Welcome! Enjoy some of the finer pages of online ramblings out there! If you have found this page through BlogSpot, please visit my homepage using the links on the sidebar. Inspired by the certainty of my headaches, "The Headache Diaries" may include my headache log. I also like to log other things such as people, places, and things that I don't like, as well as people, places, and things that I do like.
:: Welcome to The Headache Diaries
| text (int'l): 1-784-496-8260
I've actually been keeping up with my GMAT studies and I actually have been enjoying it. Definitely more than MCAT studies!! I actually like math, so this is not torture. I am taking my time on probabilities because that is one of my weaker areas. Next stop is statistics!
Today I went to CVS at like, 0500 to get the best deals! The toilet paper is on sale, so you better snag it while you can! TJ has been improving and today we are going to do some shopping so he can walk around and move the back. I figure we can go to Ulta and look at some makeup and OfficeMax, where I can easily spend two hours. We can also go to the mall and walk around. There is a Barnes and Noble there, and that can be fun too. There is a Sephora, but I probably wouldn't buy anything unless they have the same color pencil that I've had for eight years. I tried that on and it was making my eyes itchy. Probably a sign that I need a new eye pencil. Or just get rid of it. I am not sure when I would wear that silver color anyway.
I am feeling better now that TJ is feeling better. I am not as optimistic about KU since it is an MD program. I usually write to my professor at KCC every month, but I wanted to wait until I heard back from KU so I have something better to say. I am not sure if Morehouse is going to interview me so we'll see. There is also Illinois, but I am not holding my breath for that one! I am sure I will get a rejection sooner or later from them.
Later today I am going to finish the yard work. My bougainvilleas are blooming! All of them! Yay!!! I also have to trim the oleanders. One of my lilies is actually coming back! I am thinking about planting some more. I got a plant catalogue in the mail, and they sell some nice lilies for a good price. I am thinking about buying from them. I also wish to buy a new orange tree. Mine died a while back so I would like to get another one. We'll see.
TJ injured his back this week at work. He is in a lot of pain and can barely walk. He had to use three of his sick days because the dumb doctor said he could go back to work. NOT! This whole week I have been doing everything I can to help his back: hot baths, massage, icy-hot creme, etc. It still hasn't shown any improvement. The doc gave him a muscle relaxer and motrin (pfft) and that doesn't help, it just makes him irritable and fidgety. He even took two muscle relaxers at once and nothing happened. Today he has an appointment with the doc along with physical therapy. I told him to tell the doc that he can't go back to work and he needs short-term disability. I also told him to tell the doc that he needs a more powerful pain reliever. Advil isn't cutting it! TJ should get the FMLA packet on Monday or Tuesday and hopefully the doc will agree with the disability and we can file the FMLA packet. I don't want TJ to go back to work like this. His health is more important that Fedex, and I told him that if I don't get into med school, then maybe it's time to consider retiring from Fedex now. I can find a driving job while he recovers and then when he finds a suitable job, I can go back to what I was doing. A lot of people at Fedex go to work through their pain and injure themselves even more. They wind up having to get surgeries and long-term muscle problems. I don't want him to do that. I would rather he leave Fedex and find a OTR (over the road) job that requires no lifting and back-breaking labor. I even told him that if I don't get into med school, we should consider team driving for England or some other company. We haven't even had kids yet and I don't want him to be crippled and can't even play with his kids. No way. This has to stop.
But anyway, I've been pretty sad all week given what happened. I have only been able to study a little bit, but I am studying. I'm almost done with going over the arithmetic stuff. My sequential I book shows some neat tricks that were in the GMAT book. The only problem is that there isn't enough problems to do. The ones in the book are too easy. I am just going to go through everything and then try my hand at the GMAT stuff. Maybe that will work? I don't know. At least I am making progress.
I was also working on the yard this week. I mowed it on Monday and I have some more hedging to do. I also have to dethatch. That is probably the hardest part. I only have a rake style dethatcher so I have to do it by hand. I won't be able to do it today since I have to catch up on GMAT then drive TJ to the doc. I will have to do that tomorrow. Maybe.
I looks like TJ is getting up, so I have to make his breakfast then study. I really hope the doc isn't a butt-hole and gives TJ the okay for disability. Otherwise, we will have to fight.
Yesterday I spent most of the day figuring out what chapter and pages I need to study for the GMAT. It seems like I have to read most of my sequential II book (geometry), and parts of my sequential I and III (algebra and trigonometry, respectively). I think I need to spend the most time on geometry and probability. I also have to learn to do problems with rate, interest, discounts, profits and mixtures. I figure I can do one or two chapters a day. There are about 41 topics, but some fall within the same chapter of the books, and not all I need to work hard on.
Today I can start easy, maybe work on integers, real numbers, fractions and whatnot. Yesterday I did fix up most of the backyard. I cut FOURTEEN (14!!) bags of grass! I didn't do the hedging though, so that may add another bag. It still has to be dethatched too! I will do that when it gets a little warmer. Or when my hands don't hurt anymore, ha! I also have to trim the plants in the front. When it gets a little warmer, I will finally plant the oleanders on the side of the house. The problem is that when those become big, I will need one of those stupid dust blowers to "sweep" away the trimmings. Oh well, I guess. If I get into KU, maybe I won't plant them.
Today I have to get the oil changed on the Acura! It's like, 1500 miles overdue. I have to get there by 0700, that's when they open. Well, maybe 0730. I'm sure there won't be a huge crowd! Another reason I want to start lite on the GMAT stuff.
So I have a few mins before I am supposed to leave, lets start doing integers!
I think I am back to normal. I made up some sleep and my brain has been working properly so far. I am glad because I am trying to get my GMAT studies in order. I think I am ready to begin (again).
I also bough a new office chair FINALLY!!! I have been holding out for a really long time. I should have bought a new once when I started my MCAT studies, but I thought I would be alright. Well, my but has been hurting, my arms have been hurting and I have a weird cramp in my ribs and abdomen. I attribute all of that to the lousy chair. So, I saw a great deal on the chair I have been eyeballing for over a year and used my rewards money to buy the chair. I love it! It is an executive chair so it has a really high back and lots of padding. And its fabric! I hate leather chairs and the mesh chair I have left marks on my legs when I would wear shorts. So I decided to get a fabric chair. I am going to donate my old chair to Goodwill. It still works, so maybe someone will want it?
So here is my GMAT plan: I will study "hard" (like 6-8 hours a day) and assume I am not getting into med school. I will take the GMAT at the last minute (before it changes over) and hold on to those scores. If I DO get into med school, then I can look at programs that fit that, If I don't get into med school, then I can continue on with the MBA and maybe apply for first rounds that summer. I am not sure if I am going to try the DO route. I am still thinking about it. Now the thing I have to do is kinda "start again." The only benefit now is that I know I am god in the vocabulary stuff and I have to focus on my speed, etc., for the quantitative stuff. I think I want to solely focus on quantitative stuff for about a month and only learn some vocabulary words. Then I can gradually practice the other stuff. On the Kaplan tests, I get almost all of the vocab questions right so I don't have to worry about that section too much.
I also wish I could have a job, but I can't because I am waiting for schools to get back to me. I know I should probably not be worrying so much about working, but you know me. I love to make money!
Anyway, today I was going to mow the lawn, but I am not sure. I guess I will have to see how long it takes me to get my studies in order. Then maybe I will do it after that. The weeds back there are ridiculous! I must get rid of them to prepare for spring! I will try my hardest to get it done today.
Of course now that my interview is over, I am starting to wonder what I did wrong. Did I say something lame? Did I get my points across? Ugh! I hate it when I do this!
Today I am going to take it easy. I still haven't fully recovered from everything and I need to go to Walmart. I don't like the Walmart near my house. The door greeter never greets me! He gives me dirty looks. And He never gives me a cart! He gives other people carts, just not me. I think he discriminates me because I am young. Maybe I remind him of someone who said something mean to him. Either way he is not a good door greeter. When I was at Fedex, I disliked and even despised many customers, but I always gave them my full attention and was cordial and professional. I just wish some people would take their jobs seriously, especially when they are in customer service.
Speaking of customer service, I am WAY behind on my GMAT studies. Right now I don't know where to start, or actually I don't know how to pick up where I left off. It will feel like I am starting all over again! Well, I will think about what to do about that today. I may have to take the test at the last minute so I can maximize my study time. Probably at the end of May then. At least I know that I can not worry so much about the verbal section and focus mostly on the quantitative sections. I think Kaplan is doing a free test soon, so I may try that to see where I am. I'm sure I lost all that I gained!
I think I had a dream about Kansas last night, but I don't remember what it was about. I want to go there so bad! I am so amazed that they even called me for an interview. They had over 2500 out of state applicants and they interview like, maybe 200 out of state people? That's amazing! I must have said something good, but I wish I knew what it was. Well, I can't keep dwelling on it! I just hope they take me!!
I do have some schools left on the list. Morehouse emailed me and told me to be patient, as they are still going over applications. Well, if they call me for an interview, I think I am going to fly there because Georgia is a long drive to take by myself! If I drive, I will have to bring Meux Meux. It will just be too lonely. Plus, if there is a sale, I can probably get a good rate on plane tickets. Well, they haven't called me yet, but it helps to stay positive!
Today's activities, besides Walmart, are 1)hoping to see if Sally's still sells the corner eyelash curler (I had the opportunity to buy it before, and I said ehhhh and now I'm like Crap! I should have bought it!) 2)buying sardines (mmmm!) 3)making up those plantains before they go bad and 4)deciding how to cook that cauliflower. Sounds like a fun day!
I'm finally home from my interview at KU. I think it went well, but I can't tell. I am hoping for a miracle!
I overestimated the distance to Kansas by about eight hours. Either that, or I drove too long without breaks. Anyway, The drive was harder than I expected. I guess my mind still hasn't come back to Earth yet. I didn't take the Flagstaff/I-40 way because I was afraid that I would too much bad weather. I decided to take the I-10 to the 25 to Albuquerque. I call that the "warm route." I passed through ABQ and was practically out of the stateOn the way up, I was pulled over in New Mexico for no reason! The cop pulled over about five cars and told me that I was "going 96, no wait 86 miles an hour." I told him that I have cruise control and that I had it on 75 the whole time. So he lets me go. Huh? Whatever, you know I drove away before he could change his mind. I continued on and took a nap somewhere north of Oklahoma City. I couldn't sleep much because I must have drank too much coffee! Oh well. I kept driving on and drove up the 35 into Kansas. I was in Wichita in the morning and before I knew it, I was in Kansas City. I drove to the hotel (or is Comfort Inn a motel?) and my room was ready! Okay! So, I set up my room and relaxed for a bit. Then I talked to TJ and went to see if I could have the Acura looked at because the engine light came on. I managed to get seen and they said it was cheap fuel. Okay, I hope so! I couldn't get an oil change anywhere because everyone was booked. Well, I assume they wouldn't be as booked if they stayed open passed 5pm, but that is just my opinion. Then, I went to see where the school was so that I wouldn't get lost the next day. Here are some pictures I took. Apparently, there is no "school of medicine" because the classrooms are strewn all over the hospital complex. However, there still is a building outside that says there is a school in a specific spot.
After that, I found a Long John Silver's and ate the yummy cod platter they have on special now. I love cod!! After I ate, I went over my application and some answers to popular interview questions. Then I prepared my face for the next day and went to bed. I set three alarms (alarm clock in the room, my phone, and my travel alarm clock) and called for a wake up call. That way, I would be able to sleep and know that I wouldn't overlseep.
I woke up at 5:30am and got ready. I was too nervous to eat anything downstairs so I just ate two bananas. I did my hair and makeup and put my suit on etc., etc. I left around 9am. I was to be there by 9:45. I started down the road when I realized I was going the wrong way! I was even ignoring the GPS. I don't know why. Anyway, I finally went the right way and parked in the garage. It was pretty cold, maybe 28 degrees. I walked a very long way from the garage to the school of nursing building (which, by the way, is very nice). I finally made it to the interview room and I could have sworn that the woman signing me in was the same woman I saw the day before at the Acura shop. I didn't ask, so I will never know. Anyway, I sat in the room with some other people who for the most part, already had their interview. We then got some information about the interviews and the selection process and then I went in for my interview.
I had two, thirty minute interviews. The first interview was with someone from the admissions committee and the second interview is with faculty or some other types of people. My first interviewer asked me questions about my application and a few interview questions like "tell me about yourself" and what do I think will be the most likely things to cause problems in the future of medicine. The second interviewers asked me more broad questions like "tell me about an aha moment you had" and "what kind of charity would you want to be in charge of" along with more specific questions about my AMCAS application. The interviewers weren't super nice nor were they mean. They just kind of stared at me the whole time. No nodding, no nothing. I don't know what that means, but I hope it means that I mesmerized them! Ha ha!
After my interview we had lunch with students and then a tour with students. The tour was nice. The school was nifty. I liked it! The student who took us around said she liked my suit. Ha! Me too! Too bad the students don't have any input on me being accepted. After the tour, I went back to my room. I wasn't done yet! I spent hours crafting my letter of intent and thank you letters. Luckily, I spoke to the admissions secretary and he emailed me the name of my interviewers. So after about five hours of work, I had the letters stamped and ready to go the next morning. I didn't get anything to eat, so I just ate whatever snacks I had brought with me and went to bed.
The next morning was great. I woke up late (which for me is like 7am) and went downstairs to get my free hot breakfast. They had eggs and some kind of sausage thing. I ate that and had some milk and a bagel. I also took two bananas for the road. Then I started to load the car. I wanted everything loaded and then I hoped that it would start. It was pretty cold! There was a family that came out while I was loading my car and the daughter said "it's cold" and the dad said "this is nothing. This is Califonia weather!" Of course, it was not. What was funny is that when I was at KU, people were saying how "warm" it was since it was like 28 degree. I thought these people need to visit Arizona more often! Anyway, I started the car and it sounded terrible! I had to let it warm up for about 20 minutes and then I drove around the parking lot a few times, then around the neighborhood to make sure it was okay. Once I established that, I checked out. It was 12 degrees! That is NOT warm. Anyway, I took a picture a little later and it "warmed up" to a toasty 15:
So I drove away, but before I left Kansas, I drove through Winfield and stopped at Graves Drug and bought a few souvenirs. On the corner of the drug store was this sign:
I like how "The Jinx" is a black cat! Take that Wichita!
Anyway, I continued to drive through Kansas when I got pulled over AGAIN! For no reason of course. Well, I did find out something. If you are driving a car worth more than $35,0000 and you have an Arizona plate, prepare to be stopped. The cop even SEARCHED MY TRUNK (I asked why and he said because a lot of contraband comes out of Arizona, hahahaha)!! I told him he can search it only if he puts everything back the way it was. He said he would so I said ok (even though I wanted to say no to make a scene, but since it was 20 dgerees, I figured now isn't the time for political nonsense). Once he finished rummaging through my things, he let me go. Now I know that I am a target because I am a Zonie, so I better be careful next time I go on a road trip! State racism!!!!!
As I was driving through OKC, my least favorite city to drive in, I noticed they have a new slogan: The Corner of America. Now I don't know how they got Oklahoma City to represent the corner of the US, given that there is Texas below them and New Mexico, Arizona, and California to the west. Isn't 'Zona more of the corner of the US? You know what is really a corner? Washington. The last time I drove through OKC I saw a sign that said something like "Experience the innovation" and I was also confused. But then again, I am usually confused when I drive through OKC. The drivers are terrible! Worse than Zonie drivers! And that is saying a lot. Luckily, I got through safe and sound. I took a nap in New Mexico and made it home safe!
Overall, I really liked the school. Kansas in general looks like Pennsylvania, just 30 degrees colder. Wichita reminded me of a Tucson type city, just a little more beat up, probably from the bad winters. I really hope they pick me. I would absolutely LOVE to go there. I will hear back from them in about a month. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!!!
WHEW! I am DONE and I hope they like me! I think I did okay. The questions they asked were not easy and I think they were being tough on me. Either way, I did not freak out. I stayed cool the whole time!
My feet hurt though! I must have not had my shoes on right. Oh and it was COLD! It felt like it got colder as the day went on. Maybe it did who knows?
Right now, I am just finishing crafting my letter of intent and my thank you letters. I will totally come here if they take me. Of course, I am not sure if that will happen, but miracles do occur from time to time. What makes it worse was that there were people from MIT, Princeton, and Stanford in my group... uhm yeah I have KINGSBOROUGH under my belt. I am perplexed as to why they wanted to interview me given they had over 2,250 out of state applicants. I really wish I knew what stood out to them. WHAT WAS IT????? ARGH!!! Well, I hope they still see whatever it is they liked in the first place.
Tomorrow I leave for Zona. On the way back, I'm going to stop in Wichita and check it out. I picked Wichita as my first choice campus since that's the primary care hub of KU. I had visited Wichita when I was a kid, but I don't remember anything. I will see if it is a nightmare place or just like anywhere else.
Well, Im going to shower and get to bed. I am SO TIRED. I think I will just pack my stuff tomorrow. Well, knowing me, I will do it as soon as I get out of the shower, ha ha! Well, we'll see. It's pretty late. Just pray for me people! I need a Kansas WIN!
I made it to Kansas! Right now I am about 90 miles from Kansas City. I am at a rest stop that was supposed to have wifi, but that didn't work and I had to connect my aircard anyway. Oh well. I am going to wind up getting to KC too early, so I hope my room will be ready. If not, I will have to find something to do.
Well, I hope Kansas shows some luv to an old baggie like me!!!
Today I set out for KU! I am so, so very excited that they picked me for an interview. I know I need a freakin' miracle to get in, but they have to like me a little bit! I hope that they like my interview and that they pick me!!!
I am finishing breakfast and I will leave soon. I am also excited that I get to go on a mini road trip! We all know how much I love driving, ha ha!
Coming into this, I realize I made some errors. The first was that I rushed into it. I was originally going to go for May and was preparing myself to do that. When the school called and pushed for me to come in January, I figured that it would be okay. Why? Well, I figured that I could pack up and get all my stuff together within a couple of weeks, get all of my shots, and do everything I needed to do. That was true, but I did not anticipate the time needed to unpack and setup once I got to the island. I also didn't anticipate that I would need more time to say goodbye to my husband. I can't really say those were errors, but they were definitely things that I did not anticipate at all.
The second issue came from the classes. I know that Caribbean schools are notorious for "self-study" and that became evident pretty quickly at AUC. The first thing is that they do not reference any good textbooks. The school gives you a list of books, but most of them are pretty useless. For example, in our MCB class, the only book that is "required" is "New Clinical Genetics" and the two optional books are some kind of biochemistry books. The genetics book worked out well and I was able to study from that, but the biochemistry portion of the class does not come from the other two books. In fact, the professor uses Lehninger books. So why are we not required to have a Lehninger book? Beats me. I did bring my old one and that was helpful to a point because the material we were learning was newer than the book.
Another example is for anatomy. Since I couldn't understand anything the prof was saying (another issue), I was HOPING to just read the Netter's book or the other books that were on the list. Nope. If you could understand what the professor was saying, then you could kind of find out more about the lecture in your own anatomy book (I had brought my old A&P book), BUT (and this is a big but) BUT IT DOESN'T HELP YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE EXAMS. What am I talking about? Well, in class, and this goes for all classes, we only work off of powerpoints. On the anatomy powerpoints, the prof puts stars and things on the stuff that is supposedly relevant. Okay, that sounds good so far. We even had a so-called review session before the exam. Sounds great right? Well, it would be great if the prof told us from the start that THE TESTS ARE ALL STEP 1 STYLE QUESTIONS. ALL. EVERY SINGLE ONE. THERE ARE NO "IDENTIFICATION" QUESTIONS ON THE EXAM EXCEPT ON THE LAB PRACTICAL. You know, that information would have been GREAT to know because I wouldn't have wasted my time trying to figure out his slides. I would have just read the BRS ANATOMY book (which, by the way is not on the book list, but is necessary to pass this class) and read some other book I had brought on clinical applications of anatomy. The Netters book is almost useless, and the Illustrated Clinical Anatomy book is a laugh. Both of those books are useless for the tests. My old A&P book was the most helpful because it filled in the stuff I couldn't understand (I mean I couldn't understand his English) in class. Almost everything he says in class is useless for his exams and the review session was completely useless. Another problem is that you are required to go to lecture. So you are required to sit through the lectures, which I couldn't understand and which apparently don't help you for the exams, instead of studying relevant material to pass and do well on your own.
So, here I am sitting in "lecture" trying to figure out what he is saying so I can make notes. Generally, I am good with accents and can understand most of them. However, here is the problem: I can't understand LATIN AND GREEK through such a heavy accent! In anatomy, most words are in Latin or Greek, so they will be long and need precise pronunciation. If he can't pronounce the Latin words, there is no way I am going to know what he is talking about! To give you an idea of his accent, take the word "hippopotamus." That word is pronounced HIP-uh-paht-tuh-mus. He pronounces it "Hee-POH-poh-tahm-moose." No try to take that kind of accent and pronounce words that I've never heard of in a language that I barely studied. So I hope this clarifies what I am up against.
Anatomy seems to take up most of the study time because it has these flaws. I would have wished I had more time on MCB, but I couldn't because I had to decipher anatomy class. Thank goodness histology is easy, otherwise, I wouldn't know what to say. However, be aware that you, a potential student, will be up against the same things. Oh yeah I also forgot to mention that for each class, you have more than one professor. In anatomy, I had three so far and a guest lecturer, histology I had two, and MCB I had two. This was definitely not music to my ears when I learned of this. I was totally unaware of this aspect, so I'm telling you now. Oh yeah, one other thing: they all contribute questions to the test! Hooray!
My other issues are with the school. Now I don't want to get all negative about how they run their school, but come on! Here is what you have to be aware of: the school seems to think it's okay to cut into your study time with meetings that have MANDATORY ATTENDANCE! So you are probably like "What the #$%& is she talking about?" What I mean is that there are orientation meetings and the like once school has started. I had to attend meetings after or between class and they take attendance. They also do the "White Coat" ceremony AFTER you started classes. I have no idea if that is a normal thing, but that was really stupid. My coat was already stinky from lab! In any case, the faculty also makes big speeches about how everyone needs to study, but yet schedules these BBQs and parties that if you don't go to (which I didn't go to the BBQ) you look like a crazy person. One teacher (?) said that I should "have more fun" and I should have went to the BBQ. Hmm, okay yeah, well I had to spend time trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. And, as we can see, I was not successful in figuring that out.
There are other little issues here and there about the school that I didn't like, but another main one was too many people in anatomy lab and not enough teachers. In AUC, the lab is mainly "taught" by TAs, who are upperclassmen who did "good" in anatomy. Yeah, some of the TAs are good. And some are nitwits. Of course, I usually wind up with no one or a nitwit. Luckily, I had one good one who showed me the lungs and that was how I answered almost all of the lung questions correctly on the lab practical. The actual prof didn't show us the lungs at all. Nope. So if you didn't get a TA or a good one, you were screwed for the lab practical, and many people did not answer many lung questions correctly. I find this to be unacceptable, and made me think long and hard about how I am spending my husband's hard earned money! It's one thing to NOT study, it's another thing to be led astray. I strongly feel that I was led astray. I also feel that it is done slightly on purpose. I am not sure why I feel that way. Perhaps because the faculty think it will help us buckle down and study harder, or perhaps it's because they are just overwhelmed and don't really care all that much. I am not going to speculate, but if you are deciding on Caribbean school, take this into heavy consideration. If you think you can be okay on your own in lab, then maybe go for it. However, if you have never ever taken an anatomy class before, this type of lab setup will put you at a disadvantage.
The lab runs like this: 2/3 of the class is in "wet lab" (cadaver) and 1/3 is in "dry lab" (no cadaver, just computer room). Generally, dry lab is a study period, however, you are not allowed to use any kind of book you want. BRS study books are not allowed. Why, I don't know. Their rationale didn't make much sense, so I cannot offer much of an explanation. You also cannot bring in iPads and other gizmos because they think you will take stuff off of the computer. None of this makes much sense given that the school is practically paperless. So you either email all of your notes to your account and open the email in dry lab or you print everything out and bring it with you. You also have the "opportunity" to listen and watch the prof go over the day's dissection in the wet lab, but that is only helpful if the audio or visual is working. Which it doesn't many times. Then you have to understand what he is saying. Which I couldn't most of the time. Then you have to try to find the pages in some book to follow along. Well, you pay $10 for the lab manual, but it doesn't have the skull in there. Okay so you look in Netter's but it doesn't have what he is talking about... unless he is saying something, but I am hearing him wrong??
The wet lab has about seven people to a cadaver. That seems like a lot, but it's not to bad WHEN EVERYONE BRINGS THEIR OWN DISSECTION KIT. There is this guy who made some webpage about AUC (Benji something) and apparently, everyone thinks he knows everything and so if he says you don't need to buy a dissection kit because all of your friends will have one, everyone doesn't buy one. So for the first few labs, I had to let everyone use my dissection kit because I was the only "friend" that brought one. I am not saying sharing is a bad thing, but when you have more than one dissection to do in a day, you can't all be using one kit! I made it clear that everyone better be bringing their own kits because I wasn't going to cut into my dissection time to share my tools. If my kit was the only one available, then I would be the only one dissecting. Even after that, only two other people brought their kits. I guess three kits is enough, but be aware that if you want to dissect, bring your own kit AND BLADES. Don't be a cheap-skate.
Of course I'm not done complaining about lab! Besides the fact that it was a tad crowded, there are no teachers. Like I said before, all you have really are TAs. In the beginning of wet lab, the prof makes his dissection and speech and talks about what we should be learning. Great. Except that for the very complicated part, i.e., the head, WE HAD NO PRINTED REFERENCE. The lab manual had no notes on this lab, and the Netter's had nothing to offer. So I just stood there, trying to take notes on the little foramen and nerves of the skull, hoping that I don't miss anything because I can't record it and I can't understand him well enough to write fast. So once he finishes talking, I am trying to figure out how to find what he said on the skull, but we only have one skull for seven people... So you see how the rest of the wet lab can end up as "frustrating lab." The lab IS SUPPOSED to be open 24 hours, but it was not open 24 hours until the week before the exam. That really put me at a disadvantage! I had to spend double time in the lab after hours just to go through all the stuff I couldn't get the first time. I stayed in the lab until 1 or 2am and that helped. But if it is not open, well, good luck!
Not everything that led me to leave the school was about the school. I also left because I was getting tired of the island. Before I left, I emailed TJ: "If people say this island is a paradise, I can only wonder what hell is like!" People, this is NOT a paradise. Unless you like strip joints, bars, and crappy service, this is not the place to be. I have some experience with Caribbean peoples from growing up in Brooklyn and I must say, THEY ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME. No, not all Caribs are out to take your money and give you crappy service, but a lot of them are. For example, there is a "bus system" (ha ha) on the island. Well, if the bus says its going to Maho, Mullet Bay, you think "great, it is going right by the school!" WRONG! I can't even count the times I have been abandoned at the edge of Maho, left to walk the mile back to school. And this was AFTER I ASKED IF HE WAS GOING TO MULLET BAY. I even asked the the driver to PLEASE go to Mullet BAY, since he said he would, and he said "Please what? What you mean please? There is no one there, I am not going. You want to go it's five dollars." What a F$%^&*$ a$$hole. I paid my two dollars and left the "bus" and left the door open. There was another guy on the "bus" who was going to Mullet Bay, but I don't know if he got off. Of course, you will also have to deal with "island time" which generally translates into "I will do it when I feel like it" as well as "I just sold the last one." It seems like everything worth buying on the island was "just sold." Of course, they have something else they can interest you in. I was in Office World and two screens that a classmate wanted to buy were "just sold" but they had these other screens in stock. I wasn't too pleased that the screens they had in stock were no-name brands for the same price. I said "Why charge the same price for a [insert no-name brand here], I've never even heard of it." To which I was counter argued "That is a great brand, they make USB sticks." I say "How can you compare [dumb brand] with an LG or Samsung, both of which make excellent screens to a company that makes USB sticks?" And it went on and on. Of course, if you buy a floor model, you will only get a $5 discount. Not such a great deal.
The island also offers overpriced shopping. Everything is either the same price or more than New York prices. So, expect to pay $200 for a 15" [dumb brand] screen and $7 for a ream of [dumb brand] paper. Also expect to pay about $6 for a box of dryer sheets, and $14 for a bottle of contact lens solution. Also expect to pay at least double (i.e., $2) for all brands that are in American 99 cent stores. Some things are okay deals, like a box of turkey burgers for $10 or a two pound bag of shrimps for $15, but then there are the rip-offs like how I paid $20 for a cable lock for my bike or $30 for a bathing suit. This place isn't like Mexico where you can actually go shopping and say "Oh my gosh! What an amazing deal!" or go out and say "Oh man! There is so much street food, I don't know where to start!" No, expect to say "Gee, that's kind of expensive" or "Are there any restaurants I can spend less than $15 at?" Luckily (or unluckily, as I had shipped too much stuff in), I had my Fedex discount and I was able to ship everything I needed in. Of course, because I left so abruptly, I had to ship almost everything out. And I gave away almost all of my food.
I can probably go on and on about the undesirable island life, but the main thing that got to me was the crappy internet service. My apartment was supposed to come with internet. And it did. Kinda. And when it did come in, it was slow. Or spotty. This drove me insane! This was the only way I could communicate with home! When it didn't work, I felt like I was trapped. For about a week, I had to go to school, so I could log on and talk to TJ. On the days that it did "work," it was so here and there, that I couldn't always stay on. Then I would have to wait, log back on, wait again, hope it goes through, and then hope it stays. Sometimes, it took me an hour just to get a connection. And after that, I would have just enough bandwidth to email TJ and tell him that we can't talk because my internet sucks. This problem isn't just for internet phone. Since the whole school has all their notes and stuff online, you need to have an internet connection to study. So when I would study at home, it would be difficult. The only other option is to study at school. The library is very small, so unless you are there early, you will not have a seat. The other options are studying in the lecture halls. I guess that isn't too bad, but since I don't want to get dressed up just to go study, nor do I want to freeze to death (the lecture halls are very, very cold), you won't find me in the lecture halls. If the internet was any good, studying would be a lot easier. I can't say that alone would have helped me stick it out, but I think my frustration levels would have been a lot lower.
I took all of these things into consideration and realized that I am too old to put up with such nonsense. Maybe if I was 22 and only lived with my parents and didn't have much else going on, I would have stayed. However, I missed my home and I missed being able to have access to services that I wanted. I also couldn't see myself spending anymore of TJ's money. I had decided to leave early while I could still get out. My decision was that if I don't get into US medical schools, I will consider the D.O.. I will also consider getting the MBA first. That way, I can get a job, and TJ can retire from fedex. Then, if I want to, we can go to Caribbean school together. I don't see myself coming back here by myself ever again.
So if anyone out there is considering Caribbean school, beware. I strongly suggest you exhaust ALL of your options first. Maybe exhaust them twice. Make sure that you have no other alternatives. Then come to Caribbean school. It will be there. Don't rush into this decision and for heaven's sake, VISIT THE ISLAND AND THE SCHOOL. I cannot emphasize that enough. Go and see if you can sit in on a lecture. Then make your decision. Also, if you can, bring your spouse! Especially if you two are very close like I am with TJ. I'm not only saying this because you will miss them, but you will need someone close to complain to about this crazy school and crazy island. You can't do that with your "new friends" at school. Why? Because they will not appreciate your negativity. Or care either.
Remember, you are going to be paying for all of this! Make sure that you get what you want out of it. I am only here to give you a fair warning. Good luck!!
That someone thinks my being mysterious is delightful. What?
What kind of fortune is that? I wish the cookie told me to reconsider international school!
Anyway, I finally made it home. I was so happy when I landed in Miami, and I was even happier when I touched down in Arizona. What was funny was when I went through customs, they looked at my form and saw that I spent so little money in St. Maarten. He said "That's all you bought?" and I said "There's nothing to buy over there! I looked!" I guess because I didn't buy anything I went on the green dots line. I went through customs quickly enough. I think the workers are not very polite though. I think they try to be scary on purpose or something. Yeah whatever, I got in.
When TJ came to pick me up, I jumped for joy! I was so happy to see him! Wow!
After a wonderful sleep in my super comfy bed, I am still very sore from all my running (literally) in SXM. I am slowly recuperating, but many muscles are sore. At least my back stopped hurting. My hips and butt and arms and shoulders are sore, and my tendons and ligaments are sore in my hands, feet, and wrists. What's funny is all I want to eat is fish and bananas. I guess i need some minerals and fat. The bad thing is that when I am stressed I don't/can't eat. So even though I want to eat fish, I just don't do it. I will have to make an effort to eat after I post this.
Well, I will post more about what I think of this experience. Right now, I need to get my strength back. And thankfully, my fedex cleared customs in Memphis! I cant wait to see my stuff! Well, I guess I am going to finish unpacking, eat some fish, and get some rest. I have an interview in TEN DAYS!