Posted tagged ‘orientation’

First Week at Ross, Part 3

May 9, 2008

Today was the final day of orientation. After a few more words of wisdom from the directors of Student Affairs and an exercise in poetry, we walked from The Annex back to the main campus and went from department to department, collecting reading packets like trick-or-treaters on Halloween. The “marathon” has already started, so after this entry, I’m going to try to digest a chunk of the biochem reading assigned for the week ahead.

Throughout the week, we’d been given prompts during our orientation activities to write about seemingly random things: our favorite foods, childhood memories, sayings and in-jokes among our families. We were then asked to create a poem using what we’d written. I’ll admit it – part of the reason why I volunteered to recite mine for the student body was sheer vanity – I know I’m not the most brilliant scientist here but I wanted to show my peers that there is an area in which I am quite gifted. In any case, here’s the poem, full of in-jokes and references only people in my family would get:

The Breaks

Set off from grandma’s house up Dunkirk and down Linden,
dodging cars on Merrick
and chasing twilight to Lynbrook.
It’s warm and breezy and pedaling’s easy on a balmy night
in mid-July.
Sign says ‘Park Closes at Dusk’ but they leave it open for us –
We make rings around the lake, chasing flocks of geese away with
songs and raucous laughter
And after we’ve circled miles and miles on trusty bikes with tired tires,
there’s French fries and fried dough and if Auntie Sharon is home,
she’ll take us all to Bennigan’s – but we’ll have to listen to
K-Joy on the way. Oh well. You know what they say.
These are the breaks.

© C. Bass, 2008

Tomorrow, there’s a free island tour for first semesters, a final spot of fun before the start of classes. We’ll be hiking up to Trafalgar Falls and then we’ll head down to Scott’s Head Bay for a dip in the ocean. Even though my mom bought me the world’s unsexiest tankini, it’s sufficiently modest and it will have to do.

First Week at Ross, Part 2

May 8, 2008

Today was Registration Day – I received my school ID, Ross email and login, course schedule and refund check for my student loans (cha-ching!). Waiting on the lines at the various registration stations, I almost couldn’t contain my giddiness. I suppose it’s kind of like those moments you have when you’re in love – you glance at the person you’re with and it suddenly hits you that they are as mad about you as you are about them and your mind is blown and you just can’t help but grin…that is how excited and enraptured I am to be a med student. Really. I am sooooo happy!

But we’ll see what happens when the honeymoon phase is over and classes actually begin.

First semester students take the following courses:

Developmental and Microscopic Anatomy I

Gross Anatomy I

Doctor, Patient & Society I

Biochemistry & Genetics I

Medical Physiology I

I grudgingly parted with over $200 to purchase half of the required texts from the campus bookstore. Hopefully there will be some used books for sale from other students. According to all the upperclassmen, biochem is the killer. I’ve had genetics before (while in HCP) so perhaps that will give me a tiny edge but the first set of exams is on June 16th (four days before my birthday!) and the biochem portion is worth 35% of the final grade. We’ve already got a reading assignment in advance of the first class (Wednesday).

The social scene seems to be becoming more fluid. As people have begun to adjust to the environment, they’ve started to mingle a bit more so perhaps the initial segregation was just a sort of coping mechanism to deal with being in an unfamiliar situation. People are generally friendly so far. Two nice guys I met were kind enough to walk me back to my apartment after a bit of star-gazing last night (it is strongly recommended that students who live off-campus DO NOT walk alone after dark), even though it was like half a mile out of their way. I’m hoping that kindness and camaraderie endure throughout the semester.

Here are some more pictures:

First Week at Ross, Part 1

May 5, 2008

Apologies to everyone I left hanging for the last couple of weeks – things were pretty hectic!

I’m currently sitting on the deck outside of the student center with Sugar, my new macbook, enjoying a balmy breeze off the Caribbean Sea. Things have been a bit overwhelming since I landed on Dominica early Thursday evening but I’ve secured an apartment, got a new cell phone, and am starting to settle in. My parents came down to make sure everything was all right but they flew out yesterday so I’m officially on my own. Even though everyone I know who’s traveled to Dominica has described it as a “third world country”, it certainly isn’t as “third-world” as I imagined. Yes, cows roam randomly along Banana Trail (my neighborhood) and there is jungle all around, but it isn’t that different from parts of the Kansai countryside or the rural South. 

Today is the first day of orientation. While Sugar was being configured to run the campus media sites, a large group of first semesters was ferried down Indian River, a winding waterway along which the native Carib Indians used to live. There was a first semester social last night and a bonfire on Saturday. Tonight, there are several welcome-type lectures at The Annex, the complex where all first semester classes are held. I’m both eager and anxious for classes to begin but we’ve got another week before they start (feel free to call/email while you still can!).

One of the things I’ve noticed is that students have already formed cliques – some of these groups consist of people who met each other while they were MERP students (MERP is a sort of post-bac in Miami with linkage to Ross) while other groups seem to be self-segregated mono-racial pockets. Both types appear to be difficult to infiltrate. In my Action Plan for Supreme Success in Medical School, I didn’t factor in much of a social life. I have met a few cool people so far but to be honest, I’m here to work, not to make friendship bracelets. However, I was hoping to find a few like-minded people to be my study buddies. Will forming lucrative study partnerships be worth the time spent navigating the social scene? Do I really need to make time for fostering relationships?

Here are some pictures –