Monday, April 30, 2007

Awkward Turtle

Oh my goodness the people in the apartment above me are having a good time. Such a good time that everything in my room is shaking violently, including me. My friend says that means that I'm even part of it. Well at least I'm getting some!

Back when I was a naive freshman I use to wonder why the people above me would be putting their bunk beds together at the most random times during the day. They would just be continuely banging their mattress frames with hammers into the legs of the bed - for like 40 minutes. Then one day I pushed my chair from my desk to fast right into my radiator - BANG! Wait, I've heard that banging before... Why were the people upstairs banging their beds into the radiator? Ohhhhhhhhh!

Yesterday we were signing up for roommates in my abroad class. This girl that I know through a friend, we'll call Tracy, asked me if I wanted to room with her guy friend, we'll call Ken. At the time I was panic'd that I was going to be stuck with the most despised person in the class and I readily agreed. I later told my friend who I was rooming with and he told me that Tracy and Ken were actually dating. DAMMIT!!!! Well that explains the, "Ken, come over here and give me a hello-kiss." I'm going to have an awkward turtle on my shoulder every night I'm in Italy. I'm hoping Tracy brings it back to her room since she's good friends with her roommate. Then again, that's probably a reason to keep it in my room. My friends gave me some tips how to stop any unwelcomed night activities, but I feel to dirty to share them with you.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ah Crap, the Day Has Come

My most feared day has arrived, the Pre-Health Committee Interview.

This is the scenario I've had running through my head since Fall '05:

Committee Member: So Dr. Wannabe, why do you want to go to medical school...
Dr. W: blah, blah, blah...
CM: Mmmhmm... *reads transcript* Umm, have you seen your GPA lately?
DW: Yeah, I know that it's sub-average, but I really feel that I possess the more relevant clinical skills that are needed to be a capable physician.
CM: Right... We really think that it would be a waste of your money to apply to medical school and suggest that you reconsider your career aspirations. Maybe apply next year.
DW: Although I respect your opinion on the situation I don't see waiting another year helping my case.
CM: Well, have it your way. We're going to rank you: "Recommend with Reservation."
DW: *Cries a little and dies*

Dr. Wannabe then continues to apply to medical schools that summer (even though he just died in the previous scene) and is rejected by all of them. In fact, the medical schools don't even bother sending him secondaries because his money is just not good enough for them. This ultimately makes him the 1:5 student from his school that doesn't get accepted to a medical school.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's You; Not Me.

As a science major I have been through a good number of lab partners - about 9 or so. Generally, I get along splendidly with my lab partners, even becoming friends with some of them outside of the lab. Laughing occurs often, conversations are plentiful and fun is made of lab time. Lab is a great bonding experience for two people the have never met each other. Physics lab is probably the most painful lab of them all, but my partner and I are constantly cracking jokes and needing to refocus often in order to get any work done.

One of the few times that I didn't get along with my lab partner was in Microbiology Lab. But those were very special circumstances.

Organic Chem II Lab was the first time I had a lab partner that I knew before the lab. He was friends with my former housemates, whom (who?) I happen to detest, but we had had conversations before and were friendly with each other. In fact, I was friendlier with all of my housemates friends, just not my housemates. But that's another story. I was kind of surprised that when he entered the lab he took the spot next to me because in doing so he signed a binding contract that said he was going to be my lab partner. Not really... but you get the idea. The reason it was so surprising was because I had just gone through an ugly falling out with said housemates, but I guess he didn't care about those politics.

The beginning of the semester was okay. The start is always a little shaky and awkward, but that's normal. As the semester went on the partnership seemed to become more awkward, and I have no idea why. I'm a very friendly person and always strike up a conversation - proven by past lab partners. I would try to make conversation but he never added anything to them. In reality though it wasn't that surprising. He was teammates with my former housemates and their most noteable characteristic was the inability to socialize with anyone not on the team. It is well known that this specific team was very cliquey and didn't talk to anyone outside the team.

When the day came that he left lab without saying "bye" I decided to give up on trying to make conversation, or talking to him at all for that matter. You would think that it would be hard to get through a lab without speaking to your lab partner, but let me tell you it's magical when it happens.

In retrospect I think the way I reacted was a little immature, but I honestly don't think he gave a shit and I can't think of anything else I could have done to better the situation. Luckily, he's graduating this year and I'm never going to have to worry about being paired with him again.

But the threat of the micro lab partner still looms...

PS - my schedule for next semester has been finalized

Vertebrate Physiology and Lab - Experiments with mice!!!
Science, Medicine and Ethics (Capping Course) - Ethics, we meet again. And I'm going to rape you all over again.
Human Nutrition - Maybe I'll finally be able to make sense of this field.
Ireland: History and Politics - I'm 100% Irish. Well, Irish-American.

I'm very, very excited for next semester.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Note to Self

This post is to remind the Blogger to write a post on Lab Partners.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Corporate America, here I come

I'm giving up. I just got back an Organic Chem test and I was left disappointed again. I studied for days like usual: rewriting each chapter's notes, then re-doing the HW and quizzes and finishing up with taking the practice test. I was scared going into the test, but felt pretty good after leaving it. But I told myself I wasn't going to get overly confident and that I probably got a 74 like usual.

The professor started class by saying how impressed she was with the results and that an "absurd" number of people got 90+% on the test. I tried really hard not to get my hopes up. This happens every time she hands tests back; she tells us how so many people got good grades. She then put the class distribution up and 14/30 PEOPLE GOT ABOVE A 90%! That was insanity. Okay, I started feeling good and even told myself to stop feeling good because I'm not going to be one of those people. Sure the odds were against me that I was one of the 3 or 4 people to get around a 75, but that's just what I do.

She hands me my test back and I see the 74% on it. I give the fuck up. I don't know what I have to do to start getting good grades. And the thing that kills me is how I see all these people who party all the time and do sooo many drugs getting 104!!!!!!!! I really don't know what these people are doing to get good grades that I'm not. Are they just straight up smarter than I am? I mean they obviously are but am I just incapable of doing well or am I just doing this whole thing wrong??? This makes my test grades 78, 75.5 and 74. At least I'm consistent...

Am I seriously applying to medschool this summer? I must have something the matter with me. My prereq grades are going to be:

General Bio 1+2: B-/B+
General Chem 1+2: C/B
Organic Chem: C+/C+
Physics 1+2: C+/C+

That's just laughable. I guess I won't be applying this summer unless I get some crazy MCAT score. (Which by the way is on May 16th) Hopefully my heavy bio-class senior year will pull my GPA up and I'll have a reasonable shot next summer. Although, judging by my B in Micro and B- in Immunology they probably won't help that much.

My friend who's the perfect premedical student is taking the MCATs today. When I say perfect I mean she has straight A's in all of her science classes. I don't know how she does it. And she has a better social life that me too. She hasn't been doing as well on the practice MCATs as she would like to though. She seems to be a consistent 23. I haven't taken a practice test in a while but I normally do better than that. So what does this mean about our class grades?

Maybe I'll just shadow physicians the rest of my life. And in my head I can be the one ordering test and prescribing treatment. I guess that's almost as good. Any takers?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Stress of Physics

Things that were said during Physics Lab when the room would randomly get quiet.

"Don't tell me to fucking chill out! This thing is trying to measure CO2 levels!!!"

"My balls hurt."

"I'm about to punch you in the teeth."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mmmm Rachel McAdams

Sunday morning I noticed that my eyes were a little red. I didn't think anything of it and thought maybe it was because I was at my friend's house who has cats to which I'm allergic. I didn't worry much because they weren't tearing, pussing, itching, nada.

The redness continued through Monday to the point where Monday night I decided to stop wearing my contacts. But still no other problems other than them being red. It didn't feel any different having contacts in and I tried a new pair of contacts in case they were somehow irritating them.

That night I put some eye drops in for redness and went to sleep. Unfortunately, I don't know whether the drops did anything since I went to sleep, but they couldn't have done much because my eyes are still red but still not tearing, itching, pussing either.

I went to health services today just to have them checked out cause I don't want to wear contacts without them being looked at. After going through my story and embarrassing myself on the eye chart exam (I could only read line three with my old, old prescription glasses) and finding no foreign bodies in my eyes the doctor came to no diagnosis. The reason that this redness is so odd is because there are one other symptoms. I honestly would have no idea that they were red if it weren't for looking in the mirror.

I'm slightly concerned though because about 3 years back my ophthalmologist did a work up on me for glycoma because my eye pressure was a little elevated. The tests did not show any loss of peripheral vision or nerve damage and the next time I had my pressure tested it was fine. I know that the only noticeable symptom is vision loss, but WebMD had it listed in the differential for eye redness without the accompanying puss or irritation. I'm not giving too much thought though cause I'm young and my peripheral vision is normal.

Hmm, maybe my eyes are feeling slightly dry... that may be because I'm just paying more attention to them than normal.

Anyway, I'm suppose to go back to health services Thursday to have them checked again in case it's a viral infection that just hasn't developed the rest of the symptoms. But if it's viral there's nothing they're going to do. If the redness continues without other symptoms then she's going to refer me to a ophthalmologist. Super!... I enjoy going to doctors because I like to see how they work, but this is going to be annoying.

I have my internship tomorrow morning so I'm going to have that doctor take a look at my eyes for a second opinion. Wait, there still isn't a diagnosis. Does that make it a primary opinion?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is Science the Same Everywhere?

I'm looking at some year long graduate programs in London and some look exactly what I want, but there is a problem. I'm deathly intimidated by the idea of taking graduate level courses in the UK. I feel like all Britons are naturally superior to me in every way. I afraid that I'll show up to an immuno class and have no idea what any of them are talking about on multiple levels.
1. They'll be talking about things of which I have no concept.
2. The accents. I couldn't even understand "Take away?"
3. Anything I say/write won't be understood because I'll format everything in the American way.

Are these even legitimate concerns?
Does an average American undergraduate education match up to a British undergraduate?
You can be brutally honest because I already think the British are way better than us.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Happy Easter! (Unless you take offense to that; to you I offer no title.)

A quick update before I go home for a long weekend.

Failed my Physics test (below 80 is failing) in less than 10 minutes. How's that possible? We take them on the computer so you know whether you got the question wrong or not. Once I got 5/23 points taken off I stop taking it and left. Except I forgot that if you get a 50% or below you have to redo the HW. Woops. Whatever, I have all the answers for it anyway.

(In my Abroad - Lit/Art class)

Prof: (To class) Where is the weirdest place you've ever been?
Dr W: This class...
Prof #2: Hahaha, you must be a science major.

Damn straight.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Don't Care If It Is the Most Populous Molecule in the Atmosphere

This is going to sound silly, but I hate Nitrogen. Yes, I'm talking about Nitrogen the element.

Every time Nitrogen is brought up in one of my classes I always get completely lost. And it's not like there is a specific thing about N that's common in the different classes when it's brought up. When I was taking Microbiology and we started talking about Nitrogen fixation I was lost for sure. This is actually one of the reasons I avoid Environmental Science classes at all cost, because N plays such a huge role in it. (Well, that and because I would start killing people when they brought up Global Warming every class.)

In Organic we're covering Amide and Amines and needless to say it's not going well. I don't know what happened. I know I'm not great in Organic, but I generally get what's happening and can figure out how to reach the answers when given them. But I'm looking at the answers to some of the reactions and I just have no idea what's going on. I look through the text for a mechanism to reference, but none of them touch on this specific issue I'm having. I don't know what to do.

Ugh, it's really upsetting that I don't like any of my current science classes. (Oragnic and Physics) I don't know why medschools make you take these classes that really have nothing to do with medicine. I know that I need a background in Organic for Biochem, but honestly do I really need all of this? And the sad thing is I'm getting terrible grades. (C's) But it's not like I don't understand the material. I do understand it, I just can't master it I guess. Should I even need to master this stuff to get into medschool? One reader told me a while back that if I can't handle this then I shouldn't be admitted. That was upsetting, but probably true. Ahh truth; it's a bitch.

When applying to schools I'd really like to say, "Hey I know I keep getting C's in these classes, but they're the one's that aren't related to medicine. And if someone is getting C's in General Chemistry or Orgo1 shouldn't their grades keep going down as the material gets harder? My grades at least stay consistent, which I think at least shows that I "get it." It's not like I'm a moron. And I generally retain what I learn long after I take the class. But why do you only want the students that are aces at Chemistry and Physics. Sure they're difficult, but do they really correlate to clinical material?

Basically I wish the "pre-med courses" meant taking classes that actually resembled medical school classes. Well next year it's nothing but science classes with strong clinical connections. (Vertebrate Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, Genetics, Human Nutrition) I became a BioMed major for these classes, not Physics, Gen Chem and Orgo. Unfortunately the schools that I apply to won't see the grades that I get in these classes because my applications will be in before I take them. Hopefully I do well in them next year and I have a better shot at getting in the second time around. Yeah, I'm planning on not getting in this time around. The question will just be what should I do with that year off?

Okay, back to freaking Hoffmann Elimination Rxn. ugh...

[Edit: PS - My favorite pen just ran out of ink. This work just got a little more painful]