Monday, December 7, 2015

The Last Days of MD2 and Residence Rules

Well, it has been a long, long journey but I must say that this semester was fun.  I think I am well rested for what is to come because the next semester surely isn't easy as well as the more intense studying that is needed.  It may be because of the additional assignments and presentations but I don't know.  I will tell you when I get there!

So, it is only a week and a half before I go home.  Today I had my last quiz of MD 2 in physiology.  I must say that I am very proud of myself because I did a lot better on this quiz than I did for all of my other quizzes.  Yay for me.  Just another victory before I start more journey home.  It also sounds like I am going to have a very eventful winter break as well.

So in the past week, nothing eventful has taken place.  I have been receiving a lot of emails however in regards to what to expect when you get to the island.  I can't really say because everyone's experience is different.  It honestly depends on how much spending you plan to do as well as your comfort level.  I would like to label myself as a very frugal person (or just plain cheap).  I don't like to spend more than I need to if I can help it because I don't see the point if there are little children around the world starving for food and I have the luxury of better things.  That's just my opinion.  However, some people expect rainbows and unicorns.

So by now, I am on my third landlord of which I am comfortable being with.  Next semester, I am a little indecisive as to whether I would want to move or not but I will surely keep you updated.  I really like the opportunity to try different areas that can help future students on what areas to live in and what areas to stay away from.  Also, pricing of apartments is a common question.  The answer will always be it depends.  If you live alone, you could pay from $550 on up.  The usual rate I keep hearing from people is around $650 but if you find something cheaper, you've definitely gotten a good deal.  Just make sure that the landlord is nice and they won't try to keep your security deposit.  I actually have one landlord now that owes me about $500.  The problem with trying to sue her is that the courts move very slow here and they usually favor in the Anguillians side.  So if I see her, I will try to convince her to give me something.  Because that money would have been very useful.  Two bedrooms can help cheapen the expenses because the electric bill will be shared.

Some things to think about when getting a place include getting a lease.  Some landlords insist that they will just take your word for it and not give you a lease.  Get some type of documentation in case you have to sue them.  It happens and sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  Also, try to get the utilities covered in the rent.  Unfortunately, if you have air conditioning, this is very difficult.  Most landlords don't want to pay for electricity because students in the past have had bad habits of leaving the air conditioning on.  The electricity is not like it is in the United States.  The electric bills here tend to be very high and the utilities are not very efficient.  I suggest that when you leave your residence that you unplug everything and turn off fans.  This could reduce your electric bill and possibly make your landlord happy that they have a tenant that isn't a hassle.

Another major point to talk about is the water.  Water is not a renewable resource as it is in the United States where we have water treatment facilities.  The water that runs from the facet is not palatable.  If you do decide to attempt to drink it, you will notice a very salty taste.  Water sometimes becomes scarce especially during the seasons when it doesn't rain as often.  It seems now that we are in the rain season but this summer when I came, it was very dry.  Below the houses are well-like structures called cisterns.  Water is pumped into them when they are empty from the water companies on the islands and also when it rains.  Be aware of where the opening is located so you can check your water usage as needed.  So just be aware of when you're washing your hair, brushing your teeth, washing that extra load of laundry and doing dishes of how much water you are using because it can be expensive.  So now that you know it isn't a good idea to waste water, I know you are wondering, what do I drink?  I actually drink a lot of water.  Many students tend to buy bottled water when they get here and save the bottles.  The school has a water fountain.  That's all I am going to say so you can't say I told you to do anything.  *Whistling as I walk away.

Finally, transportation can be another issue for people.  I think many of you experienced the journey of how I obtained a car on this island with me.  Transportation is dependent on you.  I honestly think I could have not had it but I just can't study outside of the library for some reason so coming to school on the weekends helps me remember the information better.  So, again, it depends.  Where is your study space?  It could be at your residence, school or someone else's place.  It doesn't matter.  If you live within walking distance of some places and you feel comfortable walking, go for it.  And occasionally a classmate may see you and pick you up on the way as well.  Renting is pretty easy to do and the rates are about $300 per month.  Buying a car seems like more of a hassle however you may get the cost of the car back in the end.  So the return on investment is better.  Overall, it is your choice.

Well this post went in a direction that I didn't plan on but I again hope this was very helpful.  This weekend is the White Coat Ceremony for this semester's MD4s. I have a few friends that will be transitioning to Chicago and I will include pictures at their discretion.  We have exams next week and I think I have a beach trip planned before I return home on the 19th.  I will be sure to update you after I can call myself a MD3 but before the new year.  Before I go:

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
-Romans 14:4, NKJV

Monday, November 30, 2015

Immigration and Thanksgiving

Hello all.  I hope you had a nice holiday.  I enjoyed the holidays by sitting in class with lectures and more lectures on endocrinology and nutrition.  I assure you that your holiday was a lot better than mine.  But before I get to that, let me explain immigration.

When I first got to the island, they stamped my passport for 6 months because that's what they did with the students before us.  The school sent an email notification of a new immigration requirement about 2 weeks before starting classes about this new requirement.  So the policy is now we, the students,  are required to pay for a student visa in which the students before us did not have to pay.  The cost of the student visa that last 3 years is in total, $600.  $100 for the application fee and $500 for the stamp.  Yes, that is a lot of money that one would have to budget for and it is consistent with my statement that your first semester is your most expensive semester.

Last semester, the immigration department was supposed to come to the school to process our paperwork but they failed to do so until this semester.  They came to the school last week to collect money from the students.  I gave them my passport and the money to receive a certificate valid for one year and a stamp in my passport.  I am no longer an illegal alien but yes I did just state that I received a certificate that last a year.  Apparently, I need to use my time to retrieve another.  But who knows?! Sometimes things change and processes change.  I am just complying.

I would like to also point out that the way of life in Anguilla is not similar to that of the United States.  In the United States, we are accustomed to getting everything very quickly and efficiently.  In Anguilla, it is not apart of their culture to be so.  I do like that if I need something that people will cater to you but in other things, it may be some things that move at a slower process than what we may be used to.  It is apart of the experience in another country.  So schools, grocery stores and salutations are all different.  But it may be what works for their country opposed to what we are used to.  It is just like we learn in ethics class, their (Anguillians) quality of life may be different than ours.

So to move away from that and talk about an American tradition which kind of contradicts what I just said.  A lot of students were really missing home so it would only be right to have potluck Thanksgiving dinners together.  I must say that I reaped the benefits of having a full belly but not a full mind.  I will have to make this up in my studying for certain.

Thanksgiving potluck in Anguilla
Thanksgiving was filled with dishes that included a little taste of home.  Now more than ever, we miss our families cooking and gatherings that we would have.  And just to think that we will be home in less than 3 weeks.  The only thing in my way is 3 presentations, 1 assignment and 5 exams.  You know, that now sounds like a lot.  I'm going to go study now.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
-Genesis 3:1-13, KJV

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is it time to go home yet?

Seriously, is it time to go home yet?  I just want a warm shower and food that I don't have to cook.  I know I am so silly but you start to miss the simple things when you are away from home.  So I passed my block 2 exams and it's already almost time for the block 3 exams.  I must say that this semester has flown by.  I apologize for not writing sooner but I have been a busy little bee in the library studying my life away.  Especially since my computer has decided it doesn't want to be reliable by blue screening frequently so I am so happy that the library has computers for us to use besides just used to print.

Since blocks went well, I figured I would treat myself to a beach day after classes and here are a few pieces of evidence of my little bit of fun including learning to swim.  I went  with a few friends as usual and this is Shoal Bay to be specific just before sunset that is now occurring before 6 pm.

The next new thing that happened in my life was the time change that occurred in the United States.  This is the first time in my life I have to actually rethink the time because we are now officially on Atlantic Standard Time.  I have been so sheltered that I have only lived in Eastern Standard Time.  I know, you can say it's sad but it's a new experience for me and I am excited.  Also, the sun no longer rises at 5 am and now rises at a quarter to 6 so there is somewhat an improvement in the chicken and rooster alarm clocks. 

So after attending church service, I was notified that I was in the newspaper from the Breast Cancer Walk that I participated in.  I must say that it was a pleasant surprise and it is something to say that I did.  Here is the picture if you like to see.  My body did hurt for a few days after that maybe because I was wearing sandals and not exactly the best clothes that I could have been wearing.  It was for a great cause and that's all I need to convince me to do something.

Other than studying for classes, I volunteered with the Anguilla Red Cross and got my face painted in the process.  I must say that they did a fine job and it was really fun to meet some more people in the community that I am now apart of temporarily.  We, the students, were giving health checks as usual to the locals.  We also helped in conducting surveys about if our services were helpful or not.  The general consensus from what I saw was that they loved our involvement in the community.  Since this is the rain season, it was nice that the rain did decide to hold out until after the event was over.  And hopefully we made more connections in the community.

Other than doing things other than study, I have been learning some new things in class as well as old.  Repetition is seriously one of the best things ever.  Fortunately, the classes have overlap in some of the pathologies otherwise I wouldn't know how I would remember some of these and to think that I am going to have learn more is still mind-boggling.  But I am sure since everyone is doing it for this long that I can manage with what little that I have.  Here's a picture of the brain from my teacher's presentation on DIT, an imaging technique for the brain.  I am unsure of the source but it looks really nice so I will insert it here.

We also have had a series of presentations this semester.  I think by now I have had about 4 presentations this semester and it's still not over yet.  I think I have about 2 more presentations to go.  Below is my friends and I looking as nice as we can in our presentation attire.  I have been told that I am a natural at presentations but I think I just put on a good impression that I do.  So with next week going to be blocks, I must say that I am in my panic mode although I know that God has my back as long as I cast my cares upon Him.
Last but not least, here's a Word to have:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
-1Peter 5:6-10, KJV

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rainy Days and Cloudy Skies

Hi!  I know everyone has probably been dying to hear from me but it has been literally a lot of rainy days and cloudy skies.  On top of the rain, which is odd for my experience here in Anguilla, I have had some rainy days in my life back home.

Raining in Anguilla at School

Rainbow after the rain in Anguilla
Just to have proof, I decided to take a picture of it for the world to see.  By the way, I wasn't the only person to do this because a lot of students were surprised at the amount of rain that we were getting as well.  Afterwards, we had the rainbow of God's promise show up on time.  It was such a beautiful sight that I just had to capture it and show it.  I know that we've all seen a rainbow plenty of times but I thought this was especially special because this is exam week and I have never been lead somewhere that God can't take me out of.  I can only speak for myself.

Crocus Bay
I am very sorry for writing so late but I have not had the best of days.  I have been attempting to make better study habits and so far I am succeeding.  I thought last block may have been my best block here but this one, although the hardest, may be my best one yet!  I promise I will stop saying that once I set better expectations for myself.  I will not discount medical school at all and say it is easy when it definitely is not.  There are just some parts that are more challenging than others.  Juggling five classes doesn't seem very difficult until you add in the extracurricular acitivities that some students take part in as well as Walden University Masters degrees as well.  However, it is all manageable because many students before me have done it all successfully.  Up to now, you know that I am involved with Anguilla Red Cross and Cover 2 Cover.  LAst Saturday, there was an event for Red Cross at Crocus Bay involving kids.  We had activities for the local children as well as some of the students children.  Due to obvious reasons, I did not take any pictures of the children but here's a picture of the beach.

So before, I introduced the troubles of this semester.  I am not sure if I included my dad getting sick on top of all the weight that I carry as well as other things.  This week alone, my computer has decided to quit on me.  I was blue screened about 4 times in 3 days.  I decided to give it a rest and just upload everything to a cloud so I could still access powerpoints.  I just may have to do the old school method and take notes in class with pen and paper opposed to a laptop for a while.  This is very frustrating however when you are studying for your toughest exam yet and your most reliable source of information just decides to stop working.  It's kind of like your kidney which I learned about this block.  You never realize how important it really is until it stops working.  But life moves on and I still have to study.  So now, I have pretty much taken over a library computer cubicle since not a lot of students use them unless they are printing.

 So to also accompany the troubles of my week, the police had a checkpoint like they often do and who is the person to get flagged down?  Fortunately, it took less time than I expected.  But let's progress with my day.  Shall we?

My friends and I at Junk's Hole
Junk's Hole
Junk's Hole
I go to take my exam that I am overly excited to take.  I think I was as ready as I was going to be.  I must say that I thought I was.  So as I am taking the exam, I am not really judging my time at all.  I was on question 37 out of 50 when there was 15 minutes left.  This includes the additional 10 minutes we received for the exam.  I did not "finish" this exam but I still passed because I filled in some bubbles as I was walking toward the teacher to hand in my paper.  My second exam was better because I finished and then my friends and I went exploring before we attended a Breast Cancer Walk for the island hence the pink shirts.  We went exploring on the East end of the island in Junk's Hole to look at the beauty we have around us.  Here's some pictures of our adventures for the afternoon.  After taking some pictures for social media because that's somewhat of what we do, we attended the breast cancer walk.  I was told somehow that the walk would only be 1 mile and another student thought the walk was 2 miles.  Two hours later and 5 miles walked, we finished.  It was dark by that time so sorry for the lack of pictures of that.  It was a lot of people supporting the cause by wearing pink shirts and walking.  There were even a few that ran.
My friend and I at the Breast Cancer Walk
 But even in the midst of all my troubles this week, I still managed to smile through it all because there are far worse things that could have happened and I am still blessed for having what I have.  To give an update on my family, my dad is doing better.  He is home out of the hospital and trying to be the master chef that he is when he can.  My friend's cousin, Deepika, is at home waiting while money is still being raised on her behalf and she is sustaining currently on oxygen therapy.  She is still waiting for her transplants however.  I will make a page for her since this will be a recurring theme and will be updated as needed.  Again, here is the link to her GoFundMe page.

All in all, I have to end and go study for my biochemistry and neuroanatomy exams.  It seems that this is all I ever seem to do.  I still haven't caught up on my TV shows that everyone said I would be able to watch.  As some motivation for troubling times, here's this:

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you,Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
-Isaiah 41:10, NKJV

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

MD2 Details and Tribute for a Friend

Hello All!  You don’t have to remind me that I am a little late in posting because I have been trying to get myself to do so for a while now.  It has been a really awful week honestly.  My dad was hospitalized for stomach pain but unfortunately the doctors wanted to treat his high blood pressure.  That is a conversation all in its own but other than that, he went home on Sunday.  Thank God for that.

So continue on with the car situation, I only had to pay $265 EC or $100 US to transfer the car to my name.  So the rumors of it will be $500 US were false.  I must thank my step father #1 for that because I didn’t know how I was going to get that paid for.  And I promise I will get that oil change you told me to get.  But now, no more stranded at the library when it closes and I don’t have to stay until midnight.

On to new things, I need to describe the classes that I have this semester.  Well, there are some students in my class that rely solely on watching videos of this professor but that is not my style.  I don’t even like sitting through lectures of our teachers sometimes so why would I want to sit through another?  Whatever works for you is how you should proceed through your classes.

Biochemistry seems a lot easier than it should be but I am not complaining.  It also may have to do with the fact that we don’t have to know as much information as we had to learn in undergrad.  The course seems more of a review from undergrad.  The method I am using to get through this class is reading the slides repeatedly as well as redrawing the pathways and identifying rate-limiting enzymes because those are the steps that heavily influence your reactions and where most pathology come from.

Physiology is the hardest course that I have this semester.  It uses the anatomy on steroids we took in the first semester and begins to tell us how the body functions.  Today we will start the kidney and from what I’ve heard, it is NOT your friend.  This class is all concepts.  The formulas that you are given in class are not usually for solving but more of explaining how structures work within the body.

Genetics is very difficult to describe.  It seems way too easy but I will not discount it because it has some challenging things to remember as well.  It is also review from undergrad if you took this course.

Neuroanatomy is probably the most interesting class we have this semester.  The teacher uses a teaching style that is different from every other teacher and I think it is the most effective.  He rarely uses powerpoint and draws on the board.  It is useful because you can draw everything and not have to study as hard.  This method of learning should be used in other courses but I am not the teacher for these courses.  Also, the professor commented that Caribbean medical schools should have better teachers due to US schools employing teachers based on how much research money they can contribute.  When the teachers do teach, it may be a teacher’s assistant or they may do so while focusing on their research.  It is a valid point but who knows the truth?

CCBS is similar to what I had in the first semester except this time it is primarily presentations this semester.  It is mostly review from last semester in combination with new information we are learning this semester.  Still, it is mostly a review course for repeat exposure to material.

Finally we have RHM or research in health and medicine.  While we are on the island, they ask that we perform research to ensure that we understand the importance of research.  The research must be feasible for the budget that they provide which is not a lot from what I hear.  A lot of students usually continue research that other students have done previously.

So those are the classes.  Since last week we finished our Block 1 exams, we had our usual Scilly Cay party sponsored by White Coat which is a committee for the final semester students to raise money for their white coat ceremony.  This semester, I decided to partake even though I would rather sleep.  They also had a beauty bar where you could nails, hair and make-up. I decided to let my friends give me a makeover and I’ll let you decide on how I looked and you can scroll through other pages if you want to see a difference.  It was really nice to be dolled up and prance around for a few.  I didn’t get a chance to take pictures a Scilly Cay because it was so dark.  I should mention that it is another island that just so happens to be used for partying.
My Attire for Scilly Cay
Tribute for a Friend

One last thing to add before I close is that I have a friend that would like some prayers and donations for her cousin.  Her cousin who is in India is experiencing some health issues where she will need a heart and lung transplant.  She has a Go Fund Me page and I will provide the link below.  Any support would make them happy and I am sure there are plenty of prayer warriors out there.  Her name is Deepika and she is only 23 years old.  There is more information about her condition on the link below.

Finally, I leave you all with:
“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

-NKJV Psalms 55:22

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Time Management and Transportation?!

Hello All.  I would just like to say that I appreciate all the views of this blog.  I believe this blog is serving its purpose of helping others, and that was my primary mission.  This week is the week of blocks already, but I thought since I have a little bit of time to kill that I would take a break from studying and share something today.

I have been getting a lot of feedback this past week pertaining to time management.  A lot of my classmates explain that they wouldn’t be able to juggle Walden University with Saint James School of Medicine.  I honestly have to say, some days I wonder the same thing myself, but it is all about time management and what you do with your free time.  I don’t have a regular schedule that I follow, but I have figured out that every time I have a free moment that I should use that free moment to do something constructive.  I will admit that some days are more productive than others such as Sunday when only studied for about two hours total and I was in the library for six hours.  It’s all based on how you utilize your extra time.

With Walden, I usually have a discussion and an assignment due each week.  With it being block week, this time management is a little bit tougher.  Honestly this week, I will attempt to get my assignment finished between now and tomorrow so on my study day, I can focus primarily on my coursework.  Little perks such as that are always very helpful in the long run.  When I am not proactive, I usually end up forcing myself to race against the clock to finish my assignment in about a few hours and turn it in before the deadline.  I still can write a 5-page paper pretty fast, and I thank my undergrad for that.  My opinion on time management of the two schools boils down to how you prioritize yourself and time management.  A lot of studying is involved in medical school, and the discussion posts are based a lot on personal experience to justify your reasoning of the concepts with the masters degree.  I use the books from Walden, which are shipped to the school each semester as a guide.  I hope this helps anyone who has questions about this matter.

Anguilla Temporary License
My Temporary License for Anguilla
2000 Mitsubishi Libero
My Car while I'm In Anguilla
2000 Mitsubishi Libero
Okay so now a follow-up from the previous post, I have officially bought a car in Anguilla.  It looks……nice, I guess.  I honestly just wanted something that got me from point A to B.  It seems thus far that it will do that so I am not complaining plus it has air conditioning so I can’t complain.  A picture of my car is below along with my license.  And yes, my license is a piece of paper.  You receive the temporary license from Inland Revenue, and it is only $20 US.  I would like to include that with buying a car, you purchase car insurance for a year or six months.  Purchasing it for six months doesn’t make much sense because you pay 70% of the full years’ cost.  Luckily, insurance is not the same cost it is in America and is only $500 for a whole year.  And pick your jaw up from the floor because that is $500 EC which is about $200 US.  Not bad, huh?  If at any time you need details about that, don’t hesitate to comment or send an email because I am not endorsing this company.  Also, they would like for you to include your previous license to vouch that you have been driving for over two years.  My previous license I broke into three pieces and had to receive a duplicate.  And it didn’t help that I received it just before I got here.  So for anyone that plans to buy a car versus rent a car here’s your heads up.  I also must mention that while I was driving back to school after buying the car, there was a herd of goats in the middle of the street walking slow as can be and I just thought it was oh so lovely!  I'll add a picture of that for humor.

Next, I have to get the car licensed because the previous owner wants to keep her license plate.  So that’s apparently around another $250 US.  I forgot about how much stuff like this cost.  But I will keep you guys updated on that.  I must say that my independence that I now have been completely worth it.  I was able to attend the health fair that we had at the grocery store on Saturday that was sponsored by the Anguilla Red Cross.  We had a great time and below is a picture of a few friends and me.  I must say that we look very diverse!

My Friends and I at the Anguilla Red Cross Health Fair
Alright so I must end this and get back to studying for the beast this Friday, and I appreciate all prayers made by my audience.  I hope you all have a great week and last but not least a verse that I received from someone who has been reading this blog:

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
-Proverbs 27:17, KJV

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Physiology and Biochemistry Woes....

Hello all once again!  I just wanted to give you all a brief update on my life.  It feels like it's been a long week although it's only Wednesday.  This week has been full of interesting little things.  Yesterday we had our first physiology quiz which seemed way too easy.  With that said, I will let you assume how well it went for me!

But how should I start this off.........

Well on Sunday, I came to the library.  I used to get rides from the librarian because we went to church together but since I've been back to the island, I have been more solitary.  I absolutely HATE asking for rides.  It is honestly just so annoying that I would rather hitch one than be that person that you talk about that you are always giving a ride.  As the library closed, I honestly did not know at all how I was going to get home.  It is not the greatest feeling either so it just so happened that a lovely young man with a good heart decided to take me home.  It was a nice gesture but that is the last time I ever want to be stranded like that.

When I got home, I called my mom to discuss possibly getting a car.  As I have mentioned before, I don't have a lot of money nor do I come from money so this was all the money that I have remaining until I receive my financial aid from Walden.  So, yes.  I'm pretty much hurting for money but because I need it, I will get it.  We agreed on what I should do which is not let me be stranded again so that equals get a car.  I think I've found one but I will definitely post my chariot when I get it.  Just FYI, the cars here are not always the greatest but if you remember that they are only to get you from point A to point B, you will be fine.

Another thing that I did consider was the fact that since I am purchasing a vehicle that all maintenance is up to me.  Yes, I see why people rent a car but being that I have met so many people on the island that are like family to me, I have faith that I will be alright.  Plus I will have to sell it but I think I will stay on the island until the end of the month after my MD 4 semester.

Monday and Tuesday were spent studying for physiology of course but I have honestly neglected studying for biochemistry since the beginning of the semester hence the title.  I honestly feel bad but I am truly leaning on my background in chemistry from college but I don't think I can any longer.  I just started literally studying for it in the last three hours.  Two PowerPoint's down and eight more to go!  And yes you read that right.  I don't need the ridicule because I know that was a bad idea.

Not to mention that last night I went to dinner with the Walden University representatives and a few students.  Oh my, the shrimp was so good but I do regret that two hours that I could have been in tutoring for physiology.  Oh well, I can't change what happened now.  The Walden representatives did pitch an idea for us, the students, to develop a way we can organize something that could potentially impact the island.  It is a very good idea but I am trying to fit in the time to do Walden and this program in itself.  And that's stressful enough.  But I have some ideas in the back of my mind.

This post is getting a little long and I have to return to studying so I will leave you guys with this:
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
-1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV

PS: I promise if I do get some wheels that I will take a picture and list ALL the relevant details in case you would want to do the same.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Second Semester Begins!!!

Excuse my absence but I was attempting to have fun after passing my classes for my first semester.  And yes, I passed!  I can be truly honest and say that there was a moment where I didn’t know if I would or not.  Also, I had a big fiasco with my second landlord causing me to move yet again but this time definitely with someone safe and I know I will be treated with care.

So yesterday was my first day of classes for my second semester and I can already tell my satisfaction that I will have with them.  It is not exactly the most positive feedback.  It feels as if I will have a lot more free time than I had in my first semester however, I do still think I will use it to study a lot again.  This semester, my classes include: Biochemistry, Physiology, Neuroscience, Genetics, CCBS and RHM. They also changed my classroom which affects my norm but I won’t complain although I did see an ant which may add to my dissatisfaction.  Plus I think you all know my feelings about ants at this point (if not, see post First Week of Classes).

So let’s go back to the discussion about my classes.  Biochemistry and Physiology are everyday in the morning and as of now, they don’t seem very challenging but that may be because my undergraduate degree is in chemistry.  But my goal is to stay on top of those subjects this semester primarily because they are every day.  Also, we were told the only class that gives curves is Physiology and my class is a little notorious for getting 20 point curves on a lot of exams last semester.  Neuroscience makes me feel like I am in organic chemistry again because it seems like I will be drawing a lot of pictures and filling in words as I see fit.  We had our introduction to RHM yesterday which is Research in Health and Medicine.  RHM is a course over the span of three semesters in which they expect for you to perform some type of research while in school on this island.  In this portion, we just listen to lecture about important research mechanisms and have a test on that information and we also do a review of literature.  Every semester, we have CCBS or Clinical Correlates of Basic Sciences.  I have no idea of what to expect this time other than presentations that I’ve heard about.

So since I have been away, I went home to Atlanta.  My first meal was Cookout and I ate a really good cheeseburger.  Oh how I missed them so much!  Of all places to not go, I forgot to grab a Frappuccino from Starbucks.  I did bring back some dresses, my lunchbox and two pairs of heels.  I would’ve brought more but there is no real point since I only have one more year.  I hate that I forgot to bring more food back but you give and take.  I was only home for 6 days which does not provide enough time to see all of my family and friends but just enough to give me the push to go through this semester.  I did get to celebrate my mom’s birthday which is always great and we had a blast at dinner that day.

Since I have been back at school, I have learned that I am the event coordinator for Cover 2 Cover which is an organization that rents books to students for the semester.  My position is to find opportunities to fundraise so that we could purchase more books.  I also became a buddy this semester and I have the lovely chance of being a buddy to fellow from Florida.  He seems like a great student already although he tried to freeze me in the study room last night.

Lastly, I began my Walden University courses again which add to my crazy life.  Right now, it sounds like a ridiculous amount of things going on but with classes finishing at 3 pm each day, I think I will be fine overall.  Besides, how can a class called Understanding Students be so difficult?

So I can honestly say, just like the goes I never would’ve made it through last semester without Him!  So thought for the week,
“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

-Psalms 55:22, NKJV

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Carnival Should Never End

This August, I experienced my first Carnival.  Carnival is the first week of August here in Anguilla.  I have never seen so many people here since I've been here.  It is an experience that is worth it mainly if you are a tourist and not as a student.  It all started with the J'Ouvert parade on August Monday.  It is a national holiday so many stores were closed and of course there was no school.  The J'Ouvert parade started around 4 am.  Many students participated but since this is medical school and we don't sleep a lot, I took the opportunity to sleep in.  The parade starts in the Valley and continues to Sandy Ground.  On Google Maps, it may not seem that far but if you take into the account the hills that one would have to walk, you may change your mind.

At Sandy Ground, there was a concert featuring a lot of Caribbean artist that performed throughout the day and night.  I did go see Beenie Man perform a little while and saw a lot of people.  It was a fun experience but I will say that I should've been home studying.

The next day, we had class and there were a few students that needed a nap in place of class that day from the night before.  I really don't like the idea of skipping class because in a way it is a waste of money.  But I must say that I have learned my lesson.  I articulated in my presentation my portion very well and continued as usual throughout the rest of the day.

We only had class that week on Tuesday and Wednesday so the extended weekend gave an opportunity to either make use of it or waste it.  I could my opinion on how mine went but I rather make you think I make smart choices.

I just thought that I would add that next week starts exams and next Saturday, I will begin my journey home to see my family.  I am more than excited.  The only thing standing in my way are these exams!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Start of Block 4 and About the Classes

Blocks are over and I have less than a month until I go home.  It’s so close I can taste it.  This block went very well being that I learned about the upper and lower limbs anatomy and other helpful topics.  I didn’t attend the Wale concert like I wanted but I got some ice cream.  I have learned over the past few weeks that closed mouth never gets fed so I can’t blame anyone for my shortcomings but myself. 

I have also learned more effective study habits for the course that I am currently taking which should be effective for the rest of my coursework.  Making study sheets as advised from Andrea Tooley on YouTube which I highly recommend checking out before you start any medical school was very helpful.  I will say to make sure that you organize them properly and I haven’t made it to the question sheets as of yet but it will happen one day.

As you can read, I have no main topic today because I believe that I have given all the back story of what to expect when someone is to get here.  Well, I guess I can actually talk about the classes now.

Anatomy is anatomy.  The teachers we have are very knowledgeable and you will be shocked at the amount of knowledge that they expect you to know.  Between the muscles and bones, you are expected to know by the end of the block the arteries and veins and their anastomoses.  I would say that people who have taken the class previously did have an advantage but then again I would also say they don’t.  They on one hand know a lot of information already but learning on top of what you already know makes it slightly difficult to grasp the information at times.  Also, this course just teaches what and how but not why.  For some people, it makes this class a lot harder than it should be.  But according to one of our teachers, anatomy is the easiest course we will take in medical school.  I beg to differ.

Histology.  I will be honest and say that I had no idea what that word meant until I took this course.  It is basically anatomy at a cellular level.  So remember when you had to use the light microscope to look at slides in biology class?  You do it again here in lab.  I didn’t think the lab portion was useful however I see the purpose as a teaching mechanism for teaching what you should see on each slide and points to note.  Sadly, I didn’t realize this until around the end of block two.  It is not very difficult in my opinion but the synonyms to learn and some of the concepts are difficult to grasp.

Embryology is the story of life.  I think you get that from the word embryology.  It is actually a very interesting course where you learn from conception to birth how a life is created and all the little parts that contribute to how individuals are made.  The most interesting part thus far has been the heart.  It’s difficult to explain without seeing.  Also this course has allowed us to learn to fake it until we become it said by our teacher in reference to a TED talk.  By doing this, we should remember that we know a lot which can help us fake being a doctor until we are actually one.  Superman pose and GO!

Medical Ethics is more of a conversation course.  The conversation is that of determining the right and wrong of how you would treat the patient in various situations.  Whether to kill a patient or let them live.  Needless to say, with all the scenarios that could happen, I find it difficult to determine whether to kill the patient or let them stay on the ventilator.  Maybe other people see what I see differently but this course depends on the person.

CCBS or clinical correlation of basic sciences.  This course is the application of what we are learning in all of our other courses and how they appear in the clinical setting.  This class is by far the most interesting however you only have two chances to showcase your knowledge of the information learned in this course.  The other courses are tested each block where this one is tested as a midterm and final.  This class you must pay attention because there is not enough information on the slide.  Plus being that this course is only once a week, you can’t skip it because that could prevent you from being allowed to take the exams.  If you have a background in reading radiographs, this class will be your strong suit being that that is what is the main thing taught.

I hope this brief synopsis of the courses is helpful to some however it is to help from coming in blind sighted.  If you would like a little more information, I advise looking up the SGA website at  You will always have a person in your class that asks a lot of questions.  I hope that the one in your class is one that asks relevant questions about what you’re going over in class.  But everyone has that one! 

Just for some interesting information to give I would tell you that the cost of water is not like it is at home partly because you can drink water from the tap there.  Here, that is not an option because everywhere has water in a cistern.  I once ruined my filtered water bottle by doing this so it’s really not a good idea.  Also to prevent the need for buying water very often, students often use old water bottles to fill up at the water fountain in the student lounge but I didn’t tell you to do so.  But it is there. 

Also, there are two restaurants/food spots walking distance or on campus.  There is Jivanni’s CafĂ© and the food truck behind the white building.  They both offer tasty food choices that sometimes aren’t the healthiest but they satisfy you.  They both offer coffee for $1 and accept Visa and MasterCard.

Well that is it for this time.  I would also ask if you would like input from other students in my class as a blogpost to write it below in the comments.  And for the scripture this post I will leave you with this:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.

-James 1:6-8

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unthinkable Things and Studying

So hello again!  I have been so busy studying lately that I have not had the chance to write but I figured I would force myself to do so tonight.  To point out, next Friday and the following Monday will be our Block 3 exams.  We have a histology quiz set for Friday and an anatomy quiz on the upcoming Monday.  I would say that it's a pretty busy time but it is time as usual.  After the first block, it is pretty easy to get used to a set schedule.  But before you know it, like now, you realize it's almost the end of the semester.  And God knows that I cannot wait!

Our classroom, MD1, Summer 2015 at
Saint James School of Medicine
So nothing interesting has been going on in my world.  Some things that are going on around the island that may seem uncommon would be the fact that there is a basketball camp going on this week with Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans hosting it.    On Saturday for the conclusion of the camp, they are having a free concert featuring Wale and some other artists. I’m thinking of attending although I would be sacrificing studying.  The school is also hosting its annual health fair on Sunday where we actually perform diagnostic checks of vital signs for the locals here and the professors give the advice.  I think that’s how it works.  It is sponsored by the Red Cross and it has really made an impact on the community here from what I’ve heard.

Anguilla Church of Christ in Blowing Point, Anguilla

So I just thought I would mention that since we had a “seat cushion incident” that if you’re thinking about bringing a seat cushion, I highly suggest it.  It took me about two weeks for my behind to adjust to the hard chairs that we have and I am still not entirely comfortable.  I would also suggest a jacket.  The classrooms are normally cold in the morning and in some, people actually use blankets.  I’m not that extreme but it is all about how your body functions in air conditioning.  Lastly, books.  Books can be purchased and brought here with you or you can wait until you get here and let an upperclassman give them to you on a hard drive.  I will mention that hard copies may be useful especially during hurricane season when the electricity has the tendency to go out for periods of time.  I did not bring any books except one but next semester, I plan to utilize the Cover 2 Cover resources available as well as the library resources.

Lastly, I mentioned that I would give you pictures of the church and I also wanted to give you a picture of me and my friends playing in the water at Mead’s Bay.  It took us about 10 attempts to get our feet completely organized for the perfect shot which we still complained about. 

Photo with Friends at Mead's Bay, Anguilla
It was a fun day with the sunset.  Also, this week marks the conclusion of Ramadan which I have had several classmates that have fasted every single day and I must commend them of their efforts.  It is just amazing I must say.  To end, I would state this:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.  Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that our charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

Matthew 6:1-4, NKJV

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Estimated Budgets and Other Budget Busters as a Student

BLOCK 2 is finally OVER!!!  Okay, so I completely understand that you may not even know what that means but basically the semester is divided into 4 sections called blocks.  The end of the blocks have celebratory exams to assess your learning of that section.  I would say that I did better than last semester.  At this point, I just want to make sure that I pass.  A’s and B’s are not my major concern because after all this is medical school.  To celebrate, I went with some friends to Mead’s Bay to a restaurant called Blanchard’s.  Here’s a few pictures if you want to see my adventure as well.
So today’s topic is financials.  A few days ago, I posted on Facebook that if anyone wanted to contribute to the poor fund of Ariel Sheppard, to send me a message.  I think everyone thought it was just a joke although I was very serious.

Since I have been here, I have been milked for money.  Actually before I left home.  Before leaving home, everyone in my class received an email stating that the immigration laws have changed in Anguilla and they now require that ALL students have the student visa documentation from our class on.  This is before we find places to live and after we’ve paid about $10,000 for tuition and enrollment fees.  By the way, the $1000 to hold your seat does NOT go toward your tuition but to the enrollment fee instead. The student visa documentation requirement cost a total of $600 consisting of a $100 application fee and $500 documentation fee.  The application is actually due today as a matter of fact.  I didn’t plan to spend this much money in my first semester but it is very difficult not to when you have fees such as this.

Also, to point out, the upperclassmen don’t have to worry about this fee because they are exempt so this is only for future classes.  Sounds a little unfair in my book, but life is unfair.  My class did argue that we were misinformed about this fee because it was never mentioned in the webinars but the argument was that we were told that additional fees may apply.  I hate the fine print sometimes.
Either way, between the price of an apartment with electricity, internet and gas plus the cost of food, I think it is safe to say one could spend $700-900 per month easily.  For example, I pay $480 for rent and electricity was $36 which was split between 4 people.  Internet can be about $80 a month if you get it from the cable company which has the fastest speed.  Gas for cooking is needed depended on how often you cook.  Not to mention the cost of water when you have a cistern but depending on how much you use it or if the landlord covers it depends on how much you may spend.  About 5000 gallons is around $300.  And the cost of food?  I’ll take some pictures and let you decide.  All prices are in EC which is $2.68 to our US $1.  When I am shopping, I typically divide everything by 3 to overestimate the cost and determine if I would like to buy whatever it is I am looking at.  Depending on if you like to go out to eat determines the extra cost you could incur.  The restaurants here don’t exactly have lunch specials or anything similar.

Another thing that may affect your wallet, it is not necessary to buy that 90 day return flight ticket when you enter the country because you get a stamp that last 6 months.  And yes you could use this instead of the student visa but Anguilla just now wanted to start enforcing this law.  Attempt to rent somewhere that comes with a car.  Or just make some friends with people who drive so you can go places when needed.  Plus, if you needed to start a diet, it’s very easy because the cost of snacks and sweets is more expensive than fruit.  I’ve already lost 23 pounds thus far.

So the words for the week include that of faith while taking the wisdom of others.  This week’s sermon included scripture from Daniel when he was convicted of praying to God by his peers but he was spared in the lion’s den like I was for exams.
My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

-Daniel 6:22

Monday, June 15, 2015

What I wish I brought to Anguilla....

Hey so today is a holiday so therefore we don't have class.  Again.  I should really be studying but hey I need a break.  So what if it's a 5-hour break?  Well, maybe that does matter and I will definitely regret it later but it's a beautiful day.

So this weekend has been very eventful and unproductive (meaning a lack of studying).  Friday night, I went to a Bonfire with the church members I met an that was really fun.  They fattened me up with chicken wings, very sweet watermelon and some sandwiches.  It was really good.  They also had some games including musical chairs and such but I was just watching.  It was still a lot of fun I would say.  Going on that night was also a White Coat party that I didn't have the energy to attend.

Saturday, some students picked me up to go eat brunch at a restaurant called Gerardo's.  The food was tasty but not cheap in my opinion.  Maybe I am just too cheap.  Probably so.  But I think of breakfast as less than $5 and $9.77 made me break a $20.  I'm just saying.  It was fun to hang out with my classmates.  The food was pretty good although the service was sub-par.  I'll explain later.  After eating, we went looking for a store to buy our classmate a backpack since hers broke.  Well, first stop was Zazaas outlet that was more of a boutique.  Then we were informed of an Indian store across from the El Dorado mall.  After going there, we all purchased something because it was a pretty cheap store for toiletries.  Needless to say, when I got home, I attempted to study at 10:00 at night but I only got an hour in.  And I will also say the the third season of Orange is the New Black attracted my attention for the remainder of the night.

Sunday, I got up and got ready for church.  The minister picked me up and I came back home after service to cook some lunch and watch some more Orange is the New Black. To be really honest, I went to sleep around sunset after talking to my boyfriend for an hour.  So, no production there either.

Monday, since it is the Queen's Birthday, we have no class.  Not a problem with me but why did I wake up at 7 am this morning?  This is torture to myself I would say.  Either way, I got up and studied anatomy and histology for two hours like a good little medical student but after lunch, I did not study hence why I am writing this now.  I tell all of the future students reading this, you probably should study every waking moment.  Who am I kidding?  At least live a little while you're here but that does not constitute partying a lot either.

Okay, so back to the title of this post.  So the general consensus is that people wished they brought more food.  I will say the same.  I do wish that I brought more food although I don't where I would have put it!  It also seems that a lot of people brought a lot of items on the suggested list from admissions which it doesn't even appear we need.  This is all information based on the Anguilla campus which cost an additional $2000 compared to the other campuses.  The items such as the dissection kit, shoe covers, gloves, and face masks are all provided by the school.  I'm so glad I didn't buy that stuff.  It is useful to have more than one pair of scrubs and I brought 2 pair.  The stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and other instruments used for patient assessment are not used until MD 4 so it is no point in having them now.  The stethoscope and blood pressure cuff are useful if you plan to join Red Cross.

The organizations that are present include the Red Cross, AMSA, Cover 2 Cover and Student Government.  Red Cross is just like the Red Cross organization we have in the United States but for the school, they are involved in having health checks for the community.  It is also an easy way to start learning basic patient care.  It costs about $25 the first semester and you are expected to have 25 hours worth of activities completed by White Coat which is held in MD 4.  They also have initiated a pin that you can earn to put onto your white coat.  AMSA or American Medical Student Association is club that has a one time fee of $75 for membership of an organization that offers discounts for USMLE preparation.  I am not too sure how useful it is but that seems to be the only benefit in my opinion.  I will try to learn more about it.  Cover 2 Cover is a club that takes books donated by previous students and rents them to students for a charge of $10 of which you receive back in MD 4 after returning all books.  Student government is just like any other student government at any other school.  I would say that ours is really effective because we have many other amenities that other campuses currently don't have that I've heard of.  These are all my perspectives and in no way can be used as complete knowledge of these organizations. (Just covering my butt!)

All in all, I would like to leave with scripture about doing good even when no one is looking:
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.
-2 Corinthians 8:21, NIV

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Finally, I went to church

Okay, so the main reason I think I did not feel at home the most was because I couldn't go to church so today, I was kind of on a quest to try and go.

Just know that it worked in my favor that after warming my breakfast, a roommate came downstairs and said they could take me.

He dropped me off at the Church of Christ in Blowing Point, not far from the ferry.  At first, I was concerned because the driveway looked sketchy but I am usually a trooper for things.  After going up the hill, I saw a car next to a building.  This building looked very big from the outside and it wasn't as I expected.  The church was not air conditioned although with the windows open and the fans going, you could not tell the difference in my opinion.  I knew as soon as I was brought here that there was no need to ask my roommate to come back and get me because most Church of Christ members go over and beyond for one another.

Everyone there was very welcoming and I could feel the warmth.  The sermon today was about God still having more for us.  I agree wholeheartedly because He wouldn't bring me this far to leave me.  I will admit that I needed that after my Block 1 scores.  I must admit that the sermon gave me a sense of hope for the rest of my time here and that school will be fine.  If I continue to study hard and stay focused, everything will come together.

After service, I was informed that there will be a bonfire on Friday night that I will definitely rather go to than the party that happened this past Friday.  My roommates went by the way and they didn't sound like they had a lot of "fun."  Maybe another semester but not this one.  But back the bonfire, I am definitely interested in doing that plus it is a chance to actually hang out with the locals here.

Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures this time but I will the next time that I go.  And for the scripture reference:
You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 30:8-10, NIV

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Block, New Day

So I know it has been a while but I got into the groove of school and when I had to time to mess around, I kind of forgot to write on here.  But I promise to do better I promise. I must say that I am handling two schools very well.  Or so I think.

If you recall, I am attending Walden University at the same time attending Saint James School of Medicine.  Yes, I know.  You don't have to tell me.  I know.  It is difficult but a lot easier than you think.  I only work on Walden University work twice a week.  And I am pursuing a Master's in Higher Education so that makes it a lot easier.  I have two other classmates pursuing Master's in Business and another Master's in Healthcare Administration.  Overall, I think my program is the easiest.  Plus it's helpful in paying for my education for St. James.  I will add that the refund that I received from Walden is not enough to cover the cost of tuition which does not even include living expenses.  So still, I will have to apply for the Delta loan so that I can eat and sleep somewhere safe.

Now onto what you really want to know about.  I survived Block 1.  Block is how the school divides the semester and it is the exam period for all of your courses.  I will also add that everyone has them at the same time which is good and bad.  The upperclassmen are the available tutors but being conscious that they are studying for their exams as well as helping you study yours can make you feel more considerate when asking them questions.  I won't share how I did but I will say that I am pleased with my first quarter grades and I think I could of performed better.  It wasn't the greatest start but I know I have a chance of surviving MD 1 if I perform consistently.

I also will share that starting in the summer is an advantage because of the many holidays that we observe.  Already we have had three days off from school because of holidays.  I'm not complaining because the extra study day wasn't a bad thing.

So far, I think that my favorite course is embryology.  It may be a little biased because I do like the human life a lot but it's a great course overall to see how our organs came to be.  I can only say that everything has its specific place and our body was made in its way for a reason.  I can honestly say that I am amazed in all my courses at least once per class.  So generally about 4-5 times daily.

But I think someone would rather know about my study habits.  It makes a lot of sense since I wake up to this everyday.
View of St. Martin from my Porch
Not to brag but it's there.  Every morning.  Beautiful as ever.  I did say when I moved here that I was going to enjoy it as much as I can.  I very much appreciate my view each and every morning.  I will mention that my budget has been blown since I've been here.  For future reference, I'm going to have to do better.  Back to my study habits.  I will also mention that my study habits are going to start changing for this Block because cramming for a week before the exam was just not the right thing to do.  I am actually starting strong by reading through the material before class and it is really helpful.  I also suggest asking for help when you need it because before our review lab the week of blocks, I had no idea what the names of the coronary vessels were until I asked the professor and he showed me one by one on the cadaver.

I also will admit I did call home crying (home sick) last weekend because I had no clue as to why I came down here but this blog is a reminder of what this journey is about.  I will say that when I moved here, I did not rent a car at all.  A lot of students do to get around and maintain their sanity.  I suggest it if you can afford.  Me, however, I don't come from money that allows me to do such a thing.

I also have to mention that for some humor that the bus driver really would like to take me on a date.  Well, that is a great idea and all especially being that I mentioned having a boyfriend before.  But getting on the bus every morning hearing "Good Morning Gorgeous" isn't bad either.

 So far, this journey has been full of happy moments and tears at the same time.  I am praying for better days and study habits.  Tomorrow night, there is a block party at this island called Scilly Cay.  I'm not going simply because a professor said it is pretty expensive to drink there and drinking with people I don't know just doesn't sound very safe as well.  I'm sure that I would rather study and go to a beach on Saturday anyway.  I know I sound like a party pooper but there are plenty of opportunities to do things.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12, NIV

Sunday, May 10, 2015

First Week of Classes Down

So, my first week of classes are officially over!  What have I learned?  Nothing.  Or at least that's what I think I've learned.  So remember that ant problem I mentioned.  Yea, I came home from school on Wednesday on the 5:00 pm  bus and they were everywhere.  I have never seen ants that just crawl around for no apparent reason.  It was absolutely disgusting.  I can't do this and it is a sign to me as filth.  In case you're wondering.  Yes I did clean up.  I did not leave dishes in the sink or food on the counter.  I had actually put all of the clean dishes inside the refrigerator to prevent ants from getting on clean dishes.  I know.  It's a shame.

Well, when I stayed at school the other night, I was "studying" with this guy that ended up being my roommate.  Well you know how I stated that I was kind of lonely and bored all the time well, now I'm not.  I moved in with another man.  Yes, I know you're thinking, "I thought this girl said she had a boyfriend?"  I do.  I still do.  He was not for it but after coming home that Wednesday and Thursday afternoon to filth, I had to do it.  I have never lived in such conditions and I wasn't going to start.

So this is not my recommended way of vacating an apartment and I don't suggest the method that I took but this is what I did.  I told my landlord on that Thursday that the ant problem was becoming ridiculous and that I was going to move.  He then stated that he was going to take my rent and deposit.  I paid this guy with a $1000 check.  I'm going to just let that marinate.

That $1000 consisted of a security deposit and first month's rent.  If I stay until Saturday, I would have only lived there two weeks.  At the most, I feel like I owe him half a month's rent which could be covered by the deposit I paid for the electric company and filling the gas tank for the stove.  In case you're wondering, I cancelled the check.  I know it was wrong but I wasn't going to let this man walk over me.  I understand as saints we are to turn the other cheek but being that I have asked him repeatedly to do things for me and they were not done, I don't feel obligated to do so.  So, I cleaned the apartment so that it's presentation was better than it was given to me and had my new landlord pick me up.

Beach at the Forest Bay, Anguilla
So far she seems very nice.  I will say that my new place is much bigger although I share it with 3 other people right now.  It has a 5 minute walk from the beach and an unforgettable view.  I picked the master bedroom in this 5 bedroom house.  And yes I picked it because of the king sized bed.  I have one at home and it's what I'm used to.  So I started unpacking on Saturday after moving in and attempted to study but I got the best sleep in my new bed because I wasn't paranoid of bugs crawly on my things.  The best part was the view.

Well, that dream was shortened when one of my room mates came home and said I moved into his room.  So I moved down the stairs next to the kitchen which is still not that bad because I still have a killer view.
And I still get a king sized bed.  My room is a little bit smaller.  I only gave it up without a fight because it is his last semester and I didn't feel like fighting at 7 at night.  So currently, I am straightening up and trying to place all of my belongings while studying for school this week.  One thing is going to have to give.  Ugh.....

Well, this week is all about sustain and maintain.  I'm sure with God, that this is not impossible.  Again, I thank my classmate for opening up and letting me know of this place so that I can study in peace.
If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.
Leviticus 25:35, ESV

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My First Day of Medical School

So, let's just say that today was absolutely CRAZY!  Ummm, so first of all, I am asking the question, "what in the hell have I gotten myself into?"  According to a friend in his second semester of medical school in the states, this is normal.  So at this point, I don't know what normal is.  It's only my first day, right?

Well, today I had 4 classes.  A way to say welcome to medical school right?  I know. You don't have to tell me.  We started classes promptly at 8 am.  We started the day with Anatomy.  I can tell already that I am not going to be very fond of this class.  From what I've heard from many upper classmen is that it requires a lot of memorization.  At the same time, it would be difficult to memorize EVERYthing in the human body right?  I am just going to take this class one day at a time and see where it gets me.

My next class at 10 am was histology.  Well, it seems our teacher took it kind of easy on us today because we were talking about cell biology which is mostly what I learned in my advanced course in undergrad.  I know it will get harder than this but it was a nice relief after Anatomy for certain.  Plus today we didn't even touch the PowerPoint our teacher prepared.  We went over "Chatology."  Yes, we literally talked for about an hour and our teacher let us go.  I'm glad he gave us a "break" but we still had the rest of the day to go.

So before the next class began, we had our lunch time.  I had brought my lunch from home but I thought that I should try out the food from the food truck behind the school.  I ordered the Curry Chicken and my, my, my, it was delicious!  I cannot complain about it not one bit!  Plus I started making more friends and learning more and more about my classmates.  I only have 25 in my class including myself.  That is a great relief because it won't be hard to find classmates to study with.

So at 1 pm, we had embryology.  I think that should be the only sentence I write although I'm sure you are curious to know what happened.  So, ummm, it was not like I expected.  The teacher came in and went through 35 slides of information that I did NOT expect to learn during my first day of medical school.  It was great to know where babies come from but I didn't expect to learn that fast.  

After embryology, we didn't have any more classes for the day because it was a Tuesday.  Some students went home while others stayed to start studying.  I stayed to start "studying" as well.  Now, I will say that I have never studied for any class or subject in over 3 years and it is difficult trying to figure out how to do that.  So currently I am in the student lounge typing this rather than looking over the information that was gone over in my classes shows just how much I am doing what I am supposed to do in medical school.  

There is a bus for the students that takes them home at 3, 5, and 10 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays which is what I waiting for.  I don't plan on purchasing a car because I don't have the money to do so and I don't think it is a very smart investment.  So wait and study it is.  Maybe I can do this everyday....

Now that the first hurdle is complete (day one), it is on to see what the rest of the semester brings.  Pray for me that this semester doesn't break me like I think it will.

He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.
Luke 17:6, NIV