Friday, December 12, 2008

Things I'm addicted to (Procrastination edition)

To help prove that I am a better and more dedicated procrastinator than Mallory. I have assembled a list of the multitude of things that occupy my every day and are mostly a complete waste of time.

1. TV shows- I spend multiple hours a day watching tv shows. Usually I do this on the internet so I can watch during lunch or dinner or other periods of time when I would not otherwise be doing anything useful. However, it must be said that due to the number of tv shows that I watch, I definitely spend time when I should be being productive catching up on tv. Let's see, every week I watch Samantha Who, Jon and Kate plus 8, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, House, Bones, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Top Chef, Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock, and The Office. The advantage of watching these shows on the internet is the lack of commercials so the shows are 20 minutes or 40 minutes instead of 30min and 1hr. But still, lots of time wasted.

2. Jezebel is a website which is an interesting mix of celebrity news, politics, science, history, and random weird stuff . It is a feminist website, so it is written by women for women. They write tons of articles and post videos every day so it can take a fair amount of time to look at everything and read all the articles. There are also often interesting discussions in the comments so then it takes time to look at those too. Basically it is just a place where all the news of the day be it serious or silly is assembled, critiqued, analyzed, and probably made fun of. I love it and it is a complete waste of my time.

3. Cute Things-, Winston the cat (seen here dressed as ET for halloween), and Capucine. Capucine is the cutest little french girl ever. There are many videos of her on the internet and I have watched all of them.

This is Capucine's letter to Santa as dictated to her mother:

“Père Noël,
I would like a nice gift, and I would like to see you.
Because I have been very good throughout the year. I have listened well, I have cleaned up my room by myself and I had fun at school, and I have played with my friends.
Also, I am going to move, I will have a nice house and a mezzanine.
I eat everything, but sometimes, I don’t.
Then I would like to see you for Christmas and Halloween and talk to you. I would like to sing you a song-poem. When is winter coming ?
Also I would like to talk to you, but if you leave and go far away, I would like to see you in your house.
If I hug you, your beard will not sting, it will only tickle.
And I would like to go into your sleigh. How will I do that ? Do I have to climb up the trees ?

4. The Rachel Maddow Show- To quote Jon Stewart, "Who is this complex, articulate, even-tempered lady?" She is clearly not your typical host of a political show on a news network. I watch her show every day. Mostly because she has made every episode available by podcast so it automatically downloads to my computer. She is funny, smart, and a self-professed "policy geek." I especially enjoy her segment: "Lame Duck Watch: Quackitude" which keeps an eye on our extremely lame president as he continues to try to do sneaky things while no one is watching. At least watching this show keeps me up to date on the news right? Right???

5. Brotherhood 2.0- I blame Mallory for this one. She introduced me to John and Hank Green, two brothers who made a video blog a day for a year to communicate with eachother. John Green is an author of YA novels which are extremely good! I just finished his book Paper Towns. But obviously the bad thing here is that there are over 300 videos on youtube that I must now watch because the Greens are extremely nerdy and funny. They do happy dances, put things on their heads, make up songs and get punished for not following the rules of their video blog.

This is one of the best punishments that John Green had to do involved a blenderized happy meal and leg waxing. You can find the video here:

6. Reading- This is one thing that I refuse to feel bad about even though I spend an hour or more a day doing it. I have never understood people who say they don't have time to read non-school books. I've read about 20 books since school started in September and it was time well-spent.

Weeeeee books!

I believe I've made my point.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Look! An update!

Well hello again. I'm not so good at the whole writing blogs thing when I get busy. As you all know I was home for Thanksgiving last week after a tough period involving Psychology, Neurology, Ear Nose Throat, and the usual Pharmacology and Pathology. I did well on my finals considering they were hard. Sometimes I look at the class average to measure my performance but often that makes me depressed and annoyed that my classmates are too smart. I got As and Bs on my tests which feels good and I was above the average , exactly at the average and also below the average on the various tests. Mostly it was just nice to do nothing for a week at home and recover a little.

So now I am in the midst of period 3 involving the exciting bones, joints and connective tissue (yes that is a class), skin, and pharmacology and pathology. This period is 2 weeks long followed by 1 week of finals. So I am already halfway done with the period and really should be studying for finals right now. Unfortunately I find bones joints connective tissue and skin veerrrry boring. But I suppose I must learn. At least I'll be done and on my way home for christmas break shortly.

Though this period should be relatively easy, they have decided to throw a bunch of other stuff at us also. So I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. For one, I started the Internal Medicine rotation of Physician and Patient this past Wednesday. It was my first time in a real hospital with real sick people. They put 2 of us with one patient for the morning where we interview and then examine them. The exam part is a little awkward because they are in a hospital bed and we aren't used to that. Also they don't seem to like being put through an entire exam when it doesn't seem to have any relevance to their condition and takes a long time. Anyway, then we spend a lot of time writing a note on the history and physical that we completed. Then we meet in small groups with a doctor preceptor and do long or short oral presentations on the patient. This is to prepare us for what we will be doing the next 2 years in the hospitals presenting patients to residents and attendings. It is a little scary since it seems they like the presentations to be formal and structured in a particular way and they don't want us to look at our notes. As if we should be able to recite the 10 or more drugs the patient is on including dosage and route off the top of our heads. Perhaps we will be able to do that more when we actually know what the drugs are. I will be on the internal med rotation for the next 3 weeks so I will have more of a chance to get comfortable with the whole thing before next year when I will be thrown into the hospital with little guidance.

Another exciting thing I get to do this next Tuesday is learn how to do a male genital and rectal exam. yippee! Okay I'm not so much looking forward to this but I guess it is something I will have to learn. I get to wait to learn the female one in January at least.

Oh I almost forgot. We also had a field trip this past week where we went to a local college that teaches chiropractics, massage therapy, and other alternative medicines. They are trying to open our minds I think. Mostly it is kind of funny because all the med students listen to them talk about energy and qi and how the person can feel skull bones moving and use that to diagnose problems with their arms crossed and a skeptical look on their face. I think the alternative medicine people speak a different language than us. If they would only speak in terms of physiology and scientific studies we would all understand. One thing they thoroughly convinced me of is the benefits of massage therapy. They gave us all foot massages for 20 minutes and it was wondrous. I certainly wasn't about to let the chiropractors do a neck manipulation on me since we learned that that can cause carotid dissection. Not cool!

Anyway, it will be a busy couple weeks then home for christmas so I'm sure I won't update till January at least. See you all soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yay for no more finals!

So I've been MIA for a few weeks because we had our first finals week of 2nd year. It was intense. Unlike first year, where we had a number of tests throughout the semester that determined our grade, we now have one test per class that is the entirety of our grade. That is scary considering all the tests are lined up in one week and are very difficult. But I actually did pretty well on my tests last week so I am happy. I did surprisingly well on Cardio which is fun. I like when I actually do better than the average because too often I get a decent B and then the average score is even higher. Lame! Oh well, as long as I feel like I understand what is going on I am fine with my grades. It is pass/fail after all.

The plus side of finals week is the weekend after finals with no commitments or obligations! I went out with my friends on Friday which was fun. Then I spent the rest of the weekend catching up on sleep and TV. One show that I am absolutely in love with is Mad Men!

It is on AMC of all networks and follows an Ad agency in New York in the 1960s. The show is really complex and doesn't sugarcoat the racism, misogyny, and various other non-PC issues that were widespread at the time. The show is actually funny too and just really interesting. I love it so much! Everyone should rent the first season, seriously!

I'm looking forward to coming home this weekend. For one, I need to get my warmer clothes and jackets to prepare for colder weather. But I also will get to see Elliott play soccer so that should be exciting. I think Mallory and I will also fit in Nick and Norah's infinite playlist so that should be good too. Well, perhaps I should do work or something. Hope to see everyone this weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Goodbye gross bugs!

Okay I needed to update so I didn't have to look at that gross bug picture anymore. After killing many more of those centipedes, I finally made time to invest in bug killer spray. I am happy to say that I am now encountering bug carcasses rather than live scary scurrying bugs. Thank god! It was hard to sleep imagining those things crawling into my mouth at night. Now I just have to worry about getting cancer from the bug spray! Yay medical school for making me so positive! Anyway, here is a stupid quiz I took which I feel is pretty accurate:

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

5 - the Observer

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose BZ - your Enneagram type is FIVE (aka "The Thinker").

"I need to understand the world"

Observers have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical,and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Be independent, not clingy.

  • Speak in a straightforward and brief manner.

  • I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts.

  • Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be thatI am feeling uncomfortable.

  • Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt yoursincerity.

  • If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be becauseit was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place.

  • don't come on like a bulldozer.

  • Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music,overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy.

What I Like About Being a FIVE

  • standing back and viewing life objectively

  • coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects

  • my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure

  • not being caught up in material possessions and status

  • being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a FIVE

  • being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world

  • feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all

  • being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be

  • watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence ortechnical skill, do better professionally

FIVEs as Children Often

  • spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on

  • have a few special friends rather than many

  • are very bright and curious and do well in school

  • have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers

  • watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information

  • assume a poker face in order not to look afraid

  • are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict

  • feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

FIVEs as Parents

  • are often kind, perceptive, and devoted

  • are sometimes authoritarian and demanding

  • may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate

  • may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
Harper SanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

You liked the test?
so S P R E A D I T ! tell everyone!!!(use Quick-Paste below)

you wanna know MORE?
so check out, what Wikipedia says about your type...

...even more you'll find in Google

or do you prefer to

You are not completely happy with the result?!
You chose BZ

Would you rather have chosen:

  • AZ (THREE)
  • CZ (ONE)
  • BX (NINE)
  • BY
  • Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Not Cool

    So I was reading in bed last night and this crawled on me:

    These are the things infesting my house which I called millipedes but apparently they are house centipedes. Regardless, they are disgusting. Somehow I was able to compose myself enough to actually sleep. Then this morning I got up early to go to small group and there were four, let me repeat that FOUR of these on the walls in my bathroom. There was also a tiny spider but after these things I was sooo not even concerned about that little guy. I keep thinking I see them scurrying around the living room out of the corner of my eye. aaah!

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    I'm baaaack

    I know everyone was waiting with bated breath for my return, but the truth is I spent all of summer avoiding the fact that school started again in September. Alas, with the first week of school down, I have begun to accept my fate which this year appears to be 6 weeks of class from 8-5 then a finals week over and over again. At the end of the year we get the special privilege of a cumulative final of all the drugs we learn over the year which will be around 1,000. Yippee! Mostly I've been trying to take it one day at a time so I don't look ahead and freak out about all the crap I have to do.

    Thus far, we have learned how to read EKGs, about heart murmurs, asthma, emphysema, pulmonary function tests, and about the drugs used to treat asthma as well as blood thinners. We are also learning about teamwork which is taking up a surprising amount of time and I am not happy about it. We got thrown back into clinic with a fake patient who we had to interview and then do a physical exam on. I definitely did not feel ready for that yet but I guess I need to get used to not feeling ready and just performing.

    Other than school, I've been settling into my apartment where I live alone! At the moment I have one chair that I get to sit in and no other seating so no one can come over. I bought a couch at home and then realized that it was way too big to fit in the door so I had to get a different one which will be delivered next week. Then hopefully my apartment will be pretty and finished. The only problem I am having now is that I have killed at least one spider or scary millipede each day since I moved in. It is so gross! Especially when those super fast millipedes scurry across my floor unexpectedly. ick.

    I've also become accustomed to experiencing daily rage when I read more new exciting facts about that "pitbull with lipstick" who is running for VP. Usually I am a huge fan of strong successful women but in this case that is definitely not true. I think this is because she seems to me to have gotten to where she is by downplaying everything about herself that actually qualifies her as a candidate. Excuse me but it must take incredible political savvy to go from mayor of a tiny town to governor to VP candidate in a matter of years, don't tell me you just fell into politics. Acknowledge your accomplishments because I would much rather hear about real qualifications than the fact that you are a hockey mom, and a hot lady who isn't afraid to wear skirts (These things do NOT qualify your for anything except you know being a hot hockey mom.) I guess I feel like she is reducing herself in order to be nonthreatening to the exact people who nominated her, conservative old white men, and that is missing the entire point of the movement toward gender equality which by the way her running mate does not support. So even ignoring her political views which are the definition of extreme, she makes me want to scream. a lot. alot alot alot.

    Anyway, I have lots of homework already which I have to fit around Mad Men and Gossip Girl. So I'll check back later!

    Friday, June 20, 2008


    I'm done with my first year of medical school!!!!!! You tried your hardest to deny my hard work and make me fail! But I prevailed! I own you medical school! You are my bitch! WOOOOOOO!

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Holy explosion, Batman!

    Well you have bullied me into an update, I guess. Something semi-exciting happened tonight so that was a change. My group of friends has weekly tv nights which include Top Chef on Wednesdays with wine and Lost and 30 Rock on Thursday with chips and cheese or popcorn. At this point it is a tradition that is not to be missed. Also, it is great to look forward to a break during the evening so you feel better about studying earlier. Well anyway, the excitement happened in the middle of Top Chef when there was a huge bang outside our apartment and the power went out. We gathered outside and saw that all of phi rho and 4 other houses on the block were dark. So we were forced to go to Applebees for a couple of hours to kill time while the power was fixed. Let's be honest though, we go to Applebees almost every Wednesday night for half price appetizers so it wasn't really that exciting.

    So since I last wrote, we finished spring semester with many finals and started summer term. Supposedly summer term is easier than spring but we have 6 weeks to complete 5 classes so I am doubtful. We are taking Pathology, Pharmocology, Human Behavior, Human Sexuality, and Embryology. We had a "midterm" this week for human behavior which was unexpected but I did really well on it after minimal studying so it was fine. Also human sexuality has been interesting and awkward. They scheduled 2 full days of only human sexuality where we supposedly got comfortable talking to patients about sex though I'm not sure I did. We also had a number of panels and speakers and even educational videos. Other than that path and pharm are a bit boring thus far. I guess this is just the start of drug lists that I have to memorize since we have pharm all next year. Also path is just advanced histology which sucks a little. I can cross pathologist off the list I guess.

    Although I've been busy with school, I've still been reading a lot which is a nice break. I also watch way too much tv but that isnt anything new. I am looking forward to summer where I dont have so many obligations and I can read and get a tan at the same time. And go swimming at the lake! Only a couple of weeks left so I better get my stuff together. That should be slightly difficult with my family coming this weekend but I wouldnt have it any other way. Hope everyone has a great week!

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Monday, March 31, 2008


    Well once again I have neglected my blog for quite awhile. I always think about writing entries and then decide that nothing exciting enough has happened to warrant one. That is the case today but I thought this reasoning had gone on long enough. I just got back from spring break where I got to see basically everyone in my family so that was fun. I'm sure Elliott and Connor really benefited from some older cousin mentoring (cool star wars lunch box included). Actually I think they have already learned to ignore everything Mallory and I say, so that's something anyway.

    It has been rough to come back to school after a week off. I realized that I have a lot of stuff to do in a very short time which is not good. Basically every monday from now till the end of our semester we have a "quiz" which means test. Then we have finals, a number of papers, and some really stupid essay tests (3) that are all due in the next couple weeks. I had a neuro quiz today and I'm not sure how I did on it. I studied all weekend but took Sioux Hockey breaks. You know it is bad when you are studying at a coffee shop going, "Where is everyone? Oh yeah, it's a Friday night!" I did that Saturday night too but then I spotted some law students who were also hard at work for many hours doing what appeared to be more boring stuff (property law?) and then I didn't feel as bad. Since I studied so much I didn't feel as bad about taking three hours to go to a bar on a Sunday night and watch this:

    It was AMAZING! Of course I was trying to study during the period breaks but I was freaking out so much that I couldn't concentrate. It is also very distracting because whenever they interview a guy I just end up staring at his ridiculous mustache. So funny! I also love that TJ Oshie looks recently shaven with no discernable hair even though he has been trying to grow a mustache for how many weeks now? I'm sure the frozen four will only lead me to neglect my studies even more so I should probably get on top of things this week.

    Well I guess that is all. Except can I say that it has been snowing here all morning and afternoon and I do not appreciate it! Spring, please!

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008


    So since my last entry, I've taken a couple of quizzes, had my interviewing final, went to a phi rho hot tub party, and attended med school prom. It has been a good couple of weeks. Of course I've been studying a lot. For a while there we had a quiz every monday which basically meant a test so every weekend was study time. I did however find time to attend the traditional phi rho hot tub party. Apparently every winter phi rho rents hot tubs and puts them in our parking lot. It was interesting. I guess i don't really understand the appeal of being really warm from the waist down and really cold from the waist up all at the same time. So basically I went for an hour or so and got bored and watched 30 Rock with my friend Erica.

    Last friday was the Medical School Winter Ball but we called it med school prom. It was a cool event because all four years of med students attend and it was held at the radisson downtown. They had open bar and people walking around with trays of appetizers and a live band. It was a lot of fun to see everyone all dressed up. Even some of the professors came and I noticed they were in the drink line pretty much the entire time. I went to eat sushi before prom with some friends so that was good. Though I had to carry my soy sauce in my coat pocket for the rest of the night so that was slightly awkward. I also saw a girl I went to high school with and hadn't seen since graduation. She apparently is married to a 3rd year med student and is finishing up some other sort of medical program. It was great to see her though it was extremely random.

    The big news for the next 2 weeks is that we have midterms. So yesterday we had an interviewing final which was a bit scary since we haven't had any practice for 3 weeks and before that we basically only did 4 interviews total. I like to be prepared for these things and I didn't really feel that I was because more practice would have helped. But apparently all second year we interview different people every week so I should get lots of practice then. But anyway, I still passed the interview final and did pretty well though I still have things I need to work on. Next we start learning the physical exam which should be even more awkward but we practice on our fellow students instead of fake patients so maybe it won't be that bad.

    As I said we have 3 big tests next week with Microbiology on Monday, Physiology on Wednesday, and Neuroscience on Friday. I've been studying a lot already going to coffee shops for many hours for the past two nights since I realized that our micro test is on 330 pages of material while the last quiz only covered about 90 pages so I need to memorize over 200 pages in the next week. We are getting into some gross stuff too. We have started learning about individual bacteria and what diseases they cause which are often accompanied by really disturbing pictures. So that is fun and also scary. The only good thing about midterms is that we don't have micro lab anymore so I get some of my afternoons back! Also, Mallory made me promise to come home after midterms are over so that should be nice. I feel like we should get a long weekend since midterms are so stressful but we have class on monday. I think I might still hang out in fargo until monday afternoon since they tape all of our lectures and I can watch them later and at a faster speed. Okay well, back to work I guess until I get a project runway break tonight. yay!

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    Sickly me

    Well it is the end of another exciting week of med school here. Mostly this week has been marked by me blowing my nose incessantly and generally feeling like crap. Good times! It seems a lot of people are similarly afflicted in my class so it must be a bug that's going around. We had our first quiz on monday in microbiology. It was pretty easy. We just had a lot of questions where they said the patient had gram positive, catalase negative, optochin sensitive cocci in their blood. What bacteria is it??? It sounds complicated but they gave us a list with all these bacteria on it so we just had to memorize their characteristics. I did well on the quiz so no bad grades yet.

    Also this week we had our first videotaped interviews with fake patients. The U has a bunch of exam rooms with cameras in them where we will be spending a lot of time for the next two years apparently. So this was our first time on our own with a patient for 20 minutes where we had to go through the whole interview process. We were assigned a second year "buddy" who will watch our videos and critique them. Also we have groups of 12 classmates plus two doctors who will watch them. All of this sounds a little scary to me. Mostly because I don't want to watch myself on video in front of my peers. But overall, I thought I did okay with the interview and wasn't as awkward as I could have been. I get to tape another one next week so that should be double the fun.

    This weekend is going to be long and cold. We get Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day or something. Public school is great for getting days off. But mostly I need to catch up with my studies, since I spent most of this week resting and not studying. We have a neuro quiz in a week which should be fun and an extra credit thing due on wednesday that is worth a whole 4 points. They warned us though that in the past 4 points have made the difference between passing and failing so I suppose I should do it. One thing that was cool this week was we had a demonstration of an electrocardiogram. So one of my classmates we got to see his heart through an ultrasound type thing. I didn't think we would be able to see much but we could see the heart valves and the muscle and the aorta and everything. It was very cool. They could also add color so you could see which way the blood was flowing to make sure everything was normal. Sometimes it's nice to have a reminder of all the cool stuff we will get to do in the future. Gives me more motivation to study hard now. Anyway, I'm going to eat sushi and then watch a movie with my friends tonight so that should be fun. A break before the studying begins!

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    New year, New semester

    Hello, all. I'm back finally. Since I last wrote I have been through my first finals week in med school which was predictably hellish and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing for the approximately three weeks of Christmas break. It was wonderful. Mostly it was nice to be home and see everyone including Toby.

    School started again last week on Jan. 2 which is just cruel. Only a day to recover from New Year's Eve and then they expect us to be up at 8 and actually be awake. So what I've learned about this semester so far is that these folks are no longer messing around. Instead of a leisurely 4 hours of class a day and 1 lab twice a week, we get at least 3 days a week of class from 8-5:30. We have two labs twice a week which takes up the 1:30 to 5:30. Then we have a new class called physician and patient once a week for 4 hours. In this class we will learn how to conduct a patient interview and do a physical exam. So the second day of class this semester we were introduced to our first fake patient and asked to interview him in front of 12 people for 4 minutes. It was pretty awkward since none of us knew what we were doing. But I guess we better learn fast because we have an interviewing final in a month after 6 teaching sessions on it.

    The fake patients that we interview are kind of amazing actually. They get a really in depth script of what their story is and you really have to dig to find it all out. We are starting with the patient-centered interview where we figure out the chief complaint and hear the patient's story and find out more about what their concerns are and how they might be feeling. This is pretty complicated usually because the stories often include a recent divorce or a child with cancer or a friend who died and had the same symptoms as the patient etc. So we have to find out all of these things and deal with them which is hard. This past time, our focus for the day was on dealing with emotions so our fake patient cried three times and got really angry and whatnot. It was kind of crazy but nice to practice because we know that those things are going to happen in real life. In the next couple weeks we have 2 or 3 taped interviews that we have to review with a second year buddy they assigned to us. It should be freaky to have to watch myself on tape and analyze my body language and everything. I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

    Anyway, the other classes that we have started this semester are neuroscience, physiology, and microbiology. I think these classes will be much better than histology and biochemistry. (blah!) But of course it is much harder to keep on track with my studying when I don't get done with school until 5 and then am tired and don't feel like doing anything. Mom and Dad keep saying it is like a regular job but I believe that is unfair since I am expected to study like crazy in all of my time off and I don't get paid a dime.

    In more positive news, we will be having the med school winter ball in february! It's like prom but with an open bar. The only problem is that last year supposedly they only had open bar for the first hour so everyone drank as much free booze as possible in that one hour and misbehaved from then on out. I feel like that is a bad idea but what can you do? It has been nice to be back here so far and hang out with all my phi rho friends and my body buddies. I'm sure school will get in the way soon enough considering I have a micro quiz on monday which of course I am supposed to study for like it is a test. But perhaps I will go shopping while I can and spend the rest of my christmas money. Hope everyone is doing well!