Monday, September 20, 2010


Well second year is in full swing!! After 7 exams in 4 days (plus one a week for the previous two weeks), block one is finally complete and I have achieved my first med school A's! In general, I'm a straight 85 kid on all my tests (which I'm totally happy with), but this for this Neuroanatomy exam, Angela and I were in the library for WEEKS before, studying and we were rewarded with 96 ON OUR EXAMS!!!!!!! SO SO excited and proud!!! It's especially encouraging because this semester is Neuro and Muscoloskeletal and is supposed to be our hardest semester ever so it's exciting to know that a)I can do it, and b)I have a nice buffer for our next few impossible exams :) So life is good! After our intense block weeks, this weekend we had a nice break and Mumsy came up to visit! We spent the weekend walking and eating our way through San Francisco so that was super fun, and now we only have 2.5 days of classes, then Wednesday I fly home to see the fam, then fly again Thursday night to spend my Fall Break in DC with Megy! So excited!!! :D
White Party with three of my favoritespre-Block exhaustion in the library
Mumsy came to visit! <3

Walking the bridge

So all in all, life is really good! Now I just need to buckle down in studying for boards and figuring out where I want to go next year for my rotations!

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Block 3, Summer in AFRICA, and Back To School!

Wow, it's been so long since I have had a second to blog!!! To start -- great news: I passed block 3 and thus my first year of medical school!!! SO so exciting and such a relief to know that I can do it :) The last few weeks of school were crazy -- lots of Africa fundraisers, lots of hours in the library studying, a surprise birthday party for Robin, a midnight run to see Sex and the City 2, and of course, lots of celebrating after all of our exams! My parents even came up to see me off the 2 days before I left for AFRICAAAAA :)
getting sushi the night before I left!

AFRICA. What an experience that was amazing but much harder than I expected. Shirati, the town we were in working at the hospital for 3 weeks was not super poor by African standards, but by American standards, it was still a major culture shock....but we got to do a lot of cool rounds in the hospital, and I even got to help deliver twins!!
on a 24hour layover in Cairo
the kids were my favorite :)
they loved my glasses. I almost took the kid on my lap home ;)
assisting in surgery :)
handing out donations at the leprosy ward :)
our "bathroom" -- no running water, and you bucket the same place you go to the bathroom!
we even got to go on safari and see the sunset over the Serentgeti!drinking coconut milk in Zanzibar!

All in all it was an amazing trip and I feel so blessed to have finally gotten the opportunity to go to Africa and work in a hospital, like I've wanted to my entire life :)

Since I've been back, I've been busy hanging out with Mumsy and my girlfriends at home, flying to DC to celebrate Megy's birthday, then flying to Michigan to visit my dad and the fam there, then back home for a few days to see Aunt Diane and Unka and the Long Beach fam, then driving to Tucson to see Holl and Kev, then back home, and now I'm driving back up to Vallejo, getting ready to start my SECOND YEAR! ahhh so stressful but exciting!

This was one of my favorite passages in Africa (espeically since people really DID faint in surgery there...thankfully not me ;)) --

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Block 2 and Spring Break!

Don't know how I would survive without these two -- my roommate and tooth-brushing-bathroom-buddy, Angela, and best friend here, Robin :)

Well, the last few weeks have been fun-filled and packed with studying, as per usual. The end of March was our block week, which consisted of only 3 exams: OMM Theory, OMM Practical, and a two-part combined Doctoring and CVRR (cardio, respiratory, renal) exam, primarily focusing on clinical aspects of heart problems (a patient presents with these symptoms, what do they have, what do you do) which I think is a lot more interesting than just being tested on the physiology of the heart (like who really cares what ions cross the heart when?). But I finished and passed and after blocks was Spring Break!!!!!!!!!!!! I drove back down to Southern California with three friends and a bird in my car, got home late that night, then got up the next morning and Mumsy and I drove to Tucson to see Holl and Kevin! It was SUCH a fun weekend and so good to see them and a great start to my Spring Break :)
So good to be reunited with my best friend!
We really love her! (you can read more about their love here!)
We even had a late-night Easter egg hunt!! :)

Seeing Hollyanne and Kevin was an awesome start to my spring break and the awesomeness continued with lots of fam time:friend time:
and just all around amazingness :)

After my awesome week at home, it was time to head back up to school and hit the books again. We have an exam next Friday on all the "bugs and drugs" related to respiratory infections, and let me tell you, there are a lot! So, as usual, my time has been pretty well consumed with studying (the other day in the library the president of the student government here looked at me and said: "wow you really live in the library, don't you?" .....yes, yes I do, thank you for pointing out what a nerd I am).
The other thing that has been taking up a lot of my time as of late is trying to raise money for my trip to Africa coming up in A MONTH!!! I can't believe it; I've wanted to go to Africa for as long as I can remember and now I'm finally getting to do it!!!!! We're going to be both rotating and observing in a hospital in Shirati, Tanzania (as well as living with host families!), in addition to doing community service projects in the surrounding villages. I'm going to be working on the Leporsy Project (just like Jesus! :)). We have lots of neat projects that we're going to be working on, but we can't do them without supplies so a lot of time this month (in addition to studying :)), has been spent working on fundraising projects. This weekend, for example, we are having a people auction to raise money (I'm part of a group of girls auctioning off a spa night :)), next weekend a dance (dancing for Africa -- YES PLEASE), then a Rubios fundraiser (EATING FOR AFRICA?? yessssss) the week after that. So a lot of effort has been towards trying to raise money for the Global Physicians Corps, which was started by a Touro student and we are a part of -- 100% of the proceeds to directly to the project, none to funding our trip, so if you would like it give, please donate here and put Tanzania/Jolie Hoppe in the purpose field. Thanks so much for your consideration! And now, to bed, then to the library all day tomorrow!!

One last thought, last week at church we sang one of my favorite songs that I had forgotten about: "Lord, You Have Come". My favorite part goes like this:

Lord, take my hands and direct them.
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost,
returning love for the love you gave me.

O, Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name;
all I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side, I will seek other shores.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Something New -- Studying

I really do mean to post more often but I keep forgetting/getting distracted/not having time...all the usual excuses.

February was quite a month. On my last post I talked about the Respiratory and Structure exam we had that day....honestly going in, I felt more prepared than I had for any other exam in medical school thus far! Well, apparently pride really does go before a fall, because I was so confident that I knew everything that was being tested and talked about that I'm embarrarssed to say, I rushed through it and did worse on this test than I have done on any test since starting medical school! Though it was definitely a disappointment, it was a good lesson (TAKE YOUR TIME IN TESTS) and thankfully, I still passed :)

The first weekend of February was DO Day on the Hill where we went to Sacramento to talk to our state representatives to support legislation reversing the merging of the Osteopathic and Naturopathic licensing boards in California. It was a really neat thing to be a part of, and all the people I talked to seemed to be super supportive of our cause!
How could you resist that smiling face?? :)

That weekend was Nourah's birthday and a trip back to Southern California for a much-needed weekend home with the fam to celebrate my birthday and run my Half-Marathon!
The birthday glasses were obviously essential.

Sunday was my Half-Marathon! It was a beautiful day and a beautiful run (though a little boring at the end), but awesome because I had a whole cheering squad there! I feel so blessed to have people in my life who will wake up early and/or drive many hours just to see me run by and cross the finish line :) It was really really great.
Gennaya and Matt ran it too :)
Cheering Squad! :)

After my relaxing weekend home, it was time to hit the books. Hard. I have spent so much time at the library, I'm pretty sure everyone knows that this table (ironically, where I'm sitting now) is MINE. The thing about spending all your time at the library is that your actual home tends to suffer and by the end of blocks, I could hardly see the floor of my bedroom since I was pretty much only there to sleep....
Case in point: my room DURING block week.
....and after Block week :)

As indicated by my room, these blocks took a lot of studying....we actually had 6 exams -- 3 theory (OMM, Doctoring, and Cardio/Respiratory/Renal), and 3 Practicals (OMM, Doctoring-Physical Exam and Anatomy Practical). It was quite a long week :( But thankfully, I passed!!!! I feel like every time I check my grade and see that I passed, its such a prayer of relief, after all the stress of exams.... The weekend after exams, Angela and I relaxed and it was AMAZING. We went to Napa and Sonoma, and caught up on the last 3 weeks of The wonderfully mindless and relaxing :) The next week after blocks was also pretty chill considering we had just had 6 tests the week previous. Tuesday we went to free Pancake Day at IHOP and had cake for Angela's birthday :)
Note the BYOPB (bring your own peanut butter ;))

Wednesday was Angela's birthday, so we went out to dinner at this yummy sushi restaurant in Alameda
Practicing my cultural competency skills ;)
The view of SF (and us) from Treasure Island!

Thursday was our big game against Touro-Nevada (where we lost miserably) -- but still had fun cheering!

After the big game, it was time to go to the airport to fly to DC for my birrrrrrrrrrrth-dayyyyy!! :) It was SO fun to see Megy and Evgeniya (Jenny) even flew out as my birthday surprise!!!! Best birthday surprise ever!!! And my old roommate, Peaches even came down from Jersey City!!! I am so blessed to have best friends to fly out and spend my birthday with :)
Blowing out the candles on my HOMEMADE, sugar-free (Megy gave up sugar for Lent), AMAZING birthday cake!!! WOOOO HOOOO 23!!!! :D
Megy and my two birthday surprises!!! :) SPC Girls <3 style="text-align: left;">We spent my birthday in DC, but the next day we drove to Philly to see our good friends Sarah and Matt and celebrate my birthday with them too :) and eat cheesesteaks :)
Waiting for our cheesesteaks :)

Evgeniya, Me, Sarah, and Megy.
Dear Saint Peters, thanks for bringing me such amazing best friends :)

After my birthday and getting back to Vallejo (on the way to which, I was bumped up to first class! happy birthday to me! ;)), it was the usual, back to the library and intensive studying, in preparation for my next weekend where Holl came to visit!!!! SO amazing! Two weekends in a row of best friends?? I'm so so blessed :) It was so fun to have her here! Friday we went out for sushi and fro yo in Alameda, then drove through SF and the Golden Gate Bridge.... Saturday, we went wedding dress shopping at this amazing bridal salon only like 20 minutes from my house, and lunch at WHOLE FOODS (um amazing!), then spent most of our day exploring Berkeley and buying 50 cent books at the library bookstore :) That night a bunch of my friends from school came over and we played 'Apples to Apples' which I have never played before but was super fun!! And then we watched "The Hangover" funny! :) Sunday, Holl and I went to the Jelly Belly factory (yummmmm) and then to Napa and Sonoma, then to the airport :( all in all it was an amazing weekend though!!! But now its reallllly back to the grind. I'm spending all my time in the library so I can be super hardcore now and have the day off for St Pattys Day (Parade in SF!), then blocks are in 2 weeks! Eek!! But after that is Spring Break and I am coming homeeeeeeeee (and can drink Diet Coke again! ;)) Can't wait!!! :)

Thats all for now; hopefully its not another month til my next post ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cardio, Respiratory, Renal

I feel like every time I post, I start off by talking about how busy I've been and how much more intense school's all so unoriginal! But it's true, school just keeps getting more intense and life just keeps getting busier and busier. I've had two major tests already this year: a Cardio "mini" exam, on the physiology of the cardiac system, and the today a Respiratory & Structure "mini" exam.... Angela and I have spent so much time in the library the past week, I feel like we live there more than our own house! But now its back to the normal grind of studying, at least until Wednesday. Wednesday night a bunch of students from Western University (another DO school in Pomona, CA) are coming up here and maybe 2 are staying the night at our house and then Thursday classes are cancels and we are all going to Sacramento to protest the merging of the Osteopathic and Naturopathic licensing boards. Friday we are making dinner and having a bunch of people over for Nourah's 25th birthday then Saturday I am flying home!! I am so excited to be home for the weekend, and run the Huntington Beach Half-Marathon and hang out with the excited!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 -- Full of New Beginnings! :)

So the new year has finally started! I've been waiting for this one for awhile and I'm excited that it's finally here :)

The New Year started off with a bang as Mumsy and I were in Paris! We had an awesome time, leaving the day after Christmas and staying til the 2nd of January! It was cold but we bundled up and hit the streets of Paris and even spent New Years Eve with a bottle of chanpagne at the Eiffel Tower!! So all in all it was a super awesome week! AND we even got bumped up to Business Class on the flight home!
Ready for the New Year!
Mumsy and I and Mona!!
So we got back Saturday night and Sunday morning I went to LA to see Megan and Evgeniya and Andrew (Megan's brother) and have breakfast for Evgeniya's birthday, then Megy and I drove back up to Vallejo and Monday was back to class from 8-5 (including a 3 hour anatomy cadaver lab). Our classes this semester are Cardio, Respiratory, and Renal, starting with Cardio (which we have an exam on a week from today--eek!).
Getting ready for anatomy lab! (OK so I don't acutally where my white coat to lab--EW--but Megy wanted me to put it on for the picture :)

Tuesday Megy left :( and since then it's been back to the grind. We have much more frequent anatomy labs than we did last semester (when we did the back in August then that was it for the entire semester). Last week we opened the chest and took out the lungs and this week was the heart. Our cadaver is especially interesting for two reasons. One, he has a second vena cava on the left side (normally you just have one on the right side to drain blood from the head and upper extremities), as well as several other extra veins in other locations. In 11 years our anatomy lab instructor has only seen one other left vena cava and even then it wasn't as large as the one that our cadaver our experience has been more watching a dissection of the heart and thorax, rather than doing it ourselves so that we don't mess anything up, as well as lots of photography by the doctors and anatomists. So its actually really neat. The other interesting thing about our cadaver is that he died of B-cell lymphoma and has a huge tumor on his chest that goes down through the ribs, pressing on the lungs, as well as other smaller tumors throughout his mediastinum (and probably other places too, once we dissect more). So anatomy has been really neat. We also have started to have more standardized patient encounters. Today, as a team-based learning group, we took a history and physical of a standardized patient that we're going to be seeing all semester that we can already see is going to soon present with hypertension, related to what we are studying (he doesn't acutally have hypertension that we know of, just playing a role for us to start practicing on).

In terms of non-school stuff, this has been a fun weekend....Friday night was a PJ party (thrown by the same house who had an Ugly Sweater Party--they're very creative with their party themes) and Saturday was a Winter Gala for the whole school!
At Robins house, getting ready to go to the Gala!The roomies and I (plus our friend Sibyl)!
Mumsy, I put this one up for you....this is our 'all the single ladies; if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it' pose!!! :)

But now its back to hardcore studying (so hardcore today I didn't even come home for dinner!), and training for my upcoming Half-Marathon!

Mumsy and Dad and Unka and Aunt Diane -- can't wait to see you guys this weekend! Now to bed :)