Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Long Day + Marcel the Shell Awesome

This was my day today. I am, how you say, le tired. Genetics exam in 7h 40m. Waking up in 5h or so to get some last-minute cramming in. Please, come, break... Come on... Come on...

Oh, and Wife finally updated here._.

Watch this and don't stop till the end:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Early Mornings in the Nerd Nest - MSU CHM

At 6:30am, still no one else up here, though that's not usually the case.

More often lately, I've been trying to get in to the med school early. It's not always feasible, but today I got up at 5:00am, ate some breakfast, did some reading, and got here early. I've liked studying in the Nerd Nest recently, and getting here early allows me to actually get a free parking spot fairly close to the building. That's right - I no longer have to commute by bike! Website sales have been good enough that I can now pay for car insurance, so I took my car out of storage and it.has.been.awesome.

Anyway, the Nerd Nest. That's the name for the large room full of cubicles and study tables up on the third floor of the Secchia Center here in Grand Rapids. In East Lansing they have a "Nerd Cave," located in the basement of the Radiology building. No windows = implied darkness = cave. Here, (when it's not still dark outside, as shown above) lots of windows + high up = nest with great views. And nerds are nerds no matter where they study.

I've got my work cut out for me for the Genetics exam tomorrow morning, and last night I just couldn't feel the study vibe. Hence the early morning in the Nerd Nest. I've got 240 of 320 flashcards left with my name on them before my required lectures start at 8:00am. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Righteous Movember Mustache - Day 26

Thanks, Urban Dictionary. I couldn't have put it better myself:

1. Mustache: "A universal icon representing the epitome of authority and raw **manhood. It graces small children the chance to believe in a hero and causes evil-doers to second guess their existence. There are very few things in this world that could ever achieve the divine status that each individual hair is birthed into. Resting just above the upper lip, the mustache is a beacon to all mankind that there is hope for this world and a bright future for all who have been gifted with this treasure from God himself."

I've written about it before, but there are only SIX DAYS LEFT in Mustache Movember, so if you have been wavering, please donate for prostate cancer research! The money goes to a great cause, and your donation is tax-deductible. Awareness about prostate cancer and raising funds to help someday find a cure are our goals, and with your help we can accomplish them. If you haven't thought about it, please consider helping out! Click here to donate.

Without further ado, I give you my pathetic manly and righteous Movember Mustache, Day 26:

For those dissenters out there wondering why I don't smile in these photos, it's all for the time lapse I'll be putting up at the end. It's hard to smile exactly the same every time. Hence, no expression. If you'd like to see a smile, click here or here. Boom.

After relapsing a bit back into my Thanksgiving Day sickness yesterday, I'm finally back to full capacity. Just in time to really start buckling down for the upcoming Genetics exam. Wish me luck...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Vomsgiving

So, I woke up yesterday morning and felt horribly sick. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. I had that over-the-whole-body ache where you skin just feels way too sensitive combined with the roiling stomach ache of a lifetime. I couldn't keep anything down all day, and only finally kept some juice and Vernor's down with some saltines by the end of the night.

And that's how my Thanksgiving Break began.

Luckily, I've been able to eat a bit more today, and the day has gone considerably better today. UNLUCKILY, the lectures that I had to miss yesterday due to vomiting throughout their live presentations have not been uploaded to Mediasite, so I can't catch up on what I missed yesterday. Apparently the staff responsible for uploading the lecture videos decided that we wouldn't need them over break. Ugh.

Interestingly enough, I'm having a hard time deciding whether this is a better or worse Wednesday to Thursday stretch than I would be experiencing under my normal schedule or not... Probably better, all things considered - especially now that I'm feeling better and can actually eat! Now bring on some turkey sandwiches!

Oh, and a small reminder - only an hour and a half left or so on the Thanksgiving Day MCAT Flashcard sale!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My IPPR Project - Perspectives

Recently, my class held an event where we all displayed projects that we made. The projects could be in any medium, and had to display or highlight a personalized reflection on what we've learned this semester in our Introduction to the Patient-Physician Relationship (IPPR) class.

In speaking with my fellow classmates during the event, I found it truly amazing how many different backgrounds people came from in their journeys to studenthood at MSU CHM. From backgrounds in genetics research in Boston to having gotten an online degree in Medical Assisting to working in biomedical engineering to doing nuclear physics research and working in Human Resources, my class at CHM is incredibly diverse! In talking to people about their projects, it was a ton of fun to both learn more about my fellow students and gain some insight into their perspectives and what they bring to the table when discussing outlooks on how we ought to interact with our patients.

For the event, they bussed the students from the East Lansing campus up to the Secchia Center in Grand Rapids, so all 200 students were present - which meant that we had more than 200 projects on display! There was everything from cakes to knitted afghans to stained glass mosaics to trombone solos to poems to paintings to papers to ebooks. That last one was mine, actually...

I decided to make an eBook, though not your *normal* eBook. As many of you know who've followed my blog for a while, I love photography. So, I made up an analogy about how patients are like buildings - each one raised in a different area/environment, with different characteristics and features. Like a good architect or building restoration person, a physician needs to know his patient on a very extensive level so as to provide the best care possible. It goes a lot deeper than that. I wanted to make it interactive, and I included photography and time lapse video from a lot of places within one mile of the medical school in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

If you have an iPad with the iBooks app (free), you can simply download and view the photography and eBook to your heart's content! If you don't - sorry, you'll just have to scroll through the photos below - no interactivity for you... :/

Anyway, here's the link to download the book for viewing on an iPad. Simply tap this link, then once it downloads (may take a while, depending on your connection speed...) select to "Open in... iBooks." If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below. The book is called Perspectives. Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Where to START. Stache Day 19

My view from the Nerd's Nest (a quiet study area here at MSU CHM) while studying for the Phys exam.
Seriously, I took this picture while sitting in my chair.

Time for an ├╝berfast update.

Wife's car is now officially insured, licensed, and the title transferred! Woo hoo! It only took about a week longer than it should have, but it. is. FINISHED.

This morning was my fourth (FOURTH!) Physiology exam. Covering Muscle (skeletal vs. cardiac vs. smooth), the Autonomic Nervous System (sympathetic vs. parasympathetic, complete with neurotransmitters), and Signaling (eicosanoids, hormones, tyrosine kinase receptors, etc.), it was touted by many as the more difficult of the Phys exams for the semester. I studied harder than I've studied for anything yet this semester, and it went swimmingly. Far better than I was hoping for, which gives me a great kick-start to the next several days. Oh, did I not mention? Thursday and Friday are COMPLETELY FREE (minus the heavy studying to prepare for next week's Genetics exam, for which I've got some catching up to do...) for Thanksgiving! I just have to get through the next couple of days, which now that I no longer have a Phys exam casting its darkling shadow over me.

A little preview for my next post - I've got some pretty big news humongously gigantic news to share that has nothing to do with school, though not until after Thanksgiving. I'll let you squirm for a couple days for it.

And that's all for now.


Except for this - Movember Stache Day 19:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MCAT Flashcard Sale - 50% Off

50% Off Sale

I am offering a Thanksgiving Week Sale - 50% off all of my Jintus Study MCAT Flashcards for Mental Case. Note: this offer DOES NOT apply to the normal pricing where, if you buy all of the cases, you can get all four for $17 instead of the $20 if you purchased them separately. You must add your cases to your order individually, rather than grouping them together, for the coupon code below to apply.

This means that if you purchase all the cards, you will get 3,499 cards for $10.00! That's $0.0029 per card, or about 3 cards for one penny!

This sale ends at midnight on Friday, November 23rd a.k.a. Black Friday. To activate the 50% off discount, simply enter in the coupon code THANKSGIVINGJINTUS at checkout.

Click the My Store tab at the top of the page for more information.

For instructions on how to install the cards (and what free software you need on your iOS device to view them), click here!

For the story behind the cards, click here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Car Hecticness And Movember Mustache Pics!

This week has been full of messy hectic business. Wife and I recently swapped her car (a Mazda 3) for one with better handling in the winter months (a Honda Element) now that I won't be around to come dig her out if she gets stuck. This has seriously been a problem before, so believe me - it was necessary.

Anyway, we found one last week, and a significant portion of this past weekend was spent traveling, checking the car out, and finally buying it. Whew! We're now the proud owners of a 2004 Honda Element. This grainy, terrible, horrible picture that Wife will probably kill me for posting because it doesn't do her or Eleanor (that's what she named her - Eleanor the Element) justice is the only one we have so far:

Eleanor is the exact same color as my car, Hansel. You see, her old car was named Gretel, so... yeah.

Unfortunately, the tale doesn't end that simply. Oh no. The seller still had a lien out on the car, and needed to pay off the balance with the sale money. I thought we would be able to transfer the title and register the car in my name before getting the lien cleared from the title, but apparently that's illegal. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

On Monday (after taking the Abdomen exams in Anatomy after hardly studying at all over the weekend - don't worry though, I am very happy with my score, all things considered) I went back to Holland to get everything squared away with the car so Wife could drive it. Since my name is on the title, I have to be there to do the transfer. Unfortunately, since Sunday was Veteran's Day, the Secretary of State's office was closed on Monday. So, I pretty much wasted 2.5 hours of my Monday. No big deal, I thought. I'll just suck it up and get everything done tomorrow.

On Tuesday, I got out of class at 3pm and had until my Genetics directed study session at 6pm to get things DONE. Drove to Holland, got to the SOS office, waited in line, and when my came moved up to the lady at the desk. I told her what I wanted, and she promptly told me she couldn't do what I was asking because legally I did not own the car.

Me: "Wait, what do you mean I don't own the car? It's bought and paid for - see? We filled out the title transfer."

She: "Yes, but see here? There's still a lien on the vehicle, which means that legally it hasn't been released yet, which means I can't register the vehicle in your name."

Me: "Oh."

Big time BUMMER. I wasted another three hours and had nothing to show for it. This much wasted time is a BIG DEAL when under the constraints of a med student's schedule. I ended up getting a hold of the seller, and it looks like he's going to his bank on Thursday or Friday to pay off the loan, and will have the confirmation emailed to me that day. Ugh - such a pain. Meanwhile, Wife can't really feel free to drive the car because, even though it's insured, since it doesn't have a license plate there's a good chance she'll get pulled over by the police, and that's never fun.

And so, since then I've been playing catchup. There's a HUGE Physiology exam on Monday, so that's the next hurdle. We start lower limb in Anatomy today. To give you an idea of the scope of this unit, I'll just say that the test we'll be taking in four weeks is over 700 pages of material. 700.

Deep breaths, right?

In other news, here's an update of the Stache Pics for Movember. Please consider donating here if you feel my effort is laudable (or laughable) and/or would like to help fund prostate cancer research!

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

 Day 6

 Day 7

 Day 8

 Day 9

Day 10

 Day 11

 Day 12

 Day 13

Day 14

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Proud to Vote

Even though a med student's life is crazy busy and seems like there's never enough time to get things done, I showed up on election day and supported my candidates. For those of you reading in other countries, today is that one day that comes every four years where we get to choose the next President of the United States. And that's pretty much all I'm going to say on the matter right now. You see, this blog isn't about political partisanship or advancing a particular candidate. While I don't feel very strongly about "politics," I do believe that we have an incredible right in the ability to vote, and we shouldn't squander it. People in other countries literally die for the rights that citizens of the United States take so for granted.

Luckily it didn't quite take the four hours that it took another of my med-school-blogger counterparts - and for that I'm grateful. Plus, I got the awesome "Proud to Vote" sticker shown above, which I plan on rocking for the next eight hours or so. And lastly, here's the rank-and-file of Stache Pics for the month of Movember:

Day 3
Day 4 
Day 5
Day 6
Nope, it doesn't seem to be getting any better, folks. If you feel my pain, read this then donate for prostate cancer research!

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