So close

We’re so close, yet so very far.  The clock is ticking down, and even though I’m pretty much done with studying I have to force myself to study and take in whatever little details I can before Monday.

And then freedom.

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Final stretch

So close, yet so far.  We have one set of exams left and you can tell that pretty much everyone is burnt out.  Wispy white clouds pierce the rich blue sky and reflect the rays of the warm sun into the library, tempting us to call an end to our studies and enjoy the outdoors.

Yet we have to confine ourselves to books and computers and multiple cups of coffee.  This is it.  We have to stay focused and get through this last bit. But to all my fellow classmates, just think: soon enough we will be MS2s.

Okay on second thought maybe don’t think about that just yet.

Catch-up

Holy crap I haven’t posted to my blog in a while.  I should probably catch you all up.  Let’s see, since we started HB2 in school I had a couple of weekends free to travel up to Boston.  One weekend I went up just for fun, and the following weekend I went up for Head of the Charles (HOCR).  I got to see my buddy CH, and honestly after spending so much time indoors studying for the HB1 exam it was nice to just be in Boston and walk around outside.  I met up with my old roommate ER for a drink (turned into pitcher after pitcher) and then grabbed some much-needed delicious brunch the following day at Grafton Street with SR.  So good.  Then during HOCR weekend I got to see my old crew buddies and watch on as some of them raced in the Alumni 8+ event in the HOCR before watching some more races and hitting up Border Cafe with the Westwood crew.  Plus I got to catch up with ER again and see JJ and ML.  All in all, it was good to see everyone.  And it was great to get out of Farmington for a couple of weekends.

And can we talk about this October snow storm?  What the hell?  Even after strategically parking my car for the night of the storm I still woke up the following morning to find a branch resting on it (but thankfully no damage).  But falling asleep that night was eerie because you could hear distant (and nearby) branches snapping off trees and crashing below.  Branches and trees are down all over the place, and the whole northeast half of Connecticut is pretty much entirely without power and heat.  There are only a handful of people in my class that have power.  Let me be the first to tell you that it’s pretty chilly sleeping at night.  Last night I had to dawn sweats, a hat, and socks to stay warm underneath my blanket and comforter.  But it wasn’t too, too bad.  I mean, we’ll survive.  Right now for electricity and internet (and heat) we all hang out at the health center (not like that’s anything new).  But hey, it’s the whole half of the state, so we’ll just have to be patient and wait for the CL&P crew to get us all back up and running.

And to think we probably got the worst storm of the season in October.

Anatomy

So our exam in HB1 is officially over, and the lack of attendance at Tuesday’s lectures clearly illustrated that we as a class celebrated appropriately for the occassion.  I was a champ and actually made it to class, although I will definitely need to listen to one of the lectures over again because I completely zoned out / did other homework during lecture.  Oh well.

But alas, we’re now officially in HB2 and that means one thing: Anatomy.  Yup, Anatomy, where we get to learn all of the parts of the human body.  UConn (thankfully) still incorporates student dissections as part of their anatomy course, so I’m in a group of four with my buddies AA, JG, and AK.  Our class was able to do “first cuts” with MSII’s the other night before our first real day of anatomy lab.  It was definitely a great experience, and way better than showing up to Anatomy Wednesday morning and having zero clue as to what was going on.  But we learn fast (we have to) and we’re already off dissecting various parts and also realizing that the human body has a ton of parts to it.  I mean literally a ton.  We’re one day in, and I already appreciate my body way more now that I did two days ago.  Once you start moving parts around and seeing how everything’s interconnected you really do learn to appreciate everything you’ve got and to not take your body for granted.

The opportunity to be doing what we’re doing is indescribably amazing.  I’m really at a loss for words.  We’ve been given a gift that I know none of us will ever forget for as long as we live.  Over the course of the year we are going to become intimate with our cadaver, our formerly living and breathing human being.  I’m so thankful for the gift that these people have given us, and to allow us the ability to see all the inner workings of the human body.  I’m also thankful that UConn still incorporates hands-on student dissections into anatomy course.

This experience is going to be something that will not only enhance our education and knowledge but will also bring AA, JG, AK, and me closer together as we become intimately involved with our cadaver.

Distractions

Obviously when you’re studying you need distractions, so for all of my fellow MSI’s, here are some mandatory YouTube videos that you need to check out.

As suggested by LK, Ultimate Dog Tease:

One of my personal favorites, Exploding Elmo Death:

A little WTF moment when Weetabix Chocolate Spoonsize meets dubstep and dancing Teddy bears (no, really, WTF):

It almost makes you feel bad to laugh, but here’s Tricycle wrecks:

My favorite Drunk History, and it involves science:

And absolutely adorable, Puppy vs. Cat:

Enjoy, fellow MSI’s, enjoy.

White coat

Yup, we got our white coats the other day with our names embroidered and everything. Pretty fancy shmancy.  Even though it’s a short coat (indicative of being medical students), I think my classmates and I all feel a little bit more like we’re actually in medical school now.  And it’s not just because we got our white coats.  We’re all preparing for our HB1 exam just over one week away, and HB1 is pretty much biology, biochemistry, and metabolism with a little tissue biology thrown in.  There’s really not a whole lot of “medicine” per se.  But we’re all starting our clinical training at our SCP sites where we actually get to interact with patients.  Add in the fact that we’ll soon be starting Anatomy and studying more medically-relevant science in HB2 in a couple of weeks and it just feels more like we’re in medical school.

And as much as I didn’t want to seem like a stereotypical MSI who’s super-excited for something like picking up my white coat, I can’t lie because I was totally pumped.  To see my name (spelled correctly) on the white linen definitely put a smile on my face (and still does).  But I think it’s better to be smiling like a stereotypical first-year who’s looking forward to the years of work ahead than to be indifferent.

Whatever, call me a dork but I’m still excited.

Stockpile

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  And recently for me that was hoarding a copious amount of Monster Energy drinks at my local Stop-and-Shop (the Absolute Zero variety, obviously).  Was I embarrassed to be practically shoveling the cans off the shelf into my basket?  Not at all.  I have no shame, even when the cashier raises an eyebrow and asks, “Do you even eat anything?”  Again, no shame.  Plus Crohn’s prevents me from drinking coffee.  Trust me I’ve tried multiple times, and have failed multiple times.  Something about it just wreaks havoc on my gut, so I have to avoid drinking the stuff on a regular basis.  So now I stick to my standard Coke Zero and Monster to get my caffeine fix.

But these next two weeks are going to be a tad bit different.  Us MSI’s here at UConn SOM have two weeks until our first exam in Human Bio.  I don’t even know how many lectures I need to go through right now, but it’s a lot and I’ve got two weeks to get it all into my head.  It’s not that the material is too difficult to comprehend, it’s purely the volume.  Imagine cramming an entire semester’s worth of college material into seven weeks.  That’s probably a pretty accurate description.  Plus now my schedule is something like class 8:00-12:00 everyday with a class on Monday 3:00-5:00, Tuesday 1:00-5:00, and Thursday I have SCP (my clinical thing in pediatrics) from like 1:00-7:00/8:00.  Then I’ll be studying the rest of the day everyday until probably around midnight or so and then set my alarm for 6:30 in the morning before crashing for the night.  Rinse and repeat.

Hence my mildly concerning stockpile of caffeine.