Tuesday, September 14, 2004

the plunge

i did it. i scheduled my usmle step I exam. now i suppose i really have to take it, which means i need to actually start preparing. fortunately, i have the luxury of being able to take most of november and december off from lab to study. i hope that i will be able to be diligent and consistent during that time without going completely crazy.

i'm planning on reading biochemistry this month (hmm, 17 days left . . . better get cracking) and then possibly micro next month. then, starting in november, i'll be hard-core, and will attempt to study full-time for the first time in my life. hopefully, i will be able to cram all of the things i've already forgotten (and all of the things i've never learned) into my head securely enough so that i can regurgitate them on december the 23rd, 2004.

and then i'll probably forget 99.5%. such is life.

i think back to studying for the mcat, and i can barely even remember doing it. i mean, i know i must have done something (i actually took a kaplan course, which sucked except for the fact that it forced me to take multiple practice tests) but all i can remember is being really mad at myself a lot because i would take out my books and then get distracted by something (my housemates, my computer, the tv) and avoid learning organic chemistry for the millionth time. it was the summer of 2000, before my junior year, and i was staying at my college to do chemistry research, for some unearthly reason. i was living in a large ex-frat house in williamstown, and there were so many things to do that were more fun than studying. actually, given my location, there weren't really that many options, but you don't need fancy clubs and restaurants to provide alternatives which are more appealing than learning orgo. crappy reruns and nerdy fellow procrastinating premeds were sufficient to pull me away from the diels-alder reaction (or whatever boring and seemingly irrelevant thing i was trying to study) 9 times out of 10.

somehow, i did ok. i didn't get a score that would make a johns hopkins premed froth green at the mouth with envy, but my score was sufficient for my needs (getting into an mstp at a medical school somewhere with a good research program and not in new york city, because i'm scared of that place).

i'm hoping the usmle will turn out similarly, but i think it's going to require a great deal more work, especially since there were a few sizeable gaps in our one-year basic science curriculum. such as the entire course of embryology, for example. well, it was worth it; otherwise i'd be on my surgery rotation right now! a horrifying thought.

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i have been on this total cooking kick for some reason. yesterday, i made guacamole (josh's parents sent us like 10 avocados that had fallen out of the tree due to hurricane frances!). it was divine.