Posted tagged ‘histology’

How to Survive Semester 2

January 14, 2009

When other students tell you that semester 2 is tough, they’re not lying. Even the people I know who passed with flying colors can attest to moments of misery and my Mini III neuro grade was like a chess gambit that could have gone horribly wrong (but didn’t, thank God!). Even though the course work builds on what you learned in semester 1, semester 2 is a whole new ballgame. Here are some tips that might help you play it better than I did.

  • Kill the Practicals!

The practical exams in Anatomy, Histology and Neuroscience may not seem like big deals but doing well on them can save you a lot of stress and grief when it’s time for the shelves. Try to knock them out of the park or at least get a nice healthy B. For anatomy, spend time in the lab, go to TA sessions (and ask your pals about their TAs! Not all TA sessions are created equal; just because you’re assigned to one session doesn’t mean you have to attend it. Shop around!) Also, spend some time with skulls and guts. You can check out a skull from the anatomy secretary (if you sign one out on Friday afternoon, you can have it for the whole weekend!) For guts, you’ll have to wait until that dissection. For neuro, the TA sessions are also very informative (again, shop around – different TAs have sessions each night). The neuroscience society holds a mock practical (mocktical) before the first practical and it is well worth the $5 EC admission fee. For histo, ask around for the labeled or powerpoint slides.

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Gamechangers

October 10, 2008

Confession: Sometimes, I’m not overly fond of the first semester students.

On an individual basis, they seem to be nice enough but what gets my goat is the fact that they love to congregate in Classroom 5, the designated Second Semester domain (all of our classes are scheduled in Classroom 5). When I was a first semester, I would never have dreamed of camping out in a classroom that was reserved for another semester (although The Annex is the designated realm of first semesters, my study areas of choice were the fishbowl and Classroom 1, an unassigned quiet study space near the ocean) but for some reason, this new crop of first semesters likes nothing more than coming to our classroom and sprawling out like they own it. I get a perverse sort of pleasure whenever we have classes after 1:00 and they have to pack up their lunches and leave. I know it’s a silly peeve, but there you have it. That’s what annoys me about first semesters.

However – yesterday, the first semester students had their first anatomy lab practical*, practically on the heels of Mini I (we were lucky last semester; our practical was scheduled ahead of the Mini). As a pal and I passed them lined up anxiously outside of the anatomy lab, my pal snickered and said, ‘Don’t you feel sorry for them?’ I nodded, because I did. (more…)

終わりの始まり第2 – The End and the Beginning

August 28, 2008

Perhaps I’m a bit over-dramatic.

Dear readers, I have survived my first semester of med school and will be returning to Ross in September as a second semester student. The good news is that I actually managed bring histology up high enough to offset the disaster that was Mini III. The bad news is that I only managed to pull one A. Because of this, I may not be able to take the SGA position (Student Health Rep) I was elected to. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it won’t be the end of the world. It’s far better than the fate I feared, having to repeat the entire semester.

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The Valley of the Shadow of Death

August 18, 2008

(or Weeping May Endure for a Night…)

These have been dark days and there’s yet another battle to be fought. We just got the results of Mini III today (yes, a day before the final) and while it wasn’t an unmitigated disaster, it puts me in a very precarious position. Here’s the sitch: if I don’t score above 70 in every section of the exam, I will have to repeat my first semester of med school.

I need to pause here, the dread is nearly overwhelming.

Prior to receiving my Mini III scores, 70 wouldn’t have seemed like a big deal. I thought that I’d be able to finish with a pack of As. Now, my fate rides on histology. Even if I get an A in every other subject (which would be a miracle at this point), if I don’t score above MPS on histo, I will have to repeat THE ENTIRE SEMESTER. The first repeater I met here was slain by histo and I vowed that that wouldn’t be me. Now…

The air is thick with desperation. Today in the fishbowl, a girl fainted, or had a seizure, I wasn’t close enough to ascertain – I just know that the atmosphere had one of us laid out on the floor and the rest of us frightened for our futures. One more night remains. By this time tomorrow, it will be over. Wish me luck.

終わりの始まり – The Beginning of the End of Semester 1

August 4, 2008

After an insane amount of hassle and confusion that made me wonder if it was perhaps some sort of divine warning against air travel, I have finally managed to book flights to return home for break. Initially, I thought I could make it until December but, as lovely as Dominica is, it’s no paradise – I need to come back home, even if only for a couple of weeks. So, I will be back in Queens from August 20th – September 7th, spending time with friends and family, clearing up health issues and stocking up on island essentials (school supplies, snacks and cute cotton dresses!). Extra special thanks to my father – I take it for granted that not everyone’s dad is there to help out when one is essentially frozen out of one’s funds because of assorted issues to do with living abroad and banking domestically. I’m extremely lucky that even though I am technically a grown woman, I can still count on my parents to come through in a clutch. If fathers were graded, they’d have to come up with a new letter to convey my daddy’s awesomeness.

This may be the last update until after I’m back in Queens, or at least, until I’m waiting for my flight to board at the airport. This Thursday, we have the anatomy and histology lab practicals (back to back). Mini III takes place on August 14th and the comprehensive final will be held on August 19th (that’s right – we get 5 days to study 4 months of material). In fact, I should be studying right now! Okay, I’ll get back to work. Wish me knowledge, confidence and luck – I’ll need them for these final battles.

Failing Tests

July 16, 2008

What a harrowing fortnight it has been! With the histology lab practical, Mini II, a health crisis (averted–for now) and an unexpected reappearance of an entity I’ll refer to as Jason (as in, the killer from Friday the 13th 2-12 that just keeps coming back), I am mentally, physically and emotionally apoptotic.

I haven’t received my official scores yet but I am very worried about my performance on Mini II. In some areas, such as Histology and Physiology, I think I may have done respectably but I’m not so sure about Anatomy or Biochem this time around. What rankles is that I studied even harder for this exam than I did for Mini I. Granted, my focus was split by the health crisis but doesn’t hard work and diligence count? All those hours in the library…what did they earn me? I suppose we’ll see when the scores are sent. There is still a pair of exams to go (Mini III and The Final) and about a month left in the semester. I know I’ll come out on the other side but the fear of failure is giving me nightmares.

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唇 and Bags of Hemoglobin

June 18, 2008

Apparently, the most popular post on this blog is one that has nothing to do with my journey through med school – it’s the one about how lovely my lips are. And while I do maintain that they are quite nice, it kinda creeps me out that the picture of them gets searched almost every day. Coincidence? Or internet sheistiness? In any case, that post has been protected. I can’t think of anyone I know who’d really want to stare at a picture of my mouth everyday but if you’re really interested, leave a comment here and I’ll reveal the password.

In other news, it’s Blood Week for Semester 1 students – it started with the Mini on Monday and has continued with lectures about blood in biochem and histology (and will continue through Friday). The Mini I answer key went up yesterday – I was so anxious to know my score, I tabulated it last night. The good news is that I didn’t get all the histology questions wrong! But, I did get enough of them wrong to realize that I really ought to have spent more time reviewing those lectures. In any rate, I’m not unsatisfied with my performance. Next time, I’ll procrastinate less and spend a bit more time on histo when I prepare.

My advice for incoming students on Mini I:

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