Sunday, August 29, 2010

Medical Schools and more Medical Schools. Where should I go?

Okay, so after spending about a bajillion hours and dollars getting in my medical school applications this summer, I finished up this week and am ready to start thinking about where I should go. Here's a list of my view of each school with some pluses and negatives to each one. Let me know what you think.

UTMB. Galveston, TX.

This school, located on a small island off the gulf coast, is very hot and very humid. I interviewed there last week and the school is great. It has a very laid back student body and curriculum (no classes past noon the first two years!) and tuition is remarkably inexpensive.

But, being an island off the gulf coast, you always run some risks during hurricane season.

Texas Tech. Lubbock, TX.

I have an interview scheduled with these guys in September. Good things: football team. And that might be it. All I hear about is how terrible of a place Lubbock is, and I haven't heard great things about the medical school either.

The Ohio State University. Columbus, OH.

I thought I was special when the dean of admissions at OSU personally called me up, but then I learned that he does that with everybody who gets interviews. I have an interview set up in October with OSU. Pluses: I hear great things about the school there, and there is a large young LDS population in Columbus. They love Mormon kids. Also, I'm sure that cheering in a stadium with 100,000 + people for football wouldn't be that bad. Negatives: Its cold, and far away. From what I hear its not too close to any outdoors anything.

University of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT.

What can I say? Its close to home, in state tuition, I get to keep living in awesome Utah.

However, I would also be forced to be a Ute.
Oregon Health and Sciences. Portland, OR.

I put this picture of Katie up so that if we end up here, you all would know why.

University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC.

UNC actually is really appealing to me. I have had a few friends from NC, and they all say amazing things about how awesome it is. Chapel Hill is the perfect sized city for me, Its quick to get away into the beautiful Appalacians, the beach is close, and their basketball team is great. I haven't heard much about the medical school, but I'm really hoping to get an interview there to see what its like. Negatives: out of state tuition and distance from family.

Loma Linda University. Loma Linda, CA.

This is a Seventh Day Adventist School, and being such, the library is closed Saturdays, but open Sundays. They are a lot like BYU in that they promote spirituality in their curriculum. Katie's extended family lives in the area, which is always good (Sunday dinners!!). However, I really grew to dislike southern California on our trip there last year.

Washington University. St. Louis, Missouri.

Washington University was my long shot, my Harvard if you will. Their average GPA entering is at least a 3.9, and their average MCAT is a 38, which is above the 99th percentile (I got a 34). About 2 years ago, I listened to a presentation given by somebody in the admissions office at Washington University, and I was sold. It just seems like a place I want to be.

Medical College of Wisconsin. Milwaukee, WI.

If Katie thinks that Utah is unbearably cold, she has another thing coming to her with the winter average high of 28 degrees. Medical College of Wisconsin I can honestly say is one of my "safety" schools. They seem to like BYU students a lot, which is why I applied. Good things: Green Bay Packers games are close, and um....well, I'll have to get back to you one more.

UT Houston. Houston, TX.

One thing I learned by going to Texas last weekend is that the Houston area has to be the food capital of the word. You can't drive a block without seeing some unique restaurant, which for me is great. Other great things: the school is located in the middle of one the biggest and most advanced medical centers of the world, and its known for being a great school; also, some family such as Katie's brother Josh and my aunt live within driving distance. Negatives: have to live in Houston, which is way too big of a city for me.

Texas A&M. College Station, TX.

Here you get the Texas experience without the Houston experience. College Station is a smaller, very conservative city where I think I'd fit right in. Also, it has the famous low tuition prices of all Texas schools.

Alright, this post has gone way too long. It won't let me put more pictures. My thought is that if I'm only going to post once a year, I might as well make it a good one.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Talk about eing ESL

I was really nervous over the summer that I was not going to have a couple of ESL students in my class to complete my practicum for my ESL endorsement. I saw the name Luis on my roll, but her was new this year, so there was no information on him. I met him and his mom during back-to-school night. They brought a neighbor kid to translate, which I didn't think much of because they is pretty common for events that the information is crucial. I learned that they had moved from Mexico this summer and has been picking up vocabulary really fast. That first day, I was shocked to see how little his English really was. When the class walked down to the cafeteria, I had this feeling to walk in with him to make sure that he could go through fine. When the lunch lady asked him what his name was, he looked up to me with his eyes begging for help. At the end of the day, I sent him home with a paper that read "What is your name? My name is Luis. What is your first name? Luis. What is your last name?" The next morning, when I greeted him at the door, I asked him what his name was. He had practiced that night and was able to answer. I more I work with him, the more he surprises me. He has excellent decoding skills, meaning he can read words but he can't comprehend them. On Friday, I met with him mom for a conference. Mike was so kind enough to come and translate. I learned so much from that. His mom was an optometrist in Mexico and is working on getting her license to transfer. Luis has an older sister who speaks English and the family's goal is to learn English by the end of the year. Wow, that is not the typically ESL family that you meet. The funniest thing that his mom shared with me was that he actually understands a lot of what I am saying, except my jokes. One moment, everyone is laughing and he doesn't know why. He told his mom that he is afraid that once he learns English, I will stop telling jokes. What a cute, innocent fear. Anyways, I am trying my best to help him through. If anyone has any suggestions, send this this way.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Kelli told me that I needed to record my wonderful encounters as a first year teacher. You can already infer that since I am writing this post, that I at least survived my first day. The day did go well for the most part. Last night was back to school night and there were a few parents that approached me with information that I would need to know right away (peanut allergy, language ability, etc.) Well today, I started with an activity that would introduce the rules. I had the students pop balloons with situations in there that they had to determine if it was a good situation or bad and what rule would encourage that behavior. As soon I as I pulled out the balloons, a girl came up to me and told me she was allergic to them. By them, the students had already touched them. I just sent her out to the hall while we did the activity. Afterward, I had every student wash their hands while I wiped down all the desk. When she came back in, I just told her to tell me if she feels the reaction at all. She seemed to be good until a half hour later. "Mrs. Matthews, my lip is swelling". Oh my word, I had to send her to the office, where her mom brought benadryl. Her lip was better, but she was dozing off for the rest of the day. Since no one died, I guess I can call it a success.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wasatch Elementary

This week has been bitter sweet. I finished my last day ever at the Wilk. I was there for three years and I figured it out one time that I spent more time with the girls there than I do with Mike in a weekday. I really didn't like the actually work that I did but I love the people there, especially my boss.
On a lighter note, I started working full time at Wasatch Elementary. I still can't believe that they trust me with 27 students (I know Josh is shaking his head disagreeing). I almost have my classroom set up and I have my lessons planned for the first week. Here are a few picture of what it looks like. I am given money by both the State and the PTA to help me start. However, since this is my first year, I rather spend my money on field trips and science experiments than on decoration. I have been so blessed to receive a lot of decoration and supplies from friends (even though they are not matching) that I feel bad to spend money on things that I already have just because it would look better. Hopefully the parents see that instead of a boring classroom.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life Update

I am really bad at blogging because I feel like I need to have pictures to post each time, however, my brother assured me that one or two times without pictures is acceptable, as long as we wrote something. Anyways, I thought I would update everyone on our lives (as interesting as it may be). I am getting ready for fifth grade to start. My classroom is almost set up (pictures of it will come soon) and I meet with my mentor teacher today about scheduling and planning. It is so strange to think that I will be holding a back to school night with parents that are old enough to be my parents. Mike is busy with med school applications. He is constantly asking me questions like "If you had to introduce to someone, what would you tell them about me" or "What are some of my good qualities" only to find out that he is sick of writing the essays and needs fresh ideas. His sister Katherine has been such a help with giving him suggestions. She is more tactful at giving him suggestions. Mike has heard back from two schools already and has an interview with TUMB in Galvenston, TX and Ohio State. I am really excited for him, but jealous at the same time because he will be traveling to all these new places.