Quarter 2 brought in the new year of 2016. We had survived our first round of chiropractic school, along with all the tests, quizzes, assignments, and final exams. I ended up doing very well in all of my first quarter classes, which gave me hope for the upcoming quarter that I could really handle grad school. This quarter’s classes included Spinal Anatomy, Motion Palpation, Regional Anatomy, Diversified Analysis, Central Neuroanatomy, Entrepreneurship, and, the ever-dreaded, General Pathology. Many classes who had come before my quarter warned us of the difficulty of Gen Path with the one and only, Sue Ray. Sneaky Sue, as she was affectionately known, would test your ability to critically think and put the puzzle pieces of pathology together. If you could get through her class, you could pass National Board Exams.
I continued going to see my intern, Emsy, 3 times per week, as she recommended. While I was not in nearly as much pain as I was before I started with her, she taught me that pain is (fortunately) one of the first things to go away with chiropractic care, but chiropractors are more focused on correcting structure and function so that the pain never returns. I was lucky to have her for an intern, because she was able to prepare me for classes that I had yet to take. She let me know which classes would be the most difficult, which ones had the best instructors (which was actually all of them), and how to study for certain subjects. She even slowed down her analysis purposely so that I could try to explain back to her what I thought she was doing – this allowed me to feel what I was trying to learn, particularly in my Motion Palpation and Diversified Analysis classes.
The second quarter brought new living changes too – Jordan and I found a home that was closer to school, and moved there with another guy in our class, Patrick, as well as another girl who left almost as quickly as she arrived. I managed to injure myself pretty badly while we were moving – the truck bed got stuck on one of our trips and when I finally got it to release my thumb went backwards and ended up hitting my wrist – I heard a pop and wasn’t sure if it was the truck bed or my thumb that made the noise. This unfortunately meant another set of x rays and more paperwork for my intern to deal with. Fortunately there was no fracture but I managed to give myself a second degree sprain in my thumb. This was probably the worst timing because I had my entire wrist wrapped up in a tensor bandage and it was lab finals week, meaning I had to demonstrate all of the motion tests I had learned over the last 10 weeks. Fortunately my instructors were very understanding and had me verbalize a lot more of what would normally be demonstrated. I still did great in my classes, albeit slightly more handicapped for the final two weeks.
Finals week brought the same levels of stress as the first quarter, although there was much more tension around Sue Ray’s Gen Path class. I managed to get a “B” in her class; however about 12 people in our group of 96 ended up failing her class, forcing them to take it over again. It was a harsh reality for some people, and a few students decided that they were not cut out for this program after the second quarter.
My knowledge only doubled in my second quarter – I will forever remember “E, E, E, for ALLERGY” from Sue Ray’s class (in case you’re wondering, that’s eosinophils, IgE, for allerg”eees”). I also learned all the muscles, arteries, veins, nerves, ligaments, and tendons for the upper and lower extremity, as well as where everything attaches. We learned the regions of the brain, the spinal tracts that control our conscious and unconscious movements, and how to assess a person through visualization, static palpation, and motion palpation.
I did manage to have some fun along the way this quarter – I met a fellow Victorian named Federico (who would later go on to become another one of my many roommates), and we went with a group of Canadians at the school to a San Jose Sharks vs Vancouver Canucks game (Vancouver won by the way).
I also managed to go home for spring break – a short week (compared to the three weeks we got for Christmas) but it was nice to see my family and friends (especially my animals). This quarter brought on a host of new challenges, but we all managed to survive. The hunger for more knowledge was still very prominent in me, and I couldn’t wait to get back to school.