Sunday, 28 December 2014

Fungus

I voluntarily ate mushrooms. The spring rolls I had for lunch - our one local pho place - are just so damn good that I don't care that they contain evil fungus. 

That lunch was first thing I ate all day. I was sick this morning so I didn't want breakfast, and then I had some imaging at the hospital and had to wait around for the report. Have to go back Friday for more tests. Can't help but feel like I'm wasting their time, all this extra stuff, since I do so hate to be a bother and I spend way too damn much time in the hospital.

Anyway, there's stuff going on medically but I won't be posting exactly what's going on until after a specialist visit next month. It's consuming a lot of my energy right now, which is why my post frequency has decreased. Nothing terribly serious (I'm not dying!) but I am likely to need abdominal surgery with a longish recovery period next summer (I was given a ballpark of how long the delay would be, which may delay my ability to start med school on time if I am accepted. 

I'm looking at my options with respect to deferral or a leave of absence/working from home for the first few weeks, since it probably isn't going to be a grand idea for me to move really far right around that time either, but I don't have enough information at this point to call the schools and ask since I don't know exactly what is going on yet. 

Once I have a complete picture, I'll post an explanation. As for now, I'm just tired and looking forward to the new year. 

If I don't get to post before then, happy new year everyone. 




Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Working Away

I'm working on something exciting but can't say much until next month. Bah. I'll know about interview invites around that time so next month is likely to be very exciting! 

I'm at work, having a brief coffee break, and listening to the sounds of excited children. My work hosts a Christmas party every year and employees bring their kids. My son does not do well in crowds and while I brought him last year, it didn't go well and we hid in my cubicle. So my kids are at daycare and are going on some awesome field trips today. 

Nothing really gets done today. I'm doing some housekeeping work - updating some spreadsheets - and plan to be off early. The daycare closes at 1 today. I am going to go home, make pumpkin pie from my frozen stuff from the summer, and then take a nap because I am very tired. 

To those that celebrate it, merry Christmas. To those that don't, enjoy the day off if you have it. 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Fuzzy Smiles

This is not my cat. She belongs to a friend but is staying with us while her family travels home for the holidays. She's about three months old and insanely cute. My kids are loving having a kitten around. Two of my cats are not. 

Anyway, I've had a rough week. All of my marks were 90 on the dot, except for one and if you've read my recent posts, you should be able to guess why. 

My fifth mark for this term: immunology - 71%. 

That's not a typo. I got 45% on the exam. The class average for this course was 10% below where they would like it. Multiple students have approached the chair about it because the exam was insane and many students feel it wasn't an appropriate assessment. 

I've spent the week trying to figure out what to do. The maximum GPA I can achieve this year is precisely 3.87, which is exactly my pool's cutoff at U of O. If I get a single other course below 90% this year, and by some miracle was accepted to U of O, that acceptance would be rescinded when they receive my final transcripts. I emailed admissions about this - I have to be above the GPA cutoff for my pool FOR THIS YEAR, not just my wGPA calculated with this year included. 

So I'm not sure what to do, whether to withdraw my Ottawa application and avoid wasting the money on an interview, or stick it out, try my damnedest to pull off another 4.0 semester, and hope. Many of us are appealing our grades formally, and I will be doing so as well, so I'm trying not to be hasty. 

I don't know. I've had other things on my mind this week anyway, things I'll get into at a later point once I have more information. For now, I'm still really reeling from that mark and I am very tired. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Ginger

We let the kids stay up later to put together our gingerbread houses this evening. It was fun. 

The solstice is less than a week away, and I'm done the small amount of shopping I was going to do.  Halfway through December already and it barely feels like I even started school this year. 

I haven't posted since before my last exam, so to sum that up, let me say AHHHHHHHHHH! That exam was many degrees harder than my MCAT. I saw students crying. I actually wrote "I have no sweet clue, but here's a rough idea of something I think might be related" beside two questions. It's out of almost 200 points and I only need a 68 on the exam to pull at least 80 in the class, but I honestly don't know if I managed that. Fascinating lecturer who knows everything and super nice guy, but I am not taking  another class of his after that exam. That was terrifying. 

On the plus side, the fact that I'll actually be happy with an 80 in one class is progress! The thought of anything below 85 used to make my heart pound. I'm getting better. 

Three marks in so far, all three are exactly 90%. When I said I was being lazy this semester, I meant it. Two of those classes are complete bird courses, which I took specifically so that I could have a more relaxed semester with less need for studying. I am expecting one mark around 92-93, possibly more, and then immunology is a complete wildcard. 

I did get rather distressing news that my student loan is going to be $4200 lower next month than I was hoping for, $3200 less than I was actually expecting. Considering that my student loan pays my tuition and makes up for the difference between my income and expenses during the school year, this is a VERY big problem, considering that represents $800-$1000/mth less this semester. I'd had those funds as part of my projections since my numbers weren't significantly off, but now I'm scrambling. I am appealing the decision, but I will be lucky to see the funds by the end of the semester if I am successful. 

This is particularly problematic because my employment paperwork for my next term hasn't come in yet, so I'm not likely going to be paid in January or February. I usually count on my loan to tide me over until I get paid, but I am not even getting enough to cover my tuition and fees, let alone anything that would be sent to me for books, day care, or living expenses. This means I am going to have an extremely hard time paying for interviews and may have to ask my parents for money for school or interviews, something I told myself at the start of this that I wouldn't do. But I am not going to let my pride stand in the way of my ability to get into med school, so if I have to, I will ask. I'm not out of options yet, by any means, but the stress is not helping. 



Saturday, 6 December 2014

Rest well little pup

My parents' dachshund got sick a couppe weeks ago. At first, my mother thought it was diabetes (I thought so too.) Then it seemed to be that her kidneys were shutting down.

Then when she got to the vet, my mother found out her pancreas was seriously inflamed and she was in ketoacidosis.

They tried hard to save her, but her little body just couldn't take it anymore. She was put down yesterday morning.



She was a very sweet little dog, and my son was really attached to her. She was the most patient little animal I've ever known, which is uncommon for a small dog. Even when my son was rough with her when he was younger, she would just give him kisses. When he spent the day at my parents' house while sick, she would snuggle him. She was a fantastic companion and the very definition of a good dog.

My son is extremely upset. The only other time I have seen him upset like this was when Freddie died. He doesn't connect very strongly to people, but he connects with animals and it is especially hard to see how hard these losses hit him.

I'm very upset too. We lost a very special little dog, and she was only 6. She was far too young to lose.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Just Rosy


I have a little rosebush in my kitchen which grows cute, tiny roses. That is the one that bloomed a week or so ago. Right after taking this picture, I dropped my iPad. When I went to catch it, I accidentally pulled off the pretty little rose. My daughter was quite sad about this. 

I enjoy these little splashes of colour in the colder months. As it gets darker in December, it's hard to keep my spirits up and stay focused on my goals. December is usually a rough month - matched only by February - so some little bright spots help. The fact that I killed my little rose made me sad too. There's one new bud growing which will probably bloom next month, so I at least have that to look forward to. Right around the time interview invites come out. 

I just wrote my physiology exam and found I actually over prepared. I wasn't expecting that to be the case this semester because I have been, as I've mentioned, lazy.

Immediately after I finished that exam (only took me an hour and a half, when I had three) I had an email from my Imm professor. Our final assignments were ready for pickup. 


Perfect way to wrap up the morning. I only got 78% on the first assignment (these are worth 20% each!) and was really upset. This professor has extremely high standards and a reputation that scares a lot of people away from his courses.  I got 91% on the second assignment and I busted my butt on that one. I have never had to work so hard for a 90%+ before. This is actually an error - I have 170/175, so 97%. 

So getting this one just now, even though I have had 96% and higher many times before made me feel awesome. I have an entire week to study for just this exam, which is on the 11th, so I am REALLY hoping I can pull off at least a 90 on the exam. I need 92.5% on the exam to get a 90 in this course. I don't know how likely that is, considering the reputation he has about exams is really frightening, but I would need to do very poorly on the exam (below 80%) to get less than 85 in this class. I was saying right from the outset I'd be happy to make it out of this class with a 3.9, and it's looking like that will be the case.