I can't believe we're already going on the 3rd week of school!
How did that happen? This week not only marks Week 3 of school, but
also the Tri Mixer. Friday night, members from all (I hope) tris
will convene for a wee bit of team building. It never fails that I
meet someone I didn't know from another class. It should be an
interesting time. (Don't worry; I'll take pictures--but not
An egret at the Coffee Pot Bayou.
I'm still REALLY enjoying botanical medicine. It's encouraging
me to review everything I've learned before. In fact, I'm reviewing
old books and notes right now (as I'm writing this for all of you).
I'm always amazed at what we can do with what comes naturally. Of
course with each bit of reading that I do, the list for my
medicinal herb garden grows. I should have a nice start here in a
few weeks. Even with the Florida sun and heat I hope to put in some
seed soon. My father was kind enough to contribute some mullein
(lamb's ear). I planted it today, in fact. If you're not familiar
with mullein, there are two parts of the plant that are commonly
used: the flowers and the leaves. I like the leaves because they're
VERY fuzzy and good for topical treatments (and also fun to pet).
The flowers are used for respiratory tract issues. Don't try this
at home without consulting some references first. Plants are
A manatee at the Coffee Pot Bayou.
I'm happy to report that I'll be the student research assistant
for Dr. Mabel Chang! I met with her last week about some of the
projects she has going. One, in particular, I'm extremely excited
about. She's collected a lot of information about scope of practice
throughout the U.S. and provinces. I was thrilled when I found out!
I've been starting to research where to practice myself--looking at
scope, rights, and contemplating all the implications. I can't wait
to get my hands on the data.
I wonder what will come next. Always an adventure...
The Coffee Pot Bayou.
Did everybody have a good break? Did you even get a break?
Finals are over! We all survived (endured, even). From what I can
tell, everybody did really well. Mostly, I think we're glad that
we've made it through all the basic sciences and are now in
clinical sciences. WHOOOHOOO!!!!! I can't believe we're finally in
Treasure Island drum circle
All of our class scattered to the wind--Europe, New Jersey, all
over the globe! I had an especially busy break. I spent the first
week looking for a new place to live, and then the second week in
Illinois. I drove to see my folks (and extended family) in Central
Illinois. The trip was AMAZING! I've forgotten how much I miss the
Midwest (did I just say that out loud?), and how much I miss my
I grew up out in the country, amidst farmland and such. I
literally spent 2+ days up to my waist in dirt. It was pure heaven.
I planted perennials in one of their flowerbeds that will hopefully
take over and be low maintenance (and fodder for my mom to watch
from the kitchen window). It's got me all psyched to do some
gardening of my own (in between studying, of course).
The first week of school was both a trial and a triumph. I
received the go-ahead to move into my new place on Monday, so I
started moving boxes and such into the garage. They are still
fixing random stuff in the house. At 2am Sunday morning, I finished
moving the last of the stuff out. Special thanks to my classmates
and friends, Jacqlyn, Julia, and Alid for all of their help. Julia,
Alid, Grey (my son), and myself moved ALL of the heavy furniture in
less than 3 hours! They were, as Dr. S puts it, "machines!" I
couldn't have done any of this without you guys--all my love and
undying gratitude. I mean it!
So, other than unpacking and getting things sorted, I'm back to
school. The class schedule looks like it's doable, but it's gonna
be a toughie! Two classes with Dr. S (although one is early in the
morning when I'm not yet awake--I wonder if he's noticed), several
other interesting ones, and my favorite: Botanical Medicine (Yes,
I'm being serious). I've taken Bot Med under different
headings/schools before, and I practice a little home chemistry in
making my own medicine. I have for several years. In my
not-so-humble opinion, you can never know too much about medicinal
plants! I've already obligated myself to showing how to make
hydrosols, which are like essential oils but can be made at home
and not quite as strong. Now if I could just find that book. Where
did I pack that thing?
I'm looking forward to an exciting tri--morning classes and
Treasure Island beach
Incidentally, it's hotter than Hades' vacation spot down here in
the old FL. Summer has definitely arrived. Stay cool and hydrated,
kiddies. If anybody has any garden requests for me, let me know.
I'll be putting seeds/plants in as soon as I can.
Welcome back! (I know I'm glad to be here!)
This'll probably be my shortest blog to date. I'm convinced that
if I don't spend nearly every waking moment studying, I might miss
something. There are 3 finals this week (including the E & M
practical) and 6 next week. There's some switch that happens in my
brain around this time. It's a cross between "panic" and
"drive"--and it vacillates between the two of them.
I always rethink what I've done over the trimester and how I
could've planned just a little bit better (so there's less panic
and more drive). I will always be compiling notes at the last
moment. I will always be reviewing until right before the exams.
I'm not sure how I could do things differently. Perhaps it's
reading more, earlier, or writing notes sooner. I will probably
ALWAYS wonder if there's something else, unless I come up with the
"perfect" way to study (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA).
But, as it stands right now, the schedule is set. I am behind in
some things and ahead in others. It will be interesting to see how
it all works out. Trips to the store for fresh, healthy food have
been planned. Gym visits are on my schedule. Notes are being
compiled and edited. Checklists are being made (man, I wish I'd
ordered that ink!) and things are getting done.
I had the GREAT pleasure of reviewing for the E & M
practical with Alid and Julia from my class, and Jacqlyn from
another tri. It was good to review things that I've done before,
and also good to get the critiques of my classmates. I think we'll
be aptly prepared for Tuesday (when we all have our practicals) and
then that will be one more thing to check off of our list; one more
accomplishment; one step closer to graduation! So, special thanks
to all of them for lending their expertise, their brains, and their
support (and Julia for the use of her gorgeous home).
As you're all studying for exams (and boards), remember to
sleep, focus, eat healthy, and drink plenty of water. All of this
will be over before we know it.
I'm "off" for a few weeks. I promise I'll be collecting great
pictures of my adventures over the break and hopefully be rested
and revived for the next tri's adventures. See you all soon!
I hope everyone had a great Easter, a festive Ostara, and a
Blessed Passover. It was a low-key weekend at my house. We didn't
even make Easter baskets. Peeps were procured and cupcakes were
made, but that was about it. I spent the whole weekend working
Finals start next week. Let the panic commence! NO. No panic! We
will not panic. There will be NO panicking. OK. Now that that's
done. Given that this is the last week before finals, it's time to
get all my ducks in a row - practicing, note writing, memorizing,
preparing, and everything else!
Sometimes the organization and preparation for finals is just as
stressful as actually taking them. The last week before the tests
begin is when all the notes must be finished and the hardcore
studying takes place. For me, I learn more in the last week than I
do in the 14 weeks before. I know that it's not supposed to work
that way, but that's how I work. There's something about
solidifying everything and repetition, repetition, repetition. I
will, actually, be studying up until I walk in to take each test.
I'm doing my best to not repeat the events of last tri's finals.
I existed most of the last finals week on caffeine and very little
sleep. I don't remember whether I was eating or eating anything
remotely respectable, but I suspect I wasn't. So, that will not
happen this time. Here are a few suggestions that I'm pulling
together for this tri's finals for myself--and all of
Andrea's suggestions for finals
OK. Enough of that. So I wish you all a happy finals preparation
and a happy spring and all of that other stuff. If you're getting
antsy while you're studying, take a break. It really will make
things go smoother. See you all on the flip-side.
Well, you wouldn't know it by looking outside. We've had a few
really nice days, but it's expected to be in the 50s one day this
week. It's almost April! What is going on? I know everybody up in
the Midwest has had snow. I just keep looking out the door
bewildered and checking the Weather Channel on my phone. I never
know what it's going to be! Bundle-up or flip-flops, or my personal
favorite, blue toes in flip-flops? We just take it day by
I thought for sure that I'd make it outside for something this
weekend, but it didn't happen. I did, however, make a cameo at the
Gluten Free Expo at the St. Petersburg Coliseum. Grey and I showed
up about an hour before it was over, wondering if they'd have some
great speaker at the last minute or some new revolutionary
products. There were, of course, TONS of giveaways and coupons and
brochures. I did grab a few business cards from vendors and talked
to a health coach while I was there.
I must say, though, that I was disappointed. While I'm grateful
that I now have free snack fodder for the boys' lunches for the
next month plus, I'm not sure how healthy it all is. There's just
so much processing going into gluten-free products these days.
Nothing they were giving away or selling was anywhere near simple
or resembling anything homemade.
I talked to a baker about Paleo cooking. She said that the
biggest problem for them was cutting out the sugar. She wanted to
substitute Stevia--which in some Paleo circles is forbidden (no
artificial sugars or regular sugars). Although I'm not sure what
other ingredients she was going to substitute, the sugar, I think,
was the least of their worries.
In Diet and Nutrition, Dr. S has been teaching us all the
pathways and extolling the dangers of grains, sugars, and
indirectly, processing. We've linked all these starches, Omega 6s,
and sugars to everything from heart disease to Alzheimer's. Of
course that doesn't make it all so easy to give up, but the
argument is getting more and more persuasive. So I have to
think--just because something is gluten-free, that doesn't make it
healthy. Whether it's the canola oil, the high fructose corn syrup,
or the ingredient that I can only dissect with a piece of paper and
a chemistry textbook, it may still be gluten-free, but it's also a
science/health experiment. I know for a fact, that gluten-free can
still be simple. The more ingredients, the more likely that there
might be a problem, and that doesn't work for anyone.
I'm beginning to explore the ins and outs of the Paleo diet and
trying to marry it with my own sense of nutrition. I suspect I'll
be more restrictive in many ways than what the standards are. I
still can't see/justify eating huge amounts of bacon. Something
just doesn't seem right about that. I'm not sure whether it's the
huge amounts of fat, the salt, or the nitrates. Yes, I know that
all of those are available nitrate-free, but last time I
checked--we were all students, yes?--I also know that I will never
eat beef or eggs again. I think there has got to be a way to
balance nutrition and our evolutionary developments with the limbic
system. Otherwise, we'll all end up eating only 35 cups of Romaine
lettuce with steaks wrapped in bacon. And between you and me, none
of that sounds all that appetizing.
Last but certainly not least, I want to congratulate everyone on
making it through midterms. We finally had our last one on
Thursday. I'll spare you all the drama involved, but I know we are
all extremely glad that that is over. I want to offer Dr. Ott my
undying gratitude for being, perhaps, the coolest-headed professor
I've ever come across. I must find for you, Dr, Ott, 5 million gold
toilet stickers. You deserve them. (And if you want to know the
story about the gold toilet stickers, you can email me).
Everyone also deserves congratulations for making it through
Mercury retrograde. Thankfully, Mercury went direct on St. Patty's
Day--and not a moment too soon. I was tired of fixing everything,
fighting and mediating fights, and just generally being in a
Happy First Full Week of Spring to everyone and Happy Easter,
Ostara and a Blessed Passover to all who celebrate.
This week's pictures are from Lake Maggiore--which is not far
from my house. I was hoping to get some gators in there, but it was
a bit too cloudy. If you enter through Boyd Hill and take the
trails, I PROMISE you'll see some BIG gators. To my classmate
Lauren, here's where you (don't) want to go. :)
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
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