I have a four hour layover in Chicago so I thought I would finally use this time to catch up on this blog that I haven't been attending to the whole semester. So let me start from the beginning.
After a wonderful summer of working, traveling, exploring and learning I returned back to Göttingen. I missed the deadline to become an anatomy TA for the second semester Med students (3x a week, 2.5 hours cadaver TA). It wouldn't have brought me much anyways because the spots were all ready filled with the fourth semester students. To fill the void I was feeling from not getting the job, I packed my schedule full. I will admit that I might have added a bit much, but I am managing it and seeing it as preparation for what will certainly be a busy job. I will have to lay off a bit next semester thought because it is the semester before my first med exam. The main focus of my semester is physiology. That is the study of the human body functions. It deals a lot with physics and chemistry but it refers to the human body and the labs contain things like measuring our blood pressure or having an EKG done. I have lecture every morning from 8-10 and afterwards I have discussions and labs. Besides physiology, we had histology (studying tissues under the microscope) the first two weeks every day with 2 hour lectures and 2 hour labs….every day! Then we had it only for 2 hours once a week for 4 weeks. The histology exam is on the 9th of February which means we will be crashing for that after the physiology exam on the 4th of February. I studied more than my friends did for histology parallel to the lectures in the first two weeks which gives me a head start. So this semester could have been really chill. I could have only had Physiology. But those of you who know me know that that would just not do.
I am still in the student body government like I have been from the beginning. We meet about every second wednesday and organize events and work at parties. The beginning of the semester party was fun but also very stressful at the wardrobe station.
I also tried out for the orchestra and got a spot. We have practice every Wednesday from 8 to 10 PM. Its nice to be playing again. We had a little concert for a dentistry event and then had our christmas concert on the 8th of December. I even got to take home a christmas tree from the concert (it was way to big for our living room but I was happy we had one). On the weekend before the dentistry event, we had a whole weekend of practicing….7 hours each day.
I am an english teacher for radiology medical technician assistant students. They have class every Thursday for 1.5 hours. I got referred there by a good friend who previously taught the class. It is a required class for the students but it doesn't have a final exam. I try to make the classes fun and interesting so that they pay attention. We've played games and I even let them watch an ER episode were they had to answer questions and I brought popcorn to add to the fun.
I am also an anatomy TA for the newbies (first semester med students). In the first semester, among other classes, they attend anatomy lectures (well at least I hope they do). On most Fridays, the come to the cadaver hall and we talk to them for an hour about what they did in lecture and try to give them a feel for the cadavers class they take the next semester. We didn't have this when I was a newbie and I went into the cadavers class not knowing what to expect let alone know what the things looked like that I was looking for. I told the newbies on the first day that I didn't care if they listened to me or not (although I preferred it) but that it was more important for me that they use the opportunity and come in to see the cadavers and get a feel of where stuff is and what things look like. There are two times on the Fridays; 10-11 and 13-14 o'clock. Well of course I am doing both. I am one of only two people doing both times. The professor leading the program was pleased when I told him I would do both.
I took an elective class last semester because my roommate didn't want to go to the meeting alone and I ended up in the class. We only have to take one in the first two years but the one I really wanted to take only happens in the winter semester so I am taking a second one. The professor leading the class is my favorite, Prof. S. He is actually retired but still does a lot for us students (more to that in a second). The elective class is "Advanced cadavers". We are working on the cadavers that will be used for the med exam this spring. We aren't doing as much as we did in the 2nd semester cadavers class but everything is done more intensely and we are graded on how beautiful our work is done. My first area was head and neck. We have a lecture Wednesday mornings and then we go to the cadavers and work on them for two hours. It doesn't stop there though. Any free time we have everyday from 10AM-6PM is spent in that hall working on the cadaver…..every free minute.
On every friday, Prof. S. does a 3 hour anatomy class. The first hour is held as a lecture where we discuss a specific topic. The second and third hour are held in the cadavers hall where we discuss what we heard in lecture on the body and get clinical information from him. It is a lovely review and he does it quite nicely. Its not a required appointment, but he sees it as an extension of his elective class and likes to see us there. Even if it had nothing to do with my elective class I would still go. He is a great teacher and I want to learn as much as I can from him until he deicides to no longer do his extra classes.
On a few Fridays of the semester we also have a one hour long event where we have lecture in the hospital about a sickness or condition and a doctor talks to us about the clinical aspect, a professor explains the anatomy or physiology behind it and a patient is presented and interviewed.
To help me relax from my busy schedule I ironically added more appointments. I signed up for a Yoga class that runs every Monday for 1.5 hours and a hip-hop class every Tuesday for 1.5 hours.
You can see that I am quite a busy person. My friends joke about having to make appointments with me to even see me anymore. In a way its true. The first week or so of my full schedule was tough. I had just gotten back from a summer of fun and few appointments and now I had things to do, places to be and people relying on me to know what I was doing! I was stressed the first week. In the second week I had it down and it was normal for me to run from one appointment to the next, spend any "free" time in the cadavers hall and study from 10PM-?? every night. I sometimes fear that my physiology and histology are taking the back seat but I won't allow that to happen.
Some other events that have happened during the semester so far were:
Orientation week: I actually had my psychology class that entire week but we got to miss one day. I missed Wednesday to get together with my orientation leaders when I was a newbie and greeted the new newbies and took them around town and had a lot of fun.
Cadaver's memorial service: I am not a churchy person but this service was nice and I feel important for the relatives of the body donors.
Aktionstag: We had the same thing last year where I watched the live operations of the esophagus tumor being removed and the stomach replacing the void. Well, this year we saw a patient get his whole (!) large intestine removed!
Christmas market: the oh so loved christmas market with plenty of hot spiced wine and overpriced crepes. A group of girls and I went to the Kassel christmas market which is much larger than ours in Göttingen.
Nikolaus Party: I was here last year as well. Everyone watched Feuerzangbowle, an old German movie that basically everyone knows. Afterwards the city orchestra plays and then there is a show and DJ.
New friend!: Katy comes from Wisconsin! I met her in Thanners one night. She happens to be the roommate of my former physics TA. We have hung out a few times and she is a lot of fun and reminds me of home.
EKG: After having my EKG taken during a physiology lab and reconfirming my extra heart beat, I went to the cardiologist to have a long time EKG done. I have an appointment with the cardiologist on the 18th to discuss the condition and determine if it is harmless or something to monitor or correct.
So why am I at Chicago O'Hare you might be asking yourself (or not if you know the reason). I flew home the 16th of December, missing a week of school, to visit my family and friends. I had so much fun. I took a day trip to Chicago with a friend, went to Madison a lot, hung out and home and met up with some friends. My puppy (okay so he is 8, but still) Toby had to get his eye removed because it was getting to big. He has had a big eye since he was born and has most likely only ever seen with his left eye. In the last year it got worse and although my mom treated it with eye drops, it didn't want to get better. On the 30th of December I took him in to get it removed. I was allowed to watch. I had done a 7 week internship with the vet so we had a fun time catching up. After the eye was removed we cut it open to take a look inside. The whole eye was filled with blood and the lines was completely cataract. The recovery is going really well. I have gotten used to his one eye. Honestly, I think it almost looks better now than it did before. The big bulging eye just didn't fit his face. Now it looks like he is always winking at you. Once the fur grows over and the scar isn't visible anymore it'll even look better. I was glad that I was there in the time were it was done so that I could comfort him.
Now I return to Germany with a very busy schedule (due mostly to that fact that any minute what so ever will be used to study) that will be done February 9th. My mom and I have a fun Greece trip planned for March. My biochemistry classes will be starting 2 weeks before everyone else starts with classes.
Well my friends, that is my update. I will try to post more regularly but there probably won't be more to say than all I do it go to class and study. If anything interesting does happen however, I will be sure to post!