Med Student Fashion

As with most medical schools, my school has a dress code for both male and female students during the pre-clinical and clinical years, which students received in their acceptance packet.

 

 

I think this is helpful for those leaving Sixth Form as most persons who have had to wear school uniforms generally would not have the quantity of basic wear as someone who didn’t have a uniform. The dress code allows a guide to building a wardrobe that students can utilize into their professional life as a physician. I didn’t find it restrictive or odd in any way as it fit in with what I was used to wearing as a STEM student (no sandals, sleeve-less tops, short shorts, etc. for obvious reasons) and my future wardrobe aspirations. Whether all persons adhered to it is besides the point *sips tea.*

 

note: I tend to dress up when I don’t feel bubbly/ well/ confident (look good-feel good theory). The sweaters are due to the low temperature of the faculty’s building in addition to my body’s own lack of helpful adipose and the seasonal rains.

 

 

 

Maybe I will post other OOTD’s (Outfit of the Day) of myself or other students in the future, though we don’t put much time into dressing up (way too much studying to do 😀 ).

What Is Sisterhood ?

In 1881, Spelman College was founded in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church by missionaries Sophia B Packard and Harriet E Giles. These two women traveled south to study the living conditions of freed Blacks and vowed after their trip to return to Georgia and open a school to educate Black women and girls. 135 years later, Spelman College is the top Historically Black college in the United States of America, producing half of Black women doctors (medical and PhD) in the USA.

However, this is not the why I chose Spelman, I did not want to go to Spelman, at one point Spelman was the last place I wanted to be. I later learned that you don’t solely choose Spelman, Spelman chooses you, and for that I am extremely grateful and receiving my Colombia blue acceptance packet was one of the happiest days of my life.

For the record, this is not a recruitment speech for Spelman College, if it were that I’d probably ask for a reimbursement of the percentage of tuition money used for the upkeep of Spelman’s pristinely kept lawns. No, I am here to speak about sisterhood.

Founder's Day White Dress Tradition, C. Bannister, Spelman College Atlanta GA
Founder’s Day White Dress Tradition, C. Bannister, Spelman College Atlanta GA

Sisterhood exists within a community of women/girls. It is shown through caring, encouraging, listening to and empowering each other. It is a strong bond, something to take pride in. It is not comparing your achievements to your sister’s, but it is being inspired and celebrating in each other’s triumphs. Sisterhood is staying up all night together so everyone can go into an exam confidently, and researching scholarships and internships so each other can continue to dream big and succeed. Sisterhood is working on a community service project, attending your sister’s performance, and supporting her in solidarity against sexual violence. Sisterhood is doing your part to improve your group for the next generation, and doing the electric slide care-freely at every. Social. Function.  Sisterhood is greeting each other wherever you are in the world; at the mall, in airports, at school (not only at group meetings), on Twitter. It is knowing you have a safe place to be the magical person you are.

At Spelman, sisterhood was the solution. Sisterhood was an expectation from the very beginning and it is even after we walk under the Alumnae Arch and out of her gates. I am so blessed to have experienced a bond such as this and even if you may never attend Spelman College or the like, I encourage you to work toward cultivating a sisterhood that becomes a meaningful part of your life too.

Adventures in Creating a Vision Board

Beginner’s Yoga. I would attempt to register every semester to no avail as this class was quickly filled w. no overrides (Ignore the exaggeration, I only truly tried twice). As a Senior with the attached early registration privileges I finally was able to get into it. I can say the class changed my perspective on wellness and allowed me to block 2 hours, twice a week to dedicate to challenge myself, do some introspection and learn to practice pranayama.

Vision Board, C. Bannister, Spelman College, Atlanta GA
Vision Board, C. Bannister, Spelman College, Atlanta GA

I immediately began brainstorming the moment the Vision Board project was mentioned in class. I sifted through countless images on my ‘digital vision board,’ Pinterest. I listened to hours of the Tibetan singing bowls while staring at the blank canvas.

Thankfully, an in-class exercise provided me the right environment for introspection. I was surprised at what I thought of when envisioning the prompts ,’Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve?’ Visions of mentoring, teaching and volunteering in hospital wards made sense as they were things I’d done (past). My wants for a medical school acceptance letter, future children and growth in faith mirrored my meticulous planning (future). But when asked ‘Who am I?’ I was confused at why I thought of colours and scenery. I struggled seeing myself beyond ‘titles’ (e.g. Sister, Bermudian, Student). I wasn’t sure if I was approaching the project correctly.

In the most Vata way, I worried about the project , while my Kapha nature prevailed and I put off even touching the board until, -you guessed it – the night before its deadline. Instead of obsessing over whether I ‘fit’ what I thought everyone else would do , I decided to do what felt right.

Parts of my board (the future/past-thinking prompts) are bright and full of content. One section (present) is more mellow and open,  because at that point in life I was working hard on being present. Both are okay. I am a Libra. I am Vata- Kapha. I exist between extremes.


My go-to Tibetan singing bowls recording : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW7TH2U4hps&t=11082s

The terms ‘vata’ and ‘kapha’ refer to two of the three Dosha categories observed in Ayurveda (we touched on this during class and did a quick personality quiz).  I don’t subscribe to Ayurvedic teachings but it was interesting to learn about.

New Orleans, Louisiana : Best Spring Break EVER!

NOLA

theme song of trip Formation – BeyoncĂ©

Length of stay : 3 days, 3 nights

How we got there

Megabus round trip from Atlanta to New Orleans (approx. 8 hrs each way)

WHERE we stayed

SpringHill Suites New Orleans Downtown |  301 St Joseph Street New Orleans, LA 70130 USA

It was affordable and offers complimentary hot, buffet-style breakfast (eggs, grits, waffles, yogurt, etc.). We stayed in a Suite (1 King, 1 pull-out) which was suitable for 3 ladies who would spend more time outside the hotel than in. Staff were warm and the place itself was modern and plush for the price (trust me, I am picky). We kept our leftovers from restaurants in the mini fridge and I watched Deliver Us From Eva and B.A.P.S for the first time while getting ready for our days out.

WHERE to eat

Successful Mission, C.Bannister, ??? New Orleans LA
Successful Mission, C.Bannister, ??? New Orleans LA

Now if you didn’t guess already, the main focus of this trip was FOOD. We wanted to sample as much authentic NOLA cuisine as we could pack into 3 days. Before coming we asked friends, administration staff and a fav. professor (all NOLA natives) what places to check out on our trip. They DID NOT DISAPPOINT. We actually had a running bet on whether the next food experience would be sub-par/ ‘meh’ because it seemed too good to be true. By the end of the trip we were pleased to say we enjoyed every. single. meal.

Here is where and what we ate (not in order of preference):

  1. Mother’s Restaurant : I got the World’s Best Baked Ham Dinner ( ham & 3 sides). The wait staff were awesome and humored us by saying “baby.”
  2. Cafe Du Monde : Beignets, duh.
  3. Boucherie : took the streetcar here and passed BeyoncĂ©’s rumored NOLA abode (we may or may not have gotten off to take a picture like the fan-girls we are on the way back). Went for the referred -now hold onto your seats – Krispy Kreme Donut Bread Pudding.
  4. Plum Street Snoball : A cute place and a leisurely walk getting there from the streetcar stop. Being the critic I am, I got my usual pink lemonade- sour apple combo to compare their snowball to Snowy’s in Bermuda. Tasted almost identical. Still prefer the home team though ❀
  5. The Praline Connection : We got a Soul food Sampler. It was bomb and right on the opposite street corner was THE BEST live brass band we heard during our time in NOLA. The young musicians played jazz-meets-latin fusion with well-received Michael Jackson medleys intertwined. We jammed to the music and took in (with amusement) the other tourists jiving after what seemed for them to be a full day on Bourbon Street. Possibly one of the most memorable experiences during the trip. That’s what we came for after all -good food and great live music.

    Our Spread at The Praline Connection, C. Bannister, Praline Connection, New Orleans LA
    Our Spread at The Praline Connection, C. Bannister, Praline Connection, New Orleans LA
  6. ??? Take out place : So I was adamant that I would have a Cajun crawfish boil experience while in Louisiana so we looked online and found a place. On calling the number, the worker seemed like he was rushing me off the phone (The noise in the background indicating the place was busy was presumed to be a good sign) and he assured me that although it was a take out spot, there were chairs and tables to eat at.  We took an Uber to what seemed to be ‘backatown’ and at the end of the ride the Uber driver seemed concerned (which was worrying coming from a 6’+ , buff guy). We sped-walked to a place that was lowkey sketchy, but I comforted myself with the fact that it seemed to be the neighbourhood eating spot so it had to be legit and would not taste of gentrification. No chairs nor tables. Butcher set up. On our way out someone was robbed at the nearby Dollar Tree. We called an Uber, vowed not to tell our parents about this adventure, and ate our spread downstairs on a long table in the hotel. It was an eventful night but the food was worth every second of it. We had bags of seasoned crawfish,large shrimp, juicy sausages and corn on the cob. Though I won’t tell you where we went (not just because it was semi-dangerous but also because we really aren’t sure if we even went to the place we called) but I will say find somewhere *safe* and get you a low country boil.

Trip Fav : Willie Mae’s  Scotch House

They have the BEST [I said THE BEST] fried chicken you will have in your life. Great portions and affordable. James Beard Awarded. Food Network recognized as ‘Best Fried Chicken in America’. Go there and get your life ‘kay?

I got cornbread, mac & cheese (that was ‘meh’ but the chicken definitely made up for it), a leg, breast and thigh and seasoned green beans (which comes w. rice and gravy). Needless to say, the portions were generous and we had more than enough to take home and enjoy the next day.

WHAT we did

  • Cajun Swamp Tour : really cheap because we found a coupon online. Held an albino snake and a baby gator. Guide was HILARIOUS and we saw a ton of swamp life and learned history of the area. I suggest having a rental to go out there because Ubers don’t really go out that far (taxi back was expensive) so we were stranded for a couple hours.
  • Dillard University : It was interesting to see another HBCU campus. It was beautiful with large oaks covered in spanish moss and startlingly white buildings.
  • Strolled through the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and TremĂ©
  • New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
  • Self-toured St. Louis Cemetery #1 : It was beautiful in an eerie way. Saw Marie Leveau’s mausoleum.
  • Street Car to the Garden District : It was cool for us -who hadn’t rode a street car. The architecture and how that differed as we passed each neighbourhood was beautiful. The locals were helpful and a lady put us onto the location of King Bey’s mansion. We collected thrown Mardi Gras beads (they are hanging in my room now) at each incorrect stop and chatted until the next car came.

 

It was truly the best trip I’ve had so far and the 2nd girl’s trip I helped plan. I had a lot of memorable firsts and I will always recommend New Orleans to anyone wanting to take a trip to an American city with great food, fantastic culture, unique history, friendly people and a lot of heart. I can’t wait to return and show more of my loved ones the place that stole my heart in 3 days.

Y1S1 Recap Series: General Orientation

General Orientation

Coming from an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) seeped in tradition and contagious school pride, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from general orientation. UWI pleasantly surprised me.

There were the usual peppy campus ambassadors who took us on tours of the large, picturesque campus, freebies ezgif-com-video-to-gif-1and giveaways for the brave souls who wished to answer prompts or lead us in spirit cheers. Administration staff were helpful and thorough and covered the myriad of topics a university would for new student introduction (e.g. financial aid, counselling services, history of the university, athletics, using Moodle/E-learning,e.t.c.).

On doing a roll call of what faculty the new students were in the faculty of Social Sciences ran deep and not surprisingly,  Medical Science students (which consists of medical, public health and health science students) were far and few between. This was probably due to the unfortunate late notification of those accepted to the MBBS programme as CAPE results usually are released in Early-Mid August, so those sixth form applicants and others would have only received a tentative acceptance or no notification at that point.

We were encouraged to chat with those sitting near us and were later grouped for a scavenger hunt activity testing whether you were truly paying attention to locations and historic facts noted during the earlier sessions. Listening to organizations and annual event information was amusing -albeit tempting – as I knew I was not in the same situation as the majority of other new students and would not have the free time.

ezgif-com-video-to-gif-2I caught myself making a running list of similarities and differences between this and my previous institution -a habit that had to be broken if I were to transition smoothly and willingly. I was no longer in the US, I was in the West Indies. The heat was different, the demographic make up of student body was different, the institution and its history was different. It was what I longed for during bouts of homesickness. I couldn’t think of UWI as my AUC  (Atlanta University Center) in the Caribbean, I had to enjoy it for its uniqueness. Different is good.

 

 

2017 Goals : The ‘Go For It’ Initiative

As a goal-driven individual I have never participated in the New Years Resolution ‘movement’ ; I generally just aim to improve on my weaknesses as they come to my attention. A specific date does not motivate  me much more than a random Tuesday in April.

However, this year I have finally broken down and made New Years Resolutions. My new reasoning is that it is easier to have active accountability partners when everyone is still in the spirit of changing bad habits.

Here is an excerpt from my new fitness journal

Hey you!

I am writing this to remind you of why, how and in what state you started this journey to better health. You are tired, weak and have low endurance. Looking good does not equal feeling at your best. Today you started this journey to investing in and taking better care of your God-given temple. With faith, hard-work and disciplined consistency you will change the above and be the best you that you can be…

So here goes…

2017 Resolutions

Hydrate My Life

Drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. To some this may seem like nothing but for someone who has somehow survived 2 decades on a little to no-water and sometimes no liquid at all diet it is a huge mountain. I don’t like water. I love juice. I don’t ever feel parched (probably a lifestyle adaptation). I can go a whole day without drinking a thing.I haven’t been dehydrated to the point of hospitalization in such a hot climate and I am not a camel. But it is HORRIBLE for my health. These are not excuses for being irresponsible in taking care of my body.

After several tries at water-only Lent sacrifices and reporting to my accountability partners I am getting myself together.  I use a bottle that has a rule in ml on the side to keep track of how much I’ve consumed and as a motivator (“I can chug to this line before 11am.”). I send photos of my progress to my personal cheerleaders and then check off the date in my habit tracking app, Loop Habit Tracker , and feel the accomplishment wash over me. I’ve realized I feel fuller for longer and don’t crave salty, processed foods as much when I’m on track with the day’s water consumption. I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking or not but I think my complexion is clearing.

On Purpose Approach

After listening to a sermon, this phrase stuck with me the most. I’ve noticed that I tend to wait until I am in the mood/ have the motivation to complete tasks or goals. I look for a person or circumstance to spur me on to tackle things I have avoided. This year I am making a better effort not to be led by my feelings. Rather, I will have an aggressive attitude toward the task at hand and let my feelings follow my actions.

So far I have sent emails that I have been procrastinating about for months, started the blog that had remained an idea for over a year and stepped out and reconnected with friends I hadn’t spoken to for a while.

Spiritual Grounding

Although I have a strong prayer life, the time I set aside to hear and study God’s word is lacking. I have always been of the belief that we make time for what matters and I was ashamed that I haven’t made quiet time (outside of prayer) a priority. I have decided to make time to listen to sermons heavy laden with scripture &/or bible study videos every day. It is amazing how sometimes a randomly picked sermon is JUST the thing you need to here as a pick-me-up or to give you a new perspective on a scripture you’d learned years ago. Often times what I learn, I intuitively share with my loved ones and it is even more of a blessing to them as it was for me.

Eat More [Good] Things

I am underweight for my height bracket. I have struggled with trying to gain weight for years and (some may say fortunately) my metabolism has not slowed as I get older and may not (my family has a slim build). As I work on becoming more fit, I know now more than ever I have to fuel my body better. It isn’t about eating more nutrient-deficient junk that will fill me and yes, probably help me gain some more weight. I’ve had my fill of honeybuns and cheez-its to little avail. I still am underweight and still not at the level of fitness that I used to be as a student athlete.

During the semester my study group decided we should dedicate time toward physical activity so we get in the habit of living a healthy lifestyle that we would wish for our future patients. A girl who represented her school in volleyball and athletics, who was captain and Games Captain of teams full of talented athletes could not jog the entire cricket field without being very winded. She was me. I was was humbled and a little humiliated. I felt like everyone was looking at person struggling to keep up with the others on the field in judgement as I had done before in the past. Only on the outside I looked like I should be able to sprint 400m with the best of them.  I was in practice of telling friends that slim/skinny does not equal fit/healthy, but I’d never felt it like I did that day.  Thankfully I had a support system in my peers who encouraged me and walked laps with me until I felt less sorry for myself.

I am past wanting to work out to gain back the abs I once had and doing squatting challenges. At this stage in my life I want to work toward being stronger, not to look a certain way. The toned arms and legs will come naturally as I work toward building endurance. I will gain weight by gaining muscle. This is why I must nourish my body with wholesome things. So far I have kept a food journal to log what I put into my temple and how it makes me feel each day. I’ve realised that although I think I eat frequently, I really don’t. I skip meals often as I work through regular meal times and don’t organize myself well enough to make sure I have enough to snack on between meals. Hopefully being able to see evidence of my daily activity and nutrition will continue to push me to stay on track. It can be difficult to replace bad habits that you have been able to carry on without observable detriment to your health. However, I aim to set myself up for fruitful longevity and be able to physically be the best I can in my clinical years and beyond.

I realized thinking about these things everyday does not translate into them being done. I have to stop planning at some point and just go for it.