Taking the future parents-in-law out

Last night I had dinner with Brittany’s parents. The purpose of the dinner was to ask their permission to marry her. I was pretty nervous at first, but it went pretty well. They inquired as to how I was going to support her. And I tried to explain to them the whole medical school loan thing, but it was hard for them to understand (Brittany is the first person in at least 3 generations of her family to go to college). All in all, it turned out great, and I have their permission. Now I just have to sell my body so I can afford a ring, lol. Today I’m going on a tour of the University of Maryland SOM. I’ll take some pictures and hopefully post it up. This is a short post because I leave for Alabama to study for the MCAT on Saturday. Our diagnostic test is on Sunday, so I’ll pick up my diaries from there.


Alright, let me give u my impressions of my tour today. Overall, I have to say that I’m really impressed. The admissions office is in a fray right now because they are moving their whole office to another building.

First Ms. Hicks walked me out of the old admissions office, up some stairs so that she could show me the Office of Student and Faculty Development. Nothing really exciting there. As we were walking, I noticed that there was a significant, and I mean significant amount of construction going on inside the medical school. She told me that they are completely gutting the medical school out, and redoing it. I couldn’t go into the lecture hall that they were remodeling, but she showed me one they hadn’t remodeled yet, and it truly did need to be updated.

Next I asked her about the tuition at UMD SOM. She told me that it was about $20,000/year for Maryland residents. That truly made my heart flutter since Hopkins is like $13,000 more expensive. She personally felt that that cost was too high even for instate residents, but that kind of stuff can’t be changed, its only up from here.

Then she took me into the gross anatomy lab and a professor was actually working on a cadaver when we walked in. He was pretty cool, and told us we could go on. She showed me some cadavers, and I got to see the small lecture room where I guess they are taught before they head out to actually cut. The room was pretty massive, but overall, it was very old looking. Most of the medical school was very old looking, so I guess that’s why they are remodeling. I’m not sure how long its going to take for them to finish, but I’m sure it’ll look much better once its done.

Then she walked me around until we arrived in the building that the admissions office is moving to. It truly is brand spanking new, and much nicer than their office in the medical school. Its actually a research building, but they way they set it up, everything is connected. You can walk through the hospital, the medical school, and two research buildings, all without going outside. The medical school uses (extensively) the research buildings when they hold their classes. They call them ‘pods’ or something like that. Its just a whole bunch of research laboratories where they teach science students. She told me that they used to require each student to buy a microscope, but now they provide them for the students in these ‘pods’. Each pod consists of a couple of rooms, each with video cameras and TVs. The students can watch what the teacher is doing in one room, off their TV in their room. Its all pretty cool

Maryland provides laptops for all of their students. And the campus has internet ports just about everywhere. As we left the pods, she took me to this other area where they hold a lot of their small group sessions, which is integrated into their curriculum. It was pretty cool, cause each room had a white board, a big conference table, and plush seats. Your first two years, you are in class from 8-12, which isn’t too bad. They have a letter grading scale over there, but Ms. Hicks said that it wasn’t crazy competitive. Also, everything is online. Every lecture is videotaped and put online. And so are the notes from each lecture. So you really don’t have to go to class. We walked into one of the small group rooms and a student was their with her laptop surfing the internet. She was black and I got to talk to her for a little bit, she was pretty cool. I got to the see the laptop too, and it was pretty nice. It looked like one of those IBM ThinkPad laptops. We went into another room, and I saw two more black students, who were studying for their Step 1 boards. They look a little frazzled, but they seemed happy. After we left that room, I asked Ms. Hicks how many blacks were in the class. She told me that in this upcoming class, they accepted 37 black people, but some are dropping their acceptance for other schools. She said that what they really need are black men, because they really don’t have many of those.

Basically, the two research buildings are state of the art, and brand new. The actual medical school is getting renovated. So yeah, then she took me outside, and walked me around campus. Even though its in the city, the campus is actually kind of enclosed, because the UMD SOM buildings kind of cut off the campus from the surrounding city. All you have to do is walk another block and you know you’re in Baltimore, but it does seem different when you get in the middle of the campus. They are just doing massive amounts of building everywhere. She said they are expanding the campus west and north or something like that. They are building a completely new dental school, which will be the biggest and most state of the art dental school in the United State period, when it is done. They are also renovating major parts of the hospital, like the Shock Trauma center.

Then she took me to the Student center, where they have the book store, and a nice lounge with a lots of computers and a big screen TV. I could definitely see myself spending a lot of time there. They also have a couple more multi-million dollar research building on campus, dealing with AIDS and everything else. I’m sure there was more, but I can’t remember it.

The tour was over, and she sent me on my way. I was hungry, so I walked a couple of blocks to this historic place called Lexington Market. It has a whole bunch of places to eat, and its been there since 1780 something. As I was walking around in the city, I just got kind of sad. The state of the black people there is deplorable. You can tell that most of them don’t have any education, and majority of them were obese, smoking, cussin all around the place. I really hope that somehow, I can make a difference. Anyway, if you are uncomfortable being around a whole grip of lower class black people, you might not like the area IMMEDIATELY surrounding the medical school. It is truly in the city. Personally, I don’t care, because I want to be with my people, and help. But if that’s not your thing, you might want to think twice.

That’s all I can remember. Overall, I really like the school, and hopefully, I’ll get in.

P.S.- My friend just gave me the Common cd, “Be”. Its really good. Usually I don’t’ listen to much rap cause most of these rappers have horrible messages, but this CD is REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD. Check it out. Or Download it, lol.

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