Friday, November 26, 2010

The importance of "Me Time"

Hello there fellow non trads and a happy thanksgiving. This holiday marks a very important milestone in anyone who is in school. For the most part, it is the first real family holiday since Labor day or even 4th of july and people are going to want to talk to you and to see you and to find out how you are doing in school. Most of the time you are going to be telling the same story to multiple people. In addition, this marks the start of finals. It just seems as though time will get to warp speed once thanksgiving comes around and next thing you know, it is time for finals and then winter break. So if you have been putting off reading that chapter or writing that paper, get em done.

This brings me to my topic today. Now as non trads, especially those of us with families, our days are spent either at school or at home. And during that time we are either spending it with classmates and then when we get home, there are families that need our time. However, we tend to neglect a very important person. Ourselves. And surely, yours truly has and is very guilty of this as well.

The importance of having some me time is that you get to decompress. There is no one who is bothering you about going to the bathroom, being hungry, wanting to go home, buying a toy, talking shop, or having to deal with family issues. Rather you get to go to where you want to go, drink what you want to and let your mind settle down and enjoy some solitude. It is also important that you change where you have the me time as to not make it mundane. Little cafe's are wonderful. And if you can, try not to bring school work as this is NOT me time. Maybe, bring nothing and just listen to some music on your ipod, close your eyes and listen to the music at starbucks. Or even, bring a journal and write down your thoughts and feelings. You will find that you will not be resentful, and that you will actually be rejuvenated by the experience.

A question was asked about pattern recognition, let me explain.

When studying try to put things together in a pattern. In biology you know that A=T and G=C and that everytime you see a DNA sequence you will automatically know what the complementary sequence would be. In as much, when studying, you will recognize that when going from DNA to a protein, the pattern is always DNA to mRNA to tRNA to Protein. So if a question asks you about a defect where a protein is not made, you know that there will be something wrong in the pattern and you can recognize it. Same thing for chemistry, you know that the pattern for combustion is always "something + oxygen=carbon dioxide and water" it is always that. So if there is a question about why combustion has not occurred, or if the equation is not balancing you can know that the problem lies with one of the 4 elements of combustion. The same goes with medicine. If you know that if a person who has chest pain needs to be evaluated with an EKG,  blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, chest x-ray, get a past history of the chest pain and their medical history and social history and if they are consistent with a cardiac problem, then you can recognize the pattern of treatment is nitroglycerine, morphine, aspirin, beta blocker (if not contraindicated), ACE-inhibitor, oxygen. And you know that the labs you are going to run are a Complete blood count, basic metabolic pattern, cardiac enzymes, arterial blood gas, etc. That is because you recognize the pattern of treatment. Eventually is becomes second nature but you must repeat, repeat, and repeat to know to recognize the pattern.

In the above example, if the patient with chest pain is a woman in their 40's and you find out that they just got off a plane from Australia, then the pattern points to a blood clot. On the other hand, if the patient is in their 40's and their father died at 51 from a heart attack and her uncle had his first heart attack at 48 and she has high cholesterol, the pattern points to cardiac.

I hope that this has answered the question about pattern recognition. If not, let me know and I will try to explain it better.

Now, off for some "me time"

With that in mind, I am off for some "me time".


  1. Thank you for taking the time to explain pattern recognition - I understand (especially thanks for the examples, they helped a lot)! :)

  2. I am glad you are taking some "me time".

    About other parts of this posting, it seems that being a methodical, organized person is very helpful when you are taking medical classes.

    Likewise, it is helpful to know what can happen in a piece of art - is the crack in a piece of pottery due to a fault in the thickness of the clay (artist error)? Or perhaps the piece was put in the kiln too soon and though it felt dry, was not entirely dry. Then there is the question of whether or not it is worth it to try to fix a broken piece - - will it be used as a container or only as an artistic display? Maybe it's time to take out the hammer.

    I have my tongue in my cheek of course and chuckle as I write this.

    Truthfully, your methodical assessment reminds me more of my teaching classes than my art ones.

    I hope you have a good break. I enjoyed reading this posting.