My mother, the avid reader in my family, always says that anyone who gets bored is an idiot because one can always pick up a book and read it. Well I guess I'm a BIG idiot because I'm feeling pretty bored these days with ONLY having to study for the MCAT and take 2 classes (well, 1.5 classes since I only look over the Bioinformatics stuff every now and then). I guess I'm so used to burning the candle on 3 ends pun intended, that I almost don't know how to act when I have a "normal" schedule. And it hasn't helped that I had a one and a half week long flare up of my GI condition combined with PMS. Yeah, I've been pretty much a mess (and a witch) for the past week or so, LOL!!!
Jobwise or should I say fellowshi pwise, things are looking very good with the exception of that fact that the soonest I could start an off campus NCI sponsored fellowship in my new grad program is August 2011. So I'm looking at returning to the NCI (on campus) as a fellow since it pays a LOT more and offers more opportunities to do the kind of research I really want to do. At this point, I've narrowed that specificity of the kind of research I want to do to breast cancer, since I've learned the hard way that not keeping an open mind project wise is a great idea. I figure I'll have my time as a post doc to really focus on cancer health disparities research should it come to that.
MCAT news isn't as promising as I'd like it to be, I ended up with a "6" and "7" in the next chapters of the EK 101 problems book, so I started from scratch, retooling my strategy to approaching these problems and so far the results are the best yet, I scored a "13" on the AMCAS MCAT exam 1. Now this exam is known for being the easiest of all the ones available to take, but it's still an ego boost to me. When I consider the fact that I kept records of how I scored when I took this same exam 3 or 4 years ago, the improvement is pretty significant, an increase by 5 points.
So how did I change my verbal strategies? I went back to the EK verbal prep book which focuses on the question stems pretty significantly and being able to answer the questions without reading the passages. I also do NOT highlight ANYTHING in the passage as I'm reading because I realized that I rarely go back to what I highlighted in the passages looking for answers to the questions. I've also started reading the questions before the passage again, this time with an eye for figuring out what the question stem is asking for. Of course, it's still hard for me to tune out whatever I may know about the subject and focus on the question, but I'm pretty determined to get this worked put by August. A "13" is a pretty good start, I'm just hoping I can keep it up!