Monday, August 29, 2016

I never thought that I would say this, but it feels good to be back in Louisiana. I grew up in Lafayette, went to school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and live in Pensacola, FL, when I am with my parents.  I decided to come back to Louisiana in order to attend the Master's of Pharmacology program offered by Tulane School of Medicine. This blog will serve as a reflection of my time during the program, from academics to service to life in New Orleans.

It's hard to believe that it has been a month and a half since we began the program, and we have already taken two block exams. The pace of the classes is definitely faster than most of the classes, if not all, I had at Vanderbilt, but this is a good thing. I've enjoyed the learning material thus far as it is very applicable to the medical field.  Due to the fast pace, studying for the material seemed overwhelming at first, but as we continued classes, I realized that studying for classes in Med Pharm or Principles of Pharmacology is much more exciting and interesting than general chemistry or physics.  I have performed well on the first two blocks, but could do better so I am slightly changing my study habits as I prepare for the next block exam.

For service, I am primarily going to be involved with two organizations: SciHigh and Second Harvest Food Bank. I, and the others who are going to volunteer at the high school, are waiting for all the forms to be finalized before we can begin tutoring. I am looking forward to this opportunity based on presentation given to us by former students who worked there. Second Harvest Food Bank provides food access, education, and relief aid throughout southern Louisiana.  Due to the flood that ravaged Baton Rouge and Lafayette, many people donated items. Last Saturday, I volunteered at their food sorting warehouse to sort and pack over 10,000 pounds of food to distribute to the affected areas.  It was really cool to see people of all ages come together and work to help those in need. I will continue signing up to work in the sorting warehouse and community kitchen to help those who need it.

Along those lines, 5 of us traveled to Baton Rouge yesterday to help clear out a house that had flood damage.  Through the help of the Nola Tree Foundation, we went to the home and took out the installation, drywall, and tile floors that were damaged.  I learned a lot about how to properly "destroy" a home for future renovations, though I didn't like the circumstances on which I learned my new skills. It was shocking to drive through the neighborhood and not be able to see the sidewalk, but instead household items and the literal structures that make up a house. We did what us novices could, and the homeowners were grateful for our help.

Lastly, living in New Orleans has reminded me of the southern culture that I grew up with and is inherently a major part of who I am. The hospitality is not comparable to anywhere else. New Orleans is such a unique city with a vibrant culture and I look forward to exploring more of what the city has to offer.

'Til next time.

Service Hours Tracker:
Second Harvest Food Bank: 4
NOLA Tree Fund/Disaster Cleanup: 8
Total: 12