Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 498: A little more juice

Let's get a little in-depth with my activities, shall we?

  • Neurosurgery Internship: It's much better to be the sole intern. I get to do a bunch of cool things I wouldn't have been able to do before (surgeries, more decapitations, more brain removals, etc). It's unfortunate that, lately, the days I've been coming haven't been filled with a lot for me to do. I can't watch surgeries all day because, honestly, that's a bit boring. So, I tend to play translator for most of the Chinese visiting scholars. It's a good resume builder, but sadly, that seems to be all that it is right now.

    Also, having the opportunity to perform surgeries has helped me see the bigger picture. I have enough trouble moving muscles aside to find a rat's carotid artery. I can only imagine how ridiculously complicated it is to perform surgery on actual human beings.

  • Biology Class & Lab: The second week is almost done. I have class and lab again tomorrow and right now, it's all looking pretty kosher. We have a lab quiz tomorrow on Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (which is related to population genetics). Hopefully it won't be too bad, I should go over my notes and worked-out problems today.

    In regards to the caliber of students at the local community college, it feels like any institution. You've got the pig-headed ones and the ones-that-just-don't-seem-to-get-it. I find it easy to judge and assume a lot about these kids but most of them have big goals/ideas/places-to- transfer so I'm working on keeping an open mind. It's really hard when the kid I sit next to is a little awkward and at first it was cute but now it borders on annoying.

    The most annoying thing about all the kids at said-community-college is that they all think they're better than community college. They make a big deal about asking questions and proving their knowledge -- which upsets me on all levels. I really abhor the people who feel like they constantly have to prove themselves. You're not impressing anybody with your lame question, dumbo.

  • Personal: I thought you should all know my eye is bruised. I'm not sure how it happened. But it hurts when I actively blink. Can you tell which eye is broken?

    I only look cross-eyed because I was
    looking into my camera phone lens.

  • Social life: Per a friend's request, I'm going to try and put a little more personal stuff in here.

    Let's see, a good friend of mine's musical begins its two week run this weekend. I'll be catching her show on Sunday.

    My one friend (let's call him J.) is pestering me to hang out with him. I don't want to because he's going to profess his love for me for the umpteenth time and I just don't need that in my life right now. I'm also being much too cowardly to call him and, essentially, end our friendship for the third time. Why don't boys ever get the message?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 491: The first day jitters

I had my first day of class yesterday. I am currently taking the third quarter of General Biology. The class went well enough. I was worried the professor was going to be a bit of a nose-grinder (or any related idiom) from the way the syllabus was worded but she seems very sweet and I think the class is going to go well.

I was worried about having to make friends and whatnot because I'm not really into people but I think it's going to be fine.

I'm having a lot of qualms as of late. I wish I knew what was causing them. I went over the list today in my head as I walked to my internship but nothing seemed to engender the same amount of fear I'm currently feeling. It could be the possibility of a bleak MCAT score which would lead to no medical school accepting me. Which would lead me to have to apply next year to improve my whole freaking life. Or it could be the idea of having to do school again. Or maybe its the possibility that I'm not doing enough (I'm just a big part-timer this quarter), just a little bit of everything which doesn't seem to add up to much of anything. Or...the list goes on.

As you can see, it's become quite easy to drown any sanity and confidence in questions and fears. Le sigh.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 489: Oh the humanity!

Don't be fooled by the subject title. This is going to a serious-ish post.

This looks just like the one we use at the lab.

Today, I returned to guillotining rats and cracking their skulls open. It's been a while since I've guillotined a rat myself and it was incredibly disconcerting. It didn't help that this certain rat was not given the best treatment -- it was definitely alive and somewhat conscious while it's heart was being drained of blood, and it's liver and lung were being cut out; it was thrashing about in it's semi-alive state. Then, I get the joy of cutting it's head off only to have its eyes bug out as I sever his head from the rest of his body. It was not a pleasant image.

Then, I have to crack the skull and do other unpleasant things and the moral of this story is, it's hard to completely distance myself from the inhumanity of it all. I'm not a fan of rats. However, I think it's good to be grateful for their lives because they are contributing to the big picture.

I'm going to warn you right now. If you don't want to read about teeth and skull-cracking and brain-removing, skip ahead until you see this "@#$"...

As I was cracking the rat's skull open, I could feel its teeth jabbing into my finger. I had to cut its skin away from the skull and pull at the muscle and I was trying somewhat desperately not to gag at the idea that it's eye sockets were just about gone and its teeth were still jabbing my freaking finger.


Anyway, all in all, rats are rats. It's easy to feel bad for what we do to them (or so I think) but it's also surprisingly easy to dull one's senses to both the injustice and plain old creepyness of what I/we have to do.

Classes start tomorrow. And the new routine begins.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 482: Big News

I have submitted my medical school application. !!!

Applying is expensive!

In other news, today was my first day back at my internship. It was wonderful to see all the old post-docs but a complete drag to see Dr. Z. He is so great about making me feel completely useless and unwanted. Whatever. You know what I did to stick it to him? I performed a splenectomy on a rat.

Big day, big day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 475: Secondary Issues

I have a quandary.

Most schools, once your application is complete, will send you a secondary application. This secondary application is comprised of essays upon essays about why they should choose you, et cetera, et cetera. Thus, I'm not too worried about receiving a secondary from a school.

My main concern, though, is whether or not I will receive a secondary from any UC (top-tier California state school). Because the UCs are state schools, with limited funding, they only offer secondaries to applicants they are interested in. If they just do a cursory view of my basic stats (GPA and MCAT), then I'm pretty much screwed. My first MCAT score is extremely low when compared to the UC-MCAT-average. If they just do a once-over, then there's no way they'll offer me a secondary (even though my application will say "Pending MCAT scores").

Now, the question is this, should I wait to receive my new scores and then send my application out? Or, should I just hope for the best and send them out now, so that I don't miss the deadline? There are many other issues at stake. For example, the service used to apply to medical schools (AMCAS) has to process your application. What this means is, they have to compare the grades you inputted into your application against your official transcripts. Then they determine your GPA. Because of the processing time (as long as 4-6 weeks during peak application time(s)), I could be okay if I submitted them today. I could also not if they processed it faster. I could also be screwed beyond belief if I missed the deadlines for, oh, all the schools.

What to do, what to do.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 472: You're required to love your family right?

You know, it's really my own fault. I have this terrible tendency to be absurdly open with my family, which ultimately leads to personal detriment. My sister often wonders how I can be so open when it just comes back to bite me in the butt. And let me tell you, I get bitten a lot. I often wonder why I haven't learned.

I made the mistake of telling my father my exact first MCAT score. Which led to my father saying things along the lines of "you made a mistake the first time around" and "I would wait to submit your application or else you won't get in anywhere." Which is ironic because he's the one that's oozing with confidence. I'm the one that wants to apply to the University of Nebraska and he's saying I should apply to Harvard or Cornell. I'm not being modest. I'm being motherfricking smart.

Of course, when my father is the dichotomy that he is, both my mother and my sister look at me knowingly. Their eyes say, see, we told you? Why are you so dumb Jessica? Just shut up! You know, I don't have a good response.

New plan. Shut the F up.

Day 472: And then some

I took my MCAT yesterday. I'm quite astounded by how much information I had to know for the MCAT. I'm astounded because they really only tested me on a few select topics. For example, there were no fluids (Physics) questions. And that's quite a chunk of the material one has to know in Physics. I'm sure you can imagine what else they didn't test me on in regards to Chemistry, Biology and Organic. All in all, it went much better than the first go-round and that's all I can ask for. I know my score improved, but by how much, well, we'll just have to see.

I am currently in the process of deciding which schools to apply to. I plan to be as realistic about this as possible. My GPA is decent and I am assuming the lowest MCAT score possible and figuring out which schools to apply to based solely on those two factors. My father is convinced that my liberal arts background will set me apart but I'm not as confident.

It's odd to think this is all happening. My original plan was to take my first MCAT and kick butt and then apply early and be accepted by now. Instead, my plan has been slightly derailed but if I end up at my desired destination (med school), then I guess the journey doesn't matter all that much does it?

I can't decide if I should be hopeful or worried or content. Hopeful that I'll get in with what I've got (my GPA and new-and-improved MCAT score--that will be coming in a month). Worried that I'm applying too late for all these rolling admissions. Or content knowing that I've done everything I can (I'm confident about my personal statement, my activities, et cetera) and it's officially out of my hands when I click "Submit." A lot to process.

Today is my first day of doing nothing and it freaks me out a little. I've been reading (Kurt Vonnegut's "Armageddon in Retrospect") and researching possible medical schools to apply to and that's about it. I just don't know what to do with myself when I'm not studying, haha. It's been a constant state of being, as of late, and I don't know what to do otherwise. Weird, I know.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 470: A random note

I have always had a deep love for Diane Sawyer. I am extremely pleased to hear she'll be taking over "World News Tonight" when Charlie Gibson leaves. I just wanted to bring back my old journalism love to express how excited and passionate I am about her. She's always got her act together and never ceases to impress me with her journalistic integrity and ability.

Congratulations Diane! You're going to wow 'em!