When you are going through hell, keep going

November 14, 2012 § 2 Comments

2 days until our histology midterm and 10 days until our next anatomy midterm. Many of us are experiencing debilitating phases of panic, which can be expected as we approach finals. My panic level reached an all-time high yesterday, such that I actually stopped stressing – almost as though my body has a self-defense mechanism in place for just this scenario. In efforts to stay equally on top of things in all my classes, I notice that I am falling behind in anatomy – the worst possible class to fall behind in. The truth is that there is simply not enough time to do well in all of your classes unless you have recently studied the topics or are some sort of genius. I had been avoiding allowing myself to join the “I just want to pass” bandwagon because I didn’t want to accept mediocrity. But now it is clear that it is not really a choice. Anatomy is the most important subject of this semester and should be prioritized above all others. Period.

Skjalg and I have dramatically changed our schedule – from hard-working to intense. We are up at 5 and then out the door to school, library, or gym soon after. At this point in the semester, you are lucky to find a free seat at any of the libraries associated with the school. This is a combination of them not having enough space for everyone – 50 or so school library seats for some couple thousand students – and people acknowledging that studying at home is the least productive option. Yesterday we went to the gym at 6:00. Afterwards Skjalg headed to class and I to the library at school, which opens at 9:00. Though I was there only 15 minutes after opening, I got one of the last seats available. Skjalg joined me after his anatomy consultation and we sat there until closing at 20:00, leaving only to attend class and a meeting.

It’s another early morning and we’re headed to the 24-hour library to study. I’m going to cram for my 10:00 anatomy lab, in hopes that I will get something out of it. During the lab, we are supposed to be preparing our specimens for the final exam, as it is these specimens we will be tested on. This means that they need to be completely dissected – skin, fat and fascia removed, muscles and vessels exposed. Unfortunately, our group has split into two: one that dissects every time and one that studies with the professor. Us naïve students in the dissecting group didn’t realize this until our TA pointed it out to us. With our hands on our scalpels and faces down at specimen level, we didn’t realize that everyone else wasn’t doing the same. We’re going to try to change that today, to tell the other group that it is their turn to dissect – hopefully it goes over well. It’s not fair that they have had 3-4 labs of hands-on study time with the professor, while we do the grunt work, but it may be a challenge getting them to see/admit that. As can be expected, there is a serious lack of good humor at this point.

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