Uncategorized

What I’m Reading: Stiff

The first book I finished in 2019 was Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach and I have to say it was slightly disappointing. I was so excited to read this one as I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from cadavers in my anatomy lab and it didn’t live up to my expectations. This was the non-fiction book I selected for my book club and luckily they picked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine instead, I may not have been allowed to choose another book.

Before I get into the book itself, I’ll explain what I was looking for. Retrospectively, my expectations are kind of unrealistic. I was looking for the backstory to Gail, Ruth, Richard, or Robert- the cadavers we see in class. I wanted a book that gave me the backstory of how a librarian becomes a cadaver. The story of how the charter boat captain with PAD found his way into my anatomy lab. I wanted the biography of someone who I don’t even know their real name (we only use first names to protect their identity). I wanted to learn how they were embalmed, wound up at the medical school and then transported to my school. Although I have asked my anatomy professor and she said the two bodies that are new this semester were dropped off while we were all in class his summer! So you see, my expectations were slightly unrealistic and now I’ll get into the actual book.

There were parts that really intrigued me but there were parts that I wanted to skip over completely.

Here are the topics that fascinated me:

  • The first chapter started out really strong: the use of cadavers so that surgeons can practice their skills. I found this section particularly interesting because it surrounded plastic surgery and using cadaver heads. This was particularly interesting to me because we cover the head all year. I love anatomy lab but I think I would feel very differently if we dissected this part.
  • Later in the book it talked about crucifixion experiments. I found this chapter intriguing because it talked about the physics and physiology of crucifixion. There have been multiple people that have studied the nail placement and this chapter was a quick look into the research that has been done using cadaver arms as well as the living.

The topics that were interesting but went on for too long:

  • The use of cadavers as crash test dummies. The Test Track dummies you find in Epcot are used along with cadavers to make sure your car has a high vehicle safety rating. I’m not even going to hide the fact that Test Track is the reason I was interested in this section at all. I imagined all of the impact testing that use to be featured in the queue line and replaced the dummies with cadavers.
  • This is another one that had never crossed my mind: using cadavers to analyze a crash site. The bodies at the site of a wreck can give you as much information as the black box can. The most interesting thing from this section in my opinion: bodies found in the water.

The topics that I really could have lived without:

  • Army tests in cadavers. Don’t get me wrong I think this is very important research that needs to be done but even though I read this chapter yesterday I couldn’t tell you too much about it. This is another thing I didn’t even know you could use cadavers for and although it’s an interesting concept I didn’t retain anything.
  • Cannibalism for wellness. I don’t even think I need to expand on this one.

So if you’re looking for the story of Gail, Ruth, Richard, or Robert… this isn’t the book for you. There are still six topics left to be discovered in this book and I suggest you go for the topics that interest you. I personally felt that this book took me forever to get through and I would have enjoyed it more if I read the parts that intrigued me and skipped over the extra ten pages on crash test dummies.

While this wasn’t one of my favorite reads I am glad I read it as it expanded my view of cadavers. Going into this read my only knowledge of them was being wheeled out of a freezer and peeling the skin back to pin muscles but now I can appreciate more areas of science that I didn’t know existed.

A question you may be asking is will I do it? This is a question that Roach answered in her book and I thought it would be fitting to share my point of view. Nope. Probably not. Once you donate your body to science there are a number of places you could end up. While I’ve benefitted from dissection in anatomy lab and plasticized brain tissues in my neuro lab, I wouldn’t want the Mark Sloan’s of the world practicing their Botox skills on me. And I’ve learned from this book that while I could mark off certain things I wouldn’t want to end up doing there’s no guarantee some future PT would learn about the origins and insertions of all the muscles from me and that’s the thing I would want the most. But sign me up for organ donation… in fact I just donated blood today!

Happy reading! Let me know what’s on your to be read shelf in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

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College, Friday Faves, Uncategorized

My Friday Faves: Vol. XI

Here is this week’s Friday Faves! This week is all about back to school! Let me know what your campus must haves are in the comments! Feel free to click on the link above which will take you to any of the things I mentioned!

Happy Friday!

xox,

Marissa

College, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What I’ve Learned in 2018

2018 has been a huge year for me and I am so thankful for all of the lessons I learned this year. I am so ready to take everything I have learned in order to make 2019 the Year of Marissa!

If you didn’t understand that reference I ask that you shut your laptop immediately and start watching reruns of The Middle on ABC. It’s one of my favorite TV shows and if you didn’t already know… I am Sue Heck.

This photo does not belong to me and comes from Trophy Central

Now that you’ve binged watched all 9 seasons of The Middle let’s get on with the lessons I’ve learned…

Lesson 1: Take time for yourself.

This is something that I have struggled with so much this year and will probably continue to struggle with it in the upcoming year. But it is so important to schedule time for yourself every day. And yes, I said schedule it or else it’s going to get pushed to the bottom of the to do list.

One of the best ways I’ve been able to incorporate this into my studying is to use the Focus Keeper app. It keeps you on task for 25 minutes and gives you a five minute break. After four rounds of staying on task it gives you a longer 25 minute break.

Another way I’ve born able to incorporate “me time” into my everyday routine is to read every morning for 10-20 minutes. Instead of getting up and scrolling through instagram, I read instead!

You also need to plan time for yourself every week in a bigger way! Whether it’s having a movie night with my roommates or going out to dinner with some of my classmates after a huge test it’s so important to have ways to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in.

Lesson 2: Change your perspective.

This is something I only started doing a month before the semester ended but it has definitely changed the way I think about things. There are always things we think we should be doing to feel the most prepared and that often leaves us feeling inadequate. Now I make two lists of things for the day: things I need to get done and things that would benefit me if I could do them today. By avoiding saying I should do this and should do that ad replacing it with things I have to do today and things that would benefit me I avoid the daunting laundry list of things that if I don’t finish them I will end up feeling overwhelmed.

This next one is one I say in someone’s Instagram story that I plan on using this semester. Replace why is this happening to me with what is this trying to teach me?

I firmly believe that by changing the way you look at things, the things you look at change (Wayne Dyer) and I will share any other ways to change your internal dialogue with you as I come across them!

Lesson 3: Believe in yourself.

If I have learned one test taking strategy this semester it is to go into the exam confidently. I performed way better on the five finals I had in six days at the end of the semester than the seven exams I had in seven weeks during the school year.

During our seven weeks of exams, I constantly felt like I wasn’t prepared. I just took a test and then I only had a few days to go through it all again, it seemed never ending. I constantly felt defeated and I was not ready to take whatever test that week entailed, I was caught up in the “should have done this, should have done that” game. During finals I had to adjust my studying pattern, I knew I wouldn’t have the time I thought was adequate because we were squeezing all of these tests into a shorter amount of time. Between accepting that there wasn’t enough time in a day, and realizing I had prepared myself to the best of my ability I went into these tests much more confidently and it paid off!

Another thing is to not compare yourself to others. In an age where social media is everything this is so much easier said than done. When I was asking an upperclassman for advice we were talking about grades and she asked me if I tole people the numbers I got and I said well yeah we always talk about the numbers (pretty much down to the decimal point) when the grades are released. And she told me there’s nothing wrong with talking about how well you’re doing or if you’re struggling in a class but forget about the numbers. In 2021 it won’t matter what I got in each class (as long as it’s above an 83!) and it won’t matter what my class rank is, I’ll still be able to call myself a doctor.

I hope you enjoyed a look into my 2018 and how I’m going to carry those lessons into 2019! One way I am going to stay mindful of these things so I don’t get caught up in all of the stress is to print these three things out and keep them above my desk.

I’m also going to be doing a goal board with my mom before I head back to school so I will keep you updated on that. 2019 is going to be such a big year for me: in May I’ll be graduating and in September I’m going to be moving into an off campus house I’m renting! This next semester is going to be full of a ton of lasts but I can’t wait to see where this year takes me! Let me know what you are leaving in 2018 and what you have to look forward to in 2019!

xox,

Marissa


Travel, Uncategorized

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A few weeks ago (before I sold my soul to PT school), I took the train to Boston to enjoy one of my last days of freedom. I had never been there before but I had seen a photo of the courtyard on Pinterest and it was so beautiful! I have been to Boston sooo many times I found it hard to believe I had never been there before.

I had learned about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in high school because there was a book (“The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft” by Ulrich Boser) on one of my summer reading lists. While I had picked a different book, every once in awhile I would try to remember the name of the museum that had paintings stolen that had never been recovered (more to come on that later). Then three years later I accidentally stumbled in when I found out college students can get in for $5.

Without further adieu here are some of the highlights of my trip

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Had to stop for Blackbird Doughnuts before I headed over! This time I tried the java berry donut, 10/10 would recommend.

After wandering through some of the Emerald Necklace parks I started heading toward the museum.

 

 

Following the death of her husband, Isabella Stewart Gardner opened a museum to showcase her extensive collection of art. She lived up on the fourth floor of this museum and in my opinion it looks like a regular building, so when I was looking around to figure out where I was supposed to going I completely missed it the first time.

 

 

After looking at a collection in the New Wing, I was confronted with the view I had come to see. Gardner’s “Inside Out” Venetian palazzo. I spent plenty of time just taking in that view as well as watching some people restoring a piece of the collection.

Pictured below is a piece of the woman herself. This picture was actually pretty controversial when it first appeared in the museum. IMG_9549

Two of the themes that I was fascinated by, and it appeared that Gardner was also fascinated by were the dancers and the Christian pieces. I forget if this was a Degas painting but there were a few of Degas’s dancers scattered throughout the museum. They also had quite a few religious pieces and the stain glass absolutely mesmerized me.

 

 

The science lover in me really appreciated this one…IMG_9543

Then, I spent sometime in the garden outside reading. (Go take a look at my review of Summer at Tiffany)

 

 

Here’s the showstopper…

IMG_9551This is one of the thirteen empty frames in the museum. Once a piece entered Gardner’s collection it stayed there. Keeping with her tradition of collecting art, the museum keeps the frames as placeholders.

And just one more picture of the courtyard!
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If you are ever in Boston and looking for something to do, I would definitely head here! It’s such a beautiful place and it’s easy to spend hours wandering through the rooms. I want to keep some element of surprise so I didn’t talk about the layout of the museum but it’s very intriguing!

xox,

Marissa

P. S. If you want to check out my Pinterest, you can find it here!

 

College, Uncategorized

Life Update: PT School

IMG_9813So if you read my post about having to wear professional clothing to class (you can read it here if you missed it!), you know that I am now in physical therapy school!

I have just finished my first week as a doctoral student (so crazy that I can call myself that!) so I wanted to share some things that I have learned from this week as well as orientation. While I wrote these from my experience geared to my program, I believe they can be applied to any college (or high school experience).

  1. First up is find your people. Now I have an advantage because my program is 3+3 so I already knew most of my cohort but this is something I am still actively doing. This is a journey you can’t do alone, this is a whole new world and your tests are more than just recall (more to come on this a little later) so you need to find your study groups. Then you need to find the group that you can live with. You also need to find the people you can have fun with. Now since I have been in school for a week and a half now I can’t speak on this personally but advice I’ve gotten from upperclassmen says that these do not have to be the same people. In fact, they suggest that the people you live with are people you study with and are not your best friends. You will be in class with these people all day every day, and sometimes tensions rise when you spend that much time with people.
  2. The classes are harder: the teachers no longer change the slides to lay terminology, the content is challenging, the books can be dense and dry, and last but not least you actually have to do the readings. While you may not have to do all the readings you will have to read more than you did in undergrad, I think I’ve already read 5 articles and it has been a week.
  3. The stakes are higher. In my program, and most programs at the graduate level, I am allowed to get two grades of a B- or lower. That’s right, only two. This is not just to make your life painful, it is to make sure you know what you are supposed to know. When I graduate I am supposed to be able to evaluate patients and treat them based on what I believe the problem is. While I’m sure I will make a few mistakes, I can’t be making wrong decisions on everyone I see.
  4. Have fun! The counseling center came to speak to us during orientation and one of the things they told us was to make sure to take time for ourselves. My friends the year above me told me make sure I schedule sometime for Netflix every once in a while and to make sure I get to the gym. In February I went to Boston for a dance conference and I met a physical therapist who was a dancer and now works with dancers and when I asked her how to survive PT school she told me make sure to save time for dance. Can you guess why this is a common theme? You would go crazy if school was your only focus! While this is my biggest priority at the moment, it cannot be my whole life or I would go insane. Make sure to save time for what you love!

I hope you found this post useful and can apply it to wherever you are in your academic career!

xox,

Marissa, SPT

Style

Weekly Style 18

In two weeks I will be finishing up my orientation for physical therapy school! I’m so excited to start this next chapter of school! One of the requirements for my program is that for certain classes we have to dress professionally to prepare ourselves to be in the working world. As someone that isn’t so fond of khakis I need to get creative… quickly.

All that being said, today’s post is going to be all about business casual clothing from Banana Republic Factory!

First up is the Ruffle Sleeve Top:

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I absolutely love the color and the sleeves! The perfect thing about this top is that the sleeves mean you aren’t required to throw a cardigan or blazer on over it!

Next is the Layered Tunic Top:

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This top is such a cute color and it would look good with a black blazer and gold ballet flats. I haven’t tried this top on (yet!) but it also looks a little longer meaning it would pass my teacher’s “no belly no booty” rule. If you like this shirt but are looking for a different color it also comes in white and black!

Here’s another Layered Top:

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I love light blue! I also love the neckline of this one. It also comes in pink, white, or blue. If you pick the blue it would look great with a statement necklace like this one from J. Crew Factory.

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Then we have the Collarless Pleat Sleeve Blazer:

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Now I’m not a blazer person but I will definitely be trying this on soon! I am obsessed with the sleeves and will be keeping you all updated!

Lastly we have the Texture Pop Color Academy Blazer:

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 12.36.38 PM

So it seems like pink is the color of the day… But this is just so cute! If you picked out the black version or white versions of the shirts above they would look awesome with this!

That’s it for my intro to business casual but stay tuned for more to come!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa