Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am not studying

So far today has been just another day of not getting up early, not studying, no stress, and best of all (redundant, I know) no studying. Although I have to confess, on Monday I went to Border's bookstore and bought "First Aid for the USMLE Step 1", which is a review book for the first step of the medical licensing exam process. But I am happy to report, I have not even gotten in out of the bag they put it in at the cash register, so we're good so far. The only book I've opened since I got done with the semester is "War and Peace", which I always heard was a good book. I have to be honest though, I really had almost no idea what it was about before I went to the library to get it.

By the way, the library at Notre Dame is quite possibly one of the scariest places in the world. I went in there just trying to find my book. So I found the call number and everything, and I thought it would be in the basement. So I went down there. No dice, but there are a whole bunch of books on these huge racks that are on sliders that you have to move around to be able to see what's on them. And if you happened to be between the racks when someone was moving them, you just might end up being crushed between them. Anyway, the book wasn't there. Turns out it was upstairs. So I went up to the 9th floor. Then after about 5 minutes of looking around, I found a sign that said that the range of call numbers that I was trying to find got moved to the 8th floor. So I went down there. I took the stairs. And this is where it gets a little weird.

The stairwell seems like something that you might find in a horror film. It's all painted yellow, there's no one else in there, and it's really echo-genic (yep, it's a word). Anyway, that's just to set things up. I got to the 8th floor, found my book, and decided to leave. I had to take the stairs again because the elevator was broken. Anyway, I'm on the 8th floor. So it's a few flights down to get to the bottom floor so I can leave. So I start going down. And down, and down. And eventually I get to a door that says "2nd floor Emergency Exit Only" or something like that. So kept going down. At the next level, there isn't a door. Then I went down one more level (presumably the basement?) and opened the door to find some sort of offices or something. But not where I wanted to go. I still don't know where the door to the first floor is. I ended up taking the emergency exit. It was actually a little bit of an emergency. I mean, I was trapped in the stairwell.

Anyway, my story may not do it justice, but it really is not a place that you want to get stuck. I mean, I think I heard ghosts, possibly an exorcism, and even some inquisition-ing. I also saw Charlie Weiss, and he tried to eat me. Then he sued me because I wouldn't let him.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Feast or Famine

Well, it's official… I've finally gotten over the fact that I don't have to study all the time, and I have become just a little bit bored! Not that I'm really complaining… Its true, though, it's a feast or a famine.

Regardless, I am definitely enjoying all the extra time, even though I don't have a whole lot to do in it. For example, I tried to buy a spear (for spear fishing) today, but the store that I went to didn't have the kind of spear that I want. They just had frog spears, and the prongs on those are definitely not long enough to spear the massive-sized fish that I plan on spearing this summer. Oh well. I guess that I'll have to keep looking.

In other news, I'm in the middle of getting ready for my trip to New York and Washington D.C., but unfortunately, we still don't really know what we're going to be doing while we're there. Just that we're going, and that it's gonna be CRAZY! And by that I mean that we're going to party like its 1999.

Anyway, I think House is coming on now, so I have to go watch it. (it's like medical school, except way more fun!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”

Yes, it's true; I am done with my first year of medical school classes! It is a great feeling, and when I finished my Microbiology final on Monday it was like a huge weight just got lifted off of my shoulders. Since then, I've been spending time celebrating, sleeping, jogging, grocery shopping (that tends to get neglected… but you can only eat so much Subway!) and, um, writing papers.

I kind of have to hedge it when I say that I'm done with first year, because I actually have to write a few things before I'm totally done. I've only got one left to go, and if anyone is interested, it is about the ethics of the so-called 'savior sibling'. (The classical scenario is the parents of a child with leukemia who have another child so that they can do a bone marrow transplant to save the first child's life) It is an interesting topic, and I've kind of enjoyed spending a couple hours reading about the intricacies of it all, especially the paper that says things like: "For those who believe it is better to exist than not to exist…" I have to be honest, I laughed when I read that line. Anyway, I refuse to tell you all what I think about the 'savior sibling' ethical dilemma.

Somewhat unfortunately, I have to go to the medical school in a few minutes because they are dedicating the library. What that actually means, I do not know, but I think it probably means that they want to raise money to buy new books. The building for the medical school here in South Bend is only about 2 years old, and the library consists of two bookshelves of books. So I had to laugh when I got the invitation to go to the "library dedication". My first thought was, "We have a library?"

To close, I will say that it is great to be done with classes, and I would recommend that you all listen to a certain Alice Cooper song if you're wondering how I'm feeling about it right now.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Does it make me patriotic if I get Caffé Americano at Starbucks?

Well, I have to come clean… I have finally rekindled my love-affair with coffee. I know, I probably said somewhere along the line that I was giving it up for good, but as it turns out, that is just not true. I mean, I was on the wagon for a good two and a half months, which I am proud of. But I've realized that not only am I a happier person when I've had a little bit of java (that's pronounced YAH-va), I get a whole lot more done. I just thought I should share that… You were probably wondering what I was thinking this whole time anyway.

In other news, today we had our last actual lecture of first year. I still have to take another quiz, the microbiology final exam, and do my final history-taking session of the semester, but it really is winding down fast. In a good way. I mean, I love learning as much as the next medical student, but I REALLY could use a break. Which will be coming in about 6 days!

In other news, I registered last night for the Sunburst 10k here in town. I've never done a 10k before (I mean, I've ran that far, just not in a race), so I'm hoping it will be fun to try something new, and it sounds pretty sweet because it starts at the College Football Hall of Fame downtown, and ends at the 50 yard line of the Notre Dame football stadium. (I've heard that they even play "crowd noise" over the loudspeakers as people are finishing their races…) Anyway, I'm looking forward to that. And I have plenty of time to train, because it's not until the very last day of May, the 31st. So, by that time I should be able to run 6.2 miles in just about 46 minutes… (just kidding, but that would be pretty sweet)

To bring this to a close (for those of you that follow politics), I will say that I am bitter. But instead of clinging to my guns or my religion, I'm clinging to my copy of "Clinical Microbiology Made Ridiculously Simple", the best book ever written (about microbiology).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Uncle Matt

So, I found out last Friday that I am going to be an uncle in a few months. Great news! I've never been an uncle before. I'm not 100% sure what the responsibilities of an uncle are, but I was informed by a friend last night that they are mainly restricted to buying sweet gifts. So I'm thinking that the best part of Uncle-hood may be the (I hope) lack of responsibility…

But back to my life. I've spent pretty much all day at school today, ostensibly studying, but to be honest, I sat in lecture all day not paying too much attention, and thus far this evening, my studying has been less than fruitful. Oh well. I only have about 1 week left of the semester, so I think I can get thru that without making myself sick with all the studying, and I should be fine. I just have to pass my Microbiology final, and demonstrate my impeccable medical history-taking skills. Hopefully I will be able to pass both of those things.

To be honest, there isn't too much more for me to tell. Just studying, trying to study, and trying not to go crazy, all at the same time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

There's only one thing to do... Graduate.

I have been thinking about it, and I have decided that my life right now feels a lot like high school. Maybe everybody could say that, like on the Cadillac commercial they have on right now, but I think it applies to me.

On another note, I have only got 2 weeks left, and then its THE LAST SUMMER BREAK EVER!!! I've probably said that before, but I'm just a little excited. After these 2 weeks, I've got about a month off from everything, and then I start my internship at one of the hospitals here in town. Basically, all I'll be doing is hanging out in the hospital with different doctors every day learning what all of them do. That's kind of like 3rd and 4th years, except at this point, I haven't really learned enough to do anything, and also, I won't be getting graded on everything that I do (= low stress...). Which really will be nice (see above, where life is like high school).

So that's just about it. Plans for the rest of the summer include regular fishing, spear fishing, playing my guitar for approximately 9 hours a day, running a 10k (actually that one's true), doing some political campaigning, and a trip to New York and Washington, DC. So there you have it. After all of this, I get to start school again, and say goodbye to summer breaks, because ready or not, here comes the real world... well, kind of.

Monday, April 7, 2008

When is a door not a door?

Today is Monday, but that's OK, because in about 2 weeks, I get a pretty sweet summer vacation (the last one ever...)! I'm supposed to be studying Microbiology right now but I decided that I'd take a quick break and tell the world what is happening!

This past Saturday, I finally ran the 5k that I've been talking about. It was a real good time. It was in Valparaiso, and there were about 700 people there running the race (that was cool), and it was a really nice day (about 60 degrees and sunny--perfect running weather). Now, I didn't set any land speed records, but I did run it in under 23 minutes, which was good enough for me... One thing that I did notice is that running outside is a lot different than running inside on a track (which is where I've been running for the past few months). I'm not sure what it is, but for some reason, I was a little slower than the 3 mile time a did a couple of weeks ago... Anyway, its a lot warmer now, so I should be able to get outside to run pretty much whenever I want now (as long as I can find the time!). Sadly, I think I was born with the wrong body type, but I really do enjoy running, as crazy as that sounds.

So there you have it. My life in a nutshell. And now I'm off, to memorize everything.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I wish we could learn like the do in the Matrix

Big news, this is my 70th posting!!!

Now on to exciting things. This has been quite the week so far. We started microbiology, and we also started having class in the afternoon instead of the morning. I have to be honest, I thought that I would like it, but I really don't, even though I'm not really a morning person. We've got nothin until 1pm most days from now thru the end of April, and it really breaks up the day, so I feel like I'm not being quite as productive. Of course maybe its just because I'm not used to it. Regardless, we did have something in the morning today. It was a "Medical Ethics" lecture. Actually it wasn't that bad, it was pretty interesting. That's not to say that it was the greatest lecture I've ever been to, but it was better than hearing about antibacterial drugs, which is what we did this afternoon.

Of course, I've spent the remainder of the day memorizing said drugs. Well, let me repharase that, trying to memorize...

Quick update, my 5k is on the day after tomorrow. I should probably cut this short, I've got a long night ahead of me, and lots left to memorize.