Apparently, I’ve enrolled myself to years of long, sleepless nights for a dream that I’ve been chasing since I was a kid. And as I write this I am comforted with the thought that I can sleep innocently tonight and a couple more weeks not having to worry that I should instead be staying up late and skip the comforts of my bed to study for an exam.

It's been a month since the last day of first year in med school -- first year which was more like four years squeezed in 10 months. I don't know how long the next 3 years will seem like. But let me not think about that now for I am in my grandest summer break to date.

Some highlights:

I was ambitious.

First week in med school we were given activity sheets and one question asked: How many pages can you read in an hour? I wrote 30. I could do that with novels. No problem with comprehension. Well, technically, I was being honest but being stupid at the same time by comparing novels with textbooks. February this year and 9 months in med school, the activity sheets were returned and imagine the ha ha ha I had with my classmates after realizing what a joke I made of my reading rate. With my medical books, I can read maximum 20 pages an hour with 50% or less comprehension. I'd read it 2 more times and I'm still not assured of passing the exam. Something is wrong with my brain.

I've read this probably 5 times and I still can't master it. What a head I have.

I love the color orange after all.

If I were asked what's one color I hate, it would be orange. It just looks so hot that if I were to put a thermometer into anything orange, the temperature would read fever.

Back in pre-med, I never highlighted my books. Heck, I didn't even read them (thank you, hand-me-down notes!). But in med school, I realized I couldn't pass it without reading my books. I also learned the importance of highlighters (markers) and I became a patronizer of Stabilo Swing Cool. Orange, most especially.

My pencil case. It contains everything you need. Stapler, scissors, tape, fastener, sharpener, refrigerator, tv, a house. It's like a swiss army knife, except that it's a pencil case. Some statement right there.

Most of us use more than one color. One for the word and another for the definition. And sometimes another color for superlatives like "this is the most..." It's like coloring your book but with discipline. And sometimes when we can't get enough, we use a ball pen to emphasize it more ,if that's possible.

Sleeping is STILL inevitable.

Fortywinking during lectures.

During lectures, it just needs proper positioning to be a ninja. Just hold a book or a pen and pretend you're reading or writing. This strategy has never failed me. Not yet.

In the library, especially during siesta time, I always have this bad habit of sleeping ON my books. Some of my books even have souvenirs from my sleeping sessions, if you know what I mean. /ijustsoldmyself

You can't afford to get sick, even psychologically.

I only get headaches probably not more than once in two weeks. I have a healthy head. But halfway through first semester I was having them every single day for more than a month and I thought I had a growing cancer tumor in my brain. /paranoid /hypochondriac /crazy. Healthy head, sick mind.

Diary entry.

I can't remember how I managed to get through those days with the throbbing headache, plus I was burping eternally due to my gut problems. I was already looking for a neurologist to have my head checked when I the  little remaining sanity of mine told me I should see an eye doctor first. So I went to see an ophthalmologist and he said I'm just stressed and that I should take a break so take a break I did. I spent the entire weekend not reading a single page which was like suicide for my grades but what the heck, I need to get my normal head back, and it actually worked.

Innards are not so gross.

First day with our group's cadaver, who we named Rose (and still with a wedding ring, mind you), we were so scared. We handled her so gently like she was fragile but really, she's stiff as a bark. We wore gowns, masks, goggles (to keep the formalin from our eyes), and most importantly, gloves. Then we were instant butchers. Whatever happened to handling her gently. We still prayed though, and at the same time we sliced her body, sawed her cranium, detached her limbs, poked her eyes, pulled her organs out. We got so comfortable with it we sometimes dissected her with bare hands.

The human brain.

The butchers. That's the table where our cadaver is placed. Before and after this photo was taken, these guys were looking for the ear ossicles (ear bones, the smallest in the body) of our cadaver. That's the skull the girl, Mariz, is holding.

Ah, there were also times that the cadavers would have maggots on and in it. What a lovely appetizer, as anatomy laboratory sessions always end right before lunch.

You won't believe the amount of information they want you to know.
You won't believe the amount of information you can forget.

This is so frustrating.

A doctor professor's reply to my journal.

I've tried rock-hard and I still feel like an idiot sometimes but I must have been a good girl 'cos I passed.

This post is in my drafts for a month already. Cutting it short. Happy summer!

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