Starting School. Again.
Let's start with Micro, which was the first class of the day. I had already printed out the syllabus, like the good little geek that I am. Nothing looked terrible and even the lab seems interesting. Even though there's a shitload of material to learn, it all seems interesting and I'm more or less looking forward to this class. Right now, it's shaping up to be my favorite course. (If you had told me, even a year ago, that I would be saying this about a course like microbiology, I would have shot myself in the foot, but I can't deny the truth of it now.) The professor has a nice dry sense of humor and that will help. The only downside of this couse, as I see it now, is that it is in a traditional auditorium type of room. You know, with the little desks that slide up and over the front of your chair? I figure I've got maybe three more weeks to fit in this chair, and then the gig is up. We'll see what happens.
Chemistry: Seems like it won't be easy, but I'll get it. Not too inordinately worried here either. Professor has a fun Puerto Rican accent. All tests, no homework, and lab assignments, which seems pretty straightforward. Okay. Chemistry-- down.
Pharmacology: First of all, I had to override into this class without one of the prerequisites, but when talking to the chair of the program, she didn't think it would be a problem for me. This was the class I was most nervous about. Everyone has said how hard the class is-- it's all memorization and the grading scale is such that it's even harder to get an A. And Partner is not taking this class with me. I'm alone. All alone.
When entering the classroom, it was immediately apparent that many students knew each other. Probably because they are all in the same program. I recognized someone, and sat down with her and the people at her table. It was a good choice because there was at least one other anal type of student there. The woman I knew peripherally is not a dim bulb either, and the other woman seemed pretty with it also. After a few minutes into lecture, I started feeling better. I even managed to answer a few questions the professor asked. Some things I had no clue about, but wasn't stressed: with a little reading, I'd figure it out. Mostly she annoyed me by asking us things like, "Do you knooooow what volatile means?" or "What's is longer: 40 inches or 40 centimeters?" Grrrr. She made us change tables every hour, which is a little disconcerting on the first day of class. Everyone is a little nervous anyway.
My final group didn't engender any confidence in me, and to make a long story shorter, she ended up giving us our first homework assignment in this group and told us we could do the first problem together. Here's what it said:
Doctor orders: Tylenol X gr q4h prn pain, not exceed 4 gm per day. Pharmacy sends acetaminophen 500 mgm tabs. What should patient receive? How many tabs of the Tylenol on hand would each 4 gm?
What the FUCK? What the fuckity fuck? What the fucking fuck fuck? No one at my final table really knows what any of it means. Some kid has a drug dosage calculation book, where at least we can look up the abbreviations. But then what the fuck is a GRAIN of Tylenol?? Eventually we figure out part of the answer, but I'm left in the dust. The professor starts rambling about questions four and five and IV pumps and not IV pumps and I feel my heart beating in my chest so damn fast, I'm actually worried about what my stress is doing to the Cricket. I try to talk to the professor after class, but she's too busy setting up for her next class, she doesn't really give me the time of day. I walk out of class, tears stinging my eyes, and stand outside in the rain, crying in Partner's shoulder.
Later that night when my mother called to admonish me about something I hadn't done, I mentioned what a hard day I had. I told her about the Pharm class. Her idea of supportive mother advice was to note that perhaps I should have taken the prereq. When I explained that the drug dosage stuff wasn't even a prereq for the class, she said, "Well, if you have to drop it, you'll have to drop it." This did not feel remotely helpful to me. It just goes to show you can't dictate what people will say to you for advice. I wanted some petting: You're smart, Katie, you'll figure it out, Katie. You know, your dad could probably help you with this, Katie. Alas.
It took some Coronation Street and Indian food to finally calm me down. I'm not dropping the damn class. I'm going to figure it all out. If it takes a whole semester of Chicken Mahkni to get me there. I'm clearly going to have to confront some issues in myself-- I'm going to have to ask some people for help, not easy for me. I have a whole mess of nasty school issues tied up inside, and it appears this class is going to bring back up some of these things, but I'll be damned if I just stop trying and drop the class. I've been down the route before, and I ain't going there again. Wish me luck, confreres.
Starting school again, indeed.