Saturday, November 22, 2014

Back To Physux, Eh - Physics

After a rapid pace aka "drinking from fire hose" sessions of Kaplan, I am back to ground zero.

Work is easing up; lest you forgot, or are new, I work about 45 hours a week integrating a $300M company into a larger behemoth.

We are almost done.  Come Jan 1, 2015, it will be done; all systems live, the acquisition company's systems sunset, people trained, and ... well, that'll be that.

I've barely kept my head above water with Kaplan.  Thankfully, gen chem, ochem, and biology come easily for me.

Physics, on the other hand, a class I've never taken (or rather completed; I dropped midway through my 1st semester of it in 2010 despite having an A-), is kicking my butt.

My plan?  Because surely, postponing the MCAT (again) and hence never taking it, is not my game.

Square one:


I wrote down all the formulas on a sheet of paper.  In addition, put down their respective units.

Then, I started going through problems in the Kaplan books and a few in Exam Krackers.

With each equation, I wrote what it would tell me and how I could use it.  To finish that off, I put down if a variable was missing, what equation would help me get to the right answer.

Then I took out another sheet, and wrote them from memory.  What do I have, what do I miss.  Then, I simply asked myself, if I were going to do x-y-z, what would I need... similar to questions I've been asked by EK...

In doing so, I can remember how I was shown to solve physics problems.

At work, I have peers who ask me to write something on my white board and then explain it to them. They then proceed to pepper me with questions.

It's a team getting me to Jan 15, 2015.

It's a team of Kaplan, work, my son, my friends and me working toward one goal:

Do or do not, there is no try.  And surely, physics will not get the better of me... back at it!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Student Doctor . Net Forum - Age Bias

For those who may be considering starting the path to medical school (the one for doctors, not nurses, not EMT, not pharma, not veterinary), may I suggest:

I had been warned about student doc . net (see, I won't even link it for you) but after perusing a few threads, and finding the MCAT v GPA calculator, I thought I'd post.

My ideas of which school - should I do well on the MCAT (IF) - are pretty minimal.  And they won't get listed here for now.

I posted my GPA from pre-reqs which is what I've been told the adcoms is what they will consider given my cumulative GPA is from 25 years ago and posted my diagnostic score from Kaplan.

My post said a little about the death of my first son, the birth of my 2nd son, my career and how it took me all over the world and by joining Rotary when I was able, how that helped with putting in water wells in developing countries which helps stave the cleft palates that are often seen in those countries.

What I received back was this:

1)  quit, you are too old: "find a different career.  Medical school is not the Make-A-Wish foundation"
          ~ Adcom DO school either in St. Louis, KUCMB, or further west

2)  "you are too old and something about you rubs me wrong"
          ~ 29 year old CNA, without a BA/BS, getting her RN, and thinking she wants to be a doc

3)  "QFT"
          ~ 31 year old who is angry I'm thinking about trying for someone's seat that is much younger

4)  After telling my FB friends about #1, a friend of mine who happens to be a lawyer wrote that he should be fired (agree because one can only imagine how he treats anyone who is older than 22); and I posted I was told
     ~ "You don't need us, you have a lawyer"
     ~ from a practicing gynecologist  (which is kind of pathetic in many ways because 1) I'm female and yuck - who would want to see that kind of doctor for that area of the body???  what a jackass

And so it went.  Only one person in 8 or 9 posters was reasonable - even he played devil's advocate - and yet he failed to stoop to the level of the people who simply were:

ageist (illegal)
jealous (envy is an ugly color on everyone)

Don't go there.  Find a different forum one that encourages people not breaks them down, not seemingly gets jealous and then bashes because one has been successful.

Oh yeah and don't be successful... they'll really hate that (though they have no clue the backstory)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

MCAT Study Prep - Kaplan Way

In all seriousness about the looming exam, I made a schedule today.  Had a mini-freak out when I realized I'm about T-9 weeks to exam which means, frankly, I'm T-8.5 weeks away from learning any new data points, tips or tricks.

I missed a biology class last night due to work.  Kaplan is good at giving a rescheduled time to make the class up which is awesome, but I had to fit it in between molecular genetics, circuits, the kidney, thermodynamics, and the other base MCAT courses in my full Kaplan class (online, if you're wondering).

So, when my head spins and my mind goes blank, I get back to the basics... draw a calendar and plot the days out.

When will I study, when will I have class and when do I work (actually, I do that one first).

Below is what my life looks like.  Come December it will be almost entirely 100% full length exams and review for what I get wrong.

In January, it will simply be full length exams and increasing the pace.

Two years ago, I gave up the dream after a dratted "B" in medicinal biochem.

T - 8.5

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back To Square One

Received from my p-orb yesterday and I'm not sure how she knew I was struggling, or what incentivized her to write me but out of the blue, my p-orb sent this:

"And thought you could use a reminder...
The Tip Top 10 (of many) Reasons Why J should go to med school
(Disclaimer: these are all subject to Olivia's personal opinion, and while they do reflect the facts, they are not directly from the source)
10. Because money is just linen and cotton
9.  Because you would totally rock the lab coat
8. Because you survived O-Chem
7. Because you are excellent at managing people, hence the MD and not a different path in the field
6. Because you have a phenomenal support system
5. Because you love, love, love helping people, and what better way to do so
4. Because life after med school will provide you with stability
3. Because you are an intelligent woman who has more drive than your typical med student
2. Because you've sacrificed so much and have come so far
1. Because the little girl inside you who has dreamed of this their entire life wants to"

And this seems appropriate ... oldie but goodie:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gen Chem - Circa 2009

I learned a lot, or rather, got retaught a lot.  And did well, I might add.

Sitting through Kaplan tonight was akin to ... well, it was bad and I'm glad I had the gen chem back then... so long ago (5 years - holy shit).

See, I can remember all the periodic trends (on MCAT) and the definitions of all the theories (on MCAT), how to apply them (on MCAT), relationships between P T V, (on MCAT) most of the formulas (on MCAT), and VSEPR (on MCAT)...

Instructor called it V-PRES  not VES pur like the rest of us...  he also confused inverse and indirect; flipped an answer from right to wrong, drew the wrong Lewis dot structures, and got charge wrong.

Seriously.  5 years and I could teach that buttttttt

There was a passage regarding ions.  So I don't get myself in trouble with Kaplan I won't repeat their passage (as that's proprietary information) but I will give you a similar example.

Of the four following molecules which one has the best conductivity:

[Mn(NH3)5 Cl]SO4

I said the one with sodium (that metal thing, you know, far left side of periodic table, conductive, malleable, creates a really good solution with conducts electricity???).

It has 4 ions, where as the others only 2 (derp).  The charge is irrelevant in this example because shortly after seeing more ions, the charge doesn't matter... if same number of ions then I'd look at what was involved and still come up with Na...

Kaplan didn't need to teach me that.  Instructor's response?

"I didn't want to call you out on that but what if the Na were Na 2 instead of 3?"

Well, duh.  The Na 3 would still win because of greater number of ions.

He then said, "well, if you want a guaranteed increase in score you must do it our way..."

Guaranteed score increase?  I don't care about that, I care about my one shot at the MCAT on 1/15.  That's it.

The kicker?

"If you want to bring in outside knowledge to class, that's fine just know that's not the Kaplan way."

ORLY??? you mean the $15,000 I spent to get the 3.9 in land granting university classes was not supposed to be used on the MCAT?


oh boy.

Thank God I had gen chem taught by someone who could teach (and not get confused with inverse and indirect) ... despite that he was creepy, he could teach.