Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 2017

April Community Service Hours: 12.5 Hours
Volunteer Hours for Spring Semester 2017: 41.5 hrs
Completed Hours for the Year: 84.25

...And with that, comes to an end to the Tulane's Master in Pharmacology program...well, kinda.

As my fellow classmate's posts will probably have pointed out, it seems like this second half of the program has passed by in a flash. With so many festivals, events, and seafood boil that occurred throughout the weeks, it became an effort equivalent to a class itself attempting balance New Orlean's culture immersion while also studying the medicine and science needed to help the city. After exploring various parts of the city, as well as experiencing the ... "lavish" celebrations, it makes me inflect and consider the metaphorical comparison of how young adults may treat themselves in the present, unaware or uncaring of the implications that can happen in the future.

Although I've mentioned it before, after working a nightly part-time job along with studying for this program, my understanding of the importance nutrition has only become compounded along with my experiences at the Goldring nutrition center. Too often have I found myself being a hypocrite who got fast food 3-4 times a week, and eating out despite being able to cook at home given proper ingredient and meal prep. I've even started adapting to soylent (An instantaneous meal) when I don't have time for food, or can't afford to leave for home and lose my study spot.

Now that the program has come to an end,  I still intend to volunteer at the Goldring nutrition center, and once the MCAT is over, hopefully, a research position that I can learn from, and help apply to this city.

After a year of graduating from my undergrad, I've been thrown back into the racing seats of "real life" where this time, I have gained more knowledge and experience from this program, to (kinda) know where I'm headed.

Monday, April 3, 2017

March 2017 Blog

Despite being one of the longer months of the year, March, just like February came to a very quick close. Now that Mardi Gras has come to an end, the extra second hurrah of the Irish channel parade is over, and now we're in the full swing of crawfish boil season. My schedule, which was a balance of school, my part time job, and whenever I could sleep has finally reached a sense of regularity and I've been able to get back to volunteering at the Goldring nutrition center.

Trying to maintain my studies, along with working at my job helps further cement my understanding of why fast food and eating out is so common in New Orleans along with its correlation to obesity. There have been many nights, that after working until about 4 AM in the morning, that despite having food I could easily heat up upon getting home, that I chose to get the 5$ craving box from taco bell (both a combination of caloric value and that nothing else is open during that time).

My roommate and I also attempt to participate in meal prep, but too often between him and I, do we end up having extra food that we have to throw out one week, and too many items that go bad in the middle of the week that has caused cooking to be a chore rather than an enjoyment.

I enjoy volunteering at the Goldring center because it positively reverses my current ideologies around cooking. By cooking together as a community/group of friends, as well as eating the meals together afterwards it enhances the symbolism of food being an experience, rather than a simple nutritional hassle. The emphasis is also strengthened knowing that the food being cooked is more nutritionally viable and cheaper than my 3$ chalupa.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017

Its crazy to believe that our program is about to come to an end in the span of about 2 months. Its felt like the semester to this program just began just two weeks ago, and for the first time in a while, we have our first "break" in quite a while. This break is a great time for me to do some personal house keeping on the random minor things in life such as schedule organizing, car maintenance, and some personal education (Cocktail making and Nutrition).

After experiencing Mardi Gras working outside of the uptown bubble/undergraduate setting, I must say that I have found a brand new respect for the service industry, and the people comprised of it. Obviously, most people in their everyday interactions don't actively intend to be rude or tote a superior attitude, but after a long grinding day of problems, unexpected nuisances, and stress that "attitude" is difficult to conceal and inadvertently reveals itself. There is an expectation for the service industry to brunt this, but if the establishment is lucky and well off enough, they can use the traditional "It's time for you to leave" move.

but that option is unavailable to us as medical professionals, and to ensure the best quality of care, it would behoove us to treat our patients (customers) as best as we can so that they may follow compliance. More and more I see medicine more of as service industry job, and that sometimes the best way to treat our patients to teach them as our patrons.

Monday, February 13, 2017

January 2016-- A bit late still here

If there is one way I could describe January, it would absolutely be with the term hectic. Classes have become doubled, times are more sporadic, and exams are administered closer and closer every day. It seems that with every finished exam, there is an assignment, presentation, or seminar to attend leaving very little time to relax, unwind and enjoy the fruits of our labor. But perhaps its better that way, to remain busy, moving on from objective to objective and learning to appreciate the rest and time off we can afford, as it is more emulative of a medical work environment.

January has been a month of preparation and new experiences. Planning out meals that fulfill my roommate's new diet, combined with impending tax returns, part-time jobs, and personal responsibilities to health and household have made the month chaotic but also rewarding when the planning does go right. However, through all these experiences, I have been able to deepen my relationships with both my co-workers and fellow students.

Given my current work schedule, along with the changed scheduling of classes this semester, I have to re-evaluate my schedule so that I may resume volunteering at the GoldRing nutrition center. I'm looking forward to see who I'll meet there next

Until next time,
Matthew To