Monday, August 28, 2006

What to Pack


I will only brush my teeth with Arm & Hammer toothpaste. I cannot stand anything else. So every time I fly down to the islands, I have all the toothpaste I’ll need for the term. A girl I knew would bring Downy drier sheets. The point is this: the shopping malls and grocery stores are sparkling clean and air-conditioned much like home but that does not mean that they are stocked the same. They will have everything you can think of needing but not necessarily your favorite brand. So if you are wedded to a certain brand of tampons or deodorant, bring enough for the term. Other than that, there is no need to worry. To the guy that brings 40 lbs. of Whey protein on the flight: we have a GNC-type store that has that. Do no waste the room and the weight. Also, you look like you work out.

You will wear shorts, shirts and flip-flops every day. Have something nice to wear if you plan on asking someone on a date or celebrating at one of the fine restaurants. Every once in a while, their will be a banquet at the Governor’s Mansion or physicians visiting from our clinical years, so have something nice to wear for those fancy people. You will never be asked to wear a jacket, but maybe a tie. Bring a few pairs of scrubs for Anatomy Lab (you can still wear sandals). We have a nice air-conditioned gym, basketball courts and a soccer (football) field so bring some athletic gear and your ‘A’ game. Things made of linen are always a smart purchase.

Binders are expensive on the island and worth the space in your luggage to bring a few. Multicolored highlighters are invaluable when reading biochemistry and hard to find on the island. I wish I had brought more. I also wish I had brought dry erase markers for the study rooms in the library. Bring a flash drive and a modest external hard drive. Students share all of their files and useful programs with each other via flash drives or iPods. That means entire seasons of Nip/Tuck, Lost, 24, etc. Each term also has a MacDaddy program filled with old study resources like previous tests, tables, and summaries. These information juggernauts can reach 10 gigabytes; plan accordingly.

As for your course books, the school supplies you with them the first week you are here. They are stored at the base of campus and are heavy. I would recommend picking them up in an empty piece of wheeled-luggage. Opinion varies in the upper terms as to which textbooks are useful and which never left their shrink wrap. Take advantage of your Footsteps Buddy and try to figure out which books will be most helpful for you. That said, there are some books that most people wish they had. Unfortunately, the campus bookstore may not carry them or will sell out early. Check each Class Section for suggested books.

Depending on your airline, you can take up to 155lbs to the island. That’s two suitcases at 50lbs each and a 40lb carry-on. You’re also allowed a personal item that can weigh up to 15lbs. I suggest putting your computer and books into your backpack as a “personal item.” That easily covers 30lbs, freeing up more weight for your checked luggage. Play it cool, though. If they see you slumping under the weight, they’ll get suspicious and make you check the bag which will cost you some money.

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