Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chicago Living and Stuff

Hey ya'll.  So unfortunately, I have not been updating you as much as I used to because now it is time for the BIG GIRL studying to begin.  Honestly, studying the subjects this time around is more crucial than before.  This time I am studying for a big test called the USMLE Step 1 if you are not familiar.  This test pretty much determines what type of doctor you will become.  I have a goal in mind and I am sure with my faith that I can achieve that goal as well.  I am doing my best to study as effectively as possible to understand and review some material.

So I am sure that people want to know exactly what I do all day.  I literally wake up and begin making tea.  Just kidding but I do that out of all honesty and then I get ready to go to class.  So what is class like you might ask.  Well, it consists of 3 hours of Kaplan videos.  Being that the old program involved professors lecturing for 8 hours straight, I'll take 3 hours of videos I can speed up if I watched them on my own.  So honestly, for that portion I don't "need" to be at school other than to sign in.  Around 11 am, we have a professor that comes in to review some concepts by going through practice questions.  I would understand why the school wouldn't choose their best professors but it is still helpful in seeing how the information is supposed to be incorporated into our learning.

Lunch is still at noon for an hour like it was on the island.  Mondays are the days we learn material for the CS exam from a great instructor.  He is very helpful and likes to challenge us to see if we remember material from basic sciences such as the brachial plexus and volume of distribution equation.  Yea, we are supposed to remember that and yep, I forgot it.  So those days happened but I can tell you that I won't forget it again.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are reserved for clinicals.  My first set of rotations is in family medicine.  I really like this doctor and he somewhat reminds me of a certain professor on the island based on his intimidation but I enjoy it.  He keeps us on our toes.  I can honestly say that we have learned how to take a history and watched a lot of physical exams so far.  I think everyone in my group has seen at least 5 patients thus far in our two-hour block for rotations.  It may seem pointless to some but seeing what may be in my future is pretty exciting.

Thursdays and Fridays are set aside for Q/A sessions with the visiting professors.   At this time, the professor can choose to go through questions on the topics and explain answers.  I find the sessions really informative and I am starting to learn again that I know more information than I give myself credit for.  Looking forward at this exam scares me greatly but I keep forgetting that I know more information than I give myself credit for.

Recently we completed the biochemistry section and since we didn't have a professor, my group and others went to the hospital like the overachievers that we are to take a scrub class for the surgery rotation we will have in a few weeks.  I think you can say we had fun and I will let you judge.
A lot of people had opinions of this hospital and I really must say that I am impressed with the resources they have.  They have a lot of medical students that are walking around with a variety of doctors as well.  I find the strangest thing that there is actually no trauma centers on the South Side of Chicago so the fact that this hospital is in place without that is really nice.  It is in a minority-based community so that was a prediction of the patients we were to serve.

Other than that, what have I done that was interesting?  Well, I took a walk at the Navy Pier and Lake Michigan and studied.  But that's about it!
It's not Anguilla but this Lake will do!
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
A Day at the park by Lake Michigan 
Navy Pier

Navy Pier

Navy Pier
So after all of that, I will start to study again!  Haha.  It's like it never ends!!!!

"I called on the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.  The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?"
-Psalm 118:5-6, NKJV

Sunday, September 4, 2016

I'm in Chicago Y'all!!!!

Sorry!  Life happened.  So like, I kind of finished on the island and had white coat.  Came back to the United States.  Traveled from Atlanta to North Carolina to visit with baby brother and went back to Atlanta, GA to pack to move to Chicago three days later.  And I am still currently unpacking from this last move.  I must say that I wish things were slightly different but I like being an easy plane ride away from family and friends.  Also, I managed to make it to see a few doctors to get tests done for clinicals to come.  I'll just post some pictures so that it can be said that life has been busy yet amazing all at once.  I can only give God the glory for it all.

Let them give glory to the LORD And declare His praise in the coastlands.
Isaiah 42:12, KJV




Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Infamous Block 4

Hello all!  I am really making a point to post very often because I know there is a lot I can answer questions for on this side of the program opposed to answering questions when I am gone.  So blocks are finished and everyone is just getting ready and planning for home.  I probably should've packed yesterday but I decided to catch up on some television shows.  Plus I went out for dinner to celebrate the fact that it is my last normal block.  I guess this is the part where I should be sad. Someone cue the tears.  Okay, I will stop laughing now.

So my block exams went fairly well I must say.  You can tell that I wasn't distracted by Walden courses and I truly studied a lot this block.  Since this block is only 7 class days, I really have to make this count!  And yes, you read correctly.  SEVEN days!  And we have 13 days until White Coat ceremony.  And I guess you can say I am a little excited.

So what have I been up to?  Nothing much.  Just studying like crazy.  Since there is no real method of standardized testing in medical school other than the Step 1, our school has implemented NBME exams everywhere.  Most classes have at two like my class has.  NBME stands for National Board of Medical Exams and they just hold onto old USMLE exams.  It's a company like the PSAT.  They hold on to old questions and sell them to people for them to simulate a real exam.  I would say it is a good business because a lot of people use it.

Lunch from a restaurant at Shoal Bay
So with 3 class days left, what do I have to do to pass and move on with my life?  Two presentations, two quizzes, 4 exams, a research paper and Carnival.  I included the last one as a joke but I think you get the point that I have a lot of stuff to do.  Monday, we actually don't have school because it is August Monday also known as the first day of Carnival.  There is a parade and a beach party to go with that.  I really should study so let's see!

My group from my
Pathology poster presentation
In the past few days, I have presented a poster with some lovely classmates and I must say that we BEAST moded that presentation and it is reflected in our grade.  Also, this week we were to turn in research papers to our mentors of our research assignments that some students had the luxury of working on for the last three semesters.  My group has had to make a lot of revisions but I think we still did a great job.  And I have rewarded myself greatly this week!  Mostly because my exam grades were favorable and I am so close to getting out of this place.  Here's a few pictures to showcase how my week has been!
 I can only say that this week, I was blessed.  I was blessed enough to be around great people and have great grades.  As for a progress report on my brother, this week he has decided that he would move his leg in places to make it appear as if he would like to make a run for it.  Sorry little bro but you gotta stay put just a little while longer.  And of course there are some side jokes that come along with that as well.

Dinner with a highly regarded professor
Again, I appreciate all of the people who have helped me on my journey this far.  It has been a long road.  I have met a lot of great new friends and lost contact with a few but our relationships should surpass that.  I would think here would be a good point to ask if I have arranged anything so far for the future move to Chicago.  I signed a lease from here for an apartment in Chicago.  I know it is risky but I didn't want to risk not having a place at all because the area I am moving to is college town.  I think it was a great choice being that all utilities are included.  And I am still arranging what furniture and items that I am taking with me.

Since I only have a few weekends left, I am attempting to live.  For once in my life, I am having the opportunity to live.  I have always been a cautious person about spending and I must say that I think that I have done fairly well.  I really have not increased my debt as bad as I could have but I decided for my last few weeks, that I won't say no as much.  I just wanted to say that I experienced Anguilla versus just lived here.  I think all of my audience would like to hear that I did that as well.

Enjoying Shoal Bay
So what now?   I have almost learned all of medicine.  There is almost nothing else the teachers can teach me.  So now, it is time to put the absorbed information the teachers here have given me and study to take the Step 1!

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 16:24-25, ESV

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And the Countdown Continues

We have 25 days in counting until our White Coat Ceremony and what am I doing for the occasion?  Currently, I am studying.  Hahaha.  I have been trying to enjoy myself and study at the same time.  One could say that's not hard at all but it can be.  I want to say I did something while I lived here ya know.  So what have I done in the past week?

Thursday, I went to dinner with some lovely friends and we enjoyed Japanese cuisine for dinner.  I will also remind people that anywhere you go out to eat in Anguilla is usually at least $20 for one person to eat.  This time, I was happy to report it was a lot of food and I left full which is unusual.  This was called the Bento Box. I won't give any names of the restaurant but one could figure them out once they get here.  But this place had very good food.  It may have earned a spot to stop by at when my family gets here.

Friday, I was very studious and stayed at school to "study."  I was practicing questions for my upcoming pathology exam this week.  Yes,  I study that far in advance.  I have to make my audience, family and friends proud of me!
Saturday morning I decided to have breakfast out.  Why?  I don't know. Maybe to make myself feel better.  I will say this bagel with egg and cheese made me feel a lot better.  I usually get a slice of lemon cake to go with it because it is so moist and delicious as well.  And this restaurant is also easy to guess.  I think others would enjoy their prices as well because they are more affordable maybe because it's breakfast.  And of course, afterwards, I went to school to study my life away.

 Late Saturday night, I decided that I would wake up on Sunday to watch the sunrise.  Yea, I guess I rolled over when I heard my alarm go off at 4:30.  The sun rises here at about 5:45 but I wanted to be really early so I knew I would catch it. But either way, I woke up at 6 am mad at myself but I still wanted a little bit of adventure before I started my weekly chore of meal prepping for the week.  So I decided to drive over to Island Harbor which is about 20 minutes from my apartment and enjoy a croissant from my favorite bakery.  I actually have a picture of their croissants in one of my first post from the island before the ant infestation that I had.  Let's just say, I ate the croissant and then realized that I had no proof for the world to see that I had them.  I would just give you the menu and the schedule so that it is made known of the times that they are open.  While I was over that way, I decided to take a few pictures of the boats and scenery.  I would say it's beautiful.
Island Harbor, Anguilla

And then on Monday, I learned how to perform a pelvic exam for females and conduct a male exam.  Let's just say it was an interesting morning learning about catheter placement, pap smears and checking for inguinal hernias.  This day was very special being that it was our last lab session for the semester because next block is full of Carnival.  It's that time of year again in case you forgot.  Maybe this time I will go observe some things and take a few pictures as well.

My first pap smear with a manikin
And last but not least, today, Tuesday.  We now have 25 days until we receive our precious white coats.  And I will say that the feeling is becoming bitter sweet.  We finished class early so my friends and I decided to go and eat at another restaurant.  Did I mention that we were trying to experience as much as possible before we leave?  This restaurant is pretty affordable.  Most of the dishes are less than $15 and it happens to be close to school.  The only downfall is there isn't a view and they are slow.  But that is anywhere on the island honestly.  I think it is just that the sense of urgency that we have in the US isn't here which is a good thing.  Gives a more relaxed feeling.

Well that's my story of this weekend.  Next week, I will try to update you guys on my adventures of the weekend because I only have 3 weekends left before I am officially finished with the island.

I would also add that my brother is doing well.  He is still receiving treatment in the rehab facility.  He is supposed to be getting moved to long term care facility soon but a facility hasn't been chosen as of yet.  If he goes to a long term care facility, he most likely won't receive the rehab that he receives now so I set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for that.  If you would like to donate or share the fundraiser, it would be greatly appreciated.  The link is here RC's Go Fund Me.

I also forgot to mention that James and I were kind of featured in the newspaper the Anguillian for teaching the CPR course for the community members.  You can view that article here.

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
-Lamentations 3:25, KJV

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

So Close I Can Smell the USA

Hello again.  The journey is going nice and swell.  I have been studying a bunch as usual.  I am starting to get excited about returning home to my family but I am also trying to get my last bit of experience of the island as well.  Before I am released to go study for USMLE Step 1, I have these last exams to pass and receive my white coat.  It's only 32 days away but who is really counting.

As a small update, my brother is doing well.  His recovery is very slow but progressing.  All prayers are welcomed in his recovery and we (his family) greatly appreciates it.  In case you missed it, he suffered from a traumatic brain injury after being involved in a motorcycle accident on May 19, 2016.  He had diffuse swelling throughout the brain but mostly in the area of the basal ganglia.  He is currently in rehab for his injuries.

So what has been going on with me?  I have been trying many different restaurants to decide where to take family when they get to the island.  I also have been attempting to sell my car which I have not been successful at.  I don't understand how I am a good saleswoman for bartending but not a good car saleswoman.  That story is for another time.

 I would also like to add that in addition to the Anguilla CPR project that James and I founded, taught a lovely group of women Heartsaver CPR about two weeks ago.  We taught about 20 women and had an additional instructor from another class and were very proud to have accomplished the goal of the project before we left.  It was a very rewarding feeling and experience.

It was also a pleasure to be apart of the first ever ACLS class to be held on campus.  It was nice to combine 3 of our basic science classes into a certification as well.  Seven other students besides me were certified in skills.  We actually did well being that we were never experienced to a situation as such before.  I will link a video soon after the second class completes their certification.

Also in the last few weeks, the school hosted a health fair where locals can come to school and be screened for diseases and students can practice basic skills.  It was very fun to get the opportunity to use some of the skills I learned.  Because I am involved in a research study involving glaucoma prevalance for Anguillians, I was able to use various opthamalogy equipment to briefly check eyes without dilating them.  I would say that I am very good at utilizing the panopthamalscope and would love it if someone would like to gift it for graduating but I am not going to dwell on it.

Some friends and I did go out to this restaurant that is notorious for having celebrities but of course we didn't see anyone when we went.  The following week, some people met Charlamagne Tha God, a radio personality and I noticed on social media that Tia Mowry was also here.  Seems as if they come to not be bothered huh?  Plus it helps that Anguillians don't care about fame so it would be easy to come here and have an actual vacation.

We have a calendar on the board and the amount of things we have to complete before we leave is becoming endless.  I haven't discussed the classes for this semester.  Well most of our classes consist of pathology.  Hehehe.  Just kidding.  Our classes this semester include Physical Diagnosis, Pathology II, Epidemiology, Clinical Correlations of Basic Sciences IV and Research in Health and Medicine III.  Physical Diagnosis is interesting because we now have to learn how to regurgitate all of the information we have compiled into our brain plus the stuff we also forgot about and learn how to report it to physicians and conduct an assessment to identify the problem in the first place.  I mostly like how it ties everything we've learned together.  The other subjects are self explanatory of what they teach.

I would also mention that our class had a date auction to raise money for our white coat ceremony.  I didn't participate in it but I did bake a cake that lasted about 4 hours.  I still can't believe it was consumed that fast.  I also would like to add that I baked another one for the church bonfire and that was devoured in about 20 minutes.  So I guess if med school doesn't work out, I could be a great baker especially being that I was offered a job at the grocery store here.  Today we got to try on our white coats which put everything into perspective.  It's getting really close to our time being up on the island here!!!

As for the excitement of getting off the island is a constant right now.  I am currently trying to continue experience the island so that I won't say I missed anything while I was here.  But there will always be something I missed.  I would love to ride horses and spend a day riding 4-wheelers around the island but I think I will have to skip that this time unfortunately.  I can say that I will remember my time here and think of it as an awakening to experience something I would've never experienced otherwise.

So to go along with the path ahead, I will keep you posted on the more tortuous activities the faculty decides to put us through before letting us off the island.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
-Psalm 25:4-5, KJV

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The GREAT Physician

Hello followers!  I greatly apologize for my absence.  Not only is it my fourth semester here on the island, it has been a true test of my faith.  This semester is the semester of joy because you finally get the feeling that you see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's when you can say you're moving back home even though it is really a move to Chicago, IL for the next two years of your life.  But I will say that I am grateful for all of it.  The road of life was never meant to be a straight road into the sunset because then there would no purpose for trials and tribulations that present as the curves, hills and bend in the road.

A few weeks ago, I posted that I was unable to talk about what was going on.  Before then, it was joy from passing my cumulative exams.  After passing those exams, I was involved in a parking lot accident.  I backed into another car that was coming into the parking lot.  Just a little advice: look up some of the laws or have really good friends who know the laws very well in another country.  In the US, the fault would be the individual driving forward and not the person reversing but that isn't the case here.  Too bad, I didn't learn this was the law until two weeks later after talking with many individuals including the police who never informed me of such a thing.  But that now is resolved and insurance will take care of it.

In other news, I began studying for classes after that and finished the last season of Grey's Anatomy.  I treated myself to some snacks and buckled down studying.  This semester is mostly a review semester because not much material is actually taught.  Well let me rephrase that.  We have a big class that consists of mostly review and then the other three small classes we learn bit by bit.  I would say we have a bit more free time due to the lack of busy work that is required this semester.  Overall, I like it although it seems a little harder than the others.  Maybe because we're so close to the part where we start to study for Step 1 but I don't know.

Everything was starting off well into the semester and then I received a phone call.  My youngest brother was involved in a motorcycle accident.

You can never predict how the path in life is going to go.  You can plan to go straight but who's to say that God won't have turn left to turn right later to get back on track.  It would have been nice to know that this semester would be like the others and only thoughts of passing my classes but it didn't work like that.

My brother was driving to see his great grandmother when a vehicle turned in front of him.  He only rode a motorcycle to save on gas.  My brother doesn't speed and doesn't attempt any tricks on his motorcycle.  He just left from visiting his uncle's house.  Even routine things can turn into disaster.  My brother is now recovering from a traumatic brain injury.  I think the part that hurt the most is knowing exactly what the doctor was saying because of all the classes I've taken.  Afterall, I know that physicians are not gods.  Plus I know who the great Physician is!  So I continue to pray for my brother in his recovery.  It seems thus far, it is at the pace of a turtle however.

So after flying home unexpectedly and the cost of moving to Chicago from Atlanta, my life is looking pretty swell.  I knew this journey would come at the cost of bad credit, threatened relationships and other things.  Never would I have predicted this.  Because this is my last semester and I know I probably won't be back on the island for a very long time if I decide to come back, I am trying to experience as much as possible.  Unfortunately it may hurt my pockets but I will have some good experiences and food while I am at.

Mmmm.  Breakfast!
Seven weeks from today, I will graduate from the island and receive my white coat.  The excitement I feel is beyond my wildest dreams.  I am very anxious about what the future holds for me.  I am excited to see what the Lord will lead through in Chicago.  The price of apartments could be depressing but on the other hand, it is the chance to be a plane ride away from loved ones.  Now, it is a plane ride with layovers that add up to over 12 hours most of the time.  Just being able to hold family in your arms is always de
sired.  My maternal-grandma, grandpa and boyfriend will be present for this special day.  I will be sure to post a link on all social media about viewing the ceremony online.  It will most likely be starting around 4 pm as the other traditional programs have began.

I want to thank everyone who has crossed my path to this point.  To the people that have helped me in any way, shape or form thank you.  Even if it was as small as a like on Facebook or Instagram.  It is all appreciated.  "To those closer ones, love that is ever steadfast."  I think at this point, I can say I have made you all proud of me for the journey this far.

I apologize to all of those that I may have acted differently towards but everyone grieves differently.  I shut down and didn't want to talk.  I just miss having my friend to talk to every now and then about how life is supposed to go.  Also about the surprises he had in store for our parents.  I guess it's all on hold now.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
-Romans 12:12, NLT

Monday, June 6, 2016

Update on Life

Sorry I haven't updated in a while.  Life really got to me.  The devil keeps trying to get me but the angels from God keep saving me time and time again.  I will give more details as to what is going on in my life later.  But this post is just to state that I am alive and well.

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
-John 1:18, KJV

Friday, May 6, 2016

Honesty is Key*

Hello All!  I am sure you have been waiting anxiously to see how my semester ended and what exactly happened during MD3.  Well, .......Life happened.  I must admit that it was a very tough semester but I pulled through without letting it break me down.

It began with a peer and me working on a project to educate Anguillians in CPR but it didn't end that way.  There was some resistance from the community that we did not anticipate.  Luckily, we were still able to educate the students at school.  Because it was a student-run project, we were able to log some tutoring hours because the certification is a requirement for the AICM semester that is currently held in Chicago.  If you want to see a video I made about the project, you can look here.  Never mind the music.  It was my first one.  A better quality video is to be uploaded shortly.  The information about the project is also to be updated as well.

Also during MD3, I lived every moment in the library.  There were some naps, tears and laughing that may have occurred but mostly studying to say the least.  I say all this to assure you that although I did have my outlet by teaching CPR that I also made time to study.  And here's some proof!

I still ate well and lost some weight through the semester but I assure you that it wasn't stress.  I was supposed to be preparing for the annual 5K event that is held on the island by the Red Cross but that didn't exactly happen because I wanted to sleep a little bit.  But I can sleep when I'm dead right?  Plus sleep is overrated.

So even after all the studying and writing to memorize drugs and pathologies, it still wasn't enough.  I when I say that, this wasn't enough.  Yes this is as bad as it looks to learn.  But I  prevailed with this material.  Life was a juggling act and unfortunately two things fell out of place.

So what am I saying?  I am saying that I did not pass two classes during the regular semester.  I did not plan to put myself in that position but I must say that things happen beyond your control.  What could have contributed to this?  It could be many things.  It could be the added stress of having class until 5 pm each day and taking a break until 7 pm or it could be the time that I stayed up late to bake and eat chocolate chip cookies.  Or from having to write a 5 page paper for Walden University or completing my vRx assignment for pharmacology.  As you see, it could be a number of items.

So what now?  Well I went home for break after my exams.  My family and friends were very supportive and demanded that every moment be dedicated to studying.  Honestly, I did not want to study.  I was becoming content with the idea that if I had to stay a semester longer that I would be okay.  After some thought, I began to develop the confidence that these exams were to be conquered by me.  So here at Saint James, currently, there is an opportunity to "redeem" yourself if you fail the course during the regular.  So there is a cumulative exam that you have the opportunity to take.  In order to pass the course of which you must score a 70% and that allows you to pass the course.

So after the endless hours of being told to study, it is safe to say that.............

I PASSED!!! Woohoo!!!  I am now in my final semester of Basic Sciences!  So let me catch up on what I missed in the last 3 days.  So I will run now to study hard and make all of you proud!  Oh what can this semester bring?

And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
-1 Kings 2:3-4, KJV 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Last Stretch of MD3

Sorry folks but the busyness of the semester is winding down.  But there is oh so much to do before break can begin.  It only begins with teaching a couple CPR classes, a couple presentations, quizzes, reflections and 5 exams.  Yes, it is as bad as it sounds.

I appreciate all the prayers that are given for me in advance because I do need them to finish the semester strong. I have changed my mindset to think mostly positive things.  I will give a better update after exams on April 21.  I leave to go home to the United States on April 22 because I need to pick up some supplies for a few things.  Talk to you all soon!

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 3:12-14, NKJV

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

And then there was Block 3....

Hello all.  I hope you haven't missed me too much.  Just kidding!  I'm sure you missed me much.  I have been off attempting to save the world as usual.  For the past month, I have honestly been studying my tail off to get grades that I approve of.  My friends, Aqsaa and M, conveyed their thoughts on what Anguilla is for them and I think you figured out that they are Muslim.  I must say that on this campus, you are exposed to many different religions than what one may be used to.  I grew up in the south where almost everyone was Christian and if they weren't, they were "spiritual."  So being here is a big difference for me.  Learning about prayer 5 times a day that Muslims take part in as well as Hindu holidays and Buddhists' ways of life.  Pretty much this experience alone may add to why here was a good option because it is helpful in learning what's offensive to some may not be offensive to others and vice versa.

So now you wanna know the juicy stuff right?  Well, this semester, I have a change of scenery since I live on my own this time and I shouldn't move anymore.  I promise.  I live close to the ferry and about 10 minutes to school which is further than my 7 minute drive that I used to have.  It is just nice to pack a fridge as full as you would like without any restriction.  Currently, the weather is not "hot" yet because it does get a lot warmer.  It's a nice comfortable temperature.  It is still a part of the rain season so some extra humidity is expected.

Seriously, so about the classes.  Honestly, THIS SEMESTER SUCKS!  That's the nicest way I can say that so I am sorry grandma for not doing what you taught me.  To help with the semester, I am participating in Lent (no, I am not Catholic; associated with church of Christ).  I am fasting from sweets.  I must say that it has helped because my grades have improved but it just feels like this is the semester of impossible and I now see why it is a commonly failed semester.  The courses included this semester include: Microbiology, Pharmacology, Pathology I, Psychology, CCBS and RHM.  Yes you just read right.  I did have all these courses and a Walden course but that is now over for now.

As the names tell you, yes each of those classes are hard.  This semester is challenging by the workload and time management.  Class is everyday from 8 am to 5 pm.  Kind of like a full time job.  I have to admit that very rarely at stayed at my last job for the full 8 hours sometimes so this is killer!  By the time 5 pm rolls around, there is no motivation to study although you know that if you don't study, you won't be able to get to every subject in a night of studying.  Then on top of it all, a classmate and I are trying to save Anguilla and I have my research project that has fortunately has not started yet.

I will admit that the classes are a lot more interesting these days. The only complaint I really have is that their are too many classes and extra assignments.  If at least one class was taken away and all the "make you pass" assignments were gone, this semester could actually be an enjoyable learning experience.  The results of it now seems to be see how much I can memorize to pass this semester.  It didn't help with the added stress of taking a NBME for pharmacology either.  A NBME is retired questions from the USMLE Step 1 which is taken after Basic Sciences or as most know it, after you leave the island.  A lot of students stress about them and take typically 6 months to study for it.  You could guess that we, my class, didn't think we were prepared for such a test but some beg to differ.  Pharmacology shouldn't be taught in one semester is my only argument.  I wish it were two but that's life.

So besides learning drugs, bacteria, the immune response and how cancer is developed, my life has been incorporated into living in the library.  It's pretty disappointing but I have still managed to live a little and get some good pictures of cool spots around the island.
Pelican Bay, Anguilla
Pelican Bay, Anguilla
Depressing library life

I will admit that I sent the last picture to my mom for pity but she didn't fall for it.  (Insert another sad face here)  I also celebrated my birthday studying in the best method possible.  I had a pathology quiz the next day.  But great friends surprising me with chocolate mousse was great.  That is the only day I have had "sweets" so I think my fasting is still sufficient.  I have also been reading the Bible more and more and back to learning more about myself in the process.  Just look out for it!

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4, NKJV