I am still sick. It's actually getting worse, I think.
I had tutoring this morning and I will take this opportunity to let you know that I am Physics and Calc GENIUS. Just kidding. I have a bit of homework to do this weekend before my Tuesday session, but I also need to study History. I hate History. No, really. It is the WORST subject on the face of the planet. Whose brilliant idea was it to teach History? Maybe some unemployed teacher? History...ugh...puke...barf...and all of those other outdated adjectives that we threw around in junior high. I don't even know if we are going to actually have the exam on Monday. My prof cancelled class unexpectedly on Wednesday and he has not responded to my email. This is unlike him. A classmate and I speculated (without pleasure) that something might have happened to the man.
Anyway, it would be totally unlike him to not review the syllabus 6 more times before the exam (he reviews the syllabus EVERY class...it hasn't changed and we are at midterm). So, I don't know if we are going to actually have the exam or not. Best be prepared, but History is one of those subjects...No, it is the ONLY subject that makes me want to throw myself into an untempered window to an awaiting bed of nails below. Really, it is BAD.
Must go. Drugs are awaiting my arrival at the pharmacy.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
I am still sick. It's actually getting worse, I think.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Last night as I was looking at the AMCAS site, I realized something. My UG was determined based only on the grades I received while at my graduating university. I was simply given credit for successfully completing courses taken elsewhere. Classes in which I received As, Bs and ok even a C or two. But the point is...I have like 60 hours of decent grades that will be factored into my AMCAS GPA!! It is higher than I thought! How much higher remains to be determined. But, If I graduated with a total of 135 - 140 hours (yes, more than I needed) and 50 - 60 of those never actually counted toward my GPA ---and they were the highest of my academic career....ooooh, life is looking better every moment. Now, I am not under the illusion that I suddenly will have this 3.5 or anything. But, every little .0001 th of a point helps! I need to order all of my transcripts and see what I am actually looking at.
So exciting. I have never been excited about my grades. Looky looky. Things are looking up.
Even if only in my own little world.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Will I turn into a freak that is so obsessed with succeeding that I end up rocking back and forth on the edge of my bed dreaming of what could have been? I feel like that is what I should be doing right now and I am fighting the doubt with all my might.
Not good. Not good. Not good.
How many more years of this?
Not good. Not good. Not good.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
I gotta go back to sleep.
*Our bed while we are working consists of an inflatable mattress.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I was sick last Thursday when I would have met with my Calc/Physics tutor. Hence, no tutoring. Tuesday, it was supposed to be slushy and I am not a fan of the Beltway in rush hour with slush (and I still wasn't feeling good) - so tutoring was cancelled. Today, I was all psyched to return to tutoring tomorrow...but NOOOO. My tutor is a Ph.D. student and has some big exam on Friday. So, no tutoring. What am I going to do? I am going to forget everything! Aggh! Dude, we were studying something that begins with a "d" but what was it? Derivatives? I don't think so..that is an English word. Oh my gosh...I have already forgotten the subject. This is not good. So not good.
Took my bike for a tune up today. It has needed it since September. We haven't gone riding since like mid October, before my surgery. I mean some very short rides here and there but it is a bit perilous when you don't have any brakes! The bike shop was totally backed up so it won't be ready until next week. That's ok, it's too cold to ride anyway and that gives me more time to convince my husband that I need another car - a fun one. I am aiming for a Z3 Roadster. Used, yes. I don't care. I keep trying to tell him that we will have so much fun this summer with a convertible and that it will be so much more gas efficient than my SUV as I drive 2 hours each way to shadow. I don't know why I am so stuck on this car, but I am.
Once we have a child it will be totally useless. A car seat in a 2 seater? IRRESPONSIBLE! That's it! It is a RESPONSIBILITY thing. My next angle!!
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Ok, the most eye-opening thing happened to me on Friday. I was with my doc..who has taken on the role of mentor-extraordinaire and we were discussing my GPA (oh gosh, I nearly puked!) and my constant complaints about my inability to concentrate. She did not believe that I had ADD, nor did I. However, I have been asking her what I can take/do to improve my focus. She is a target shooter and I thought perhaps that that would be something that would "force" me to focus. The only things that I have ever shot in my life have been clay discs and the little digital flying dudes in "Duck Hunt." Anyway, I haven't tried target shooting yet. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. She wasn't convinced it would help.
Throughout my life, as I have read books, etc. the words have spread, shaken and essentially danced all over the page. After glasses didn't help, I just figured that everyone had this and I needed to learn how to deal. I mean, at some point you just have to stop whining about it. So, I quit wearing glasses and just deal with it. But, it has gotten worse. I WILL NOT read aloud and I have begun to comprehend very little of what I read. It is exhausting. I have to wrangle the words to a halt and try to grab a meaning from them before I move on to the next group. Ugh.
So... I decided one more time to try to get someone to understand what I experience and hoped she wouldn't think I was crazy. Unfortunately, she handed me a paragraph to read aloud. I didn't tell her that I didn't like reading aloud..nor that it sounded something like words being shot out of a popcorn maker. Summoning all of my concentration, I began to read. Three words in I wanted to run screaming from the room. By the time I completed the first sentence, I had had enough...I stopped. I handed her the text and admitted "I know that wasn't read well at all and I didn't comprehend a word I read." She looked at me with convinced amazement. I was embarrassed. It was awful. This person who knows what my IQ is, knows what I am capable of and has told me repeatedly how intelligent she believes I am just witnessed the most appalling act of what I perceived at that moment to be ignorance. I closed my eyes momentarily and prayed for the best. She gently took the box on which the paragraph was written and leaned forward. "Ok, now I am going to read it to you." She read it smoothly. Ahh. I would love to be able to do that again. I think I could at one time. Then looked at me and asked: "What did I just read?"
"It's just software information" I said.
"(Dr. Underdog), you don't have a concentration problem, you have a reading problem!" She was shocked and amazed at the same time. I illustrated how the words move and she watched enthusiastically. "Frankly, I am impressed that you achieved a [edit: GPA removed - time's up!]! I have never heard of anything like you are describing." It wasn't said with mockery or anything that hinted at negativity, but with sheer admiration. Wow.
So, now she is trying to locate a neuro-ophthalmologist for me to see. "I don't want you seeing a (bad) one... I think I want you to go to
Thank God for great people who listen who become great physicians that listen.
I hope to become one of them.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I dropped one of my history classes today. Ironically, the one that I expected to be the easier of the two. I could have hung in, but the risks outweighed the potential gain. Anyway, now I have more time for Western Civ...oh gee...fun, fun, fun. But really, I can concentrate on getting a shining mark in that one and still have time to develop a good base in Calc and Physics.
My homework is done in prep for my tutoring session in the morning, but I am sick. Ugh. I think I am going to go make some tea. Oh, speaking of...did you know that "Tension Tamer" tea has catnip in it? I didn't until my shrink saw me drinking some and I was complaining about how I was feeling all goofy and stuff. Who knew I was part feline (does that make me a minority?...Cornell, Yale, Harvard, Vandy...here I come!) I don't even LIKE cats. I expected that someone would discover I am part canine at some point, I have way too much in common with my dogs. But, I guess it would be a lot more difficult to get one of those rawhide chewy things into a teabag.
Anyway...over and out.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I was correct...the problem was in the process...not the function. Ugh. That really frustrates me. Anyway, I had a good tutoring session. My throat feels awful and my nose was running, so I am chilling out in bed trying to fight off whatever it is. Max, my tutor, and I got back into physics today. We had put it on the back burner as we changed textbooks in Calc. But, now it is time to revisit the ol' subject. Luckily, physics is a very natural subject for me. It is logical. I love things that make sense. I mean, REAL sense - not the "sense" that supposedly history makes. History is completely subjective. I know that sounds stupid. But, every prof will teach you what they feel is important and will express THEIR personal opinion as to why it is and whether it was right or wrong.
Regardless of my political beliefs, if I have to hear how Bush is an idiot and how the
Anyway, I am going to surf on over to SDN and check out anything new on the boards before melting into a healing nap.
Monday, March 13, 2006
I can feel the pressure building in my head...then the sweat starts. It is a very vivid way to witness the frustration that I am feeling.
I can not figure out my calculus homework. I meet with my tutor in the morning and have nothing to show him but pages upon pages of unintelligible scribble to illustrate my efforts. I attempted 2 problems...repeatedly and without success. I have no idea why I can't remember the process of determining derivatives. This is NOT difficult. Why can't I remember how to do it? It's the process I can't recall. I guess that is the good news. It could be that I couldn't perform the functions to arrive at the answer. But, on the other hand, it would be nice if I could get that far. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
I know that tomorrow morning when I walk in and ask Max to show me how to do one of these I am going to be embarrassed. It is going to be so ridiculously simple and the information will come flooding back to me. So stupid. So stupid.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Thank you Adm. Stockdale!
Ok, I studied. I mean, I am not finished, but I don't think I ever will be. So, now I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. Now, I am going to take a break. :)
I got to thinking...some people (are there any of you out there?) are probably wondering why I am taking history of all things. Ugh. Trust me, every moment of every day this semester I have asked myself that very question.
So, here is my story...
I have wanted to be doctor since I can remember (I think somewhere around 7 years old, but maybe that is just when I could finally get my mind around what that actually meant when I said it.) My grandmother had been a nurse - first in the army and then as a civilian. I remember years and years when I would go to their house every weekend and grab some random volume from the shelf holding her medical encyclopedias and be fascinated by what I was reading. Obviously, I didn’t comprehend much, but it was heaven to me. I felt I was a total geek and thought that perhaps it wasn't "normal" so over the years I fought the urge to grab and read. But, ultimately it ended when she passed away. I was asked if there was anything that I wanted from her house and my answer was that I would really like to have the (extremely outdated) medical books that I had read growing up. I never got them. Maybe I actually was a geek.
Though interested in science, I was artistically gifted and was pressured into exploring opportunities that arena. When I shied away from painting and drawing (I was more in awe of what other people could do with the medium that what I was able to accomplish) I was steered toward writing. That was something I enjoyed...and THAT was a problem. Writing was my escape. I didn't want to make a living writing because I would be giving up my escape. I couldn't see it as enjoyment. To make a long story short, I wrote on my terms. What I liked however was the use of creativity to explore science. But, I wasn't "supposed" to like science. It was logical. I was creative. When my project got into the science fair, my parents brushed it off. When I painted a still life or composed a paper, I was encouraged and applauded for my overwhelming talent. But, it was not what I truly wanted.
I have had Panic Disorder since I was young - very young. (I could go into the whole story about why and so on and so forth, but I am sure Blogger.com has a limit - if you REALLY want to know more, email me email@example.com) But, it wasn't diagnosed until 1991. By that time, it had wreaked havoc on my life, relationships and scholastic record and my parents had jumped off of the "you can do whatever you set your mind to" bandwagon long ago. I had experienced a horrible panic attack in a hospital in 1986 and came to associate the episode with doctors and hospitals. I knew they were completely unrelated, but I didn't understand what I was experiencing at the time. I kept secret my unrelenting desire to become a doctor. What would people say? I wouldn't step foot in a hospital and I freaked out at the thought of a needle.
I graduated from high school in the 3rd quarter of my class. Not so hot. GPA: 82/100
Feeling that I wasn't ready to head off to a big university where I would become a number and get lost in the shuffle, I opted for a junior college about 2.5 hours from my home. It was a little different from your traditional JC... a lot of students lived on campus. I was probably the only one subscribing to "The Medical Gazette" though. My first semester was stellar...compared to a drunk, dead dude. A 1.9... I had achieved academic probation. Score one for the critics. My second semester (having had the fear of God instilled in me by my parents) I pulled myself out of the hole, but not with flying colors. I didn't like to study. I thought that reading was useless and general studies courses were a waste of time. While attending Blinn (my junior college), I became very involved in theatre and acting. I was also president of my dorm and did my share of dating. I had fun. I didn't study. Nonetheless, I had aspirations of attending
I chose to major in Communication Disorders in preparation for med school. During my time at the university I wrote for the school paper, was a peer educator, the Underwriting Director and a DJ for the university radio station, was a charter member (and later president) of the American Sign Language Club, a Resident Assistant, worked as a Mental Health Associate at a psychiatric hospital and on weekends I was the receptionist at a rehab and nursing facility. Needless to say my ECs were plentiful, but my grades suffered.
Unfortunately something else happened. I was one of TOO many people who are on the receiving end of sexual harassment. A bigger problem was that the instigator of the harassment was the director of my program. I thought I had been prudent in keeping the situation quiet. I guess I was wrong. One semester, I received an 'F' in this professor’s class. When I approached him about it, we averaged my grades together. I - in fact - had not failed. When I asked him why he had given me a failing grade, he simply looked at me and responded "Who do you think they are going to believe...me or you?" Despite the many hours I had devoted to the degree, I decided that it was not wise to continue my pursuit on his watch. It was one thing after another and I ended up leaving the university before (without withdrawing) taking finals one summer. That resulted in more failing grades. My parents cut me off and it was time for me to get out into the real world and make it on my own.
I worked in media for nearly 6 years and got married before earning my Bachelor's in 2003. But, I finally had that piece of paper that I had always wanted. What had been my biggest regret subsequently became my biggest accomplishment. My GPA was not good (with the number of 'F's that I accumulated in the last days, I was lucky to have it that high)... I graduated with a [edit: GPA removed...time's up!], but got the degree.
Fast forward... I was 30 years old and a doctor that I respect tremendously expressed unwavering belief in my ability to become a physician. I broke down at the mere thought that someone of her caliber believed that I could accomplish what she knew to be so difficult. But, the decision was not made. Was I too old? It was no longer only my life I was playing with...it was my husband's too. We had plans to begin a family. He allowed me to contemplate it without interference until one evening when I announced to him that I would do everything in my power to reach the goal and the rest was out of my hands. How far would I go? To the islands? If that is what it takes. He solidly said OK and we began seriously searching for a house in the city where I will begin school in the fall. He supported me and continues to do so.
I have chosen to pursue an additional undergraduate degree to counter my poor performance the first time around. I took very few science courses (which is fortunate) and it will allow me to show what I can do in that regard.
Believe it or not, THAT is the abbreviated version.
I am tired of typing today...see ya tomorrow.
But...it's BEAUTIFUL outside and I haven't had the opportunity to bike in months!!
I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today. I must study today.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
This is sad. Not because they were "pre-meds" but because they were human. Yes, things like this happen all too frequently - my life has been touched by tragedy as most people's have been. Five people with plans, goals and high aspirations - never take for granted that there will be a tomorrow.
Plan for tomorrow, but live for TODAY.
Friday, March 10, 2006
How many times has it been said "You are your own worst enemy?" OK, that was rhetorical. Point being, as I look at the profiles of these wonderfully intelligent (or so it seems) students' profiles on Student Doctor Network (www.studentdoctor.net) I am reminded of what I must overcome. Unfortunately, as difficult as it will be to compete with the likes of Mr. 4.0 and Ms. 41S MCAT, I know that I can kill my hopes of ever becoming a physician without help from the outside world. Self doubt. I had it. That was a while ago. I think that once I sucked it up and acknowledged how much this meant to me, it was necessary that I trash the self-doubt and pick up some confidence and determination. Still, it is not the self-doubt that concerns me; it is the fear of it returning. It can't enter into my new world. Not now...not ever. Self realization - yes. Self doubt - no room.
When I first made the decision to pursue medicine (like I ever gave up the idea), my hubby asked "How far will you go?" The answer was (and still is)...anywhere. I will succeed. Even if it takes foreign soil or the sun drenched beaches of the
I hope everyone finds something that they feel this strongly about.
Over and out my friend.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Anyway, not much in the way of school this week. Thankfully. Other than a botched study session and just making it through until break, it has been pretty uneventful. I guess that is not the way to begin a blog based on my studious ventures, but it is what it is.
I have decided to go to the OPM (Old Pre-Meds) Conference in June. It is being held in Washington, DC and the lectures look really interesting. If this kind of thing interests you, check out http://www.oldpremeds.org (I am hoping that will automatically link for you, but I don't have much hope) Drop me a line if you are going... firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 02, 2006
"I do hope someday to hear the good news that you have graduated and are a doctor. Maybe someday you and I will be on the same page, but until then I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers."
The deal is...the day that I am on the same page with them is the day that I have sold my soul to the devil.
I thought she was different, that somehow the pact we made when we were young (after years of watching my mom fight with her siblings) actually meant something to her. I thought that perhaps she could see beyond my mother's deceitful ways and see me for who I really am. But, she can't. All I have ever asked is for her to believe me.
My parents have what they want now. Me out of their life and their little angel on their "side". That's really too bad. I never wanted a lot. Really. It wasn't even tangible. I didn't vie for their attention nor act out in inappropriate ways.
Today could have been a great day. Tomorrow could have been better. Well, there is always Saturday.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Boy, was I wrong!
My study group for Western Civ consists of students for whom high school was literally months ago. These people don't understand the unrelenting drive to ace classes...all of them. Maybe I was that way the first time around too. Our session today consisted of me sitting next to a 19 year old (maybe 18) guy drooling over the girl sitting across from me. The only other one was a girl who is likely the smartest in the class, but has the habit of contradicting me just for the sake of doing it. It's not as though she is looking for an argument, just my attention. Very strange. She is a wonderful person. Very intelligent. But, it is weird for me to consider the fact that someone could possibly be seeking my attention. But, that is beside the point. Due to her vast knowledge of the subject (her parents were both History majors and one teaches it) she confuses the heck out of me. I.E. the book said that Nero was liked by the masses but dislike by the aristocracy...she insisted that he was hated. Despite what the book said. Perhaps if I were a History major (no one that I know is) the information would be interesting and I would enjoy throwing a fit about the inaccuracy of the text. But, I'm not. So, her tirade simply leaves me worried that somewhere down the road the possible inaccuracy of the book will lead me to missing a question on an exam, which will in turn thrust me into the world of an F in the class, which will obliterate my GPA on which I am working so diligently...of course, that will then lead me to "not a chance in hell of getting into med school" (even a bad one), which will inevitably plop me on my deathbed without attaining my goal.
I know, the logical part of my brain is yelling "GET A GRIP!" While the other side is hounding me: "This could be the question that blows it all." Oh man, my head hurts. Maybe it is talking too much?
Anyway, the smart girl is not the biggest problem...it is the professor that creates the exam. He's a piece of work. The questions come either from the reading (which puts me to sleep) or from the lectures (in which he contradicts both himself and the book!)... um, so the correct answers are not necessarily what is "correct" it is what he believed to have been correct at the time of creation. Somehow, you just hope you remembered it the same way. I remembered it as well as a "B" on my last exam.
Now, back to Mr. Goo Goo Eyes... after asking him why he tolerated such a crappy study session (the cause was the object of his goo goo eyes) he responded: "You remember lust?" I said "I'm married" (I remember a whole lot more than lust, buddy!) I told him that I didn't care if she shoved his tongue down her throat, but don't let the continuity of our session suffer for it.
I got lucky the first time around. This is ridiculous. One semester. I just need to get through it. Thankfully, we are at mid-term.