First week of school!

Well, the first week of school has come and gone already!

Let's go day-by-day...

Day 1: Wednesday
According to any older student I spoke to, the seat you get in the first week or so is the seat you'll have for the rest of the year (and some say for all 3 years!) Consequently, that means you have to get to class VERY EARLY. Taking this literally, a few others joined me in arriving at the building at 6:50AM. Waking up before the sunrise is not fun when you've been sleeping until 3AM every night of the summer...

I got the seat I wanted! Third row, where there is a stair for my height issues, and not too close to the center to be in direct vision of the professor, but not so far to the side that I can't see the board.

[8:00-9:15AM] First class is Basic Pharmaceutics 1 with Dr. Moo Cho. He's a petite Asian man with a thick accent, but he seems nice. This class is what I'm afraid of most, so I'm guessing I won't like him for long. I shouldn't jinx myself, though!

[9:30-10:45AM] Then comes Biochemistry... which apparently will be exactly like BCH4024 at UF. Doesn't mean it will be any easier, but at least I'll have been exposed. The first few lectures are orgo reviews... fun!

[11-11:50AM] Third, is Physiology. Three years ago, it was taught in conjunction with the medical school across the street, but then the pharmacy school decided to bring it "in-house" and now it's taught by a UF Alumnus! Dr. Andrew Persky is super awesome (obviously, my adjective handbag has thinned out a bit).

Common hour is 12-1PM. No classes or review sessions are allowed to be scheduled at this time. These are usually when meetings are for organizations... quite convenient! On this day, there was an informational session/lunch provided with Kappa Epsilon, the all-female pharmacy fraternity. Met some great girls and seriously considering pledging :)

[1-2:50PM] FINALLY, came Health Systems. Besides scientific courses, part of the curriculum are courses that teach you about the other aspects of health care. This particular class will teach some practical things, including: structure of the US health "system" (in quotes because ours is so fragmented, it can be hardly called a system... ask me about it!), Medicaid/Medicare, health reform, medication therapy management (MTM), and public policy.

Despite the class being right after lunch and the end of a long day, the discussion-driven style keeps you awake, plus it's refreshing to talk about things that have real-life applications.

Wednesdays are the LONGEST day for PY1's. Schedules aren't regular (MWF, TR) so this just happened to be the day that all classes meet. It was nice to experience that first so that the initial exposure was rough and all you can go is up!

Day 2: Thursday
Since Day 1 was so long and started early, I was able to sleep early again but there was no need because my first course didn't start until 1PM!

[1-5PM] Pharmaceutical Care Lab. I think I'm really going to enjoy this lab. It's structured into Medical Terminology, Top 200 Drug List, Compounding, and Self Care. Each we we'll have lists of terms and drugs to learn and be quizzed on. Some days we will compound, and others we will have presentations of assigned over-the-counter/herbal remedies. We will also learn how to use blood glucose monitors and how to check blood pressures so that when our patients ask us, we can instruct.

We also must dress professionally to each lab. Love dressing up! Although this means I will have to buy some new wardrobe...

That night was another KE event, a dinner with the girls. Met even more great people!

Day 3: Friday
Fridays vary in length because some classes are canceled and the others are optional review sessions. This particular Friday, it was just a physiology review on the renal system.

During Common Hour, Senate sponsored a lunch to have with our mentors. My mentor is amazing! But I won't get into too many details :)

That evening was the CAPS Back-to-School Picnic where interested students got to see what they are all about. I'm stoked to be a part of it and all that they do. Among many things, they have numerous patient care projects including: Generation Rx, Operation Immunization, Diabetes, Women's Health, etc. It's a great way to be involved in the community and in campus.

Overall, great week! Can't wait to get into the meat of the classes next week and experience a full week plus work.



Orientation Day #2/First Dose of Franklin

Second day of Orientation was on Friday and was much shorter (9AM-12:30PM). Met a lot more great fellow classmates :) I think my favorite part was listening to the presentation about "Getting Involved" from 2 school leaders. It both inspired and intimidated me; I'm not sure if I could ever follow in the footsteps of those guys!

Afterwards, I treated Errol to lunch for dropping me off/picking me up from both days of Orientation. Thank goodness for his GPS on his handy-dandy Droid because we can just type in what we're craving and it will lead us there. I was craving some pad thai noodles, so we were led to Thai Palace on Raleigh St.

It was very delicious! I had my usual (always try out the noodles every Thai restaurant I go to) with thai iced tea and Errol had some curry with rice noodles. Not the biggest fan of curry, so I didn't try his plate, but mine was so good! The portions weren't large; we finished both of our meals (which is very rare for me) and the prices were very reasonable.

That night was the first Dose of Franklin at The Library on Franklin St. The "Doses" are sponsored by Student Senate as a social/fundraiser ($3 cover before 11PM went to Senate). Beforehand, a fellow PY1, Errol, and I joined in on some pre-gaming with PY2's. Had some delicious shots and was introduced to the games, "Boom" and "Last Word".

The Library was a lot of fun! It was packed with fellow students and it seemed like I could approach anyone and just introduce myself. Had some Rx Shooters, Washington Apples, Apple Sauce, and another one I don't remember. But all were yummy! Met a lot of new people and hung out with ones I met at Orientation.

Overall, great day!


Orientation Day #1

I survived my 40-hour work schedule last week with only minor injuries to my sleep cycle. Woo!

Then, at the end of the week we had visitors from Michael (Errol's roommate for 3 years) and his girlfriend. They were visiting his grandparents in Burlington and stayed with us for 3 nights.

We spent those days exploring restaurants like Allen and Sons (best BBQ around, apparently). Carolina BBQ is supposedly a very serious discussion between Western and Eastern Carolina. East vs. West, tomato-based sauce vs. vinegar-based sauce, etc. etc. There are even historical books about Carolina BBQ! It's very important up here.

Then my roommate of 3 years, Stu,  joined us on Sunday on his way back from his summer internship in Rochester, NY. It was such a great reunion, even though he just stayed for a few hours! We went to Top of the Hill, which I like to compare to The Swamp in Gainesville. What's cool about Top of the Hill is that they brew their own beer! I don't like beer, but it was a cool site.

Literally at the same time Mike and Lauren left Tuesday morning, we received our final visitor! An adorable 9-month-old, pug-retriever named: Codeine.

It was my first experience taking care of a dog, and I must say it was a great one! It was just for 24 hours but I already miss him now that he's gone. He was potty-trained, didn't bite, didn't lick, and stayed where he was supposed to be (aka out of the bedroom). He was so great!

Having all of the visitors was perfect timing because I'm very impatient and it was good to have all of the wonderful distractions while waiting for Orientation.

Speeeeaking of Orientation (Day 1)...

It was a great day! Albeit long (10AM-5PM), it was a great first interaction with the PY1 class and older student organization leaders. At the end, there was an organization fair where I got to indulge in what all 14 groups had to offer. I'm so excited to get involved; I'm very, very ready!

Day 2 tomorrow will be shorter (9AM-2PM), but I'm just as excited!



First Internship Duties!

It's been relatively boring since the last post. I worked last Friday, and then didn't work again until this Friday. And the free time in between consisted a whole lot of nothing. Well, I shouldn't say nothing... I watched TV, perused Facebook, cooked from time to time, took a lot of naps, and I think I went grocery shopping =] I figured I should take advantage of my freedom while I still can. Next week I'm at CVS for 40 hours, the week after that will be half free, half Orientation. Then the week after that... school starts!

Like I mentioned, last Friday was my very first day working at my new store. It's not actually in Chapel Hill, but in Durham. Luckily, towns here have about a 5-minute diameter so working in another town really isn't bad. It's just a hop, skip, and a leap off I-40.

The store is amazing. The co-workers are great and more importantly, the customers are great! I went from a store where cars were stolen from the parking lot in the mid-afternoon and not being able to walk to my car at night without the manager watching, to a middle class area where everyone has a credit card and there are barely any HIV medications dispensed. Unfortunately, it leaves less opportunities for "Pharm Phrustrations and Phunnies", but I think I can manage the terrible loss.

Life is good.

But not only was it my first day at a new store, it was my first day with my brand new name tag that said "Pharmacy Intern". Yippee!! Granted, being an "intern" means I'm basically a glorified technician who gets a couple more responsibilities and a little higher pay grade, it's still quite exciting! I love new responsibilities.

These responsibilities include: taking doctor scripts of the phone and voicemail, transferring scripts in and out of CVS to any other chain (between CVS's can be done through the computer), mix reconstitutes (antibiotics mainly), and normally I would be able to count narcotics but this store doesn't let the interns do it. I was really looking forward to learning the safe password and counting my first Percocet and Adderall. Oh well...

One thing I've learned from taking my first voicemails and phone calls is that nurses talk extremely quickly! I had to pause, rewind, and repeat multiple times for just one script! It was still fun :) And now I know why you can't multi-task or bother a pharmacist while they're checking voicemails.

11 days until Orientation!


New Beginnings, New Blog

I've decided to start a new blog archiving my new adventure!

The move happened last Saturday, July 23rd but I just got internet so now is my first opportunity to update :)

Moving to a new place has been a series of physical of emotional turmoil. The week of moving day seemed so surreal, but filled with lots of things to do. Health documentation to sort out, AP scores to send, work, friends to see one last time… and oh, PACK! I could have sworn that I had packed most of my stuff and that all I needed was help from my parents throwing away all of my trash bags.
Somehow when my parents came, my things multiplied. It was a full day of packing and throwing things away. I didn’t even sleep until 3AM the night before we left. That was a big mistake.
We set to leave at 7:30AM, but really left around 8:15AM (Filipinos are never one time, much to Errol’s dismay… he’s Mr. Punctual). I didn’t feel ready or excited. Just exhausted. After the whole week of being go-go-go, all I wanted was sleep-sleep-sleep. Luckily, I had my sister with me. But I was extremely cranky towards poor Errol the whole trip.
My sister and I listened to our huge playlist, which we eventually got bored of (go-figure) and instead listened and sang along to the West Side Story soundtrack. We both love it, and I have had the fortune of performing it about eight times in high school and undergrad. While for other people music like this would make you sleep, I love to listen to all of the singing and instrumental parts so the concentration on that alone helps me to keep my eyes open.
After about 4 hours, we arrived in Savannah in perfect timing for lunch (per Mom’s request)! It seemed that we got there sooner than expected and was told previously that it was halfway between Gainesville and Chapel Hill. Unfortunately I was misled, and there were still about 7 hours left including all of our stops for gas and resting.
But Savannah was really nice; it was SUPER hot, but we visited Paula Dean’s store, which was AWESOME! Her cooking isn’t quite my style (I’m not much for Southern dishes), but it’s awesome to be in a store just for cooking supplies. Mom got an ornament to remember our trip there.
Even though I had post-lunch sleepies added on to my exhaustion, it was time to be off again. I had an emergency 5-Hour Energy, but wanted to save it until the most desperate time. This happened to be around 4PM, which is normally my low point of the day where nothing can keep my eyes open. I busted out the shot and had to be my sister to help me stay awake. So, we made a list! Those are always fun. We made a shopping list of things I would need to be for the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. It kept my surviving until the drink kicked in, then we had finally crossed the state line of North Carolina.
But somehow there were still 3 hours left?! Oh well, the excitement of getting close was enough to sustain me. However, my back started to hurt really badly. You never think of something being painful for just sitting for a long time, but my entire back was killing me. We had to stop in Raleigh to gas up and my mom gave me an Advil. Then we were just 40 minutes away!
Things started to look vaguely familiar since I had been in Chapel Hill twice already (once for my interview and once to look at apartments with Errol) and I got extremely excited. However, I was also nervous to see the new apartment because it was the first time I picked one without my parents’ stamp of approval.
Twelve hours later, we arrived at the quaint apartment I [will soon] call home. It’s a really good size for Errol and I, and we upgraded to brand new appliances in the kitchen. 
After spending a lot of money (painfully), we finally have the place livable except for coffee and dining tables. That includes desk, couch, mattress, etc. We've had a lot of time to spend getting acclimated, and it makes me really glad that we moved here so early. 
It was tough for me to be here at first because it's my first move outside of Florida, I don't know anyone here (besides Errol... I mean at school), and I don't know where anything is. But since moving here, we have discovered the Super Target, Harris Teeter (the grocery chain up here), Franklin St., and lots of other places.
That's all for now... 
Can I just say I'm super excited for school to start? Fresh start is always a plus for me.