Friday, February 27, 2009

Define: Break

This week has been rough. I had the A&P cardiovascular lecture exam and a microbiology exam on virology the same day. One right after the other. The sheer volume of information on the A&P exam made it pretty hard to review for. The instructor mentioned how this exam covered more material than any other in the curriculum. The micro exam was given by a teacher who is big into the "Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains" which translates as to her exams being relatively difficult as a result of their varying format. Studying for both of these bad boys simultaneously was a biatch.

But I survived. I honestly don't know how well I did. I'm pretty sure that I passed, but I'm certain that I got some answers wrong. I was doing a lot of educated guessing and some of the cursed doubting via over thinking (a perpetual kiss of death and a violation of one of my cardinal rules). But I won't know the results until after break.

Yep, I'm on break. Well from having to go to school anyway (I still have to write two ethics papers, study for a midterm and a test for the week I get back). Meanwhile, the rest of my stressful, uncertain and generally hellish existence persists. Honestly, school is a refuge for me. A place that I can occupy my mind as to not think about how much the rest of my life (except for my wife and kid) sucks (kind of like the gym). It is a place to focus on the future as opposed to my dismal present. Don't get me wrong, I know it could be worse, and it has been in the past. But, after a long time of dealing with this horseshit it just kind of wears on you.

Anyway, since I'm on "break" I have to work more, so I better get going.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'll take "More of the same" for $500 Alex.

I pre-registered for my Summer semester classes yesterday. I'm taking the required algebra class as a full 15 week course, and the required political science and comp courses as back-to-back eight weekers. I also went and turned in the request for summer financial aid to some greasy and uninformed young fellow at the financial aid office - let the nightmare of dealing with those incompetent boobs commence!

After the summer semester I will have 1 class left to take (chemistry) before having completed all of my pre-reqs. Then assuming (dangerously) that I get into the RT program, I'll have 2 semesters of downtime that I have yet to determine what with I'm going to do, one option is to enroll at a 4 year (either University of Detroit Mercy or Sienna Heights University - are where I'm looking at this point) and try to work on my Bachelors. Then again, my wife is pushing this new baby concept...

Anyway, yesterday I had a quiz in medical ethics, I got an A. Then we had a lecture that was given by the lead prosecutor from Oakland county. He was the cat that tried Jack Kevorkian. He mostly talked about the use of forensic science in murder cases that he had tried, including some pretty graphic visual aids. This was followed by a "Jeapordy" style review session for the brutal midterm in a couple of weeks (Oh, and we have two ethics papers due that same day!) after we return from mid-winter break (Yippie!).

Today I am almost exclusively studying for the cardiovascular lecture exam in A&P and the microbiology quiz on viruses, both of which are tomorrow.

I can't wait to belly up to the bar for a beer tomorrow night in order to celebrate the completion of those two tests.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

No pain, no gain (God this hurts sometimes)...

The march continues. This long-ass, dreary, frozen-toed march with hardly an end in sight.

In the martial arts, sometimes you just train through the pain; this is comparable to my mindset (or lack there of) in terms of my schooling at the present moment.

I'm tired and I see no end to this leg of the journey. I have serious financial and work responsibilites and time-draining obligations that just seem insurmountable at times, and yet I need to keep my head down and eyes forward, studying hard so that eventually, at some point in the future, these issues won't be as dire as they seem to be right now.

I took the dreaded cardiovascular lab exam in Human Anatomy last week. I studied like a man possessed. As soon as the instructor walked into the lab, I ran up to him and told him I was ready to take it. He told me to hold on a sec as he wasn't ready to give it. A few minutes later I was the first to take the exam out of my section. I got a perfect score. Yay!

I also found out what I received on last weeks miserable attempt at a Microbiology exam. If you remember, I thought that I had done relatively poorly, especially compared to the amount of studying that I had done. Turns out that my reservations were unfounded as I received 125 out of a possible 125 (if you include the extra-credit). Yay!

But my nose is back to the grindstone. I have a Medical Law and Ethics quiz tomorrow night, then on Wednesday I have the giant "oh-so-huge" physiology companion test to the cardiovascular/lymphatic systems in A&P, and a medium-sized quiz on viruses in microbiology later that night.

So let the studying, the endless repetition, the coffee IV drip, commence.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cursed Bacillus anthracis!

I took my first microbiology exam yesterday. It sucked Botulism balls. I studied really, really hard - and I don't think I was able to get an A. I don't think that anyone short of a PhD in microbiology could have gotten an A. I won't know the results until next week - I hate that.

After the test, I came home and ate a delicious BBQ chicken pizza from Trader Joe's accompanied with a half bottle of Chilean red-wine. Then went to bed early.

Tonight, it is back on board the study train. Whooo whooo!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mona is hilarious...

It's 60 degrees in Detroit today. A new record high temperature for today's date.

I've spent most of the day up to this point studying for tomorrow's exam in microbiology. (Although, right now, I'm waiting in my car a block away from a client's home as I'm a bit too early for our piano tuning appointment.)

Anyway, last night I took my first quiz in Medical Law and Ethics and it was a piece of cake. After the lecture, two students that enrolled in the class late had to catch-up to the rest of us and give their oral "disease reports". The second lady to go was an international student from China, with a pretty brutal accent. Her assigned disease was infectious mononucleosis, which instead of shortening to MONO, she kept saying MONA, over and over. Which because of my studying-induced-sleep-deprived-over-caffieinated-prior-two-days I thought was the funniest thing I had ever heard in my life (In reality it wasn't even remotely funny). I was purple faced and crying because I was trying not to fall out of my chair laughing, which just made it worse, plus I knew it wasn't funny which made the situation all the more absurd and even more funny to me. (I really hope no one noticed that I was dying trying to keep it in, I mean I think I did a good job of hiding it - it was just too ridiculous.)

After she finished (and it seemed like an eternity to me), class was done and I barely made it outside before I completely lost it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's raining in my basement...

So I'm sitting here waiting for the plumber. Whenever the shower is engaged in the bathroom, it begins to rain in the basement.

But the real issue is my schedule. I have a quiz on Monday of next week in A&P, later that day I have my first exam for Medical Law and Ethics, then on the following Wednesday I have what is apparently going to be the apocalypse of all exams in Microbiology, and don't get me started on the next week. All the while I am studying I am going to have to manage to squeeze in my other responsibilities like, trying to tune some pianos to bring in some money, do some shop work in order to shore up those jobs so I can shut down my dead-weight of a shop, try to start the logistic nightmare of shutting down my chain-around-the-throat shop, and of course be a father to my daughter and husband to my wife, oh and lets not forget about trying to maintain some level of ninja athleticism (seems silly but it is the bedrock of my discipline). Although at this point going to the dojo is out of the question, so my training remains confined to the realm of traditional strength and endurance.

I think one of the keys to maintaining a semblance of sanity over the course of the next few weeks is realizing that I can really only concentrate fully on one thing at a time and that worrying about other concerns is just going to rob my concentration of valuable resources.

Breath deep.

Where is the fracking plumber? I need to be out of here to tune a piano across town by noon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Afternoon update...

Great news! I received the results from last week's A&P exam; 104%! Plus I found out that I got a 100% on this week's "coronary bloodflow" quiz! Yippie!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sometimes you just go with your gut...

I woke up a little bit later than usual this morning, then had to hurry downstairs to wake up the smoochster and get her ready to go to her grandmas for the day. She wanted to sleep in after her Superbowl festivities at her other grandma's the night before, but I got her dressed and out the door with her mom with enough time left over to eat a bowl of oatmeal and stock up on coffee before heading out the door myself.

I attended the morning S.I. session before the A&P lecture, then we had the lecture and a quiz on cardiac blood flow (I think I got an A). About half-way through class I decided that after the class was over I was going to randomly, without preparation, walk into the ASC and take the dreaded math placement exam.

To truly appreciate the gravity of this move you must understand that I've been worried about taking this thing since I made decision to go back to school almost a year ago. I spent a lot of time brushing up on my algebra skills over the summer as to be able to pass the exam with a high enough score to get into the class that I require the credits from to satisfy my prereq's. But when the semester started last fall, I stopped all preparations in order to concentrate on the work that was coming from my enrolled classes. Anyway, I marched in there and took the test... totally on a whim... and I passed with a score higher than I needed. Hooray!

After that I went and ate a celebratory lunch, then headed to the gym and got a good work out in, before returning home for a quick dinner then back to school for Med. Law and Ethics. During the lecture break I made some business calls and booked three tuning appointments.

Today was pretty productive.