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