Saturday, April 22, 2017

Final Days

It's my last post of the program and I cannot believe how quickly these months have past. July seemed like yesterday when I arrived, bright-eyed to New Orleans. Since then, I have made great friends and lived alone. I have learned fantastic study techniques and challenged myself with difficult coursework. The Tulane Pharmacology staff and medical school community have taught me the values of caring for one another and pursuing progression in the scientific field.

New Orleans is a small, big town filled with many characters from all walks of life. No matter the socioeconomic status, race, religion or career, everyone in the city is friendly and has a zest for life. (and a zest for crawfish- which I had so much of at the Pharm department crawfish boil this month!)

I was first involved with tutoring for the New Orleans Science and Mathematics Charter High School. There, I mentored students in an upper biology course and assisted in classroom experiments. Many of the students were keen on learning about science, but needed aid in how to approach topics. A few were not as interested and needed motivation, but proved to have fantastic academic prowess. I am delighted that I was able to use my own knowledge to better these children and connect with them on a personal level as well.

In November, I started volunteering regularly at the Ozanam Inn homeless shelter. It is a bit closer to my home downtown as I do not have a car and our schedule in the program tends to vary. I have made close connections with these men who come from various backgrounds: prison, foster homes, living on the streets. They are extremely kind and love to joke in each other's company, and are welcoming to all of the volunteers and medical students who come to assist. I enjoy relieving them from their daily duties and assisting in food handouts whenever possible so that they can have a break from being up since 5am.

The volunteering, academic duties and social engagements that I have had here are unparalleled.
I thank Tulane for allowing me to have a memorable and successful year.

Hours this month: 13
Total hours this semester: 30
Total hours this school year: 60

Sunday, March 26, 2017


No quirky or cutesy title this month as it was simply March. Our NBME SHELF exam occurred last week as well as two block exams during the month.

Unfortunately, I have realized how close we are to the end. There is a little over a month left before the Pharmacology program concludes and my time in New Orleans comes to a close. It's fair to say that I am saddened by this realization and am hoping to maximize the time that I have left in the city..

I am currently in the Rudolph Matas library studying for the second to last Cell Control exam and thinking about how to prepare for my Endocrine Pharmacology presentation. This last homestretch will include vigorous focus on my final courses, frequently attending the Ozanam Inn and indulging in the Nola activities that I have yet to explore. 

As far as volunteering, I am continuously pleased to be assisting at the Ozanam Inn. The new group of temporary workers on-site are very sweet. We have quickly become friends despite, our large age differences in some. Many of these men are former prisoners who are excited to re-integrate into society. They have expressed a fondness for this program, and rightfully so: the Ozanamm Inn provides spiritual guidance, physical checkups and nourishment for these men. In addition, the smiles and helping hands of all of the workers (and volunteers like myself) provide a vibrant and accepting atmosphere. 

I can't wait to continue spending time with these individuals and relieving them of their stressful duties.

Total hours this month: 14

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Festivities

First and foremost, I am very proud of my classmates and members of Louisiana who volunteered their time to help tornado victims. Not far from where I live, a tornado struck down in early February that ruined the homes of many New Orleanians. The efforts from those in the community to provide relief are truly remarkable.

February in New Orleans also meant the coming of Mardi Gras. I was fortunate to witness this cultural event that brought together the community and traffic! I volunteered at the Ozanam Inn homeless shelter and was so happy to see other members of New Orleans engage in philanthropic effort. A group of lawyers had joined together to cook a ton of jambalaya, red beans, rice and chicken for those who work and stay at the shelter. A new round of regular workers just started employment there in January. While I am saddened to not see my old friends anymore, I'm proud to make acquaintance with a new set of guys who are making the. Eat for themselves and helping others.

The Inn was closed on Mardi Gras. However, I dropped off parade beads that I caught over the weekend. There were probably nearly 80 or so beads in total and I believe that it would raise the men's spirits. I'm looking forward to the shelf exam next month, and will be studying vigorously for that! The program is coming to a close and we have already finished the Principles course. A crawfish broil for the class, and more volunteering opportunities, are to come soon.

Total hours: 3

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Year, New Me(d Pharm)

I am ecstatic to be back in the Crescent City to start a new academic semester!! While at home for Winter break, I had time to think about new study habits, time management and ways to truly make the best of my time in New Orleans. I will need to do so quickly as we are due to complete the Masters degree at the end of April!

I am scheduled to take my dental school entrance examination- or DAT. It is set for the last day of January. Due to this, I decided not to volunteer this month in order to put in as much effort as possible into succeeding. Being able to focus on my friends at the homeless shelter fully without the stress of my entrance exam would allow me to be the most cheerful person when I am around them.

I cannot wait to be back in the kitchen aiding those who volunteer at the Ozanam Inn. A classmate has also been going with me since last semester- so it's nice to not only have company, but also to have extra hands to assist! They are very kind and jubilant men despite their economic status. I feel honored that they consider me to be someone whom they have good fellowship with.

Total hours this month: 0 (Hours to come soon!)