Monday, December 15, 2008
I've been seeing this nearly every other time I reload a web page, for the past two weeks. I have to hit reload 3 or 4 times before the connection actually decides to work.
But, I'm off topic. The point is that I'm now a 5th semester student! I remember first semester vividly, thinking that 5th semester was forever away and just wishing that I could be in my last semester on the island. Well, that time has finally come. The new first semesters will be here shortly, wishing they were in my class :)
With the completion of 4th semester, basic sciences is essentially over for us. The only real classes next semester are a half semester of pharm and half semester of behavioral. When you're only taking two classes though (particularly when one is behavioral), it's a minimal amount of work...at least compared to the rest of medical school. We also have ICM 5, but that is intended more as a review, and to prepare for clinicals. While I did think that ICM 2-4 were largely an enormous waste of my time, ICM 5 is almost entirely clinical scenarios, and I think they'll be both interesting and helpful.
For now, it's time to put in some laundry and prepare to come back home tomorrow! There are very few things I miss about SXM when I go home, but among the things that I will not miss one tiny bit is the internet here. It has been particularly atrocious for the past two weeks. I cannot wait to get back to my 20 Mbps FIOS line at home!
Note: I just hit the upload button, to send this to my blog, and I got an error that it timed out, so hopefully it will go up some time tonight. Wow the internet sucks here!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
There are a couple of possibilities here....either they didn't pray hard enough, god didn't care about their child, or they are utterly lacking in common sense and possibly not intelligent enough to be allowed to walk around in public. No matter how you look at it, these two people have murdered their child, by withholding medical treatment that would have almost certainly cured her bacterial pneumonia. Instead of just taking her to the doctor and getting her the appropriate (very common) antibiotics, they opted to put her life in the hands of....well...imaginary friends.
Of course, they are arguing that the charges infringe on their freedom of religion and right to raise their child in their own way. I'm sorry, but freedom of religion does not include the option to let your children die. You may be free to practice whatever religion you like, but you are not free to use that religion to the detriment of others. Children should be given some sort of protection from parents such as these. I use the term "parents" strictly in the biological sense, as they were clearly not functioning as parents in any other capacity.
For more egregious examples of the parents believing they can just ignore reality, here are a few more links:
The title of the above article, if not so sad, would be laughable. Reading it makes my head hurt. All I can think is, "uh....no shit!"
Crazy people make me smile. There are just so many things wrong with what this man has to say, I can't possibly list them all. You've gotta listen for yourself! I would like to point out, however, that trains can have up to 25,000 horsepower, and even the weak ones have thousands of horsepower. Pretty sure he's not winning any fights against a train.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Maltese Falcon, which at nearly 290 feet is the largest sailing yacht in the world, came to visit St. Maarten today! Unfortunately, I won't be able to go see it since I'm stuck inside studying for finals. But, as you can tell from the pictures, it's a very impressive boat! As of March, it is for sale, for the low price of $150 million!! So, if you've got some spare cash lying around, it might be a fun investment. One day...
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
These are the things I think about when I'm studying too much...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
In other news, the 5th semester party pics have all been uploaded. I had to hijack my parent's internet connection to get them all up in a reasonable amount of time, but they're done. I should have thought of doing that the last time I spent days uploading pics! It takes my internet here about 5 minutes to upload a single picture, and only a couple seconds with US internet speeds. They're all posted at flickr.com/photos/slevit1, but here's a few:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Another interesting SXM story...a friend got a 100 guilder ticket today by the friendly local police force for having an expired AUC parking permit! No, it was not campus police that pulled him over, but the regular St. Maarten police department! They pulled him over for a random check, as they often do to students. Unable to find anything else wrong with his car, they decided to give him a ticket for the expired hang tag. I'm not exactly sure how that's against the law, or why police should care about it, but he's now 100 guilders poorer.
Update: just talked to the person who actually got the ticket. He says he was pulled over because he had an AUC hang tag and they were only getting AUC students, but the ticket was actually for, and I quote, "I don't know." Almost as ridiculous as giving a ticket for an expired hang tag, the cop actually wrote "I don't know" as the reason for the ticket. When he asked what that was supposed to mean, another cop tore it up and wrote "muffler" and told him that he should mind his own business and let the police do their job. Awesome!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
These are very low quality scaled down versions of the originals, but you get the point...
They'll be posted in full quality eventually.
Friday, November 21, 2008
First, I like their color, which is obviously red (or at least mostly red, when they're carrying oxygen). But, that's another thing I like about them...they change color all the time. Other cells are usually the same boring color. Next, they get to travel everywhere. All the cells in your blood travel everywhere, but they're lacking the red color, so they get knocked out of the running. Why spend your entire day in the large intestine, when you can shoot around everywhere in the body?
I also like their shape. While many cells are pretty much square shaped, they're round, with a dimple in the center. They remind me of donuts, which are delicious. No other cell that I'm aware of reminds me of a delicious donut. They can also squeeze into different shapes to fit into places that they really shouldn't be able to fit.
Finally, RBCs don't have a nucleus, so they're kind of loners. They don't need to be like anyone else and have all the same boring DNA as the rest of your body. They did at one time, but they gave it up to do their own thing. They don't replicate, which I would think would be boring, but to each his own. Besides, replication is pretty overrated when you're forced to do it alone ;)
So, that's what I like red blood cells. Plus, they basically keep you alive, which is pretty cool of them.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
In other news, I've been asked to be the photographer for the 5th semester party again, this Friday. In a very thoughtful move, this 5th semester class scheduled their party shortly after the block exam, well before the next block and finals. So, for once, going to the 5th semester party (and editing pictures, for me), should not get anyone behind. It's at the Westin on the other side of the island, which should prove to be very nice. One more semester until my 5th semester party!!! :)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Fortunately, ICM is over for the semester, so I can concentrate on our regular classes for the rest of the semester. All of my grades came down this block, but they're not ruined and I can bring all of them up. Since I'll actually have time to study this block, I'm hoping to bring them all back up to pre-ICM levels. Over the last two days, I spent a lot of time catching up on sleep, and went to the beach twice. There are often times that I get a little frustrated with the island, but there are times, like when you lay on the beach after an exam, that I can appreciate some of the things that definitely do not exist in MD.
Saturday, I'm debating swimming about a mile or two to an island off of St. Maarten. I saw it from Orient Beach and it definitely looks within swimming distance, so I think I'm going to try it out. I'm not too worried about making it there, but a little more so about swimming back. The water is really salty on the French side though, so i can always just lay on my back and float for a while if I get tired. Sunday, I may go scuba diving, since I haven't been in a while. Man, it's nice to be done with block 2. Just a few more weeks and I'll be a 5th semester, on my way out of here!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
One good piece of news...i was finally able to accomplish something that actually makes a difference as class rep! Starting next Wednesday, we no longer have double pharm classes on Thursday! Instead, classes will be 60 minutes long (they're usually 50), accomplished by adding an extra 5 minutes onto both ends of the class. The pharm department was VERY against the idea for some reason, and it was very difficult to change their mind. But, fortunately (after getting 100% of the class to agree to a petition), they eventually came around. Thanks to Dr. Yoshida for pushing so hard for us. Even though she's only acting dean, I really hope they don't replace her. I doubt we'll get anyone who cares as much about the students as she does. She's been acting for a couple semesters now, so hopefully she'll at least stick around until the end of next semester, when I"m out of here!!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Anyway...my neighbor Ray got his scooter possibly stolen today! He just picked it up from the shop, and it died on him while he was going to get groceries. He went to call the shop to have them come pick it up (of course, they were closed), and when he returned, the scooter was gone! Ray is the third person in a week who has had their scooter or dirt bike repaired, just to have it break down within a day. Apparently, the shops on the island are not very reliable! Hopefully, the scooter was just picked up by the cops since it doesn't have valid tags on it, and he can get it back. I'd give it a 50/50 chance between either being stolen, or having been towed. Someone on the island may just be getting Ray's hog (that's what we've started calling our scooters) for a christmas present. I suppose he's learned a very expensive lesson about leaving anything out where locals might get to it, even in the middle of the day! So, may Ray's scooter rest in peace (or pieces). It was never a very good scooter, but it tried it's hardest, and that's all you can ask.
My scooter is currently in the shop having the tires changed. I'm hoping that since it didn't go in with any engine or electrical trouble, it won't come out with any! But, after the stories I've heard lately, I'm not holding my breath.
P.S. - Ray really prefers to be called Ray-Ray. If you ever see him, that's what you should call him. But, in recognition of his tragic loss, I will just call him Ray today.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
We went over the same suture techniques this time as last, but I also got Dr. Nwasu to show me how to hand tie the knots, which is completely different than tying with the instruments. It looks very easy, and once you get it, it really is very easy. But, it's a somewhat tricky maneuver and for about 5-10 minutes, it seems like you might never get it. So, I'm now fairly proficient with the basic suture knots, and can tie them either with the instruments, or manually. I'm pretty excited about that!
I would have liked to have gotten pictures of the actual class, but cameras aren't allowed in the anatomy lab. Unfortunately, this guy is maybe a bit beyond my skill level ;)
Yeah yeah, gross picture...but this is a blog of a medical student!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This morning, I woke up at 6:00 for a 7:20 flight, and the airport is 45 minutes away, with no traffic. Of course, there was traffic this morning, so the drive took a full hour. So, I arrived at the airport at exactly 7:00, 20 minutes before my plane was scheduled to take off. While the customer service lady on the phone was completely useless and unfriendly, the supervisor at the gate was amazing! She checked me in in about a minute and said she'd walk my bag to the plane so that it could be checked, even though it was going to leave in 20 minutes. So, I was helped quickly through security and made it onto the plane just as they were about to shut the door.
When I arrive in Miami, I realized that in my rush, I left my passport with security at Reagan airport! But, I went to the gate supervisor in Miami and she was able to call St. Maarten, speak to someone in immigration, and get approval for me to enter the country without my passport! So, despite doing just about everything wrong this morning, I made it safely to St. Maarten, on time. Thank you to everyone at American Airlines that helped me get here!!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Here's AUC's Hurricane Preparedness Brochure, for those on the island:
This is what St. Maarten looks like after a decent rain. Yes, there is actually a road under there somewhere, and this is actually the shallow part! When you get to the area around all the trees a couple hundred feet ahead, the water could be above the level of the bottom of your car! This probably has something to do with why my car is not in quite the shape it was when it came to the island. I can only imagine what the place would look like if a hurricane hit!