Posts tagged Insanity

And So It Begins

Last semester, 9:20 on a Wednesday night, I stood in the Great Hall of Metro State’s New Main building. The hall goes up several stories, all windows. A terrace wraps around the building (it really is a decadent structure). It was still warm and there was a light breeze. The air had that end-of-summer feeling. I felt an undeniable urge to go out there and look over the city. I did, and a feeling of overwhelming gratitude swept over me. I am so thankful to have this second chance at something that I should have accomplished nearly a decade ago. I have felt it hanging over my head all of these years.

I have moments like that. I am trying to savor every minute of this experience. To enjoy it for what it is. Obviously, there is a bigger goal out there. But I want to enjoy the journey. I am so lucky to have this opportunity.

I know that people are dying to know how my first week back at school went. I’d be happy to share.

On Monday, I start the day bright and early with Anatomy and Physiology at 8:30 AM. In a classroom that we are not allowed to bring coffee into. Why, you ask? I have no idea. I can understand prohibiting beverages in the lab – no one wants a dash of formaldehyde with their latte. But the lecture hall? Come on, man. My kids get me up at 5:30. I need every bit of 1,3,7-trimethyl- 1H-purine- 2,6(3H,7H)-dione that I can cram into my bloodstream.

Aside from that, A & P seems like it will be just fine. The professor has been teaching for nearly thirty years and is not shy about telling us what you need to do to earn that A. I am taking notes. A dirty little secret that I have is that I once took a fair amount of A & P 1 in a different life but withdrew before the end of the semester. I have almost a personal beef with the class, and I will beat it into submission this time around. It pains me to admit that the slides of human tissue are not any more clear ten years later.

I am taking A & P at Saint Paul College because it is not offered at Metro State. So after class, I drive across downtown, park the Taurus in the back row, and do what all nursing mothers must do: pump breastmilk. If you have never been the mother of an infant, you might not realize that while nursing, you just cannot go that long without feeding your baby. Unfortunately, Xavier just isn’t all that into microbiology right now, so he stays home and I pump milk for him. After this, I eat, then trek over to the library to cram in some homework.

Microbiology is in the afternoon. Class got off to a slow start as the professor was a relative of the Somali men who were murdered in the Seward neighborhood, and he was understandably a bit preoccupied on the first day of class. I have a good feeling about the class, though. He seems to want his students to succeed and to genuinely enjoy teaching. At this point, I figured I was two for two.

Tuesday is just A & P lab and studying. Wednesday is a copy of Monday, except Microbiology includes a lab portion (the class is three hours long on both days). Micro lab should be fun, provided I don’t inadvertently infect myself with the ebola virus.

Thursday is Calculus. People ask me what Calculus is, and I am still not entirely sure. “Math for smart people” might be the best answer (not that I am saying that I am smart – anyone can register for Calculus provided you have taken the prereqs, but not everyone can earn a decent grade. We’ll see what happens). It is something about comparing rates of change, but in reality, it is like a different language that I can understand and speak but not translate.

Friday is a study day. Saturday brings Chemistry, Society and the Environment. It should be an interesting class and fairly easy, but quite annoying. In my group of four, not a one thought that climate change was one of the most pressing environmental issues – they had “litter” ranked above it. Really? Really? Litter? People who ignore science really stick in my craw.

And that is it. I am already tired. The sheer amount of crap that I must remember to bring with me each day is ridiculous. On a Wednesday, for example:
Books:A & P, Microbiology, Calculus. Each of these are huge. I can only fit two in the backpack, max.
Solutions manual for Calc
Notebooks: 1.5 inch three-ring binder for A & P, 1 inch binder plus lab notebook for Micro, flexible 1 inch binder for Calculus
Notecards for various classes
Calculator: Pink TI-84 Silver Edition
Sexy Visorgogs
Bag containing breast pump and pump parts (several), breast milk freezer bags, sharpie for labeling said bags, special wipes for cleaning pump
Receiving blanket to function as a hooter hider while pumping
Assorted writing instruments
Bag containing personal items (lipstick, ibuprofen, etc)
Diet Coke

The next fifteen weeks will be an experience. My poor husband and children are just along for the ride.

–Mrs. Wonderful

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