Monday, September 21, 2009

Leaving Behind Variation

Leaving Los Angeles in favor of Chicago meant, amongst other things, the loss of any sort of change in elevation. Cycling or running in LA was fantastic. I could be out the back door and up into the Santa Monica mountains in a manner of minutes. I've taken my bike out a few times here and, to the great surprise of no one, the topography is crepe-like. With more potholes. I guess that makes it more like injera.

CMS changed their curriculum this year to aim for better integration of material. That change includes a switch from a strictly midterm/final structure to a schedule involving weekly Monday exams. Sure, that has a negative impact on my weekends, much in the same way that engaging in a chainsaw fight with a lumberjack would have a negative impact on your appearance. There is an upside to this, though. Instead of the absurd levels of stress that accompany preparing for one week of mid-terms or finals with that quantity of material available, my classmates and I face a significantly less daunting but more frequent task. As a result, I find that I've been maintaining a fairly constant (and pretty reasonable) level of stress. Finals week in undergrad usually left me a mental wasteland, which I usually followed with a fairly significant refractory period. Flat may be boring for cycling, but flat is much better for exam schedule.

A quick cadaver update. My initial reaction to meeting my cadaver was a mixture of shock and disgust. That was three weeks ago. Last week, I prepared for my 1:00 pm anatomy lab by watching dissection videos while eating lunch. Desensitization spreads quickly. We've now gone through all back muscles, completed a laminectomy, opened the front to get to the chest muscles, and thoroughly dissected the shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand.