Archive for tag: finals

Going, Going...

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

                               -- Dylan Thomas

Boy, did the end of this tri sneak up on me. I'm not kidding. I looked up and it was Week 13 and I had to start scrambling to get everything done. Now, here we are in Week 14 and the scrambling continues. It's the end of Tri 8. The End. Of Tri 8. These are the last finals that I have to take for this program. We're all to the point where we're fed up, tired, and so over all of the projects and papers and quizzes and exams and practicals. I've heard talk from a few people about giving up. I really have. It's not out of the realm of comprehension to just throw your hands up in the air, take a different path, and just go quietly into the night. But we won't, because we've come too far and done too much work. We can't quit now. It's just not an option.

2014-08-07-gulf3

In Doctor-Patient Relationship class today, we were talking about lobbying, the ACA, the ACC, and a few other organizations. We were talking, not just about what we're doing here, but what we're hoping to accomplish -- the bigger picture. We've been tasked with writing down where we want to be in 5 years -- not just what we want to be doing professionally, but personally. I can't imagine what life will be like in 5 years -- where I'll be, what I'll be doing. It seems so far away, and yet I know time will fly (just like this Tri did). I wonder if the face of medicine will change -- whether our scope will change across the board, whether we'll have prescribing rights in more states, or whether we'll continue to be segregated like we have been. A lot can change in 5 years -- 5 years ago my life looked dramatically different. I never thought I'd be where I am now, doing what I'm doing. It's pretty amazing how things can change.

2014-08-07_gulf2

I know, though, what I'll be doing for the next 9 days: studying. So with that in mind, I'll keep this brief and to the point. Study hard, boys and girls. Get your work done; finish your projects. Check the check boxes and fill in those dots. Share some gratitude and compassion with your classmates and even your instructors. This is the last time we go down this Path.

2014-08-07-gulf1

As a "going away" for this Tri, I found another little park tucked back somewhere in Gulfport while Grey and I were driving around. Photos in this post courtesy of Grey.

Good luck on exams everyone. Have an amazing and restful break.

Happy Week 13

Have you made your study schedule yet for Finals? (You know they actually start next week, right?) My schedule is somewhat made; exams, practicals, and last minute assignments have been entered, and from this point I just have to get busy! I'm on a brief reprieve from the Master's, until next quarter starts (during Week 15 here), and I've had off from Acupuncture for the last 2 weeks, so the Universe, and school, saw fit to give me some time. Of course, I still feel behind and also am a little bit panicked (as always happens). Right now it looks like 6 exams for me next week, and 7 the week after that. I'm already ready, but will definitely be more ready for a break.

Photo of sunset at Treasure Island beach
Sunset at Treasure Island Beach

Last week's Cadaver Workshop was AMAZING! I was, admittedly, a little nervous when I found out I'd be going over the musculature. After all, other than diagrams, I hadn't been back in the lab since I left basic sciences. And I hadn't worked on the back or limbs since first and second tri. I'd forgotten how much I love being in there. I suspected that would be the case, but I was actually thrilled and surprised at how much I remembered. I loved it so much, that I'm going back this week to do it again. We did a bit of show and tell, and also asked questions and quizzed the students that showed up.

We had students from the undergrad program, PA program, nursing, and EMT at St. Pete College. I'll be interested to see who comes this week. It's absolutely invaluable experience. It also reminded me how much I enjoy teaching. Back in undergrad, my internship was TA-ing biology for non-majors. THAT was an experience. It's frustrating, sometimes, to be teaching people who aren't always interested in what you have to discuss, or to approach things from a manner that everyone can understand (or that encourages clarification).

I have been planning, for about the last year, to spend at least part of my career teaching. I'll be honest; I'm really looking forward to it. Who wouldn't want the opportunity to geek out on a regular basis, and get paid to do it? What would you teach? Biochemistry? Physiology? Functional Medicine? Nutrition? Yeah, I could really get into that. The tough part will be finding a location that will allow me to practice, and has opportunities for teaching.

Last week, I did a Rehab demonstration on therapies to use for Rheumatoid Arthritis. I learned a lot in prepping for the demo -- like how the joints in RA patients can be hotter than normal, and how heating the joint itself can be damaging (but heating the muscle is fine). I learned how important it is to protect the joint -- even to the point of how the patient sits. The "point of relaxation" for the knee, for example, is full extension. This is the position that is least likely to promote joint degeneration. There are other positions for other joints. This week, I'm giving a presentation on Raynaud's Phenomenon (which I've had since I was a teenager) and therapies for treatment. I fully intend to go get my thick wool gloves for the demonstration -- just for effect. Although, if they continue to keep it so cold in this building, I'll have to wear them all the time. It does make it difficult to type and take notes.

Photo of sunset at Treasure Island beach from another angle
Sunset at Treasure Island Beach

There haven't been any other events going on for the last week or so, other than a ROCK tape seminar this weekend (that I didn't go to). But if you remember back, not that long ago, when I volunteered at the St. Pete Beach Classic and met Mr. Incredible, I have something to share. Mr. Incredible found ME! Last weekend, I received an email out of the blue, from Mr. Incredible himself, who found the blog and wrote me. (I do answer all of the messages that come through here, in one way or another.) He's starting on a new adventure with his training. Feel free to check out his blog: Superheroes on the Run.

All right kids, have an amazing pre-finals week! Remember to keep going to the gym, keep sleeping, and keep eating good food. You'll be glad that you did.

Taking a Good Look

Have you ever stared at something so long that it looks completely different? I do this with words. I think that's a new level of zoning out. Sometimes when I do this, it completely changes my perspective. Not all that often, mind you, but it does. Lately, I've been getting hit with a lot, that's been altering my perspective.

2014-03-14_pier

I've been spending a lot of time in downtown St. Petersburg. It's not as if I haven't lived here for 8+ years, and it's not as if I haven't been downtown nearly a million times. Because of friends living downtown, I'm seeing parts of it that I've never seen before. I'm always amazed at what exists, right under my nose -- but I just haven't taken the time to see it. So now, it's starting to look completely different.

Like many downtowns across the country, ours has had its moments. There were department stores downtown, factories, big business. I've always wanted to research some of the buildings downtown, especially the Studebaker Building, which I used to drive by nearly every day when I lived on the other side of town. And then there's the nation's first open-air post office, which, honestly -- these pictures don't do justice. The inside of the post office reminds me of old time banks and Westerns -- loaded with beautifully stained wood and remembrances of teller windows. Some of these buildings have been standing for a long, long time -- constructed not long after the turn of the century, which for this area is nearly ancient.

Also, like many downtowns, St. Pete seems to constantly undergo some form of revival. New places move in; old ones move out. Things get rebuilt or renovated, torn down, and new life comes in to change the look and feel of it all. The more time I spend down there, the more I like it. There are old bars and restaurants, beautiful scenery, and the old stately architecture. I've posted pictures of the banyan trees, the Dali and Mahaffey Theater, the Pier, and a few of the marina as well. I'm running out of time to explore here -- at least while I'm still at school. I've set a loose goal for myself, of visiting every building between Beach Drive and 34th street on Central Avenue. I wonder how close to that I can get with this crazy schedule.

2014-03-14_pelicans

We're in Week 10, which means midterms are over here at National, and I'm looking at finals for Western States. I can't believe how quickly things have passed. I keep going back and forth about jobs and locations and being excited about being out in practice and clinic and a million other things. I was forwarded a list of job openings all over the country, towards the end of last week. I couldn't help but look -- thinking that it was all very premature, and yet I'm being told that I SHOULD be looking right now. I'm still thinking it might be a little presumptuous.

And of course, this week I have to turn in a sample business plan. It's hard to anticipate things like that when you have no idea where you'll be. Of course, I could go anywhere. The question becomes where, and when, and how, and why. We've all talked about setting up our own practices -- well, most of us have. Some, I think, are planning on joining practices and others might just associate for a short period of time. When I thought I had a clear plan before, now I'm not so sure. Life sometimes gets in the way of plans. John Lennon said something like, "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans." For right now, I'm only making immediate plans, with the rest in the background.

2014-03-14_sunset

Maybe I just need a change in perspective.

Motivation and Inspiration

It must've been sometime around my sophomore year in high school, when I was taking World History, that I realized that if I had motivation to do something, anything, it would get done. It wasn't that World History was all that difficult; it was that I had absolutely no interest in it. I had no motivation--whatsoever. 

Finals are the time when I have to find the motivation to keep going--when I have to find things to keep me motivated to make it through. So, below I am listing a few things that are giving me motivation.

  1. As of the writing of this blog article, I have approximately 625 calendar days until I graduate.
  2. In 9 school days, Tri 5 will be over.
  3. Tomorrow, I'll learn something that I didn't know today.
  4. Both of my kids will soon be on the same school schedule (High School -- yikes!).
  5. Part I of Boards is the first week in September (good and bad -- but a milestone, nonetheless).
  6. In less than 2 weeks, I'll be on break, which means I can refocus and take time (even though I'll be studying for boards).

This is just a smattering of things floating around in my head.

Sometimes, we need a little inspiration. This morning I heard board pass rate statistics (Go National!), which are not too shabby. I've caught a few videos on YouTube and Facebook encouraging me to keep going (a little bit of inspiration never hurts). I've been sent a million cute pictures of cats and maybe even more quotes superimposed on beautiful mountain scenery.

The best motivation, however, is the desire to know. I look at most of my classes as a tease. We're exposed to some small snippet of factoid about some condition, some biochemistry, some physiology, or some treatment. It might be enough to pass the boards. It might even be enough for some people to use in their practice later on. But for most of us, it's just a primer for what we need to know. Every time I come across someone that has an issue that I don't know the answer to, it encourages me to learn--the more obscure the issue, the greater the learning opportunity. These opportunities fuel me.

Finals start this week. Adrenaline keeps me moving, but inspiration keeps me going. What motivates you? What inspires you?

I wish you great fortune on finals, everyone. See you in a few weeks.

Finals are Upon Us

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!