Friday, August 28, 2015

Hurricane Katrina Reflections #Katrina10Years

On this day 10 years ago, I remember auditioning for MTV's "Wanna Be a VJ" contest at the Mall of Louisiana, and it was a completely gorgeous day outside. I had just started college a few days prior, so I didn't have a TV or access to the internet in my dorm room yet, but I do remember being confused about an emergency hurricane meeting held that night in the dorms and getting a lot of phone calls from worried family members asking if I would be driving home. Once I finally figured out what was going on, it was too late to leave as contraflow had already started and traffic was jam-packed. I wasn’t too worried though, because I had been through hurricanes before. Hurricane Katrina quickly changed my perception of hurricanes when it hit later that night, and it was hard seeing so many people around me literally lose everything they had. Following the storm, classes were cancelled for a while, and since our campus was one of the few locations in the city with power, I spent the next couple of weeks volunteering at the LSU PMAC where they were flying in victims from the storm on a daily basis. Whether it was helping with triage, sorting through donations, or just talking to people at the center, I tried to help out in any way I could. To this day, I still wonder about a few children I helped entertain, feed, and spend time with while I was volunteering there.

When many people think about Hurricane Katrina, images of flooding and individuals in despair come to mind, but I choose to stay positive. For me, Hurricane Katrina represents resilience, hope, and strength. To witness people lose their family members, personal possessions, and homes, and yet still have the strength to smile and say that it would be OK, really made an impact on me. It was an experience that exposed me to the power of a community coming together, and it taught me to always be thankful and maintain hope, even in the darkest of situations.  



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ECGs, Parties, and Awkward Paintings

Learning ECG tracings and playing with my phone features

I’m a week and a half into my second year of medical school, and loving every second of it! It’s definitely way more material to digest than first year, but it’s by far more interesting! Right now, I am taking a little study break because I just spent the last few hours trying to understand ECG tracings and figure out where things lie on a QRS axis. I’m still not 100% confident with the material, but luckily our first exam isn’t until Monday, so I still have some time to get it right. The first exam will cover mostly cardiac physiology, pathology, and pharmacology, so I still have a lot that I need to master in the next few days. Second year is already proving to be way more time-consuming that my first year was, but I actually enjoy learning the material since it is all very clinical based.

Gorgeous Future Physicians!!!!

The school wasted no time getting us back into the swing of things last week, but I was able to stay on track and even have a fun weekend. One of my classmates finally turned 21, so we all went out to Atlanta to celebrate on Friday. It was our first time being back together as a group since the end of first year, and I think I finally got enough of the party/summer mode out of my system so that I can really focus this term. We got some great pics out of it too :-)

I love it when I can get dressed up and go out :-)

The next morning, I volunteered at a SOMA 5K table sit and brought the little one along. I have no idea what I was thinking volunteering to be up at 8am when I knew I would be out partying until the early morning the night before, but I made it through. My daughter had a blast though, and she enjoyed interacting with my classmates and eating food that should have been for the runners, LOL. I was sent a photo yesterday of her that someone took at the event, and I had to include it on the blog because it is just too cute!

Love this girl!!!!

On Sunday, I took my daughter to a painting studio to hang out with and meet one of the daughters of a friend at my school who is in the biomedical masters program. It was funny because we met during orientation a year ago, and knew we were both single mothers, but never noticed our daughters were the same age. I’m all for my daughter making new friends because that means she can play with them instead of bugging me when I’m studying! The girls had a great time, so we will definitely be having some play dates and switch-offs in the future. The painting studio was also an interesting experience since it was the first time the little one and I went to one. Oddly, the painting of the day was a flower, and while literally EVERYONE in the studio was following the instructor and painting beautiful flowers, my crazy child saw a painting of a wine glass on the wall and decided to paint it! For the record, I don’t even drink red wine, so I have no idea why that particular picture caught her eye, but considering she painted it with no guidance whatsoever, her painting came out amazingly well! She insisted that I hang it up on the wall in her room, so I just hope no one questions it when they come over, because there really is no explaining that one!

Mommy/Daughter Artwork

Well, I think that’s about it, and I want to get in a couple more hours of studying before I call it a night, so I hope everyone is having a great week! I probably won’t post again until after the first exam, but hopefully that will be a happy post. Apparently, it’s also National Dog Day, and since I am still babysitting my parents’ dog, I’ll end the post with a picture I took of her earlier today :-) Until next time!

Happy National Dog Day!!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Second Year of Medical School Starts Tomorrow!

Last Free Weekend Before the Start of 2nd Year!

Well, the time has come. Summer vacation is officially over :-( Tomorrow I start my second year of medical school, and right now the feeling is bittersweet. I’m excited to get back on track towards achieving my dreams, and I have some awesome classmates who I haven’t seen all summer, but I’m not excited about going back to the stress of long study hours and losing touch with reality. Luckily, this will be my last year EVER of classroom lectures, and in a few months I will be finding out where I’ll be doing hospital rotations for the next two years (I‘ll explain more on that in another post). I’ve been told that this year will fly by fast, and I really hope that will be the case. I know the first two years are necessary to build a solid foundation, but I’m ready to start the actual hospital work!

GA-PCOM Representing at the SNMA Region IV RLI!!!!

My final weekend of freedom was a good one though. On Friday morning, I took a break to go see Straight Outta Compton, and I really enjoyed it! Then it was back to business on Saturday morning when I had to wake up extra early to attend the SNMA Region IV Regional Leadership Institute. This year it was held at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, so this meant I had to be up at 4:45am in order to get ready, drop my daughter off at my classmate’s house, and be on the road by 6am to make the two and a half hour drive. The trip was definitely worth it, as I got the chance to meet some amazing medical students from schools around the region. It was so interesting learning the similarities and differences of our school curricula across the region. My school started subjects such as pathology and pharmacology our first year, but there were some schools who don’t even cover that until second year. I was also surprised that a lot of the students had already started second year classes as early as two weeks ago. It made me so happy that I don’t start until tomorrow, and I made sure to not complain, LOL. One of the upperclassmen at my school also attended the conference (pictured above), and she currently serves as the SNMA Pre-Medical Liaison of the region, so we represented our school well :-)

An Amazing Group of Diverse Medical Students Representing SNMA Region IV

The conference lasted most of the day, but I was so happy when it ended earlier than planned. Not because I wasn’t having a great time, but because it was my last free Saturday of vacation! I was able to make it home, change my look in under ten minutes (the first picture on this post…#MomSkills!), and go out and enjoy myself while I still had someone to watch the little one. Hopefully this term will allow me to still have free time on the weekends, but just in case, I made sure to enjoy myself. Now it’s back to the grind, but no worries, because I’m still smiling!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Less Than a Week Until I Start My Second Year of Med School!

One Week to Go Until the 2nd Year of Medical School!

Where has the summer gone?!!!! In less than a week I’ll be starting my second year of medical school, and I’m not ready yet! I also don’t have the finalized class schedule for next week, so I’m still somewhat in a state of denial, LOL. Despite the sadness over my last free summer ending, I am ecstatic that this will be my last year of classroom learning. I seriously cannot wait to start rotations and put all this new knowledge to work. I’ll have to make it through my board exams first though, so I plan on going extra hard with the studying this year and really learning as much as I can in all my classes.

My Daughter and Our New Canine Visitor

In other news, my little one is back home and as happy as can be. I went to pick her up shortly after my last post, and I had a nice relaxing few days at my parents’ house. My mom also somehow managed to convince me to bring back and babysit her dog for a few weeks, so the last week and a half have been very interesting. It’s like having a toddler running around the place! I can’t tell you how many times I have said things like “what is that in your mouth?,” “Why are you crying?,” and “No, I will not pick you up!” Luckily, the dog is two years old and house trained, so I haven’t had to worry about any accidents, but it has oddly reminded me why I only have one child. My nerves are way too bad!

First Day of Third Grade!!!!

That’s pretty much it for now. Despite this being my last free week, it’s already a pretty busy one. I just got back from a meeting, and I have a few more meetings this week with some of the organizations I’m involved in. Plus, SNMA is having a regional conference in Georgia on Saturday that I will be attending, so I guess you can say my free time officially ended last week. So far, the exciting part of this week was yesterday when the little one started her first day of third grade. As you can see above, I just had to take my yearly photo of her :-) It’s crazy how fast time is flying by! I’m definitely not a fan of having to wake up at 6am every day, but judging by how tired I’ve been since yesterday, it will give me a good head start so I can be fully awake and refreshed for classes next week. I’ll be sure to update everyone on how the rest of the week goes, but right now I need to go figure out what to cook for dinner. Until next time!

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