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.
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Well, now that I've only gone over things once, I need to go over them about 10,000 times, over and over. Today I have three subjects to start memorizing things from. I have "concepts" down, whatever that means, but I certainly don't have the details. And you really need to know the details!
I was talking to TJ about how ridiculous my anatomy professor at Kingsborough was for saying that the anatomy class we were taking there is the same as you would find in any other school, and the same as you'd find in medical school. All I have to say to that is: NOT EVEN CLOSE!! The stuff we did seems like child's play in comparison. Not that I am not glad that I took it, but I am definitely not going to say that the classes I took for nursing are "similar" because they are not.
I am glad that I took a baby-bootie anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. In fact, I am certain that it has helped me understand, but it is not a replacement. I am also glad that I did well in organic chemistry, because it helps me understand what is going on in bchem. I know a lot of people say that organic is useless, but I have to disagree. So far, I can understand the actions of the enzymes, why they are named that way, and why things are attracted as they are. I know that doesn't help me memorize everything, but it certainly helps me understand.
So today's tasks are going to be trying to commit certain things to memory. I really don't know how that is going to happen but it will involve caffeine. My plan is to start with anatomy. I will write out every muscle and bone we need to "know" and then copy the corresponding pages from my books to test myself. Then, I will write in the clinical relevance of the cases we have learned. For biochemistry, she wanted us to focus on glycolysis and the biochemical reasons for diseases. I will go through my notes and pick out all the diseases we have learned and write out the biochemical basis. I will write out what is normal and what is abnormal. Then I will try to memorize glycolysis (HA HA!) No seriously, I have to memorize it. For physiology, I have to go through my notes and pull out the important parts. I think I will use BRS To help me. Then, I will have to make a drawing of what I am supposed to know, and describe it and what neurotransmitters go where and whatnot. Then, I will have to pull out all of the diseases we went over and why they cause disease from a physiology view (which is the same as biochemistry view kinda). There isn't too much rote memorization in physiology for now, because we don't need to know every neurotransmitter and receptor. But I could be mistaken. I guess we shall see!
So that will be my day. Do I think I will accomplish all of that today? Uh, no. But I will try!
Now that it is the weekend before the first midterm exam, I am scared to death! I am still a bit behind in my biochem, and not as confident in everything else! ARGH!
I was finishing up ordering the rest of the stuff I have been meaning to order since before I came here. I finally got around to ordering a stethoscope, some clothes, and assorted this and that. I did that so I can free my mind from things that might distract me. Now I have nothing to think about!
I also went to my two professors to ask what is going to be on the exam. I think I guessed correctly when I thought the questions were not going to be straight-forward like "what enzyme does this?" It is going to be more like "So and so has transient pain and is of African-American descent. He has blah blah blah... What could....?" and of course the answer is not sickle cell anemia. It's going to be something similar but not that exactly.
Anyway, I am very nervous about the exam. I certainly don't want to do bad. I am hoping that all my efforts will work.
Here's to a weekend that will fly by in a bad way!
I underestimate myself sometimes. Quiz #2 = Success!
Whew! We got our scores back yesterday and I must say I was nervous. I mean, I thought I did well, but I always think I'm going to suck at everything. I just have that type of personality. Now the next step is the "unified exam" which is basically a midterm. In medical school though, the tests are given all at the same time, so you answer 150 questions in a span of two or three hours for all of your subjects. Some places call them "block exams" but they call them unified exams here.
Also, I must say that the anatomy professor here is awesome. His lectures are very "to the point" and the slides are really, really good! I love anatomy, so I hope I do well. I'm not sure I can say that about physiology, but we'll see. Biochemistry is "okay" so far, but I am not sure what her tests will be like. I guess I'll know in a couple of weeks!
One problem I am having is that I totally forgot to get a DOT Physical for my CDL! TJ called me and told me I got a letter from the DMV about it and I was so annoyed because I totally forgot to do that before I left. Now I am hoping to find an American licensed doctor here to get my physical done. Otherwise, I either have to take a suspension on my CDL (which stay on my record), or FLY BACK TO THE US JUST TO GET A PHYSICAL EXAM. What to do? I suppose it would be fun to fly back just for a weekend, but not sure. If I take a suspension, it will be on there for at least five years. Then when I fill out applications, they will ask if my license has ever been suspended (kinda like they do when your a pilot). I will say "yes" and if they ask, I will say "because I did not submit a medical form for my CDL" and they will not know what the hell I am talking about. Well, either way, I have about 40 days left to get it done. I am hoping I find a doctor here because that will make my life easier.
Today is going to be a fun-filled day of studying. I have to catch up in physiology. I am almost caught up! I just need today I'm sure and I will be there. I am now a lecture behind in bchem because of physiology, but her lectures are easier to complete. I also want to try to be one lecture ahead. I know that is asking for alot, but I am going to try!
This past week has been difficult for me. I have been feeling anxious and nervous. Sometimes it is because I think I am going to do bad in school, and other times, like today, it's because I think TJ is going to find someone new.
I guess I feel like this because so many people keep saying how bad it is for our marriage that I am going away like this. I know military people do it all the time. Maybe that doesn't apply? Or are they saying that my marriage doesn't look so hot to begin with and one little thing will destroy it? I am not even sure why we would have a problem. Do they think I am going to get "lonely" and go for some guy in my class? Do they think TJ will get "lonely" and go after the first woman that shows him any attention? I am not sure what the problem would actually be. That part confuses me.
I know that certain people can't control themselves when they find themselves infatuated with someone. I never had that problem. In fact, while I was going out with someone who shall remain nameless, I had a crush on someone else for a long time. I actually had opportunities to pursue it and I never did. I even told him I have a boyfriend, sorry. Looking back now I should have went for it, but let's not get into that. The point is that the problem is not liking someone it's why you are acting on it.
I suppose it could be hard to control yourself. I mean, it has to be given how often people do that. I would have to imagine that fantasy is a very powerful thing. I am going to have to assume that for those that do pursue these things it's because they feel that there is something in that other person they are not getting from the one they have now? But what? I mean, if you were really that unhappy, why do people get married? Well, I probably shouldn't be asking these questions. I know people get married for really stupid reasons. I know this because I would have been with someone who totally sucked had I not come to my senses.
But I sit here, still worried that I could lose TJ in a flash. Not because I think I'm ugly or anything, but because people are people. I know that he and I can talk all night about how strong our marriage is and he can still wind up leaving me. It's always a possibility. I have no way of knowing who he is talking to, who he is eating dinner with, who is "listening to his heart," and who is sleeping in my bed with him. There is no way to know. That is what is scary.
Of course, he has the same dilemma. I can be doing all sorts of crazy things here. I laugh because that is so ridiculous to me, but to him, as it is to me, it is possible. In some cases, possibilities make things seem bright and sunny. In other cases, it makes things scary and nauseating. I am experiencing the latter.
So right now, I am trying to distract myself from my anxiety. I am very close to breaking stuff but since it's not my house, I can't break it.
This is going to be a considerable test of trust and outcomes.
My second week is almost over and I must say, hooray!
Today we had a quiz in physiology. I passed! I passed well! I'm glad because I was freaking out about it! I was like "omg, omg, omg, omg....etc." So now I know more about what to expect here and what I can do to study correctly.
But before I get into that, I left off last time talking about the duties I was going to incur on my stuff. Well, this time, they charged me more. About 30%. In this shipment, I had more expensive things like a hairdryer, memory card, big aluminum pot, etc. and I assume that the tax rate is higher for those things. But my charges came out to $95 EC and that's about $35 USD. Not too bad! So far, I've paid about $53 in duties. That's acceptable. I have one more shipment coming in, so we will see what the duties will be for this one.
Anyway, my time here has been great! I am so very happy that I came to this school. And there I was at AUC, thinking "That's it for me. What other school is there?" And then, like an angel, I got an email from Trinity. Thank you Trinity! Without that email, I would be looking at B-school right now. Or back to driving trucks.
So far, this school is doing things in a logical way to me. White coat ceremony was done first, they let us settle in and relax the first few days, they didn't have all these mandatory meetings, and they didn't inundate my inbox with emails. Hooray! As stupid as that sounds, doing things in an organized way takes away a LOT of stress.
Here is a picture of my class. I am in front, can you find me?
Here is a picture of the class as posted in The Vincentian, the national newspaper.
So far, I am happy here. I am thinking I can do well here too. I took today off to contemplate how I am going to study. It seems beneficial if I utilize a few avenues. The first is read the slides. Now for my physiology class, her slides are kinda all over the place. The first batch took me forever to get through just to reorganize them. Now that I took her quiz, I kinda understand what she is looking for. The second thing is read the book. Actually, I should put "read the book" as #1, especially for this physiology class. I am thinking of reading the book first, then her slides. That way, I know how to organize them. Third, do practice problems that look like USMLE style. You know, the long-winded, blah blah blah questions that say a whole bunch of stuff for nothing. I can also do the practice questions in the textbooks and such, but I need to find more resources for USMLE style. That way, I can get used to questions that go on and on and all they want is one little thing. The fourth is make good notes. How I will do that will actually vary with each class. For physiology, I feel like I need to write out the lecture in my own words and read it for myself. For biochemistry, I think that annotated notes are fine and doing more problems would be better. I haven't started anatomy yet, so we will see about that class. I have been doing ICM (Intro to Clinical Medicine) classes and that quiz is next week. I think it will just be more questions about symptomatology and that's all. Like I think they will ask "A patient comes in with stomach pain, blah blah , what is the likely diagnosis?" or "What are the clinical signs of gigantism?" That seems to be a straightforward class. Well, I hope it is!
But next week starts the new schedule and I will have more time to study and do other things. Like write about it! Apparently, the first two weeks are really crammed because they have to get all the ICM intro stuff out of the way. This weekend, I hope to get some food shopping done and catch up in biochem. I put it off because of the physiology quiz so I was ahead, but she sped through proteins and now I am one lecture behind! Unbelievable. Anyway, today I decided to go to bed early and try to get focused for this weekend. It seems that I will need to spend more time with physiology and less with biochem. How funny! I also have to study my ICM this weekend. I need to get all my notes in order and learn these symptoms.
So now I am going to get a snack and finish making a list of the last few things I want shipped to me, make some orders (I found a really pretty stethoscope!), look through my books for clues on what is useful, and wash up for bed. Tomorrow will be a good day because I will feel as if I am starting new.
I'm not going to write much here because I want to try to finish my physiology notes. I should be back in a few hours to write about the duties on my last batch of stuff and other things.
What I can say at the present moment is that I like it here! I haven't felt sad or like killing anyone! All I can hope for is to do well in class, and I will be one happy student.
Since I have too much work to do today, I won't be able to go to Kingstown until next Saturday. Oh well. I wanted to buy some things but I will have to wait. I need to finish my notes and read up on biochemistry before class starts. I am very scared of that class! So no more fooling around!
And not a moment too soon! I tried to ship my stuff in increments so that it would clear faster since, supposedly, if the shipment is $50 or under, Fedex can clear it. Well, Fedex was too fast! everything came at the same time so I had to go to the airport and get my bags from customs. It wasn't too bad, don't be scared!
Basically, it works like any other country. In SVG, the duties are (way) higher than the US, but that shouldn't deter you from shipping your stuff. It is a great way to bring the things you need without having to do what I do, ha ha. Anyway, the max (and I mean total max) duties is like, 40%. But that won't happen, unless it's like a piano or something. The rate for books like textbooks is 4%. Yeah, that's it! So don't be scared to ship your books. However, you have to put the actual value of the book, not what you paid. So even though I got my books practically for free, I still had to pay duties on the value. But it's only 4% so it's okay.
Personal effects are all of your used items, such as clothes, kitchen stuff, towels, blankets, etc. You can't ship flammable items (perfume), explosives, meat, fruits and veggies, perishables, haz batteries (which can be alkaline batteries depending on the agent, so just bring those in your carry on or checked bag), and some other items. Check it out here, at Fedex.com.
Personal effects are to be written as having a value of $1 each. The commercial invoice should be very descriptive. Ex: 1 pair ladies jeans 100% cotton used china $1 each $1 total. Ex: 1 ladies button up shirt 50% polyester/50%cotton used Thailand $1 each $1 total. Ex: 3 ladies slacks 100% polyester used China $1 each $3 total. I don't think I was charged duties on my personal effects, but if I was, it was a very small amount.
The process works like this: You ship your Fedex, or DHL, or Liat Quikpak, or whatever it is. If the shipping company can't clear it, the shipping company delivers the manifest (shipping label) and the commercial invoice to YOU (or in my case, to the school). Then, you take the bus (what people call the Reggae bus, but what I would think is better named as the Soca Bus since they really only play Soca music) to the airport (here it is E.T. Joshua Airport, just tell the bus driver to stop when you see it) and tell the guy/gal at the podium thing you are here to pick up your stuff and show him the manifest and commercial invoice(s). Then you walk into the "restricted area" to the left and go to someone and tell the you are here to pick up your stuff. They will take your manifests and put your stuff on the customs desk. Then the customs person comes out and asks you to open up all your stuff and they will check it. Then they tell you to put it all back, and they go and calculate the duties. I only paid $50 EC, so it wasn't bad! However, next week, I have a memory card coming in and some items that are "new" so I will tell you what the duties came out to on those.
Then someone can help you take your stuff out, then you get a cab. If you get a real cab, he should charge you $30 EC to get to Trinity. I gave him a $3 EC tip. Not bad!
Some words of advice: Make sure you check what the Liat schedule is! If you go there when the plane lands, you are not allowed in to get your stuff. You must wait until the whole plane deplanes. I only got lucky today. As soon as I got outside, the customs guy locked the door. Another woman came by to get her packages and she was not allowed in. Then Liat flew in. And she was still there after I left, which was about 30 minutes later. So just make sure you go in between landings and you will be out quick.
Other than that, I have been enjoying my things! My white coat is really cool looking since it is all embroidered. The "bookstore" offered free scrubs if you ordered a certain amount so I took advantage of that offer. However, the scrubs were supposed to be screen printed with the logo. Mine came embroidered!! At first I thought they screwed up and sent me the wrong thing, but nope, my embroidered scrubs were there! Wow! I got a free pair of EMBROIDERED scrubs! Thanks "bookstore"!
I am also trying to tweak my mobile plans to get the best deal on talking and texting. So far, I think adding the international texting plan with Sprint and me getting the mega text plan should work. I'm am going to ask Lime tomorrow if incoming international calls are free, because as far as I can see, incoming international texts are free. Their website says incoming calls are free, but I want to make sure. Once that is set up, I can relax! I'm pretty relaxed now, but I will feel even better.
Well, I better get back to unpacking all of my stuff. I have a lot to put away. Especially all of my clothes that don't have hangers. For now. They are coming!