Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mock #2

First, I'm sorry for not posting more often, but the internet has been sucking pretty bad here in the dorms. I really can't wait to get out of the here next semester so I can finally have CaribServe, which is apparently much faster and reliable! It literally takes about 10 minutes or more to stream a 1 minute youtube clip and I have been stuck updating my computer one program at a time since the internet is too slow/unreliable to update everything at once.

Anyway, we had our second mock today and it was much like the first. Meaning, it covered a decent amount of stuff that we have not covered yet and was significantly harder than the actual exam will be. It is harder not only because they give us questions that we are not yet expected to know the answer to, but it's also free response (unlike the real practical) and many questions have multiple, sometimes even unrelated parts (unlike the practical). Also, they'll sometimes tag a structure without showing us where it's going to or coming from, making it even more difficult to identify. Because of this, it's pretty much impossible to get much of an idea of how you're doing so far, making the mock not very useful at all. It's not totally worthless, because I did pick up a few little things in the discussion time at the end. But, mostly worthless.

In any case, compared to others I've talked to, I did very well...better than I did the first time. This may sound horrible, but really the only reason I go is because I do better than most people and when I feel like I've still got so much to learn before the exam, it makes me feel a little better than I'm still ahead of most everyone else. There's no curve in grading and getting into the honors society no longer depends on doing better than your classmates, but as long as class rank remains, there's a reason to do better than others. And, I probably wouldn't even usually care about that, but I'm trying to do everything I can to improve my chances of transferring out of here, so maybe that'll help.

P.S. - to Jay, aka. - anonymous:
Thank you for continuing to visit my blog! Although I will never publish your comments and I'm not quite sure why you continue to waste your time writing them, they are slightly amusing to read. Also, ever since I've installed that BlogRush widget, every page hit I get increases my blog's exposure! So, thank you for helping to bring more readers to my blog! Even if you do continue to hide in anonymity and send comments that will never be posted, I hope you'll keep visiting and in turn, bringing more people to my blog!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Status of med school

Well we're now into the second week of the second block. In anatomy, we're studying the head and neck. I had no idea how many tiny little structures (a ridiculous amount of nerves) were in there! Apparently, this is one of the hardest blocks. For a while, I thought I was a little behind, but things starting coming together today for some reason. Tomorrow will be a big anatomy study day for me though, so that will probably help a lot. Also, like usual for friday, we don't have anatomy tomorrow, so we won't have any new material. So, I'll be able to spend the whole day just reviewing. We also had histo today instead of tomorrow, so we won't have anything new there either!

Speaking of Histology, our new professor (not new to the school, just us) Dr. G., is hilarious!! I don't know if it's because he's got a strong accent or just because of the degree to which he is inappropriate, like all the time, but probably just gets away with it because of his accent! He's already taught us how to make a "hormone" and he had way too many gratuitous pictures of breasts in the lecture today, along with plenty of jokes for them. I'm not complaining, but it was like every other slide! Although, we were studying breast tissue today. Also, in case you didn't know, melanin covers the nucleus of epithelial cells over the apical surface, "like a little hat, it's kind of cute!" Lots of histological slides are very cute to Dr. G for some reason.

MCB is coming along and i think I'll do well again, but it's very difficult to stay awake while Dr. V. lectures! Thank god I've we've got tutoring with Sunil on Fridays to fill in anything I miss! Sunil is probably the best tutor we've got for first semester, definitely knows his stuff He's sort of all over the place on stage ;) , but he does a very good job of highlighting what's important for the exams! The anatomy tutors are also good, but too many people show up and crowd around the dissecting table, so I don't bother to go. I really wish we had smaller classes!!! 170-something is too big, really too large for the anatomy lab to hande! I don't know how they're doing it at Ross and SGU with twice as many people! Oh, and in case you were wondering...a month into first semester and we still don't have cadavers! I really don't see any acceptable excuse for that. Oh well..nothing to do about it now, i suppose. In reality, even though there is plenty to complain about here, the quality of education is very good and we have some excellent professors. I'm certain (and from what i've's true) that we'll be at least as prepared as all the students from the US schools when clinicals begin. It may be easier to get in here, but it is not any easier to stay here and do well!

It has arrived!

After waiting for the past couple of months (very impatiently), since the day they officially announced the iPhone, mine finally arrived in St. Maarten! I don't know that there's ever been a package that I've anticipated so much! If you don't know by now, I am a bit of an apple fanatic, but the iPhone is the most amazing piece of technology that I have ever held in my hands. If you have touched one, then you may know what I'm talking about. However, if you've only seen it in pictures or heard about it, you have no idea of it's greatness! it really is somewhat magical when you use it.

In any case, it took me about 3 hours to unlock because of the painfully slow internet connection at school. However, the actual unlock process only took less than 1/2 hour! As soon as the unlock program had completed its thing, I stuck in a Chippie SIM card (the local cell provider) and it worked immediately, with full service. The only thing that obviously doesn't work is the EDGE network and visual voicemail, which are both dependent on AT&T's network. However, everything else works perfectly! Thank you soooo much to my dad for getting it for me! If you want one of your own, I can tell you how to unlock it, it's really pretty simple.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


OOOH...maybe all jews should wear a star too! Isn't that right, Nazis? I'm afraid this is the 25% of America that support Bush.


click to make larger

Shark Dive

On Friday, I went on the shark awareness dive with Dive Safaris. There were about 10 of us on the dive, but all the others were from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship or tourists staying in a hotel. I was really surprised that not more people from AUC wanted to go, but I guess there aren't that many that are both certified and have been diving in the last two years. John just finished his certification though this past Saturday and wants to go, so i guess at least he will next time.

In any case, the dive was definitely worth doing. It only costs $55 since they give students the local discount. It's about a 15 minute boat ride out to the dive site and then after a briefing, they get you underwater pretty quick. You descend down a line to just under 60 feet and then make your way over to the feeding area. They have been doing this for about 8 years now, so by the time I got over to where they do the feeding, 3 or 4 sharks had already started swimming around the area.

They have everyone lay down behind a bunch of cinderblocks which you can hold on to. Unfortunately, but for other divers' safety, we're not allowed to touch the sharks. So, you just lay there for about 30 minutes while the guy in the center feeds them. You can, of course, take pictures don't just sit there and do nothing the whole time. The sharks do get very close though! You could easily reach out and touch them and one of them almost took off my goggles when I wasn't paying attention!

The two largest sharks which come around (Big Mama and Spot) both showed up, as did 5 others. They ranged in size from about 3-7 feet. A lot of people said I was crazy for diving with sharks, but it's really not unsafe at all. In 8 years, they haven't had a single incident, and this is with one of the top 20 most dangerous shark species in the world (reef shark) out of over 300 species! They really act more like dogs than anything. They just swim around and at most, when they get a little fiesty, nudge at you or swim between your legs or something. Even when they were fighting the feeder guy to get at the shark food though, they never bit, just nudged.

You can find many more pictures from the day at my flickr link to the right. All of these are pictures from the dive, not fake as some people have suggested!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Recent News:

- We had a pretty decent storm last night...thunder, lightning, lots of wind, and torrential rain! Apparently, it was the remnants of hurricane someone or other.

- The internet went out (again). But, I suppose that's to be expected. Thinking too hard about internet is enough to make it go out, so I suppose any moisture would could do it as well.

- We got a ridiculous amount of cranial anatomy to learn today! Very good thing that we don't have anatomy tomorrow, because we've easily got two days worth of stuff!!!

- I think I'm going to join Marcy's Mega Gym in Simpson Bay...anyone know anything about the place? I visited it last night and it seemed to be one of the nicer gyms around. It certainly put AUC's gym to shame!

- The Spouse's Club!!! They sure do know how to make a breakfast burrito, delicious cookies, and rice krispy treats! They sold them yesterday, but they were selling the left overs today. The day-old burritos were just as good the second day :) mmmmmmm....spouse's club breakfast burritos.

- Yesterday was also shawarma wednesday. They were delicious, as well. It was nice, didn't have to leave campus at all yesterday for good food!

-Speaking of good food by campus, the pizza guy next to the coffee shop makes awesome pizza. I hear the student special, complete with honey, is very good, but I don't know if I'm quite ready for honey on my pizza yet.

-Shark diving tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Another video

I'm not trying to turn this into an atheist blog or anything, but I saw this today, and thought it was funny!

A note to all the religious people out there: In the likely event that you did not pick up on it, this video is not actually true! It's a little something called satire. ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't tell mom you're an atheist!

This video is hilarious, amazing, frightening, and maddening, all at the same time!

That bible-thumping, rubbish spewing, curiousity of evolution, Ted Haggard, would be proud!

Scott - 1, Block exams - 0

We got the results back today and mine were very good!! I wound up honoring MCB and histo, and was one question away from honoring anatomy (89%). I'm kinda pissed because I definitely made some stupid mistakes on the anatomy written. One in particular, I even knew the answer...but I debated whether it was the obvious answer and a trick, or the answer that I thought was right. I stupidly decided to go with the answer that fell right into their trick (which is sort of a BS thing for them to do) and got that one wrong, instead of going with what I knew was right. Oh well...I still did very well for the first exam (from what I hear, only 9 others honored MCB for this exam) and I'm off to a very good start in honoring all 3 classes!

So what did I do to study? I think the biggest thing was that I studied on my own! Everyone seems to study in groups, and that just seems like a huge waste of time to me. I tried the group thing one day last week and realized in the first 5 minutes that I could learn it a lot faster on my own. I think groups may be valuable for testing yourself after you study, but they just slow you down when you're actually studying. Personally, I don't even see the need to have anyone test you after you study. You either know it or you don't and it should be pretty obvious which is the case for you.

Someone said that I did well because I study all the time. This is not the case at all though. I took a couple of days almost completely off from studying and I usually study somewhere around 5 hours a day. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

Monday, September 17, 2007

One down, a bunch more to go

Today was our first block exam of med school! I don't want to jinx myself as we don't get our scores until tomorrow, but I think that I did well. I think I was honestly expecting it to be a bit harder than it was. Some people that I talked to, however, did not feel the same way at all. So, maybe that just means that I did a good job studying! But, then again, I still haven't gotten any scores, so maybe I didn't study that well.

When it was done, we all walked through the Rotunda (it's sorta on the way back to the dorms). I assumed that they just wanted us to walk through there so that we wouldn't see the couple of people who still needed to take the anatomy practical (upper semesters who failed last semester), but that was not the reason at all. When we walked in, a bunch of the upper semesters and faculty and staff were yelling and clapping for us and had a bunch of snacks. This went on for quite a while since we've got a very large class (too big, if you ask me). A video of the whole thing can be found here. There were actually more people there than it looks in the video. It honestly did catch me by surprise, and it was a nice surprise :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Done Studying!!!!

Well, until Tuesday afternoon, at least.

The first block exam is tomorrow morning at 8am and at the advice of all the faculty and upper class students, I'm going to stop studying now and get a good night's rest. At this point, I know everything I'm going to know by tomorrow morning and staying up trying to learn anything else would just make me exhausted and not think straight while i'm taking the exam. Besides, I think I've got a pretty good grasp on everything. The only thing that worries me is that we've covered a huge amount of information in the past couple of weeks and I have no idea what they'll ask or how they'll ask it. In any case, by Tuesday, I'll know better how to study and how much I really know! No sense in worrying about it now! more thinking about school for the night!!!

You may have noticed the large red "A" that now resides in the sidebar of my blog. In case you were wondering, it's the scarlet letter of atheism, linked to "The Out Campaign," begun by Richard Dawkins. Of course, this is referring to being out with atheist other nonsense that you may be thinking!! While I don't put too much atheist stuff on here, I am certainly an atheist and think you ought to be too (if you're not already). You'll see things pop up now and then that are related (see Sept. 11th post below).

Sweet...NetStar just dropped the internet connection...again! Fortunately, it was short lived this time and I didn't lose the stuff written above. Speaking of NetStar, they have very possibly the worst customer service in the history of companies. I call occasionally when the internet goes down, which is about once a day or so. Every time I call, I'm put on the phone with some "tech support" dude (i use the term very losely) who is nearly impossible to understand. He insists nearly every time that it is a problem on my side, although it clearly isn't. Then, he tells me that it's working now, so don't worry about it. No explanation, just "don't worry about it." I suppose that's pretty much status quo for the island though. Oh well..... time to rest up for tomorrow!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oh NBC, what were you thinking?

A short while back, NBC made the very foolish decision to not renew their contract with iTunes. They did this because they could not come to an agreement on pricing structure. Apple wants to (and will) keep all of their shows at $1.99 and NBC wants to first, raise the price and second, have more control over pricing structure, such as bundling things together. Apparently, NBC has forgotten that iTunes is, by far, the largest online seller of music, tv shows, and movies. Perhaps they forgot that The Office would have likely been cancelled, if not for iTunes making it popular. This will be a much bigger loss for NBC than for Apple!

Instead, NBC opted to sell their tv shows through Amazon's unbox...a service which does nowhere near the volume of iTunes, and is not compatible with any mac or iPod. Perhaps NBC also forgot that the iPod holds over 70% of the market for similar devices!

So instead, most people are not going to switch to Unbox...they're just going to download the shows illegally. It was already possible for people to download the shows faster and in better quality illegally than with iTunes, but iTunes was just so convenient! You are going to lose, NBC. You are biting off your nose to spite your face!

So, for all those who still want to watch NBC's top shows (including Heroes and The Office), but don't have any desire to make NBC any money at all, please take a look at a program called TVShows!!! I am not saying that I will being doing this and I do not recommend you do anything illegal (like easily download high quality TV shows right after they air, for free), but if I were going to, this is how I'd do it.

TVShows really couldn't be any simpler. Just install the program, click the shows you want to download, and quit. That's it...the program does the rest. It activates itself in the background every so often (every 1/2 hour by default) and automatically downloads any new shows that are available, as soon as they become available. You will also need to download a torrent program (I'd recommend Transmission), but you don't really need to know anything about torrents to use this program. Here's the link:

Happy watching!!

Really, NBC, what were you thinking??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

upper limb...done

After a couple hours of studying, including lab, I'm now fairly confident about the upper limb. I now know (more accurately, remember) that I wouldn't say I know the arm, because that's only the upper half of the upper limb, where your humerus is. The lower half is the forearm. Or, brachium (arm) and antebrachium (forearm). Once I sat down and looked at it, it wasn't that bad either. I am amazed at how much we are learning though in such a short period of time. Fortunately, Dr. Fogg is good at making a lot of clinical correlations during lecture which is, of course, more to learn, but makes it much more interesting. I've heard rumors that he's leaving next semester. For the new first semesters in January, I hope not.

And to Trixie (i've gotta meet you and find out your real name), Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle....scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate. :) That one, along with the cranial nerve's "ooh ooh ooh to touch and feel....," i remember from undergrad anatomy!

upper limbs

The brachial plexus was not so bad...I can pick it out on a cadaver pretty quickly and easily. Everything else, however, is a lot more difficult! Do you have any idea how many little bones, muscles, nerves, and other various things it takes to give you the ability to grab onto things or manipulate your figures with any kind of detail?

The answer is more than I care to learn. However, I ought to know them all by the end of the evening. Off to lab to start on that....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th

Today is the 6th anniversary of the September 11th attack.

Think about it....

Taken from Vince's other blog...because he said to. Get it from him, get it from me, just pass it around.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The brachial plexus... really not nearly as complicated as it looks. I can draw and label it in less than 30 seconds.

Putting it in its correct place in the body may be a different story entirely. We will see tomorrow in lab.

another week begins...

After a ton of studying over the weekend, we had our first anatomy mock practical, and it would seem that the studying paid off. We are not supposed to do very well since the TA's make it VERY hard, it's not multiple choice, there are many multiple part questions, and half of it (at least) was stuff we don't cover until this week, but I still did well. Not well if it were an actual exam, but a good bit better than most anyone else I've talked to! Hopefully I continue to do well and maybe honor the exam next Monday. I'm certainly not expecting to transfer to a US school, but I am going to give it my best shot.

The lecture hall was very cold today for some reason. It's usually cool, but not as cold as today. We had Dr. Van Oost today for the first time in MCB. All I'll say is it's going to be a long 14 days. It was good, however, to have Dr. Fogg back for anatomy and histo. We started the brachial plexus which is not going to be fun, but I'll hopefully know by the end of the evening.

Friday, I'm going on a shark dive with Dive Safari, so I'm excited for that! Hopefully will have some decent pictures to post Saturday.

Oh yeah...we had our white coat ceremony last Friday. Seeing as we had been wearing our white coat for lab the whole week already though and we had to bring the coat ourselves and hold onto it until it was time to go on stage, I didn't really find it terribly exciting, at all. I do not see the point of wearing it in lab since it mostly just gets smelly and gets in the way when we're trying to dissect or move stuff around. Seems that scrubs ought to be sufficient for lab! I've never been a big fan of doing things just for the sake of doing them. Congratulation though to the people who got inducted into the honors society, I hope I'm one of them in a couple semesters!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dear anonymous...

You're right, I do reject your comments regularly, and I will probably continue to do so. Perhaps, if you'd like to show your name, rather than "anonymous," I would post your comments. Further, you may want to try posting constructive comments if you'd like them displayed. I don't mind criticism, but it should at least be worthwhile! Diarrhea of the mouth, such as "go to a US school," will not be posted. Fortunately, this is my blog, so I can post (or in your case, not post) whatever I want. I apologize, though I couldn't care less, if you're upset by it.

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

a thing of beauty....


So first the good stuff...because I know people (including me) have a tendency to bitch about bad things and ignore the good things....

Got a new phone today (badly needed because my old one was about 4 years old to US standards) which works well, had a good lunch somewhere in Simpson Bay (can't remember the name), studying is going well, and I taught a little today in anatomy lab. By taught, I mean showed the rest of the class the location of the transverse scapular ligament, suprascapular artery, and suprascapular nerve. This brings me to the bad...

There are still only 4 cadavers in the anatomy lab (for 180 or so first semester students) and only one of them (fortunately, mine) is any good. And even mine is only good relative to the others. Further, since Monday, they have not changed a single bone in the lab (only vertebrae, scapula, and clavicle) and have not dissected any further. So, we did exactly the same thing as monday, and will do it again tomorrow. This is frustrating because we have PLENTY of other stuff that I could be studying. Tomorrow, I'm brining some books to study instead of looking at the same dissection and bones.

Also, internet in the dorms was down almost the whole day today. I called some guy from NetStar, who told me that internet was, in fact, working fine. Of course, he was not in the dorms when he made this assessment and was wrong! So, I walked over to the school to tell him so in person. He then said he'd get to it eventually, but was busy. Maybe it's just me, but I would think if the school brings a company onto campus just to provide the dorms with internet (including a representative from the company on site most of the time), the dorm internet going down would be a major priority. Thankfully, it has been fixed, although it's still running at its usual not quite as fast as I'd like it pace.

Monday, September 3, 2007

oh yeah...

I'm now one of three SGA student reps and I've apparently earned the nickname "Steamer Scott" (thank you, RA's) for setting off the fire alarm the other night. :)

Anatomy lab

Today was our first real day of anatomy lab (last time was just orientation). If you have not seen the lab, I suppose it's a decent size if you're in a 80 person or so class. However, with our class of almost 180 people, it gets small! There are about 20 tables in there right now instead of the usual 10-ish. The smell is not bad at all (at least I don't think so) and I find the temperature to be very comfortable, although i like it cold.

Unfortunately, most of the bodies have yet to arrive, so we won't be dissecting until the 2nd block. For now, we only have a couple of cadavers that they've pre-dissected for us and the rest of the tables have bones or whatever else they feel like putting out. It actually went pretty well today and every station in lab was useful, but I was looking forward to cutting. At least we'll still get to in a couple weeks. It was helpful to see all of the muscles in a real person, but we didn't get to see as much as we would have if we were cutting. I suppose we'll get there eventually, this was only the second real day of class!

If you're curious about the lab schedule...we never have lab on Friday and we're split into three groups. Only two groups are in the lab at a time (the other group can go to the beach or go to the dry lab, whatever they want). So, we've got lab either 2 or 3 days a week. Tomorrow, I don't have lab and will be using that time to study some more! We also don't have histo tomorrow (or the rest of the week for that matter), so I'll have a bunch of extra time to study tomorrow. Of course, they will still be packing on plenty more genetics and anatomy tomorrow! Speaking of studying...time to get to it....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yummy food!!

One thing I definitely do like about this island is the food...even if it is sometimes a little expensive! I've been here a little over week and I have not had a single bad meal yet. Pineapple Pete's is probably my favorite place so far...everything there is good, but especially their desserts. The coconut cake, in particular, is amazing. I also had some really good indian food tonight at the end of the airport road, can't remember the name. If you go there though, remember that if you ask for spicy, they don't screw around in the kitchen! Tonight was about the fastest I've ever gone through 2 bottles of water.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fire Alarm

Well, at least we definitely know it works in the dorms, and it is LOUD!! If you haven't seen the dorm building, it's big, and it's actually kinda neat to see at night with strobe lights going off everywhere and students filing out of it.

In any case, I wanted to apologize, because it was my fault! :) I was steaming my shirts last night and forgot to turn the steamer off. Apparently, the smoke detector is pretty sensitive, because steam was all it took. I guess better it be sensitive than not work. Fortunately, it was pretty early and I doubt anyone was sleeping.