The Coffee Effect

Bored? Love coffee? Want to improve your next timed mile? Look here for an interesting read in the New York Times citing coffee as a performance enhancer. 

Side note: I'm always curious of those people who can make it through the day without a cup of joe. You don't drink coffee? Tea? Why not?!? I guess I started really drinking coffee in high school, it seemed cool, and then in college I discovered Starbucks and the Carmel Macchiato. Those kept me awake through many hours of lecture.  I can skip breakfast but I cannot skip my morning coffee. Does that make me an addict, probably...

I can't say that I've been running many 5Ks since I came to Grenada, okay I confess, I haven't run at all, or gone to the gym, even once... But that's another post.  However, I study with coffee does that count? And in my previous life would work out with coffee. I didn't see anything odd about finishing my afterwork iced coffee while on the treadmill. I never gave it any thought but I guess it improved my ability to run too. How neat!  As for right now, the only thing coffee is improving is my ability to stay awake during lecture...


Don't Study with a Migraine

Now there are probably many reasons while its a bad idea to study when your head is throbbing. For starters the light is too bright, in fact you can see the fluorescent light flickering from across the room, that the sound of the ant crawling on the floor is annoying you and you can smell someone, somewhere cooking something that is making you want to be sick... However, while a perfectly quiet and dark room with A/C would have been nice, somehow I decided to take some drugs and soldier through. After all the pain was somewhat relieved and I should be able to deal with the rest, right? 

A look at my notes the next day suggests differently. I was outlining biochem. Somehow I'd turned the mutagen, nitrous acid into nitric oxide. Now, I have to Wiki this because I swear NO is an important drug, a brochodilator, component of Viagra, etc, etc. So how is it a carcinogen? Well its not, at least not unless you have chronic exposure of it, according to Wiki. So I go back to my real notes and low and behold, the mutagen that Dr. C wanted to teach us about was nitrous acid. (Which I would stay away from btw, that bacon you had for breakfast, just may increase your chance of  colorectal cancer.) So, I'm pretty sure I made a few other such errors. (And considering I took my Histo midterm while in a similar state I guess I should be estactic that I actually passed that exam. Yikes!) So now I have to redo the migraine study lecture and see what fun things I may have created in my semi-lucid state. So the moral of the story, don't study with a migraine.  Or else you may confuse yourself.

In, other developments, Match Day was last Thursday. Congrats to all who matched. In case you don't know the Match is when you find out where you will be doing your residency. It is a big deal for 4th year medical students as it determines where you will be working and living for the next 3, 4 or 5 years and I'll have more to say on this later. But I was a little disappointed that there was no mention of Match Day at SGU. I know we are kind of separated from our 3rd and 4th year classmates as they are in the US and UK doing rotations but I guess I expected the website to be updated with the list, or something. But no, I had to dig around and wait several days before I could even find the link. If you are curious, SGU's match list is here. I'm surprised that out of 400, only 1 was neurology... I don't think its become the new dermatology in the the last year, but only 1/400, odd.  For an interesting read about Match Day, and one of my new favorite blogs (not because she calls herself Dr. Icedlatte, but it doesn't hurt) look here.

That's all I've got. Time to tackle the day, hopefully without the migraine. Until next time...


Liming is not studying

So, since midterms I have had a hard time motivating myself to study.  But I before I continue, first some definitions. In Grenada (and the Caribbean) the term "liming" refers to hanging out, chillin', doing nothing productive, socializing, etc. One explanation for this term is that the islands use to have large lime farms and those that worked on these farms were "limers", evidently much of their job required sitting around and hence when in the Carib, one is liming. 

So, back to this week: I think that I have mastered the art of liming. Studying, not so much but liming, check! Monday-Rituals coffee house while I tried to study but mostly skyped and chatted with friends on line, Tuesday-beach in AM and a real movie theatre in the PM, Wednesday- field trip to pet store with A after a long lunch causing us to miss half of histology lecture, Thursday- couldn't find anyone to do anything with and was already at Mocha after my anatomy review group so I actually studied, Friday- went to the village of Gouyave on the other side of the island for Fish Friday. Tomorrow is Sandblast which I believe is just a party on the beach... but I'll fill you in later.  So one week into the second half of the term and I'm a few lectures behind, I guess that is what Sunday is for. Liming does not equal studying, but it is fun!


Island Time

I know I haven't posted lately, and I'm sorry... I'm going to use the excuse of midterms. That and I'm on island time... If you have ever been to an island, and I don't think it matters which one or where, you will know what I am talking about. Life on an island (save Long Island which doesn't count since just an overgrown suburb of NYC) is a little less hectic and a little less punctual than the mainland. Grenada is no exception and as an upper termer told me the first week here, "nothing will ever start on time except for your classes and tests."  I've been here for two months and I am half way done with first semester and I feel as if I've pretty much adjusted by now. I know what to expect from the exams and I know not to stress over the fact that the bus is late or the service slow. I came home from class today and discovered that my window had been fixed. (See previous post.) No more howling wind... how peaceful my apartment will be now.

In other news, I survived midterms and actually had a whole weekend to go to the beach (twice!), read a book, get a pedicure and buy a pair of shoes. Not to mention dance at Bananas, bake an apple pie, make dinner for some friends, drink wine and watch a movie. The weekend was so nice I'm not sure if I remember how to study or sit through lectures. I needed coffee and candy to stay awake during histo and biochem. Now I'm enjoying a nice latte at Rituals and thinking of things to do besides review the fours hours of lecture I had today... But I'm in med school, so there's no time for Island time,  I guess its back to the grind.... at least I have my latte. Let's see, do I want to study protein transcription or renal histology or maybe pre-read for anatomy tomorrow, I'm sure the pelvic wall is fascinating. Oh the decisions...