Thursday, May 06, 2010


I iz dun.

Well, for the summer at least.

It was another humbling semester, and I see a common thread among humbling semesters. That thread is organic chemistry.

"Perhaps I just can't handle work and school" is what I mused to a friend. Actually, what I mean is, "Perhaps I can't handle organic chemistry and anything else that requires thought."

I am floored (FLOORED) at the amount of studying required for these pre-post grad classes. (read: upper level sciences) It was not uncommon for me to spend 12 hours per weekend studying organic chemistry. I don't remember doing anywhere near this level of studying in college. Of course, I'm comparing these classes to a degree in marketing and, let's be honest here, business classes? Um.... I mean, I remember having to work in Finance and maybe in Accounting... But I also remember falling asleep in accounting, showing up one day when there was a test that was a complete surprise to me, and still passing with a B-.

This feels to me like an entirely different type of hard. I know that business classes can be challenging (maybe just not the ones I took?) but this requires a whole different portion of my brain that I feel hasn't been used in ages. I can't decide if it's that the classes are harder, I'm older and you just can't teach an old dog new tricks, or that this time around I really really really care and really really really want to do well. Maybe it's a combination of all three?

Organic chemistry this semester was a completely different experience than last semester. Last semester was a bleak five months stretching out before me with no hope in sight. Maybe that was the "weeding out" portion that I've heard so much about. This semester the professor was helpful and genuinely wanted people to succeed. His notes were thorough, well organized, and his test questions were based on exactly what he taught. I still struggled, but at least I felt I learned something. And while his final was the hardest test I've ever taken, I didn't come out feeling completely defeated. If I didn't know the answer to a question right away, I could usually reason through it to make a logical conclusion. That is a HUGE change from last semester. I walk away at peace. I did the best I could.

But again, the class that I took concurrently with ochem suffered. If I walked out of the ochem final feeling beaten up but okay, I walked out of my biochem final feeling like a complete failure.

Le Sigh.

This year I apply to vet schools. Which means I have to take the GRE. I'm giving myself one to two weeks off, and then the studying begins for that. It seems surreal that the end of all this hard work is in sight. Sometimes it feels like I've been playing "pretend" and it's all for nothing... that I'll have a job I dislike for the rest of my life. But then there are days like this where the sun is shining, the birds are singing, I have great friends who are great support, and I think that everything will work out the way it's supposed to.

I just hope that "the way it's supposed to" is the same as "the way I want it to."

1 comment:

zlionsfan said...

I think that in your undergrad days you were accustomed to classes that were designed for ordinary students and for success; the expectations were that you'd understand most of the material and be able to manage it correctly in reports and on tests and stuff.

For these classes, the expectation is that you will not be able to handle a good bit of the material the first time through. If you stick with it and put forth good effort, you'll get a decent grade. They just want to make sure you are trying.