Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What I'm Up To

Well, it is only the second week of 2017, but I've got big plans! Here is a list of 5 things that are on my mind.

1. I went to visit some college friends in Philadelphia this past weekend, and it was a blast! We ate (a LOT), and saw some pretty amazing farm animals! 

On Friday night, we went to a totally unique and authentic Moroccan restaurant called Marrakesh. I was there once before during undergrad when I went on a trip through my school that basically allowed students to try authentic cultural cuisines (which was amazing not only because I was able to try so many different foods that I would be afraid to try otherwise, but especially because it was free!).Walking up to Marrakesh, you can easily mistake it for another row home. There is a sign above it, but the door is locked! Once you knock, a greeter opens the door for you in what I would assume to be traditional Moroccan attire. They greet you, then lead you to a table (which is actually like a couch). The atmosphere is dark, almost like it is candle-light and without electricity. The walls are covered in patterns and fabric. You sit at a small table with your dinner mates, and the server then comes over to wash your hands before you begin eating. You actually don't use much silverware for your meal! After washing your hands, the server places a towel over your lap, and brings out your first (of many) shared courses. My friends and I had so much delicious food, which included some yummy chicken that fell right off the bone (even with pulling it apart with a piece of flat bread - I have no idea what it is actually called), couscous, lamb,  a sweet egg and meat pie, baklava, and some fresh fruit. And of course with our meal, we had some wine! It is such a fun experience going to Marrakesh!

On Saturday, we took a day trip to the Farm Show. There we saw pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, alpacas, cows, horses - basically every farm animal you can think of! We also ate some delicious food. My favorite were the fried vegetables - it was the best mix of healthy and unhealthy I can possibly ever imagine, and I swear I will be dreaming about those delicious pieces of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and onions! At night, we went to my friend's house and had a fire...in the frigid weather. Not really sure what we were thinking, but it was really fun!

On Sunday, we went for brunch because I had to get back that night to get myself together for work bright and early the next morning. We made reservations for Cafe Lift, and while we waited we hung out at the Prohibition Taproom which was across the street. The food was SO delicious!

2. I'm attempting to soak up every last bit of my break before I go back to school next week. I worked today (yay for some spending money!), and plan on seeing friends & family and going on a little getaway with B. I'm not sure of my exact plans yet, but trips are always more fun when you don't plan and just go, right? :)

3. Even though I want to have all the fun, I'm also attempting to continue leisurely studying. I want to review all of the subjects that we already went over in my main class, Clinical Medicine. I love this class, and feel like I truly understand the material once it is taught there, so I've been following what we have already covered. I actually feel pretty good about what I learned in the past 2 semesters - reviewing the material makes me feel like I've been retaining a lot of the information! I also want to start planning my days once school begins - time to dedicate some time to my pretty planner!

4. I've realized that I may not have it all together, blogger-wise (or any other way actually! haha). So I've been researching like crazy how to actually do this whole blog thing the right way. I want my blog to be more visually appealing, have good content, and be a place to make connections with other bloggers and non-bloggers alike. But in order to do that, I need to figure out this entirely new language - so bear with me as I go on my temporary hiatus from blogging any complex content. I've already found some really great information, and I cannot wait to learn how to use a few new apps! I'll certainly be working hard to make sure I can rock this whole online writing deal while I am gone, you can count on that! And I'd be happy to take advice or any suggestions for anything blog-related. :) Feel free to leave a comment below!

5. It's a little late, but here are my 2016 top 9 photos on Instagram. I cannot wait to see what is in store for 2017!

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Day in the Life of a PA Student: Didactic Year

Hey all!

So I wanted to share with you a typical PA school day. I am in my didactic year, which means strictly classroom time. That includes mostly lectures, but some lab time as well each week. Here is a typical day for me:

7:00 am: wake up, get ready for class, pack my lunch and snacks for the day

7:30 am: travel to get coffee, then immediately to class (or just class if I am running late)

8:00 am: class #1 until 10:00 am

10:00 am: break in the day (I usually study during my breaks, or go get coffee, or study going to and from a coffee place with some PA school friends by quizzing each other)

12:00 pm: eat lunch while studying

1:00 pm: class #2 until 3:00 pm

3:00 pm: class #3 until 4:00 pm

4:00 pm: another break (to eat, get coffee, study)

5:00 pm: class #4 until 8:00 pm

8:00 pm: study at the library, study at home, get more coffee, etc.

12:00 am: (but sometimes almost always later) shower, prepare lunch/outfit for the next day, sleep

...and repeat.

Some of my very colorful (then: in progress) anatomy drawings from my first semester. I used this method to study for all of my anatomy practicals!

My schedule changes every day, but I usually have 3-4 classes per day. All classes are mandatory in my program, and if you miss you have to write a 10 page paper on the material. Ain't nobody got time for that! So I really strive to be early to classes, and at the very least like to be there 5 minutes early to get settled in.

Sometimes, we go straight through with classes, but typically don't get out until 3 or later (but usually later, between 5-8). Most of the classes are in a lecture hall, but 1-2 times a week we get to venture into the lab (where we practice clinical skills on each other - so much fun! but it can also be painful sometimes haha).

my hand: a few days after a friend of my successfully placed her first IV

There is a whole lot of studying involved every day, but I usually take some time off on Friday or Saturday nights to spend time with family or friends, or to spend some time alone. PA school can be draining, and sometimes you just need to sit in silence (or with some background music) and veg out!