Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 011: Studying for the first test

Sorry for not updating (somewhat) regularly. Classes have "officially" begun. We do a real lab every day. Then I have class. Suddenly, the week's over and I work over the weekend. Next thing you know, Monday is right around the corner and my first test awaits! And then the whole process starts over again. With a test every Monday until Summer Session 1 ends. Joy.

Calm down Dad, I am studying. Hard. Practice problems. Reviewing my notes. Rereading chapters. I got it, don't worry. And with no friends, studying, working out and updating this blog are the best way to pass the time.

Anyway, everything seems okay. Right now, I'm at the point of review...and memorization. Polyatomic ions (nitrate = NO3- , nitrite = NO2- , etc), Dalton's Atomic Model (and what was wrong with his model), blah blah blah. Specifics are boring.

Just know th
at this is more along the lines of a re-acclimation process. I'm re-familiarizing myself with chemical concepts, the periodic table, etc etc. Hopefully this first test (cross your fingers!) will start me in the right direction (towards kicking science's ass).

Take that science!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 010: Professor and "Enforcer" thoughts

I don't like either of my instructors very much.

The shouting Middle Eastern man continues to shout and be rude and rather douche-y. The bobbing lab "enforcer" is really not kidding when she tells us "I am not supposed to teach you. I am to enforce what you've learned."

Why you ask?

Well, when she was teaching us valence electrons, electron bonds, Lewis structures and the like, she taught us the wrong thing! Can you believe that?!

The yellow circles are the valence electrons

She had to come to each of our lab sections to direct us to a page in the book that told us the correct information because she "misspoke" during pre-lab. What. The. Hell.

Although if I had to pick, I maybe like her a sliver better than the yelling man. Truthfully, I'm just thankful for a lab partner I can joke around with, some class eye candy and chemistry book that actually makes sense and doesn't shout at me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 003: My first real lab

NOTE: I won't update every day, I feel like that might be too boring. Is it? I may just, it'll provide me with something to do. Let's see how it goes.

Today was our first real lab. It was really odd because the instructor didn't go over any of the procedure stating "I feel like it really dumbs down the student and the process." Um, ok. Well, it doesn't help us when the procedure isn't written clearly (say in numerical steps) and then you proceed to get terse with my lab partner because he didn't follow the instructions you didn't give.

I can just tell she's going to be a handful. A whole bobbing handful.

Overall, the lab was fine. Density, water displacement, unknown matter, you know, typical chemistry stuff.

Class was fine. The professor STILL SHOUTS.

I'm sitting ten feet away from you. Not ten million.

He's actually a little mean. He enjoys asking students questions, such as "when you lose an electron, the atom becomes an anion right?" And then when they nod in response, he smiles/laughs because he tricked you. (The answer's actually a cation.) He likes to trick students to see if they're paying attention or just nodding to get rid of him. Mm, I don't find it that amusing. It's kind of a waste of time to be honest.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

MCAT 001: Timing problems

While perusing The Student Doctor Network, I came upon a disenchanting realization. I have no idea what I'm doing.

(But surely Jess, you must have some idea as to which circle of hell you've gallantly thrown yourself into!) Uh, no, no I don't.

I was under the misconception that as soon as I returned home in May 2009, I would have enough time to prep for the MCAT, die after take the MCAT, apply to med school and blah blah blah. Well, apparently (as always) I was mistaken.

The application process for medical school begins June 1st. And you know that awful, awful saying "the early bird gets the worm?" It is an apt saying about the medical school application process. Hell, it's not even about being early. It's more like throw yourself at the first school that will even pretend to listen and we're off!

The race to medical school is on!

Back to what I was saying, I may have to start prepping for the MCAT while I'm here (studying my ass off). School + MCAT prep (at the same time) = Jessica. Dead.

Okay, okay, enough dramatics.

Here are the facts: 75% of medical schools are rolling admissions. If I take the MCAT prep course over the summer, I would take the test in September. Scores come out up to 30 days after the test. Therefore, I'm pretty much going to the be last bird up or last person hobbling to the finish line, whichever metaphor you prefer.

Oh, and who the hell told Kaplan it was okay to charge $1849 for a prep course? Hmm? I would really like to know.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 002: First day of Chem lab

So the snippy lab instructor? ...she's weird. And she has the handwriting of a five-year-old. And her head bobs around a lot.

And when she looks at things on paper, she literally holds the page an inch away from her nose., yeah.

Anyway, the first day of lab was fine. Nothing to extraordinary, which is good. I found a lab partner -- another post-bacc kid from California! However, as I pointed out to him, "you're accomplished [he recently published his master's thesis and is getting a research assistant back in Cali while he studies here in North Carolina] and I'm eating an apple [which I was]."

This is good. I was worried I was going to have to make lab partners with this other kid I met who just needs to pass Chem ... not a good mix when I'm trying to get into medical school.

Most of my lecture was spent learning conversions -- grams to kilograms and back again, et cetera, et cetera. My nouveau lab partner and I couldn't believe it. It's really not that hard. Maybe the professor wanted to make it clear or ...? I'm not sure. I zoned out so he wouldn't confuse me.

My lecture professor definitely shouts all the time. I don't think he understands decibels or inside v. outside voices. Well, maybe he does. But his lecturing voice is more like a shouting voice. It gets annoying pretty fast.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 001: The first day of class

Well, I survived. It wasn't even that bad. My lecture professor is a Middle Eastern guy who has this tendency to shout ... all the time. He's fairly amusing and jokes a lot but is serious about teaching us chemistry. For example, he told us, "I don't give pop quizzes. Instead, I say we may or may not have a quiz everyday." (insert class laughter here) So, we'll see how it all goes.

Currently, I understand the material (always, always good) and it's essentially a review phase. The lovely chemistry book I showed you in the last entry is succinct and clear (which makes for easier learning and memorization). Sadly, the person who owned this book before me sucked at highlighting. She focused on all the wrong points. And trust me, they are wrong.

Oh, and my class? There are, I think, two Asians. The other girl and me. There may be more. But I think out of a class of 50-60, and with maybe five Asians tops, things are looking okay. My mom pointed out that white people are smart too so yeah, she's got that part right, but whatever. Not a million Asians.

However, a lot of my class wants to go to medical or dental school so that's troublesome.

How many of you want to go to medical school?

They all want and need good grades too. I comforted myself with the fact that they're all probably trying to get into Duke or some place else in state but then I realized that doesn't matter. They need the A as much as I do and, well, despite the lack of Asians, I guess I'm screwed. Again. Dammit.

Anyway, today I have my first lab. I e-mailed the instructor beforehand about the handouts she had on Blackboard and she was pretty snippy in her reply. We're going over lab policies and safety procedures and all the other handouts she expects us to preprint before class because she's not providing any in class. Ugh. Ho-bag.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 000: Before the mania begins

Hi all,

For those of you unfamiliar with this new path, let me tell you what's up.

I woke up one day (seriously) and decided to be a doctor. Perhaps Avenue Q's "What do you do with a BA in English?" was the best reasoning my subconscious could muster for this, but I felt that my BA in Broadcast Journalism and Anthropology (with a minor in Spanish) was not going to cut it in the "real world." I then woke up and decided that saving lives would be an excellent way to compensate for all those liberal arts.

Therefore, I have started this blog to document how things on this path are going. I expect a lot of mania and hysterics and hopefully some excitement and joy and clarity from actually getting it.

Classes start in T-minus four hours and I'm nervous as hell. I started reading the first chapter of my lovely Chemistry book and it seems okay thus far.

However, things are not always as they appear. I saw another girl purchasing said chemistry book from the bookstore and to my utter dismay, she was Asian. Can I tell you how bad a sign that bodes? Asians (and I'm about to utilize every stereotype possible right now) study hard and are smart and good with numbers and if anyone knows me, I'm pretty much the antithesis of this. Hence, je suis tres tres screwed.

Moving past the nervousness, I'm interested to see how everything pans out. To see if I can handle science. To see how science relates to and may well be the world. To see, I don't know, how many Asians are in my class? Haha, what, I'm a diverse person.

I'll let you know how it goes. A lot probably. It'll be my only way to vent and cry and all that jazz.