Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 1255: Neighborhood House - ILC

After one full week of exams, my brain decided to fry itself on a frying pan and say goodbye to its existence. Don't worry, I found another one lying on the side of the road. This one must be better than my last one. I've had that one for ages. (This is my excuse for not blogging for 2 weeks.)

Today, I went to Neighborhood House, specifically the International Learning Center (ILC). It is a learning center for refugees. I have to say, I was incredibly moved by the experience. In all honesty, the location was a bit unassuming. The director gave us a little spiel about what the organization does, its history, and what roles that wanted from us (medical students). It wasn't until we were visiting classrooms and just walking around that I saw what a truly wonderful place Neighborhood House ILC is. I was reading short personal essays written by Hmong, Laotian, Burmese, and African refugees and I was truly moved. It was really basic English, probably at elementary school level, but thinking about what these people had gone through, to be placed in an entirely different/foreign/new place, starting over, learning a new language and new monetary system and government system and everything, was all worthwhile of taking a breath and focusing wholeheartedly on what their lives must be like. Neighborhood House ILC offers citizenship classes, English classes, math classes and computer classes. The entire experience was very eye-opening and very, very humbling. It made me realize how absurd I am in my desire for the newest, shiniest article of clothing. I'm sure the humility will wear off (aka I will still want to shop), but I wanted to document what an experience it was for me.

Seeing people who had to leave their families behind for their own safety is an extremely moving thing. I wish I had a better word than "moving," but it's the best word to describe how, for the first time in my life, I feel like I actually want to help people. And I'm sure you would think that wanting to be a doctor would imply my desire to help but then I would say you must not know me very well. In all sincerity, I really hope to start volunteering with them, particularly in the citizenship class.

Taken from the ILC Wordpress website

My adorable Ama (mom's mother) became a citizen in the past decade and I remember helping her with her exam. It's crazy how much these wannabe-citizens have to learn. And if I could pay it forward at all, I would be ever so glad.

I want someone, anyone of you, to check in with me before Christmas to see if I've actually made steps to become a volunteer. I would hate to be so moved by an experience to just have that movement fall to the wayside because I couldn't follow through. Especially since I believe it would be such a rewarding and fulfilling experience. And I have to say, even if with all the cheeseburgers I eat, this would be an all new kind of full.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 1240: Holy balls.

Wow. I thought I did infinitely better on these exams than I thought. I didn't even think they were all that terrible. Sure, it was hard but doable hard. Apparently, I am excellent at deluding myself.

It's fine. I passed both the anatomy written exam and the human development exam but I really thought I did better. Alas. I need to focus on biochem to make sure I do actually pass. Oy. I hate school.

I am having THE BIGGEST CHEESEBURGER after all this. And I'm going shopping. And I'll probably get trashed (not likely, but alcohol will probably be involved somehow).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 1239: Anatomy lab practical. Done.

Ugh. I went to the cadaver lab agabajillion times more than the first block and I got the EXACT SAME SCORE. I mean, I did 10-percent better than the average but who cares. I wanted to do better.

In all honesty, I'm fairly pleased with the score because I felt like there were a lot of two-answer-possibilities (where I couldn't decide if it was one structure or another (e.g., the subcostal nerve or the iliohypogastric nerve -- blah blah blah, fancy science words.)) and I honestly could have bombed this practical or done well. Luckily I did well.

Now, onto my Human Development exam & written Anatomy exam. Together. At once. In three hours. (What is wrong with these people?!) Also, a friend just informed me that tomorrow's Human Development exam comprises 50% of our Human Development grade. HA. I would have liked not knowing that but who cares? It's just a test. ...that I plan to annihilate.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 1238: Take that psych!

I just completed my psych exam. It wasn't bad at all. Now I need to study for my anatomy lab practical and the written-anatomy-portion-plus-human-development exam. Whee!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 1237: Exams, Round 2 (aka Block 2)

The reason I have suddenly fallen off the planet (a 12-day absence is a big deal considering I was pretty on-point with posting) is that exams are this week.

Monday: Psychiatry/Psychology (one would never know I had this class since I never go. I have better things to do with my time than be touchy-feely. Like study science that I suck at. Also, I took psychology in high school and I have retained enough to pass...hopefully...probably not, haha.)

Tuesday: Anatomy lab practical. 376 structures! Round ligament of the uterus, check. Ascending aorta, check. Superior mesenteric artery, check. I just about know the other 373 too.

Wednesday: Anatomy (written exam) and Human Development. Together! Three Yikes!

Thursday: Nothing! AKA Studying like MAD for Biochem on Friday.

Friday: Biochem from 8:15am to noon. Three hours and forty-five minutes. I can assure you, this exam is going to suck like a Hoover vacuum. And you can expect me to eat a lot afterwards. And I think I'm drinking because a pal is in town and a beer that night will probably help wash down the half-relief (of completing Block 2 exams/my Biochemistry exam) and half-stress (of failing all my Block 2 exams/my Biochemistry exam), ha.

Back to the books. I'll be better about updating as the week wears on.

(Hello to my Dad in Taiwan!)