Term 4

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. This semester has been extremely busy with Pathology, Micro and CPD. Everyone always told me that term 4 was the hardest, but  with 3 more weeks until the end of the semester, it’s not true at all. The most difficult part of term 4 is the course load. Path is worth so many credits that no one wants to screw up. I think it’s fair to say that the Path department is pretty understanding with the amount of work they expect. A typical week consists of about 20 path slides to split among your group of 8. Everyday each student presents the slides they completed during path lab to the rest of the group. This course is pretty structured so there’s no way to screw up the general busy work. As for the other courses….. Micro is a whole different story. The class is interesting, but the Professors each have their own way of teaching the material. I’m the type of person that likes to learn everything at once so you can imagine my frustration when they constantly bring up random organisms everywhere.  There’s no real method to study for micro except to try to describe the organism and make charts. The other class I’ve been taking is CPD. This class is supposed to teach us communication techniques and proper ways to do a physical exam. I know that in the next couple of months this class will be extremely useful, but it’s 3 weeks until the end of the semester, and I’m still confused what to do every time I go to lab. In class the professors teach us how to apply our skills in lab. In lab, they expect us to remember diagnoses since term 1. It’s very confusing. I find a better way to teach this course would probably be teaching how to diagnose symptoms in patients and making differentials during class. During lab, they should be teaching us how to do clinical skills instead of just expecting us to watch YouTube videos. Also throw away all the clinical skills you do in term 1 anatomy because apparently all those skills were taught incorrectly. Besides all the conflicts with 4th term classes, I’ve learned to adapt to the pace we’re learning at. If anything, the rumors about 4th term definitely aren’t true. There’s ample time to study the material if you use lab time wisely. Other than that, there’s a lot less Bananas trips this term.

On a side note, there’s a couple things SGU decided to implement this semester to all terms. We now have MCQ clicker sessions for every class. I found these questions useful for Path and sometimes Micro, but I have no idea why we have them for CPD. We don’t even have any multiple choice exams for that class. I would appreciate if the administration would relax and do clicker sessions every other week so that the Professors can come up with questions that are more like what we’d see on the exam. All in all, the clicker sessions if anything have put so much more work on our 4th term schedule. Hopefully they change the policy by the time I get to 5th term. Another thing is, they decided to implement an 80% attendance policy for every class. That’s all I’ll say about that.

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Term 3!

Glad term 2 is over. As I learned first hand, don’t take term 2 for granted. All the classes are actually quite challenging, but I found Neuro to be quite fun. It actually seemed like we were learning something useful. Plus we got to take out the PD kit and try out all the tools. I found Physio to be the most challenging out of all the classes, but that was mainly because I had no idea what was going on. Basically everyone has like 1000s of ‘MOTO questions” that we would just do over and over until we memorized the questions and hoped they appeared in the same format on the exam….they didn’t for the final haaha. Immuno was pure memorization. I felt like by the end of it, I was saying cytokines in my sleep! Nothing to be worried about for that class as long as you watch Cells Acting Badly on Youtube before the lecture.

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Term 2!

Haven’t posted in a while because it’s been so busy around here. First term is over and I passed! To start things off, there’s a brand new building on campus! Finally SGU has built a new study hall to account for the increasing number of students. At first I was upset because it basically covers the best view on campus, but since it’s not enclosed, the view hasn’t been disturbed.

Not gonna lie, I thought this semesters was gonna be a walk in the park. I have now comes to see that all the upper termers were lying to me. After a 3 week break, I returned to the rock ready to continue relaxing. 2nd term starts with 2 simple classes, Bioethics and Community, Preventative Medicine (CPM). With these classes, basically all you need to do is attend class and you’re basically guaranteed to pass. We all took advantage of this extra free time by heading to the Concord Falls all the way on the other side of the island. I’ve never been past this city, so this was really exciting. On the way, we stopped and tried some fresh sugar cane and cocoa! Then finals came and it was time for the real classes to begin. Term 2 classes consist of Physiology, Neuroscience and Genetics/ Immunology. The good thing is, classes run early in the morning so there’s a lot more time to study ( or the class recordings are posted when you wake up) We also have a lot shorter labs! This just makes me more grateful that I’m done taking Anatomy forever!!!!!!!

So this past week, we had our first round of exams, and boy were they disappointing for most people. Each class has a set of Unifieds which basically means there’s 20 questions per subject and you get 30 minutes for that set. I think we all underestimated how fast the time goes. From what I hear, most people either ran out of time on Genetics or Physiology. Of all the exams, genetics was our class’ lowest average at 65%, but Unifieds generally aren’t representative of midterms scores. Another thing is, attendance this semester is mandatory because a lot of students struggled last semester. By now, our class is still about 650 because of all the repeaters. At 3 weeks in, classes are really picking up. There’s 4 lectures every day and less and less overlap from what I learned in foundations. On the bright side, there’s a lot more time to study all this material and explore this beautiful island!

Concord Falls


Modica Hall

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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!!!

My roommate and I at Sandblast!

Red snapper at BB’s Crabback

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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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.


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

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!


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.




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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