Nine Lives

I think Organic Chem is over for the semester. We have an exam today, and I realized that my approach to the material is very far from my professor’s approach to the material, and the twain won’t meet.

He’s a young guy. He’s very nice. He doesn’t write very well on the board, like in a way that lets you copy what he’s writing. I could get past that if he stuck to using the expensive textbook. But he doesn’t. I’m not an aural learner. I have to read and see to learn. I find myself surfing the internet looking for lecture notes from other universities on to when his notes don’t match the book’s content.

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Flaky flake

I haven’t been doing as well as I’ve wanted to in OChem, and this is killing some of my motivation.

Fact: I did not take my multiv Friday night, so I was tired and sluggish on Saturday, and spent most of the morning and afternoon in bed reading about Gaddhafi’s death and then about Koko the gorilla. I wasted Friday afternoon, too.  Instead of being efficient, I was puttering around. I felt tired. I generally feel tired.

Maybe I need more iron. Sigh. I have a quiz tomorrow, and, historically, quizzes have not gone very well. It really kills my self-confidence and studying is about building self-confidence.

So I should be stricter with myself. I have trouble with discipline. I know exercise would help. Yet I feel like sticking it out in my chair trying to dredge up motivation is the answer.

I wonder if I’m trying to sabotage myself. I don’t want to be anything but reliable and steady, yet I get flaky.

Letter from my lifecoach

Dear Priya,

You have 21 days until your September PCAT, and it seems like you haven’t been accomplishing much lately.

I’m not judging you, I’m just making you aware of it so we can figure out how to get you back on track. I think you probably felt overwhelmed because your strategy hasn’t been specific enough. It shouldn’t take so long for you to review the quant stuff. Seriously.

I’m not going to go into the whys–the only thing that’s important is how to get back on track. I have a few ideas:

  1. Stop psyching yourself out
  2. Do what you need to do to relax–just don’t overdo it or you won’t be able to concentrate
  3. It takes awhile to get into the “studyzone.” Once you get into it, you know that it’s a really happy and exciting place for you. You love to learn and you love to achieve
  4. Drink more water and less diet Coke.
  5. Don’t forget to take your iron supplements
  6. Let’s be more specific about what you want to accomplish on the weekdays, and be less scheduled on the weekends.
Remember how you felt the day before the July PCAT? You don’t want to feel that way this time. So get it together now.
We’ll talk more later.
Love,
Ursula Fitzmonster

Springtime in Chem II

Chem 102 has not been good to me recently. After doing poorly on an exam, I wanted to establish “control” over my performance, so I studied all night (I know, I know, I told myself no more all-nighters and broke the rule again) and then went to bed from 5am-7:15am, and got up and went back to my desk to take a look at the final type of problem.

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Bad (idea) study habits

I can’t remember if I’ve written about my bad habits before, but I certainly haven’t improved. Part 1 of my second big Chem Exam of the semester was this morning (conceptual stuff on acids and bases and aqueous ionic solutions), and I did what I always so the night before the exam. I stay up all night and get frazzled.

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Annoyed

When you take college chemistry at my school, you’re required to take a discussion course. My professor grades us during discussion for working on a problem set (1 worksheet) together as a group. I usually work with people who seem alive and alert and aware. This week, she assigned us groups. I dealt with two students who didn’t know how to do extremely basic algebra, and one student who seemed scared and lost. I was beyond annoyed. I snapped at them. She’d literally just given a lecture a little more than an hour ago and spoon-fed us the problem solving techniques. It’s basic algebra. I’m not helping people who have nothing to offer me.

Which is mean and unkind, and I wish I had more patience. I don’t know if I do or if it’s weird that I don’t. I’ll have to ask.

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Weekly quizzes

I took my first Chemistry quiz. I stayed up all night because I wanted to get a 100% and make a great impression on my professor. I may or may not have gotten mostly everything right (or worth partial credit), except I know for sure that I misread an exponent as I tried to work quickly.  I thought she was trying to trick us, so I gleefully answered it. I couldn’t see the clock, so I just worked faster after one person handed in their quiz.

I don’t know why I’m so darn slow while I’m taking a quiz. I think it’s probably because I’m trying to think and not be scared. It takes me twice as much energy to focus and calm myself down. I always want that feeling of mastery and confidence but I never get it. I just end up feeling lucky. I hope I get at least 7 points out of this somehow. It sucks. I wanted it to be perfect. It sucks that I have to continue to worry about the mistakes I make because I make mistakes. I feel better that the smart pre-pharm Cal grad also might have  messed up.

I just want to eat lunch and take a long nap. I haven’t been interested in sleeping much lately. Part of me feels like I don’t deserve to sleep or that sleeping is boring. It’s really weird. I don’t get why I’m like this. It’s so ridiculous. God, Priya, chill out already and stop thinking about how you feel or what you’re worried about. Christ Almighty.

Midsemester microbiology malaise

I’ve made it so far into the semester, and I had a frustrating episode with my Microbiology professor last week that’s made me feel…well, both irritated and genuinely apologetic.

He can be very condescending, which is weird, seeing as he’s taught this class for a long time and you’d think he wouldn’t be so sarcastic with us all the time, or with me, specifically, because I’m an adult and I don’t appreciate it. Of course, snapping at him didn’t make me seem adult, but it’s the middle of the semester, I’m getting an A- so far, and I’m always prepared (even if he thinks I ask dumb questions), so I feel entitled to being treated especially nicely, simply because I try.

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Bacterial Betrayal

Had my first Microbiology exam today. I studied for awhile. I think I should have started to study sooner, but with my poorly paying part time job and studying for chemistry, I didn’t. Instead, I studied from 3 pm Saturday onwards.

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