Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: Finished

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: Finished: All papers for my courses have been typed and printed. I always save them in the event that I want to make last-minuted edits, but I almost ...


All papers for my courses have been typed and printed. I always save them in the event that I want to make last-minuted edits, but I almost never make those edit. all charts and illustrations fro presentations have been completed and stored away. All textbooks and materials have been read throughly, and notes have been taken. In short, I will coast for the next six weeks. I am FINISHED.

Some people think it's harder to do things the way I do them. The people who think I'm killing myself unnecessarily are people who cram all the work I spend three weeks doing into a single week -- typically the last week in a semester or quarter. I could wait until the last part of a quarter and then do my work, but it would be weighing on my mind the entire time and I would never be truly relaxed. It makes sense to me to just get it out of the way. I'm later in completing my assignments this quarter than I usually am because I had play performances and a few other things I needed to focus on, but no all of that is out of the way, as is my work.

I have a 10:00 class tomorrow. I plan to not get up until about 9:20. I'll throw my clothes on and get a ride to campua in time for the class. I have three more classes after that one. when 4:00 rolls around, I'll have nothing that has to be done. I'll probably walk my dog, watch trashy TV programs, eat KFC to celebrate  the completion of my work, and fall asleep with the TV on. The next day will be similar. For the entire week I'll be similarly lazy. Then I'll go back to being the Type A personality that I am. I'll religiously transcribe lecture notes. still, I'll have no more classwork to do other than that and test preparation.

I suspect that I get the same sort of high from work completion that House gets from Vicodin, except that house is a fictional character and I'm real.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taking a Break

I really wanted to finish my major course assignments before the weekend, but it's not in the cards for me. I still have two papers to write -- one on the topic of  Mark Twain's Extracts from Adam's Diary and another on the cumbersome topic of "bias, Scientific Honesty, the Leakys, and the Discovery of Australopithecus Afarensis Remains." Everything else I need to do for the quarter relates to small assignments, quizzes, and test preparation. I can't totally go AWOL for the remainder of the quarter once I finish my two final compositions, but the most difficult of my work will certainly be finished.

My dad likes the Leakys (whom he does not know personally) and can't understand why I would undertake the task of writing a paper that is critical of them. the reason is that my professor does not like them, and the easiest way to an A in the course is by parroting the professor's opinions. It's amazing my dad ever got through college, much less medical school, without knowing what I know about how to successfully navigate the system.

I should be studying as I write this entry, but all work and no play makes Alexis a very dull person.


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: Slackers, Guinness, and Working While Under the In...

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: Slackers, Guinness, and Working While Under the In...: In one of my classes today the professor became upset because it became apparent once he looked at the quiz papers that no one other than I ...

Slackers, Guinness, and Working While Under the Influence

In one of my classes today the professor became upset because it became apparent once he looked at the quiz papers that no one other than I had done the required reading. At least he didn't out me as having done the reading. All I need is a class full of people one to three years older than I who hate me merely because i did what I was supposed to do.

On an unrelated note, I wrote something that was not entirely true in a recent blog. I stated that I don't drink. I do on occasion plug my nose and down half a bottle of Guinness for relaxation.

I have a drudgery-filled week and weekend ahead of me. I can't relax until I read all course materials and complete major assignments. I've been burning midnight oil in order to get through everything, but I still have about a fourth of the work remaining.  Sometimes I think I should drink the Guinness and then write the papers.
The words would flow far more freely if I did just that.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: More Strange Professors

The Many Banes of My Existence by Alexis: More Strange Professors: Odd professors seem to gravitate in my general direction as though I possess a magnetic force  attracting such things. In the past I've had ...

More Strange Professors

Odd professors seem to gravitate in my general direction as though I possess a magnetic force  attracting such things. In the past I've had a professor insist that B-flat and A-sharp sound different when played on the piano (on the same key of the piano), a professor who brought her unsocialized cat to class every day, causing allergic students to become physically ill, a professor who illegally keeps a mountain lion on her property, one who is such an ardent environmentalist that he advocates the use of reusable feminine hygiene products, and a  professor who thinks Star Trek is real.

This quarter appears to be no different than my previous university quarters in terms of the uniqueness of my professors. One of them told us that she doesn't wear underwear and that we shouldn't, either. Another one is a major conspiracy theorist. His class will probably be interesting, at least; I could sit and listen to the rantings of a conspiracy theorist all day without suffering from boredom.

I have a medical accommodation which at this point is arguably not necessary, but since it has not been revoked, I'll continue to use it.  The accommodation allows me to be informed in the first week of class of the details of any assignment that comprises 20% or more of the final grade in any one of my courses. The professors are automatically informed of this by email when I enroll in one of their courses. Additionlly, I speak to them during the first week of class. Usually this is adequately covered by the course syllabus each professor presents and discusses in the first class session, and I ask questions either in class or afterwrd if I need any clarification. This allows me to complete nearly all the coursework in the first few weeks of a quarter and prevents me from undue anxiety. I have difficulty sleeping well until I have read all my assigned materials and completed all major assignments. Once I've finished the work, I can sleep.

My dad hassles me about this a bit. he tells me that if I go into medicine, my patients won't get sick in advance so I can treat them all ahead of schedule, that if I go into law, that people won't commit crimes or sue each other  at times that are convenient for me, and that if I choose teaching as a profession, I won't be able to teach my students everything they need to know on the first day of the week. Duh. Why didn't I think of that?. The accommodation is necessary mainly because if I get sick,  I might not be able to complete any assignments for the duration of the illness. Some students would just say, "whatever," and not worry about it. I would worry about it, so I need a provision that allows me to have the information necessary to complete my work in advance. When I'm in a profession, whether it happens to be law, medicine (not all that likely), or education (even less likely than medicine), someone else will have to do my job if I am incapacitated due to illness, injury,  or even incarceration. (I added that for you, Pseudouncle Scott, just so you can let your imagination run wild as to what I might do that would lead to my incarceration.)

I'm very nearly finished with the readings and major assignments for this quarter. I would be completely finished if i had stayed home Friday night, but I went to my pseudoaunt's house, and she wouldn't let me bring my books or my computer. It's OK, though. I'll finish things this week. Then I'll have a relaxed remainder of the quarter.

To all of you taking high school or college courses, I sympathize with your workload. It always seems like we will be so incredibly relieved when a test is over, or when a quarter or semester is finished, but something else always comes up, and we are never totally without something hanging over our heads.

This, too shall pass. Then we'll be in the working world, with its own set of stressors. Stress = Life.  There seems to be no way around it. We just have to learn to deal with it.


Close Encounters of the Surreal Kind

Last night I helped to babysit my pseudoaunt. when her husband works a 30-hour shift at his hospital, she either spends the night there in staff sleeping quarters or someone stays at her house with her. She's not exactly scared of the boogeyman, but a disproportionate number of her health problems occur during the night. It's good if she at least has someone there with her. Her younger brother, who is a second-year medical school student, also spent the night. Her husband was supposed to leave the hospital at noon to head home. He unexpectedly arrived at just before 11;00 a.m.

When my pseudouncle arrived, I gathered my belongings and was preparing to catch the municipal bus for home. My pseudouncle told me not to leave. I needed to move quickly if I wanted to catch the next bus and not wait for  half an hour until another one arrived, so I told him I really needed to be on my way. He wouldn't let me go. Then he got out his medical bag and began examining me. He checked my pulse and blood pressure, which were NORMAL. Then he shone a light in my mouth and looked for several minutes at my teeth. Then he took out a tongue depressor  and began examining my throat. Once he started looking at my fingernails, I realized that he suspected for some reason that I was bulimic. Then he  checked my pupils. He was apparently looking for signs that I was taking drugs as well. Then he looked at my arms and legs, apparently checking for evidence of cutting.

My best guess is that pseudouncle encountered a patient or multiple patients roughly my age who were bulimic, self-mutilating drug abusers. it then occurred to him that I might very well be engaging in the same self-destructive behaviors as his patient or patients. This is all perfectly wonderful, but I must draw the line at some point. So I will publish an open letter to my pseudouncle, who occasionally reads my blog when he has time.
 Dear Pseudouncle,
   I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the extensive physical
exam I received from you -- free of charge, no less!  It comes as a relief to me, as
perhaps it does to you as well, to know that I am neither bulimic nor self-mutilating,
nor,as pending lab results will verify, a  user or abuser of illicit drugs. I thank you for
your concerns in this regard. Allow me to take this opportunity to announce that I do
do not smoke, drink, use drugs unless they are prescribed by a physician or, in the
case of over-the-counter medications, unless they are approved by one of my
parents. Neither do I starve myself, binge on food and then purge, or engage in
wanton sexual acts. (As to whether or not I engage in sexual acts that do not fall
under the description of  "wanton,'  I choose to leave it to your imagination.)  Just
because one of your patients has a particular affliction does not mean that, you, I,
or anyone else in your nuclear, extended, or pseudo family suffers from what ails            
your patient.  I am at this time officially notifying you that if you diagnose or treat
someone who has a sexually transmitted disease, you do not have permission to
examine me  for said disease, not that you would derive any more pleasure from the
experience  than I would.

P. S. Please ignore the odd spacing on the letter