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30th June, 2011. 10:48 pm.

If all goes according to plan, I'll see you guys in five years.

Current mood: indescribable.

(1 escape from physical contact | escape from physical contact)

4th March, 2009. 12:10 am. Sadface.

Actual email sent by a classmate regarding an assignment:

i'm not 100% sure what we are supposed to do, bit i feel liek i cold be something that can be accomplished fairly quickly. if people want to do it this week i am fine with that, if people want to do it on the 17th the day after hour test, i think that is doable too, whatever everyone thinks is good.

Honestly what bugs me more than anything is the additional "h" appended to "our." Everything else can get chalked up to laziness, but every time I read that my mind boggles.

(2 escapes from physical contact | escape from physical contact)

1st March, 2009. 2:20 am.

I am done

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10th August, 2008. 9:57 pm.

Second year of medical school starts tomorrow. So not ready.
Georgia and Russia are still shootin' each other.

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18th July, 2008. 3:37 am.

I have been a deceiver for a very long time. And the only reason I deceive is for my own personal gain. I am not a very nice person, nor have I ever been. I do all the little things right so that people don't think I'd be capable of the big things. Those who get very close to me know that I don't treat you very well; it's because I perceive you as unworthy for not seeing through it.

I will lie, cheat, hurt and destroy to avoid my true colours showing. Consider yourselves warned.

(2 escapes from physical contact | escape from physical contact)

1st July, 2008. 12:28 am. ER

Just spent ~8 hours in the ER. It was about an hour of discussing study-related materials, then it turned into shadowing. Also, and this is the coolest part -- I got to do my first suture!! -- I watched a resident do 2, as he slowly and methodically described the process. Then I did two myself, with him guiding me. It was awesome and I am proud of myself and I wish that 5th grade waldorf school teacher who told me I could never be a surgeon because I couldn't knit was there.

Every time I experience e-med, I like it more and more. I think this is a good thing.

Also, second year doesn't start for another month, so if people want to hang out with me, you'd better let me know before I go underground again!

(3 escapes from physical contact | escape from physical contact)

4th June, 2008. 2:34 am.

(1 escape from physical contact | escape from physical contact)

30th May, 2008. 4:18 pm. It's Official

I have passed the first year of medical school! This means I am a |\ or an "M" depending on if the .'s count for each year.

It is the summer and that means I am (relatively) free to do whatever. I'm doing a research project in the emergency department that will involve timing residents with stopwatches and that should be getting underway in the next couple weeks.

The year is over and I am glad. I lived pretty far away from most of the class and wasn't 21 and therefore unable to attend the parties that the class had at various bars, etc during the first half of the year. Towards the end of the year I have gotten closer with a few members of my class but still basically feel like an outsider. I will, however, be moving much closer to school in a couple of days and that is very exciting. My room-mate is a UVM grad from Vermont who is taking pre-med classes at a local community college with the intention of applying to PA school next year. His name is Ben and he likes to play Smash and watch Sci-Fi. I think we will get along well, I just have to keep myself from becoming a dirty slob.

My grades haven't been what I would prefer them to be, and I've been putting in more time studying than I ever have before (Within two weeks of a test I feel guilty if I've been at school less than 12 hours) but I passed all the P/F classes and got G's in all the themes. A couple of themes were pretty rough (read: Neuro) however I made it through (a 57 on the Neuro final made for a close call, though). Overall my favourite themes were probably musculoskeletal, renal/resp and endocrine/repro. I studied pretty intensely for the last exam (ERIM) and it seems like it paid off because my raw score was much higher than in previous tests. They haven't released Z-scores yet, but I got an 83 and so am not worried at all. I haven't scored above average on a test in a long time, and it would be nice to end up with a positive Z-score this theme, though not of much meaning in the end.

The 4-5 days following the test can truly be described as a bender, and I spent the vast majority of the time neither in my apartment nor sober, and that is just fine. I expect there to be more happenings after I move in, as the new apartment is right across the street from the dive bar that is my classes favourite when there's nothing else to do.

I am both excited and apprehensive for second year. Excited because while it is more of the same 5+ hours of lectures most days with little to nothing in the way of patient contact barring fake patient encounters, the focus is on diseases and pathologies which are always more interesting than the usual crap and the Ph. D. : MD ratio for instructors is much lower. Nothing against Ph. D.'s but the vast majority of the enthusiastic, clear, and fair instructors we have are M.D.'s and the majority of the disinterested, bored and occasionally downright mean instructors are Ph. D.'s. Maybe they just don't like us? Or don't want to be teaching us? I don't know.

I am apprehensive because it is going to be more of the same 5+ hours of lectures most days with little to no patient contact. In addition, the schedule is much worse, and we have about 2-3 times the amount of material in the same period of time. Instead of having 4-week long themes we will have 2-week long themes, but tests are almost always on Fridays. Friday tests are cause for celebration cause it means they can't throw anything new at us over the weekend and we can party absolutely guilt free. In addition, there is this big thing called the USMLE Step I (aka: The Boards). It serves two functions. First, in order to (eventually) obtain a license to practice medicine, one must pass all 3 steps of the USMLE. Additionally, Step I is essentially the entrance exam for residencies. Think like the SAT but with an additional "passing" cut-off as well. It is a huge cumulative test of the first two years of medical school and while there is a "summer holiday" for 2nd years, they do not actually receive a summer holiday because instead they are studying for the boards for 6-8 weeks usually 10+ hours a day. I am nervous about this behemoth of an examination. I intend on taking some sort of Kaplan study course because that helped me a lot with the MCAT, but it is the sort of thing that one really has to be studying for throughout second year concurrently with the material being presented. The questions on our exams are supposed to be "board-style" questions, but they're not.

There was an issue with a class towards the latter half of the year. During Orientation, we had been told that there would be "nutrition questions" on "some" of the exams. Then, the guy in charge of this nutrition theme stepped down a couple weeks into the year and we never heard anything new. Then, in April, we received "nutrition" grades from our first 3 themes (MCBG, MS, NS), the last of which finished in January. Over the 7 exams comprising those 3 themes, and 700 questions, 16 of them were special "nutrition" questions which were not labeled or marked in any special manner. In order to pass nutrition, one needed a 65%. I only got 8 of these questions correct, and so was failing nutrition, or as my grade website said, FAILING. I was quite distraught by this, as I had never been failing a class before. When I went to speak to the administration regarding this (over 15 of us were failing this class we hadn't been made properly aware of) and received varying degrees of responses ranging from "I don't know" to "Whatever." Until I went to speak with a certain member of the administration, who told me that if I failed the class I would get an F on my transcript that would turn into an F/P after I "remediated" nutrition. I started to object to this, and that was when the hammer came down and he told me that I was going to make a terrible doctor, that the reason for my failing was because I had purposely blown the class off because I didn't think it was important and that all I cared about was grades and not helping patients. He also told me that I was too young to know I wanted to be a doctor and the only reason I was there was because I had to blame other people for my failings. I hadn't cried in front of an educator or overseer or whatever since before I left England (some kid was mean to me on the playground when I was like 10, okay?). It was pretty embarrassing and I left feeling pretty shitty about myself. It was also like a week before a test. The school ended up admitting that they had made a mistake, however, and essentially gave everyone extra points and lowered the bar for passing. I ended with a 69% so was okay.

I haven't posted in a while, but I have free time now, so here you go. It is kind of long and there is more I have to say but that will have to wait I suppose.

Current mood: accomplished.

(3 escapes from physical contact | escape from physical contact)

3rd January, 2008. 2:17 am.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

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2nd January, 2008. 1:30 am.

I am 21. I left at 1:00 AM to buy a 6-pack of beer from a gas station near the apartment. They didn't card me. I was disappointed. I did get carded the last time I bought a video game. I am confused.

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