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