Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blizzards, beef hearts, and band uniforms...

I woke up early with a cold this morning. It sucks. I've been popping Dayquil and Zicam all day. I then helped my wife get my daughter ready for daycare and got them out the door. I then downed some coffee and headed for school. It was snowing quite a bit, and a drive that normally takes me 19 minutes took me a frustrating 45.

I get to my A&P lecture about 15 minutes late. I tried to pay as much attention to the lecture as possible but as my first exam for the semester was in the lab after the class, it wasn't easy.

After the lecture I took the exam, it was on blood. I think I did pretty well, I mean I know I passed - I just hope I got an A. I spent a lot of time studying and would be pretty disappointed if I didn't.

After the test we had the lab on heart anatomy. We played with models and I walked my table through the humongous heart model explaining it the best that I could, they were quite appreciative. I then dissected a preserved cow heart as my lab partners watched. It was deformed and weird, not really easy to identify the structures at all, but it was still pretty cool.

After lab I grabbed some quick lunch at one of my favorite restaurants on that side of town then headed back to the campus for Micro.

I walked into class, headed up to the front and collected the corrected assignment from last week. I turned around, and it took every once of willpower to not fall over laughing. There in front of me was one of my Micro class members, a middle aged, short, pudgy lady, wearing what appeared to be a full-on, bright blue, gold embroidered, military-style, marching band uniform. Everything except for the hat. It was one of the most absurd sights I've seen at the college and I was completely confused and caught off guard. I badly wanted to ask her where her tuba was...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Drip, drip, drip...

A great martial arts master once said, or was it a fortune cookie from Wing-on Chinese Palace? Umm... well, one of them said..."Many raindrops break stone." So one more day down, another day closer to my goal.

I had A&P this morning. New lecture topic. My test on the last section (Blood) isn't until Wednesday, I've been studying for it quite a bit.

"Curse you gazillions of numerical blood statistics!" the Tengu shouted as he shook his fist angrily at the darkened and cloud obscured heavens.

Today we started the heart and blood flow. I was excited to find out that we get to dissect a beef heart! SUPER KEWL!

I enjoyed the lecture, stayed for the SI session which I dominated, then went home for lunch. After lunch, I hit the gym, worked out like a good mountain demon, went home, took a shower, ate dinner, then back to school for Med Law & Ethics.

The lecture was O.K., but I tried to stay as involved in class discussions as possible which seems to help the time go by faster. I think the beta-alanine/caffeine stack I take before lifting weights makes me more talkative than usual. I ended up getting quite a few laughs out of the teacher, and basically kept the class mildly entertained with my "insightful banter". Everyone had to give a short presentation on a disease we were assigned at the last class, I gave mine on glaucoma. It went fine. We also divided up into groups to do our 2 bigger projects that are due later in the semester, my group seems cognizant enough.

Drove home in the slippery snow. Man, I got a lot of reading to do... but not tonight, I'm done for tonight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A new day of school with a new president in the oval office...

Today I woke up extra early and went to the pre-lecture supplemental instruction session for my AP class. I had really hoped that were going to have a quiz once lecture started as I had stayed up studying (memorizing blood values) pretty late the night before. No quiz was administered... but I found out that I didn't do nearly as bad as I had believed on the prior weeks quiz. Yippie!

After class there was no lab today (Yeah! Thanks MLK!!!) as it would have put us ahead of the Monday lab section. So instead I attended the post-lecture S.I. session which was basically a review for next week's exam.

Came home, ate lunch, restocked my coffee tumbler, then back to school for Micro.

Micro was great. For a 3 hour lecture it seems to go by pretty quick. There was a group activity at the end. We had to read a case study and then do a worksheet pertaining to it. I ended up basically taking over the group and patiently dictating all the answers, until I just took the paper and filled it out as I was losing my patience in trying to explain to my relatively intellectually plebeian group members my logic. Nothing against them, they seemed nice, I think they were all just tired, or suffering from CO poisoning, or something. They all commented how lucky they were to have me in their group for the semester because I was so "analytical". I tried to explain that from my understanding the groups weren't permanent, but they didn't want to listen, or maybe their carbon monoxide poisoning was really kicking in...

Anyway, I survived another day. But really I like going to school, it gives me hope that someday I won't need to involuntarily participate in my current vocation - like I must tomorrow. I love pianos and all, but owning and operating a business in my opinion just plain sucks. It is a 24/7, all consuming activity. There are good points, but I'm just burned out from it. I can't wait to be able to put on scrubs and help people breathe, earn a livable wage in the process, and then go home at the end of the day. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Did you get here in a covered wagon?

It is going to be a long, hard semester my friends. Yesterday. School all day 9am-6pm, and it was ridiculously, bone-chillingly cold outside. I had my first quiz in AP2. It didn't go very well I'm afraid. The format was quite surprising, and unlike the AP instructor I had last semester who got all of his test questions from the textbook, this cat apparently takes them all from his lecture notes, spelling counts, fill in the blank. But hey, no one said it was going to be a picnic. Now that I have a better idea of what this guy is looking for I am certain I will do better next time, or at least do my best. I'm thinking of planning on attending the S.I sessions that start an hour before lecture just to make every effort.

I had my lab after lecture, the guy continued to lecture in lab for another hour, before we got to do some neat activities with blood. One of the girls in my lab group was having a bit of difficulty with some of the activities. She is a skinny, younger blond girl that says she is in her last semester before transferring to a bigger university to pursue a degree in mortuary science. I told her that she could use the CD that the instructor gave us that had pictures of the all the lab models to study, she said she didn't have a computer. Then another woman in our group told her to use her cell-phone to take some snapshots, the blonde proceeded to pull out her cell-phone which didn't have a camera on it because it was a huge "Zack Morris" late 90's model. The other group member said she would email her the model pics, upon which Blondie reminded her that she didn't have a computer.

The whole time I'm staring at her in disbelief that she had been enrolled in college this long without a computer, and then asked her if she was Amish. She apparently is not.

After a short break I had my first Microbiology lecture... it was a barrell of monkeys... teeming with protozoa and helminth larvae.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And so it begins again...

Well, the first day of the semester is over. It was a rough one. Mostly because I've barely slept over the past 72 hours as I've been slaving (almost non-stop for the past 12 days) over the final restoration on a 1916 Mason & Hamlin grand piano that is supposed to be delivered from my shop back to it's owner tomorrow (if there isn't a blizzard!)

This morning I trudged out into the freezing, bitter, cold to attend my first A&P II lecture. It was cool, the teacher seems very organized, knows what he is talking about and got right down to business. About 60 people in the class as of now, we'll see how many there are 4 weeks from now. The people in this class seem a bit more competitive than in A&P I. No matter, I will assert my ninjaesque intellectual dominance. :-P

After lunch I went to the shop for a few hours to work on that piano some more, then went back to school for round 2 after stopping for dinner.

Medical Law and Ethics was seriously no joke. That lady is not kidding around. I was kind of hoping it would be a little lighter of a work load than it appears it is going to be. Several presentations and written papers are assigned throughout the course. Everybody in the class seems pretty focused. Maybe 35 people all together, about 5 of them are Pre-PA students, 5 are RT, the balance are Surg Tech and Nursing students and couple Sonography/misc. After the instructor explained the syllabus and assigned a mini-presentation due the next class, she showed a relatively brutal video recorded back in the mid-70's about a guy who had received 3rd degree burns over 68% of his body and subsequently wanted to die, but it was before a patient had the right to refuse treatment and they kept him alive in horrible agony against his wishes. Just what I needed to wind down after a hard day at school and work. ;-)