The Calm. The Storm. The Aftermath.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Calm. The Storm. The Aftermath.

Helloooooooooo my lovely readers! I AM alive! I promise! I finally have the mental capacity to sit in front of my computer and write. I am officially DONE my first semester of medical school, and boy, was it tough. I am officially a 2nd semester Ross student and it feels quite nice to say that.

The last time I have written I think I just finished Mini 4? Or maybe it was Mini 3, but either way, it has been a long time since I have written and the past 5 weeks have been crazy. Our last week of the semester, we literally had four exams in seven days. It was a lot to take in, but I made sure to pace myself through that high stress level time.

So where do I start? Do I talk about the "hell week" or the death that was Mini 4? Or do I talk about saving a puppy on the side of the road that was bound to have a short life close to these busy streets? Do I talk about how I am officially a part of the PAWS at Ross Eboard for next semester? Or that I made the Dean's List Honour Roll for this semester?! (I am spelling "honour" the Canadian way...#britishsystem) So much has gone on that I have to think back to my memory so I can tell you all about my crazy last month. Mini 4 was hard. It just is. Thankfully, I have had immunology before with MERP, but if you haven't, you will be studying your buns off even harder. Thankfully, I kept my study strategy consistent, and even though I kind of questioned it a bit at times, it all comes through in the end. I ended up getting a high enough score to keep me in the running in getting a "high pass" for this semester. For 1st semester at Ross, the curriculum is set up where you will get a P or an F. Pass or Fail. You still get numerical grades, but in the end, either you are passing....or you are failing. You can also get an "HP" which means high pass, where you score higher than an 85% for the semester, and thankfully I worked hard until the end to get that HP. If you are wanting to return to Canada, they see EVERY SINGLE GRADE that you have ever gotten at Ross, so just keep that in mind. This is where I had to make a decision for myself. It was Friday night, all of our grades to date are uploaded and I calculated that I had already passed the semester even if I didn't write our 25% cumulative final. I am exhausted, a tad burnt out, ok...a lot burnt out..and I have to decide if I want to work for that distinction. Thankfully, I have Steve here to say to me: "you have worked this hard all semester...would you be happy with anything less?" And knowing me...I know that I would not be happy if I got any lower knowing that I could do it if I just put the effort in. So I cracked open my books on that Friday night...and started studying for my final. It was a long, long haul that weekend, and there were many points where I just had to go lay down for about 20 minute increments, as it felt like my brain was literally melting. Semester 1 is's so called "the weed out" semester...because that is exactly what it's doing. It is trying to see who is tough enough, not only physically as you have to endure the heat, eat right, sleep right, fuel your body right, but also mentally tough...because the days get very long, very quickly. The final was actually not terrible, very specific but not anything too out of left field. I left feeling confident and that I was ready to be done with this semester already! I'll hopefully qualify to be an Anatomy TA for next semester for all the firsties! (I can say that now because I am now a 2nd!), but it will be great to keep anatomy fresh for Step 1 studying.

During these intense study days, Steve and I went for a walk and we were greeted by this sweet, sweet little pup. She was starving, had ticks on her, and definitely had fleas. My heart literally sank when I saw her and to be honest, I could not leave her knowing she is out there alone. We live on a very busy road (thankfully moving next semester) and I know that she would either get hit, or die from infection/worms/disease. I am part of this amazing group called PAWS at Ross where we help students who are bringing their pets down to the island with up to date information on shots, flights, etc, but we also try to help the many strays that Dominica is unfortunately known for. It is really hard on me walking by and seeing a stray dog, and knowing me, I am going to try and do something about it. So, the little girl pup that we named Domi is coming with us to our new apartment next semester! Our new apartment does not take dogs and after pleading with our new landlord she is charging us 200 US just to keep her for 2 months...I will work my magic to make sure she stays with us the entire time. I have created a GoFundMe account for her and PAWS at Ross as this club is in much need of help. We have only three Eboard members, while some clubs have more than ten and access to so many resources. We literally have very little funds and have twelve dogs in our care right now that the $ is coming out of our pockets. To paraphrase a conversation that I was having with a very good friend of mine, that it takes a special person to be a part of PAWS at Ross. It is not like the other groups where you get that rush of taking someone's blood pressure, educating them on how to eat right and care for themselves, taking blood or listening to a child's heartbeat. PAWS members have to understand that all of our hard work might go unnoticed, or that we literally pick a puppy off the street and smuggle him into a "no-pet" apartment because that is what is morally right. We see a lot of heartache with animals, and more than you can imagine. The amount of students that just walk by a little puppy and do not do anything astounds me, as we are not here to be only physicians, but here to make a difference in the world. So as that is said, here is what I am proposing as my readers who have been with me through thick and thin..that if you donate to help Steve and I and the amazing people who are a part of PAWS..I will write you PERSONALLY about my "tricks of the trade" with passing first semester without even having to write the final. I will answer ANY questions you may have about anything and everything and I will tell you my study secrets...honestly...they will help you. If we could get to even $1000 raised, that would help us spay and neuter a big chunk of our dogs, and that would mean so much to us! So please, even if it's $5, every bit helps and I will make sure to include lots of pictures of cute little Domi. I will reply as soon as I can and make sure when you donate, put your full name and comment on the blog with your email, and I'll write you guys! Last thing, PLEASE share share share! Sometimes when these campaigns get in the hands of the right people, they take off (or so I only hope). And how amazing would it be to raise enough money so this club does not have to be waiting on paycheck to paycheck to take care of these little guys. That is all I will bug you with...but all I ask is that you take 1 minute of your time to donate, it is really that fast.

Here is the link, just click!: 

Well guys, I can finally enjoy my night knowing that is off my chest now and you know what I have been busy with ! Not only school anymore! haha I am off to a friend's house to hang out and relax with Steve, it has been too long where we can just kick back and relax. Thank you for all that you do, for being in my corner, reading and encouraging me, and above all else...listening to my chaotic thoughts at times. This is where I am meant to be, and I am so happy that you are all along for the ride. #DonateforDomi!

Bye for now,

-E xo