Pharmacy in the Frontier


Javelina Station

by on Mar.01, 2011, under Campus, Life

While surfing Student Doctor Network, I came across a candidate for the Class of 2015 who asked about Javelina Station – the student only apartment complex across from campus. Living here has several advantages…

1) FULLY FURNISHED. There’s no need to move all that crap down here!
2) Proximity to the school. If you’re a morning person (which I’m not), you can walk to school in the morning. Rather refreshing once in awhile. If you’re like me though, you can literally wake up 10 minutes before class and still make it if you drive.
3) Covered utilities (Electricity up to $120 per month… after that, you pay the surplus. The surplus is split between your flatmates).
4) Large yard and swimming pool in the back for barbeques, volleyball, swimming, etc. It also means you’re in immediate access to most of the off-campus functions that a lot of the CoP’s organizations hold (i.e. APhA’s start of the year and Halloween parties, SNPhA’s socials, etc.)

My only complaints are the blasted internet and the maintenance crew. The internet is completely unreliable here. Based on what I’m seeing here, I’m led to conclude that the entire building or the entire complex uses the same line. The fastest times are at night, or while everyone’s in class. God forbid if you want to accomplish something involving the internet (i.e. looking up OTC medications on the MSL) at a normal hour… Gotta go to the CoP or the library for that! As for the maintenance crew… I hear certain people have fairly okay experiences with them, but each time I ask them to come to my apartment to fix something, they always just come in, “check” the problem and just write it off as normal. I’ve been living with a shower that runs out of hot water in a matter of 4 minutes because most of the hot water still goes through the faucet portion rather than the shower head. Instead, what he does is he turns up my water boiler… which did nothing to affect the time and hiked my electricity bill sky high.

Oh, and I guess the fact they didn’t accomodate my request to be on the top floor would count against them. They say that they’ll put you in a building with only pharmacy students, but because not enough of us signed up here, they moved some undergrads above me. Party every Wednesday and um… “jackhammering” every other night. I borderline contemplate finalizing my order for a vuvuzela each time I hear them doing their business up there…

It’s a double edged sword, really. If you’re used to living in an apartment by yourself already, you may want to consider other options. If you’re used to dorm life, Javelina Station would be a good stepping stone towards an apartment.

Despite my grievances, I’ll still be living here since I like waking up and being able to get to class in no time, as well as the convenience of all the furniture and washer/dryer/crisper.

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End of Semester 1

by on Dec.31, 2010, under Campus, Classes, Site

Apparently, this subdomain was hacked sometime in between now and the first week. When exactly, I have no idea, as unfortunately, I didn’t keep to my promise of updating as often as I wished.  It was an oversight on my part to believe that I could do that, given my previous blogging habits as well as adapting to the new schedule and surroundings.

The first semester was undoubtedly with its ups and its downs.  The beginning of the semester started simple enough, but it picked up soon enough.  For the first few weeks, no exams, assignments, etc. Not too long after, every week came with two to three exams. Despite starting the semester with “proper study habits” that helped while I was still at the University of Houston, I soon fell out of said habits being lulled into a false sense of security.  From that point onward, I was unable to find a way to study properly and found myself cramming for the rest of the entire semester.  I’m hoping that I will be able to settle into the rhythm sooner this coming semester.

As for the groups mentioned before in the previous post, I was blessed to have been assigned to a very close-knit and coordinated team.  We quickly settled into our own work roles and were able to get our projects done in a fairly timely and qualified manner.  Some – according to stories I hear from my peers – were not so lucky.  Due to some living in Corpus rather than Kingsville, their work-ethic, or how they naturally interact with people, quite a few had to put in more effort than their teammates.  Like they say, however, you will have to learn to cope, because in the end, you still need to accomplish your goals.  You can’t really choose your coworkers… Hopefully my next group will be able to work together as well as this past one.

Immunizations were not as bad as I used to think. The media has a tendency to zoom in on the needles making contact with the skin, to a point where you can see the tension between the needle and the skin just before the needle breaks through. That bothered me for years until I actually had to take the training course. I don’t have zoom vision, and my sight is somewhat obscured by my hand as well as the rest of the syringe.  Additionally, I could not feel the needle having any trouble with reaching the target area. Thank you, James, for being my training partner that day.  I still don’t feel too comfortable with subcutaneous injections yet, but hopefully that will come with time.

A clarification on the service hours came near the end of the semester, in which one of the faculty/staff assured us that as long as we were CLOSE to the 15 hours required, we would be fine, as long as we reach the minimum 30 hours for the year.  They do want the service projects to be of different purposes if at all possible, however (for example, you shouldn’t have JUST immunization projects on your record… there should be blood glucose/pressure screenings, etc as well).

At the end of examinations, we are requested to visit with our academic adviser. Fortunately, my marks weren’t in the “danger zone”, so it went rather smoothly.  It was merely a survey-esque session in which I gave my feedback on how the college was run, how it could do better, how it could help us to do better, etc. This is understandable, given that it is a rather new establishment and only just accredited this year.

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First Day of Orientation

by on Aug.12, 2010, under Campus, Classes

Today was Day 1 of the General Orientation for P1 students.  The entire Orientation process will take place over two days.  The first day is approximately eight hours long (including breaks), starting with opening remarks from the Dean and Associate Deans.  As far as orientations go, the “usual material” was covered; such as the facilities on the Texas A&M University – Kingsville campus, the class schedule, academic calendar, etc.

We also had Mr. Bill Moore, R.Ph., the former President of the Texas Pharmacy Association and current President of the Coastal Bend Pharmacy Association speak to us regarding patient care and pharmacy advocacy groups.

Mr. Paul Boyle from the Office of Information Technology was in Houston at the time, so we were able to observe and experience the teleconferencing technologies in use at the HSC.  During his time slot, I found that Office 2010 is $20.  I seriously wonder if it is worth upgrading when I already have Office 2007.

During our lunch break, several student organizations (SNPhA, APhA, etc) had booths set up in the hallway next to the student lobby.  I don’t think I’ve thought of the building as small until we all went into that hallway.  Still, having eighty-seven P1s in a hallway will definitely generate some traffic.

To my chagrin, there was an ungraded assessment activity (Part ONE!) at the end of today’s orientation.  It covered the basics of several topics that were covered in the undergraduate prerequisites (Biology, Statistics, etc.).  As far as I know, TAMHSC is not the only College of Pharmacy to assess their students prior to the start of the semester (one page was adapted from an assessment from the University of Houston. Can I get a confirmation on whether other schools assess their P1s beforehand?).  Although not too serious, it is an indicator of how much I retained from my undergraduate studies.  I can only hope I can retain information better here.

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