A Strong Assessment

One of the coolest things about going to school here is that we are constantly supported, advised, and mentored by faculty interested in our medical education. The experience is so extensive here that it sometimes verges on too much. For instance, here are the titles of the people involved under the general category of “advisors” to first-year students:  Continue reading

I’m Not Mature Enough For This

I am not mature enough for science.

Our current block is called “Endocrine, Digestion, and Reproduction,” running twelve weeks long. At five weeks in, I have three more before I disappear into the black hole that is studying for the weeklong test making up the last week of April. If Homeostasis (our previous block) is any judge, I will spend most of Nate’s Birthday Month getting fatter than the Michelin Man from inactivity and Chipotle, pretending to study anatomy until I break down in crocodile tears of frustration, and wearing pajamas to class.

This is not an exaggeration. It happened. Continue reading

No Pants Required

(I guarantee you this is not what it sounds like.)

Last week, we began a new unit, called “Homeostasis.” I am wholly unclear what “homeostasis” means, but it sounds important. The previous unit was all about the various infections you could catch and how your body tried and/or failed to fight them off; this unit is about the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Everything about the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Continue reading

Antagonist, Inverse Agonist, Same But Different

We have our first exam coming up this week, on six full weeks of material. The two-day test will cover biochemistry, anatomy, histology, pathology, and a bunch of other –ologies I don’t understand either.

Yes, I’m writing this to procrastinate, no, it’s not a good use of my time, and no, grandma, I don’t need a brownies care package. Your last one turned me prediabetic as it is. Thanks though. Continue reading

Diary of a Procrastinator

I am a 24-year-old young person. This means that I am still within shouting distance of college, and since I just spent the last year taking more classes I can credibly claim to do what all twenty-somethings credibly claim to do: procrastinate like a boss.

My procrastination, though, is especially nuanced this month. As I’ve written before, the MCAT is a mere five days away (May 31!), and my desire to avoid studying, paradoxically, has steadily increased as the fateful day nears. A semi-true to life chronicle of the last few weeks is below, as dictated to a fictional diary.

(I DO actually have a diary, but I only write things in there when I’m emotionally compromised. This means the vast majority of the entries consist of transcribed feelings. Gross. It is the single most depressing collection of words in existence, including the Oregon Trail you-have-died-of-dysentery notification, letters of rejection from employers, and even the old UNC ticket email that begins, “Hello, you have NOT been selected to receive tickets to the Duke game, rendering your weekend completely worthless.”) Continue reading

The Struggle To Put On Pants

Studying for the barrage of science finals and the MCAT, simultaneously, is a relatively independent enterprise. You can try to study in groups, you can attend the review classes, and you can go to the library to be around others, but in the end the process involves you and a lot of text. I tend to avoid the library around exam time, because entering the chemistry library around now is like waiting in line at the drugstore for a prescription during flu season: you’re afraid to get too close to anyone because everybody looks like hell. As an avid people-watcher, I’ve found that coffee shops are too distracting, so my go-to work site is the desk in my bedroom. And I am good at it. I can sit down and focus for hours on end, plugging away at physics or organic chemistry or whatever is on the table that day.

Continue reading