Thursday, August 26, 2010

Organic Chem Day 1

Tonight was my first class of orgo chem. It's still too early to tell, but it seems pretty good so far. I really like the professor. He's relaxed, funny, and clearly loves the subject he's teaching. Since today was the lab session, we had the intro, rules, etc. and were let out early.

Orgo chem is one of those classes you hear horror stories about. So, I had (still do, so far) a lot of preconceived ideas just how difficult this class might be. Happily, I've recently talked to two other women who, upon hearing this would be my upcoming class, could only wax poetic about how much they loved orgo chem! I started to wonder if, perhaps this class won't be as bad as I think. Sure, it'll be work, no doubt.

Another consolation is when a classmate from my other summer classes said to me today, "After AP I and II this summer, this class is THREE times as long! It'll be like slo-mo for us!" Very good point. We survived 2 semester-long classes smooshed into 5 weeks each. This class is 15 weeks. In addition, many people have told me that those who hated general chem, end up loving and doing well in orgo. Here's hoping that's me (wasn't crazy about gen chem)!

I just ordered my book from Amazon.com for cheaper than the school bookstore. Also, it's the looseleaf edition, which will allow me to carry along only the chapters I need. It should arrive by Monday—just in time to read the first 3 chapters assigned for Tuesday! :( UPDATE: Grrrr. Amazon doesn't actually ship for 1-2 weeks! Too late for me. Turns out the looseleaf arrived at the school bookstore over the weekend. How lucky! I wasn't sure how I'd get the book before class, otherwise.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thriathlon

Tomorrow, the school/volunteer/work triathlon schedule begins. And yes, even in that order of priority! I'm excited about returning to a busy schedule, but not without a little trepidation how I will handle it. But there's really no way around it; I need to do all these things this semester. Just like when people asked me if I will be able to handle the "gory" parts of this PA path, I'm just going to wait and see as it comes. Hopefully I'll find time to drop a post here and there.

Hospital2 Restart!

I received confirmation of my schedule and assignment at Hospital2 the other day. I'm psyched! I was placed in not just one new specialized floor, but two! It was super accommodating of Volunteer Services to offer me the option of different floors for my two weekend mornings. I will be on Cardiology one day, and Mother/Baby on the other. I'm pretty happy to experience these two new areas! This weekend will be my training day for Cardiology. Will have to wait for the other one when someone can train me. Things are fitting in place neatly, so far!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

iPhone Apps of the Week

Great apps, screened for you, by me:
Instapaper - I mentioned this one before, but decided it deserves it's own official listing since I find it so useful! This great app allows you to "bookmark" articles online and moves them to the app's own list for reading later. It has greatly cleared the clutter of newspapers/magazines that I would save for the one or two articles I hadn't read. It's pricey, but worth it (especially with my crazy schedule, I can read on the subway!) There is a FREE version if you want to try it out first.

iCam (WebCam Video Streaming) - Wow! I can't say enough about this app. I've been looking for an inexpensive way to monitor my apt. It's fun, but also just offers peace of mind. Some people use it to monitor their pets at home while at work. It works from your laptop camera, webcam, or other external camera. It even detects motions, sends push notifications to your iphone if movement is sensed (you can set the sensitivity of movement), and records pictures when movement is sensed. It's pretty amazing! If you're looking for a cheap way to monitor whatever is going on at home, this is a great, inexpensive solution!

Ride the City -  I love cycling (non-competitively) and this app is great for mapping out routes from point A to B. I've been a fan of ridethecity.com for a while and find it's pretty accurate. Costs ya a bit however, at $2.99

Spokes NYC - Very similar to Ride the City. There are pros and cons for both, but I prefer this map interface over Ride the City. And, this one is FREE! Now if I could somehow get either one to allow me to save frequent routes!

NYC BikeMap - Brought to you by the same Spokes NYC people, this is pretty handy. They need to update to the 2010 map, however. Again, FREE!

MyClasses - Yep, I'm a geek! I like to keep track of how I'm doing in a class and this app does the job. The UI leaves a bit to be desired as it takes a bit of patience to navigate and set up classes. But once you know what you're doing, it's not so hard. Keeps track of your GPA and your classes, even calculate weighted assignments/tests. Not bad for $1.99.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Starting at Hospital1

Tonight was my second week volunteering at Hospital1. I started last week and it was pretty mellow. I think volunteers are a little more restricted of what they can do here, vs. Hospital2. But I like seeing the different ways they work. Both hospitals seem to have their pros and cons, in my limited volunteer viewpoint. I noted that I have yet to meet a surly, mean, or attitude-filled doctor, nurse, nurse tech, or any employee at Hospital1. It's inspiring, and I can imagine it really raises the bar for every employee there.

Although the work is not taxing, it's far, taking 1 hour and 15 minutes to return home. I hope I can keep this up! Fortunately, it is only once a week. Nonetheless, with my schedule it leaves me only Wednesdays free after work. I officially paid for Psych 101 today, so my Friday evenings are now sacrificed. :( I will have Sat. and Sun. open (minus the mornings, when I'll be volunteering at Hospital2) to study. And of course, I plan to take days off here and there to lessen the load.

There will be one week per month when even Wednesday evenings will be filled to do my NYCares event. Whew... Hope I'm not going to regret this!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Streets!

Favorite Bike Shop
Dumpster Diving
Ok, this isn't really health or school-related. But it *is* part of my stress-free regimen, and it does involve exercise, so I'm going to count it as bloggable. :)

Yesterday, I biked Summer Streets. The city closes down a section of streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd Street for cyclists, runners, rollerbladers, walkers, etc! I've done it every year they've had it and almost missed this year. The route from home to the Brooklyn Bridge is not car free for me, however. But I have done it several times and found a pretty good route. It's about 12 miles round trip. If only I didn't have to run over so many tourists on the bridge!

They have lots of activities and vendors along the way. This year, they had "Dumpster Diving" which was really cool. That's the 2nd picture. A group converted dumpsters into some pretty snazzy pools! I would soooo love to have one to swim laps in! (Albeit, very short laps) We've had such a humid summer that this was perfect for those who dared put on a suit for all the public to see! (Not me!) It was located right before Park Avenue goes up and around Grand Central terminal. Check out better pictures and construction as they were put up, here!

Here's some video from my biking perspective, looking south on Park Avenue, Grand Central Terminal behind me (Special thanks to my awesome iphone camera for all these pics and videos!):