I worry that deep into next semester, I will forget the care free times of our first summer.  How young and naive we were!  Stressed over our very first medicine exam.  Driving into the city once a week for cadaver lab.  Listening and re-listening to our pathophysiology lectures. How adorable!  I don't want to forget having to prove I could take a blood pressure.  I don't want to forget those fun times role playing for psych class.  Oh, innocence!

I only feel nostalgic for last week because they sent us the schedule for fall.  It makes this summer look like day camp.  We will be doing six classes simultaneously with a finals week that looks horrific.  I don't want this to come off as complaining.  I am nervously excited for it all.

Already I feel our class is well bonded through our shared suffering and triumphs.  PA school is a strange crucible.  All of our classes are in the same lecture hall with a large lab across the hall.  The room is just for our class and quickly became pretty lived in.  34 people have moved in and slowly accumulated snacks, drinks, blankets, and pillows.  The room is equipped with several microwaves and a full fridge.  There's also  a water kettle (my favorite part) and coffee makers.  (We are a well-caffeinated bunch.)  There are long days and short ones.  Days with labs, days with few breaks, days where we all run to our mailboxes to check if grades are back. 

So, I will thoroughly enjoy my two week summer break, and try not to worry about the fall.  Hopefully.

1st Week- The beginning

Last week I learned that I can prepare for something for seven months and on the day before, still feel unprepared and panicked.  But, once I calmed down and collected myself, school started.  In the next five (now four) weeks we will complete- no rest for the weary.  Our first classes are anatomy, public, health, patient assessment and ethics. A good mix and a good intro.  Once a week we have a cadaver lab.  That is a new experience.  The last cadaver lab I had was in paramedic school and then we did intubation and did cricothyrotomy (the ol' knife and a straw routine) on them.  This was way cooler with actual looking at things and touching things, and....okay, gross.  Yes, I know. 

First week in, and I brought my lunch every day (a fact, I'm very proud of), made (roughly) 33 new friends, and been to two happy hours.  I've written 1/4 of a paper, done research, taken 4 quizzes, and made an alarming number of flash cards.  Can't wait for week two!

Transition week

In September 2009 I remember sitting on the floor of my empty apartment, having just called the cable company to cancel my service. I was nearing the eve of my departure to England.  By that time, I was feeling a little less than zen about the whole idea.  The feeling is hard to articulate: a happiness, an excitement, a sadness, a dread. I want to have a stout heart and a calm mind, but both will fail at least for a few minutes in the execution of wild-ass plans. Yesterday I felt that 'little less than zen feeling" and I described myself as "An Ellie 8 [out of 10]...which is a normal person's 12."  But now that I am here and the cats didn't pee, throw up, or poo on the ride down, I feel a lot better. We all have a lot to get used to.

In the last week I had two last days at work, a great going away party, and several meals and several more drinks with people before I left.  Yesterday I packed up the last of my essentials and the cats and then we all cried (they, much longer than I, as when you're taking cats to anywhere but the vet, it's hard to explain it to them).  But, back then, when I stood up in my echoing apartment, I took a last look, a deep breath, stopped feeling sorry for myself and got on with it.  Similarly, yesterday I put the car in gear, took the break off, a deep breath, drove away and got on with it.