Studying for Midterms

Today, I walked across campus in the rain to the library, opened up my backpack to grab my books (which were wet) next to my umbrella (which was wet). I will do this two more times this week. It’s Good Friday and Grenada is closed. Every student from every term has gone home to be with family or to another country to enjoy themselves leaving the first-termers alone in the library to study and devolve into Lord of the Flies. It was noon before we had a streaker; 3:00 before someone brought in a cooler; and by 11:30 (as I write this) my friend Mike Caglia has placed a crab trapped in a pizza box on the table with a sign thatsays “Free Pizza”. Hilarious. Of course noone is coming near it because five of us are staring at it and giggling from behind are cubicles. This is why I bring my camera everywhere. People are playing football between the desks right now. My friend Charles is wearing his Dadpants and is telling everyone to be quiet. So that we don’t have an YMOTANA repeat, “Dadpants” are what you wear when youare acting like a Dad.

***How responsible am I these days? I was invited to GQ’s 25th anniversary party at LaLuna (read nicest place I’ve ever seen) tonight and didn’t go. That’s the level of commitment here. Also, how stupid am I these days?***

The library is closing and we’re heading to Street Meat. Streat Meat is exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of guys on the side of the road cooking barbeque, selling beer and drinking Grenadian Moonshine. They have this in every country I hear. Biochemistry tidbit: the reason you don’t want to drink moonshine is that it gets converted into formaldehyde in your body. Formaldehyde is what is preserving my cadaver right now. Bad news.

Day 2 of studython: losing focus. To pass the time my friends and I have divided the class into grasshoppers and ants (if you haven’t read that parable, go read that parable). The grasshoppers started off ok, but now they’re walking faster than everyone else and asking so many questions about the material that you wonder how they’re learning anything. They stalk the rows asking everyone if they have last year’s exam or a Board Review Series book. They copy other people’s notes. By Day 3 the ants are so tired of being bothered that a mass migration occurs to the third floor. But damn those pheremone trails, they’ve found us again by dinner. Despite the general panic, confidence is high in our class for the biochemistry final tomorrow.

Exam is stout but fair. The ants are checking the posted answers against their spare scantrons and feeling alright. The grasshoppers are not checking their scores at all. Wait for it. Wait for it. And they crack.

It’s Day 4 and Embryology is tomorrow. Despite how bad people were cut by Biochem, they ain’t got time to bleed. Easter break is over now and the library is PACKED. It gets this bad: people are carrying chairs from other floors WITH THEM on smoke breaks to prevent thieving. I know it’s not a word. Embryology is two credits out of eighteen and few have taken it seriously. Here’s the thing: conceptualizing how a zygote goes from ball of cells to hideous monster to slimy baby is time consuming; you really can’t cram it in. Embryo is also the class that gave us such gems as syncytiotropholast and extrahepatic biliary atresia. At this point in the week people are actually losing their minds. One girl started laughing hysterically in the middle of the second floor and had to be brought outside by her friends. Another bought 8 redbulls at 9pm. Yes, for herself. My study group is bunkered in a private room with a desk behind the door.

Someone walks out of Embryo and asks to no one inparticular, “Was that the easiest test you ever took or what?” He got strange looks from a few people who knew better. He ended up passing by a question. Little note: a number of medical schools have HighPass, Pass, and Fail as grades. We have A, B, C, and F (so if you barely pass they really see it). We also have a program called Decel: If you have a GPA under 2.25 after midterms, you drop two of your classes and fall a term behind. At this point, people are trying to figure out wether they are dropping Biochem and Histo, or Anatomy and Embryo. Historically, 1/3 of the class Decels at midterms with the option open until the day of finals. We have all night and all of Thursday to study for Histology and things play out as they have all week, leaving the weekend open to study for Anatomy. Anatomy is an incredible course and really the first time most of us began to realize how dumb we are. For instance, I had no idea how small my lungs and heart were or where my stomach was located (grammar police?). So that the professors could prepare the cadavers for the “identify this” portion of our exam, the lab had to be closed a day before. That last night of availability, students were everywhere poking through other people’s bodies and interrupting review groups. Walking around, you could hear wrong answers everywhere.

STRANGEST THING HAPPENS: Library is dead Sunday night. Arguably our hardest exam is tomorrow and the place is EMPTY! We are beside ourselves. There isn’t a grasshopper in the building. We all get together in the middle of the floor and have one large open review where we ask any question we want and get the right answer. It’s fantastic and, more than that, fun. Everyone is happy with how they preform the next day. Out at dinner I see Morgan Freeman and say “hello”. Much smaller in person.

So that was midterms. Feeling the anticlimax a bit and missing the high of studying. This weekend a number of people are flying to Barbados, Margarita or Trinidad to live it up and keep the party going.

***How responsible am I these days? I was invited to Barbados this weekend for a surfing trip and am not going. That’s the level of commitment here. Also, how stupid am I these days?***

Very stupid, topher.

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2 Responses to Studying for Midterms

  1. Noob Student says:

    wow. they separated embryo from anatomy back then? that would have been nice. they combine the two subjects now.

  2. anon says:

    umm midterms suck and so does exam week before spring break!!!

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