Finishing Up Block 1

Week 6

August 11 – 17th, 2014

I survived Block 1! It is always nice to write these posts a week apart because I am always reflecting a week at a time and can better  appreciate how the series of 7 days came together instead of dwelling on the day-to-day. If you could sense my apprehension in my former post, I hope that now you can feel my relief to be done with our first examinations!


Got a TB test again. Study.Study.Study. Kind of annoyed we had an IQ case. I was also the leader.


Case was awesome and didn’t make us have class! Seriously didn’t leave my apartment. Made some gross anatomy flashcards for the exam.


I did a pretty good job leading my IQ session this week which was a relief because I really did not want to have IQ and was extremely tired. Really a miracle I wasn’t horrible! 

I got my TB test read—-no tuberculosis. I am finally in clear to see some patients. Although…I need to find those patient forms…

I walked over to Severance Hall (home of THE Cleveland Orchestra which is very excellent) for a ticket to see Yo-Yo Ma. I play the cello, and seeing Yo-Yo Ma has been a dream of mine since I was 7 years old. I’ll fan-girl about that later.

After buying the ticket, I reviewed for the exam. It was a really GOOD review. I am so thankful for the friends I have made here, and just how collaborative and awesome my class is with one another. We were actually all in it together!!

After studying, I played frisbee with a couple people. I am slowly getting better at it! The things you learn in med school…


50 minute exam on 4 gross anatomy response questions. All the cramming and memorizing paid, off I think! I am learning so much here it is kind of crazy. I have also learned SO many new words, manubrium, acetabulum, umbilicus, auscultation, you name it! The incredible thing is that this is just the beginning.

After the exam, we had our “first cuts” with the cadavers. I am on a team with 3 other students, and I think we did well. No one passed out, and everyone was respectful and cautious. Our cadaver was a large man with plenty of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen. Even though I had worked with cadavers before, it had always been during the summer after other med students have done dissections. They barely looked like humans. But when the body of this cadaver lay in front of us, it looked astoundingly human. I was uncomfortable with the notion of cutting up a “complete” body. Once one of my peers made the first incision from shoulder to shoulder, it became less weird. In a matter of minutes, scalpels were out and we were doing some serious cutting—peeling back the skin. It was exciting, and it was not until a day or two after that I thought about how bizarre it was to do what we were doing. In any other social context this would be improper and wrong. Now, we continue a tradition started by physicians before us.


The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp by Rembrandt (1632)

I cannot imagine giving up my body to science. It is a strange gift but a much needed one. It fills me with a sort of reverence for the person who was. When did he decide to do this? How sick was he? Had he thought about it for a long time? Even in the midst of the cutting and the excitement (dare I say, “fun”), I do not want to forget that this is human flesh. This is the shell of someone who was, and I must honor it. This really changes the way I approach learning. So much to process, and I will continuously do so.

Weirdly, by the end of “first cut,” I had an appetite  and went with some med students to Chipotle for lunch and then Mitchell’s ice cream afterwards. Mitchell’s is a popular Ohio place. It was quite delicious!


SSEQ (ie essay exam) went from 8 AM – 1 PM. I got out at about 12:45 pm, glad that we had so much time to write our essays. You know the relief you have after finals? That is actually how I kind of felt. I felt…FREE.

I got an anonymous email from my M2 buddy that there was a present for me at a certain location in one of the society rooms. It was pumpkin beer! Although I don’t like beer usually, this one wasn’t bad, and I thought my buddy was so thoughtful!! Earlier in the week, she gave me some Muji pens and snacks as well!


I then caught a matinee showing of Guardians of the Galaxy with some buddies. Verdict: of the Marvel movies this one was the most bizarre. But, the cast (especially Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper) was fabulous. Zoe Saldana is always playing aliens in different colors. If a black woman isn’t being type-cast as a maid, it is an alien or intergalactic person. Oh well. Guardians had a bit too much hype but it was charming.

After the movie, I was kind of exhausted. Too tired to do some serious post-exam partying so I went to Little Italy with a friend and really enjoyed it! It was the feast of Assumption, and the VERY Little Italy was packed with street vendors, music, food, and wine. Cleveland is a surprisingly fun place to be. 🙂



I returned and fell asleep on my bed with contacts in, pants on and lights on. FULL DAY.


Saturday was pretty much just as busy. I took my cello to Cleveland Violins for a tune up. I had 4 open seams, broken bridge, and a loose decorative portion of one of my pegs. $$$$$ was flowing, but I want to try and audition for the Case orchestra so you gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Cleveland produce and street intersections are HORRIBLE. My only real complaints about the place (besides the RTA and lack of opera house). I once got some potatoes that were rotting two weeks later. I kid you not. I decided to try out Zagara’s Supermarket and although it is a bit pricey, the produce was on a DIFFERENT LEVEL. It was actually good and restored my faith in Ohioan fruits and vegees.

I drove to Pepper Pike for a picnic. It was so far that I could only stay for 20 minutes before heading back to Little Italy to pick up some from friends for the Yo-Yo Ma concert.

The Blossom Festival was about an hour drive, but worth it. We were quite far away from Yo-Yo Ma, but I could hear him and see his cello glistening. I could see him rocking from side-to-side melodically as he played Elgar’s concerto for cello. He even played an encore. I hope I can see him play again one day…maybe some Bach cello suites.


Outlander episode 2 was good. This recap says it all:


CMDA took me to Parkside Church home of famous pastor, Alister Begg. Of course he didn’t preach that Sunday, but the sermon was on Job and suffering. I am always intrigued to hear people talk about Job because the analysis of the text really varies. It is one of the go-to books in the Bible about why bad things happen to good people. The point of the message was not to ask “why?” because somehow that is unhelpful. The complexity of all that is wrong with the world cannot be fully understood, and maybe in the time of our deepest dispair, what we need is not an answer to our questions but a reminder that we are loved. For those who are going through complete despair, I can understand how the point of this message may be unsatisfactory. Then again, some people endure the worst of things, and still believe that there is a God, and he can be good. It’s faith and hope. It doesn’t have to make sense.

Cleveland keeps getting more awesome. After Parkside, we went to B-Spot, Iron Chef (AMERICA), Michael Symon’s burger restaurant. It was simply delicious. I also loved their pickle bar. Yummy!!!! I recommend. Also, it was situated in just a gorgeous place. I am pretty sure it was Beachwood and not really Cleveland anymore.



After B-Spot, we stopped by Trader Joe’s and I WON FREE CASHEW BUTTER. The trivia question was about Magnum PI!

Sunday then winded down with a fancy cheese and wine IQ group party. I really like these people. I still don’t know too much about wine, but I definitely like drinking it more than beer. That’s for certain!


This week was filled with pre-test anxiety, post-test exhaustion and then post block celebration. Honestly, I could celebrate the end of Block 1 for like 3 weeks!

See you next week,



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