Monday, March 28, 2011

Feeling Defeated... need to find time to play catch up

If you haven't talked to me lately than you probably don't know that last week was quite brutal.  Anatomy test on Thursday, Theory test on Friday, Theory lab practical on Wednesday and quizzes thrown in there, too.  I was a little over confident for my Theory things and have been having trouble lately.  I didn't spend my time studying the right things for my Theory test.  I haven't gotten that grade back, but I know it's bound to be my worst grade on a Theory test.  Then I kind of tanked on my practical.  See, we have to perform a skill call retinoscopy at a certain working distance.  At the beginning we tie strings with that length to our scopes so that we're always sitting at the correct distance.  Ever since I've removed the string, my results have been all over the place.  It's makes me nervous because by this point we should know it.  Where I used to be perfect, I'm screwing up badly.  So I'll have to go back to square one and find some willing classmates to let me practice on.  I'm sure there were some nerves tied into making those mistakes as well.  Anyway, that big screw up (and a few other things) let me to an 87 on my practical.  Not bad, but not stellar either. 

It's a scary thought realizing that everything I'm learning can never be forgotten.  Theory tests are becoming impossible to study for because no two patients are the same; however, there are still right and wrong answers.... Sometimes I can feel myself feeling like I'm shrinking when I'm sitting in lecture trying to understand very difficult concepts.  Then, I feel like I'm shrinking even more when I talk to my friends who are quickly picking up on material, finding time to get involved, and are way better at staying on top of difficult classes.  I know I'm in the right place, and that I'm smart enough, but I just get jealous of my friends who don't have to spend as much time as I do studying just to barely understand something.  They also have a lot more time to do things for themselves or party with everyone.  I have one more test on Friday, a group paper due on Wednesday, but then I'll have some breathing room.  I'm going to use this weekend to relax and catch up.  I feel like I say that every weekend, but I really want to do well on the next theory test and my finals. 

I cannot believe it's pretty much April!  My finals are the first week of May, so I really only have 4 more weeks of classes before I can say I'm officially done with my first year of optometry school!  That's seriously a scary thought to know that I'm practically 1/4 of the way onto becoming a doctor!

Well, I mainly just wrote this to let off some steam and let those who are reading this know that I'm still here!  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A little picture update for fun! :)

Chairs I got Tyler for his birthday!  Wolfpack red printed with a  gorgeous Block-S is a million times better than the light blue one he had before!!
Sticker Proof!!!
Since Dr. Newman (my theory and methods teacher) gives stickers for perfect test scores, I got a 100 and earned my first sticker!

Spring Break in the Blowing Rock, NC!  View from the top of our hike to the Moses Cone House

The beautiful Moses Cone House!
Surprise Bridal Shower for our good friend Erinn (bottom left in this picture)!  The girl in the top Right of the picture is her MOH who flew in for the weekend and planned the whole thing! 
Our Valentine's Day Dinner - complete with bacon-wrapped steaks!!!

The Fish Tank Fiasco!

Ever since we got married, we had talked of getting a fish tank.  Why?  Because Tyler is allergic to just about anything with fur, so fish were our best option for a first pet.  So after earning a gift card from an apartment finder website, we decided, what better purchase to make than a small ten gallon tank to get acclimated to life as fish owners.  Excited about the new adventure ahead, we set it up with a pretty mixture of blue, black, and teal rocks for the bottom, some fake plants, and a brown lava rock with a hole in the center for our future fish to swim through.  We poured some de-chlorinator in the water, then brought a water sample to the fish store, eager to purchase our first fish!

The Petco employee gave us the answer we were waiting to hear, "You're good to go!".  We picked out 3 fish - a gold gourami (to be named "Buzz"), a dwarf gourami (to be named "Iris"), and a red-tailed shark (to be named "Finley").  We came home, put the happy fish in their new home, and watched them swim around.  The next day, the gold gourami didn't look so good.  He was a little bit smaller than the rest of the fish and had gotten picked on by the shark.   He died not too long after that.  We brought him into the fish store and got a refund, but learned very soon that being picked on probably wasn't the only problem leading to his death.

A few days later, our dwarf gourami, named "Iris", died too.  But strangely enough, she looked perfectly healthy!  We were very confused.  When we brought her in to get our refund based on their guarantee, the employee asked us what we did to set up the tank.  After telling him step-by-step what we did, the friendly employee asked, "Wait... so you never cycled the tank with gold fish?"  We had no idea what he was talking about.  So, he proceeded to tell us how we needed to cycle the tank first to get some good bacteria in there.  He was pretty sure that our shark would die relatively soon, too... :(

So we purchased some goldfish to start the cycling process.  It was entertaining for the week or so that we had them to watch Finley (our shark) chase the gold fish around.  He absolutely hated their presence in the tank.  But, because goldfish produce an intense amount of ammonia and waste, after the cycling process was done, our water still wasn't healthy enough to get more fish.  We had to constantly clean out the rocks of all the broken-down waste and do 10% water changes to bring the bad levels down.

So, after about a week and half, we were pretty certain our water was good, but now it was time for my Spring Break.  So we decided that we would go to the mountains for a few days and try to get some more fish when we got back.  Finley was still alive (surprisingly), so we thought, he was just a buff fish who could withstand anything.  With this theory, we put some extra food in the tank and figured he would be fine for a few days without us... boy, were we wrong!  When we came home, Finley had jumped out of the hole in the back of the tank and landed in our toaster.  Let me take a moment here to explain that our fish tank is sitting on a raised ledge/counter in our kitchen, and the toaster sits perfectly on the standard-height countertop below the back of the tank.  So after working so hard to make the water better for Finley and future fish, the better water sat empty with zero fish.

With that story told, we were now able to start over with clean water, filled with healthy bacteria.  We started out by putting our four dwarf frogs (Olley, Kirby, Jasper, and Chip) in the tank.  Then we put in a snail and our Chinese Algae-Eater (named Bruce) to help clear up some of the algae.  We decided we didn't want another red-tailed shark.  They're a semi-aggressive and territorial fish that can jump out of a tank.  As awesome as they are to look at, that kind of fish is a little more risky than we want to deal with.  

Finally, we purchased our first new fish!  Another gold gourami, this time named Montezuma.  Where the heck did you get that name, you probably ask.  Well, his gold color made me think of Aztec gold, and Montezuma was the first "Aztec thing" that came to our minds.  We like to call him Montie for short :)

So that is the story of our fish tank.  We're really hoping it works out this time! 

Hello, Montie!