Monday, 31 December 2012

A Curious Hobby

I have terrible handwriting. People have pointed out to me since I was very young that my handwriting looks rather like something you'd find on a prescription. Perhaps it is why I am able to read prescriptions so well.

What's funny is that I do calligraphy as a hobby. My normal writing is so messy as to be illegible to anyone besides myself (and well-practiced pharmacists) but I can write absolutely beautifully, in a number of styles.

I think it is something that will be rather amusing to the admissions committees to see on my application. Years of work as a calligrapher. Horrible handwriting.

This is fast calligraphy, with one of my not-so-nice nibs and practice ink, so it does bleed a bit. I don't take the nice stuff out when the kids are up.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

True Test of Focus

We got some bad news relating to a family member's health recently.

Right now, after the initial shock has worn off a bit, I'm planning how I will handle things this semester. There will likely be surgery before long, and what happens after that, I honestly don't know.

I'm going to be more than a bit stressed out over this, I imagine. But I absolutely cannot let it get in the way of my schooling. So between now and when I go back, I will just work on getting out the frustration and anger, and then starting on the third, fall back into my role as a student. It my require some adjustments to backup plans and so on, but those are challenges to be faced as they arise. I just don't know much right now.

What I do know is that whatever stresses and anxieties I have do not step foot onto campus with me. I will lock the in the car when I go to class. I'm probably going to make more use of my blog this semester to deal with this stuff, so forgive me a bit if the subject matter gets a bit heavy.

Honestly, though, I have to face this now as I will in the future. I cannot fall to pieces because of bad news. I cannot let difficulties distract from my professional life - and yes, I view my education as part of my professional life, even if it is only the beginning of it. No matter what is going on outside of school, my little academic bubble has to be insulated from it.

If I am to be a doctor, the person who will eventually deliver this kind of news to my patients and their families, I have to be able to deal with hearing it myself. This will give me a deeper understanding of what my future patients will feel when they hear that a loved one has cancer.

Fuck cancer.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Surprise Surprise

We weren't able to afford a flight home for the holidays for my husband. Given that airfare would be well in excess of a semester's tuition, we just could not afford it since he has been getting very little work.

A few days ago the dog started going nuts at 2:30 in the morning. I heard a bit of tapping, but with as many animals as we have, that's nothing to worry about so I went back to sleep.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. I answered, foggy-brained and half asleep. My husband told me to go to the front door.

And there he was, standing out in the cold with his bag. When he showed up at work a few days before, the only person to do so, his boss brought him in and booked him a plane ticket. I had no idea he was coming. The kids were very surprised when they got up in the morning, and my parents almost fell over.

We got some very bad news the day before he got home, something I'll delve into a little later, so his timing was perfect.

Been enjoying the break with him home. The new semester starts on January 3rd and he does not leave until the 5th so it has been a wonderful time.

He'll be home next around reading week, and then home for the summer sometime after I finish exams.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Solstice!

In my family, we do not celebrate Christmas. In accordance with our beliefs and traditions, we have a celebration of the solstice. We borrow some old Germanic traditions from solstice celebrations, in that we have a tree and a big feast. We give a few small gifts, but that isn't a huge focus. I spent about $100 and got four things for each of the kids.

We gather around the fire, tell stories, talk about the winter ahead and the bounty we are thankful for in the past year, and we greet the sunlight after the longest night in celebration, because each day we get a gift of a little bit more sun.

Honestly,without all the baggage of Christmas that my friends all have to suffer from, I'm glad we have our own traditions! It makes life a great deal more calm for us.

My kids loved their gifts. My son got a microscope, a set of three action figures, a storage bag for his Lego, and a crazy carpet. My daughter got a MagnaDoodle, a set of mini stainless steel pots and pans, a box of blocks, and a sled. Like I said, simple stuff, not very expensive. The idea of going thousands of dollars into debt for a holiday is a little absurd for me. We have eight holidays, my kids often get a little gift on each of them. Sometimes a gift of food (for the harvest festivals) or a light, or clothes, things like that.

All of this to say that my son is convinced his microscope is the coolest thing ever. It is actually very good for a $25 microscope. He can see cells!

In the grand tradition of nerdy parents raising nerdy kids, I taught him how to prepare simple slides and he is very good at it.

Maybe he'll be a pathologist someday.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


I was waiting for my final marks to come in before I made another post.

Drumroll please:
Biology: 94
Physics: 95
Chemistry: 93
Calculus: 97
Spanish: 93

I did it!!!

Just need to do this again next semester. Shouldn't be too hard, I think. I'm taking bio, chem, physics, Spanish, and stats. I think I can pull off a 4.0 fairly comfortably this year.

I am very pleased with my marks and can't wait to get started on a new semester!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

It's only a day away...

My chem final, that is.

I had a rather disappointing showing on my bio practice test, so as soon as I'm done my chemistry exam tomorrow, I'll be re-reading all the bio chapters just to make sure I've covered everything. My mother is going to watch my kids on Saturday so that I have some time to study for my chemistry, physics, and Spanish finals which are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Final marks will be in on December 18th and I am eagerly awaiting them.

This semester has gone by so incredibly fast. It's really amazing how fast time seems to go when you are having fun every day.

As of next Wednesday, I'll be a quarter way to med school applications. I've decided to measure it in semesters instead of time.

Also, next semester, I am taking on a leadership/organizer role in an organization I've been a member of for a while. I'm really excited because I've wanted to for a long time and now the opportunity presents itself. The fact that it will help my application is secondary to the fact that I really want to help continue contributing to my community. It is a healthcare related advocacy organization, so I'm sure that will help too.