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Saturday, May 24, 2014

So Much Completed and So Much More to Go But First an Intermission

Where has the time gone?! I have been super lazy about updating my blog. I suppose pregnancy will do that to you. Since March life has been tired and busy and really tired. So I had 2 major things to complete in order to graduate. The first one being my honors thesis project. I had created the nutrition curriculum for the research project I had been working on for 2 years and it was implemented by another person in a 10 week efficacy trial. I feel like it was pretty successful and both my director and 2nd reader were happy with the curriculum and the results following the conclusion of the trial. So much so, that they want to continue using my curriculum when the trial is expanded and my second reader, who is a nutrition professor, said she may consider using it in other projects she is working on. Yay me! I was really excited about this because it is a project that really came from my heart and that I am very passionate about and I plan to continue to develop and grow it into something that other parents can use. I'm hoping to eventually create a website and a YouTube channel for the curriculum and include some additional data that I have found to educate parents so that they are able to educate their children.

The other project that I had to complete in order to graduate was the completion of my internship at A.T. Still University in the virtual anatomy lab. I had really hoped to maximize the "free-time" I had to really focus on completing my research but with the difficulty of this pregnancy, I found that to be really difficult. With my 2 previous pregnancies I worked until at least a week before giving birth and I did not have any physical or mental issues that kept me from working. THIS TIME, I was constantly feeling as though my brain could not function properly. I couldn't remember anything, my normal school schedule, in terms of studying and organizing my work, was completely thrown out the window and after a certain time of day, FORGET ABOUT IT!, my brain ceased to work in any type of coherent manner. But I digress, having said all of that, I found it incredibly difficult to focus on the research I had to complete for that research project and was a total slacker. I completed all of the necessary projects for the class portion of the course but I really feel like I let the site supervisor I was working with down. I also feel like I might have blown a really great opportunity to prove myself at an institution that I want so badly to attend. He was really understanding about my pregnancy, but I felt like I was making excuses. My only saving grace with this is that he has agreed to allow me to continue working on this project going forward, even as long as an additional year. The research really is something I am really interested in (How cadaveric dissection in medical schools may be impacting the number of Native Americans applying to medical school and how it can be and has been dealt with currently at medical schools; also how virtual anatomy may play a part in increasing the number of Native American applicants by decreasing cadaver contact) and the potential to be published is pretty great because there is no current literature that addresses this particular topic, that I have found anyway. I'm going to leave it to God and hope that my site supervisor (who is a doctor I could get a letter of recommendation from!) is still willing to work with me once my brain begins to work appropriately, assuming that happens after new baby exhaustion. Lol! Let go and let God, right?

With those two things complete, I was able to breath a sigh of relief and my only other concern was my last nutrition class which I did enjoy. I am very proud to say that I completed my degree graduating with honors and magna cum laude (3.68 GPA). One of the proudest days of my life. It took me 4.5 years to get here but I have been able to check off 2 of my goals, getting my A.A. and getting my B.S. and I did both spectacularly.

I have made the decision to postpone my medical school application until next year for 2 reasons: 1) there is no way my brain would be able to put together the personal statement and subsequent essays necessary in order to make myself a strong candidate; nor would I have the letter I really want from the doctor I have been working with 2) there is NO WAY I would be able to take the MCAT by August and get a decent score so that I might be invited for an interview this fall. What this means is instead of 1 mommy year, I'll get 2 mommy years. In reality, I think this is much better for me and for my family. I think that it is important to allow your brain to run free for a while so as to not overload myself and get back to doing the things that make me happy with out the stress of expectations. Also, I think that I owe it to my little people to spend some time focusing only on them, especially this new little munchkin that will be coming (hopefully VERY soon). Most of all, I think my super awesome husband especially deserves the opportunity to explore what he wants for the next 2 years. He is making major life changes as well and as supportive as he has been for me and my goals/dreams, I know he needs that time as well. He is transitioning into becoming a basketball coach and coaching is a time consuming profession. It requires long hours that do not necessarily pay in terms of currency but allow for networking and producing results by seeing kids grow in skill, maturity and knowledge, about basketball and life. In order to be able to do what he needs to do and be prepared for the time when I have to put my full focus on medical school, I know he needs to be able to do what he needs to do now and put in the time so that it is easier for our family in the long run, wherever we end up due to my schooling. It is going to be challenging, it is going to be hard because I am not the SAHM type but most of all I know it will be fun to be able to engage at my boys' school, to spend time with my little girl and to be at everyone of my husband's functions. No matter what, family comes before all else.

I have so many things I want to do for myself over the next 2 years as well. Aside from the research and development of my nutrition education, I also plan on keeping myself well-read, getting into better shape than I was before I got pregnant (possibly even playing basketball again; I was a collegiate basketball player BTW and I am definitely seeing a half marathon and marathon in my future) and starting a new blog about my life, an autobiography of sorts. The last thing, in particular, is something I have always wanted to do. I have lived an interesting and eventful life that I have always felt may resonate with others if not for the experiences, for the way in which I allowed myself to grow from my experiences. I'll be taking time off from blogging for a while as I wait for my newest bundle of joy to make her grand entrance but never fear, as soon as studying for the MCAT begins, hopefully in August, I'LL BE BACK!!!