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.