!! haha

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weekend Before the (mini)Storm

The school that I attend has a midterm and a final exam which determines your grade in the class. There are other extremely minor grades along the way, but basically the bulk of your final grade are those two exams. I don't like it as much, because there is VERY little room of "messing up". I thrive with the consistent exams as the course progresses to test your mastery of the subjects and it forces you to keep up with the material.

One of the initial challenges faced with students is studying strategies. A common phrase to describe medical school is "drinking from a fire hose" with the amount of information that is thrown at you and that you must know. I also like to describe it with pancakes. You HAVE to eat six pancakes a day. For the first few days, you're really excited and it tastes delicious, so eating six is manageable. However, very soon (usually within the first couple of weeks) you realize you can't seem to digest six anymore. So one fine day, you decide you only want four. But that means the following day, you know have eight pancakes to eat. This describes lecture material. It's SO easy to get behind and once you're behind, it's a strenuous workout to get back on track.

I've kind of been battling staying on track with all my lectures, studying, and practice problems. Usually I'm only a couple lectures behind *knock on wood*, but then I'm struggling to find time to physically remember all that I'm supposed to. I feel like one day I know it, and even just few hours later it's already out the door. I've also been struggling to find my optimum studying style. I know I'm very visual so I try to  draw out my notes by making flow charts and diagrams - but more often than not, there's information that can't be placed in the diagram, and I just need to know it. Because there are a finite number of hours in a day, it's close to impossible to do absolutely everything you ideally would like to do. Prioritizing high-yield information is key. But, you don't want to be wrong =).

Since this is our first semester, we have sort of "mini-test" on Monday to test what we've learned thus far. It's worth about 6-7% of our entire grade, but it covers about a month's worth of information. Also, there are only three weeks between this mini-test and midterms, so there really isn't much of a wiggle room to catch up on previous material. There are so many things that I would have ideally like to have done by this point, but realistically won't get through. I was doing practice questions the other night and realized how little is ingrained into my tiny, little brain. I have four more lectures to catch up on, which I'm not too worried about - but it's all the essential details that I need to make sure I have down in two days. EEK!

Besides all of this, what really worries me daily - is the feeling of inadequacy. I know this is just the beginning, but I'm constantly afraid that I won't be able to know everything I'm supposed to, that I won't be able to do well on the exams, and that I won't be able to complete my dream of becoming a doctor.

But anyways, I'm trying to take a positive outlook this weekend. I can only do as much as I can do - can't really do much more than that. I'm hoping this mini-test will give me some insight of my current studying habits and how much information I can retain.

On a completely separate note, good luck to all the MS4s who are turning in their ERAS application this weekend. Congrats on making it this far and good luck on your interviews! I hope to be in your position soon =).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Living Standards

Conversation I had with my roommate last week:
Me: <In the kitchen warming food>
Roommate: <Walks in.> Oh wow you're dressed up
Me: Yeah I know, I decided to wear jeans today. 
R: Ooooh, what's the occasion?
Me: I ran out of track pants.

Thus, Saturday night was the 'hot, audacious - laundry night' that normal 20 year-olds dreams about. (In actuality though, I really do enjoy doing laundry; I like the smell of clean clothes.) A few hours before I plan on sleeping is when I usually put in my clothes. So when the time was just right, I put my clothes in and went back to studying and doing my thing. A couple hours passed and I was getting ready to go to bed when I realized I never put my clothes in the dryer. ARGH! By the time I got my clothes out, I was ready to hit the sack. I removed my pillow cover and placed it next to my pillow in hopes of wrapping it before falling asleep.

Aaaaaaand, that never happened.

I was too tired to fold my clothes, so I kept my clean clothes in the laundry basket in hopes of folding them Sunday morning.

Aaaaaaand, that never happened. 

This week has been relatively taxing, so my bed turned into a daily-clothes, dirty hamper with books/notes spread across it. Not to forget, my pillow cover was still there laying next to my naked pillow.

It wasn't until YESTERDAY, four days since my laundry night, that I couldn't take it anymore and I cleaned up. I wrapped my pillow with the pillow case, I organized my notes and placed them in their respective binders, I placed my books on my bookshelf, and I found a spot for my daily clothes in my closet. I still haven't folded my clean clothes - I mean, that's just crazy talk. :P

Now that I think about it, four days isn't really THAT long...but it's super long for me. Going more than a day without having these things organized is like a nightmare.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

5 Loaves of Bread

This semester, I'm living in a 3-person suite, which is 3 private rooms with a common kitchen & bathroom. It's nice to have the privacy, so I can do things without any questionable looks - because as we all know, I do a lot of that. But honestly, it's nice to have space that is truly your own and not shared. However, I do miss living in a double, which is 2 people living in a studio. I miss turning around and having someone there. Even though we're THREE girls, which is one whole human more than before, since it's semi-private and all, it gets lonely. 

Also with these girls, the dynamic is just different. Don't get me wrong, they're great roommates, but that's exactly what they are. Roommates. When I left for my first semester of college, I was advised to have a talk with my roommate, deciding things like - cleaning schedule, showering, lights-out time, parties. Our own Roommate Agreement Contract, if you will. Interestingly, I've never had those "talks". With all of my prior roommates, we've all sort of had a mutual understanding of each other's space and needs. Even with food - if there was something that I particularly purchased, and my roommate wanted it - she would just replace it and vice-versa. 

Since I'm growing up and all, this year is the first time I've had a kitchen in my room, per say, so having food around is a bigger deal. But even last semester, my roommate and I would share common items - milk, bread, cheese, condiments, juice, etc. And we didn't really talk about it, but there was a mutual understanding that if she bought the items one week, I'd replace it and vice-versa. However this semester, everyone has their own things. And it's just WEIRD. Right now, we have FIVE loaves of bread in the fridge. Granted 2 of them are half-way through, but seriously...FIVE loaves of bread?! People, we are only THREE girls. I'm not even complaining at this point; it's just amusing. 

I know it's probably better this way. Less politics. Since no one has thought of the brilliant idea of sharing, so there's actually room in our fridge for other things, I tried to say something about it indirectly, but it wasn't really favored. Oh well. We'll just be the cool girls with a grocery store in our kitchen. We're cool, yo =).

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I had a horrible day yesterday. I don't even want to think about it because all those negative vibes and thoughts will come rushing back - and there really isn't time for such doings right now.

I hate rumors. I absolutely HATE them. The course director for one of my classes changed this year and the word on the street is that Course Director B's exams are going to be so much harder than Course Director A. While this is motivating for some people, it actually works in the negative effect for me. I have a tendency to dwell for so long on my problems, that I'm on my way on a tortuous downward spiral and eventually depressed about a completely different problem. In this situation, I have two options:
  • I can sulk about the horrible position I am in
  • I can suck it up, work hard, and hope for the best
The answer is really obvious, staring at me right in the face. If you don't already know, I HATE rumors. But realistically, it's not like I am going to do anything different. Did I think a medical school exam was going to be easy in the first place and I'll automatically get an A? NO. If I really know my material, am I going to fail? NO. Do I even know if these rumors are true, I mean have those individuals even seen the test? NO. It's uncertain how difficult this exam is going to be and definitely uncertain how I will perform, but worrying won't solve anything.

I'm almost about ready to call it a night so I'll let myself sulk today, but starting tomorrow - the sun will rise, the birds will chirp, and I will be a changed person.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I love how now that I have all the time in the world (sense the sarcasm), I wish to cook exuberant, gourmet dishes. It's great what changes school brings in me:
  • Randomly want to spend hours cooking
  • Magically become a huge fan of chocolate
  • Drink black tea (more like water, black tea, and LOTS of sugar) almost every day 
  • Sleep between 10:30/11:00pm and wake up at 6am (I'm generally an early riser, but not an early sleeper)
  • I'm pretty sure my classmates don't realize I have long hair because it's always wrapped in a taut formed bun
  • My inbox is a MESS, and I don't have a sudden urge to organize it
Yup school, it's really a lovely thing.  Speaking of which, I'm quite certain my classmates think I don't own clothes because I'm always in track pants + college shirts. Whatever, I'm comfortable. As much I want to, I can't seem to wear sun dresses; Generally though, I don't think I'm a very "dress" person. Like at the airport, there are ladies that wear dresses on the plane. Not a super fancy dress, just a simple, pretty dress. Their whole attire is great, but no matter how hard I try -  I just can't do that. Although, I think a part of me just really enjoys my track pants, you know - from all the running I do. 

Anyways, getting to the title of this post--> Once in college, our amazing chef made Vegetarian Pierogis. It was my first time having them - and it was delicious!!! But after that day, could not remember the name of the dish. But last night, out of nowhere, I was laying in bed and this word popped into my head. It was a mixture of Pierogi and Progeria so I Googled around and finally found the name of the dish! I was so happy. Except now I'm craving it. 

And that's no fun. (Sad face)