Quick End of Semester Update

Took the final exams in my biology II lecture and lab.  I was a little disappointed with how much our course didn’t cover – no discussion of nerves, the brain or nervous systems, muscles, bones, or immune system.  I wound up with an A in both classes, which is good, but I’m still not too happy that our professor chose to omit half the anatomy and physiology that I can expect to see on the MCAT.  It was a little bit funny, actually, since she insisted that it was important to spend 3 weeks of a summer class on botany and ecology since both were on the MCAT – they aren’t.  It’s not like the AAMC tries to keep the MCAT content a secret.

I have three weeks before the fall semester starts, which is shaping up to be probably one of the busiest periods of my life.  Here’s a look at what is in the works, for all you people actually interested in what a non-trad’s life as a pre-med looks like:

  • Organic chemistry lecture and lab – Monday and Wednesday evenings and a Saturday morning lab until noon.
  • Teaching assistant for GB1 lectures – should be easy, since all I have to do is sit in on lectures and grade quizzes and exams.  Professor is the same one I had in the spring and has become a pretty good friend over the past couple months.  I figure it’ll be good review for the MCAT next summer.  Good chance that I’ll TA for him when he teaches GB2 in the spring, which will be an enormous help since half the material will be new for me.  I like teaching a lot, so I’m looking forward to this.
  • Trying to find a way to volunteer a weekend evening a week in a hospital – I got my EMT certification about 6 months ago and I want to find a place to use it somewhere so that I don’t lose it.
  • Working full-time during the day and trying not to let my employer know I’m planning to apply to medical school in two years, lest I become RIF-bait.  That would certainly rain on my parade.
  • Finishing up a paper for work which was accepted for publication at an aerospace conference – my first publication and actually a pretty big deal for me, since I don’t have a research advisor or a graduate degree.  Hoping to have it completed by the end of September before organic chemistry gets all fast and furious.
  • Would like to leave some space to ride my bike some, but riding hasn’t been easy this summer and I don’t expect it to get any better this fall.

Actually, now that I list things out, it doesn’t look all that bad, although I’m sure I’ll be busy.  My plan is to put in a couple of hours of studying for organic chemistry every night and then work on the lab reports / pre-labs on the weekend.  My lab actually meets on Saturday mornings at 8:00 which is nice, since it will force me to get up early, rather than sleep in until 12:00.  I had weekend labs last spring and hated it, but in hindsight it’s probably the best thing for me.  The only other time was an evening lab between my two lectures, which wouldn’t have given me much time to go over my notes or review between classes.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep every burner going this fall.

For now, I’m going to relax a bit and try to prep for the rush – for those of you that have worked in restaurants, you probably remember the quiet and nervous preparations made between the lunch and dinner shifts.  The careful folding of side towels.  The anxious sharpening of knives and judicious placement of extra commonly used items…yeah, that’s pretty much how I feel right now.

Oh, and for the two of you waiting for that post on how to succeed in undergraduate physics, rest assured that I’ll have it finished by the end of the week.  I haven’t forgotten!


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