Monday, August 29, 2011

I am now a Second Year (med student)

Second year starts today... I am looking forward to again being challenged by school (although, I am not so excited for the large exams this year -- including my first board exam in June). It looks to be an interesting.

Our first domain is neuro... 3 weeks, and about 700 pages of coursepack (with some additional chapters of required reading outside that). In addition to that, we will learn and be examined on our ability to perform a complete neuro exam on a patient. We also have unknown amounts of reading in ethics -- but know that in the next 3 weeks we are expected to produce 3 short 1-pg essays, and a paper on an encounter with a patient regarding advanced directives.

This will be my life this year -- new domain about every 3 weeks, plus some additional classes thrown in for good measure. Majority of our learning is supposed to be self-taught (but we will have lectures and small groups thrown in to keep us on track), and we are supposed to do a 1/2 hr study for boards each day. I am looking forward to it, but am also nervous. Should be a fun year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Done with 1st year!

And the title says it all! :)

I took my last anatomy lab exam this morning (with any luck -- still don't know my final score) because I had missed it earlier in the year from my car accident. I am no longer one-exam-away-from-being-done-with-1st-year. I am now simply done with 1st year.

It feels incredible.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tilty-headed, one-eyed pug

Last night we awoke to the sound of our little dog in pain. 4 in the morning. Not good. His iris (the colored part of the eye) had ruptured (although of course we did not know that at the time). Pete ended up bringing him into the local emergency vet, and we now have a dog with one eye. He also has a head tilt from a burst eardrum due to an infection -- the eardrum should grow back, and with it... correct the head tilt. But, of course... he will remain a one-eyed pug.

Pete says, we now have a pirate dog, who should bark like, "Aaaarrrrf".
I say, not funny.
But, I would chuckle if this weren't true of my dog today.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reminders that I am a nerd

In honor of returning back to school today (to start studying for my last test of 1st year, then a 3 day break before 2nd year starts)... I thought I would post a top 10 list of sorts. All the little things that remind me each day how nerdy I am. And I have come to be okay with my inner nerd, so its all good. These are in no particular order.

10. I now wear glasses, legitimately. I used to buy frames from Claire's in high school and wear them because I wanted glasses. I prefer the type of glasses with visible frames, thankyouverym

9. I own more than my weight in text books, course packs, and school supplies.

8. Last year, I went through over 20 multi-colored permanent markers, 12 colored pencils, ~30 markers, a box of crayons, ~40 pens (multiple colors, mostly gel pens), ~20 highlighters, and ~10 pencils. Reading this, makes it sound kind of like I am in some sort of strange art class.
7. I do not get People or US Weekly. I get JAMA and Reader's Digest (second magazine, admittedly pretty normal).
6. I find it mildly anxiety provoking to be without computer access for a while -- i.e. no internet, email, etc. Strange, right? That's supposed to describe my dear husband! :)
5. I would prefer to read a novel or watch a movie with some fantasy or plausible sci fi element, rather than a pure romance novel or anything else. This means I like books like: Tuck Everlasting, the Harry Potter series, Twilight, etc. or anything by the author, John Darnton. I like them to be an escape from reality.
4. I enjoy a good debate. Debate is not the same as argument. I was on the debate team in college, and found the sport intellectually challenging, and fun.
3. For clothing, I am into what's comfortable. I will take the dog for a walk in yoga pants and a T. I go to school in hoodie and jeans. I wear dress pants and a sweater to church, because its too cold to comfortably wear skirts in the wintertime. I have no idea what's fashionable. I have no clue who the top designers are. I just know that my mood is directly correlated to my comfort, and if I am not comfortable... than I am less agreeable. So, I try to find clothes and shoes that I am comfortable wearing.
2. We own more than 4 working computers, 3 printers, and have boxes of spare computer supplies... for 2 people. Why you ask, because you never know when you might need a new fan, or extra mouse, etc. and 2 of the computers were upgraded for various reasons. (Eta... this was thinned down this past week to: 3 working computers, 1 printer, and 2 boxes of spare computer parts). (3 computers below -- also 3 bookshelves, though these are not by any means all of our books!)
1. Biggest reminder... I am in graduate school, and returned to get additional schooling after an extended break. It took me a while to admit, even to myself, that I really missed school and liked to learn in that environment. But, I do. So here I am.

And, so I am a nerd.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today felt like 'Good-bye'

Today felt like a I was saying a long good-bye to our house, and the life that we lived there... Closing the chapter of years well spent under its roof...
Although we still own the house, it is now empty of most of our belongings. The picture is of the last box of stuff to leave the house destined for our apartment. We have no more knick knacks there. The walls have no decor, and are devoid even of a clock. It echos when you talk. I cleaned the rooms, and scrubbed the walls. I burnt the all of the paper meant to start fires in the winter in the hassa -- the remaining water in the tubes, gave a half-hearted gurgle. The few items in the house have a final location identified -- either long-term storage, remain with the house, or someone else's place. It felt good to get the house so cleaned out, but it also felt like I was saying good-bye to the place, cleaning it out for its final time... trying to remove the last bits of us so somebody else (hopefully) can move in and love it just as much.

It's not just that I loved the place, and that somehow its crayola colored walls had become home to me. Saying good-bye also meant that I was closing the door to a myriad of things I loved about the place: hosting overnight guests, having couples over, cooking in the kitchen in the fall/winter, hauling/splitting/stacking wood on crisp fall mornings, decorating for Christmas and the other winter Holidays, spending weekends curled up in front of the fire, watching the garden come to life in the spring (and always thinking that I would keep it weed free this year), and grilling out dinner on the deck in the summer. Although there are many things that I do love about apartment life, especially its ease... there are just some things about the house I will miss.

During our years at the house, we managed to accomplish quite a bit. Although, I think there will always be 'home projects', this place had its own special brand project... One thing I can't fault the house for, in the absence of school... it kept me busy. In our 4 years we:
-tore down the oldest barn in the county (because of a cracked beam) and a chicken coop
-put in a floor in the garage and automatic garage doors
-replaced ~20 windows (all windows) on 2 floors of the house because the ones that were there were single pane, were cracked and did not open
-put in a new wood floor in the living room because the one that was in there... had holes going into the basement (no joke)
-re-did many floors
-painted about every surface in the place
-re-wired the second floor
-put in a water softener... a good thing when your water would otherwise weigh almost as much as solid rusted iron
-chopped up lots of wood from downed trees
-seeded the horse pasture
-refinished the countertops
-added shelving to the pantry and bedroom closet
-gutted and put in a new bathroom
-installed a wood stove
-fixed some holes in the walls
-fixed the trim on the outside of the house, because bats were getting in (we have not had bats in our house in 2+ years)
-among may other projects.

So, I guess it's good bye to the house. It was a good place to live, and a great place to dream. I will miss my time there, but I know that in the future there will be other places to love, call home, make memories in, and dream about other future plans.

Eta: I had to clean it out like this now, because this is my only substantial break until I am done with school. And, if it were to sell or be rented out in the midst of a semester, I would not be able to help out with the move at that time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My last summer (off) ... ever

Was a summer well spent?

I think so. However, I did not do anything fantastic or adventurous unlike my classmates; many are in the midst of doing research projects near and afar, attending medical conferences, or doing medical volunteer work abroad with some sightseeing of great places along the way.

Instead, with my 8 weeks of freedom I:
-Spent a week up North
-Spent a weekend on Lake Michigan, fishing, relaxing, and eating ice cream
-Attended the local fair and saw the rodeo/bull riding
-Spent a few weeks cleaning out our house and sorting through our belongings (ongoing)
-Will be spending 2.5 weeks in the anatomy lab starting 8/11/11, studying in order to take my last anatomy exam (with any luck)

Intermixed with these bigger projects and activities, I also saw family and friends.

**Note: I will end up with 3 days of freedom between the completion of my anatomy exam and orientation for school. But, somehow when I was registering my bike (yes, I have another one!), car, and shopping for some school supplies the other day... it was feeling like summer was almost over... feeling like I should be shopping for a few outfits to wear for the school year, thinking about pulling out a long sleeve shirt or two, and being on the look-out for red topped trees in another few weeks.