Sweet Summer

Hello everyone!

Does anyone else know the song “Sweet Summer” by Diamond Rio? You know the lines;

Even though I was out of school
I was learnin’ a lot

Well, those two lines sum up how I feel about this summer so far! So far my summer has consisted of the Puebla Service Project, my first IPPE, my internship with the Public Health Service, and more vacations time than I have had in a very long time! So what have I been learning from all of these experiences?

1) How to live on bottled water

The summer started with me heading off on the the Puebla Service Project. At the time, it was not big deal to drink out of bottled water-it was only for one week and it was either drink the bottled water or get sick! Upon my return home, I immediately headed off to my IPPE location; Thief River Falls. Well it turns out that there is tons of Iron in the water there (the water where I was staying literally had an orange/brownish tint to it). The lady I stayed with didn’t even drink the water and at my IPPE site we had the big five gallon water jugs for the break room. Currently I am staying at my aunt and uncle’s house-and while the water there was certainly drinkable, it has a gross taste to it, so I chose to drink bottled water. Then, when I went on a camping trip to Blue Mound State Park for a weekend camping trip with friends, we were greeted by this sign:


At this point it is beginning to feel normal to drink bottled water, and I have a feeling it will take some time when I get back to school before it feels normal to drink water from the tap. (Update; it still doesn’t feel normal-I have to keep reminding myself that I can drink water from the tap).

2) Sam Brown and the Browns Valley area-the Paul Revere of MN; Big stone lake state park, Agriculture

The first weekend I was out here was Browns Valley Days. For the first time I learned about the Paul Revere of Minnesota; Sam Brown-seriously, why did we never learn about this man when learning Minnesota history in middle school? I have also enjoyed visiting Big Stone Lake State Park, and attending a Threshing Bee with my aunt and uncle.

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3) How to navigate the “blue screen”

We’ve all seen pictures of old computers with the blue blackground and white text across the screen (or from when our computers decide to crash).  Well, both my IPPE site and the IHS still use this old system, so I have spent a lot of time getting used to navigating it. I am finally starting to get used to it, though I still have to ask how to do things in it at least once a day it seems.

4) CPR

While I have been certified in CPR since I was 16, this summer I became a CPR instructor for AHA! I am looking forward to getting to teach CPR to other pharmacy students!

5) Just Give Them a Pickle!

As part of my internship with the IHS this summer, I had to attend a yearly training that covered items such as employee safety, emergency weather protocols (for when things like this storm happen-I was glad to be out of town during that one!), and customer service.  For the customer service portion; we talked about the “Just Give Them a Pickle” video, which everyone else had seen except me, so of course I had to go home and look it up. I thought it was pretty great and worth sharing!

6) Wall Drug

One cannot go on a road trip across South Dakota with out stopping at one of the most famous drug stores in the U.S. What started out as a pharmacy has now turned into a popular tourist attraction after the original owner started offering a free cup of water to thirsty travelers. While I wouldn’t really call it a pharmacy anymore; it was cool to look at their display of old pharmacy objects and medicines. And of course we had to get our free cup of water!

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7) Living without Internet

Even though I grew up without internet access at home, this was still much harder than I thought it would be! For one, I had assignments that needed to be submitted during my IPPE. Second, the number of e-mails from the College and classmates during the summer was way higher than I was expecting; despite school being out, a lot of planning for events during the school year is still going on.

8) The Legend of Crazy Horse

On my trip to the Black Hills, my favorite site was definitely the Crazy Horse Memorial. Since I was working at an IHS facility for the summer, I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Native American culture! I also really enjoyed the light show that they put on every night.  In fact, the Heads were kind of a let down after the Crazy Horse Memorial.

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9) Physiology

As PD2s we have to take a Physiology assessment so I spent a lot of my time when I was driving listening to some of my old Anatomy & Physiology lectures.

10) Summer is sweet, but home is sweeter.

What can I say, I missed seeing my Pharmily this summer, and can’t wait to catch up with everyone! Three months is too long to go without seeing any of these lovely faces!

100 days of Summer

Hello Blog-Readers!

I may have promised a bit more documentation of my summer than what you got,  but let’s just say summer happened and got in my way.   I have enjoyed 100 days of (mostly) blissful homework-less, study-less, summer days to occupy the time between May 15 and August 23.  I thought I would give the top 10 highlights of the last 100 days, along with the top 10 things in the next 100 days (which puts us right to the beginning of December so when I don’t include finals it’s not that i’m not superrr excited for them, it’s just that it doesn’t fit into my window).  In no particular order:


1.Going on the Puebla Service Project!– for a recap, click here.  What could be better than friending Duluthians, conducting health screens, soaking in the beautiful scenery and eating Mexican food?


2. Volunteering at the American Diabetes Association’s Camp Sioux-  Here, along with two other interns, I helped manage the medications of the children attending the camp and also supervised activities.  All of the kids described the week as “the best week of their lives” and I am so grateful to be a part of making that happen for them by keeping them healthy and safe.   I also learned that North Dakota looks exactly how I would expect it to…. lots of flat fields.

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3. Gaining some community pharmacy experience at the Allina Ritchie Pharmacy in St.Paul- I had a great three weeks at my community IPPE rotation.  Along with the fantastic and dedicated preceptors I had, I was lucky to be at a pharmacy that had so many interesting specialty drugs for me to learn about.  The pharmacy also served a large portion of hospice patients, who required some unique dosage forms of various drugs that I got to compound! Never thought I would actually have to make suppositories, but I was wrong.

4. Being on top of the world in Massachusetts! My sister goes to college in Williamstown, Massachusetts and I had a great time visiting her for a few days this summer. From hiking, biking, baking, dining halls and running, it was a wonderful trip.


5. Running to my heart’s content- I am training for the Twin Cities Marathon and  my summer has thus been filled with miles and miles logged on the Mississippi river.  While some minor injuries and major out-of-shapeness in the spring made it hard for me to run for even a few miles without hating my life, last week I just did my first 2 hour run a! The difference consistency in training makes. Any perfect day for me starts with a run, so I am so glad to at lest start most days perfectly this summer!

6. Facilitating the PD1 Sandstone Retreat- I had a great time at Sandstone last year as a PD1, reping the flamingos.  However, this year I had just as good of a time as one of the co-leaders of the Turtles.  I really enjoyed leading my group through team-building activities, case discussions and the creation of their code of ethics.  As a first year, I learned so much from meeting upperclassman and hoped that I could also impart some wisdom upon my first years on this day!  Even though Minnesota decided to be Minnesota and bring out the horrible weather, we managed to stay dry and overall have a great cross-campus bonding experience.

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7. Teaching a PCAT Class- This summer one of my PD3 colleges, SuHak, and I, co-instructed a PCAT prep course through the College of Continuing Education.  I thought my days of thinking about the PCAT were over, but I guess not! While it a substantial amount work to put together, it was just as rewarding as I learned so much throughout the entire experience and think SuHak and I provided our students with many tools, resources and information to succeed on the test. I am looking forward to next year to continually innovate the class as we have done this year!

8. Visiting Duluth- This past weekend, my roommate Swetha and I went to Duluth because she had never been and we wanted to visit some of our friends that we made on the Puebla Service Trip.  Despite being less than 24 hours, it was quite the delicious and adventurous trip, not limited to getting lost at Gooseberry falls because we are incompetent at reading map legends, creeping on the first years through the window of the ITV room (lib 410?) on their first day of “Becoming a Pharmacist” and eating cinnamon rolls and delicious sandwiches.

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9. Working at the Hospital- While I had several nice weeks of vacation, I also spent quite a bit of time working at UMMC this summer.  Along with bolstering my wallet to make myself feel better about my extravagant traveling lifestyle,  I learned so much about both how to do my job better and how hospital pharmacy works.  Furthermore, getting to know my co-workers more and the new residents has made work much more enjoyable and I (almost) always came and left work in a great mood!


10. Being in the kitchen- One of the hardest parts of school for me is barely having time to cook for myself.  Luckily, this summer I had some time to both bake and cook, two of my favorite past times. Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Cookies, Caramel Stuffed Brownies, Salted Caramel Short Cake Bars, Banana Bread, Zucchini Bread and Pumpkin Cake highlight just some of the wonderful things I, sometimes with some help, have conjured up.  If I can find an excuse to bake, I will.

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1. Meeting the first years! I can’t wait to get to know the first years and welcome them to the college of pharmacy.  The upperclassman had so much knowledge and tips for us first years and I hope to be just as great of a resource for the new first years.

2. Seeing my friends everyday again!- With rotations, work and vacation, it was often hard to get my whole crew together.  However, now with school starting again, the team will be reunited and be able to primarily converse in ways other than facebook messaging.

3. Running the Twin Cities Marathon! Like I mentioned, I have been training pretty hard for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th.  While I recognize the challenge ahead of me to keep training while managing school, I am already made it this far with training and am determined to make it a priority to prepare myself well for the 26.2 miles.  I’m not going to lie, the massive amount of food i’m going to eat after my race and taking a nice running break after sound nice too.

4. Pre-game football Pharmacy Receptions- Amazing free food and networking, what could be better? Let’s ignore the fact I rarely go to the football game…

5. Apha Mid-Year Regional Meeting-  Conferences pump me up like none other, so I am THRILLED that the apha Mid year regional meeting is in Minneapolis this year.

6. Kappa Psi ConclaveJust as #5, I shall repeat ONE MORE TIME that conferences pump me up  like none other, so I am so excited that the Kappa Psi Conclave is in Minneapolis this year…. just a week after the Apha Mid-year meeting!

7.  Health Fairs!- As an Operation Diabetes Co-coordinator, I firstly cannot wait to educate the community about Diabetes and perform Glucose and A1c checks. What I am just as excited for though,  is helping the first years gain confidence in performing these tests and having conversations with patients about how to manage or prevent diabetes.

8. Coupon Books- the beginning of school means glorious coupon books that chock-full of BOGO (buy one get one) of BunMi and My Burger, two of the most popular and delicious restaurants on Washington.  Stock up now and enjoy 1/2 off  food with a friend all year round!

9. Dare I say it- When it is SNOWING.  Ok, I will quickly retract this statement the moment I have to trudge to the light rail knee deep in snow, but I love when it is snowing.  I do not like snow itself when it is on the ground and makes my feet frozen, but I find something so serene and peaceful about freshly falling snow.  Opposed to rain and wind, which are loud, wet and just overall disruptive to going outside, snow falling is just so quiet and therapeutic. I am also so tired of drowning in my own sweat while running in Minnesota humidity, so would almost trade not feeling my extremities for that… for now.

10. Learning!- Again, I may retract this statement  as soon the moment arrises in which I have an exam, quiz and tbl to study for all in the same day, but I love learning about how drugs work in the body and how they are optimally used to treat patients  (looks like i’m in the right place!).  I learned so much last semester and know that I will continue to grow and develop as a future pharmacist during this next semester.

Anyways, that is all the reflecting I have time for today! I hope to keep you updated on all these exciting things!