Calm before the (next) storm

November 11, 2013 § 4 Comments

The dust has only just settled after the exam chaos that closed our October and opened our November – and its only a matter of time before it rises again. I’m so deep in that even writing even the previous sentence was a struggle because “tetanic contraction” or “applying stimulus late in the relative refractory period” seemed like more fitting metaphors. It’s week 10 of the semester and we have already had 21 exams – 17 seminar and lab quizzes in physiology, 2 anatomy midterms, 1 biochemistry midterm and 1 Hungarian midterm. And what do we have to look forward to? 12 more exams. After that, ironically enough, exam period will start. Martha, a friend and fellow group-mate said this morning that she is almost looking forward to exam period because at least then we will only have to focus on one subject at a time.

This week is the “calm before the storm”. Next week we have our 3rd Neuroanatomy midterm which includes the cranial nerves, intercranial topography and spinal nerves and innervation of the dorsal regions of the body. If we pass all the midterms during the semester, we are exempt from a end-of-the-semester pin-test exam. I’ve passed the first two, so I am really feeling the pressure of this one. In addition to the nerves, we need to be able to describe each of the dorsal regions, including all the layers, muscles, blood supply, etc. We covered that in the first semester of first year, but it’s a lot of material to brush up on. Let’s just say that my confidence in my knowledge of the material we covered when we first started medical school isn’t very high…

My plan for this week is to study anatomy today and then for this week’s physiology quizzes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. Normally I spend Monday studying physiology, but I’m sacrificing it this week in hopes that it helps me pass my anatomy midterm. After Thursday’s quizzes, it will be all-in for anatomy! I might set aside some time for next week’s physiology quizzes (since we will have those the day after the anatomy exam) but I’m not sure quite yet. I feel like everything in second year is a gamble. You put your study hours into whatever subject you can and hope that it pays off. When it doesn’t, it’s a big blow, but you just need to brush it off and keep going. No time to wallow, this is about endurance. As our TA told me today, “It’s all uphill from here”. So, I’m sliding my boxing gloves on and locking away my pride. I need to be ready for whatever comes at me, accept the lessons within each experience and visualize myself across the finish line.

Here are some quotes about strength that are currently supplying me with motivation. Beautiful and accurate 🙂

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§ 4 Responses to Calm before the (next) storm

  • Charkie says:

    Yep, storm warning in effect all semester. Yikes. However, “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind” is one of my favorite quotes to the point of being a mantra 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!

  • Aida Makonnen Lopez says:

    Thank you Bianca. I have not had as much time lately to read all of your blogs, but glad I took the time to click on this one. Love the quotes of inspiration. Need that so much right now with the prospect of moving the family back to California. One of my Norwegian friends posted something recently that I really connected with in my current situation. “Better to cross the yellow line and potentially crash, then to not to do anything and not go anywhere” Something like that. Don’t think I’m translating it correctly, but hopefully you get it.

    • Buda B says:

      Glad you like the quotes! Mom had a book with quotes when I was growing up and I remember how much I loved reading through it. Every quote made me feel amazing 😉 very true what your friend said, it’s kind of like “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Best of luck with the moving plans!

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