I’m Sitting Here on Capital Hill (sorta)

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to briefly talk about a fun and educational experience I had this morning at Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day at the capital in Saint Paul.  In short, today was the annually designated day where pharmacists (and students…..like, a lot of students) from around the state gather to meet with legislators to advocate for our profession. Because our one mandatory class today was canceled to encourage students to attend the event,  I spent the morning learning about different legislative issues currently being talked about in Minnesota such as eliminating technician ratios, lowering the age limit for pharmacist-administered vaccinations and giving pharmacist’s “Provider status” (which we unofficially already have in Minnesota based on the work our pharmacists do).

While I was a wimp and didn’t sign up to meet with a legislator to talk about these issues, I definitely plan to next year; I think us students underestimate our knowledge about the growing field and our ability to articulate how pharmacists can greatly improve outcomes to others.  And, I say this in no way as an offense to the legislators, but I think it is pretty safe to say we know more about pharmacy than they do…. at least, in my case, probably know more about head lice, diaper rash, dry skin and contact dermatitis than they do.  Anyways, I should go back to studying for applied pharm care to make sure I REALLY do.

Go Class of 2018! The future of pharmacy:

Legislative days

The weekend of I: Interprofessionalism, Ice and “I should really be studying”

Hello Everyone! I am going to keep this short, but I just wanted to briefly talk about a few out-of-the-ordinary experiences I had this weekend that nicely complemented the large amount of school-work that I had to complete to prepare for the next week. 1) CLARION Competition Orientation!- No, I did not did a typo and say CLARION instead of Claritin! CLARION, I learned this weekend, standards for “Clinician Administrator Relationship Improvement Organization”, and is appropriately the title of an inter-professional case competition that I am participating in.  In short, each team, which is comprised of four students from different U of M health schools, is given a not-so-short case about a current problem (or should I say,problems) in healthcare.  On March 7, we will be presenting our solution to a panel of judges with the chance of winning $3000 and moving on to the National Competition.  For those interested in learning more about the competition and reading the case, you can visit this link (not to mention we are allowed to consult with outside help, so if anyone has any revolutionary ideas to share with me, I will give you a cut of the prize money ;). In school, we are constantly told the importance of interprofessionalism in the healthcare field, so I am very excited to hear the perspectives of my fellow teammates of different health schools to collectively devise a solution in a fun, competitive setting. 2) Crashed Ice! What is Crashed Ice, you may ask? I had no idea what it was until about two days ago, but now, after attending the event, I can give you quite the accurate description; it is people crashing…. on ice.  Speed skaters from all over the world come to race on a course featuring jumps, sharp turns, moguls.  With four guys (or gals) on the course at once, along with all these elements of danger, there was plenty of crashing and falling.  It is definitely quite the spectator sport and attracted thousands of fans.  I had never been to downtown Saint Paul before either, so it was it exciting to see that the state capital is actually pretty happen’.  Here is a pic of the beautiful Saint Paul Cathedral, decked out with the starting line for Crashed Ice.  What is that vehicle towards the bottom of the picture? An ambulance.  Glad to see there is at least one of those crashing this party. FullSizeRender (1) The first ice sculpture I have ever seen.  I think he was melting a bit in the balmy 33 degree weather. IMG_1505   That is all I have for now! I’m back to the books as we have our first exam of semester II on Friday.  I’m off to get excited about some ligand-receptor signaling! Oh YEAH

Back in Action

Hello Blog readers! After a little hiatus, winter hibernation, or whatever you call that thing when you don’t have any school, I am back to blog about the first year pharmacy student happenings in the Twin Cities.  Before I dive into this new semester, I will briefly talk about my break since it did just occupy the past 3.5 weeks of my life.

Over break, I was able to return to California, the land of sunshine (but not actually because it rained at least half the days I was there) and rock the t-shirt and shorts in 55-degree weather.  I have always been that person who complains about being too cold,  so this reversal of roles was quite humorous, me being in summer clothes and everyone else all bundled up.  While I wasn’t able to stay as long as I wanted due to work, I had a great time spending time with family and friends, eating at all my favorite places and running without three layers of jackets on.  After I returned to Minnesota, I worked 12 out of 15 days before school started.  During this time, not only did I greatly bolster my bank account but I also got trained in the IV room which I have been waiting to do for some time now.  Regardless, I was a little tired by the end so I was happy to return to classes.  On to classes:

The first two days of class were meant to ease us into classes.  We have a small course called “Professional Development and Assessment”, fondly called PDADs by us students, that meets a few times each semester to help us decide what area of pharmacy we want to go into, prepare us to apply to internships and create awareness about professional issues.  I must say that I was grateful that someone finally forced me to write a CV, because that is one of those things that is aways hanging behind a fat laundry list of school assignments that never gets done.

On Monday afternoon, we also had a unique event called PED-Rx, which was a pharmacy version of TED talks. We heard some perspectives on provider status and what drives innovation in pharmacy from some of the amazing pharmacists in the state of Minnesota .  We listened to three 15 minute “PED” talks, and also got to converse with a small group and a pharmacist facilitator about these issues.  I think I can speak for my classmates as well by saying it was a very enlightening and inspiring event that reminded us why we are all here in the first place before we stick our noses into the books. For those of you that fondly remembered how much you enjoy TED talks by me talking about this, I thought I would also provide links for a few of my favorites in case you want to occupy the next hour of your life in the most inspiring manner possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVCBrkrFrBE Drew Dudley “Leading with Lollipops”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0H1zU2ytxA  Shane Koyczan: “To This Day” … for the bullied and beautiful

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa1iS1MqUy4  Frank Warren: Half a million secrets

After the nice, relaxed days of Monday and Tuesday, we got back to the grind on Wednesday.  This semester, we are taking Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Delivery II, Applied Pharmaceutical Care, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Skills Lab II, Pharmaceutical Calculations and the small PDAD class.  I am also taking a Drugs of Abuse elective, which provides an example of many of the unique electives the college offers.

Before class of Wednesday, I decided to take advantage of the free “Yoga Sculpt” class at the recreation center. The first two weeks of classes at the recreation center are free, and after that one can purchase a $50 fit pass that provides access to hundreds of classes that semester.  It just so happened four other of my classmates had the same idea! While we look pretty fresh and lively here, it would be a matter of hours before the soreness  from the class set in and we would be waddling around the first floor of Moos tower that day. It’s not everyday a yoga instructor is asked to take a picture of people in class, but it is also not everyday at 7:45 am that five P1 students are in a yoga class together.

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One of the many things I love about my classmates is the large amount of people who are devoted to engaging in fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle.  Almost everyday there is a large contingent of gym goers both before and after class, which helps motivate everyone to keep with it when things get stressful.

Another thing I love about my classmates? The amount of people devoted to good (and cheap!) food and drinks… after working out, of course. Some of my friends and I thought getting through our first day of classes so far in Pharmacy school that went to 5:30 pm deserved some celebration. Most significantly, during this outing at Groveland Tap in Saint Paul, I had poutine for the first time.

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Before coming to Minnesota, I had no idea what Poutine was, so i’ll define it for those of you that don’t know either.  Scratch that, I’ll let urban dictionary define it.  We have

Poutine:
“A Quebec (or French-Canadian) staple, a dish of homemade french fries topped with white cheddar cheese curds and beef gravy (wannabes and some americans have been known to serve this dish with any cheese and turkey gravy). Generally served in a styrofoam container or carton”
sentence: Man, I ate so much poutine my heart hurts!
and
“A dish originating in Canada, which is possibly the only thing they have that will kill you”
sentence: “I heard Jack was in the hospital”
“yeah, he had poutine for the first time night before last, and had a near fatal heart attack”
Both of these are pretty to the point.  I don’t think i’ll be taking on the poutine diet now, but I’m glad I can now say i’ve had it. One bite was more than enough.
Anyways, that is all for now.  Back to productivity.
Happy long weekend and Go class of 2018!

So much Phood

Hello everyone!

Greetings from Minneosta! While I would love to say “Greetings from California” like my fellow blogger Susan, I won’t be allowed to say that for another 11 days. but 11 days? how did the semester fly by so quick? It is hard to believe that we are on our last week of classes.  While in undergrad it seemed that the impending doom of finals slowly built up week by week, I don’t have the same sense of fear this year; while I have some tests and assignments in the next week, I will dare say that the worst is behind us…… for this semester that is.

It seems to be a bit of a theme that I always update this blog right before a big test and tonight is no exception… consistency, right?   We have a final tomorrow in Social and Administrative Pharmacy,  but luckily it is open book and oral so I don’t plan on losing any sleep over it.  Anyways, what I did I do this past week? Apparently I decided I was in culinary school instead of pharmacy, getting my FooD instead of PharmD, because all I did (besides the usually amount of schoolwork) was cook…but it was all for a good cause.

Sunday: Cooks for Kids at the Ronald MacDonald House in Minneapolis with Kappa Psi.  The Ronald MacDonald house of Minneapolis is a beautiful facility that allows families whose children are in the hospital for extended periods of time to have a home away from home. The Cooks for Kids program provides the families with a home cooked each night .   It was great giving back to the community and I had a fun time whipping together some awesome chili mac with my Kappa Psi brothers.

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Chef Bin ensuring the quality of his preparations.

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The whole gang in our fancy aprons  

 

Monday: No one is ever hungry in pharmacy school.  Even for our Kappa Psi meetings on Tuesday nights we have sign-ups to bring treats to meetings.  My friend and I volunteered this week and had a grand old time making pumpkin snickerdoodles (contrary to popular belief, every season is pumpkin season) and Oreo cheesecake cookiedough bars… enough said.

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Tuesday: eat bars and cookies at meeting.  Happiness ensues.

Wednesday: Pinterest what I am going to make for….

Thursday: Bake more desserts. While it somehow eluded me to take pictures of the butterscotch cookies and brown butter Nutella I made, they both turned out pretty dandy.  These were for a bake sale for the CARE for Haiti trip, a service trip that some students take over spring break where they set up a pharmacy for a village in Haiti.

Friday: Day of bakesale! I was lucky enough to see the bakesale in action while giving a tour for interview day! I love being a student ambassador and showing around and answering questions prospective students and my future colleagues… pharmacy is a small world.  As an added bonus to this great week, this past Friday was my interview-ersary, marking the exact Friday that I interviewed up in Duluth.  It seems like yesterday I experienced sub-zero temperatures for the first time as a nervous little interviewee.  Now, I think 30 degrees seems tropical.  What a difference a year makes.

Saturday: Continue to fulfill my role as that friend who always bakes dessert on people’s birthday.  This time it was the Birthday of my trusty guest blogger Keith, so to follow up on Swetha-cake I made last week, this week we had Keith-cake. Keith-cake helped soothe his sorrows after his Wisconsin Badgers had a less than stellar performance against The Ohio State.   I’m still getting used to this whole Big10 football thing, but it is pretty cool watching the Gophers or teams that the gophers have played recently (the badgers and the buckeyes) on TV.

2014-12-06 22.26.00On that note, Go GOPHERS!

Back to my homework.

Reasons I am thankful (aka reasons my bucket is full this week)

Hello everyone! I hope this nice long thanksgiving weekend has been treating everyone splendidly

So I was going to write about my lovely Friendsgiving I had this past week, but then I realized that friendsgiving (or PHriendsgiving for us PHarmacy students) has already been covered on the godogblog fairly extensively.  So instead, I will bore everyone with my cliche “reasons to be thankful” as a pharmacy student post.  So here are the random feelings of thankfulness (or #blessed-ness for those who speak Twitter …..or bucketfull-ness for all my PD1 classmate who speak PHAR 7310) I have had in the past week or so.

Just to clarify, in pharmacy speak, having a full bucket means that you are at your maximum level of happiness and life-satisfaction….but  you always have to be careful of those sinister individuals that try to take drops (or ladles) of water out of your bucket. On the contrary, make sure to spend as much time as possible with those people who can add drops to your bucket (or a constant stream of water with a fire-hose, if you are lucky).

Sorry to get sidetracked: here we go. Reasons to be thankful:

1. Having a wonderful family who traveled all the way up to Minnesota from California to visit me, trading in a 65 degree Thanksgiving for one that featured some negative temperatures.  Not only did we enjoy visiting some relatives in Wisconsin for a delicious Thanksgiving meal, but we also saw the Christmas Carol at Guthrie theater, hit up plenty of pre-black friday deals to get me some real winter clothes and visited Minnehaha falls, shown below. This also goes very closely with #2:

2. Living in a place with beautiful waterfalls that can be enjoyed all year round!  I am constantly astounded by the natural and man-made beauty of Minneapolis!

minehahafalls

Photo Nov 26, 2 08 47 PM

3. Having a wonderful group of phriends to spend phriendsgiving with last week.  We were also celebrating a birthday, so we had a delicious meal complete with pumpkin-pie cake (aka Swetha-cake named after the b-day girl), tater tot hot dish (a Minnesota classic), beer cheese soup, taco dip, chicken that may or may not have been a store-bought rotisserie chicken, Three Buck Chuck and cookie butter.  So basically a traditional thanksgiving meal, right?

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on to the less photogenic moments of thanks:

4.  Having lots of  extracurricular events to look forward to this week such as a “Cooks with Kids” tonight where Kappa Psi is going to prepare a meal for children at the local Ronald MacDonald house, a presentation to a local high school through the Kappa Psi STI-talk program on Tuesday and inter-fraternal bowling on Wednesday.  Moral of the story for those prospective students… join a fraternity! I should have some good pics next week!

5.  Having my disguised dispenser (not so disguised any more- thanks Angela!) absolutely spoil me with candy, window stickers and a stuffed penguin this past week .  I unfortunately devoured everything too quickly to have any sound photographic evidence.

6.NOT having a Biochem test tomorrow.  Today marks the first day in over a month I have had neither work nor a giant test to study for, so it is so nice to lay around, casually working on some light homework and watching TV.  Which leads into….

7.Netflix free 30 day trial so even poor students like myself can join the Breaking Bad Bandwagon (a while late, I know).  There goes productivity.

8. getting done with finals on Tuesday rather than a Friday! In just two weeks and two days, we will be done with the fall semester, giving us a 3.5 week long, very needed break…. I will soon return back to the golden state full of sunshine, frozen yogurt and surfing (ok, maybe not that last one)

9.  Being able to watch lectures in double time.  I am so grateful for modern technology that allows downloaded videos to be watched in double-speed.  Many times it is necessary to re-watch a lecture for clarification/review or watch one for the first time (due to having to occasionally… or not so occasionally depending on who you are…miss class). Being able to take half the normal time  to do this greatly helps out us busy pharmacy students. Actually, I am thankful all our lectures are recorded in the first place.  Thanks to our ITV-guy Steve! (and his trusty sidekicks Nick, Cameron and Briana!)

10.  I feel the need to have some really significant one for my last one, but the pressure is getting to me since I can’t really think of anything groundbreaking… So I will just say how thankful I am to attend such an amazing pharmacy school and for the amount of excitement I have towards my future as a pharmacist.

Go GOPHERS!

It’s Snow Big Deal

Hello everyone!

This past weekend has been a somewhat “relaxed”  relative to many others, which gave me a good chance to catch up on some sleep and all those “optional” homework assignments that have been pushed to the back-burner.  This weekend I also tried to brave the cold and go running outside while it was snowing.  While dodging extremely hardcore tailgating gopher fans by the football stadium, I managed to only slip once and did not experience any hair or eyelash freezing… I would call that a win. Though I’m not quite sure if my wardrobe  of  2 bottom layers, 2 top layers and a jacket is a  sustainable practice for the sake of how much laundry I will have to do. But really, even being coddled in sunshine and warmth in California, I am surviving just fine in the snow… it’s snow big deal.

This week I had a fun event for my fraternity, Kappa Psi, at a delicious Greek restaurant called Gardens of Solinica.  For us starving students, having an amazing 5 course meal (ok, maybe not 5 but close), was an absolutely wonderful thing to accompany brotherly bonding.  There was also a speaker, Stuart Remus from Cub Pharmacy, who talked about what Kappa Psi was like back in the day and about all the great memories he has from his experience.

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This week also marked the last lab of the semester: now on to practicals! My lab this week was awesome for three reasons.  1) it was the last one (so no more prelabs!) 2) we got to make what is essentially Icy Hot, which smells like Christmas 3) It was EUTECTICS! (capitalized for emphasis)- for those who don’t know, a eutectic mixture arrises when two solids melt into a liquid when combined . Camphor and menthol, the two active ingredients of our final product, allowed us to see EUTECTICS in action.    My friends and I have coined the twitter handle #EUTECTICS; considering some of the things in our world that get a hashtag, EUTECTICS just deserves one. Our eutectic mixture was not nearly as cool as the one in this video below, but it was still pretty neat.

The third part of this week that made it so great was my class’s “Disguised Dispensing”.  Everyone who signed up was randomly assigned someone to be their “Disguised Dispenser”.  This entails secretly giving gifts to your dispensee throughout the next few weeks.  Every time I go over to the mailbox area, there are at least a few boxes with candy, gift cards or delicious baked goods! I was pretty jealous of everyone who got gifts earlier in the week, but it definitely made my day on Thursday when I came to my mailbox and had a big chocolate bar.  While it is just a small gesture, disguised dispensers have definitely been brightening the days of their dispensees left and right! I would be down to have this be an ongoing thing;  next we should do Secret Santa, then Camouflaged Cupid, then Elusive Easter Bunny, and so on.

That is all I have for now, but I hope everyone stays warm!

Go Class of 2018!

Remember, Remember, the 10th of November

Hello everyone! I’m going to keep this short and sweet today but I miraculously woke up early and decided I couldn’t not update my blog:

So November 5th was pretty unremarkable if I remember correctly (I can’t even remember- case in point).  But today, November 10th is a whole different animal. Here is what I am up against today:

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WINTER IS HERE! For those who don’t know, that white fluffy stuff is snow.  I will never forgot the moment of waking up and having the parking lot be transformed into a winter wonderland.  While snow is all good and dandy from the comfort of my room (from which this picture was taken), the four minute walk to the light rail is going to set the tone about my attitude for winter…..potentially forever.  Monumental stuff.

Here is the second thing I am up against today:

AKT

Effat S. Emamian, AKT/GSK3 signaling pathway and schizophrenia, frontier molecular neuroscience

Today we have an exam on cell biology, which means we need to be able to articulate the importance of (thankfully not memorize!) this slide above and about 100 other just as scary.  In short, this one  says:  all roads lead to AKT.  Let’s just hope those roads aren’t snow-covered madness and chaos like they are going to be here today.

I’m still holding out for a snow day (so I wouldn’t have to brave the snow OR cell biology), but since I’m doubtful about that, I will just think of day as character-building.

I should probably start bundling up for my first MinneSNOWta experience! Until next time!

 

“Tell ‘em what they’ve won….NERDS!”

Hello Everyone- long time no write! These last few weeks I have been darn busy with stuff like….

Volunteering at a Health Fair! Below is Operation Diabetes at the Little Earth Strong Health Fair:

Photo Oct 30, 6 17 27 PMBaking treats for my wonderful roommate’s birthday (flashback to my food blog days!)

Photo Oct 30, 11 38 40 PMAnd doing undisclosed activities for my Kappa Psi informal initiation.  Where am I?

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Anyways….

One of the main skills we learn in pharmacy school is resourcefulness. We might not be able to learn about all that many drugs in our first year, but boy do we know how to find out the information if we need it! thank you Micromedex! The same goes for me right now: I am a bit too drained from this weekend to write a whole poem or an entire witty, punny post that chronicles my past few weeks, but good thing I know where to look to find someone who wants to have a moment of internet fame! Here is the first of potentially many (depending on how many hits this gets… pressure is on Keith) guest blog posts.  If you don’t remember Keith, he also had a starring role in my poem “Twas the night before biochem“:

My name is Keith Behrend and I was able to somehow sequester (definitely a buzz word for the upcoming Biochem exam) a guest blog spot from Hilary, so let’s see how this goes.  I am a first year pharmacy student on the Twin Cities campus and am originally from Madison in the greatest state ever, Wisconsin.  I went to UW-Madison where I earned my degree in Biochemistry in 2013 then took a year off to work a full time job as an assistant scientist in a university-run cancer research lab. Having been from the Midwest, I will hopefully be able to have a different outlook on certain aspects of living in Minneapolis that my blog counterpart, having been coddled by sunshine and warmth all these years in California, might not.

unnamed1I’ll first talk about what everyone in Minnesota can discuss from hours on end: the weather.  The weather in the Midwest is forever unpredictable and this week was no exception.  The week started being fairly warm in the mid 60s and slowly migrated to being 37 by Friday.

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Having been from Madison, WI I have a vast experience with this crazy Midwest weather and really feel for my blog counterpart and everyone in our class who has never experienced temperatures sub 40 degrees.  I say that because when I arrive to class in just a sweatshirt, I see others bundled up in winter coats, hats, gloves etc.  Boy, are they going to be in for a surprise in a few weeks when the temperature gets closer to 0.

We also celebrated some Halloween festivities this week with the rest of our pharmacy class.  A group of friends and I went as contestants from the ever-popular, and ever-amazing, game show “Legends of the Hidden Temple”.

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 These costumes really brought me back to my childhood of when Nickelodeon and Disney channel shows were actually good, not the Hannah Montana stuff that is on nowadays.  The thrill of having a chance to win a trip to space camp was ever real on this night, as was the dismal memory of the last place prizes.  Upon further research (YouTube videos of old episodes of the show) I can’t imagine the horror of some of those parents who traveled all the way to Universal studios so their children could compete, only to see their darling purple parrots come away with nothing but a box of Nerds or a container of Nesquick.  I mean just check out the clip, “Tell ‘em what they’ve won….NERDS!”

Seriously, nothing more demoralizing than that.

I,of course, went as a Silver Snake.  This stems from our teams that we have for some of our classes this semester.  The teams are separated into tables (13 in the Twin Cities and 7 in Duluth) where we work together to solve drug therapy problems, among other things.  These teams were put together “randomly” based on a survey everyone had to fill out about their strengths; but,in all honesty, I have no idea how it could have been random because  my team is clearly winning the non-existent competition of which team would be the greatest interprofessional (another Buzzword perhaps?) unit.  Anyways, every team was able to pick their own names.  Some of them are clever to include pharmacy puns or references such as GriPHARMdor, RhinoceRX and PharmD^3 (Shout-out to Amanda from Duluth, you rock). Anyways, our team decided on “Silver Snakes” for our team name and we even have our own hand signal to promote solidarity among our members.  How could I not represent them both inside and outside of class ?

A little background on the Silver Snakes from the show though: It is often said that all the kids who were part of the Silver Snakes back in the day  went on to be Division 1 athletes at some point.  If this were the Hunger Games, you could say that they would be from District 1 or 2.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Aaron Rodgers or LeBron was a silver snake back in the day, just sayin’.  Enough about my team pride though- it was just a great chance to get together with everyone and relax from the hectic weeks that we had just had.

There were a few friendly competitions amongst the teams as well.  Hildawg and I were paired together and I think that everyone lost confidence when they found out they would be playing what is now known as team “Killary”, which strikes fear into everyone.  We swept the competition obviously, holding up the high expectations from LeBron and A Rodge who have just been confirmed as Silver Snakes back in the day (Source: Micromedex).

On another front, I have continued my streak of joining every intramural team available and started basketball and 6v6 volleyball this week.  I am proud to say the Hemoglobin Trotters started off on the right foot as we won our first basketball game.  What we lacked in our conditioning, we made up for in overall height, which is what really matters in basketball anyways.  Inhalers will be brought for next week as a preemptive measure because let’s be honest, none of us are going to be conditioning for our game next week.  In 6v6 volleyball, we went on to 2-0.  Now, volleyball is much more along my current conditioning level,  as the only movement really is the rotation from position to position.  I like to sometimes make it a brisk walk to help myself feel like I am accomplishing something.  All this just shows that with a little time management, modulation (killin’ it with the buzz words) and focus, the schoolwork is never too much to hinder us from having some fun outside of class.
I’m really taking up a lot of space on this GoDogBlog but what a great opportunity it has been and hopefully the second half of the semester is just as great as the first half!

Fall “Break”

So the word “Fall Break” seems like a simple enough concept.  Us hardworking pharmacy students have been hitting the books (er, ipad) hard for the past two months and deserve a little break time to just hang out, binge watch TV shows and sleep until noon.  Let’s break down the term to see how much it really applies:

Fall (n):the season of the year that comes after summer and before winter; autumn.

Well let’s ask ourselves, is it fall? I would say yes; this picture epitomizes that wonderful season full of pretty leaves and pumpkin spice lattes that is nestled between summer and winter.

Photo Oct 16, 5 16 33 PM

Moving on to….

Break (n): (1) an abrupt, significant, or noteworthy change or interruption in a continuous process, trend, or surface (2) :  a respite from work, school, or duty.

While we indeed did not have school this past Thursday and Friday (aka an abrupt, significant, or noteworthy change or interruption in a continuous process), I would not go as so far to say that this has been a break from work, school or duty. On deck for next week: 3 exams,  a paper, a pre-lab, a post discussion, and probably multiple things I am forgetting and a handful of other things I totally should be doing. So this long weekend is more of just a nice break from being pressed for time every moment of the day, but there is still plenty to be done… oh, the life of a pharmacy student.

Luckily, lots of exciting things have been happening in the midst of all this school work both last week and this next coming week so I can somehow stay sane throughout.

1) Kappa Psi pledging process: I am not quite sure how much about all this I can say since I am pretty sure I am somewhat sworn to secrecy, but I can say that I am very excited to be joining one of the three professional fraternities of campus! All of the fraternities place a large emphasis on community service, networking and professional development.

2) Phillip’s Neighborhood Clinic: U of M has an amazing student-run clinic that gives students hands-on experience applying what we learn in an underserved population.  Last weekend we had the PNC orientation, which was a great opportunity to see the clinic, learn about clinic flow and meet some of the students from other health schools that we will work with!  While first year students have more general roles around the clinic (For example, I am involved in research and other students are patient advocates, community health workers or front desk clerks), in the next years we get to directly apply our pharmacy knowledge as Pharmcare clinicians by helping the team come up with a treatment plan for patients.

3) Pharm Phutballers! We do have a little time for fun (or we make time at least) so I played on our Pharmacy intramural soccer team that played in the TCF Bank Stadium soccer league. While we did make the playoffs, we sadly lost to a team who most likely had about double the sleep that our team had the night before (our last game was on  monday evening, and both PD1 and PD2 had exams galore that day!). Regardless- it was a great season!

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GO Team!

That is all I have for this week- happy studies to all my classmates!

Oh what a difference a week makes

This weekend I sadly don’t have a nerdy poem to share since I had both school-work and work-work do occupy my time. Regardless, I’ll give a quick update on the week and the drastic changes that have gone on in my life.

1) I officially become a coffee drinker: I have always been a bit tentative about caffeine since I have a theory that I have extremely slow caffeine metabolism that makes one cup of coffee at 6am keep me up all night…. I guess pharmacy school was able to some how rev my caffeine metabolism up because apparently now I can sleep just fine, even with my nice big cup of coffee every morning.  I discovered this as I slowly transitioned from decaf to 25/75 to 50/50 to 100% of the real deal.  Thankfully the CHIP center, aka the Center for Health Interprofessional Program Center (just kidding, no one calls it that!), realizes the need of health professional students to drink coffee ( and realizes the need for health professional students not to spend all their loan money at the coffee shop) so it offers 25 cent coffee all day every day.  Finding quarters now has a new meaning.

2) It got cold: while it was 80 degrees last sunday, just 5 days later it almost snowed….. talk about some crazy moving and shaking going on in the atmosphere.   Since snow is not a common occurrence where I lived in California (though  just to clear up any misconceptions,there IS snow in California,), I was way overly excited about the chances of snow.  While I was a bit sad the snow never actually materialized, I was glad I had this small taste of winter so I could come to the realization my current “winter” coat was not going to cut it.

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what hasn’t changed:

1) There is STILL free food at lunch! While most of the initial come-to-our-club-meeting-for-free-food-as-we-convince-you-to-join-our-club meetings are over, there are still plenty of opportunities for us starving students. One time was the student ambassador training, where I learned about giving tours and being on the student panel during interviews. It is crazy to think that less than a year ago I was the one interviewing!!!   Also, on October 1, the beginning of National Pharmacists’ Month, there were pharmacy trivia, cupcakes and photos with Lucy in the lobby of Weaver-Densford hall.  Charles Shultz, the creator of “Peanuts” was born in Minneapolis, so the Academic Health center has giant peanut characters sprinkled about in medical clothing…. makes for a good photo opp.

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Happy National Pharamacists’ Month!! Know your pharmacist, know your medicine!