Friday, February 15, 2013

Powering Through February

February has been the fastest-paced month of med school so far. I have never gotten this much information dumped at me in my entire life. How to describe it without using a cliche analogy... Hmm...

It is both daunting and exhilarating. It's terrifying and incredible how much knowledge can be packed into a brain in a short period of time. I've thought before that my brain is like a sponge, but never more so than in the past two weeks. Today marks the half-way point, and so far I'm doing well. Far better than I ever thought was possible - especially after the way last semester started out.

I've discovered what it really is to be disciplined. Not just putting in the hours - I've done that before - but putting in focused, productive, uninterrupted hours. I have never studied with the ferocious intensity of the past few weeks, and the awesome thing is that I don't feel myself burning out. I have been staying encouraged, despite constantly feeling like I'm clawing my way up the side of a never-ending mountain. Oh crap, there's a cliche analogy that crept its way in... Oh well, at least it feels like clawing my way up the mountain, not tumbling down it, hey?

Today we had our first Neuroscience exam. It was online and open book (THANK GOODNESS IT WAS OPEN BOOK), 40 minutes for 30 questions, one question at a time with no ability to review a question after clicking "submit" and moving on to the next one. It had a couple of tricky ones, but I think I did well. I have yet to get a 100% on anything, but I'm really hoping to change that this semester...

This past week, we only had two exams - the other was Physiology (Reproductive System) on Monday. This coming Monday we have a Clinical Skills written exam that is supposed to cover everything we've learned in this semester and last semester so far combined. I have absolutely no clue how I'm going to study for it. I might not. We'll see.

Wednesday is our first Neuroanatomy Lab exam, which is supposed to be MUCH more student-friendly than last semester's exams were. We have something like 20 questions to be completed in 20 minutes, and we get a word bank of all of the objectives. It's supposed to be a "spelling aid," but it's really insurance against brain failure if you just can't remember what that thing was called but you know it started with "teg..."

Thursday has our first Bacteriology quiz, and Friday we have our second Neuroscience exam. That's right - that's a week from today, our first Neuroscience exam. After that, the following week has three exams (Physiology, Epidemiology Final, and Bacteriology) spread out over Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And 13 hours of lecture, which really isn't that bad, given that a normal week has about 20 hours. Saturday morning (two weeks from tomorrow!), I'll be jetting off to sunny Costa Rica for a week-long elective course entitled "CHM Broadening Perspectives on Health Care." It should be AWESOME, and I'm a student leader to boot.

There are so many things I'd like to write about, but it feels like every time I cut myself enough slack to get on here and write, all I can get to is an update about exams and classes... For example, Wife and I just recently found a house that we're going to rent, which is awesome! While I've enjoyed (truly, I have...) studying in the Medbunker, I'm ready to be living with Wife again in a place of our own. I've also recently started using an alarm that wakes you up with light and the sound of chirping birds. It's pretty awesome, so I'd like to write a review about it, but that takes time. I'd also like to write a review for the Rain Design mStand laptop stand that Wife got me for Christmas, as I've been loving it even more than my alarm clock. Add to that the app that tracks your movement as a measurement of the deepness of your sleep cycles, and I feel like a well-rested sleep specialist. On top of that, Wife recently finished a quilt for me that I'm currently using as a gigantic cape-blanket. Life seems to be flying by at a blinding pace, and I'm having a hard time finding the time / motivation to put it all down in blog form!

For right now, I'm going to focus on the 23 hours (literally) of material/notes from lectures that I've watched that I'd like to review (SO not going to happen, but I can dream, right?) this weekend. Wish me luck!


Susan said...

Power on, Justin!!! Power on!!

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading "Powering Through February." I am now legitimately exhausted and need to go to sleep.

By the way, forget the microscope. You will probably never use it beyond second year and you will feel guilty as it sits there in the corner collecting dust. Or, you will be so distracted by its wonders, you will forget your new-found studying discipline. You will start attacking strangers on the street begging for just a little swab or picking at their hair. (Trust me, you DO NOT want to get a slide of what you find in a drinking fountain.) This will certainly not have its desired consequences, though they might allow you to have your books while you wait in jail for your required psych clearance.

Enjoy Costa Rica. Is wife able to go with you? Tricia

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