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July 17, 2007

Summer Update

Summer has pretty much been trucking along with nothing getting in it's way. I'm taking 3 online classes this summer plus working at my field experience and my RA position. I've definitely been busy, but it's been good. I've had time on the weekends to hang out with friends and I was able to go home and see my mom for a while, and home for one weekend to see family and go to a friends wedding. I'm taking a weight training class this summer at the rec center, which I definitely am enjoying.

Here is a picture of the baby geese at the park where my mom works. She has been working full time all through her chemotherapy for her breast cancer.
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This is another pretty picture of the flowers from her park.
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There have been so many activities that I just haven't gotten around to putting up postings about them!

Things I should post about
-May BBQ at Thuy's House
-My afternoon at the MoA underwater adventures aquarium
-Emily's Wedding
-Hanging out around Minneapolis
-Summer classes

Well, I'm off to go work on some homework, hopefully I'll be able to get more pictures up soon!

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

April 12, 2007

Update

My mom is doing really well. She went to her surgeon yesterday and got cleared for physical activity and prescribed some physical therapy to help her get her arms limbered up again after the surgery. They invited her to participate in a phase III clinical trial. You can read the description of the study at

http://www.cancer.gov/search/ViewClinicalTrials.aspx?cdrid=334899&version=healthprofessional
or

http://www.ctsu.org/ and search for breast cancer trials
The study is called...
Phase III Trial of Continuous Schedule AC + G Vs. Q 2 Week Schedule AC, Followed by Paclitaxel Given Either Every 2 Weeks or Weekly for 12 Weeks as Post-Operative Adjuvant Therapy in Node-Positive or High- Risk Node Negative Breast Cancer.

We haven't decided for sure yet if she is going to participate, but think that she probably will.

I've had a TON of class work to take care of this week and I'm hoping to be pretty much caught up with my work by tomorrow.

March 19, 2007

Long Week

I *just* now got back from spring break. I was supposed to come back last night around 5pm, but my flight was full, so I volunteered to take the red eye flight to get a free plane ticket. It was worth it for the free plane ticket, but I'm definately going to be a little bit of a zombie today.

Spring break was pretty good overall. I had lots of fun as usual getting to see Adam, but there were a few sad family/friend things that happened over spring break.

I'm supposed to have a half-semester online course that starts today, but the professor hasn't sent out an email with any instructions or opened webCT yet, so I guess I'm just supposed to wait until that happens to do anything.

February 24, 2007

Trip to California and Stormy Weather

School is definitely going to be busy these next two weeks before spring break. As I'm sure most students do right before spring break, I've got lots of assignments and tests and meetings. I'll do a more complete class posting sometime this week, but for now I think posting pictures from my trip to California would be more fun!

The Wedding Party
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The fun wedding party picture!
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Natalia and I getting ready to head off to the wedding location doing makeup and such...
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The awesome weather and the Santa Barbara beach (actually it's the Carpinteria beach, but close enough)
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Did the storm on Friday night wake anyone else up periodically throughout the night?
I'm a pretty heavy sleeper, but the wind woke me up about 3 or 4 times during the night. The wind kept shaking my windows and blowing the icy rain sleet stuff at them. Very noisy little storm. Saturday morning it was really quiet when I woke up, so I figured the snow must have started, and indeed it had! I love severe weather!

Friday night I was planning on hosting a potluck at my house with a few other students from the school of public health. But at the last minute everyone decided the weather was going to be too severe to be out driving around in it, so it ended up being just me and Jooyeon. We still had fun though! Jooyeon made a Korean spicy vegetable dish ( I can't remember what it's called) and I made crab puffs, a vegetable soup in the crock pot, and margaritas.

January 19, 2007

Nice Restaurant

I'm trying to come up with a nice/fun/tasty place to take Adam for dinner while he's in town at the end of January. Does anyone have any ideas about a really yummy restaurant in the twin cities area? We don't have a car, so we would be taking the bus or a taxi to and from dinner. I have a pretty good idea about chain restaurants, but I'd love to hear some suggestions from people who have tried out some of the local restaurants. All types of food are welcome, and most price ranges are fine.

Suggestions?

December 14, 2006

carrots

oh my goodness, so I bought some carrots at the outside in for a morning snack now I'm trying to eat them in the Sphere, which is unnaturally quiet this morning, so my carrots are SUPER LOUD!

other funny story.. I got the hiccups last night right as I was trying to go to sleep, so I had to sit there for like 20 minutes and wait for them to stop before I could go to bed. good times :-)

In other news... one test down, two to go. The pathophysiology exam was pretty straight forward, I bet I missed a few points on questions where I knew there was a specific term I couldn't remember, but overall I think I did pretty well. *nod*

Tomorrow is the biostats exam, I still have quite a bit of studying to do for that, but overall I think it shouldn't be too bad. Epi is sort of suffering in the studying department since that is the third of three tests in a row. After the review session this afternoon at 4:15 I should have a better idea of what I don't know very well.

Then all I have left is to write my pathophysiology paper, which I was thinking of starting right now.

Here's a list of things I need to do before I go home for Christmas on Sunday
-Biostats Test
-Epi Test
-Pathophys Paper
-Work Meeting
-Epi winter event! (this ought to be fun with lots of good food!)
-Laundry!
-Clean up my apartment so nothing gross will be waiting for me when I get back in January
-Pack clothes and Christmas presents to take home.

*takes a deep breath and dives back into studying*

December 6, 2006

Neatness

I just went today and filled out the new hire paperwork for my new job. My start date is Jan 11th. I can't wait to get started on this project and get a better feel for what I'll be doing. I have a feeling it will involve alot of time in the library reading articles and looking for data about colorectal cancer screening.

Meanwhile, this semester is rapidly winding down. Last biostats homework is due tomorrow and I still need to pick a topic for my pathophysiology paper. This week has been fairly straightforward so far, but I need to get a few things wrapped up for tomorrow.

Yesterday we had a meet-and-greet thingy with Dean Finnegan and had a really great discussion about the state of our school and what was on peoples minds. I would say it was fairly well attended by students. We talked about issues such as financial support for people doing their masters projects, support for international students, both social and financial, the availability of graduate assistant positions, and on what sorts of classes are being offered and what some people would like to see offered. Dean Finnegan seems to really know what's happening in the school and is working very hard to make the school even better than it already is.

Jooyeon and I tried to go to bodyworlds this weekend, but we could only get tickets for a 3am or 4am admission and we didn't really want to be out riding the bus in the middle of the night, so we decided not to go. Instead we went to the Mall of America to go shop for coats. Oh my goodness, SO many people. It was quite the madhouse! When we got there though one of the activities that was happening was auditions for Dave Letterman's stupid pet tricks. There wrere some really funny pets! This one very small dog went absolutely crazy every time someone was using windex. ok.. I gues it's a little hard to explain, but believe me, it was funny.

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!

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October 21, 2006

Fall activities

Good News! I might have a research assistant position lined up for next semester, pending a grant getting funded and finding a little bit more funding for me. I'll post more as I hear more. It's a little bit serendipitous because the faculty I might end up working with is someone who works with the research group I worked with in Seattle. The grant is focused on researching colorectal cancer screening in Native Americans in Minnesota.

The other really exciting thing that happened this week was that I got my plane tickets to go home for Thanksgiving! My boyfriend Adam ended up buying them for me since it was his turn to buy tickets (we trade every other month buying plane tickets for visiting each other). I'll be visiting home alot in the next two months for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adam and I are going to Disneyland in April with a plane ticket that we won in a drawing, that will be super fun.

Last weekend Jooyeon and I went to an apple picking farm west of Minneapolis, it was really fun! There were all sorts of animals at the farm and lots of yummy food to try. Here are some pictures from that adventure....

This one is of Jooyeon and I on the tractor/trailer ride out through the corn fields. We got to go walking out into the fields and pick corn (the kind that you can dry out and pop in the mircowave!).
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This particular farm was pretty cool because they had animals all over the place. I was particularly entertained by the turkeys just wanering around like they owned the place!
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We bought pumpkins and apples from the place, here is what the table decoration I made looked like....
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We actually ended up cooking the pumpkins and making a pumpkin cheesecake. We also baked some apples and made apple crisp. So yummy! I really like to cook my own pumpkin because it's so much more personal to see the pumpkin that your dessert came from!

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Today the SPH Student Senate went and raked leaves! Only about 7 people showed up, but it was a pretty fun day. After we were done raking leaves we went out to a really yummy cafe that serves organic food. It feels good to go out and help people get their yards ready for winter who would otherwise have trouble doing it themselves. The only funn part was that there are still a fair number of leaves left on the trees, so these yards will probably get more leaves on them before winter really sets in, but that's alright, at least we made a dent in the pile.

This weekend I need to get a fair amount of work done because I'm headed off to Seattle on Wednesday! I'm pretty excited to go home and see Adam and some other friends. We're going to go to the homecoming football game for UW (University of Washington) and play in the alumni band. The other important reason I'm going to Seattle is to be at a friends bridal shower and get fitted for my bridesmaids dress for her wedding.

September 5, 2006

First Day of School!

Hi :-) My name is Andrea, I am a first year Master in Public Health: Epidemiology candidate. Long title, I know, usually I shorten it MPH Epi. I am from Seattle, Washington (GO HUSKIES!). I graduated in December 2005 from the University of Washington with undergraduate degrees in Biology and Public Health. Why come to Minnesota you ask? Well, the answer is kind of long, and I think I'll save the full story for another entry.

Today was the first day of classes and here's the rundown!

Pathophysiology of Human Disease: Great course material. The professor is just one year away from retirement. He has been teaching the class for so long that he really knows his stuff and is very organized. He has an assistant professor who is supposed to be learning from him I think. It's possible that the beginning of this class will be a lot of review for me because I studied biology as an undergraduate and the first section of the
class is cell biology.

I was late to class this morning because I went to the wrong building (great way to start the first day of grad school!). After class I went up to him and apologized for being late, that I had gotten lost on the way to
class. He said, "that's fine! I still get lost sometimes," very nice guy.

Biostatistics 1: It's numbers, so I'll probably like it a lot. The professor is pretty young, but he seems to know his stuff and has a good sense of humor, which is good because the class is 2 hours long.

Epidemiological Methods 1: This is the material that I was most excited about, and still am, but I think this class is going to be a lot of review for me since I took Epi as an undergraduate. We are using the same text book and some of the same articles. I'm kind of excited about the overlap because I think I stand a chance of doing really well in this class and making a good impression on the faculty (mmm competition for jobs is already on my mind;-)). Also, studying the same material again will be a good chance to *really* learn my stuff.

Overall I'm really excited about my classes. I still need to finish buying my textbooks! I bought 2 of them in the bookstore, 1 online at amazon.com, and one I already owned. I'm actually debating what to do about the one
that I already owned because it's one edition older than the one we're using in class, so the page numbers don't quite line up. I think I'll try to make do with the one I have rather than spend $70 for the newer one
that's almost identical.