Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New To Me Finds

Even though I am living thousands of miles outside of the states, I try and take a little time each day to keep up with the news, and some of my favorite blogs. I came across two exciting findings last night and thought I would share some new favorites. 

Gal Meets Glam and Bauble Bar have collaborated on a new project.. she has these adorable earrings for sale and my favorite thing ever this bunny ear jewelry holder. I feel like it could double as a bunny terrarium like the way they do them at Terrain with the glass bowl coverings. 

Kate Spade also launched a new home line and I found a few preppy pieces like this duvet set and sconce that were too cute not to share! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Energy Fountain

I've always been the type of person that believes that everyone has a specific energy about them. I've learned over the years that you can come across people with energy that is electric and uplifting or people who are what I call energy drainers. These are the type of people that leave you exhausted after a conversation (usually revolving around that specific individual talking only about him or herself). Those are the people that not only take away your energy but can impact you attitude and outlook on your day! 

 I came across this article on Chalkboard Magazine last night and loved reading about the different ways that we can protect ourselves from the energy drainers in out own lives. Such a wonderful read and something to always keep in mind. I love the different affirmations that we can use to continue to preserve our energy while learning to deflect energy from the drainers. 

Have a wonderful and uplifting Monday! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This Weekend In Grenada

After living here for over two months now I can truly say that this island is something else. I am beginning to learn that NOTHING will ever go according to plan and you just have to be okay with it. There is no schedule to follow no matter how hard you try and you just have to be flexible. But at the same time these are qualities that will prepare us for our lives as physicians. No patient will EVER be the textbook case, no day will go completely according to plan and flexibility is key! Life lessons of Grenada.

This weekend was really an experience. After midterms my closest friend and I decided to make a reservation to go to dinner. We picked our favorite restaurant on the island and dressed up and were ready to go. We enjoyed a night of good food and good friends and spent some time mingling with our bigger group later on.

On Saturday we planned on sleeping in and heading to the beach for a day in the sun. We haven’t taken a day off from studying since we got here so going to the beach was going to be such a treat and Saturday was going to be that day. After a torrential downpour in the morning we hopped on the bus and hoped the sun would come out. We stationed ourselves on the beach and made the best of the overcast weather until the sky went from this….

To this….

About 50 yards away on the other side of the beach it was pouring and the rain was going sideways. And within 2 minutes the storm made it our way. We had to run for cover underneath an overhang for about 30 minutes until the torrential downpour cleared up enough for us to even make it outside without being soaked. Our beach day was over.

So I went grocery shopping and headed back to campus and came home to find my dorm completely dark. The power had been out for over two hours at that point. There is no such thing as a back up generator either so you have to wait it out. As you all know when there is no power there is also no Wifi so there is no way to study, no way to contact friends and family (most of my friends on campus do not have Grenadian phones either so you really can’t contact anyone).

Thankfully the power came back soon after and I was able to put my groceries away but wifi never came back… all day long, all night long, and into Sunday. I had planned on spending my one day off firstly in the sun and secondly catching up with friends and family from home who I haven’t been able to because of such a busy schedule. But like I said, nothing will go according to plan and you just have to make it work. Certainly island life is teaching me that you have to roll with the punches, you have to be quick on your feet (figuratively and literally when you get caught in the middle of a monsoon) and you have to be prepared and not phased by anything and everything.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Girl In The Know's Dorm Room Workout

During middle and high school I was always part of a sports team and had endless workouts through those outlets. However, when I went to college I learned quickly that I had to create my own workout regiment in order to give myself some time throughout the week to decompress. Working out allows me time to mentally rebalance, do some deep thinking, or some days letting go of thoughts and just clearing my mind.

In college I was never a huge fan of the gym, I preferred running outside and was part of my college’s running club for three years. However, when the running club wasn’t running (ha.ha.) I had to find another way to workout that didn’t involve the dingy gym. This is when I instituted the dorm room workout. Depending on how much time I had in a given day the workout could be 10 minutes or it could be 30 minutes but what I liked was that I was still working out but in my own space at a convenient time for me!

My dorm room workout typically consists of…

Running in place for 2 minutes
5o jumping jacks (repeated two or three times)
2 sets of 12 Push Ups
3 sets of 25 Crunches
3 sets of bicycle crunches
1 minute plank 
3 sets of 12 leg lifts
3 sets of 12 turning knee lifts

Turning knee lifts is something I came up with on my own, I lift my knee up to about waist level while I turn the upper portion of my body to the opposite side. I actually saw someone on the beach in Grenada doing this over the weekend and my friends joked that he had a 12 pack so it must work!!

Lastly I would do a mini arm workout if time permitted. I didn’t have weights in my dorm room and would pick up my Hunter boots (perfect weight if you do enough reps) or a textbook and do 3 sets of…

25 bicep curls
25 over the head bicep curls
25 side arm lifts
25 front arm lifts
25 triceps lifts (only one boot)

I will admit I haven't been the best at keeping up with these workouts with the busy schedule that I have had but after midterms are over and we can start fresh again I'd like to get motivated with my dorm room workout! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Step Into My Scrubs... My Average Tuesday as a Medical Student

I thought it might be interesting to do somewhat of a day in the life post so you can get an idea of what it is like on a busy day for a medical student at my school. I know every school is very different in their scheduling and even in the classes that they take each term so this is just representative of my experience!

Typical Tuesday schedule... Anatomy Lab Day 

7:00 AM ~ Wake up... no snoozing allowed for this girl. The first thing I do after I shut off my alarm is send good morning messages to my loved ones and then do some social media checking before getting up and making oatmeal for breakfast. 

7:30 ~ Ready to go in my scrubs (long sleeve shirt underneath). The buildings here are freezing, especially the cadaver lab so I always dress warm even though I'm sweltering when I get there. 

7:40 - 8:50  ~ Wet lab quiz. We answer three clicker questions and then we get right in to examining the previously dissected bodies... my school doesn't have dissections so we learn a little differently. 

9:00 - 10:00 ~ Imaging and Clinical small group quizzes. Then we move to another building and have imaging lab where we do Ultrasound for 20 minutes with volunteer patients and then we look at imaging files of normal cases as well as abnormalities. 

10:00 - 11:10 ~ We are broken up into groups of ten students and we go over case studies that we had to research and answer questions to. 

11:10 - 11:50 ~ Last part of lab, at this point everyone is tired and ready for lunch but we have to have the most energy now because we get to do physical examinations on volunteer patients. We work in groups of four with one patient and try our best to rotate to give everyone a change to do the assigned exam for the day. 

12:00 - 12:30 ~ I hurry back to my room and prepare lunch, change for class and pack my snack. 

12:30 - 1 ~ I head early to class. My class is over 800 kids and I like to make sure that I get a seat at the front of the lecture hall. There is an option here to watch lectures at home instead of going to class but I like learning right there in the lecture hall and be able to see and hear the professor in person. 

1 - 5 ~ During this time we have four lectures, they are 50 minutes each with a ten minute break in between. The class schedule changes by the day but we have two classes back to back of two out of our three subjects so it alternates each day between Biochemistry, Anatomy and Histology. Needless to say you really have to keep on your schedule. 

5 -6 ~ Finally time to take a break. I go home, eat dinner and FaceTime my parents. This is my one hour break time for the day and I savor every moment of it. 

6 - 7 ~ Time to start post reading for class. This is where you go over your lectures from the day and write notes, read further information and get as much of a first review as you can. Takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to review one 50 minute class as a general rule of thumb here. 

7 - 8 ~ On Tuesddays I have a review group for Biochemistry where we meet with an upper term student and he gives us questions to go over and answers questions that we have on current material. 

8 - 11 ~ Study time. My dorm has an amazing study hall upstairs that I have been loving. There is also another building close by that I go to a lot. I focus much better out of my room, fewer distractions. 

11 - 11:30 ~ Time for winding down for bed. This is so important... I haven't been doing enough of winding down and my mind races at night! So I need to get better at this!! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Encouragement


Happy Monday Everyone! 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and this week is off to a great start already.

I thought I would just stop by this morning and send some words of encouragement. When I am stressed or have a lot on my plate I enjoy going through Pinterest and finding the prettiest and most positive quotes I possibly can. This week is no exception... midterms are officially upon us and this morning I will get to check my first one off. 

So believe in yourself this week, stay positive and you can achieve your dreams. 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Just Keep Swimming


This weekend as well as next week will be study filled. Midterms are already upon us. Just thought I would stop by and share a photo of my view yesterday. I took the bus with one of my friends to one of the local hotels to do some work with a view. We got a ton done, enjoyed the breeze of being by the water and destressed by getting off campus.  I've learned that you just have to keep swimming and to keep your sanity it is important to get off campus and get away from the tense campus environment so I enjoy my time away! 

Now I have to keep swimming away till Friday when exams are over. 

Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy Hump Day!


Happy Hump Day Everyone! 

I can't believe this week is flying by so quickly... thank goodness it is. Midterms are next week and I can't wait for next Friday when I can check them off the list and finally get a day off, the first time since I've gotten here in August. 

Speaking of time flying, how is it possible that October is so close? While it is nice to have warm 80* days on the island I have to admit that I am missing the New England fall weather (apple picking, pumpkin picking and wearing sweaters, blazers and boots). Isn't it funny how we often yearn for something that we always took for granted? 

I've taken some time since living in Grenada to step back and be thankful for everything I have and to realize that nothing should be taken for granted, especially one's health. Between personal, family and learning about health conditions I've come to realize that health is everything and one of the main reasons why I am here is to find ways to help those with health issues. It is important to be thankful and while this experience has been far from easy I can't help but appreciate how fortunate I am for this opportunity to achieve my goal of one day becoming a doctor. That is something worth motivating me for. 



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Views From the Deep Blue Sea


I thought I would just stop by briefly to share a few pictures of the beautiful island of Grenada. The one above is of the hotel that one of my friends ended up being placed at. They ran out of rooms on campus so they have students living on one of the most scenic properties on the island! 



This is the view from my dad's favorite lookout point on the island. The right peninsula is the beginning of campus. 



Stunning Caribbean sunset... some nights the sky is so pink it is amazing. I was surprised to see the sun going down so much earlier each day, just like at home in New England. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Ants Come Marching In...


You might be wondering where on earth this post is coming from... well I have yet another funny story for you. 

Before I arrived on the island I would read articles saying that students quickly build a list of "Only in Grenada" happenings and I have one to add for you. And I can assure you my list is rapidly growing each day. Today though was the most comedic of them all. 

As I was studying in my usual study room this morning I noticed little ants crawling around on my desk. They would walk one by one and I'd kill them and keep working away. Then I quickly realized that the ants were climbing out of my computer, from the keyboard, from the hinge... from everywhere. 

Yes, I said it. I had ants in my computer. 

After looking into the hinge of my two month old MacBook Pro I became alarmed. There were ants crawling in and out!! In medical school your computer is your life, all of my lecture notes, study notes and tests and quizzes are on the computer. So I began ferociously killing as many as I could, packed my stuff and ran in the hot caribbean sun to the library IT center. With no help provided there, I continued to kill the ants myself and found a student who works on Macs to take a peak after class. 

Thankfully the ants marched out just about as quickly as they marched in. 

As I was explaining this story to my friends in class one asked what ants even mean. So of course I took it upon myself to look up the symbolism for ants and found the above quote. I'd say those words are pretty suiting for a medical student like myself. I can't help but wonder if those ants came marching for a reason... they didn't cause too much trouble just enough to get my attention and to appreciate the symbolism. 

I truly believe that there are certain people, signs and symbols that come into your life for a reason and my marching ants was one of them. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Medical School Essentials


I've been here for well over a month now... hard to believe how quickly time flies! It became evident early on in the term that I brought along some essential items that I haven't gone a single day without using. I thought I'd share just a few of my top daily necessities. 

Eye Mask ~ This is a must. The caribbean sun shines through the windows early in the morning. Medical school students already run low on sleep so it is imperative that we get the best quality sleep in the little time we have! 

Lilly Pulitzer Planner ~ I wrote my whole term (tests, quizzes, labs and even breaks) at the beginning of the term and I check my schedule throughout the day. More importantly I check off each day on my master calendar to celebrate the accomplishment of completing another day of medical school. That also means one more day closer till I am reunited with my family for the break! 

Cashmere Travel Scarf ~ If you didn't know it already, I'm cashmere obsessed. Everyone laughed when I told them I was going to be packing cashmere to live on a Caribbean island. But I might just have to say I told you so. The study spaces, lecture halls and even my dorm room is freezing so I throw this wrap on and its basically large enough to double as a blanket. It's perfect! 

Beats Solo2 Headphones ~ I can't live without these. I actually got them as part of the Back to School promotion that Apple was running when I got my computer. They are amazing, I wear them in my room, to FaceTime and in the study halls. While they do squeeze my ears after wearing them for so many hours straight they get rid of background noise so I can wear them and not even have to play music. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

All About Mindset

It's hard to believe that this is my first post after such a long time away from blogging. 

It's also hard to believe how much has changed since I last posted... I graduated college, moved to the Caribbean and started medical school. Medical school has been a dream of mine since I was little so I sometimes can't even believe that I am here living this reality. 

I've been living here for over a month now and nothing about this transition has be easy. And I really mean nothing... I had to move dorms three days before our first big exam and then had a stomach infection for two weeks that I am finally getting over. But time and time again I think about how fortunate I was to be one of the 850 students in my class, to have the opportunity to attend such an amazing medical school and I look out to the ocean surrounding my campus and take a step back from all the stress and just truly appreciate how stunning this island really is (pictures to come). 

I have also begun to appreciate that every bump in the road that I have experienced has been put there for a reason. Whether it be to teach me a lesson, to push me, to challenge me, or to take me out of my comfort zone I have somehow managed to keep going. A lot of my strength has been due to the incredible support by my family but I've managed to become stronger myself too. I think it is important for everyone to appreciate their own strength and to really understand that when nothing comes easy it is for a reason and we can appreciate that we will become stronger individuals as a result.