Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A horrible man

My Physics professor is an horrible man. I do not say that lightly nor because the class average on the first exam was a 58%. I have never encountered someone who so blatantly tries to make things difficult. I visited him in his office a couple of weeks ago (that will be the LAST time) and during my time there I asked him if this semester was more difficult than those passed. He proceeded to say "You all want to be able to write anything you want on evaluations and not expect to pay for it." Um HELLO? I then said "So what you are telling me is that we are paying for past sins of other classes?" He seemed quite pleased with himself. I was mortified. I have had my bad professors. I won't even get into HOW bad, but this is stupid. On the first exam, he had 4/10 problems that he had never taught us. Gee, that was nice. He was unapologetic and even with such a low class average, the only thing he said about it was "No, there will be no curve." Ass#$%^! From here on out he will be called Dr. Dickhead on this blog. It is likely that I will post a picture of him at some point. I am not afraid of being exposed that way. What a horrible, horrible man. What's worse was that he went INCREDIBLY slow and was INCREDIBLY funny and endearing until the add/drop period was over. Premeditated jerkiness.

I have not written anything that is untrue nor anything that I would not testify to in a court of law. If you are SOMEHOW scheduled to take a class from this man...RUN! TURN AND FRIGGIN' RUN. He has a chip on his shoulder and, despite is efforts to prove that he is a tough professor, he is not proving anything except that a single human being can be so hateful and sacrifice one's own abilities for the sole purpose of revenge on a group that is not at fault.

Hey, Dr. Dick..I may not make an A in your class. But you count on WILL NOT ruin my future.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Looking Up!

I am feeling really good today..definitely a lot more like myself. Kate and I had a conversation yesterday and somehow it really helped. I knew that I had to get out of this rut and well...(knock on wood) it seems to be subsiding. Seeing her yesterday was pretty difficult though. Her hair has begun to thin and her skin appears a bit gray.

Anyway, Thursday I have my first big Chemistry exam. Thankfully, this change in emotion/mindset came just in time. Unfortunately, I have to learn 4 weeks worth of Chemistry in about 4 days. I have not been able to concentrate and my retention has been pretty much nil. I will be able to do it...somehow. Chemistry is fun when you know what you are doing. I gave up on actually understanding anything, but have become a master regurgitator of class material which is probably why Anatomy was so enjoyable. I mean besides the fact that I just love Anatomy. What actually happens in the 3rd and 4th ventricle? Geez, I don't think I ever got that down. But, they look like sea animals!

Ok, gotta jet...yes, that was abrupt. ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Universal health care and other things that look good on paper

Today was a decent day. I was kinda bummed that my back hurt all day and today was lab (and therefore STANDING) intensive but I got through it anyway. I wasn't sure when exactly that Kate was going to end up beginning her first round of chemo, but we exchanged emails this afternoon. Apparently, it began a week later than originally that was yesterday and she said that she has 15 hours left. She indicated it was going well so I am glad.

I can't express how thrilled I am with my friend who turned out to be my Chem lab partner! It is so much fun to go to that class. It could be such a drag, but we laugh so much. Not to mention, she is intelligent so I am not having to question whether or not her analysis is accurate because she doesn't care. I hate that. I guess I WAS that person the first time around, but things have been very different this time.

I finally got the notes over to Disability Services for my student. I have been a volunteer notetaker for a couple of semesters for 2 different students with learning disabilities. I may have mentioned that. Anyway, it is nothing earth-shattering, I just take clearer notes and have to go make copies of them at least once a week. I was feeling so bad on Friday (when I usually take care of that) that I ended up abandoning the effort altogether. Yesterday wasn't much better, but today I am thrilled to say that the notes are waiting for my classmate. Part of the whole thing is that it is confidential, so while it would be a lot easier to just hand the notes to the guy in class (yes, I know who he is), I have to trek over to the official office and deposit them there.

Universal healthcare...hum. A lot of people have been discussing this with me lately. What do I think? Does it matter? Here's my ineloquent, if not ignorant, take on the matter... Do I think that we some form of health coverage for everyone..ABSOLUTELY. Do I think that the government should resort to a socialist form of care...ABSOLUTELY NOT. Here's the deal, I see the crap that my docs have to go through to get paid by my health insurance company and I have excellent coverage. I see on my EOBs that are sent to me what kind of pitiful sum they are paid to see me. I know that I have taken well more of their time than what they are paid for. There is a huge misconception that doctors make too much money and that the problem lies with the medical community. I strongly disagree. Why is it that we can handle athletes and CEOs of companies making manifold what docs make and yet fail to consider the fact that physicians must pay exhorbiant malpractice fees, very high education costs (which many are still paying off >10 years later), staff salaries (God forbid someone have to wait longer than they want), equipment costs (because we all want the latest technology...or at least something from the 20th century), they work WAY more than people give them credit for (call the doc because you have a question..they don't get paid for insurance billing many of those questions even if not directly from your mouth do they have to field in a day in between 30-50 patients to be seen in 15 minute increments) and all done for (in my experience) 25-75% of what they actually charge. Are their fees excessive? We will take my pulmonologist as an example, he went through 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 5-6 years of internship/residency. By that time many new doctors are >$200K in debt compounding interest constantly. After all of that time, how much would you say that YOUR time would be worth? Then add on all the things mentioned above which just make it possible for a physician to provide adequate care for patients.

I don't expect to make a lot as a doctor. I will be 43 when I complete residency and then have the joy of paying back all the loans. I will likely never own my own practice. Perhaps group or hospital based practice will be for me. I have nothing to gain by saying that government run universal health care is a bad idea, except the opportunity to care for my patients in the best way possible. If the government wants to get involved then it should pay private insurance companies to cover every citizen of the U.S. and then it needs to make sure that the insurance companies are making good on their obligations to the patient and the doctor.

The last 2 questions...Do I think we will have universal health care in the U.S. in the next 10 years? Yes. Do I believe that it will be a good system? No.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Chemistry and other reasons to become emotional

Today wasn't a good day. I hate sounding like I am constantly complaining. I don't tell people around me what is going on typically. Occasionally, when I have had too much and my functioning is obviously being affected, I will give a clue what it is about when asked. I cried through Chemistry again today. Unfortunately, today was worse than Friday. Why Chem? I don't know. But, it is such a small class that hiding my tears is really difficult - especially since the professor knows me so well and regularly makes eye contact with me. Today, it was just a matter of looking down and suffering. I kept sniffling to keep my nose from running down my face, but that simply made the situation worse. I considered leaving, but we are so smashed in there that getting up and exiting through the only door (at the front of the room) would have called much too much attention to myself. So, for 50 minutes I did a miserable job of fighting the tears. I couldn't stop them. I am tired of feeling this way. I am angry that it is having such a horrible affect on my studies. I would really like to drop out of school for the semester but it is not an option so I just need to buckle down and get it done. I am so angry with myself for allowing this to have such an impact on me...I can't believe that I have allowed it to affect me this much. Damn it. Tonight, a friend of mine came over to workout. Unfortunately, I began having chest pain and became dizzy shortly before she got here. Luckily (I suppose), she is a cardiac nurse and became concerned. I attribute it to nothing more than stress and emotional overload. My BP was fairly normal and my pulse was completely normal. I'm not dead...I guess that is a good sign.

Anyway, tomorrow in the life of this post-bacc student includes Physics Lab and Chem Lab. Physics Lab is never exactly "fun" considering that I am having trouble conceptualizing what the heck is going on in there. But, Chem lab is nothing short of a joke. I have a fabulous lab partner and the write up is the most time consuming part. I began a new painting a couple of days ago. Obviously, it not complete...nowhere close. But...the camera is here and so:

I really should be studying. Guess what? I am not. I am SO not in the mood. I have a Chemistry exam next week. Hopefully, she will post the mock exam soon. Those are always so helpful. If you can do the problems on that, you are in great shape for the exam. Usually, the actual thing is just the mock with different numbers. This professor really does want her students to succeed and it is so obvious. I don't know why though. Last semester, my class was so awful. Had I been her, I would have wanted to fail all of us...for no other reason than guilt by association with the others in the class then never returned. This is the fourth time I have had her...for a variety of Chem classes. Definitely the best prof I have ever had. Perhaps not the easiest, but the best. I feel like I have learned something after her courses. I actually feel I am prepared for the next thing. I can't say that I feel that way with the vast majority of my other classes.

Anyway, I am going to grab an apple downstairs and maybe get a back massage from hubby. Until next safe.

Dr. Underdog

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It is a beautiful day outside. We have turned off the A/C and opened all the windows. We went with a couple friend of ours to an art festival earlier. I was hoping to find a bunch of great things...unfortunately, I didn't. I found a funky birdhouse that I was the most reasonably priced thing there...$70. I think it was actually too funky for me and our our conservative 1920's home. A lot of people around here have all these bright and mish-mashed, artsy-fartsy colors on their house and in their yard...we don't. The purple front door remains as does the air vent on the upper portion of the detached garage. But, the most "out there" color that we have added to the house is a beautiful Ralph Lauren terracotta in the dining room. Not exactly pushing the envelope.

Anyway, it was fun. We came home and I began working on my Physics assignment that is due tomorrow at 11pm. I was trucking through and suddenly hit a problem that I can't figure out. Luckily, the aforementioned neighbor was a physics major at the univ where I am doing my post-bacc and has offered to help me. This will be the first time I take him up on it.

Today is a bit better than was yesterday. I have had a string of bad days. Oh well. I actually began crying while sitting in class on Friday. That is never good. I am really worried about what this is going to do to my semester.

I will close here. I hope everyone has a great day and a fabulous rest of the weekend.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ugh. I am not in the mood to be in school this semester. Ugh.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A few words...

I am sitting here doing homework..well, studying for a Physics exam. Is there any difference? I am having a lot of trouble keeping my mind in the game and my eyes fell to my wrist and the yellow bracelet. It got me to thinking about how when Kate and I were talking and she had noticed that it was once again on my wrist, I mentioned how, along with its obvious purpose, it helped to motivate me to workout and keep going when the effort seemed too much. She asked me "How?" I gave some stupid answer because I have been so forward with my feelings lately that I didn't want to overwhelm her. I have been too honest with my feelings. I didn't want to discuss any of this with her. I wanted to help her..not the other way around. So I gave a cheesy-ass short and shallow answer (that really didn't answer the question) that I have since forgotten. What was the real answer? If I had been honest with her at that moment what would I have said?

"Because someday I am going to have a patient who means to someone what you and all those other wonderful people in my life who have fought cancer have meant and mean to me. I want to be in my best shape, both mentally and physically. That person doesn't deserve anything less than my best."

Perhaps my real answer is as cheesy as the substance-less one I spouted... but at least this one was honest. I have lost 4 pounds. I don't care if it is just a momentary hiccup that went my way. Four pounds is 4 pounds and I have worked for it.

Anyway, I had to get that off my chest. Now it is back to Physics.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


In the interest of full disclosure, Kate is still my doctor. (I know a lot of people will think differently of this whole situation now. Oh well.) That sucks. Unfortunately, she is too capable a physician for me to be willing to give her up professionally. But, this puts quite the obstacle in the way when dealing with these feelings. I increased my antidepressant in an effort to get past some of this. I can't let it get me or my grades. I have a physics exam Monday and I am really struggling to get out of bed. Much less study. Hubby and I did go to the batting cage today. I hadn't done that in quite a while, so it was really enjoyable. But, when we got home all I wanted to do was get in bed. Which is where I am now. Maybe I will paint tonight. Perhaps let some creative juices flow and work some feelings out. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so studying will be good for that. I was so emotional yesterday. I am hoping that that was the reason I was weak during my workout and dizzy later. I would hate for it to be a legitimate problem. I am really trying to lose weight. I used to see a well known doc that is all over TV, books, the Internet, etc and her staff nutritionist but I got sick of the name dropping that she seemed so attached to. So, I quit seeing her. I am going back to doing the same stuff I was doing then. Maybe I will add Alli to the mix. Kate would probably kill me for even thinking about such a stupid thing. I am so against weight loss drugs. But...what can I say? I am desperate. I am not diabetic, but have a problem with hypoglycemia. Go figure. Anyway, I am very careful not to leave the house without my glucose. Those episodes are so frightening.

I know I haven't written much about school since the semester began. I am behind. I am distracted. But, hopefully it will be getting better soon. I am taking Physics I, Chem II, Chem I Lab, Physics I Lab, and Human Biology Lab. Gee, it feels like I wrote that in an earlier post. If I did..well there it is again.

Have a good one.

Friday, September 07, 2007

More of the same

A friend of mine took the MCAT today...I am sure she did well. (BP, I know you did!) I am not looking forward to taking it in May, but it is a necessary evil.

Thankfully, the school week is over. I have quite a bit of studying to do this weekend, but Fridays always bring about a sigh of relief. I haven't been very successful at keeping Kate off my mind this week. Maybe because I saw her on Wednesday and whenever I do, it is like picking the scab. Anyway, I am really down in the dumps. I am so sad that I am beginning to get angry at her for causing me this pain. Though it is logically stupid and completely off...not to mention inaccurate and selfish, I am actually grateful for the evolution of this emotion. Maybe it will allow me to get away from the sadness. Gosh, the profound sadness. She keeps asking me if I think she is going to die. I don't. I finally asked her.. "Do you think that you are going to die?" Her answer was simple and honest. "It is a possibility." Of course it is a possibility.

Anyway, my struggle is within myself. The sadness. The freaking overwhelming sadness.

I hope that everyone is having a great week and it is topped off with a fabulous weekend.

Monday, September 03, 2007


I have today off and my mind is with Kate. I was watching a YouTube video earlier and ran across a great song by Wideawake. It came out last year. Where have I been? No clue. I was only vaguely familiar with Wideawake. Ok, I may have heard of the group. (I really like their sound and will be listening to more.) Anyway, the song is called "Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow." All proceeds from the sale of this single on iTunes go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Now, go spend a buck (not even) and buy it!

Here is the video to Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow

I'll even go a step further... for the first 50 people that email me their receipt (email: from the purchase of "Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow" on iTunes. I will send you a dollar. There, it didn't cost you a thing! The artist has gotten publicity for writing such a great song, the LAF benefits, you got a great song and hopefully will mention it to someone else furthering the cause.

Be sure to put your snail mail address in the email.

And for a bit of perspective....