Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Concepts, New Friends

Every morning has become a routine already. My breakfast was okay, because unfortunately my so-called “toasted” bagel was hard. But I had some hash browns and fruit to fill my stomach. I then headed off to another session of class.

Our morning session of Pharmacology was not as much fun due to a lot of lectures. I think lecturing is an important part of teaching, but I wanted to do more discussions and interactions with other students. The first part of the lecture was on the topic: Risk-Benefit Analysis. It discussed how society has benefitted from science, but how there are risks. For example, people who are used in the clinical to test drugs are at risk because of the unknown consequences, while society at large benefits if in fact the drug is successful. The three things that effect the perception of risk is: dread/fear, control, and choice. Each perception of risk depends on the person.

We then had another power point presentation on where drugs come from. Drugs come from: plants, animals, sea creatures, mold, minerals, soil, bacteria, and synthetics.  It was interesting to learn that Insulin comes from beef and pork pancreases. 8000 pounds of pancreases equate to one pound of insulin! It’s crazy how drugs are made from animals, and I wonder if vegans who take Insulin know that! I also learned a fun fact that there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbuck cafes in Colorado.

We then had lunch, but I didn’t really enjoy my meal.  I usually doubt Asian cafeteria food, and I was right this time. It didn’t taste too good, so I wasn’t really satisfied.  On a brighter note, we headed back to class and did something a little more interesting. In groups, we each read a section in the drug book and then taught the class what we read. My group read a section about teratogens, which are drugs or agents that cause birth defects. I learned that even x-rays and viruses could cause birth defects in pregnant women. Even more so, if the father of the child takes drugs or drinks alcohol before he knows the mother is pregnant, the child can also be born with birth defects. That's why couples should be very careful. Additionally, we discussed the felonies and punishments of those who take illegal drugs. For each illegal drug there is a specific amount of grams you will have to possess in order to be fined or taken to jail. It is crazy because you can just have a smaller amount of the drug and not get punished. The controversies with drugs are much more interesting to me than what drugs are made of. I hope as each day goes on, the curriculum becomes much more interesting to me, and class becomes much more enjoyable. I am really grasping the college curriculum aspect, and it's helping me discover myself more.

Reunited and it feels so good!
I enjoyed our third day of dance class. We learned the Paso Doble and this time a learned the guy part. My partner and I are learning pretty fast, and I must say we’re doing pretty well. For dinner, I had a nice salad with poppy seed dressing, beef, French fries, and a cupcake. It was much better than lunch today, and my filled stomach has made me a happy camper.  After, I took advantage of SOFT night, and walked around Nashville with some of my new friends. We stopped by Sweet Cece’s, and I got pomegranate raspberry frozen yogurt with mochi and strawberries. It was very refreshing. We also went to CVS to buy some necessities.

Sweet Cece's!
Photo shoot at CVS with new friends!

I ended my day with yet another great proctor group meeting. It has been only our third full day, and already some POGOs written were very heartfelt. Our bond formed has been the closet I have formed with a group of people in this short amount of time.

Fortunately this day was not blazing hot. It felt more like California weather! I began to feel a little homesick, especially missing my brother. I hope to make the most of my time when I return home from VSA, because he’ll be leaving soon after. Till then, I am sure I will continue to have a great time here at Vanderbilt!

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