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01 August 2009

A study break....

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. "

-Anatole France
French novelist (1844 - 1924)

My week and weekend have been very little other than study and yet I feel as if I know nothing. I found this quote this afternoon as I was trying to stay awake to continue learning about the flexor/extensor muscles in the forearm and the pathways of the arteries, veins, and nerves. I wholeheartedly admit that it is overwhelming. And the idea of going home in two weeks without being able to join my fellow classmates in September is terrifying.

Because you see, for the first time I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. That is not to say that it is easy. I'm here to tell you it is NOT easy! I spend 90% of my time studying and still feel like I don't get it. I reach times when it is as if my brain is crying out to me... "STOPPPPP!! I can't take anymore!!!!!"

In conversation with a friend I was trying to explain that "No, you are not the only one I haven't talked to since I've been here." "Yes I care about you." "Yes your friendship is important to me." And then came the sentence of all sentences... "I don't understand why you act like you are so busy. You're only taking TWO classes. It's not like you are taking a full semester load." Ladies and Gentlemen.... I am here to tell you... Yes I am taking two classes.... Yes I am busy.... Yes I am stressed.... Yes my hair is falling out by the handfuls.... Yes I often forget to eat because I'm deep in the books.... Yes a week sometimes passes without me realizing it.... Yes I am engrossed in my studies.... Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!

But here's what you may not realize. My gross anatomy class is actually two classes consisting of a lab and a lecture. It takes place at two different schools on the opposite sides of Boston. The two schools are MGH Institute of Health Professions (Charlestown) and Harvard Medical School (Longwood Medical Area). I am at school six or seven days a week! When I'm not in class it is NOT uncommon to find me in a small room at Harvard studying with a skeleton or in the cadaver lab learning what SHIRLEY can teach me. My gross anatomy class is the same class that our professors took as a sixteen week (entire semester) class. We are learning the same things in eight weeks. Brutal doesn't begin to describe it. The other class is Professional Socialization. Learning skills...getting everyone up to the same level. The class isn't hard but it can be tricky to plan time with a partner to practice techniques for the skills checks.

When I do go home it's usually well after seven and I walk from the T station, through the neighborhood, up three flights of stairs, remove my shoes, grab a diet coke or water (depending on what kind of day it's been) and pull out the books. Sometimes I take a quick power nap and then study. Either way I usually study until around 12:30 or 1:00 then it's off to bed.... and the next day it all repeats itself :)

All of this to say.... I am sorry.... I wish I was more organized... I wish I had previous knowledge that made learning gross anatomy easier... I wish I wasn't stretched to the max... I wish I could add hours to the day.... I wish I had time to call everyone... I wish I was within a walkable distance for coffee with each of you. But I'm not. I'm doing the best I can and praying that my journey in Boston doesn't end in two weeks.... Please pray with me. Not that I will call you....but that I survive... not just physically or educationally... but mentally and emotionally....

The upcoming two weeks are packed.

  • Tonight and tomorrow is study time.
  • Tomorrow morning I'll be in the lab at Harvard for hours... then the rest of the day will find me reading notes, writing notes, using the whiteboard, drawing pictures, studying my bone box, and lots of prayer.
  • Monday: is a review session w/ my professor (lots of assignments to do before then) and then a practice gross anatomy practical. Then you guessed it.... studying :)
  • Tuesday: Professional Socialization final (written)--Gotta study for that at some point :) and then skills practice with partner for skill check.
  • Wednesday: Professional Socialization ("P. Soc") Skill check... pass or fail! on ambulation, guarding, gait training, assistive device education, stair gait education, and possibly falls... FUN!
  • Thursday: Gross Anatomy Final (written exam)(noon) and then Gross Anatomy Practical (cadaver lab test) (right after written exam)
  • Friday: half a day to breathe.... and then it's back to the books until the following Wednesday.
  • Next Thursday morning: I have to retake an exam I didn't make and A or B on.. and then Thursday evening I climb on a plane (with Lucy---huge prayer request) headed home for 2 weeks!!!
  • Somewhere in this schedule comes packing, cleaning, eating, sleeping, bathing, bill paying, and excitement.... Somewhere ;)
So when you think of me say a prayer. Not just for me.... but for all of the students who are going through finals and all of the students who are beginning a new semester. We are all striving toward a goal.... the dream of a heart... the purpose of our soul... and the part of us that gets up every morning to take another step in the right direction.....

Now.... back to the books :)

(the picture was taken today on my walk home from the T station after being in the cadaver lab..... It was a nice thirty minutes of Vitamin D and sweat ;) )

1 comment:

Big Olly said...

Craziness!! Just keep playing "I Will Survive" in your head and do what you gotta do. You have a cheering section down South that knows you'll be heading back to Boston for the fall!! Love ya :)