Summer 2012 Part 1

So it's my first post in over a year and I feel like my life has been long overdue for an update. I may just delete my old posts and start over afresh, but we'll see. I've been working in a lab over the summer at the med school and have a lot of free time -- mainly because it takes me a tenth of the time to do the work that my mentors think it does. So naturally, I've been catching up on all the blogs I've neglected during the school year, and Reddit. So much Reddit. Don't worry, I actually did work too. My very own project! I've been basically working in a new lab since my junior year of high school, basically bench work and wet lab, sometimes even animal studies. But I wanted to do something different this year, i.e. not pipetting and running gels for 6 hours a day and killing time while my experiments run. I ended up in a stroke genetics lab learning some public health, epidemiology and statistics and even though it started out slow (wasted time for most of the day and programmed/combed through journal articles for short 30-minute spurts), in the end I actually ended up accomplishing a bit and finishing an abstract to submit to the International Stroke Conference. Over the summer, I learned how to program in SAS, interpret statistics, and make conclusions about our target population, young adult stroke patients, a far cry from just blindingly running PCRs and gels for The Man in previous labs. In addition, the post was so independent, which although wasn't the ideal situation, reaffirmed that I could do this, even though I always hated programming in the past. I saw my mentor a grand total of perhaps an hour a week, and so had to figure nearly everything out for myself or beg the help of my colleagues or an old student in the lab. It was amazing how much I accomplished when my mentor had the time to sit down with me for an hour two days before my presentation and just go over the results with me. If he had been there the entire time, I could have done twice the work. All in all, I accomplished my goals for the summer of learning SAS, learning more about epidemiology, statistics, and a disease process and risk factors in an entire population, and submitted an abstract. I hope to finish the paper in a few weeks and have it published within the year. Check that off the to-do list!

So why start this blog again? It actually all started with Naomi and Sydney. But it has grown into so many more. My sister first introduced me to them last year when I first started my little blog and what started as a simple distraction from homework or studying turned into a full fledged obsession over the summer as I had down time during work. I started following so many blogs (my newest obsession is The Londoner) that I figured, why not start my own? I've got a different viewpoint to offer. I eat, I cook, I travel, I shop, and maybe, just maybe, I'll splurge on a DSLR to be more like my blogger idols.  Hopefully it'll be a lifestyle blog...of a med student.

Med students have lives? Impossible! you may say. But yup, this med student's got one, for better or for worse (to the chagrin of my mother...and my dignity). All of last year, a midst the study sessions in library and Pods (basically the hub of the med school), those all-day study binges, those dark winter days when there seemed to be no end to the chemical reactions and Krebs cycles to memorize, I still had time to have a lot of fun, build a lot of close relationships with both med school friends and roommates in that gorgeous dilapidated Victorian mansion of mine. I never pulled and all-nighter though, rarely slept less than 7 hours, and still went to the gym at least three times a week, so I hope to maintain my sanity this year too. Even though second year is supposed to be harder, I still hope to be able to do fun things fairly often and will hopefully blog about it to you, my nonexistent readers. Unlike a lot of my friends, I am of the mindset that life can't be put on hold just because you're in medical school. These are supposed to be the best years of our lives! Let's live it up.

Here's a snapshot of what I did the first half of my summer:

Sailabration (200th anniversary of the War of 1812) in Baltimore
My BFF pelican and her bf came to visit!
Jazz in the Garden, DC

 Bridal shower for one of our oldest friends

Family trip to Bermuda
  Fine dining at Ascott's, Bermuda

 Beautiful Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda


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