Saturday, October 10, 2015

Genetics - Exam Two

I'm writing a pilot line for Hollywood and going to call it:

"How To Get Away With DNA"  lol.  No, really.

My genetics class is taught be a very highly revered professor; his rate-my-professor scores are almost a perfect 5 (1-5 scale) and accurate.  Funny, irreverent, a slight British accent and pronunciation (Zed vs zero) all add to the class.  He gives anecdotal information that add to the lessons and generally, are pretty funny.

Because I'm older (hence the non-trad header), I can often pick my professors and do so based almost entirely on their scores.  I read the reviews to make sure it's not some angry student who bashes a prof because the student themselves failed to do the work.  By and large, reading through the reviews, I also glean information on how to get an "A".

See.  My secret?  I still don't know if I'm smart enough!  Seriously.  I still inwardly wonder.

The 2nd exam is this coming week.

How have I prepared?  Much like I do every other class:

1)  attend all lectures
2)  type all notes from lecture while there into the PowerPoint (if provided)
3)  write the notes from lecture on a thick/heavy colored paper
4)  do all suggested problems and annotate any lectures notes with information that helps enforce the lesson
5)  do all provided quizzes at least twice (first time: looking up answers and annotating the quiz; 2nd time without notes/books/etc)
6)  draw ... yes, I know... I draw everything... I also get straight A's.  Go figure.  :)
7)  do the problems again

Genetics is a lot of math.  OR at least my class is.  I do those many times to make sure I know.

And last?

BRS Genetics review for USMLE Step 1 book notes and questions.  Yes, I use that now.

And praying that in December when grades are posted, I will have yet another A to put on my 2016 AMCAS application!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ping Golf Clubs, Rhapsody

Yes, I know.  You loved France, the wine, churches and bridges.  And yes, now you know I know you know.

Alliteration at its assured finest.

Nothing but the best.  It doesn't live there anymore, it is here.  Where the sun always shines on my face, the waters are warm and soft.

AAMC Q-Packs

Many ask about using the AAMC materials, specifically the question packs and/or full length exam.

This is what I do:

1)  I take the q-packs as "accommodated" and select show me answer.  This allows the individual (me) to answer the question and then check to see if I'm correct.  If I am, I move on unless (!!) I was semi-guessing, or narrowed it down to two choices and then guessed the correct answer.

If I am wrong or semi-guessing, I make a note of the topic, what I got wrong, why I got it wrong

Though the time says 3 hours and 3 minutes, painstakingly going through every question take me about 5-6 hours.  I am thorough and complete.

2)  After each section test is complete, I review it to make my list from #1 is complete.

3)  After checking the list, I start going through each and every topic and making notes on the subject.  No matter how silly, or easy it seemed, I make a note of it.

More on full lengths later.  Below is what materials are available directly from the AAMC for a price, or included with your Kaplan course.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

AJ - Baby Cakes

March - Sept, 1986

SIDS is insidious.  Altered my life in ways I could never have imagined.  To the thoughtless, careless people who wonder and ask me if the pain ever goes away:

No.  Never.  It eases.  It softens.  It propels one forward but it never goes away.  Nor should it.

If you are the family or friend of the parent of a deceased child, don't worry that in asking how they're doing it might make them sad, or make them depressed. It won't.

It'll make them happy that someone remembered.

Trust me.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Genetics - Test 1

Started genetics this semester.  Wanted to keep the science mind going while I await the MCAT test in January (more on that in later post).

Much of molecular genetics I got in my biochem class a few years ago.  We had to know the shape of the purines, pyrimidines; what is different between RNA and DNA; how that is impacted by various amino acids, etc.

So far this semester, the class has covered the history of genetics way back to Aristotle and the many ways different philosophers to scientists tried to explain heredity.  Fascinating factoids.  We even covered eugenics.

My professor is well acclaimed and for good reason.  He makes the class funny, interesting; tells stories of the impact of not understanding the underlying genes in his home village.  Provided several links to sites we can explore.

I sit tonight kind of bored, to be honest. I wish that meant I feel solid about an A on the midterm but I think it just means I'm bored.  The material is interesting but it "feels" like I've covered this multiple times.

When he speaks of probabilities, I'm doing the math in my head; experimental results and whether they can be relied upon (null hypothesis using chi square), forked lines, etc... all in my head.

Anyway, here's some cool sites to use:

Learn Genetics

Speaking of probabilities related to genetics (AND, OR rules):