The End of Anatomy

So yesterday was the big day. THREE Anatomy exams, back-to-back.

Last Sunday, we went through the digestive system, urinary system, male and female reproductive systems, pregnancy, and maternal-fetal circulation, all at warp speed. My brain was mush at the end of the day. I’ve had most of this material before, but not in as much depth; even at that, this class has been too easy for me, although I knew some of my classmates have been struggling. I get into the habit of reading the text to learn more than is required for the actual class, just because it interests me. For the actual class, the professor is pretty good about sticking to his notes, handouts, and lab slides. The class hasn’t been too bad, actually; I’ve wound up doing most of my studying the night before every single exam. Not what I had planned, but with work taking up so much of my time (I’ve worked over my hours every single week since I started), weekends are usually best for studying, which means the night before. Whoops. Lecture is three hours, then an hour break, then a three hour lab. I’m used to having marathon three-hour classes (thank you, grad school), but six to seven hours of the same subject… is a bit draining.

One of the reasons I chose the Sunday class was in hopes of meeting other students like me, who were married and worked outside of class. Many of them also had children. I commend all of them for taking this class on top of all of those responsibilities, especially for those who have never had this sort of material before. Several ladies in my class were/are expecting, and I cannot imagine having to deal with that on top of this class and work going on at the same time. (Yet another reason I really want to finish med school before we are expecting our first.)

Even though we’ve covered so much in the past 15 weeks, I know there’s a lot that we left out, especially after comparing notes with my best friend Carrie, who is in podiatric medical school. I was trying to make this class a prep class for when I take Gross Anatomy in medical/PA/graduate school; I’m hoping that it won’t seem so bad, now that I’ve already seen it and manipulated it before.

Now that I’m not a full-time student anymore, it really felt like I never had time to actually process the information. It felt more like an afterthought, coming home to study after work/dinner/paying bills/etc. I’m not really sure how much I’ll be able to convert to long-term memory, but I suppose only time will tell. I’ve already been able to use a great deal of it.

The exams weren’t too bad, overall. Once again, I studied way too much (even though I started studying Friday night… not my intention, but by the time I get home from work, I crash. Whoops.) The first hour and a half was dedicated to an exam over all of the new material from the past three weeks; the second hour and a half were dedicated to a comprehensive final. With a couple bonus questions on each exam, I managed a 110 on the first and a 100 on the second. Not too shabby. We then had a two hour break before the lab practical. Of all the tests I’ve ever taken, I’m really surprised they weren’t harder. I actually felt pretty good after the first two; they were cake compared to what I remember of my college PChem classes (Thermodynamics and Quantum Mechanics… the only B+’s on my transcripts–and the reason I’m not a big fan of Heisenberg or Schrodinger.). The lab was a bit more difficult. Professor Z is an ex-histologist, so we focused a lot more on slides than I thought we would. After awhile, it all starts to look the same to me under a microscope, especially on the digestive system slides.

As I was handing in my exam sheet, Mr. Z said he’d really enjoyed teaching us. That’s when it hit me that I was losing what friends I had made through the semester, and I just about wanted to cry. Maybe it was just a reflex from being under so much stress, but I am going to miss the other students that I’ve shared my Sundays with; some were taking electives, some are trying to get into nursing school; some are considering switching careers. With that many differing perspectives, and with IUPUI being such a large university, I’m not sure I’ll ever have class with any of them again.

It seems like all God is saying right now is “No.”

So as of today, I go back to being the girl with no friends up here, locked in a lab all week. Joy.

After my tests, I arrived home to find that my husband and best friend had conspired together to get me a little something to brighten up my day after all the stress I’ve been under the past few weeks. I’ve never had a gift from Edible Arrangements before but let me tell you…. YUM! Chocolate-covered strawberries are one of my favorite things!

Deciding that we needed a little fun, my husband and I then had a wonderful dinner at McAlister’s before going to see The Avengers (if you haven’t seen it yet… GO!!). Sitting in the theater, two grown men started cursing each other over a seat. Really, people?? Granted the theater was crowded, but there were more than enough seats for everyone, and these two fools really looked like idiots, making a scene in front of a bunch of kids. It definitely did not restore any of my faith in humanity.

During the movie, I kept smelling formaldehyde/formalin. I didn’t remember to change after getting home. Ick. Oh well.

All in all, it was a good day. Most of all, I think I am most excited to get my Sundays back. One day off campus each week isn’t enough, for now. I’m really going to miss this class because of all the things I’ve learned. I’m not going to miss having my whole Sunday taken away. Hopefully now, David and I can get back to taking our daily walks at the park and start training for races again.

I’m already contemplating fall classes. I’m hoping I don’t need them (fingers crossed for a letter within the next couple weeks!), but just in case I do end up having the time, I’ve already registered for ones that sound interesting to me: French, Italian, Embryology, Immunology, Microbiology, and Human Physiology. I would really love to be able to take all of them, but I know that is just plain unrealistic. Right now, the ones that I think would be most beneficial for me would be Physiology and either Micro or Immuno–and if I take Physio, my lab partner Becky will be in class with me, so that’s a plus. But for now, I wait.

On the bright side, though, my husband has his first degree conferred tomorrow. I’m so proud of him! He’s really worked hard this year, and I cannot wait to celebrate tomorrow night!

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