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Wednesday, August 22, 2012
MSU CHM Orientation Day 4: Hustle and Volunteer
This morning was again filled with seminars - this time about professionalism, student conduct, values and such. While most of it was common sense (don't lie, don't plagiarize, don't angrily berate other humans), apparently it was necessary because they said past students have done every single thing we discussed - including copying an entire article off of Wikipedia for an essay that was required after the student skipped a class or something like that. Ridiculous. It takes so much work to get into med school, I can't believe some people would throw it all away to save a few hours of more work...
After the seminars we picked up our coursepacks. Basically, coursepacks are supplemental materials that include absolutely everything that will be covered on examinations. Pictured below are my coursepacks and textbooks for this semester. I actually only bought two of the books (the top two): Histology by Ross and Pawlina, and the Thieme Atlas of Anatomy. All of the others were either helpfully donated by my wife's cousin who used them two years ago, or were ones I just had lying around, like the old 2nd edition Netter atlas at the bottom of the pile.
As you can see, the coursepacks are gigantic. What you don't know is that the bottom two are BOTH for Anatomy. That's right - Gross Anatomy is a beast. Somehow, I'm supposed to cram all of the information in those pages into my head in the next four months. Not a clue how that's possible, but they tell me it is...
After picking up the coursepacks, I caught a ride with a friend to drop them off back home. He was in a hurry (we had less than an hour to go to the post office, eat lunch, and get back to the med school by 1:30pm), and in my haste to not keep him waiting I forgot that I had been planning on changing into my volunteer shirt for our Afternoon of Service in the Community. So, I dropped the books off, and it wasn't until he dropped me off at the med school before going to get some lunch that I realized I didn't get my volunteer shirt, was still wearing jeans (it was HOT today), and hadn't changed from sandals into shoes.
I booked it. Got my bike and shot back home in five minutes flat. Got changed and back in another ten minutes. I scooted in to my assigned meeting place with two minutes to spare and was even able to snag some vending machine food that I ate for lunch on the way to our volunteer venue - Mel Trotter Ministries here in Grand Rapids.
It's a homeless shelter organization that has missions all across the country. It was founded by Mel Trotter 112 years ago. He was homeless and an alcoholic at one point, but his life was turned around by a shelter similar to the one pictured above. We spent the afternoon hauling food from one level to another and cleaning several foyers and the chapel. It was a great afternoon, and it felt good to be helping out an organization that does so much to help so many. Though there were only nine people in my group (all the students went to different places in 11 different groups), I feel like we helped out in a significant way for an afternoon.
And with that, I'm headed to bed. Tomorrow is the Biochemistry waiver exam - for which I have studied a grand total of 1 hour this week. My fervent drive to kill this test kind of died when I learned that only five people have passed it in the past two years. I think I could have done it if I started seriously reviewing three or four weeks ago, but trying to cram it all in my brain in just a week and a half probably won't cut it. I'm still going to try my absolute hardest, and I think I stand a decent chance, but I'm not going to kill myself on this test. Worst case scenario, I've gotten a decent review before starting the class.
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