Wednesday, September 22, 2010

But why is the rum gone??

Alright, do I have anything to post about? Ok sure.

So last Friday was "research day", meaning no classes. I was hoping to go to one of the many bodies of water that exist around here, but shockingly could find nobody to go with me. Silly med students with their studying. Who does that?? lol Anyway, I ended up going to the rum distillery with the spouses' organization. Shockingly I was the only single person there, but there was another student at least. haha Now when I signed up for this I foolishly thought 'ok, it'll be like a factory tour' like bright & indoors & shiny/clean/new, right? Oh silly girl, this is Dominica... However it was pretty cool.

Here's the first area we saw. I think there's crushing of sugar cane that happens on this.

And I don't know what these buildings are for. I'm afraid I don't listen very well, sorry.

oh, but fermenting happens in these:

And our lovely guide was clearly delighted that I was taking his picture.
He was telling us about the different kinds of rum they make, and the one in his hand was like 64% alcohol instead of the standard 40ish%. No, I don't drink. But yeah, this was the taste testing portion of the tour, so I decided to taste it. Let me tell ya, I remembered straight up why I don't drink. Yeck! The others enjoyed it, but it's not for me. I'll stick with my chocolate milk & juice with the kiddos. lol

Anyway, that night was the Ross Christian Fellowship free campus cookout, so I went there & waited in line for an hour for dinner. Chatted with a nice new 1st semester student that plays guitar for RCF and went to the standard salsa that night too of course. And then Jedediah invited me to join them for game night on Saturday! woo! I LOVE playing games. I'm a dork that way. We ordered food from the Tomato (my chicken taco salad was amazing. best meal I've had there), and played Apples to Apples (which I won! *victory dance), and they taught me how to play Texas Hold 'Em (I did not win. lol).

Other than that, classes as usual. Oh, and it's season premiere week on ABC, so I'm soaking up new episodes of all my shows. Also, some of my favorite friends down here are expecting baby #2! Congrats Kelly & Josh (& Shane!)!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

omg, we get to act like doctors

So today was my first day of going to the hospital for actual doctor stuff. ha. We left campus a little after 8am & I slept most of the way because of the Dramamine. (Normally I don't get carsick, but the ride being as windy & stop & go as it is here makes for a rough trip) When we got there we went into the "classroom" where we got our assignments along with a little briefing of the day's schedule. We were also informed to not treat our afternoon patients like we do our ICM practice exams, you know, since these are actual real patients and might take it less well if we comment on the shape of their head or whether or not they're missing teeth. (General Survey is quite special)

Anyway, I was assigned to surgery, and she told us we would need our scrubs, but we don't have to change yet like the students going to the path lab. The lights went out in the classroom (just another day in Dominica), and those of us who had received our assignments went out to the hall to wait. I thought that would be a good opportunity to use the restroom, and the woman overheard me and said something like "no, don't change yet", so I got to inform everyone that no, I actually just had to go to the bathroom. I know how to follow directions, it's amazing, I know.

Got changed into scrubs, put on the funny hair cap thing & the covers to put on over our shoes, and the face mask. Then our surgeon had taken off somewhere so the 3 of us assigned to surgery were told to go in and listen to the anesthesiologist give his talk to those 3 students. I hadn't really bargained on an hour lecture of respiratory & cardio physio review (alright, I didn't really time it, but it felt like FOREVER) in a tiny warm room. We finally got to go in and watch an umbilical hernia repair. Let's face it, none of us really knew where to stand at first since we didn't want to get in the way, but ultimately I ended up standing right between the surgeon & the nurse anesthetist (I'm guessing) that was squeezing the bag that gave the kid air. When I found out I would be watching surgery I admit I was a little nervous. The last time I watched my family doc cut stuff off of people I got a dizzy & lost my breath a bit, but I was sort of enthralled this time. Mostly I was amazed at how rough the doctor was pulling on the tissue. Sure, I know the patient can't feel anything, but it just seems creepy to me to be jerking around on somebody's belly button. The actual surgery took a grand total of like 10-15 minutes. We followed the kid into recovery, and then had another long wait of looking at x-rays from a fractured femur. Don't ask me why we were looking at those though, because the next surgery was removing lumps from a woman's breasts. Stood in the same spot to watch, and this time we saw the nervous patient before she was put under. Again, the surgeon was rough. If anyone tugged my breasts around that way I'd smack him.

After that surgery we went back to have lunch. I packed something because another student warned me "TAKE FOOD WITH YOU AND SOME CASH OR YOU'LL STARVE LIKE AN AFRICAN CHRISTMAS GOAT ON JENNY CRAIG!!" bahahaha, thanks for that image Lenny.

For the afternoon we were split into different groups of 3 that would go interview a patient & do as much of the physical exams as we know at this point (which includes cardiovascular, respiratory, and abdomenal). It was okay, but the guy in my group was super annoying, and pretty much didn't know how to do the abdomenal exam despite agreeing that he would do it. And our patient was a bit difficult because he seemed confused about when things happened, and instead of keeping to the point was just really chatty. We took longer than we were supposed to. Oh well, it was fine. People in Dominica don't really abide by the whole time concept anyway - it's "more guidelines than actual rules". (points if you know where that's from! ;))

That concludes a review of my FIRST hospital visit as a med student.

Monday, September 13, 2010

So it's been the first long day of the semester. Yippee for 8 hours of lectures, 4 of which were pharmacology. Harsh. Unfortunately, I've been quite unproductive since we got out of class at 5. Well, with the exception of the OLAS eboard meeting and cooking enough for 3 meals this week. Oh, and putting away laundry. Everyone who has a washer/dryer or just has access to them should be grateful for such technology because washing clothes by the lovely little Wonder Wash is sort of a pain. Granted, it's better than paying $11/week to have someone else wash your clothes with the risk of not returning them in the same condition or, you know, at all. A little peek at my charming island life:
That's how I wash my clothes. I put them in that tiny contraption with 6 quarts of hot water & laundry soap, and turn it for 2 minutes. Drain, add cold water, turn 30 seconds, drain again, ring & hang out to dry.

Anyway, so Friday nights are salsa nights here. I've been going to lessons since the middle of 2nd semester, and it's great. If you ever get a chance you should go salsa dancing some time.

Then Sunday I went river tubing. I forgot to buy a water camera while I was home over break though so I have no pictures from this go around. Hopefully my friends that took some will share. BUT I do have pictures now from last semester's trip. AND I haven't added them to facebook yet so you get an exclusive look. lol, try to contain your excitement.

Me floating down the Layou River:

and ever so many more students on the river tubing trip in May.

Guess that's all for now. No more fun plans as of the moment, but we don't have class Friday because it's "research day". Hopefully I can find some friends to go on an adventure with, but one of my girls is turning out to be less reliable than I would hope.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sleep, who needs sleep for an 8am ICM study group?

I should be sleeping since I have to get up at 6:45 (yes, on a Saturday, ugh), but I'm feeling too restless. Had a fun night salsa dancing & then playing some foosball & ping pong. It seems that I kick butt at foosball, but not so much the ping pong. ;)

I made the mistake of telling a guy that I don't mind if he sets me up with someone. Normally that wouldn't be much of a mistake, but let's face it, this guy has no tact. So I proceeded to turn 3 shades of red while he tries to convince this beautiful guy across the room that he should go dance with me at salsa lessons... BEFORE asking said beautiful guy if he even has a girlfriend already (which he does). Sometimes I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut. Actually, first guy seems to bring out the worst in me. I don't know why I associate with people like that, but I think they make me feel good. Whatev. And sometimes anything is better than being alone.

Had this crazy dream last night that I wish I had someone to tell, but it's too personal & weird for blog material.

Lastly, it's only been the first week of 4th semester, and I'm already stressing about who I'm going to beg to go with me to the 4th semester banquet (since I no longer have my best friend - le sigh). Part of me is saying, screw it, just don't go. But I feel like it's sort of the prom of med school. I don't want to miss out. I even brought back an amazing dress. I know who I wish I could ask, but that's just ridiculous. I wish ridiculous didn't have a place in my crazy little brain.

Another minor obsession: stupid Thanksgiving on the island. Last year was such a tragedy that I decided to boycott this year, but I'm still afraid that it'll be miserable. All I know for sure is that I won't see my family and I'll be eating Chinese food - screw the turkey!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alright, as time zips on by I realize I didn't update y'all on the rest of the trip home, but since it would seem that only about 2 people read this anyway, I think I'm just gonna skip it for the time being.

So I'm back on the lovely island of Dominica, and nothing makes that more evident than the 2 power outages the other night and the continued battle with the shower. This time it's not a loss of pressure though, the shower just wants to scald me periodically. Awesome.

In other news, my best friend left before I returned so I'm utterly alone & never got to say goodbye. Heaven only knows if I'll ever get to see him again. In the mean time I completely embarrassed myself by breaking down in tears when I got a call to trek down to campus & pick up my suitcase at 9pm, and I had nobody to call so I would feel safe getting there. Sure, I ran into one of my local neighbors on the street in front of my apartment, and he ended up walking me, but I think it just sunk in then how much I really relied on Lucas. So now I guess I've gotta be independent again. Back to eating alone and not having company at my apartment.

Other than that, our elected class rep failed, thus leaving the position open, and I've been nominated. I have no idea if I want to accept that nomination or not. I'm sort of terrified of accepting the responsibility. I've already got a position in OLAS, but I never did get an email about it so I'm sort of wondering if they changed their minds or something. I will say that it feels nice to be nominated by someone else for something.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ladies love country boys

Alright, back on the island so of course I have lots of free time to update now.

So after I landed in Detroit around 9:20am on Friday the 20th, my parents took me to IHOP for brunch on the way home, and our waiter was amazing, as were the strawberry cheesecake pancakes I ordered. (Seriously, if you get the chance try those & put some cream cheese frosting stuff on there too, yum) Anyway, got home, showered, got dressed in a cute little summer dress to wear with my cowboy boots & proceeded to wait 2 hours for one of my best friends to show up so we could leave for the Armada Fair to see David Nail. I wanted to be really early to get a good spot by the stage, but it wasn't as crazy as a few years back when Rodney Atkins played, and we had some time to explore the fair a little. I made a friend ;) Now David Nail's management team has this deal that if you buy $50 worth of merchandise you get a meet & greet pass, and my friend Kim had bought stuff online so she had 2. Unfortunately there were 3 of us, so I bought a t-shirt & Tami bought a cd, and success, 3 passes & we all got to see David before the show. I was 2nd in line, and he looked at me and said, "You didn't come all the way from the Caribbean again, did you?" He didn't remember my name, but I felt so special that he recognized & remembered me. We got back onto the field & right next to the stage to enjoy the show. Unfortunately there was an obnoxious teenage boy next to me that I had to resist the urge to smack (lol, ok, you know I'm not really that violent, but I was super annoyed). Overall, the show was a lot of fun, and I danced by the stage with my girls. After the show I got a set list & a picture with the gorgeous keyboard player named Eric. And Kim got a drumstick because Eric the drummer remembered her from another show.
2 days later was the Thunder Country Jam in Grand Rapids, featuring Tommy Steele, Sarah Darling, Due West, Ash Bowers, Thompson Square, Chuck Wicks *heart*. Since it was a 3-hr drive I left home about 8:30am (though I was hoping for 7 or 8). When I got there I had to park 4 or 5 blocks away before joining my friends in line to get in.

Alea & me:
Alea, Glenda, Kim, & I got in and managed to get front row on the far right. Other than an elderly man on the other side of the park I'm pretty sure I was the only one dancing for all the bands all afternoon, hahaha. The show started at 1pm with Tommy Steele, and I got a drumstick & had him sign it. Good start off to the show. I thought he was good. Next was Sarah Darling, and I got an autograph & picture with her after she was done too. Then Due West, and wow, think I'm hooked. Didn't buy the cd there because it was $20, but I'll probably buy it on itunes now because I couldn't find it at Best Buy or Meijer or anything. And when I went over to meet them they were super nice and said they were glad I was having a good time because they saw me dancing and they love that. If you haven't heard it you should look up a song called "Between the Bible & the Belt" hahaha I mentioned that I was hoping for a guitar pick, and Brad took one out of his pocket & they all signed it.
Due West performing:

Then I missed part of Ash Bowers' set waiting in the line to meet Due West, and was sort of sick of going through the crowd for the meet & greets, so I didn't meet him, just danced along to his singing. Thompson Square wasn't really my cup of tea, and I was getting impatient for my Chuck Wicks. I'd been waiting over a year to see Chuck again! Lots of new music, some of which I'd heard on youtube. Sadly he didn't play "Over & Over", which I love & fear won't be on the new album. :( Anyway, at one point during his set he hopped off the stage and walked down the photo lane in the middle of the audience. After he was done I was pretty worried that I wouldn't get to give him the calendar that I had made for him (filled with fan photos) because he wasn't doing his typical meet & greet. The radio station had mentioned that he might show up in the VIP section, which they gave me passes too, so I headed over there. Then I happened to see Alea over by the buses, and she waved me over. She'd told Chuck I was trying to give him a present so he was going to wait for me. In the mean time, while I was walking over there a bunch of people had gotten in line to see him so I waited in line. I harassed him for not remembering my name (because when I saw him last year he insisted he WOULD remember, and I KNEW that wouldn't happen with such a long time between shows - dang island life), and gave him hugs & his present. Pretty sure he thought it was pretty cool. We chatted a little, and then I hung out with Alea & finally got to hold & hug her gorgeous baby, Kelton. Had a woman tell me how beautiful my baby was. haha Little Big Town had started playing by that point so Kelton was my little dance partner. *heart* After Chuck greeted the last few fans that were waiting I went & said goodbye & he gave me another hug & a kiss on the cheek. Such a sweetie. Hopefully it won't be so long before I get to see him again. Finally went back up with Kim & Glenda for the rest of the show, and Alea & her family left. I was surprised to discover that I really did know more of Little Big Town's music than I had thought, and the guy on our side of the stage, Philip, had an excellent stage presence. He recognized Kim & Glenda, and even from the stage was just friendly. He threw a guitar pick to Glenda, but it fell on the ground & between some cracks so I waved for another & he pointed at me & threw it. So both Glenda & Kim got their guitar picks. I was also impressed that the band waved off security to allow a mentally disabled woman to come closer to the stage for photos. They shook her hand & took pictures with her camera. Pretty sure that woman had the time of her life. On the music side, love "Little White Church".

Whew, if you made it through all that, kudos to you! Thus concludes my accounts of my break concerts. :D