UPDATE

Hello everyone!  I haven’t posted in a while, been very busy these last few weeks.  Another year done, and I’m glad this past year was my highest average to date at UBC.  There was a lot that happened, including my first ever withdrawl at UBC, it was MICB 325 (probably one of my easier courses, I’ll go into why further in the post never thought the time would come, but it happens!)  First of all I get a lot of emails about the ER Scribe position, I don’t want to call it luck, I made it past the interview, but just finding the opportunity was luck.  I never heard of “ER Scribe” until I saw the email from Premed Society.  And now I hear there’s a program starting up at St. Johns Hospital, this is great that its spreading now.  Its an opportunity more available in the states, and there should be more programs available in Canada.

 

Now for the courses I took.  I took MICB 325 (W), MICB 308, FNH 351, ISCI 330B, PHYS 102

MICB 308

This course: ughhh.  That’s how I feel about it.  I knew it was going to be my hardest course from what I heard from people who took it.  I expected it to be my lowest grade, it was.  Whats strange about this course is that it kind of takes you by surprise, it does not feel hard throughout the whole course.  I did well on my pop quizzes, and if that’s not judging if your keeping up, what is?  I thought the material was fair, it wasn’t an obscene amount, it was a lot to memorize, but thats standard for most micb courses at UBC.  The midterm went well for me (the prof never told us the average -___- atleast I never heard it, and everyone I asked didn’t know, thats a first), so I just assumed/hoped that I did 5% better based on the general consensus that it was an easy midterm.  The fact that I had 3 other midterms less than 24 hours before this midterm didn’t affect my grade, I kept up the whole term.  Well anyways my final grade dropped like 10-15% than what I went into the final exam with.  Judging that the average for the class was in the 60′s, im guessing a majority of people had the same thing.  I knew the final went bad, it was just so weird because out of all my exams I was the most prepared for this one.  Multiple techniques were presented in class but I don’t know how to explain it, I felt like for an exam that tests details some questions felt ‘up in the air.’  The questions that were memorization based (eg. Pap pilus assembly) I did great on.  I think I gave solid answers on those technique based questions, but I know I didn’t do well on those.  I’ve debated going to see my exam, and decided not to because honestly I am lazy this summer and have way too much to do with MCAT prep and travelling plans as well.   And OMG i forgot something else… I honestly think this was a bit cruel.  Why emphasize to students that the final exam is cumulative?  I actually asked on the discussion board to make sure about a week before the exam, and was told once again that it was cumulative.  6 Questions on the final and not one question was premidterm.  WHY?  UGH.  I was so agitated walking out of the exam cause I thought I had it figured out that 1/6 would be a pre-midterm and something not tested on the midterm (likely complement pathway).  The fact that I spent half a day reviewing pre-midterm really frustrated me afterwards.  What is the point of saying the final is cumulative..like at least throw a 1 bonus question pre-midterm, all those 6 questions were post-midterm specific.  If next year is anything like this year, just know cumulative is code word for post midterm only.  Anyways, yeah I think its safe to say this is going on my “least favourite course experience list” which is unfortunate because I actually enjoyed the material.  I always enjoy MICB topics, but courses like this….Overall I am fine with the grade, I knew this class would be brutal for the final which is why I tried to do really really well on the midterm and pop quizzes to beef up my grade the most I could.

PHYS 102

On a lighter note, I didn’t mind Physics at all.  I was definitely the most scared about this course which is why it took me till 4th year to take it!  I ended up doing well, and it’s one of my higher grades which is a shocker for me.  Did better in PHYS 102 than PHYS 101 and it’s because I fixed a lot of bad habits.  Number 1: ask for help, thats what the TA’s are there for.  First year I foolishly did everything by myself, even when I didn’t understand like i wouldn’t ask for much guidance.  During tutorials/labs this time around I would always get clarification when necessary, and trust me its the difference between getting a high A in lab/tutorial/homeworkassignments and getting a B.  I also used Physics for Dummies for topics where I just needed a simple introduction and understanding.  Like I did not learn one thing about capacitors or resistors from that textbook… The new textbook confused me for the first 2 weeks, and when I stopped following it super close, I started understanding everything a lot more.  I’m also really glad i took it because Physics is on MCAT and I think this will help me have a better understanding of things I could not grasp last time I studied for MCAT.  Also, for many med schools in the states 6 credits of Physics is necessary, so I had to get it out of the way.  My final exam did bring my grade down a bit, but not much, I really need to figure out a better final exam strategy.

 

MICB 325

This course was great while it lasted.  I honestly knew knew knew I should not have taken this course.  I am doing a 5th year which is very empty in terms of courses, and it would’ve been smarter to take it then, and spread out my courses.  Instead I took it this year crammed with working part-time and my horrible, horrible midterm schedule I just knew it was a disaster so I had to withdraw.  I felt bad that I’d now have a W on my transcript, but I know that I’ll take it next year when I have time in my schedule.  Now my time in the course wasn’t great.  I would rather have dropped MICB 308, but I need MICB 308 for MICB 408 next year.  The lectures are VERY important, because all you do is solve problems which is my kind of class!  Little memorization, and lots of problem solving.  I really liked the topics, and the courses I took in the summer set me up perfectly for this course: BIOC 302 and BIOL 234.  The problem with the course is that the prof is very ambiguous a lot of the time.  A lot of his problems have multiple answers, or unclear answers, and whenever someone corrects him, I get the feeling that someone probably made the same correction last year and that it was never fixed… I don’t know theres just a lot of ambiguity, which in real-life I find interesting to find flaws in science and whatnot, but when it might affect my grade, then I start feeling some kind of way.  Now last year the midterm average was like mid 80s and this year it was low 72, which he said was high.  Overall it was one of my favorite courses, just because of the structure, also liked how the class was dimly lit (random).  I’ll be taking it next year as soon as registration opens, hopefully goes better then!

FNH 351

So this class is A LOT OF MEMORIZATION.  I would say on a higher level than Anat, MICB and Physio courses.  Seriously and this is WITH a cheat sheet.  Even with a cheat sheet, its so much to memorize I think I nearly got carpal tunnel writing out my cheat sheet.  Preparing for this midterm was hell, but I felt prepared, and was glad I would be getting my pre-midterm 6 hours of sleep, but then I randomly decide to look at the syllabus..and found out that for the midterm the cheat sheet is to be ONE SIDED.  You can imagine the panic that went through me.  WHY ME?  Literally, the cheat sheet was microscopic, both sides, now I had to give one side up.  I chose a side and frantically found a big eraser and started going ham on that side of the paper.  Realized there were parts(headers) in pen, and I had no white out, so I was just brainstorming ideas like gluing a white paper to one side.  Foolishly didn’t think scanning one side and printing it wouldn’t work because the writing was soo small, but it did, and after running to chapman learning commons the next morning and struggling to scan the page for 30 minutes (chapman scanner wasn’t working with the printer), I scanned it and sent it to the computers on the floor below, and it worked.  I then crammed for the life of me the material on that one side that I got rid of.  If I didn’t have my Physics exam later that night I probably wouldn’t have slept but I knew I had to, and I’m glad I did, because the midterm went really well (my best midterm out of the whole bunch) and so did Physics so it worked out. I wouldn’t take this course unless it was a requirement.  I am integrating nutrition, and there are only a few FNH courses that count as Science, so that’s why I had to take it.  And also if you have a gut feeling something is a bit off, go and check, because I did and the prof submitted a grade change document and my final grade went up 2%.  This isn’t the first time this has happened to me at UBC, so now I am a lot more precautious every time I see a grade, I try and double check some every now and then.  The final felt like twice the information of the midterm with a one sided cheat sheet, it was pretty rough but it could have went worse, overall the course was OK.

ISCI 330B Science and Culture

This is one of the required courses I have to take in ISCI, well theres a bunch of courses to choose from, I just chose this one based on the title/description.  It was interesting, ISCI courses usually are, and ISCI profs tend to be my favourites as well.  During the course there were many presentations, and it centered on a book wrote by an author that was actually teaching with our main prof.  Overall I enjoyed it, anything would be great when you compare it to the other 4 really.

 

So while it was a whirlwind semester, I’m still happy how I left it, I am a far better studier today than I have ever been.  How much would you guys pay to have a conversation with your first year self?  Seriously!   Anyways as for my plans, I am doing another year, next year will be my last!  Finally!  This summer is based on one thing and one thing only which is the MCAT.  No summer school courses to distract me this time around, I have all my focus on MCAT.  I’m following a pretty structured schedule right now and its tough but very necessary, I have high aims for this MCAT.  I’m literally giving myself ~3months to focus on solely this.  I have had many people tell me all I need is a month.   FALSE.  Definitely need more time than that, I have already found so many weaknesses, little things I need to work on, and I’m just starting.  And I want to get through more than half of the AAMC Practice Finals, and to do 2 a week would already take 2 weeks (i think doing more than 2 a week might be a bit much) and thats already half a month…  Unless your a walking Greys Anatomy textbook, I recommend you give yourself some time.  For example, judging from SAT’s, I’m not great at Verbal Reasoning, and those kind of techniques take time.  I am aiming for a 33+, and it’s a big goal I’ll be very disappointed if I don’t get it, but if I don’t I’ll sign up for the exam 1 month following it.  I am using The Berkeley Review Books/ an AAMC Official Guide Book/ EK 1001 at the moment.  I’ll make sure to update in a month or so how MCAT studying is going.

New Semester Update

Hey everyone, hope everyones semester is going well.  This is probably my busiest semester since 1st year, in terms of workload alone.  I am taking 5 courses and a lab.  Why?? Because I am here next year and cant even risk something going wrong next year.  I have to take FNH 451, MICB 407/408 next year and I could push my MICB 325 to next year but what happens if FNH 451 and MICB 325 are on the same time, or something else like that going wrong.  Being my 5th year I cant take any chances, and my ISCI mentor advised me to do MICB 325 this year..so I am taking 5 courses, and a lab, to make matters worse, my midterm schedule is something else!

Midterm dates:

February 13, 2014 11am – 12:30pm FNH 351 Midterm

February 13, 2014 6pm – 7:30pm PHYS 102 Midterm

February 14, 2014 10am – 11am MICB 325 Midterm

February 14, 2014 12pm – 1pm MICB 308 Midterm

I have no words lol.  I have emailed my FNH 351 prof to postpone my FNH midterm, that class is an incredduloous amount of memorization, Bioc302x2 to me. And MICB 308 is memorization based as well. I just think its the most reasonable to postpone, there should be midterm hardship like exam hardship.  PHYS 102 isnt worth too much, but the others are 20-30%.  If the prof denies my request I will ask if I can take FNH 351 earlier, i’d prefer taking it a few days earlier to this situation.

Anyways a summary of how my classes are going at the moment.  I am taking MICB 325, MICB 308, PHYS 102, FNH 351, AND ISCI 330B

MICB 325

Love the style of this course, class goes by quickly because your actually thinking/problem solving the entire class.  Class is mostly based on clickers, and I don’t think studying for the midterm will be too bad, because going to class is the same as studying/learning.  Theres homework 2 times a week, and its super doable, quick, simple and to the point.  And even better this class i’snt really memorization based. Taking BIOL 234 in the summer definitely helped me reinforce some of the more difficult topics.

MICB 308

On the other hand, this class is memorization based.  Taking MICB 302 beforehand is a good idea.  I’m not a fan of the pop quizzes, it prevents a situation of cramming near the midterm but I like to learn on my own time, but I always feel like I have to be completely up to date because of the pop quizzes.  So far material seems interesting, but still just a lot of memorization.  I do like how her notes are organized though, very clear and concise, but still a lot to take in.

PHYS 102

Really dreaded taking this class. WISH i did Phys 100/101 because I could have!  I never took Grade 12 Physics I don’t know how I even got into Phys 101 to begin with.  Took Phys 101 2010W..so pretty much forgot everything lol.  Whats worse is its been so long since math that a lot of the basic math is gone as well.  The new textbook isn’t great, I got Physics for Dummies just to dumb it down for myself lol, and I was able to do the problems, and understood everything a lot more after reading the Physics for Dummies.  Also because they switched textbooks, no more mastering physics, also means never finding solutions online, which may be a good thing cause then I’m forced to try everything myself.

FNH 351

TOO much memorization.  We had one quiz, and the multiple choice options were soo similar literally one word differentiates them all out of a list of vitamins.  Its just ridiculous, and whenever I find myself in a class like this, I kind of detach myself.  Because I remember Biol 204 where it was a lot of memorization, and I tried the whole understanding thing, didnt work, with these courses better off just memorizing everything.  I cant fall behind, I didn’t think it could get worse than FNH 350, but 351 is worse.  I try taking minimal minimal notes in class because the content is overwhelming enough without adding a lot.

ISCI 330B – Science and Culture

This is one of the ISCI courses, and I was a little worried because the prof said this was the first time them trying this particular course, but I like the structure, and the class is definitely more engaging than most of my other courses.  I have a group, and our presentation falls on “my hellweek” lol so its the tuesday before my midterms.  That week is going to be crazy stressful.

First Semester Done!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, I happened to get super sick, so I’ve been sleeping a lot and studying for my L test (I know I am late!  I’ll have that done before the break ends, and should have my N by the time I graduate)

So I’ve gotten most of my grades back (MICB 306 still hasn’t come..their notoriously late in terms of handing things back for this course, same with MICB 302).  I am glad I didn’t have one standout bad grade, like usually one course throws things off, but I did well on everything, I discovered a lot of things I was doing wrong in terms of studying, and I am so glad I changed them.

FNH 350

This course is pretty much a biochemistry course, and I actually found it more difficult than Bioc 302, because there were a lot of details to memorize, there was too much to memorize, and atleast Bioc 302 final is not cumulative of the entire semester.  So its an 8 am course and you have to be there for every lecture mwf, because the prof deletes parts of the slides, so you must show up to fill them in.  Now I missed 2 classes this semester due to being either ill, or having way too much to do with other courses.  I realized how bad that was for me studying for finals, cause I could only imagine what I missed on the slides, another thing, is I have no friends in this class lol.  The class is half full every class so I know people trade off lectures, and dont care to show up knowing their friends there will give them the notes.  I’m a little hesitant asking strangers for the last lectures notes (I wouldn’t be 1st year at UBC, I am now, once you’ve been here long enough, you understand how some people are! ;))  Regardless of that, the midterm was 30%, quizzes 10%, and that component I had a really high A, close to an A+.  Now the variables for me were the group project, I overestimated how well my group did (not really i assumed we got 75) so didn’t devote as much time to the final exam as I should have.  I did well but definitely got lower than I expected :(  I wish I knew my group project grade before studying for the final, would have made a difference.  Regardless I did well, and it was definitely an interesting course, I learned a lot.  And this course would be torture if you had never taken Bioc 302, I don’t recommend taking this without taking Bioc 302 beforehand.

MICB 306

So I had heard this was one of the more lightweight Microbio courses, in terms of 3rd year level, so I wasn’t too worried.  But the course changed a lot this year, and Kion was the prof for the first 2 midterms.  The first midterm was 30% and I did really well, the class had an average of 81% which is great for a MICB course 3rd year level.  The second midterm also 30% was too long, and it seemed methodically done, because I only knew a few people who finished.  I didn’t finish, and I wish I knew beforehand it’d be obscenely long, I’d go through the exam and do the problems I knew I could get full marks on right away.  There were a lot of questions at the end I wish were in the beginning.  Regardless the class average for the second midterm was 64, and I was around there :(  She said there was a possibility of scaling, so honestly I wouldn’t mind a 5% scale up, that’d be perfect lol.  I dont know if they will scale, because the final was pretty easy.  Pretty straight forward, and to the point, nearly half the class left the exam early, and I know the average has to be in the high 80s (im guessing) for the final, so we will see.  It’d be a shame if the second midterm is what prevents me from getting an A, hoping I did well enough on the final.

GERM 200

So I love studying for German opposed to my other science courses, its more relaxing, not just memorize, memorize, memorize.  However, things have changed from 100 level to 200 level.  They don’t give practice midterms anymore, and honestly that was the best part.  I knew if I did the practice midterm/final 2 times I’d guarantee an A on the exam.  I got an A in the course, but nothing close to my Germ 100 grade, because there were less resources, and obviously because its more difficult, its intermediate.  I really wanted to finish Germ all the way to 210 level, but I think I’m going to stop now.  It’s not necessary for my degree, and Germ 210 is apparently a lot of speaking, which is my weakest point.  Times like this you have to choose grades over interest.  I figure I can continue learning one summer on my own.

ECON 310

This class, I took it because I wanted to take at least one Econ class before leaving UBC, my friend recommended it, and was taking it, so I took it.  MICB 306 exam was at 7pm, and this exam was at 12 pm the next day, so I already knew sacrifices had to be made.  Definitely hope it was worth it because I am still waiting for my MICB grade to come out.  This class is pretty straight forward, read the book, do the Aplia, do the problems, and it should be fine.

——

Overall biggest change I made this semester was for the science courses.  The change was to completely ignore the textbook, why didn’t someone tell me this earlier? I wish someone told me this earlier..honestly!  My average would be atleast 5-10% higher if I knew this earlier.  So for MICB courses especially I find, ignore the textbook, and focus on the slides.  I used to focus on the textbook and use the slides for review, and its way more work, way more to memorize, and less time to review.  I think I had high school mentality which is, if you see assigned readings, I read, and thats my main focus.  I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out, and the time of studying for midterms decreased substantially.  Way more time to re-read, and review when your focusing on one thing, not two.  I still have MICB 407,408, and 308 to go so luckily I wont make the same mistakes!  Still makes me sick that I figured it out this late though.  So essentially unless they say reading is mandatory, its not.  Regardless my GPA so far is looking better than before, and this is putting in less work, looking back I wish I did this for classes like Biol 200, and Biol 204!  Better late than never!

Hope everyone is enjoying their break! :)

 

Midterms Nearly Over

Hello everyone,

 

Hope everyone’s midterms have been going well, I actually just completed my second German one, and only have 1 to go next week, until I can relax a bit before finals.  This has actually been my best semester to date at UBC so far! Hope I’m not jinxing myself.  Because I’m doing 5 years at UBC, its really important I have a high A average this semester and next semester, I thought I was reaching, but it seems doable so far.

 

Micb 306

I was dreading this course, I dread anything MICB related but I did really well, definitely the highest in any MICB course I have taken.  The course is quite different from last year though, because I had a practice midterm and the topics didnt completely match up.  In terms of MICB courses, I definitely recommend MICB 306.  302 was a nightmare.

FNH 350

I am integrating nutrition, so this is a mandatory course, and I really enjoy it.  Thats saying a lot considering its at 8am in the morning mwf, and there are parts missing in the slide that you only get if you come to class so its not the kind of class to skip.  I look crazy and exhausted every class but I’m glad I have only missed one lecture so far this semester.  There is definitely a lot of memorization in this course, and its pretty much feels like a biochemistry course.  We’ve done digestion/absorption, lipids, and now proteins.  I had this midterm the day before MICB, and got the exact same grade on the midterm than I did on MICB.  I am shocked at myself that no all nighter has been pulled this year, this is a first for me, smh!

Germ 200

So I loved Germ 100, it was my first A+ at UBC, and I did great in it, still did good in Germ 110.  Germ 200 is great, but I get the feeling that theres a lot of people who have a “more than intermediate” background in German.  I definitely feel like the worst speaker in class, but putting myself at a lower level makes me work harder, so i’m still glad I took it.  Studying for German is way more chill than studying for a Science course.  Theres instant gratification when you can understand passages and write out 200 words in German, where as with Science I feel like gratification comes after you’ve graduated and entered this workforce/grad school

Econ 310

I feel like this course is 40% common sense and 60% keeping up.  The material makes sense, its not something you gotta read a bunch of times to understand, its pretty straight forward.  Shockingly though so far in terms of midterms its been hardest one, just because I felt like I was being rushed.  The midterm is 30% and in class and 50minutes.  I just felt like as a more conceptual/mathematical less memorization course there wasnt enough time.  I will see how it goes!

 

So its been a pretty chill semester for me, my finals schedule is out and I finish on the very last day!  I have no complaints!  I’d rather a short break than a crammed finals schedule.  Happy Halloween Everybody!

Summer School Review & New School Year!

Hello Everyone!  Hope everyone had a good summer, this was probably the worst summer I’ve had in a while because I was studying the whole time, more than I do during the school year actually.  I took Biol 234 and then Bioc 302 and both were quite intense, or maybe I still wasn’t really used to the fast paced summer format.

 

Before I get into that, I want to talk about my ER Scribe job because I get a lot of emails about it!  Sorry if I haven’t responded to some, my inbox is kind of crazy right now.  So the biggest question I get is how did I find out about this job.  I found out about it through Pre-Med Society at UBC.  When you are in the club you get a lot of volunteer opportunities and I saw this in my email and it caught my eye.  Now there are no other real ER Scribe programs in Canada, it’s more big in the States, thats why no one really knows about it here.  As far as undergraduate students, there are only 2 of us at the hospital, and that is mostly because as an undergraduate student, your schedule is very limited, so someone with a medical office assistant degree would be ideal.  But I luckily obtained the position, and I get the opportunity to see a lot. The ER is filled with a variety of cases, acute cases and more simple cases, it’s definitely a fast paced job.  I think ideally a student who may not have gotten into medical school their first try, and have a year off before re-applying this job would be perfect, and the person would be free to work as well as get recommendation letters and experience.

 

Now as for summer school, I took Biol 234, and I was really worried because I don’t know anyone who has taken the course and liked it.  I really do bad with genetics, never quite learned it in Biol 121, but surprisingly I didn’t mind the course.  It was heavily based on problem solving and the 3 online quizzes and 3 tutorial quizzes a week made it hard to fall behind.  Overall I did better than I expected, still a tricky course, don’t take it unless you have to.

Bioc 302 was a very dense course, its like 2 courses in 1.  I was worried because I knew taking it in the summer could go really bad or really good.  The first half was with Dr. Maurus, and had like..Nucleic Acids, DNA Replication/Transcription, etc, etc.  First lecture was shocking because of all the detail, I used the textbook to just follow along with the diagrams, because most of the slides are figures, so going in the book to read the details on the figure was the most useful part of the book.  For this part of the course, tutorials are more important than lecture, to me atleast.  Alym was the TA and he was really good, best TA I have had at UBC, doing all the tutorials is great practice for the midterm, as some questions from it or similar questions show up on the midterm.  I didn’t do as well as I wanted on the midterm because of stupid mistakes :(  Like literally over-thinking and because it was out of 50 one bad question really brought down my grade.  The second section was taught by Dr. Krisinger, and he taught Fatty Acids and Amino Acids.  This part of the course is sooo dense, like so much information, the first part doesnt seem so bad when your studying this.  He posted all his lectures online, so I noticed the class started to dwindle in size a bit.  For his part of the course, I kept up, it was summer and I wasn’t working at the hospital that much, so I had nothing else to do but keep up.  By the time the final came, I just re-read, re-wrote, and did the practice exams, and I did much better, probably one of my highest grades on a final exam at UBC.  Do not bother with the textbook for this portion, except for doing problem set questions, which I think are overly challenging, but if you have extra time it cant hurt.

So, this school year I have probably the easiest semester I’ve ever had at UBC.  I think summer school taught me to be a better student because I learned to use my time very efficiently, I hope I can keep doing that.  I am taking:

FNH 350, MICB 306, GERM 200, ECON 310.

Honestly don’t know what to do with myself because this workload seems so chill compared to what I’ve had in the past…but I’m most worried about MICB 306. I noticed with some MICB courses, keeping up is sometimes not enough because of the grading.  For FNH 350, the course outline is looking verryyy similar to BIOC 302.  So that can’t hurt me, the part I hate is that its an 8am class, only ONE section of this course.  Luckily I am on campus this year, but this is primarily a commuter school, some people commute from Surrey, or Richmond.  UBC.. leave at least 2 sections available if one is an 8am so there is at least an opportunity to not be stuck with an 8am course.  I am not a morning person at all..

 

Semester 2 Review & Update

Hey everyone!  It’s been a long time since I blogged, second semester just seemed to fly by really quickly.  I am trying to enjoy these few weeks I have of peace before summer school starts.  This is actually the first time I have ever done summer school, so I am a little worried about how crammed everything is.  I am taking Biol 234, and Bioc 302 this summer.  This past semester I took Phyl 301, Anat 391, Germ 110, Isci 350, and Fnh 250.

Phyl 301

I didn’t really enjoy this class, I feel like regardless of whether or not you keep up, by final time a lot of that information is gone, the small details at least, and in a course where the small details matter, then you might as well start from scratch when your studying, not really reviewing.  The things I studied really well still felt brand new when I was studying for the final.  Luckily for the second final I had more time to study, than for the first.  I had less than 2 days for that final, and I felt like thats what messed me up the most for the first half of the course.  The second final I had 3 days + 1 night.  It was also a less stressful exam season so I had a clearer head when I was studying for this final.  I gave up on writing EVERYTHING which is what I do to memorize, and what I did for the last final, and just read and read and highlighted.  Overall, I didn’t like this course :/  I think its more about the structure (no midterms/quizzes) and less about the material.  It made me have second thoughts about medicine, but I enjoyed Anat 391 which is under Faculty of Medicine, so I wont let this class derail me too much.

Anat 391

In retrospect I wish I took Anat 390 instead, everyone says its easier, regardless I really enjoyed this class.  Its taught by Dr. A, and he is probably the best professor I have had at UBC.  He just teaches the material very well, and I actually feel like I am learning in class.  I feel like majority of classes at UBC, atleast science, you don’t learn that much in class, atleast for me.  But I felt like he really made things clearer in class, and also made it enjoyable.  Funny professor!  The material on the other hand, you are pretty much memorizing the entire textbook, like literally, there is so much to memorize it can be overwhelming, but its doable, and its strictly memorization, which is great because during the exam you should be able to feel out what you got.  On the midterms I knew my grade exactly when I left by just counting up how many I guessed on, and my guesses are never right, its a either you know it or you don’t class.  I wish the structure of Phyl 301 was modeled after Anat 391, with 2 midterms and a final.  Or in Phyl 301′s case as yearlong, 4 midterms, 2 finals.

 

Fnh 250

So as some of you know I am integrating nutrition in my integrated sciences major, and I really wish I didn’t take my first nutrition course ONLINE.  I got a little lazy this semester and I feel like online courses take another level of determination.  I left a lot of things to last minute, I could have done amazingggg in this class if I didn’t let things pile up.  Regardless, I enjoyed the material, and everytime I’d read the book, I’d wonder why I didn’t start reading earlier.  Compared to Micb books, its such a easy smooth read.  And did I mention the final was open book (online only).  Regardless I enjoyed the material, I am looking forward to the lectures I will attend for the next nutrition courses I’m taking.

Isci 350

In integrated sciences you have to take 7 credits of ISCI courses, so this was one of the courses I chose, “Darwinian Medicine.”  I really enjoyed the class, think I missed one lecture the entire semester and its because my body was too weak for a commute to UBC (any commuters out there, you know what I’m talking about!  Thankfully I will be on campus next year).  The class was small, and there were assignments every weak, and there are group activities, and a presentation, overall I’d say its one of the more interactive courses I have taken at UBC.  I really liked it, I feel like even moreso than Anat 391, I learned a lot just by doing activities, and going to class.  One of my favorite classes this semester.

Germ 110

I had a great prof for this course, seems like this was the semester of great profs.  She was great (Adelheid O’Brien) and the class was very interactive.  I got sick and missed more lectures than I wanted to, but overall it was a good class.  I want to leave UBC with a language, so I’m sticking it out and continuing onto the intermediate level (200′s).  If the next class is hard, in that case I’m moving onto swedish!  :)

——————————————–

So this summer I am taking Biol 234, Bioc 302, and on top of that studying for the MCATS! :(  I really postponed this because I’m scared to not do amazing like I need to.  I wish wish wish I just studied last summer when I wasn’t taking summer school.  I am working, taking summer school, and studying for MCATS so this summer is going to be rough!  I want to be on a schedule by Mid May, and right now I’m just getting my study materials together, choosing which books to get, etc.  I will blog about how MCAT studying is going, and summer school is going.  Biol 234 scared me because I tend to do badly in courses that start with a “Biol.” So thats why I left it to the summer, dont want a Biol 204 nightmare.  And Bioc 302 I am also scared of, because a lot of people seem to fail this course, apparently its worse than Ochem, but Ochem wasnt that bad when you look back so I don’t know what to expect.  I have a few friends in Bioc 302, so hopefully that helps.  Going to be a busy summer, hope everyone is enjoying their break so far :)

 

Binta

Semester 1 Review

Hey Everyone, Hope you all had a great break.  I never did a review of courses I took last sen so here: :)

Stats 200

Probably my favourite course this semester, and I was expecting it to be the worse.  I had Yew Lim, and I really liked him as a prof.  Even though it seemed like he went fast he explained things really clearly to me.  I went to about 95% of lectures and for a 9AM class I didn’t think that’d be possible for me.  The labs were straight forward too, and between clickers, lab, and online quizzes there are a lot of free points.  The first midterm was hard, it was in the morning so I pulled an allnighter (smh) but I got an A so it was worth it.  The only thing thats annoying is that the other section has a midterm different than ours, and much easier, our class average was like 64, and the other class average was 78.  Apparently they scale our class up and the other class would get scaled down.  All I know is that with my final mark in the class I didn’t see any scaling…makes me wish I stayed in the later section that I was in initially, but then again I liked the teaching style of Professor Lim better.  All in all a good class, I tend to get sidetracked midway and the online quizzes forced you to keep up.

 

Phyl 301

This course is supposed to be really interesting but I haven’t been interested during any lectures.  During the first 4 weeks I was really into everything, and keeping up, and then I kind of just fell off the material if that makes sense.  I think its the fact that theres no midterm, no quizzes (no that one 2.5% quiz doesn’t count really..), no clickers.  I didn’t realize there was solo much memorization until the final, and I was pretty behind.  A lot of people spent the full 5 days after the last day of classes and the Phyl Final to study, but I didn’t.  I used the last week of classes to study Phyl, and then started studying for Stats since it was my first final.  I regret this because I know Stats, and worst case scenario I can BS and still do well because its math at the end of the day.  Spent so much time making a cheat sheet for Stats that I didn’t use on the final.  So anyways I was done Stats and used the day to review Phyl, but the stuff I’d reviewed the week before (Neurophysio mostly) was all gone, it was pretty bad.  I’m glad its a year long course otherwise I’d be really sad about my grade.  Especially since the final was really easy, just had no time.  As of this semester it is my first priority course, going to do a study group thing to help keep up.

 

Micb 302

This course I found really interesting, and its a lot of memorization, but its interesting so it sticks easier.  My favourite part of the course was the material, since I work at a hospital a lot of the case studies were things I’d seen so it was cool to see the relevance of what I’m studying in real life.  Now heres what I didn’t like..  So I feel like this course is a third year level course, but that its desperately trying to be a weeder course.  If I keep up with a course and study like crazy and don’t do phenomenal on a midterm i don’t give up but i do start slacking a bit.  The first midterm grading I was like wow they are grading really harsh, damn.  Like I answered all the questions confidently, but the smallest things you lose marks.  I feel like this class is part memorization/learning and part luck.  Your lucky if you wrote what they wanted, your unlucky if you answered differently.  My first midterm went way better than my second, which I expected since I didn’t keep up as much.  Regardless this is the type of stuff that just isn’t right, Micb 302 needs to be multiple choice, even if its tricky multiple choice I prefer that to writing everything I know and losing marks over random irrelevant stuff like this

eg.

aren’t organs made of tissues though….  like I said I would have loved this course if it was multiple choice, or even mc and short answer alternating.

Regardless of the technical issues, in terms of material I liked it wayyyyyy better than Phyl 301, and would actually recommend it, go to the tutorials, keep up, and go to class, the clickers are 10%!  So there are some free marks to get.

 

Germ 100

Actually this was my true favourite class.  It’s my first time taking a language since French in high school, and I was nervous because of the kids in the class who knew more than Beginners German.  Regardless the pace of the class was really good, I actually learned from the teacher more than the textbook [this has never happened at UBC for me…], and it’s also fun to know a language.  I already planned on taking it till the 300 level, and I definitely will after this class.  There are  a lot of free marks to get from German if you try: attendance, quizzes, online quizzes.  I really loved our teacher too her name is Eszter Lazlo, she was really good and fair.  The practice midterms were literally another form of the real midterm.  It wasn’t a million times easier than the real midterm [unlike some other courses eg. stats 200, micb302, the list goes on]  It was my highest grade at UBC ever, safe to say I don’t think I’ll ever see another A+ on my transcript till I graduate, unless Germ 110 goes well, fingers crossed!

And what am I taking next semester?  Germ 110, Phyl 301, Anat 391, Fnh 250, Isci 350

ALSO I get a lot of emails from people to send them practice midterms, finals, etc.  I got a new laptop this year so all that stuff is in my old laptop thats turned to crap.  It’ll take me a while to get all the files out but I will have a post with everything I have on there.

ALSO  I am selling my Stats 200 textbook if anyone is interested, bought it last semester.  And I am interested in buying FNH 250 if anyone has it. :)

 

Third Year Update

Hello everyone,

I can’t believe its already been 2 weeks since school started, this semester really seems to be going super fast!  This year is different for me because I’m working, and I’ve become more efficient overall to make up for the time I lose.  I remember wasting a lot of weekends last year, and I’m too scared to do that at this point.  I am officially in Integrated Sciences in Microbiology and Immunology and Nutritional Sciences.  I’m going to go through the process in its entirety (I’m still getting some things sorted), but I want to turn it into an honors degree.  To help my application for grad/med school, and because based on how UBC has certain courses restricted to only one semester I have to drag it till the following year, so why not make the most out of my time and pursue an honors.  I’ll see how it goes.  This semester I am taking Phyl 301, Micb 302, Stats 200, Germ 100, and Isci 300.  My first impressions after 2nd week are below:

Phyl 301

Why in the world did I buy that textbook.  Besides that, the course is a battlefield, I feel like explaining the 5 minutes before the beginning of this class requires it’s own post.  If you thought you’ve seen crazy at UBC you haven’t till you try and get a good seat in the 11am Phyl 301.  People are literally throwing bags rows away from them in the effort to get a seat, hoping over bars and multiple rows of seats, arguing over how many seats to save.  Yes I have already got told off for saving ONE seat, I let him win and keep the seat, and what happened right after, he saved the seat beside him.  The main problem with the seating issue is that there is an Anat course right before Phyl 301.  Now a lot of those kids are in Phyl 301, so they don’t move, they stay where they are, so then everyone coming in is like in a way competing for the seats that are left.  The prof doesn’t assign readings (well this one at least, there are more to come) and it makes the lectures all the more important.  Each lecture has so much information, that being in the nosebleed seats really isn’t the best.  The class has like 600 students, there are 2 overflow rooms, and they have the option to facetime the prof a question on ipad should they need one.  Thats new!  Overall, I’m understanding everything so far, I think my job has actually turned me into a really good notetaker in class, I can catch information faster, write faster, and use abbreviations I learned while working.  I will also talk about my job more, because I get a lot of questions about it.

Micb 302

Constantly a lecture behind no matter how hard I try, there is just too much information.  I feel like 2 weeks of Micb 202 is in one week of Micb 302.  The course is fine, the professor is great, there’s just a whole lot of information.  This year the changed the textbook, and I really don’t like it.  The book goes in circles, brings up a topic and seems to finalize that topic and move on to something else then bring up the other topic and adds more random stuff.  Like I wish it’d bring up a topic like inflammation, and say everything, every receptor, every protein and molecule that participates, but it comes up every chapter with different jargon, and this would be fine if this were multiple choice, but since the midterms are more short-answer I want clarity so I can be clear with my answers.   I wouldnt dare to cram this course so I’m trying to be really thorough and keep up.  I’m a lecture behind, but thats not bad, I don’t mind staying that way, because she always ends up telling us in lecture :ignore this and that in the book, I’m glad I didn’t read all the intricacies of the complement system  before she said that.  I also notice that going to lecture, getting a solid idea then reading works well for this course, for me at least, this usually isnt the case.  This year they made the change to have 2 midterms, one is in 2 weeks and worth 20% the one after is 30%.  I guess because students from last year complained about having a 50% midterm.  And I wonder if you always want what you can’t have, because now I’m thinking I’d like to go crazy studying for this one midterm and get 50% out of the way, but sometimes I’m studying and I’m relieved there are 2 midterms in case this one goes bad.  I’m never really great at short answer exams. I can understand a concept all the way, all the steps, but not give them exactly what they want and lose marks all over the place.  I hope there are practice midterms, so I can work on this.

Stats 200

I have a fear of probability, it’s just something I never got, so I was worried about Statistics.  I was initially in a 2pm section, and had a class in Buchanan right before my Stats course (in EEB) and I would always come and the class would be full and I’d have to sit on the ground.  I am a horrible horrible morning person, but I had to make the decision to have a seat every class and give my full attention, so I switched to the 9am section which is half empty ( I’m pretty sure a lot of 9am people sleep in and thats why the 2pm section is always full).  I prefer the professor who I’m with now, he goes fast sometimes but explains things in the most simple way that I can actually get all the clicker questions, and understand everything before reading the book, this was shocking for me.  So far, this course is going well.

Germ 100

Iknew while at UBC I needed to do a language, because it’s just something you can really carry with you after you graduate, and it seems like a straight forward arts elective that doesn’t include countless essays.  I was worried about this course because people warned me there will be students who slyly get into the course, and have experience with German, when it’s a beginner course.  And of course, some students have shown they know more than they should, someone actually said ‘oh yeah I took German courses…[see my expression]…yeah wasn’t that serious though yaah.’  I decided to stay because I still want to learn the language, I’m enjoying it so far.  I actually had thoughts of switching out but I’d already taken the wrapper off my book which was nearly 200 dollars so…decided to stay, I’m glad I did now.   There is memorization but once you take a course like CLST 301, memorization isn’t a real problem.  The class is straight forward, so far, the prof is very friendly and organized, I’m trying to make it through to the 200 levels and leave UBC able to carry conversations.

ISCI 300

This is a seminar for Integrated Sciences students.  It’s pass/fail, so I plan to show up, take what I can from the course, and learn some new topics.  I’ve never taken a pass/fail course so I’m still unsure how it works, but the professor seems nice so far.

 

My Job

Yes I am working as an ER Scribe, it’s the first time I’m working while going to school, so I’ve become more aware of how I spend my time, I’m actually using my planner now, and it’s been a very eye-opening experience.  You can google it to see the basic information, but I’m sure duties slightly differ everywhere.  It’s the only program of its kind in Canada so far, so that in itself is cool, you get to work with doctor’s and see what they do every shift, it’s really interesting seeing the things you read in a book in front of you.  I think I’ve said this before but the only thing thats ever made me cringe was the person who chainsawed their fingers off by accident, other than that nothing really grosses me out.  I saw a stomach get drained the other day, and I literally could not believe how much fluid came out, it filled up like two medium sized bags.  You’d think being the oldest of 6 I’ve seen an ultrasound done of a baby but I haven’t and the first time I saw that was really nice.  I’m still clueless about ultrasounds, a lot of time it looks like a blob, but I’ve actually spotted gall bladder stones, and things like that, and I would probably think it was blobs on a screen a few months ago, so it is a learning experience in a way.  And now I’m kind of understanding why they are adding Psychology to the MCATs.  For night shifts, you can already imagine the amount of drunk passed out/belligerent people that come in, but in the whole 4 months atleast the shifts I’ve worked, there has only been one Code White and it was cancelled.  Overall, it’s been a very rewarding experience working at the ER, I will definitely continue blogging about my experiences there.  :)

 

Update + ER Scribe FAQ

It has been so long since I blogged, I realize I tend to blog when I want a little rant and I haven’t had any rant moments this summer.  But I have got a lot of emails about the ER Scribe job I currently have so I’ll answer all of those, but give a quick UBC update.  So I have pretty much finalized with myself, because I am such an indecisive person which is why I keep changing my mind about majors!  I just want something doable, yet something that interests me.  If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you know I was biology, then I transitioned into CMS and then I debated CMS and Integrated Sciences.  I really liked my transition between biology to CMS because of the flexibility.  Biology is a great program and suits some people, but it doesn’t suit me.  CMS and Integrated Sciences offers the flexibility I want, and is a smaller program which is always good.  So I pretty much decided this summer that Integrated Sciences was for me, and I started off wanting to Integrate Microbiology & Immunology and Physiology.  But it seemed too heavy for me, and didn’t really capture what I want to do in the future. 

I want to go to medical school,  and I’d also like to go to third-world countries at some point and do relief work and help with the health in different communities….all I know is at some point I want to go to probably Africa and help with the nutrition, vaccinations, and techniques to limit disease.  Based on all of this, I finally decided that an Integrated Sciences major tying Nutrional Sciences and Microbiology would be optimal for me.  I haven’t had my complete application approved yet, apparently its a long process…but a process I’m willing to deal with because I really want to do this major.  For the major you have to pretty much set up a plan, course by course, fitting in all of the Faculty of Science requirements as well as Integrated science requirements, and this part is what took me the longest.  Based on my plan it looks like I’ll be done at UBC December 2014 instead of June 2014, only because certain courses were only available first semester and I can’t do it second semester and be done June 2014.  It’s things like that, that made the planning such a hassle, I think if I’ll be stuck till December I might as well make it an honors degree and add a few credits I’ll have to talk to the advisor about that.  Anyways!  I will be posting my schedule for next year when I’ve finalized it, I should post it within a week.  It may change a little bit if the Insc people dont like some course selections but I’m pretty certain of what I’m taking.  Since MCAT studying didn’t go quite as I planned this summer (that story is for another day) I’m gonna get a little headstart with some courses, especially Phyl 301 which seems like a semi-nightmare. 

Now on to my job.  I started my position as an ER Medical Scribe this summer, and it’s been a really great experience.  I’ve seen so many different patients and cases from mild to quite serious.  I think the coolest thing I’ve seen so far is the doctor stick a tube into a patients chest to reinflate the lung (atleast thats what I think he was doing).  Nonetheless, very cool to see.  One thing I am certain of now is that I’m not grossed out by blood, weird bodily functions, pretty much anything cringe-worthy I’m not grossed out by.  I already kind of knew this, but now I’m certain.  Someone emailed me that my blog came up when they searched ER Scribe Vancouver, which is pretty cool, just goes to show how new this is in Canada.  Also impressed that they were looking it up, as I didn’t know about being an ER scribe until I saw the email from Pre Med Society.  I did a little FAQ below that covers most of the questions I’ve been getting.

FAQ
1.  How did you find out about the position?
Through pre-med society at UBC.  It’s quite funny to me how everyone and their moms wants to do med school at UBC yet such a small amount of people are part of pre med society.  Anyways, join! 

2.  Where can I get more information about the program?
Well I’m in the first ER scribe program in Canada, so I assume there isn’t much information out there.  Before I had my interview I looked up the job in the states, and it’s pretty much the same duties.  So google!  If better resources for information become available, I’ll definitely put it on here. 

3.  How are the hours?
Well all the scribes have a doctor they primarily work with and you show up when the doctor comes, so that could be a normal morning/day shift, or it could be an evening/night shift.  The night shifts take getting used to, but their actually my favorite because I’m naturally a night person. 

4.  Can I get into the program?
As far as I know there are more doctors wanting scribes, so there likely will be opportunities, look out for it, sorry I can’t give a more specific answer.

5.  What exactly do you do?
I follow my doctor with patient’s chart and write down the past medical history, subjective, and objective (physical exam), as well as a few miscallaneous tasks.

6.  How long is training?
I’m sure this differs, I think I was done training after 6-8 shifts with each shift being 8 hours, somewhere around there.

As for all the people who wanted me to email them with more details, I will be getting to that very soon.  Also, apparently blog squad is going to be featuring only first year bloggers, I’m not sure, but bookmark my blog should that happen :P  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! :D

Summer Goals/New Job

Trees outside my place.  I love Vancouver weather in the summer.

 

1) GET MY LICENSE!  I actually turned 20 recently and its pretty pathetic that I don’t have my license yet.  My family moved around a lot, so I didn’t bother starting the process, and then I went to UCLA, and was on campus 98% of the time so why bother, and now I’m at UBC where the public transportation is ridiculously good, you guys don’t realize how good it is.  It’s better than Toronto, San Francisco, and LA, seriously.  And UBC hit me sideways in terms of difficulty..so keeping up academically became my sole priority.  Now I realize how important it is to have one, having it as ID is good, and its better to get it out of the way now than later.  So I am officially starting the process this summer.  It’s just so much easier to do it in the states so I wasn’t worried, now I hear its a long process involving several different types of licenses here in Vancouver..so I’m not excited for that.

2)  GET FIT!  I don’t care about health during the school year to be honest, and how people in Vancouver run in the rain outside…is beyond me!  I don’t want to get that serious, just buy better food, and exercise, but things I enjoy like walking and playing tennis.  I remember playing tennis every week for a whole summer once.  Now the last time I was in a gym I actually fell asleep lol..so it’s good to engage in things I enjoy.

3) Save money!

4) Read as much personal books(as in not assigned) as I can, I love to read and need to take advantage of this time that I have.  I read series, and want to catch up on all of those, then just dive in, and start looking for book ideas on amazon…I can’t wait!  There goes that inner nerd coming out.

5) Explore Vancouver.  People always bring up certain places, and I’m like ‘never been there.’  I’m a homebody lol, snuggling up to movies and sour patches >> going out to some park.  But I can’t live in the most ‘liveable’ city and not go see it, so I need to check out more places in Vancouver.

6) Deal with UBC ‘stuff’.  Also known as, finalizing courses, this isn’t the time to take courses I don’t need, I actually want to be out of UBC in 4.5 years max…  So if that means Integrated Sciences major, I have to go to UBC, see an advisor, set up the courses asap.  If that means Combined Major, I have to just set up my courses, and make sure it’s not too heavy since I’ll be working.  Hoping I can maneuver my schedule to have at least one full open day during the week of no class.

As for my job, I’ve only worked 3 shifts so far..but I’ve learned so much!  In terms of getting medical experience to apply for med school, I feel like this owns doing research on so many levels.  Research was something I wanted to do, for the sake of it, and because its what everyone else seems to do that gets into medical school.  Based on my paranoia in chem 235, thinking I was one second from blowing something up every 2 seconds, I think it’s clear I don’t belong in a lab, at least not for long periods of time :)  I’m so glad this opportunity fell in my lap.  I’m learning about different drugs, seeing how the doctor makes diagnoses, seeing first hand the interaction between doctor and patient.  Its like shadowing with more responsibilities.  First ER Scribe program in Canada right now, but I have a feeling it will spread to other hospitals eventually.  Anyways, hope everyone is enjoying their summer!  :)

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