Sunday, August 31, 2008


I apologize, it has been quite a while... however, in my defense, I have been busy (saving the world, finding lost treasure, reforming politics, time traveling, and still making time to enjoy the simple things in life), and just haven't quite gotten around to it. Anyway, I have to say that I have had an epiphany. The epiphany was: I don't like studying, and I don't want to do it anymore. But of course that isn't really an option, so I had to make a quick amendment to my epiphany, so now its just: I don't like studying, so I'm going to be as efficient at it as possible, so I can learn what I need to, and still try to enjoy life. Or keep from going crazy. Or both.

Anyway, to that end, I purchased a digital recording device, and I now record all the lectures, and I also record myself reading the outlines of material that they give us to memorize, and listen to it all in triple speed. All in all, I have to say, I'm starting to like the sound of my own voice. Oh, and I get things done like three times faster. Which leaves me plenty of time to do whatever I want. Like learn Metallica songs on my guitar with my roommates.

Actually, with my new and improved productivity, and also the 3-day Labor Day weekend, I ended up going up to St. Joseph, Michigan with some friends and hanging out at the beach, and out on the lake on their boat for a little while. Anyway, it was well-worth the trip, even if it means I missed out on studying all day.

I also lost my glasses at some point. Not sure how it happened, but I put them on my nightstand when I went to bed, and now they're nowhere to be seen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, medical school is finally back in full swing. We finally started all of our classes, got all these awesome new books (as well as a stack of outlines of pathology lectures that measures about a foot high), and even spent time studying! I've got to start studying at least a little... we've got our first exam in just about one week. Of course I won't bore you with all the details, but it is in neurology, in case you were wondering.

Something that happened yesterday that may be interesting to some of you might find interesting (and will let me show off my sensitive side...whatever that means...) is that I did a little "poetry reading" to kick off the first-years' gross anatomy lab experience. They all went down to the lab for the first time, and the professor kind of said some stuff about how they want to respect the people that donated their bodies to science and everything, and then I read this poem (I hesitate to call it that though, because none of it rhymed--ok there was some "almost rhyme"--and also there wasn't a regular meter) called "Bodies of Knowledge" which is kind of a good name, but at the same time its a little bit creepy.

Basically, at this point, I am wishing I could just bypass this whole year and go straight to the clinical rotations of third year. But I doubt that will happen...

On an unrelated note, there is a billboard here in South Bend that says "Tell the recession where to go." You guessed it, its a advertisement for Miller Light...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I've got good news and I've got bad news

Probably the most famous line that you never want to hear when you pick up the phone is: "Are you sitting down?" Everyone knows that when they hear those words, they're about to hear something important, usually bad news. But something that might be better to ask in that situation is: "Are you in a phone booth?"

Why is that? Well, let me explain... probably everybody has gottten dizzy (or maybe even passed out) from standing up too quickly. Well, that's due to a temporary drop in blood pressure to the brain (don't worry, it's only temporary). Anyway, in that situation, we usually recover pretty quickly, and go on about our business. But sometimes people pass out when they heard bad or shocking news. This is also mostly because of a temporary drop in blood pressure to the brain. This is something called "vaso-vagal syncope" (syncope means passing out). Its really complicated, but the gist of it is, due to some kind of stress (like bad news), your blood pressure to your brain goes down, and you pass out. Usually this isn't a big deal (well, not life-threatening anyway), because when you fall down, your head ends up at the same level as the rest of your body, and then more blood flows to to it, and you wake up, and recover and everything's alright.

However, if you're standing in a phone booth, you can't really fall over. That seems like it would be a good thing, but it isn't. Because you can't fall over in a phone booth (ever...) you're head can't go down to the same level of your body, and so the blood can't flow to it well enough (read: bad!). Anyway, because of that, I guess you couldn't really wake up until somebody else came along wanting to use the phone and opened the door.

Anyway, who knows how long that could take, so in the meantime, your brain isn't getting enough blood, like what happens in a stroke. Obviously, that isn't good. So, the take-home message here is that before you tell someone bad news on the phone, make sure they aren't standing in a phone booth.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 2

After two days of classes, I'm starting to think that this year isn't going to be all that bad... of course, we've had at least one lecture canceled both days, and we haven't gotten any farther into anything than just introductions... but you might say that I'm trying to look at the bright side of things. Actually, I'm sure that things will pick up drastically from here, but compared to the first couple of days of school last year, I'm feeling extremely relaxed...

So, this year is the second of the two "preclinical" years, but its also kind of a transition year, where in addition to lots of lectures and book-learning, we also spend quite a bit of time in hospitals and learning our clinical skills. For example, last year we learned how to take a good medical history, and this year, we are learning how to do a physical exam. We also have to learn CPR, suturing, stuff about wound care, etc. Our center's director came in today and gave us this big talk about the year, and he said that we would probably like this year a whole lot more than we did last year, and that there probably wouldn't be quite as much studying, which was good to hear. Of course, I am skeptical.

Well, I said that I would post some more pictures from vacation, so I guess that I'm going to go ahead and do that now... well, at least a few of the good ones.
Coming in from fishing
Rowing the canoe
There is a fish in there somewhere

That's just a few of the ones that I think came out looking good...

Anyway, I think that it's time for me to get back to enjoying the Olympics... maybe someday I'll reach my Olympic dreams! Which consist almost entirely of ping pong table tennis and Christopher Waulken as my coach.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Late last night I pulled into South Bend from vacation... and finished moving into my new house. The vacation was a fun one. I wouldn't say that the fishing was the best ever, by a long shot, but it wasn't too bad either, evidenced by this sweet bass I caught.

Some among us would say that we were trying to catch walleye, and so bass like this one (~18" smallmouth) don't quite count... well, all I know is that when I fish in Indiana, I go for these, so catching one anywhere is just fine with me!

Anyway, when I get more time, I will put more pictures up from vacation, but since classes start TOMORROW MORNING(!!!) I've got to get some other stuff done...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Leaving (but not on a jet plane, and there won't be any snakes, I hope)

Today I am leaving to go to Canada with the family. We will be driving thru the night, probably about 12 or 13 hours to spend a week fishing for walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass! In addition to hopefully catching these fish, we plan on eating them!
A walleye, in case you were wondering
Anyway, that's what I will be doing with the last days of summer... After I get back, I start back up with school the very next day. Actually, it's a health fair that I have to go to, but it's kind of a part of school (competencies...).

So, in conclusion, I will be enjoying my last few days of freedom before life outside of a textbook comes to a screeching (and crashing?) end. Wish me luck. And godspeed. And/or.