Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Week Halfway Point

I'm halfway through the first week.  It's been a rockin' start.  Classes start at 8:00 am and run until 4-5pm (except Tuesday, when we leave at 6:00).  BCMS is easing us in.  The only uber-demanding course is the biochem, which, thus far, has been all review for me.  Hee.   The small-groups meet first for 3 hours and work on the assigned problem sets covering the previous day's material. Then we all gather for the new 2 hour lecture.

I've always been an independent learner. Usually when I 'study' with other students, it's more distracting than constructive.  I've always performed well on exams after solitary study- not so much when I've had study-partners.  That said, the small-group format here has really impressed me. We've had 2 sessions thus far and I really feel like I understood the material so much better afterwards.

I'm officially a medical student! Sometimes that thought just trips across my mind and I can't help but grin. I'm really happy.

Some of my classmates are awesome and some haven't made such a good impression. I'm trying to not be judgmental.

All of the opportunities are overwhelming. We've already been introduced to so many, I can't keep them straight. I'm giving myself until the end of the month to acclimate to the academics and then I need to start planning the next four years. Research? International Study? Honors program? Interest groups?

Over the last few months, I had explored different study/organization options and settled, hesitantly, on an ipad. It's totally worth the insane amount of money!  I'm not the most tech savvy individual (I'd always been a paper and pen note-taker) but my transition has essentially been seamless.  Every day, Dr. __p____, my BC professor alone posts over 60 pages of slides/notes/objectives. Multiply that by all the classes of an MS1 and you'll get aching shoulders. With, i-annotate (an application) I can organize, write notes with a stylus, type etc over any file format (that I'm aware of). Sliding a tiny 1.5lb sliver of brilliance into my bag totally beats lugging around 50+lbs of books/binders. I wish I had had one as an undergrad; my back would be healthier.

Oh and the cat killed another herb, the chives. Only a few seeds had sprouted but I babied the group for weeks, hoping that they'd proliferate. She pulled them all out by their roots and left them scattered across the hardwood floor. That's 2/6 of my herb window garden gone. Bah.


  1. I've been thinking about getting an iPad. I have a MacBook that I love, but I often type notes on it from online textbooks/articles, and it is endlessly frustrating to have to move between windows over and over again. My thought it that I could use the iPad to display the online material and keep using the MacBook for typing notes. Glad to hear your endorsement.

    What is it with cats and chives? Mine have devoured the chives in my balcony garden, but the plant has managed to survive thanks to being a decent size when I planted it. It seems like a very odd thing for them to go after, particularly given that my cats completely ignored the cat mint that I planted at the beginning of the summer. (Now pulled up and replaced by strawberry plants.)

  2. :) Good job so far! Cannot wait to compare notes with you :D

    So about the plants (and SD, chime in), I want to get some potted plants to cheer up my place. They have to be easy to maintain, like the WA/OR weather, and herbs would be a plus.


  3. SD- I adore my iPad. I watch my classmates lug enormous binders of printed powerpoints, scrabbling to find their notes, while everything I need is in a slender little tablet. Weeeeee...

    Toulouse didn't eat the chives. She just pulled them out and scattered them around the room. brat.

    DV- If you have a cat, don't plant chives. Otherwise I've found my most durable plants have been my spider plant, the Thai basil and the lemon verbena.