Monday, September 26, 2016

September 2016

I cannot believe that it has been nearly three months since I started at TUSOM and came to New Orleans! My experience here has confirmed the age-old adage that time truly does fly when you are having fun. Needless to state, I have been having a blast.

The class is currently on Block 4 of the program having just taken our Block 3 exam two weeks ago. Block 4 covers the autonomic nervous system (ANS). As such, we are learning about the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems in relation to cardiac functionality, and comprehending how a variety of drugs effects these processes. There is a lot of material- our biggest Medical Pharmacology exam yet- but I am eager to learn it as best as I can.

The program has definitely improved my study habits and time management skills. It is my first time living alone, out of my home state, and away from home. I have had to adjust to fully being responsible for my own well being. Little things like coordinating the shuttle route I need to take to volunteer, grocery shopping and making sure to keep up with daily studies seem primal. However, everything takes thorough planning when no one is around to remind me of the little things.

Nevertheless, I am content living in this vibrant and friendly city, and have learned so much in the past few weeks. I tend to enjoy studying alone, but have found solace and understanding in communicating with a mentor who was in the program last year. As well, we have our first team based learning session in two days. I am eager to see how working cooperatively in groups will further bolster my study skills.

As far as volunteering goes, I have committed fully to working with high school students at the New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School. So far, I have gone to the school on two occasions to assist in the classroom of a biology professor- who coincidentally went to my alma mater! The kids are energetic and sweet. I made sure to appear open and smiley while in their presence, and they had no qualms with asking me for help on their assignments.

The second time that I went to the high school, I helped a student catch up on a large amount of homework that he wasn't keen on doing. Outside of the classroom, we were able to focus. Using the book and my own knowledge, we tackled the topics of organism relationships and the ecological pyramid. He was extremely bright. I made sure to encourage him to finish work as soon as it is assigned, and that he was more than capable of succeeding. I am excited to assist the children in completing their science fair projects during these next few weeks.

This past weekend, I volunteered with the Louisiana ASPCA at their biggest event of the year. Nola on Tap brought in 25,000 people and raised a quarter of a million dollars for the foundation! When not assisting in dog care, I was an official photographer for their program and spread awareness of their cause. Animal care is an important cause to me as I love my own dog and am pained to see animals in distress. I hope to join their dog walking and care program as well.

I cannot wait to see what the city of New Orleans and the MS in Pharmacology at TUSOM have next in store for me!

Total Hours in September: 8

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