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November 29, 2006

Stormy Weather

Wow! It’s been a really long time since I updated my journal. I really really really want it to snow! I’m totally ready for winter to happen.

Thanksgiving was fantastic. My mom and my aunt came over to Seattle and had Thanksgiving with my boyfriends family, so that was super fun. Then they had to drive home through the mountain passes that had become quite treacherous while they were in Seattle, but they made it home safely. Seattle got to have a snow day yesterday which was kind of funny. Because Seattle so rarely get’s snow, they don’t maintain the equipment to clear roads. So if it does snow, the whole city basically shuts down.

Adam got me a new video card for my birthday (hehe, which isn’t until December) and I brought it home and installed it. My graphics look great now! Unfortunately when I installed it my computer kind of went on the fritz. It’s doing this crazy thing where I start an application and a few minutes later it stops responding, which wouldn’t be soo bad, except that ctrl-alt-del doesn’t work to make the programs end! So I end up having to manually power it off and then try again. I have no idea what is causing the problem, but yesterday evening it was working perfectly.. and this morning it’s a little on the fritz again, but not so bad. If anyone’s hobby is fixing computers with instability issues—drop me a line J

School is a little easier this week than it was last week, even though there is lots to do. I have ANOTHER pathophysiology test this Thursday which is kind of crazy. That class has waaaay too many tests. I hope that in the future when they offer it that maybe they will have fewer tests and maybe add a few homework assignments in their place. Biostats homework this week is pretty easy- which is nice. We only have one more week of biostats homework! And just one more epidemiology assignment to turn in! Ahhh! It will be nice to have all of that taken care of. Then all I have to do after I finish all those assignments is take 3 final exams, finish a group project, and write a short paper.

November 20, 2006

Colorectal Cancer Meeting

I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving! I’m headed home to Seattle tomorrow to spend Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and his family. My mom and my aunt are also going to spend Thanksgiving in Seattle at their house, so I’m really glad that I’ll be able to see lots of my family during the break.

So I want to share more about this colorectal cancer meeting I went to last week. The funding for this project comes from a nationally funded program called “Dialogue for Action.? The goal as I understand it is to bring together key members of a state or community to discuss colorectal cancer in that state or community, identify the barriers to individuals getting colorectal cancer screening, and after 3 planning meetings, culminate in a summit meeting with the hope that all of the discussion leads to a plan of action to increase the number of people who get screened for colorectal cancer.

In most states, the funding is used to hold a state-wide discussion, but the Dialogue for action I attended was different from the majority because it is focusing on a specific ethnic population rather than a state wide effort. In this case, the American Indians of Minnesota is the population holding the dialogues for action. The meeting we went to was attended by about 22 members of the American Indian community and we spent two days brainstorming about the cultural, political, economic, and logistical issues surrounding colorectal cancer screening. They really did a great job of trying to think of all the possible reasons that American Indians in Minnesota aren’t being screened for colorectal cancer. Well.. more to come on that at the meetings progress. The next one is scheduled for the first week in February

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

November 13, 2006

lost entry, tests, mouse.

oh man, I totally hate it when I loose a long entry I've been writing. I need to get in the habit of writing them in word and then pasting them into the weblog interface!

Well.. I've got to get to bed so here's the short version of the post I just lost.

Tests last week went fairly well. I didn't do an amazing job on my pathophysiology test, but I think I did passably well. The biostats test went very well and I look forward to getting my test back. There's an epi test coming up this Tuesday, but I'll be taking it as a makeup test on Thursday since I'm headed to Bemidji for the colorectal cancer meeting. I'm pretty excited about the meeting and getting a chance to learn more about the project that I'll be working on and helping to develop.

In other news.. my apartment building has had several mouse sightings in the past 2 weeks.. so I had two mousetraps set in my apartment. Tonight I heard one of the traps snap! I was sad and relieved, I don't like to kill creatures, but I don't want to cohabitate with them either. But then a few minutes later a dazed looking mouse came out from under the stove! ah! Now what do I do!? It wasn't moving very fast, so I dropped a little cardboard box over it. Ah! now I have a trapped mouse! I couldn't bring myself to just kill it manually, so I took it outside in the box and put it in the bushes across the street. Dang thing will probably come back inside, but maybe not, maybe it will just stay away!

Mouse in a box.jpg

November 6, 2006

Busy Bee

School has definately kicked into high gear this week. I've got two tests on Thursday (biostats and pathophys) along with two homework assignments due thursday also. Then next week on Tuesday there is an Epi test. I'm going to be taking that test as a makeup exam though because I get to go to a colorectal cancer meeting in Bemidji MN (near Duluth). People keep asking me how school is going and I've been answering "hard! which is good, because I wouldn't want to be spending $$$ per year to hear things I already know!" The rest of the semester also seems like it is going to seriously fly by. After this next round of exams, I'm headed home for Thanksgiving on the 21st. When I get back from Thanksgiving there will only be about 3 weeks left until winter vacation. In those final weeks I'll be working on tons of papers, projects, and studying. I have been genuinely surprised how quickly the semester has gone by. My undergraduate school was on the quarter system, and quarters definately pass quickly. I figured having semesters would make the term feel alot longer, but it feels pretty much the same.

I think I'd like to take the SAS class I've heard is offered during the last week of winter vacation, but I haven't been able to find out more about it, like dates and how to register for it. So one of my things to do this week is find out about that so I can decide if I'm buying plane tickets to come back to MN in time to take this class in January. If you know the details about this class, you should totally post a comment telling me where to find it :-)

So the possible job I was talking about earlier looks like it is going to work out to be a 50% RA position. I'll be working on a totally new grant which is aimed at evaluating the feasability of taking mobile colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy to Native American Reservations around Minnesota. I officially start work in January, but next week I'll be going with the group to their planning meeting in Bemidji. I think this project is going to be great because I'm getting involved on the ground level, which will allow me to be very familiar with every stage of the project. In previous research positions I've held, I have joined up with the project mid way through it's duration and by then most of the kinks have been worked out. I'm a big fan of working smarter, not harder so I look forward to coming up with awesome ways to make this project successful. The first step is this meeting next week where we will open a dialogue with representatives from many tribes about how they see colon cancer affecting their tribes, and possible steps for the future.

I went and got a flu shot today. The U sponsors free flu vaccine for students which is pretty great. I think it's the school of pharmacy that is manning the vaccination stations. The effort even has a logo-- it's a cow with text around it that says " I did it for the herd- Free walk-in flu clinics." I think that's a pretty cool logo. If you're ever looking for a hefty book to read, look up "Betrayal of Trust" by Laurie Garrett, it's a great public health read. One of the chapters in the book is about the collapse of public health infrastructure in the former Soviet Union and their loss of herd immunity for things like measles, mumps, and rubella.

November 1, 2006

Now with Audio!

I have this neat attachment for my ipod that does voice recordings. Below is a link to my first attempt at posting audio journal entries... so, lets see if this works!

Download file