why am i still making powerpoints if the semester is over

Words like Poison // A Phan One-Shot

Genre: angst, family fluff, parent!phan

Words: 3.7k

Relationship status: married

Warnings: homophobic language, fighting

Summary: Winnie Lester begins to hear people in his history class use derogatory and homophobic language, it inevitably catching onto him. When he accidentally uses one of those words in front of his parents, he quickly realizes the hurt he can cause by saying those things.  

A/N: I know the setting of the classroom/the comments people make in this story are really weird, but know that I am literally describing to you what my first period government class is like. 

Seriously - this is the kind of stuff that goes down when I’m in that class. I literally just changed the names of the characters and added in Winnie. Other than that, it’s literally what my class is like. So, if it seems a little too weird, just remember that I go to a class that is exactly like this every single day. :)

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The Integrity of Medical School

I’ve been in medical school for a little over a semester and I have become very disillusioned with medical school as an institution. I’m glad I’m in medical school and I know how lucky I am to be in medical school, however, I’m struggling with the ethics of medical school as an institution.

It took me six years to get into medical school. In that time I got a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree, I worked full-time and volunteered nearly 20 hours a week. I took the MCAT and went on interviews and paid for my applications. In that time, I also probably spent well over 30 thousand dollars trying to get into medical school, not including the student loans I had to take out to pay for my pre-med and graduate classes. The cost of my applications, alone, was 5 thousand dollars. And that was the second time I applied. The cost of my interviews were also easily 5 thousand dollars as well. 

When I got into medical school I was excited to become a doctor. I was proud of myself and felt vindicated that all of my hard work paid off. I was ready to start learning how to be a doctor. My first semester was absolutely miserable. The morale of my class was extremely low. We go to a school that heavily emphasizes wellness but a slew of new changes based on feedback from students ahead of us created a schedule that was unsustainable and didn’t leave time for any self-care practice or wellness at all. The idea of wellness became a running inside joke in our class where people would proudly state that they participated in self-care by taking a shower for the first time in two days or by sleeping in past 7am on a Saturday.

But we got through that first semester, propelled by second year students telling us that it would be all downhill after that and that once we started organ systems second semester, we’d be so much happier and have so much time to take care of ourselves and study (because our schedule was so jam-packed that it left very little time to study and our attendance in class is required). We had third year medical students telling us how they would rather repeat their entire third year of medical school and all the crazy rotations that go with it than repeat their first semester. And so we took all of our finals and set off for winter break looking forward to next semester.

Our second semester started a little over three weeks ago. News that we lost six of our classmates spread through the class. They chose to leave or weren’t allowed to come back by the administration. It was an elephant in the room that none of us can talk about because of privacy rules. Still, morale is higher when we start up our organs systems classes.

And that is when I realized what a money scam medical school is. I am required to go to class if I want my class rank to be high not because our classes actually teach us information but because your grade is connected to your attendance, so poor attendance = a poor grade = a lower class rank. I sit in class for up to 9 hours a day and have clinicians read powerpoint slides word-for-word to me, none of which are interesting or helpful to my actual learning and all of which I could have read to myself at home. I am told by our academic administrators to buy resources like First Aid to study for Step 1, they bought us a Q bank but we have to pay for everything else. $900 later, I have subscriptions to Pathoma, RX, Sketchy, and Firecracker. I wanted to buy a set of clinical case books recommended to us but the price on Amazon was $653. By the time I take Step 1 I will have taken out 150 THOUSAND dollars in student loans ON TOP OF the student loans I already have from two bachelor degrees and a master’s degree. 

I will need to pay the fees for the Step exams on my own. I am expected to join various professional societies and pay their yearly fees because it will make my residency application look better even though joining those professional societies has no impact on what kind of physician I will be, how much I care about others, or my Step 1 score. And, of course, those professional societies are so generous and give you a discount because you’re a medical student, so instead of paying $500 you’re asked to only pay $150. But isn’t it worth it to add some fake prestige to your residency application by saying you went to the AMA conference one year? The AMA that endorsed Tom Price for HHS secretary? The AMA that endorsed someone who wants to remove the ACA and condemn 43,000 additional people to death due to lack of insurance every year. Sign me the fuck up, right?

I am disgusted with the cost of medical school. I knew it would be expensive but I feel it is unethical to ask students to spend so much money applying to medical school and taking the MCAT and then asking them to pay EVEN MORE. Especially when there was so much hand-wringing from the AAMC and NBME about how to make medical school more affordable and how to increase the diversity among students and increase the number of first generation physicians (since studies show that children of doctors tend to be worse doctors than their first generation peers). I have an idea:

Get rid of the first two years of medical school. Make Step 1 the admissions exam for students. Get rid of application fees and the MCAT altogether. Start students up in January, give them a ten week course in gross anatomy, followed by a two week intensive clinical skills course and a first aid/CPR certification, and start them up on wards in April, a full 2 to 3 months earlier than most schools. This gives students 5 to 6 months to explore specialties after their required rotations instead of 2 to 3 which aren’t even really used for students to explore since those are the rotations they need to do in order to get the letters of rec they need for their residency applications (may be the lack of time to explore specialty options is why 60-90% of physicians hate their fucking jobs). 

And then, of course, you have to spend thousands of dollars on your residency applications and travel for interviews, which are not factored in to your student loan awards. 

This will never happen, though, because the AAMC makes billions of dollars in application fees, MCAT fees, and official test prep materials. The NBME makes billions of dollars off the backs of students paying for their exams and the LCME makes just as much. None of the organizations that could change the system have the incentive to do so because they are too busy milking medical students for all the money they have.

I know it sounds like I’m too money focused. The truth is, I’m not. I gave up hope of ever paying off my student loans years ago. I will never pay them back and I didn’t want to be a doctor because of the salary. My disillusionment with medical school as an institution is due to the ethics of it all. When I was applying to medical school there was a huge push to improve medical class diversity and encourage more minority and lower class students to apply. You can get fee waivers and financial assistance to cover the cost of your MCAT fees. But that doesn’t go far enough. Those application fee waivers don’t make booking flights for interviews any cheaper, they don’t lower the cost of having to rent a car or buy a suit for an interview. 

How can we expect students living in poverty to drop 5 grand on interview costs just to get in to medical school? How can we expect students living in underserved communities to afford the cost of Step 2 and the price of travel to and from the 6 locations in the country you can take it? Underserved communities NEED students who understand what living in those communities is like to go back and be their doctors. And, yes, there are scholarships and small-scale help, but I’m arguing that the entire system, right now, is designed to keep students who can’t afford to pay for medical school admittance out. Is a student whose family is on food stamps really going to have $150 to pay for the MCAT? No. 

I look around at the people in my class, which to my school’s credit is exceedingly diverse in race and religious background, however almost everyone in my class comes from a family that was middle class or above. Half of my classmates have parents who can afford to pay for their tuition and living expenses. I am part of the other class that has to take out loans. But when I was applying to medical school and there was a mix up with my teaching assistant stipend that lead to it being delayed, my dad was able to loan me the $2500 I needed to submit my AMCAS application on time. If I had not had a full-time job as a graduate student, though, I would not have been able to afford the cost of interviewing, and a third of the interviews I went on were local. 

In class, we are asked to think about treatment plans for patients and discuss them with each other. The girl sitting next to me says she thinks this ethics class is a waste of our time. The patient is an overweight child who we need to counsel, she lives in a run down part of a large city. We work together on her treatment plan and my partner comes up with a list of groceries to buy. I point out that the patient in question is a minor and likely not in charge of her food and that the education needs to be directed towards the parent and the patient. I also point out that due to the income level of the area they live in, the patient’s mother is likely relying on food stamps. I go over the grocery list and not a single thing is realistic. I point out that food stamps cannot be used to buy milk. My partner is shocked, her eyes widen; when I tell her how food stamps in my state can’t be used to buy rice, her entire world is turned upside down. I voice this in class when we are invited to share. A male classmate who is openly gay and voted for Trump comes up to me and asks me to explain why food stamps can’t be used to buy milk. I do and he doesn’t know what to say.

I look at my classmates who do not understand what poverty looks like in reality and I think about the people I know in rural towns who blew their entire savings trying to get into medical school only to be told when they didn’t get in that they needed to go take the MCAT again because the 29 they got wasn’t good enough, they needed a 30. The people suggesting this to my friend recommend taking an MCAT course not realizing the closest one would be two hours away and that the nearly 3 grand the course costs makes that impossible, not to mention the cost of taking the test again. It doesn’t matter, though, because she wouldn’t be able to afford all of the resources for Step 1 let alone the cost of THAT exam once she got into medical school. She works as a CNA in a nursing home.

How can we put such a financial burden on students applying to medical school? How can we ask medical students to pay so much money for residency applications, licensing exams, and tuition? How can we do that and then ask them to enter a profession that requires them to get permission from insurance providers and hospital administrators to order a damn chest CT? How can we ask them to pay so much money and then ignore the fact that there aren’t enough residency spots available for all of them to train in? How can we ask pre-med and medical students to pay so much money when the health care system is in shambles and the only people making money are hospital CEOs and insurance companies? How can we expect medical students to pay back their massive student loans in a system like that? Why are institutions like the AAMC so comfortable setting so many medical students up for failure?

Because my school emphasizes wellness, we have mandatory wellness classes we have to attend. Because, in medical school, giving students time to practice self-care isn’t as important as requiring them to attend a four hour class telling them they need to practice self-care and get lots of sleep, all while requiring them to be at school by 8am and making us sit in class until 5pm, giving us five hours of the day to study before we do it all again. And, of course, in those five hours of study time we also need to fit in time to exercise, feed ourselves, and maybe speak with our loved ones for five minutes to make sure they are still alive. Because self-care!

I wouldn’t say I’m jaded about medical school this early on but I am questioning why this system is in place. Why pay for two years of medical school when everyone just uses First Aid and Step resources to get a good score? I think medicine, as an institution, is really stuck in this idea of “well, I had to do it so you do, too” which I think is a really dangerous way of thinking. I think if medical students have extremely high rates of depression and anxiety (myself included, however mine was with me long before medical school) and it just gets worse through residency and becoming an attending there’s something wrong with the system. And if something isn’t working, why shouldn’t it be fixed? “Because I went through it and you should, too” isn’t a good enough answer for me. It’s also not accurate, right? The doctors who are saying that bullshit excuse went to medical school in a different time, where they could actually make decisions about patient care without having to call an insurance company for permission first. They went through medical school when it was actually affordable. They went through medical school when the idea of a woman being a doctor was either not allowed, unheard of, or looked down on, because who would take care of their kids at home while they went through residency if their wife was in medical school? 

So, yeah, they went through medical school and worked all of these hours and paid for medical school but the context was different, so I still want to know why such an archaic system that is already financially unattainable for people we NEED to be doctors and is quickly becoming financially unattainable for anyone who doesn’t have a trust fund is allowed to exist. I want to know why a 60-90% dissatisfaction rate is considered acceptable among physicians without any examination of the system that makes them into physicians.

Preparing Content For Class

In one of my first posts as a studyblr, I uploaded a photo of my Biology workbook filled with notes before the class started.

This study technique is something I’ve started doing only about two months ago actually, but I’ve found that it really helps to maximise my learning as well as class time.

So what does it actually involve?

I’m fortunate enough to have a workbook printed by my teacher, but it only happens in Biology - and I assume most people don’t get pre-made books for their subjects.

I’ll explain what I do for Biology though - in case anyone has workbooks for their studies.
In Biology, this book is all we use; we work off this book every single lesson. In the book, there are notes for every topic in Unit 4 that we are going to cover over the next semester. Most of the pages have blank spaces in the notes so we are actively listening in class and filling in them as we go (that was our teacher’s intention anyway). There are also diagrams and pictures in the book, sometimes there’s an empty box and that’s where we do our own drawings of diagrams. There’s also a substantial amount of blank space (in the margin, etc.) to write extra notes.

While we have a textbook, that is for extra reference, and that goes along with all the supplementary materials we get.


So this is what I do before class:

  1. Usually the night before, I’ll find the PowerPoint my teacher uploaded. I’ll go through the slides that we’re most likely to need for the next class (usually the next 2-3 pages in the book). This is just a plain copying of notes, no other annotations or anything.
  2. After that, I read over what I had just copied, and look for things I don’t really understand. I also think about what I want to know, in order to further my knowledge on this topic (What am I curious about?)
  3. Then, I write my questions on sticky notes. I like the rectangular ones (about 3x4cm), they’re perfect! The square ones are way too big and cover some of the notes on the page, and the tabs are too small.

That’s all I do to prepare for my next Biology class. It takes about 30 minutes or sometimes even more, but at the end of the day it’s worth it! I’ll tell you why later in this post.


As I said before, I don’t think many students get workbooks for their courses, but here are some tips about preparing for class that I believe you may still find useful, for different teaching styles:

  • Most of the time when you’re in a class, you’ll be able to tell how quickly your teacher goes through content, and hopefully you can somewhat predict how much further you’ll be going in the next class.
  • Textbook: Read through it before the next class, even if it’s just a quick 5-10 minute flipthrough. At least when you go into class you’ve heard the terms before (even though you may not know what they mean).
  • Powerpoint: If your teacher uses powerpoints to teach, make use of them! Even if they put very little on the slides, look at the diagrams or pictures, read what they’ve put on there - it’s better than nothing :)
  • If your teacher doesn’t give you any material until class starts: I think you’ll probably know what the topic you’re learning is (course outline, followup from previous topic). Search the topic up on Google (I’m sure there’ll be HEAPS on any topic, because Google literally has the answers to the universe - although not really, because sometimes I get no answers). Look at the terms that are used in the topic, what it involves (eg processes in Science, formulae in Maths, events and people in the Humanities), and maybe even watch a video or two on it. Going into class with a little bit of knowledge is better than nothing at all.

If you don’t have access to the course outline, just ask your teacher what you’ll be learning over the next few weeks or over the term! They’ll be more than pleased to see your enthusiasm for the subject and how you’re interested in your learning.


Benefits of preparing content before class

  1. You already have a head start on everyone else in your class (unless they all do this!)
  2. You’ve read about it all before, so you won’t be overwhelmed with new information when it gets taught in class.
  3. Class will just be a review of information for you! More review means more reinforcement of knowledge and better understanding.
  4. You don’t have to spend your time writing heaps and heaps of notes in class so you’ll be able to really concentrate on what your teacher is saying. You’ll be able to pick up on the little things they say in the teaching that aren’t in the material they give you, so you’ll be able to enrich your learning!
  5. Class time will be for you to ask questions to CLARIFY your understanding of the content. I honestly think that this is probably the biggest benefit of knowing your stuff before class. When I used to just walk into class to learn new content, I’d have no questions as I was just trying to understand the basics. When I got it, I thought I was fine. But then when the exam came around and I was revising, I had a heap of questions to ask, but really, I should’ve clarified this ages before the week before the exam! Nowadays, I’m able to fully grasp concepts much earlier before the exam as I ask clarifying questions in class. Leading up to the exam, I’ll have more sophisticated questions to ask, but at least I’m not panicking as much since it’ll mostly be things I don’t necessarily need to know for the exam.


I found this to be a great change to my study plan - it’s really helped me to understand concepts better in class, and to really make use of my class time.

I hope this helps you, even just a little bit! Tell me how you go, and ask any questions anytime :)

Adorable Distractions

Advent Prompt #22: We’re in a class and I sit behind and all you ever do during the lessons is watch cat videos on YouTube and it’s extremely distracting. CrissColfer. 1.6K [AO3Read Previous Advent fics on: AO3 | Tumblr

“Do you think it’s possible to fall in love with someone just on the basis of their YouTube playlists?” Darren asks Julia over lunch in the dorm cafeteria.

“You mean like fall in love with a hot YouTuber who makes the videos you watch? I don’t see why not; it’s really no different than falling for a minor celeb,” Julia says, shrugging.

“No, I just mean that I’ve fallen for him based on the videos he watches on YouTube,” Darren clarifies. “But he’s not a YouTuber or anything.”

“What kind of videos are we talking? Because it depends,” Lauren inquires.

“Cat videos?” Darren replies.

“Oh, then totally,” Lauren confirms. “Especially if it’s videos of adorable kittens playing in the snow. That’s my jam.”

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anonymous asked:

College AU idea: "Hey I have this one class with you Monday mornings but I never l actually make it to class and I heard you take great notes."

unexamined

About halfway through the semester, Bellamy finally pulled out the syllabus for his Art History class— scanning it for due dates. He had recalled that the class was graded on the midterm, the final and the final essay: thirty percent, thirty percent, and forty percent respectively. 

He’d rented a used textbook from Chegg, and he’d downloaded each classes PowerPoint from the portal— but he’d only ever attended the first class. Seriously, who the hell thought that an eight am class on a Monday morning was a good idea— never mind Wednesday or Friday. 

As he skimmed the syllabus he noticed the small paragraph about the midterm, Bellamy felt a pang in his stomach when he read the line that said: 40% of test material will be from in-class lecture. 

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