ISAS Freshman Day

September 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ever since watching Gross Anatomy (1989) with Skjalg, I have been secretly hoping that we would get to hear a similar speech to the one by the head of anatomy to the incoming freshmen in the movie. After the opening ceremony, Fire and Safety and NEPTUN lectures, I lost a little hope that we would get to hear such a speech.

Our Freshman Day began with a 45-minute wait in the entrance to the Basic Medical Science building. We kept ourselves busy with small talk and looked on at the booths being set up by different companies and by students hoping to sell their used books. Skjalg and I sneaked our way to the front of the group in order to get a better look at the books being sold and when the lecture hall was finally ready, we were at the front of the line. We took seats in the back so that we could be among the first to leave after the lecture and stay ahead of the masses that were sure to envelop the book fair.

The lecture hall

In the lecture hall we were introduced to the members of ISAS and then to the head of the English Secretariat and the head of anatomy (English Program). The first two speeches were much better than the ones we’ve had so far, which was a pleasant surprise. The last speech was by the head of anatomy. Although not quite the Gross Anatomy speech I was hoping for, it was close. I wasn’t able to record the speech, but there were two points that I was able to note down. The first was (and I am paraphrasing here): Anatomy holds a lot of information and this has to be studied like a pyramid. It is not a cloud of facts that you can memorize or pick from. You must learn first the bottom and then make your way slowly up to the top. She then began into more of a “rules and regulations in the anatomy lab” lesson, where she said:

No eating, no drinking, and no chewing gum. Why? Formaldehyde and dead bodies.

After we were dismissed, Skjalg and I made a beeline for the book fair outside. This morning, before we left for school, I made a list of the books that we needed so that we would be better prepared for the fair. I didn’t want us to lose out on a good deal because we were too busy being indecisive at another table.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure – Confucius

We already purchased the majority of our books online when we were still living in Oslo, but there were still a couple that we needed. After a second look at the two different anatomy atlases we had already purchased (Netter’s, which has drawings, and Rohen, which has pictures), Skjalg and I both decided that we preferred the atlas with pictures and would therefore need to buy another one.

Beginning of the book fair. Many students had their books spread on the ground, while others had theirs on tables towards the back.

After a solid round through the different book “venders” we ended up with a new atlas, anatomy flashcards, and the majority of the Semmelweis-issued booklets. Skjalg lost his wallet at one point, but luckily enough found it waiting for him at the security desk. The rest of the fair included booths for different companies offering discounts to students (gym, phone, etc.) and booths for different nationality groups. We stopped by ANSA (Association for Norwegian Students Abroad) and picked up information about fadderuke, a sort of initiation week for Freshmen students. The festivities begin with the rebusløp (scavenger hunt) tomorrow and continue throughout the week. I’m looking forward to meeting other Norwegian students but also a little weary of how much drinking and partying play into fadderuke. I don’t have anything against having a good time with friends, but I care much more about having a good first week at school. It would be a different if fadderuke had been this week and not next.

Vendors in the main hall

Tonight we are going to take it easy, go to the gym and then maybe watch a movie at home. It’s been a pretty heavy week. There haven’t been any classes or anything, but there is so much new information that it is understandable that we find ourselves more tired that usual. Plus, we have to enjoy these stress-free nights in while we can 😉

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