I ended up with an 85.5 on my first Chemistry exam. I now have to study for my Chem Lab Quiz on Monday, Biology Lab exam which will take place Tuesday. and a Chemistry Quiz on Wednesday.

I started studying for the Bio Lab exam, but I’m vague about what I need to know. So I started on my Chem homework now. I was confused with the last Chem Lab we did, so I think I probably need to go in to the tutoring center early Monday and redo it.


Taking a tumble

Some days, I suffer from anxiety. There’s a voice in my head that reminds me that I am 30, that I am a part-time student at a community college (even though I strongly believe in the value of our local community college), and that I wasted my college years and my parents’ money because I was too lazy and sheltered to grow up. I interviewed for jobs only at fancy consulting firms and offices where all the young women dressed beautifully and seemed so smart, so much better than most other women. I tried to forget that I was raised middle class, that we only lived in the town we did because it was literally the edge of being included in the state’s best school district, and that the American meritocracy doesn’t exist. Many of my peers got jobs at fancy places because their parents got them the jobs. My parents pleaded with me to figure out what I wanted to do, and I backed away and they dropped the issue.

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Window of opportunity

Happy New Year. I can’t believe it’s 2011. The feeling is a little bittersweet. Partly because I suspect most people think I’m old and I should have it all figured out by now. I should probably have a house and a car and a career. I should probably be married. I should probably be seriously considering kids because I won’t have any good eggs left in a couple of years.  I certainly shouldn’t be thinking about pharmacy school. Since I have a couple of degrees, I shouldn’t be at community college looking at a a program that will take up at least the next five years of my life. Think of the opportunity cost.

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My prof posted the scores. I got a 90. With bonus points scored in lab today (5), I can round it to a collective 95% earned today. Phew phew phew phew. No final (because the final can’t replace the lab practical).

Oh my Lord. I can finally take a nap.

After I calculate what score I need on the lab practical.

Yay! Now I can focus on the chemistry lab exam, which my professor said people who do well in the class sometimes fail, after reminding us that if we don’t do well on it, we fail the whole course, lecture and lab.

Her pep talks leave a lot to be desired.

In ProcrastiNation

So last week, I took my first physics quiz. The next day, I dropped the class.

I did well on the quiz, but Chemistry had me so incredibly worried. Plus, I was bummed that I couldn’t finish my physics homework in 8 hours, meaning I couldn’t read and absorb the chapter and then finish the homework.

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First day of school

School went well for the most part. It was fun, actually, to be on a campus again. I live in a metro area and the school was packed. All of the parking lots were full. It was insane.

The eye-roll inducing part of the day came during chemistry. Now, I’ve taken both high school and college chemistry, and yes, it’s been 10 years, but I’m perfectly capable of doing well. I know this.

I took a diagnostic test for my chemistry class, and, like most of the class, I probably failed it. It’s been years since I’ve thought of molar mass or whatever. Bonds, yes, I get. Problem solving, I’m a little rusty on. I couldn’t remember how to calculate molar mass.

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At the starting line

Well,  I’ve made it nearly 7 days as a soon-to-be full-time student. I successfully registered myself at two schools, signed up for health insurance, bought my books, and applied to a couple of part-time jobs. One is as a pharma sales intern at a pharma company nearby. It doesn’t pay very well at all, unfortunately, but I got turned down for an admin job at an early childhood ed nonprofit (I applied pretty randomly to a bunch of jobs because I was pretty panicked).

I’ve spent the last week applying to jobs and cleaning up around the apartment.  I was eagerly anticipating the New Student Orientation at my new school yesterday, and I realized how utterly stupidly inappropriate it was for me to be there. The new students there were like kittens who are a few weeks old. One student mistook me for faculty. That was my cue to exit.

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Don’t panic^3

Tomorrow is my very last day of work.

Oh. My. God.

I was at the little grocery store in my building fifteen minutes ago when it hit me. It was like I was pressing an icicle to my sternum.

What. Have. I. Done.?

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Closer and closer

This summer has been fun. I have one more week of work left and a few more weeks until school starts. So far, I’ve managed to handle some of the complicated things: financial aid, giving notice at work, preparing to discuss COBRA dental, figuring out how to get health insurance, determining my schedule so I can work a few hours, and learning about pharmacy specializations.

The most important things to totally sort out now are health insurance and money.

Health insurance

My college does not offer any. It requires I have it, but does not offer any. There’s a school further away not in MD that offers it to all students, regardless of how many credits you’re taking, so I’m signing up for that. I went down to the school to apply for admission (it’s open admission anyway) and they said they would process my application. I’m supposed to register for courses in mid-August, and I guess at that point I can sign up for health insurance, which hopefully kicks in the first of September. COBRA costs $700 a month. I can’t afford that. Private insurance won’t cover prescription benefits unless I exhaust COBRA. I’m getting the dental aspect of COBRA because I know what happened after not getting regular checkups and cleanings for 8 years.

Luckily, the school that offers insurance offers a Public Speaking class on Saturdays and my college doesn’t. So it’s all okay and helps me get done faster.


I saved up money from my paychecks (and moved to a state with a community college) so I could spend it on cheaper tuition. I’m also taking out a loan so I can keep what I have liquid in case something starts falling apart (health, emergencies of any other kind, whatever).

I have a panicked jolt coming through me every now and again where I’m like, Oh my god, I can’t leave my job. But it’s not like I can make peace with what I’m doing for a living right now. It’s not what I wanted. I didn’t get what I want because what I wanted was based on depictions on television and books, and influences from people who aren’t me. And a fair amount of fantasy, too.
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Step 2

Well, Step 1 was easy. Finish Bio, A&P, register to be a full-time student at the brick and mortar community college in town, save money to fund full-time status at community college next year. Okay, it wasn’t easy. I had to convince them that I am an in-state, in-county resident, and had to haul over to the campus in the middle of the day before their admissions and registration office closed down. I’m still awaiting a financial aid package. I’m still trying to come to terms with the idea of leaving my job to attend community college.

The school I’m going to be attending is very tiny. It actually is the largest community college in the state and serves, apparently, some 30,000 students. You couldn’t tell by looking at it, though. It looks like it might have been a really fancy prep school at one point. Now it’s slightly dilapidated. The Computer Science building has a banner over the entryway that proclaims it as the “School of Education,” which is sort of sad because I thought there were very few teaching jobs available and a high demand for IT people. It’s the teachers that are getting laid off all over the place. Maybe it’s a temporary banner.

The science building (there are two, plus one is getting constructed at the cost of some fifty million dollars) on the inside looks like…I was going to say inner-city high school, but it’s actually like the one we had in junior high. It has a stuffed wolf. It’s connected to a greenhouse, where some plants are thriving and others are corpses pressed against the glass walls.

Over the weekend, I went back and did an informal tour through the buildings. I saw the aforementioned science buildings, the cafeteria (there are three microwaves and I suspect they must get mighty dirty), the gym (I’d take a yoga class, but I don’t really want to get graded for it or take tests on what pose means what), and the parking lot. I failed to locate the library. I hope they have one.

I worry that I’m not going to be able to feel at home there. I worry that if I resist feeling at home there, I won’t do very well. I worry I’ll drop out because it doesn’t feel like my pretty West Coast ideal and the stigma of attending a community college is too ingrained in me.

Actually, I have a hankering to leave the East Coast and go here. I would love to make that happen, but it would be a huge waste of money.

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