Tuesday, July 10, 2012

From Placebos To POGOs

I woke up not too early, but early enough to take a shower and get ready. Usually, it’s hard for me to sleep in an unfamiliar area, but these past two nights were no problem for me.
My lovely roommate, Alexa!
It was a normal routine with breakfast, but unfortunately it was raining on our way to class. It was humid, raining, and a little windy, and I’m a really glad it wasn’t burning hot. Wearing shorts and a t-shirt is not the smartest thing to wear in the rain, but I had an umbrella, so it wasn’t too bad.

Our Pharmacology class was really interesting today.  One fun fact I learned was that Vitamin C inhibits tumor growth. You may wonder why we talk about Vitamin C, but some people consider vitamins a drug. Because a drug is considered any substance in the body that changes you physically of psychologically, and a vitamin improves your physical health, it can be considered a drug.  We had a whole discussion about what actually classifies as a drug. Classification of drugs depends on how you use it.

Along with drugs, we learned a lot about the placebo effect. It is when a patient believes they have taken a certain drug, but actually they have taken a sugar pill.  The way a placebo works is all through the mind, because if you think it will relieve your pain, it will, but if you think it won’t, then it will not. We watched a CBS video concerning the battle between a placebo and an antidepressant pill. While one scientist’s research discovered that placebos are more effective, another scientist in a different country discovered that the pill is more effective for more people. Discovering that I have a balance view towards science, it’s hard to really decide if I believe in the placebo. I cannot make a final decision unless I know the long-term effects of the placebo. Many may have felt better right away from taking the placebo, but the video didn’t discuss the long-term affects, so it’s hard to believe which one is actually better to use. I can go on and on about this controversy, but I won’t. Let me leave you with one question: Did you know: by law, a pharmacist can substitute prescription drugs with generic drugs?

After very knowledgeable discussions in Pharmacology, I headed off to my Arête class. We began learning an Australian  partner dance from the Sound of Music. Since there is only one boy in our dance class, most girls had to learn the girl part. It was not too easy, but I hope to get the hang of it more.

Our cohort then reunited with our chaperone, Mr. Mannix and Ms. Kronenberg for dinner at the dining commons. We each shared how we were doing and I learned that Mr. Mannix and Ms. Kronenberg have been going on many college tours. It’s good to know that while we’re here working hard, our chaperone is also kept busy.
Spent time with Ms.Kronenberg and Mr.Mannix!
Blogging in the laundry room!

Instead of doing SOFT (Sign Out Free Time), the girls of my cohort all went to do laundry and blog. We’ve been out here on the East coast for just over a week, and a refreshed wardrobe was really needed. We also took advantage of the time to spend time with each other; too bad Chris is not with us. I really miss spending time as a whole cohort, but I’m glad we’re all making new friends. 

Before our night completely ended, we had a wonderful proctor group meeting. Our proctor is so awesome, and I can honestly say we are like a family already. We send little POGOs (Positive Gossip) notes to each other, and at the end of a long, challenging day, it's just a place we can relax and be honest with each other. We even had a little dance party, and it was interesting to learn the different Southern dance moves. I am very blessed to be around such friendly and genuine people, and although we each are different, we all have a special connection that we share. 


  1. Hannah,

    It's not unusual for health care providers to substitute generic drugs for name brand drugs. You can always ask for the name brand drugs but you should expect that your insurance will make you pay the higher cost.

    As you've probably been told, the cost differential between generic and name brand can be substantial.

    I recently needed a bottle of pills for a goofy toenail and the difference in cost between generic and name band was nearly $600 for a month's supply.

    It's rare, however, that a pharmacist will make that change without telling you or being directed to do so by the physician or the insurer.

  2. Dear Hannah and the Vanderbilt cohort,
    Wow, all of your pictures bring back so many memories of Peabody and my experience in VSA just one year ago. It seems all is well with you all so far on this trip according to your blogs and I know it will continue this way, but on top of everything you've been told and will be told by the ILC, admissions counselors, the wonderful people you have met or will meet at dinner, your professors, your R.A's, even your fellow VSA students, I want to urge you all to truly cherish the experience by taking advantage of everything possible around you. From blogging, to Arete activities it’s all important because this is the platform from which you are able to grow. Just a year ago I was in your dorms and hallways,(well as far as I can tell from your pictures), finishing up a blog, now I'm writing you from Kenyon College, a bit north of your location, doing an intensive program on scholarship actually taking classes that will count toward my GPA. In spite of this I still talk to my RA from VSA and he just graduated from Vanderbilt, I just liked a post from my fellow VSA classmate in which he wished all last year’s VSA participants good luck, even when the blogs begin to become redundant, in all I based my college essay on a blog post I had written. The same principles I learned being on my own at college at Vanderbilt, I employ now at Kenyon where I really am alone. The point of my loving words is this, this is your first college experience, dive into it, challenge yourself in every activity, be a main part of discussion in class, meet people, try new things because this year you have support provided by your cohort and your chaperon, but in the next two years after leaving Pinole Valley High and the WCCUSD, you won't have that immediate support and you will have to rely on your experiences.
    I miss all of you very much and continue to represent our district and our school well.

    Kye Duren