September 19, 2009
I haven't posted lately because I'm coming up on my first round of tests. The structure of the semester is actually pretty straightforward. There are three blocks with a test at the end of each one and then a comprehensive final at the end of the semester. That's it. Simple, huh? At this point, I'm taking old tests which in theory, "do not exist" but everyone knows that they exist. The profs just won't answer any questions about them. It's basically the med school's version of "don't ask, don't tell". For me, it helps enormously. I learn by questioning, not by rote memorization. I would wager a guess that studies on how to learn would confirm that retention and understanding is probably better across the board for most people when they engage in a more Socratic method, rather than the what I like to call, the foie gras method. Force feed as much as possible. I'm feeling a bit better now about the tests. The first practice test I took in biochem was a whopping 67. It would be passing but just barely. I'm not looking to be top of my class but I ain't looking to be at the botttom either. So after the ones today, I'm up to the 80s for both histo and biochem. To the extent that these tests will be similar to the ones I take next week, that's good. The biochem prof said that the average for the first test is usually 79-82. So if I hit lower to mid 80s, I'll be happy with that. At least I tell myself that. Deep down, I'd like to get an A but that's not too realistic for me. I'm still not used to competing at this level. But then again, I'm not burning the candle at both ends either. I heard some students today saying that they were in the gross anatomy lab until 2:30am. Why???? At that point, I don't care so long as a I pass. I'm sane (that's debatable), I've gone to everyone of my son's football games (even ref'd one when the refs neglected to show up) and I get to see my wife. That's a trade I'm willing to make. I just tell the competitive part of me to shut the hell up. I'm just not a Type A personality.