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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5 More Weeks To Go!

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It’s been awhile since I last posted. A lot has changed since I first arrived. Grenada is a lot easier to adjust to than Saba. First off, there’s actually beaches in Grenada, and it’s hard to not be distracted when it’s right in my backyard! Secondly, there’s an actual grocery store with real food, not the canned and preserved stuff like at Saba. The amount of restaurants on this island is far more extensive (not saying crazy luxury though). I can’t wait until I actually have time to eat at restaurants other than the two that are walking distance from the dorms. I came here with all these plans to eat my way through Grenada, but I’ll have to postpone that for awhile since exams have been non-stop. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying my time here. Maybe a little too much.

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It’s been a busy semester so far. I’m currently taking 5 classes; Anatomy, Biochemistry, Psychology, Molecular Genetics and Physiology. Of all these classes, I find Physiology to be the most challenging, but then again, it has taught me how to work through tough subjects! Class starts at 8:30am :( I guess I can’t complain because I’m used to class at 8 in the morning. The one downside is taking the bus to school. On one hand, it’s nice to be isolated , but getting to school is such a struggle especially since the Professors don’t even take attendance. Surprisingly, I’ve been able to make about 95% of my lectures.

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Oh right, I also lost my phone 2 weeks ago, so I don’t have all my pictures anymore. This just proves that medical students don’t just study 24 hours a day. There’s always a fun stuff happening at Bananas, and the school even hosts a couple of their own exciting events including Sandblast, which is just one huge, crazy beach party. Well off to study for round 3!

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First Taste of Grenada

Today will officially be my 4th day on the island of Grenada! So far, it’s a beautiful place. The school overlooks the ocean and my dorm room is only a couple steps from the Grand Anse Beach. It’s taken me awhile to adjust to the time change and island because I’ve never been to a school this big. All I can say is, SGU is exactly like the pictures! My first couple days on the island was spent tracking down my lost luggage and attending orientation sessions. I’ve never lost my luggage on a flight, but surprisingly (not so surprising for locals) my luggage was left behind in my short flight from Trinidad to Grenada. Next time, I would recommend not taking a layover or just packing really light. The plane was overbooked so there was a huge backup with luggage. On my flight alone, there were almost 20 people that didn’t have their luggage. Luckily I had a small carry-on with most of my necessities.

My dad came to Grenada also to help me move in. He stayed at the True Blue Bay Inn which I highly recommend for other vacationers. The hotel has a nice restaurant that is right on the dock. All the rooms are also unique as they have many different sizes and they are cottage style. Just be careful of the birds, they will attack any unattended food here! While at True Blue Bay, I learned how to take the shuttle offered to SGU students. There are a couple different routes that the SGU shuttle takes, one of them is to my dorm at Grand Anse. These buses come at different times, but they are usually pretty packed. So far, I’ve pretty much only learned to take the shuttle to and from school.

Orientation has also just ended. There were many different “mandatory sessions” each filled with students from your class. Our sessions went about 1-2 hours each and by the end people just started picking and choosing sessions that would be helpful to them. I didn’t attend all of them because living off the main campus, it’s a hassle to wait around for 4 hours. I instead used my time to look at the various shops in the area. All in all, I found the shops to be a bit pricier than US stores, but that is to be expected. Grenada uses EC currency so the exchange rate is about 1US to 2.6EC. This makes buying items a bit difficult, but almost all stores I’ve seen takes either US dollars or credit card. My room does not have american plugs so I had to buy many different gadgets to switch from 240V to 110V. Overall, there’s still lots of exploring to be done. I haven’t even seen 3/4 of the island yet, but school starts Monday!

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