Friday, December 18, 2009



Besides that, not a whole lot of excitement ;) After all our blocks, Megan flew in to spend some time with me and meet all my friends and roommates and then drive back down to Southern CA with me!

Our house, all decorated for Christmas!!!
Angela, Nourah, and I before our first Standard Patient Encounter!
Christmas Potluck at our house!!!!
Someone brought a pineapple!
Roommates <3
Opening Christmas presents--my roommates got me a Snuggie!!!!!!

And now I'm home, enjoying time with the fam and relaxing, and getting ready to go to Paris with Mumsy!!!! Helloooooooooo 2010 :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Study Study Study

The end is almost in sight!!! Two short weeks complete with 10 more lectures, one more lab, three exams and two practicals and I will be done with my first semester of MEDICAL SCHOOL! I can hardly believe it!

Just a few updates/photos of what I've been up to these last few weeks before I go back to notecards and bed!
Since I last posted, my friend Mike and I made "complementary" shirts to run the Mare Island 5K in:
In case you can't quite see, those are pink shirts that say "I'm with Muscly" and "I'm with Jiggly"
....if this whole med school thing didn't work out, I think maybe I should consider a job in a) persuading people to do things they don't really want to (like run in matching pink shirts), or b) elementary school teaching (thanks to my awesome puffy paint skills). But so far the med school thing is working out, and the day after out race was our third mid-block exam which I totally dominated! I think I'm (finally) starting to figure out my study groove :) This third block begins our first actual system: blood. Who knew that it was so complicated or that there are SO MANY TYPES OF ANEMIA OH MY GOODNESS. But anyways, after the midblock almost our whole class went out to a bar in Benicia to celebrate which was pretty's a picture with 5/8 of my small "team-based learning" group. We are team 1 in group A, so we like to consider ourselves "Team Awesome"....:) Actually the theory of team-based learning is really awesome, I think, and I love it when professors give us complicated cases and we have to, as a team, figure out what to do. I plan to call all these people when I have a complicated case in real life ;) Anyways, here's my team:
After midblock we also had the Turkey Bowl which seemed like a good idea (1st and 2nd year med students playing against each other in a fun game of flag football), but was ended prematurely with a fight.... But at least the "432 Kirkland Express" was there to cheer our class on!(Please note how my roomies all really creatively decorated their numbers and mine is......colored in. Perhaps creativity is not my strong point.)

But after all this excitement, the biggest excitement was by far coming home!! Thanksgiving with the fam and wedding dress shopping on Black Friday was AWESOME and a much-needed getaway :)

Happy Thanksgiving from Huntington Beach!
Time for wedding dress shopping!!!
And it even snowed!!!! AWESOME THANKSGIVING BREAK! :)

Getting back from break means we were slammed with work...and my studying has really kicked into high gear. I've spent so many hours at the library, I've started packing my dinner so that I can just stay and study and eat there and not be bothered with going to my house (a mile away).....SO HARDCORE! But Friday night I got a bit of a reprieve with an ugly sweater party hosted by some of my classmates.... So fun!
Mike and I in our ugly sweaters.....we originally bought them to wear opposite (me in the cute snowflake one and him in the Bill Cosby one), but Angela said that they would be uglier (and thus more appropriate for an Ugly Sweater Party) if we switched. So we did :)
Ugly Sweater Party 2009 -- all Future Doctors of America....

This weekend has been filled with lots of studying (as usual), church-going and....DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS! Our house is gonna look so awesome, I'm so so excited!!!
Decorating our Charlie Brown Christmas tree....
Stringing lights!
Who needs a boy? My dad taught me how to hammer and hang my own lights :)

That's about all the excitement in my life for now....just a little longer and I'm done, I can't believe it! So exciting! Just gotta get through my first Standardized Patient exam this week (Wednesday), then my exams/OMM practical next week, the Megy comes and we have our holiday potluck and then home sweet home!!! So close!
One last thing, I've been reading though Romans (love it so much) and I stumbled across these two verses on love that I really do, well love!
Love does no harm to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.....And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love
So awesome :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BLOCK 2 -- Passed :)

So clearly my goal of blogging every week is failing as school gets busier and busier... But in other news: I passed all my Block 2 exams!!! Sooooo happy and thankful. I know that someday I will fail a test or several...I just don't want it to be yet!

The primary occupation of my days these past three weeks has been studying and training for my half-marathon that was this past Sunday in Florida....I have made time for some fun non-studying activities... :)
Pumpkin carving with my roommates...
and going to Halloween parties with my roommates!

In addition to those fun things, my biggest news of late definitely is a) PASSING MY BLOCK EXAMS and b) flying to Florida to run a half-marathon/reunion with my college roommates!!!
We had lots of time to relax on the beach before our big race...
..and by the pool :)
and then of course there was the half-marathon!
Which was on the beach! (well right next to it...)
And I finished!!! 2 hours and 13 minutes -- 7 minutes faster than the one I ran in May!!!

All in all it was an amazing weekend away with my best friends. And now its back to the study grind (MidBlock THREE on Monday!), then home soon for Thanksgiving!! :)

One last thing, I've been reading through the Psalms and I found one a few weeks ago that I've really been loving (I wrote it on a notecard and put it next to my bed :)) --
"I call as my heart grows faint. Lead me to a rock that is higher than I."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Midblock 2 -- Passed :)

So it keeps getting more and more intense and more busy and all of it! But so far, I'm surviving and even passing! :)

Last weekend/this week was super stressful and busy. I feel like literally all I did was study...starting ALL day last Saturday through late Thursday night, in preparation for my Fundamentals midblock on Friday on Pharmacology (80+ drugs to memorize), Immunology (as it is, a lot harder/not as interesting as one may expect), Cell Injury and Death, and Cancer. It was a beast of information. In addition to memorizing all the drugs, I also had 75 pages of objectives to know and understand. All this to make the was a very hard test. And it only is going to get harder! So Friday was my test. I passed but let me just say, I would not bet my patients' lives on some of those answers. I think I'm gonna be constantly busting out my Physician's Desk Reference :) After the test we had a class on Jurisprudence (read: all about getting sued :() and then I went on a NINE MILE RUN because I had a lot of stress to release...and I'm training for the half-marathon in Fort Lauderdale next month with my college roommates!!! I'm SOOOOOOO excited :) Friday after my run, my roommates and I went grocery shopping (and drove through Jack-In-The-Box for a Pumpkin Pie Shake to celebrate the test being over -- yummy!) because that night we went to a potluck with some other students and second-years on the island. It was super yummy, with lots of good Asian food. So while we were there, a group was getting ready to go into SF to go dancing at some club and convinced me to go! So I called another friend and convinced her to come with me (Angela didn't want to come and Caitlin's boyfriend was in town and Nourah has a sprained ankle) and we all went out into the city! It was so much fun, though my feet/legs are still recovering from the studying-deep-vein-thrombosis/running/dancing combination.
Dancing Medical Students.

So Saturday I woke up and my roommates made a pancake breakfast and then we did a deep house cleaning which was good, then I went with another group of friends to Sushi in Benecia then into SF again to do the tourist-y things because my friend Mike is from Colorado and had never been!
Very excited about going into SF again!
Driving down Lombard St!!
The group of us in SF :)
And of course we had to go to Ghirardelli!
We were very successful with the group shots. From left: Alison, Mike, Josh, me, and T. Future Doctors of America!!
And of course Alison and I had to take a picture with Barack and Michell. In our crab hats.

So this weekend has been super fun and relaxing...but tomorrow is back to school and study-mode again, with Blocks in 2 weeks! :/ Even though I think that in some ways our midblocks are harder because it seems like we end up with 4 weeks worth of information on them, and only 2 weeks of information to know for block exams. Thats just for Fundamentals though. For OMM and Doctoring, we're only tested at every block so we have 6 weeks of information to know, but we have less lectures in those classes so its not as bad.

That's all for now, which is good because right now, life is good :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back to The Grind...

Well, Fall Break is sadly over. It was an amazing ten-day break visiting Megan in DC, Margaret and family in DC, and even having some of my girlfriends from Saint Peter's take the bus down to DC to visit me!! So it was an amazing and relaxing time away!
In front of the Louisville Slugger!!
Marie, Margaret's ADORABLE daughter.
In Charleston, West Virginia. Megy had never been to Cracker Barrel!
Hanging out with the President's at the Smithsonian
And with the Washington family at Mount Vernon...
....and some soldiers.
Lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn. One of my favorite pictures of the trip.
And Jo and Mae came to visit!

All in all, it was a great trip. And now life is back to hardcore studying, especially since we have another mid-block exam next Friday. These days we're learning about cell injury/inflammation/and the drugs that go along with treating that. Interesting but a lot to learn.... Ok, thats all for now!

Oh, except one passage from the book I just finished reading, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: "My friend Josh Shipp is one of the greatest communicators I've heard. He's only in his twenties but speaks around the country at high schools and is often a guest on MTV. Kids love him because he is funny and direct. Josh grew up in more than twenty foster homes, never knowing his real parents. And yet he is incredibly successful. I asked Josh why he's so healthy, so emotionally stable, considering his childhood. Josh told me something I'll never forget. He said, 'Don, when something hard happens to you, you have two choices in how to deal with it. You can either get better, or better. I chose to get better. It's made all the difference."

Monday, October 5, 2009

[I wrote this first part while at the Minneapolis airport on Friday morning]

This has a been a hard week to focus. With Block 1 successful behind me, and only three days of classes between me and FALL BREAK, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in class and listen to hours of immunology lectures (which, consequently, were not as interesting as one might think. Until we began to talk about vaccines, and how there is absolutely no proven causation between getting vaccinated and developing autism. There is, however, proven causation between not getting vaccinated and dying from highly preventable diseases).

This weekend was fun (and LONg – three days, thanks to Yom Kippur). Saturday, Angela, Caitlin, her boyfriend Aaron, and their friend Josh, all went into San Fran to Chinatown and got real Chinese food and walked around Chinatown and Union Square. So that was fun. Sunday I went to church, did some studying, and hung out with my roommates…Monday was more of the same, then Tuesday-Thursday we had Immunology classes in Fundamentals, learned how to do structural exams in OMM, and got to practice looking in eyes, ears, noses, throats, listening to the heart rate, and checking blood pressure and pulse, thanks to our recently-arrived medical equipment in doctoring! So that’s been really fun (minus people who don’t clean their ears enough….ewwww) to really be able to practice and know what we’re looking at, like REAL doctors!

Today the excitement was FLYING TO DC TO SEE MEGAN! (I’m currently sitting in the Minneapolis airport getting ready to board my flight). I got a ride from my friends Josh and Mike (in exchange for In’N’Out…Mike’s from Colorado so he had only had it ONCE and Josh is from Washington and HAD NEVER HAD IN’N’OUT…so sad!) and only had to wait two hours for my midnight flight to Mineapolis.

My friend Josh from Washington who had NEVER BEEN TO IN'N'OUT

I always take these redeyes and I forget until I’m at the airport/on the flight exactly how miserable they are… Three hours is not enough time to fall asleep, let alone get good sleep! I fell asleep before we took off and was sleeping when the pilot (who specifically said he was gonna stay off the PA to let us sleep!) comes BOOMING over the PA telling the flight attendants to prepare for take-off. I mean I know he has to tell them, but he jolted me out of the little, (relatively) peaceful sleep I was getting. So I try to go back to sleep and then 15 or so minutes later the stewardess comes on to tell us about every possible drink selection, what food we can buy, or how we can donate money to help them raise money for breast cancer. And then proceeded to TURN THE LIGHTS ON. I wanted to be like HAVE YOU NEVER WORKED A REDEYE BEFORE?!? DON’T COME ON THE PA, ESPECIALLY TO TELL US ABOUT THE COFFEE AND OTHER NONSENSE THAT NO ONE IS INTERESTED IN, AND DEFINTELY DO NOT TURN ALL THE LIGHTS ON TO SERVE THE DRINKS. I was so unamused. But now I’m in Minneapolis, so its ok.

Ok, back to today. I landed safely in DC, Megy picked me up, and we started the ten-hour drive to LOUISVILLE, Kentucky. About an hour into the drive, traffic STOPPED and we were parked on the highway thanks to an overturned tractor-trailer. But we used the time for me to try out my medical equipment and take Megy's blood pressure, make friends with a tucker, and take a little nap.

After traffic started moving again we stopped at Chick-fil-A where they have a costume contest for Halloween...and one of the catagories was BEST BIBLE CHARACTER! I could've won for the 10 years in a row I that I was Queen Esther or Pharaoh's daughter... Finally, around 11pm, we arrived at Margaret's ADORABLE house in Louisville... And woke up early the next morning for the Highlands 5K race!

Such beasts! So we ran the race, then showered and went to a local farm (acutally in Southern Indiana) where we got to go apple and pumpkin picking, and wine tasting! It was such a fun day!!!

Margaret and her adorable daughter Marie...we had so much fun with them and Margaret's husband Paul!

It was SUCH a fun and relaxing weekend. After hanging out at the farm, we went out to dinner at this really neat restaurant/bar/art museum/hotel in downtown Louisville. Sunday morning we went to mass at this beautiful church in downtown Louisville, then Megan and I hung out in downtown Louisville and went book shopping, then we all went to dinner with Margarets parents in the Louisville suburbs...

I have lots more pictures to post but thats all for now; time for bed on the east coast!!! Love you all <3

Friday, September 25, 2009


So it's been a little while since I posted last, but I guess the biggest news that I should begin with is that I PASSED ALL MY BLOCKS!! I'm rocking about an 85 average in each of my three classes which is amazing for me; I'm just where I want to be -- PASSING :)

Blocks (week 7) were intense and I'm so glad they're over so that I can relax again, and also so that now I know how better to study and prepare for them next time (BLOCK 2 -- November 6, 9-10). ALSO because after blocks, CMA (the California Medical Association -- which I am a member of :)) paid for me to fly home for a conference! Read: CMA paid for me to go home and visit the fam, and all I had to do was sit through a semi-boring 9-5 conference as repayment! So that was a GREAT break...watching "The Biggest Loser" with Mumsy, happy hour food at Dukes at Huntington, and of course, Aunt Diane's AMAZING tacos!!! And even better, I didn't have to spend any time studying or stressing about school! And when I got home after my ONE HOUR FLIGHT (so weird!), I got to hang out with Aunt Carol and Uncle Michael who were in town and show them my house and the island and get lunch with them! All around it was an amazing weekend!

This week has been good but getting back into the groove of classes has been an adjustment. Especially Monday -- class from 8-5!! Our lectures this week have been focused on pharmacology and the cell, which is mostly interesting but can be a little dry/overwhelming at times. The nice thing is that I feel like our Fundamentals (basic science) professors are really focused on helping us learn and understand and succeed...not trying to trick us or trip us up. So thats been really great too!

Tuesday, since we go to a Jewish school and its the start of the new year, we got apples with honey and honey cakes "for a sweet new year" :)

Wednesday and Thursday we didn't start class until 10 so Wednesday morning I woke up, intending to run about 4 miles for my half-marathon training...and ended up going 7.5 miles! I felt like Forrest Gump...I just kept running. It was a really nice run though, and I even ran by one of my teachers who was biking to school! Also on Wednesday, in our doctoring lab, we got to put to use our medical equipment that we got last week after blocks! So we practiced looking in each others ears and eyes, taking pulses, blood pressures, listening to the heart, and checking for knee reflexes! It was way interesting and its starting to feel like we're real doctors!!

Thursday we didn't start class until 10 again, but after my big run, I decided to just sleep in :) Thursday afternoon, however, Angela and I went to a presentation on the global health trips that students went on this summer: Israel, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Taiwan, and Tanzania! They all sound SO neat and each is really unique and offers different things, but I think I really want to go to Tanzania :) Angela wants to go to Taiwan and Nourah to it looks like the girls of 432 Kirkland are all going to be on different continents this summer!

Today we got out of class at noon so Caitlin, Angela, and I ran some errands (I got a library card!! :)) and then went to the movies to see "Love Happens" which had a lot less smiling and a lot more crying than any of us expected. We still had fun though. :)

Tomorrow I think Angela, Caitlin, Aaron (Caitlin's boyfriend) and I are all going to Chinatown in San Francisco so that should be way fun! And Monday since it's Yom Kippur we don't have class, then Thursday night I fly to DC to visit Megan!!! So excited! As soon as I land on Friday, we're going to visit Margaret (the admissions counselor who accepted me and counseled me at Saint Peter's) and her husband Paul and daughter, Marie, in LOUISVILLE, Kentucky! And we're running a 5K and going apple and pumpkin picking there! I'm very excited! :)

A few pictures from my week:
Oh I forgot to write about how the night before blocks WE HAD A FROG IN OUR HOUSE!!!
Getting the frog out was quite an event resulting in about equal numbers of giggles and screams (as you can well imagine)
Our recently-purchased purple(yes, purple :)) OMM table and study nook area ;)
Please note the definitive theme of our kitchen table. Fall is my favorite season :)
We were very excited about our movie break :)

In closing, I thought I would share a little excerpt from a book I just read from my favorite author, Donald Miller. (Unka, he's the one I was telling you about -- you should read "Blue Like Jazz"). This is from his newest book, "A Million Miles in A Thousand Years." There's two parts I really like, but I'll save the second one for my next entry ;) This part is actually a quote from Robert McKee, in a workshop on how to be a good writer (the theme of the book is that the elements that it takes to write a good story are the same ones that it takes to make a meaningful life):
Writing a story isn't about making your peaceful fantasies come true. The whole point of the story is the character arc. You didn't think joy could change a person did you? Joy is what you feel when the conflict is over. But it's the conflict that changes a person.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 6 -- Survived, Week 7 -- BLOCKS

I'm sure I have a lot to write about, but I can't really post right now, because we're in the middle of our first BLOCK EXAM!!! We already had our OMM practical today, OMM theory and Osteopathic Doctoring tomorrow, then Fundamentals and Anatomy Practical on Thursday! Then I fly home!!! Just have to get through this week first!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week -- Survived and Passed!!

Well this week began with our first Fundamental midblock exam, bright and early Monday morning. We actually only have three "classes": Fundamentals (pretty much all your basic sciences), Osteopathic Doctoring (how to take a physical, radiology, ethics, etc) and OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine). And our semester is divided into three "blocks" with a midblock between each one. So Monday we had our first Fundamentals midblock, and I passed! Woohoo! Definite weight lifted off my shoulders there!! Plus, now I know what I need to work on, how the test works, etc.

In preparation for our midblock, Nourah and I decided to take a study/tanning bikeride:It was super fun! Biking around (and off) the island and along the water is so pretty and super relaxing (even when you're trying to study with each other)

Tuesday was good for two reasons: my first meeting with the Christian Club! It was a quite a group; we all met at a professors house on the island and his wife made lunch for all of us! It was really nice (even though I got into a debate with this super-intense evangelical about how Catholics are Christians too) and I made some new friends, including this really sweet second year who's my prayer buddy for the week. So that was good. And then we had our first OMM mini-practical, which I also passed! (It was only pass or retest, but I was glad that I passed on the first attempt!) I was a little nervous because the professor I had testing me is super intense and always looks at you like you're doing it wrong, but I guess I did it right because he said I passed. :)

The rest of the week was super relaxed since midblocks are over even though BLOCKS ARE COMING (Sept 14-17) which is totally scary because its like finals for all three classes, plus a lab practical with our cadavars. So I'm nervous/already studying for that!
But on Thursday night, my roommates and I got to go to Benicia's Market Night! So we bought lots of yummy produce and homemade pasta and kettle korn and indian food :)
We were very excited about the Farmer's Market
Checking out the booths....note the beautiful view; right on the water!

This weekend has been a relaxing mix of studying and relaxing though. Yesterday, Angela and I drove up to Sacramento to go to the CA State Fair! We met my friend Mark from YCS (I went to elementary school with his little brother, Greg) who's living in Tahoe now, and the three of us ate lots of yummy fair food, saw all the animals, and Angela and I even made butter :) It was a super fun day!At the State Fair! (Note our matching shorts and very patriotic coordination :))
We got to hang out with the Govenator... fruit flies and Japanese beetles...
...go on a hunt for curly fries...success! curly fries...
...drink "old fashioned root beet" with no high fructose corn syrup....
...make our own butter...
....and hang out with llamas. All in all, it was a good day :)

Today I tried out a new church, studied, tanned and studied in the park, and went for what was supposed to be a leisurely 3 mile run with Nourah.....45 minutes and 4.8 miles later, I was exhuasted!!! But then I couldn't be too upset with her for taking me on such a long run, because she made HOMEMADE APPLE PIE!!! Amazing.

Tomorrow since we don't have class, Nourah and I are going on a bike ride, followed by lots of studying, and hopefully some apple pie eating :)

Aunt Diane and Unka, thanks so much for all the comments and texts :) I'm coming home in two weeks and I can't wait to see you; love you!!

Also, in church this week, we sang the hymn "Be Not Afraid." I LOVE hymns and thought this one was particularly good:
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.
If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.