Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D


Wednesday, June 30

Facebook | Tommy Taylor: How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto, Canada.

Facebook | Tommy Taylor: How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto, Canada.

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Monday, June 28

Organizing Med School Applications


There’s a lot of information to keep track of when you apply to a medical school, deadlines, pre-requisite classes, GPA and MCAT cutoffs, admission statistics, school costs, and so on. Multiply that by however many schools to which you’re planning to apply and it’s a recipe for disaster {mix up your deadlines, fail to send the right number of letters of recommendation, or any number of other mistakes could seal your application doom}. That’s why I put together this chart for Adam:

organize chart apply medical school admissions

Right now we’re just focusing on five schools {but we may add more next month}. Here are some detailed peeks: organize chart apply medical school admissions First and foremost are the application deadlines for each school {I used my Cricut and vinyl to make school logo stickers and the medical stickers – if I’m going to have this poster in my family room I might as well make it look as pretty as possible, right?}. And each deadline section has a box that can be checked off once applications are completely submitted. Next are the average MCAT scores and GPAs of students who matriculate. Next to those stats are blank spaces for Adam to fill in his own stats for comparison {he was very happy to fill in his excellent MCAT scores, we’re still waiting for his transcripts and GPA to be evaluated}. And then there’s a checklist of classes he has to take before being admitted {well, for the University of Calgary it’s more a guideline}. He still has a few classes to take but none of the schools mind if he’s still taking them during the time period in which he’s applying {applications take nearly a year}.

organize chart apply medical school admissions 

Then there’s the application fees *cringe* and how they can be paid. Are you seeing those numbers? $155, $75, $150,  etc. and that doesn’t include the cost of transcripts from his prior education, nor the cost of travel to any interviews to which he may be invited. Ugh. It is friggin’ expensive to become a doctor,  and let’s not forget tuition. Eegads! Speaking of tuition there’s a row to track which schools will cost what, as well as a checklist for reference letters and the info on when interview invites are given and when interviews are held.

organize chart apply medical school admissions

There is information on whether or not a school has on campus housing for families {most do}, what it costs, and how it compares to the cost of off-campus housing. Then there’s the almighty notification dates, as in “the-day-we-will-be-anxiously-awaiting-and-dreading-and-trying-not-to-go-crazy-waiting-for-because-it’s-the-day-that-determines-our-future-for-the-next-three-to-four-years-or-the-day-we-cry-ourselves-to-sleep-because-we-need-to-start-all-over-again-with-this-whole-stressful-application-process” but I’m just calling it “Doomsday” for short.

Finally there’s a place for Adam to make lists of pros and cons for the various schools in case he has the luxury of picking from multiple offers. For example, University of Calgary is a three year program {versus four years} and that really appeals to Adam.

Anyway, that’s the special chart I made. You could easily make a spreadsheet instead but we wanted something large and in a highly visible place. Also, I wanted an excuse to play with my vinyl cutter. :)


Tuesday, June 22

Taking the MCAT & Applying for Med School

*ahem* I do believe it’s time for a little bragging on behalf of Adam:
MCAT score pre-med
Oh yes, I’m married to an MCAT-ass-kicking-machine!!!
So, for the unfamiliar MCAT scoring can be very confusing. Here’s more info:
Four separate scores are derived from the MCAT, one for each section and the total score. Each score that you achieve on the multiple-choice sections (Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences) is based on the number of questions you answer correctly. This raw score is a reflection of your correct answers only…The scores for the multiple-choice sections—Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences—will be reported on a scale ranging from 1 (lowest) to 15 (highest)…Your raw score on the Writing sample will be converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest)...In addition to scores for the individual sections, a total score will also be reported. This total score will consist of a combined multiple-choice score conjoined with the Writing Sample score, e.g., 42T. {via the AAMC}
So, just to clarify, Adam got a good great score. I am not surprised, but I am proud, very proud. He is very smart and he worked very, very hard.
And now, I’m pleased to announce the start of a new series of posts which will be ongoing for the next million 8 or so years here on Domestic Dork:
Seeing as this is the inaugural post in the “Med School Mama” series I’ll give you some background info {for those of you who don’t already know it}. Adam has a bachelor’s in film. In his final year of classes he realized the film industry was not where he wanted to spend the rest of his working days. He spent some time in construction before deciding to go back to school. For the last year and a half he’s been taking pre-med classes with the intention of attending medical school. It was a big decision that we made together. We both knew that if he was going to pursue this dream I would need to be on board. Well, I am. And I’m doing what I can to help, starting with making the application process a little smoother.
Applying for med school is kind of a big deal. It’s exciting, and scary, and expensive and stressful and confusing. Different schools have different requirements. Some schools want your MCAT {Medical College Admission Test} scores to be this good other schools want them to be that good and some schools don’t care at all about the MCAT. This summer the med schools begin accepting applications for school beginning in fall 2011.
There are 17 accredited medical schools in Canada {versus 132 in the United States}. The Quebec schools were easy to eliminate.It didn’t take long before the list of schools Adam was interested in applying to was whittled down to 5 {though we’re not yet completely ruling out the others…except the ones in Quebec}. They are {in Adam’s current order of preference}:
  1. University of British Columbia
  2. McMaster University
  3. University of Calgary
  4. University of Alberta
  5. University of Toronto
Basically, this is how the application process goes:

We’re not even to step one yet and already we’ve done plenty of the “cross fingers and try not to freak out” bit. See, we had to wait about a month before we knew how Adam scored on the MCAT. Since he did well we’ll move on to applying. If he hadn’t done well he would have had to write the test again and we’d start applying under the promise of sending in his scores after the retest. The MCAT is a big pain. It’s not cheap to take {$230 ouch!}. Plus it required that Adam drive to Edmonton. And, of course, it’s an important and loooong {5 hours!} test that required a lot of studying. So we’re both happy he won’t have to re-do all that {Adam especially is happy about that fact}. But either way it’s time to start preparing for the application process. So look forward to more Med School Mama posts. Next time I’ll show you how I’m helping Adam keep himself organized!
And again, a big, fat congratulations to Adam! Way to go, Love!
Sunday, June 20

Canada’s Sunniest City?

Medicine Hat is Canada’s sunniest city.  But the rain rain rain came down down down in rushing, rising riv'lets till the river crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet's places it totally shouldn’t be.
That’s right. Southern Alberta is flooding. The South Saskatchewan river which runs through town is racing. We’ve watched 30 foot trees just flowing down the river like twigs in a game of “Pooh sticks.” Creeks all over town have flooded. Roads have been closed. Some neighborhoods, parks, golf courses, and storage facilities are flooded. And it’s supposed to rain tonight.
We’re not the only town to be soggy. In fact, part of the Trans Canada highway between here and Maple Creek is simply gone.

There’s not anything we’ve been able to do to help thus far. Though I am keeping an eye on the new Facebook group where people are posting requests for items to replace things they’ve lost to flooding. We still have a lot of baby clothes, a stroller, a sling, and some toys and such that Lucy has outgrown. So hopefully we’ll have a chance to help somebody out, even just a little.
If you’d like to see more photos you can visit the Facebook page {some of my own photos are posted to the group}. Our own home isn’t in any danger. The lab were Adam works may flood if the water levels rise much more but hopefully the worst is over. We’ve been told the levels aren’t rising and have actually gone down but who knows what will happen after the predicted rainfall. So, that’s what’s happening here. I have more {unrelated} things to tell you all about but figured this was a higher priority. Weather man, it’s crazy. I hear there’s epic weather happening all over North America, so if you’re in a bad area stay safe.
Thursday, June 10

Now My Head Weighs Less

I cut all my hair off. No, actually, I paid someone else to cut it all off. Just thought I’d share.
Wednesday, June 9

How To Make Homemade Play Dough

This recipe came from an issue of Wild Animal Baby. It’s a fantastic magazine for toddlers.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup salt
  • 1 Tbl oil
  • 3 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • food coloring {I used Wilton Teal}

Stir all together in a pot and cook on low heat {stirring occasionally} until dough pulls away from the sides of the pot. Let it cool so it’s safe to handle and then play to your heart’s content!

That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Super easy! And it’s safe for little ones like Lucy because it’s edible {tastes terrible, but it won’t hurt ya}. Lucy got a kick out of watching me use a cookie cutter on it but isn’t quite capable of handling it herself. But older kids will have fun using tools like cookie cutters, rolling pins, straws, anything of which you can think! So enjoy!


PS: I know I’ve been absent for over two weeks. I’ve been {and still am} busy working on various projects. But I am alive. We’re all OK. And I’ll be back in full force soon.

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