Sunday, February 26, 2012

Final Finals

   So here I am, in "med student limbo".  It's the awkward transition between second year and third year - where you've finished finals (and most likely passed), so you are no longer a second year... BUT you still have the huge hurdle to overcome (USMLE Step 1 board exam) before you are officially a third year.  So now I am an MS2.5?  It still hasn't hit me yet that second year is over.  Finals went pretty well, so I'm not worried about passing Block 5.  

   There was a really strange vibe throughout Block 5.  Nobody wanted to study for classes (which is totally normal), however, the weird part was that everyone wanted to be studying for boards.  Some of us joked around that the school must have been performing reverse psychology on us: making us so sick of Block 5, that we were itching to study for boards instead.  I'm really glad Block 5 is over, especially because I had a really hard time putting effort towards studying ortho or derm.  Don't even get me started on how ridiculous it is that our curriculum spends the same amount of time (50 minutes) presenting all of contraception as it does presenting "cosmetic dermatology".  Yep, we spent the same amount of time in lecture learning about ALL the contraception methods out there (in an outdated, inadequate lecture, mind you) as we spent learning about freaking Botox and Latisse.  Seriously?! Thank goodness for our MSFC Contraception Lecture Series that supplements our inadequate curriculum.  Anyway, I'll keep the rest of my derm-is-stupid rant to myself. 

   Second year was even better than first year, I'd say.  This year I got a lot closer to my med school friends.  It's really cool to think about the fact that these are the people that I am going to be friends with for years to come - these are my future colleagues that I will call up to ask quick questions about things outside my expertise, or to ask for quick favors.  And I'm sure they will do the same to me, and I hope they do!  

The MS1s made us a slide show and sang to us on our last day of class

Last day of class with my anatomy buddies (+ D)

Baby Z, being her usual silly self during finals week

   So now that finals is over, I am taking a few days off, except for a practice test tomorrow.  After our last final ever was over, my friends and I went beer-tasting at Sierra Nevada in Chico.  This weekend has been super fun, vegging out with BF.  Last night, I hosted a UCLA Alumni Dinner For 12 Strangers, which was hilarious and entertaining - look out for a post on that soon.  After our practice test tomorrow, my friends and I are going to make a little trip to San Francisco, so that will be our "last hurrah" before we hibernate in our study caves for a month.  I think I'm ready.  I hope I am, at least!

BF and I at beer-tasting
Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gettin' My Sing On

This year, for the annual UC Davis Wine Auction (a benefit for the non-profit student-run clinics), my friend Y and I decided to perform a little set together.  In case you don't know Y, he is one of my favorite study buddies, and he is a genius on the keys.  The two of us practiced every day at lunch for the couple of weeks leading up to the event, and our performance turned out okay, I think!

Practice (Notice the weird-ass sculpture hanging in front of our school in the background)

Funny story about the performances... There were several group performances by med students, and the week before the event, we realized that three different groups were all performing "Someone Like You" - Adele, including us!  It actually happened to be the first song we started practicing, so by the time we heard everyone else was performing it too, we were getting a little sick of it, so we abandoned it for a different song.  We did:

  • "Ordinary People" - John Legend
  • "Nearness of You" Norah Jones
  • "Yellow" - Coldplay
  • "At Last" - Etta James
It was so much fun working together.  Also, I just love singing, so I had a blast with the whole thing.  Here are our songs on youtube!

Ordinary People

Nearness of You


At Last (the still image for this one is kinda funny...)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coming Out Of Retirement

If you know me, you probably know that I used to dance hula and otea (Hawaiian and Tahitian dance), but not many people who know me now know just how big a part of my life it used to be. Even before I started dancing as a kid, I was always around the Polynesian dance scene since my family is really involved in that community. Since birth, I have been to show after show, competition after competition, festival after festival. I was a bit of a late bloomer, in that I was way too shy to dance at first, until I finally gave in and joined in on the fun. From then on, I spent hours each week at practices, performing at gigs, and sometimes competing.

When I left for UCLA, I had to say goodbye to my dancing days since I would no longer be close enough. Not to mention, I no longer had the time to dedicate to dancing (in the hula/otea community, you are often expected to put it first before everything else). Now that I live in Sacramento again, I always get asked why I don't come back to dancing, but it's just not something I really want to make time for in my life anymore.

Which is why it was nice to relive the old performing days recently... My cousin, sister and I performed a family friend's birthday party at a local art studio. It was such a blast reminiscing old times. They picked me up, and just as we were walking out the door, they informed me that the van had no seats in the back, so I would have to "freestyle it" back there. And oh yeah, I had to climb in through the trunk too bahaha! It was so ridiculous, we couldn't stop laughing about me squatting in the back of the "gig van" with all the costumes and miscellaneous hula props. Ahhh gotta love family time.

"Gig Van"
Me, "freestylin it" in the back
In costume

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spreading The Love

    Valentine's Day, to me, is a day of spreading the love, not only to a significant other (if you have one), but also to your family and friends.  To me, it is a day no different than any other day, but a good opportunity to stop and reflect on all of the wonderful relationships you have with others, and how lucky you are to have those people in your life.  

   This year, one of my friends and I decided to bake Pink Champagne Cupcakes from one of our favorite blogs: "Eats Well With Others".  They took a long time, especially after I screwed up the frosting by adding regular sugar instead of powdered sugar.  Oops!  We ended up using the messed-up frosting to make pink cookies, and we just made some pink whipped cream to top the cupcakes.  They turned out quite tasty!    


   We then proceeded to make homemade Valentine's Day cards for our friends (I mean, it's not like we had ANY studying we should have been doing, right?!).  We had such a good time; it was so worth missing out on a few study hours.  The absolute best part was when we surprised our friends and delivered our baked goods/cards directly to their doors.  I didn't get pictures of them all, but I managed to get a few of their reactions:

   I think our friends appreciated our Valentine's goodies, and I know we got a lot out of making and giving them.  Who says you can't have a life in med school?!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Months To Go!

   It's officially February, which means I have two months until I take boards.  So far, my studying is going a lot slower than I planned for, BUT I seem to be retaining some things, so I'm okay with it.  I have started out by concentrating on my weakest areas.  Went through biochem, and am currently going through microbiology (barf), and next will be immunology.  Before I even started boards studying, we took a practice exam at school, and I was pretty satisfied with the results (considering it was before studying anything).  So, there is a lot of work to do, but I am feeling ready!

    One of my friends said something about how she is feeling about boards that I think a lot of people in our situation can relate: "I have a couple of internal shells. The most inner core is huddled and crying, the layer outside is freaking out, and the layer outside of that doesn't want to do shit, and then there's what I portray....the look of a zombie"

    After my test, I am going to Peru with one of the Gamma Phi's from UCLA, which will be amazing, I'm sure.  I've decided that I am going to try not to use retail therapy too much during this stressful time so that I don't go broke.  So if I behave, then I am going to buy the ice-cream-making attachment for my mixer after boards.  

My friend, the ultimate creeper, taking pictures of me painting my nails while studying...

Man, my nails are going to look great for the next two months :P