Counting down to vacations!

So this past weekend Geoff and I continued planning for our Bahamas trip this summer. We are doing a cruise that will stop at Port Canaveral, Florida, and two different spots in the Bahamas! It was a lot more expensive than we anticipated to purchase excursions on the islands but we decided to do it anyway because we’re not gonna have many other chances to vacation in a while! 

So we’re going to visit the Space Station in Florida, then do some stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling at Nassau Island, and then a full-day ocean kayaking/snorkeling excursion at Freeport! 

I’m exhausted, will update more later!! 

Spring break is so close!! Can’t wait to be in Cancun! 


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First blog post of medical school!

There are too many outlets for self-expression on the internet! I think I need to just stick to one and pour my efforts into that one. Unfortunately, at the moment that would be Facebook, which isn’t a great outlet for me because all it does is let me see how much fun people my own age are having while I’m cooped up studying medicine literally all day long.

To be clear, medical school really isn’t all as bad as it’s cranked up to be. I have two hours of lecture each day, which I can actually “attend” whenever I like since they are posted online. It saves time to go to class at 8 am, assuming I can rise before 6 am to get there on time and beat early morning traffic on 83. Plus, I get to spend time with Grace and others when I do make it. I haven’t gone to class all week though due to lack of motivation. Anyways, we’re currently doing renal physiology, which is cake compared to cardiovascular and GI squished into three weeks. So I’ve been getting more sleep this week and taking it easy.

Last week I was diagnosed with patellofemoral syndrome (chondromalacia patellae), which happened because a) I was running for at least half an hour every day for the entire month of January and some of February for stress relief and b) wasn’t concomitantly strengthening my quads to ensure proper patellar movement. So my patella has been slightly out of line due to medial quadriceps weakness, and therefore I have to avoid running for about a month to give my cells time to rebuild the cartilage I damaged.  I’m pretty sure my butt has gotten bigger (old friends will know that this has been a secret fear of mine since the 10th grade – but I really think it’s happening this time!)

I’m finally getting the hang of patient interviewing and dressing professionally enough to not be scolded by my preceptors. My first standardized patient interview, when I had to go meet an actor pretending to be sick and act as though I were his doctor, was completely muddled by the fact that my best professional skirt shrunk in the wash the night before. That morning, I grabbed it on my way to school and put it in my bag to change at the gym, not knowing how short it had become. It just barely fit, and I had no choice but to wear it since I didn’t have time to go home. The interview went smoothly and I managed to keep a cool demeanor despite realizing halfway through the interview that my patient was gay and had used his sister’s medical marijuana to relieve headaches. The actor’s feedback? That my skirt was distracting-ly short…how completely embarassing…

There’s a lot to keep track of in medical school. I have to prepare for each and every day the night before to make sure not to forget to do something. Got to get up early tomorrow to make it to a renal small group (the penalty for missing even just one is an immediate 10% grade deduction!) Will hopefully get back to this little blog soon because there is certainly lots to update about!

Cute edited photo

Geoff after napping~


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They introduced me to the “heavenly mother”

One thing I will definitely NOT miss about being in college: having complete strangers accost you in the street and tell you what your religious beliefs should be, and then proceed to sound extremely disappointed upon hearing what your current religious beliefs are.

Today, for the third time since I have attended UMBC, two very sweet people stopped me while I was clearly rushing to get somewhere and to be productive. They looked lost, as if they wanted to ask me a question, so I stopped to be polite, ready to direct them to the Commons or to the library or something. I regretted this a few seconds later when I realized what they really wanted to know what whether someone had educated me about the prophecies in the Bible that point to something or other to do with a heavenly mother. I had utterly no idea what they were talking about. So when the girl finally paused, I thought to mention,

“Uh well, someone has already spoken to me about this, but um, I don’t really believe in God.”

They were genuinely disappointed. The girl said “oooohh no, why not!?” and actually made a pained face. She asked me whether I had read or thought about the Bible. I told her, truthfully, that I had read the Bible twice. She told me to read it again and look for prophecies, and after another two minutes of lecture about things I could not even begin to comprehend, she thanked me and they went to stop other people.

I hate it when that happens.

Do I look like someone who would be especially easy to convince of something? Someone who really needs more direction in life?

Maybe it’s because I carry around biology books everywhere I go, so evangelists assume I need some educating in the area of religion.

It’s very frustrating, considering my long personal struggle to cement my own beliefs.

If you’re thinking about spreading word of your religion by walking around college campuses and just going up to strangers you see, please don’t do it. It doesn’t work anyway. If you happen to stop a believer, then they will agree with you. If you happen to stop someone who doesn’t already agree, you are not going to convince them of anything. And being so unaccepting of other people’s beliefs is, in my opinion, one of the biggest problems in the world today.

Summary of Summer 2010

Ziplining in West Virginia!

Hiking in West Virginia

Overnight trip to see Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania for our anniversary.

Then our Canada Trip!

And Ocean City of course…

Then the D.C. United game!

I always stand on everyone’s left in photographs, apparently.

Anyway, it was good fun!

Odessa Memoirs

I hadn’t updated this blog about my trip to Odessa, and since my last class of the semester has ended and I am waiting for dinner time to roll around before really beginning my biology studying for today, I thought I’d update about that now.

The plane ride across the Atlantic was definitely painful, but sitting next to Hannah on the way there made it entertaining for most of the time. We flew Austrian Airlines to Vienna, Austria, where we boarded a smaller plane of Ukrainian Airlines to Odessa, Ukraine. I was intrigued by the snacks they gave us on the Austrian airplane, which had German (I think) writing on them, and no English.

Mila, Hannah, and I sat next to each other on the Ukrainian plane from Vienna to Odessa. If you look closely, you can see a guy in sunglasses in the upper left of the photo. He was checking us out the entire flight and trying his very hardest to look really bad ass and attractive. Anyway, the pilots flying this plane were insane. The landing was so bumpy and turbulent that I actually burst into tears and laughter simultaneously and prayed I wouldn’t die before landing in Ukraine.

This is the entirety of the airport in Odessa, Ukraine.

The border security guards handed us surveys that had been poorly translated from Russian into English.

We spent eight days doing service projects in Odessa. Here are some of the highlights.

Taking A Study Break

I took two exams today. The first was for animal physiology, and considering I hadn’t studied whatsoever for that test, it was admittedly difficult. But no matter. My exam average, after dropping today’s test, will be good enough that I’ll only need to pass the final to earn an A. So I’m shockingly not that stressed.

I also took an oral Russian exam with my TA today. Here’s what I wrote and read to her:

– Алло, слушаю.

– Привет, это говорит Рита.

– Привет Рита! Как пожываешь?

– Не плохо. Мне надо готовится к экзамену по математеке.

– Хорошая идея! Мне тоже надо подготовится к экзамену. А когда будет наш экзамен?

– Наш экзамен будет в четверг! Хочешь заниматся со мной? У тебя есть свободное время?

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Mirror Ball, Mother’s Day, Birthdays, and finals

This weekend has been crazy!

The Mirror Ball on Friday was great fun. Geoff bought me a beautiful corsage and we had an amazing time all night, even though the DJ was much worse (in my opinion) than the one they hired freshman year.

Andrew was kind enough to take photos of our group! It felt rather like a high school prom.

The girls

The next day was mind-numbing studying day. I spent hours researching for paper for my sociology seminar, and haven’t even begun writing it yet.

Today was Mother’s Day, as well as Bridie’s and David’s birthdays. I made cards for Mama, Baba, and Geoff’s mom as well. I took a picture of the last card because I don’t know if I’ll be able to see it again easily.

Gina's card

Bridie’s mother had sent down supplies for us to throw her a birthday party! It was a Hawaiian-themes barbecue, complete with an egg-hunt, a pinata, and four-legged racing! I bought Bridie a hand-painted martini glass and imported Indian bracelets (I think she liked them).

Girls posing

Bridie and Drink

The weather is beautiful today!

I just wanted to post up some photos that I took today because it was so beautiful outside. Geoff’s mother bought him new shorts and they look great on him. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get his outfit in too many photos. In any case, enjoy!

Erickson Courtyard

Erickson Courtyard 2

Erickson Courtyard 3

In my room

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Идёт коза рогатая…

Идёт коза бодатая…забодаю, забодаю, забодаю!

Мы с Джефом делаем наши уроки, как всегда! Я пишу сочинение на социологическую тему. Джеф готовится к завтрашнему экзамину, но пять минут назад, он остановился и сказал мне: – Мне очень нравяться твои ноги и пальцы. А потом он сними соиграл “Little Miss Piggy.” Он спросил: – Есть-ли такая игра на русском языке? Я ему показала “Идёт коза рогатая” и “Сорока-Ворона.” Думаю что ему понравились эти игры.

В общем, у нас всё в порядке!

Geoff and I are doing our homework, as always! I am writing a sociology paper. Geoff is preparing for an exam [that he has] tomorrow morning, but five minutes ago, he stopped and said to me, “I really like your feet and toes.” And then he played “Little Miss Piggy” with them. He asked me, “is there a game like this in Russian?” I showed him “Идёт коза рогатая” and “Сорока-Ворона.” (These names translate to “A goat with horns is walking” and “A scatter-brained magpie.” Or maybe that last one translates to “A chatty crow”?) I think that he liked these games.

Everything with us, in general, is just fine!

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