So I am now officially through one week (and almost one weekend of medical school). The second day of class was much the same as the first: lots of information but useful information.
There came a point today for the first time (and I don't expect it to be the last) where I was trying with all my might to focus, but the information was coming so fast, I could not even follow what was being said. I've zoned out before, but that's just my being lazy. I think this is the first time my brain reached it theoretical limit. The rain came down, the reservoir filled, and then the water poured right over the dam. Let's hope its a concrete dam.
I had a spectacular day going to church, having a great lunch with friends, and then enjoying some good, quality time with God in a beautiful, secluded oak grove very near the center of campus. Here is what I had to deal with today (left). And here is who I spent the time with (right; I took the photo today at the Stanford Church). Can Sunday get any better?
Much less inspiring, but much more funny was what happened in Histology on Friday. We had our first Histology class (looking at slides of cells). We had an hour of lecture with example cells, describing what to look for. Then we got our microscopes and tried to find the cells on our slides that they described.
I thought, "Great! This looks really easy! I'm pretty good at identifying shapes! Gee Golly Gosh!" And I looked at my first slide. I had used a microscope pretty extensively in my old lab, so the controls were very familiar. I saw other struggling with their microscopes. "Amateurs," I thought. "I'll condescend to their level and help out the poor devils with the focus. So sad..." I helped out as I could with loading the slide, and focusing on the cells. Child's play. Then I sat down at my microscope, loaded the slide, then quickly and efficiently moved down to the appropriate zoom. And I didn't recognize a single cell.
My heart raced. I began scanning violently around the slide. "Where in the **** are the Neutrophils?! ****! For that matter, where the **** are the Erythrocytes. I can't even find the ****ing Erythrocytes!!" Thus was my thinking (**** represents, 'world', 'shucks' 'heck', and 'bi-concaving', respectively).
I turned to my neighbor (who seemed to actually know what the **** was going on) and asked if I could look at her slide and she could point something out to me. And from thence came my deliverance. It was a different slide. I could clearly see Erythrocytes, Neutrophils and even an Eosionophil on her slide (peripheral blood smear looks like left) . I talked to the TA and got my own slide. I waxed prideful again, able to easily identify every cell type on the peripheral blood smear. I confidently moved onto the bone marrow slide.
"****," I thought. "They all look exactly the same. Probably another mislabel." I checked again with my neighbor. "****," I thought again, "It's just like mine." I went back and tried harder to look for differences. There were no differences! They were all purple dots that looked exactly the same. And I was supposed to tell the difference between promyelocytes, early myelocytes, late neutrophilic myelocytes, and metamyelocytes, and I couldn't even tell the difference between a myocyte and an erythroblast!
I looked for help. The TAs were occupied. Some people were packing up. Finished! And I just started my second slide! "Oh no! I had expected to be the dumb one. And it begins now, on day two!" I bemoaned to myself.
One of the TAs had projected his slide onto a TV screen and began describing the differences. And he did a darned good job. I then was able to see the subtle differences and remembered them fairly well. And by the end of that hour I got pretty good at blood histology, and actually (but just a little) started to like it.
P.S. The photo is from Wiki public domain, so don't worry course administrators, I haven't posted course materials