Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Fools

Our program has finally come to an end but I still don't know where the time went. This month was full of bittersweet moments with friends and peers. Last but not least, my service to the lovely community of New Orleans has come to an end as well as my academic year. This past month I continued my work with the red cross and tutoring high school students. I was tutoring students in algebra every week. With the red cross I was working on clerical work because they were swamped with paperwork that needed to be filed. Saying good-bye to the students I have gotten to know throughout this year was really hard. They have shown plenty of improvement over the course of this year and that is the icing on the cake for me. I have grown as a teacher and learned to tweak my strategies for tutoring. I hope to continue this work as a medical student in Vallejo. I would like to end my post saying that this program has been one of the best decisions I have made. I have learned so much inside and outside of the classroom. I couldn't be happier to be apart of something as special as this program and people I was lucky enough to call my friends. 

April hours: 8
Spring Semester Hours: 30
2016-2017 Academic year total community service hours: 60

Thursday, April 6, 2017

March Madness

March has been a bittersweet month. My time in New Orleans is coming to an end very quickly. The program has sped by and it is going to be hard to say bye to this wonderful city as well as all of the friends I have made. This month I have expanded my service experience to working to help feed the homeless and assist with city clean up. Trash is always a nuisance in any city and always finds a way to ruin animal life as well as city life. It is an overlooked aspect of community outreach. Having recently learned about the damaging effects of human waste on the planet, I was really motivated to become involved in this type of service this month. The homeless population is a community that I have always been involved with since I was an undergraduate in California. My involvement includes providing basic healthcare to simply raising awareness of the various types of disparities this community suffers from. It was a blessing to have been able to provide service to the homeless population in New Orleans. The humility these people have is inspiring. I hope to reach and maintain their level of humility in my own life. I have learned many lessons from individuals I was able to connect with in the past and the individuals that gave me the chance to talk to them. I am truly grateful to have met to such amazing people in New Orleans and will cherish these memories forever.

Hours: 12 Hours

Total Hours: 22

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Blues

This month has been an underwhelming month to say the least. I was hoping to achieve enough hours to counter balance my lack of outreach last month. I wasn't able to achieve my goal due to an unexpected car accident. It crippled my ability to drive to Sci High this month but prior to the accident I was able to car pool with some peers to assist in a Red Cross Relief event. It was in response to the unexpected tornadoes that struck New Orleans earlier this month. The destruction was wide spread and jaw-dropping to see in person. I was paired up with a classmate and spent all day assessing the damage of each house within our designated sector. When we were done with our sector we assisted other team members that were in bigger sectors. On top of assessing the damage we were instructed to inform the victims about the different ways to access emergency assistance. Being from California, I have never been exposed to tornadoes or the tragic aftermath. There were streets with a couple homes completely untouched and then the rest of the neighborhood was leveled. Fortunately, half of our sector was fairly untouched by the tornado but the other sectors I had helped with were filled with houses that were demolished. All in all, this experience was extremely humbling and made me grateful for the blessings I have in my life. The next month will be less hectic in regards to school work and I will have my car back. I intend on being involved with Sci High this next month.

Hours this month: 10
Total hours: 10

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Year in New Orleans

A new semester has begun and I am still in disbelief that the year is coming to an end so quickly. This semester started out with a bang. Our class was bombarded with a heavy workload from day one. I am taking an assortment of elective classes that really delve into specific niches within the pharmacology world. For instance, I have a class dedicated to the advances in cardiobiology, endocrine pharmacology, mechanisms of cell control, and environmental signaling in medicine. I just finished my neurology block for this semester. I never had a strong background with neurology and I just felt like a sponge in every class because 90% of the information was brand new to me. There was a mix reaction to the information by my peers. Some students were adding to the conversation and some students like me were just sitting there taking in all of the information. It goes to show how diverse our class in terms of educational backgrounds. I was hoping to start volunteering this month but a bittersweet scheduling issue came to be this month where I wasn't able to volunteer at either of the programs I was involved with last semester. The schools didn't come back from their winter breaks until the middle of the month. I have finally gotten involved with research and I had two interviews in consecutive weeks towards the end of the month. Due to my scheduling conflicts, I have planned to double my outreach efforts this next month.

Volunteer hours: 0

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November in NOLA

November has flown by and was cut short by our thanksgiving break. I never thought I would need to wear a jacket in NOLA but this city never ceases to surprise me. I had less time this month due to our break. I went home to California for some much needed quality time with my friends and family. Before I left, I worked with both Sci High and Kipp with no scheduling conflicts. While working with Sci High I was able to work with a new class because of the flexibility of our class schedule during our pulmonary block. In addition to Mrs. Childress's senior class, I had the pleasure of working with her sophomore class. I was assigned to work with the students that were behind and required more individual attention. The students were working on research reports on either plants or animals that were indigenous to Louisiana. Then they needed to partner up with a classmate and explain their research to their partner. Once they're done the students would switch positions and repeat the process. While working with the senior class it was business as usual. The students have really warmed up to me and are less hesitant to ask me for help.  My work with Kipp has been extremely unpredictable and rewarding because I know that this work is helping the school focus on more important goals rather than time-consuming work. This month I was instructed to create new files for the students in each grade. Also, I was responsible for sifting through mixed piles of doctor’s notes, sick notes, and other paperwork that needed to be filed. It was an uphill battle at first but the mounds came crumbling down every week due to great teamwork. The semester is coming to an end soon and this will be my last entry. It’s been a pleasure to be so heavily involved within this community and I am excited to continue this work into next semester as well.

Hours: 7

Total Hours: 30

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shocktober Is Over

The month of October has passed by in the blink of an eye. The more time I spend in New Orleans the more attached I become. The city's passion is just infectious and drives me to explore more of the city. I have never seen so many people from so many different age groups be so invested in their Halloween costumes. I had the pleasure of being scared beyond belief in a couple of the city's famous haunted houses. We have recently finished the Autonomic Nervous System, Cardiovascular, and Renal blocks this month. These past couple of blocks were the most interesting to learn about so far. This past month I have continued my work with Kipp. I assisted in photocopying the different books for the elementary school. I decided to change up my weekly tasks and learned how to put bindings into the photocopied textbooks. In addition, the school has received quite a few shipments of books, which my peers and I organized in one of the storage rooms. In respect to my work with Sci High, the students had a fall break, which was a break I was never offered when I was a younger. So due to scheduling conflicts I wasn't able to volunteer as much as I wanted to this month. When I was able to go, I continued to help out with the third period class. I walked around assisting the students with their classwork, passing out work, collecting work, and any other task Mrs. Childress needed help with. All in all, I still can't believe my time in New Orleans is flying by so quickly but it has been a total blast.

Monthly Hours: 8 hours

Total: 23 hours

Friday, September 30, 2016

This month I started volunteering at Sci High as a teacher's aid for the environmental science class. I assisted with Mrs. Childress's sophomore and senior class. The senior class was a little more energetic because it's their last year of school which required more effort to keep them focused. I assisted the students that struggled with their in-class assignments and monitored for any horseplay so that Mrs. Childress didn't need to stop her lecture as often. The sophomore class was a smaller class and these kids were bright but needed more time to process the information. All of them were shy but were very receptive when I offered assistance. One of the kids in particular was very passionate about learning about "environmental succession" and every time he heard about a forest fire or volcanic eruption, he would get upset hearing about the welfare of the plants and animals within that environment. It was great to see such emotion and interest from a high school student. In addition to working at Sci High, I was still working at Kipp elementary/middle school as well. During my first couple of visits, I was responsible for organizing the different uniforms in the middle school's stock room. We separated the shirts based on color and then further separated the shirts based on their sizes. There were a ton of boxes to sort through. The other volunteers and I formed an assembly line to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Aside from organizing the office closet, I made copies of different books that the teachers would use during class. Although the work at Kipp seemed remedial, I know that this was a huge time saver for the teachers and will allow them to allocate more time towards other important tasks.

September Hours: 9 hours

Total hours: 15 hours