Back to School!

If you're grumbling a little bit about it, read this for some validation:

"No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete."

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) British author

I've been a little bit absent from my blog recently.  I've been hiding behind my MCAT preparation and not telling you much about my life outside of that:

I just went through quite a fiasco with my housing arrangements at BYU.  I was renting at a place near campus called Sommerset, but my landlord ended up being more of a slumlord than anything else, and was unwilling to fix up the place.  Though he always spoke kindly to me, he was also adamant that I accept his squalid living conditions.  I think the crooks that smile at you are more dangerous than the ones that grimace.

So I ended up selling my contract (much to my parents' relief), and moved in to a place called Windsor Park.  It's really nice here.  I have an east-facing window, so I wake up to the sunrise every morning, and my roommate is a way cool kid named Scott.  He's from California, attending UVU as a Communications major.  I think we're going to get along great.  There is an unrented room in our unit which we are both hoping remains empty - our freezer is already full with just the two of us!

I'm jumping into my final year at BYU with a research program under the direction of Dr. Kooyman.  I'm training now to perform microsurgeries on the knees of rats, as part of a series of experiments attempting to discover a link between Osteoarthiritis and BBS (I don't actually know what BBS stands for yet, so don't ask).  I never thought my first experience with surgery would be under a microscope, but it's looking like that's how it's going to be!  I'll also be working with some tissue cultures and other microscopy equipment.  I'm a little nervous, as I've never taken part in a research lab before, but it should be fun.

Altius has offered me a job as a tutor.  I have accepted the position with a promise to start in January, possibly earlier.  This is quite a blessing as the pay far outstrips (by almost 300%) what BYU offers their MCAT tutors.

Other than that, I'm just trying to get all my books, schedules, and other things I need to live on while down here at BYU.  It's alarming how the expenses add up so quickly!  Good luck everyone as you start your new semesters!

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer.


Good Luck Wishes

Mrs. Busath:  I think we should celebrate tomorrow!  Good luck and love you lots!

Mr. Smith:  Hey dude.  Just want to say good luck on the test tomorrow.  You're gonna dominate it.  Trust the lord first, your instinct second, and someone else's bubble sheet third.

Marcus:  Good luck on your test tomorrow man.  You'll do great.

Trustysteve:  Smoke that MCAT tomorrow cravey!  good luck!

Dave-delujo:  Good luck tomorrow, bro.  You're going to feed the MCAT its own brains tomorrow.

Bill:  Good luck man... you got it nailed! haha

* lee:  Happy MCAT day!  You'll be amazing!  Have fun!  :)

Marcus (again):  YOU CAN DO IT!

Mr. Poulson:  Good luck today?

L. Victoria:  Saw your fb status.  Good luck spence, you'll do fab.  You're pretty much a genius.  :)

Grodon:  Good luck crave baby!  You'll do awesome.  Give me a call when your done

Van:  Best of luck sir!  You'll do great!

*  *  *  *  *

Thanks for the good luck wishes everyone!  I know I've been in a lot of your prayers.  You are very good friends to me.  I'm so happy to have it over with.  I'll let you know how I did when my scores are released on September 28th!



This is the score on my final, blind practice test:

Diagnostic Score Report 
 MCAT Practice Test 10  

Total Correct
% Correct
Estimated Scaled Score
Estimated Percentile Rank
Average Time Per Question in Seconds
% Marked
% Correct of Marked
140 of 144
Physical Sciences
50 of 52
Verbal Reasoning
40 of 40
Biological Sciences
50 of 52

Can we all just look together at that Estimated Percentile Rank?  I have worked very, very hard to get there, and now I am on a vacation from my problems.  All day today and tomorrow, I will be completing the final task on my MCAT preparation checklist:  relax.

Today, I will make a dinner, mod podge a chair, clean my bedroom, and take a nap.  Tomorrow I will purchase a mirror, play with friends, go on a drive, and enjoy my one and only lazy day of summer.

I have not spent one minute of my summer complaining "I am bored, I have nothing to do."  Instead, I have burned through June, July, and most of August at a grueling clip, savoring what I could along the way.  I am satisfied, and looking forward to beginning my final year at BYU in just one week!


No Lie.

"What you see is what you get."


What you seize is what you get.

Get out there.  Seize the day.  Seize the night.  Seize everything.  Procrastinate tomorrow.

(This thought is good enough to get up out of my sleepy bed at 11:42 PM just to type it for you.)


You Owe It To Yourself:

Here's a way to break the summer doldrums:  attend a local art show!  My friends ARP and Inneri are both extremely talented artists who are throwing their own show and selling their art.  Whether you're looking to buy or just want to enjoy some excellent modern artwork and portraiture, I highly recommend attending.  They're offering a FREE GIVEAWAY (!) just for visiting the blog and leaving a comment.  To do so, click here. You could win this:

Even I will be ascending from my cave to attend it.  See you there!


New Layout

Hey friends!  I'm spiffing up my blog - but I'm not doing it all at once, so bear with me through the construction process.  I think you'll like the end result.  Have a great weekend!


"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

- Dr. Seuss

These are my friends:


the MCAT is my girlfriend.

So I just have LOADS to tell you.

Actually not really.

This past week I have done 3 things that are very rare for me:

1 - I shove my legs. That's right. Shove. Like with a razor. I thought I'd try it out. Kind of weird, kind of nice though.

2 - Bought some new jeans. I have been wearing the same pair every day for nearly 6 months... it was about time.

3 - Taken 3 practice MCATs in 4 days. And I'm taking another one tomorrow. Ugh.

Mostly, I just wanted to share that the MCAT and I seem to be getting along. In fact, I spend so much time with the MCAT that sometimes I think we're dating. She's not the best friend to me, but at least she's telling me things I like to hear: practice test scores so far are 40, 43, and 41. Go team.

I really like taking the practice tests on e-mcat.com, because you get your score right away, and they even break it down for you according to the category, so that you can see where your strong and weak points are. Very useful. Sadly, the real test is not so merciful - you take the test and then they whirl your answers away into some unknown abyss where they keep it for a month before they tell you what your score is. It's very inconvenient.

Anyways, it's nice down here in my cave. Thought I'd slap down a post to assure you that I'm still breathing down here. Happy summer everybody!