Halfway there!

It’s been awhile since first term started. I think everyone’s starting to understand how things work around here. Though there are some familiar subjects, the testing style in first term is completely different from foundations. In foundations, all the exams were based solely on recall; this semester, all our exams are “clinical based”. I think the hardest part about first term is just staying on top of things. There’s no one reminding you that small quizzes are due or there’s an extra lecture. Every week we have Histo lab, Anatomy lab and sometimes even Biochemistry lab. I find Histo lab to be the most helpful because I hardly ever pay attention during lecture. There’s also a lot more material in 1st term. I was pretty excited to hear that we have a full day in between each exam, but it’s definitely necessary. There isn’t really much guidance before midterms. We have unifieds which consists of 25 questions per class, but I didn’t find them to be an accurate representation of what we should expect on midterms.

Midterms went pretty well for the most part. The majority of my class passed easily. In the end, I assume probably about 50 people decelled. The best part about midterms though, is the week after. Basically we all take a whole week off to go to the beach and enjoy life again. Also, at SGU we have an event called Sandblast which is basically a huge beach/booze party. This semester, the weather was just terrible. It rained… A LOT. And even after exams, the workload has decreased significantly for now. We haven’t even had anatomy lab in awhile! I guess this weekend I’ll have even more time to do fun stuff because it’s Grenadian Thanksgiving! 4 Day weekend!!!

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My roommate and I at Sandblast!

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Red snapper at BB’s Crabback

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Fried Ice cream at Carib Sushi

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1st Term!

Well, it’s been 1 whole week in first term, and all I can say is… THANK GOD FOR FOUNDATIONS. So far, the material hasn’t been that challenging because we’re getting essentially the same slides as last semester. This semester I’m only taking 3 classes: Biochemistry, Histology and Anatomy. I can’t even imagine how difficult 1st semester would be without taking a whole semester of pre-med classes. On the first day, the professor jumped straight into superficial and deep back muscles. All the newbies were trying to figure out how to study while the foundations students felt right at ease.I hope this continues throughout the semester. I arrived back onto the island on August 9th. Since then, we’ve had a whole week of Orientation which of course, I skipped because I already know where everything is. Also It was Carnival when I arrived so everything was closed! People were going crazy every night! Kinda wish I had attended more of the festivities. Even our room was a bit crazy. It actually flooded within the first week. It’s been great living on campus this year. I get to have my own room in a 3 person suite! Definitely a step up from living in Grand Anse. It’s quite chaotic getting groceries though. The Grand Anse dorms were just across the street from the main supermarket, IGA. Now I have to take the bus over there and take a taxi home. I also have to learn to cook more meals now that I’m not living that close to edible food. I also miss not living a couple feet from the beach. Definitely gonna have to get used to taking the bus covered in sand.

One thing that does bother me though is that there’s way too many people in my classes. The buses are full, the study hall is full. THERE’S PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!! In foundations we only had about 60 students, but this class is around 800!! And even worse, everyone takes up all the seats 30 minutes before classes even start. Definitely ruining my schedule. So far our lectures have been pretty clear. I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on for labs though. Even though they gave us all an introduction to imaging, wet lab and histo labs, no one knows what’s due every week. Luckily I have the best lab times since they go in alphabetical order. We did get to try the ultrasound machine and work with the locals which was pretty cool!!
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CHICAGO!

Just got back from my cousin’s Northwestern Graduation! There’s so much to say! First off, the weather is unpredictable (don’t listen to the weather man). I spent 4 days there. From the beginning, things weren’t looking so good. Our flight was delayed about 4 hours due to en route conditions. After a whole day of airport nonsense, I got my first real taste of deep dish pizza. It’s delicious, but I think I’ll stick to thin crust, normal pizza. Deep dish is super dense, it’s like a pizza pie. I could only eat one slice before almost passing out because my stomach had to work so hard.

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The actual graduation was also quite chaotic. Everyone was supposed to be at the stadium around 9:30 am, and the graduates were supposed to be there at 9 am. By 9:20, all the parents and graduates were still trying to locate the shuttles to take them to the venue because they weren’t picking up anybody. Some lady even started screaming because she got separated from her family when the shuttle driver closed the door in her face. There must have been some miscommunication. Nonetheless, I still found this quite entertaining and continued to take pictures of the stressed out people in line

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Northwestern is a beautiful school with many notable alumni. They also are a Big 10 school so their stadium is huge! There were so many students at this graduation, much more than I had at Chapman University. I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the largest graduations I’ve ever been to, for a good reason though. Northwestern is one of the most prestigious private colleges. It is constantly ranked at the top of university rankings. One of the honorary degrees even went out to Stevie Wonder this year!

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But of course, the weather was unpredictable as always, and the sun was scotching hot on all the seats
After graduation, we went into the city to look to explore! Chicago is quite beautiful, there’s skyscrapers everywhere. It really does look like Gotham City which isn’t surprising since Chicago was one of the filming locations.

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Anyways thanks for the adventure Northwestern and Chicago, and Congratulations to my cousin!

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Summer Vacation

Well, I have about 2 more months until school starts again. It’s strange not having anything to study anymore, I don’t know what to do! I’ve been watching the World Cup and tying to get back into shape after a whole semester of junk food. It’s not as easy as it looks. I am also hoping to volunteer for the Children’s Hospital :) I’m just waiting for all the paperwork to get through and then hopefully I’ll have something to keep me occupied. This week I’m heading to Northwestern for my cousin’s graduation so that should be fun. It will be my first time in Chicago! I have no idea what to expect. So far I’ve heard it’s really humid and rainy, but hopefully that’s not true.
There’s also some busy work to complete over the summer. Even though I spent last semester at SGU, all my paperwork from last semester is virtually useless to them so I have to start over again :( Since apparently this incoming class is going to be HUGE, they started this new housing portal to help students find roommates and fill out their applications. So far it’s been kinda strange to look at all the descriptions people have been posting about themselves. Luckily, my roommates will be former Foundations students also. Besides housing, there’s loan papers UGH. Med school is so expensive! At least there’s federal loans (there were none for Foundations). After loans, there’s also health insurance and titers that have to be done (good thing I had a whole extra semester to do this). I can’t imagine finishing everything in 2 months. (Haha new students). I wish all the forms were in one packet so I wouldn’t have to play I Spy every time I sign into my SGU page. Well that’s it for now. Back to the World Cup! GO USA!!

20140617-125945.jpgOf course summer isn’t complete in my family without lobster!

20140617-130028.jpgEvery trip home requires In n Out! Only fast food’s most delicious burger

20140617-130048.jpg my cat lazying around. It’s nice to be back

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1 Semester Down

Well it’s about time I update everyone! A whole semester at SGU is finally over! So let me summarize everything that has happened. In January, I began the Charter Foundation Program at SGU. This program was filled with a whole bunch of stress, but it was also a huge learning experience! Throughout the semester, I took 5 classes to prove to SGU that I’m actually capable of being accepted to their medical school. Well, the results are in………I PASSED!

Some lasting impressions from this semester, Physio doesn’t get any easier. I found it to be the hardest class of the 5. Anatomy was the original killer, but in the end almost everyone passed! We started the program with 64 students, and throughout the semester we only lost around 10 people. Not bad at all! I’m glad I survived. So now that it’s all said and done, I’m glad I have this whole experience to guide me next semester.

The last couple weeks on Grenada was actually quite fun. After finals, all the Foundation students began catching up on some much needed beach time. We also got to try some amazing restaurants like La Luna. Then we all proceeded to eat like kings until our flights home! In the meantime, we’re all off for summer vacation. Everyone says to enjoy this one because it’s the last vacation before never-ending schoolwork.

Some things I won’t miss about Grenada.
1. Taking the bus
2. The lack of urgency
3. Mosquito attacks
4. Giant lizards

I’m spending the first part of my summer in Sin City (Las Vegas). I’m glad to be back in America, and even more glad to be in a city that works 24 hours a day! So far, I’ve began eating my way through Vegas. I also saw 3 shows so far! A Hypnotist, a Magician and a Juggler! This is just the beginning of summer though, when I get back, it’s back to the gym!

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20140522-235954.jpg Breakfast at Le Papillon

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20140523-000110.jpg Jeff Civillico- Las Vegas Juggler/Comedian

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The End is Near

Round 3 exams are over! Only a couple more weeks until I’m back home in California! It’s been a nice time here in Grenada so far, but nothing beats California life. Round 3 exams went well. I can’t tell if I’m getting used to the workload or if classes actually got easier. What sucks is that I missed a whole week of classes to take my exams so now I’m stuck with Sonicing everything. For those of you that don’t know, Sonic Foundry is our school’s database of recorded lectures. This makes life insanely easier especially when you oversleep……. So far, only a couple of students have left the program, but everyone seems to be working hard especially in preparation for finals. There’s only 4 more weeks left on the beautiful island of Grenada. Hopefully I will be back next semester, and have way more time to explore the island.

Classes have gotten more interesting since midterms finished. In anatomy, we no longer have to memorize a whole bunch if muscles! Instead we have cranial nerves…. Also, we no longer have to take Learning Strategies after midterms so that saves even more time for studying! One of the best things about SGU is that I feel like students have a nice balance between school work and free time. For me, I find that it’s nice to take Fridays off to enjoy some dinner with friends and start up work again on the weekend with a fresh mind. Yesterday, there was a student sponsored event called “The Fort Party”. The event took place at the historical Fort Matthew which was a battle ground and asylum. The fort was filled with crazy tunnels and dungeons. Overall, the fort was pretty creepy at night, but the view was definitely spectacular. Wear a sturdy pair of shoes if you plan on going.

Now that the semester is almost over, I’m trying to think about what I will bring to next semester. The quote that has stuck in my mind all semester is

“insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”- Albert Einstein

Well, with that in mind, thanks for reading! Here are some quick pictures to end my post

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One of the Best Sunsets I’ve Seen

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I can’t believe this is Grenada

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