End of Term 1 and Our Return to America

Term 1 MaterialThis is a picture I took of everything I learned in the past 18 week of school. 18 week! I took all of the textbooks (leaving out the couple I never opened) plus all of my lecture notes plus any additional notes I took or made and – Voila! It is hard to believe that I actually went through that much material. I cannot believe I studied all of that – even if you just take everything that was paper (which I read over many, MANY times) – that is a lot of stuff to learn in one semester. People must think Doctors should know a lot or something. And I hope the post-its you can see in the pages of the texts prove they were well read and used. As I told Tyler, if anyone doesn’t understand why I was so MIA, this should make it clear.

But the massive pile of textbook and notes (that I have no idea where to store now) aside, this term was a lot of work. It was a lot of work, but flew by. And I am, in the end, really happy with how it went. I did extremely well on all of my final exams, including my clinical skills exam, and I feel like I really have gotten back into the swing of school and am loving it.

On a different note, after a week of cleaning the apartment and enjoying a little of the caribbean sun – we boarded a plane on Saturday and flew back to California. So far it feel big, cold, and a little weird. But at the same time, it is so good to be at home. The food and beer is so much better! Plus it has been nice to see Tyler’s family these few days, and we will see mine later this week.

As we took off, I took some sweet shots of Grenada. We were on the wrong side of the plane to get a view of the whole island from above, so these are just of the south side near the airport. It sure looks its small size as soon as you leave the ground.

Just look at those reefs and that water!Bye Bye Grenada


OSPE Exams, Jumping Off Cliffs, the Christmas Season and Final Exams

I am not entirely sure where October and November went, but it appears that December is just a few days around the corner. And while it seems hard to believe that my first term of medical school is soon to be behind me.

The last week or so had been a whirlwind of pre-final preparations and all of the stress and work that goes into exam prep. Last Friday I had my first OSPE exam, which is a clinical skills examination that tested not only diagnostic skills, but our physical exam skills. The exam in itself is actually part of a 4th term class, but it was actually one of the more fun exams to prepare for. There is something about starting to master the techniques and skills that I will actually use everyday of my career that is really exciting. The exam in and of itself was a little disorganized which led to a long day of being sequestered, but it was a worthwhile experience. And it is nothing like heading to an exam wearing a white coat and carrying a stethoscope to make you feel really legit.

Cliff at SGUThis weekend was a weekend chocked full of studying – as usual. But considering I have been staying fairly on top of things since the midterm, I decided to set aside some time for Tyler and I to get a little R&R while he had a light workload due to American Thanksgiving and before the sheer madness of studying 18 hours per day of finals fully sets in. Saturday we pulled ourselves out of bed nice and early and made it to campus to get to work. But at 1pm we had plans with a friend to go jump off the cliff. There is a cliff behing the Caribbean house at SGU that is perfect for jumping off into the ocean.

After a fun time hanging out in the pristine blue ocean, we braved the climb back up – which I have a few battle wounds to show for as my wingspan is much smaller than my fellow male cliff jumpers and my upper-body strength leaves something to be desired. But have no fear, I made it back up after a few tries.

Magical Christmas Tree Making Supplies


Later Saturday night after some more studying and such, Tyler and I had carved out our epic Christmas date night in. We had made plans to do all of the things I associate with the beginning of the Christmas season, even here in Grenada. So first step was to close the curtains to hide the weather and lower the AC a degree or two, and then we put together all of our creative spirits and created a paper Christmas tree. It is beautiful! I was quite impressed on what we were able to make out of a couple paper presentation folders and some glittery fabric paint.

Christmas Tree


After we “decorated” the apartment, we commenced part 2 of our date which included baking chocolate chip cookies and making Grenadian peppermint hot cocoa from scratch. I will admit we had to cheat and buy cookie dough, but considering we don’t eat cookies around here, they were amazing! And since Tyler had brought home some good Grenadian cocoa sticks, we were able to make a pretty good try at hot cocoa. My recipe might need a little perfecting, but it came out pretty good if I may so myself.

And then part 3, after we had made the appropriate snacks, was to watch the movie Elf. Tyler had never seen it, which was of course a tragedy, so we enjoyed our cookies with hot cocoa while watching Elf. We probably ate way too much, but that is okay.

Cookies and Cocoa

Pure Christmas Joy

It was a great, fun, and relaxing night that really helped to give me the energy to push through finals. And it is hard to believe that in something like 10 days I will be done with finals, term 1 of medical school, and we will be preparing for our trip back home. For now, pray for energy and strength and peace of mind and pray that I will rock my finals.