Insane in the Brain

This is what med students do on Friday nights:

友達: so! encephalitis. crazy stuff.
自分: yup
insane in the membrane
actually no, that’d be meningitis

33 days and counting until the end of 4th semester. Being so close to being finished with basic sciences is both exciting and frightening – exciting because I’m ready to be done with this island; frightening because there’s so much I’m supposed to know and I don’t know if I really know it.

Updates have been sparse this semester for various reasons, one of them being that half of the updates I started writing but then declined to post were complaints about the ever-changing Ross experience and how disappointed I am with some of the changes. One of these is the final exam, dubbed by our class the “mini-comp”, a monstrous, full-day challenge testing our cumulative knowledge of 3rd and 4th semester science, worth 30% of our grade. Although this exam was instituted because the administration felt that they could no longer rely on the shelf exams as an accurate assessment of our knowledge, it seems to us like a cruel punishment designed to keep as many of us from leaving the island as possible.*

I know I always get scared around the end of the semester, but I suppose this semester, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. I’m almost ready to cross over; to end my journey; to depart Dominica 4 semesters closer to my medical degree, but I know people, smart, diligent people, who struggled to the end, shipped their things home in barrels, terminated their leases and flew home full of hope, only to have to return to the island for more struggles and indignity. It hurts my heart to think that that might happen to me. It shakes me to the core.

I’ve been struggling with several things this semester: loss and uncertainty, academic fatigue, microbiology, pharmacology. People have been falling apart all around me. Tonight is our 4th semester banquet – I will allow myself to celebrate a victory I have not yet won. But tomorrow, after my morning run, I’m going to stop playing around. I said I’d be studying until my eyes bled before. I guess before this semester is over, I’ll have to show what that really means.

*「免責」I know, I know, this is not a unique struggle. This is a lot of whining about things that everyone has had to endure. Nobody said it’d be easy and this is the road I’ve chosen for myself (that I’ve always wanted!), so believe me, I know I shouldn’t be complaining. But still…

Explore posts in the same categories: 4th semester, med school

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