Sunday, August 15, 2010

The value of time

Eek! Classes start next week! Somehow that just crept up on me, I had it in my head that I had two weeks before school starts. Anyway, that means I'll spend the next couple of days frantically trying to tie up the loose ends of summer so that I can get my head back in school mode. That means finishing up things with my summer job, cleaning my apartment thoroughly, including straightening up my bookshelf and tidying up my desk, getting parking permits for school, etc. Ahhh, so much to do, so little time.

On the good side, I am still reading the renal chapter in Robbins, and it's making a lot of sense. I also bought the corresponding flashcards and going through them, I really like them. So just to tell you a side story, I am a flashcard junkie so I have all these flashcards...Microcards, Lange Pharmacology, Robbins Pathology Flashcards, Pharmnemonics, and my favorite so far...Netter's Anatomy. During first year, I used Netter's A LOT; I would take them to the gym and do them on the elliptical, between classes, etc. The great thing about these cards is that they are sturdy, and they have a hole punched in them so you can put them on a binder ring (which it actually came with, and for US med students, if you joing the national AMA you get these cards for free). The binder ring keeps them in order and prevents you from losing them, so they are super versatile. So back to my original story, I noticed I wasn't really utilizing my gazillion flashcards, and realized it was because they were so cumbersome to take around (can you imagine taking that two pound box of Robbins Pathology to the gym?) Anyway, I got this bright idea to hole punch them all. Of course, this is not a job I would tackle myself, this is one for the pros! I took them to FedEx, and when the guy saw how much flashcards I had I swear his eyes popped out of his head. Anyway, he looked at the cards and pronounced it would be quite difficult to punch them without punching through the text. Then he started whistling and got out his ruler and started measuring, you would think it was the highlight of his day to figure out how to punch holes in the cards. Anyway, he said he could do it and I could come pick them up later in the afternoon. Now, this is over 500 individual cards we're talking about, so I was like how much is this going to cost. He said don't worry about it, it won't be much. Anyway, I went back that evening, and all my cards were perfectly punched. Guess how much it cost? Zero dollars! The guy happily proclaimed it was "a labor of love" and handed me my cards. I didn't question it, just gladly thanked him, took my cards and lit outta there. Now, my Robbins card are much more manageable and I'm about halfway through the renal stack. Man, am I ever grateful for little treats that life hands out!

So back to the topic of this post...time. I came across this great quote on, posted by someone who saw it on another site, so who knows who originally wrote it. Anyway, I think it's great so I'd like to share it with you.

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!!!!!! Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow".
You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success !!!

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.
Remember that time waits for no one.
So, let's you and me both make the best use of our time, and make every millisecond count.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer's end draws nigh...

First let me say I had a wonderful summer. I went on a cell phone- free, email -free vacation for a week, and it was pure heaven. I also did research with a neurosurgeon, and fingers crossed I may get a publication out of it (if not, I still had a great experience and made some wonderful contacts). So all in all, I had a productive summer. This week was my last week as a full time researcher, so it was quite hectic as I scrambled to wrap up everything. I still have stuff to do, so I'll be putting in a few hours per week over the next few weeks to finish up.
This summer I also tried to figure out the best way to approach studying for the boards. I came across all sorts of stuff (most on SDN); one was the infamous Taus method ( ) that I never heard of until this summer. It seems pretty sound and something I'll likely use, although I'll modify it to suit  my study style. The other is Gunner training  I mention it because they are offering a free trial so it's definitely worth it to check it out to see if it fits your study style. (Thanks for the heads up Jessica!). I haven't gone through it fully as yet, so I can't comment on it. WikiTestPrep also looks like a site I'll visit frequently; they have a bunch of questions that can be organized by systems. On a lighter note, I also discovered this super funny blog, I swear this post is one of the funniest things I've seen in a while, and so true!
So my other goal for the summer was to pre-read for Renal. I started off reading the text for the class (Renal Pathophysiology); about a third of the way in I realized I wasn't retaining anything and needed to do something else. I am happy to say I read the renal chapter in Costanzo Physiology, annotated most of the chapter in FA, and am now reading the renal chapter in Robbins. I must say, Path is so much more fun to read than Physiology; that one chapter of Costanzo took me so long to get through. Of course, I am also a slow reader and get easily distracted, so that may have been part of the problem. Costanzo Physiology is a great book, well written and very straightforward. By the time I got to the end of the chapter I realize some things were repeated multiple times, so they actually stuck. I also have Costanzo BRS Phys which everyone swears by for the boards. However, I don't do well with bullet points, I need to have stuff explained. So for classes I'll use the text, then when I get ready for serious boards I'll use BRS. I'll also do the end of chapter questions in BRS within the next few days also.
I haven't had a chance to review any of the material from first year, but I will try and do even a little bit before classes start. In particular, I would like to annotate the Cardio, Respiratory, and Biochem chapter in FA. I'm not sure how manageable that is is the amount of time I have, but I'll try.
Anyway, off to troll on SDN and read Robbins...