Friday, February 20, 2009

Hope and Frustration are the Words of the Day

W.I.S.E.= Women in Science and Engineering. This is a program UC has that allows undergraduate uperclassmen females to gain research experience in the form of a 12-week research position over the summer, assisting with one of the numerous projects the university has going on at any given time. I'm a woman. I'm in science. I am senior molecular bio major. I threw my hat in the ring for this. I was turned down because I have a job. Seriously. Despite the fact that I work my full-time obligations over the weekend and am free around the clock Monday through Friday, I am not permitted to have outside employment for the internship. And while there is nothing wrong with any honest job these days, I had to explain to them that this was not a "job" as in minimum wage at McDonald's for gas money while in college. I have a career that supports an entire family. The director wasn't hearing any of it, and actually made some snippy comments about how I manage upperclassman level work while having a "career". That my grades must reflect it. This was my opportunity to say, "Actually, I have a 4.0 GPA, and that is not all. I am married with a child as well." Translation: I can manage my time, and nothing falls by the wayside in the process. Her response? "Well, we all have a lot to learn from your example." Yes, despite your Ph.D. overshadowing my attempts to gain entry into medical school, you do.

Later that night, I went to my biology lecture. My professor there is like a rock star in my eyes. 28 years old and has a PhD in molecular biology. I was talking with her about the "no work" guideline before class as we waited for the rest of the class to arrive. This is when she told me that, if I am just looking for a research internship and not an actual paid job, she is sure her boss would love to have me. She is going to reccomend me for an internship there. Where is there? Hahaha. University of Cincinnati College of...........Medicine. Yep, that's right. So when I finally complete the application for med school at UC, I could actually put this internship with them under the "Experience" category. Sweet.

As for the rest of my education....We are 3 weeks from the end of the quarter. Wow that went fast! I was wondering why my course load seemed to be taking so much work. I mean, yes, I do work full time now, which is a new factor in this. When I was taking 24 credit hours a semester, I was busy, but it never seemes this overwhelming. Well, I thought about it. Does me working on the weekends have that much of an impact? The answer to that is yes. Those are three full days that I could have to study if I didn't spend them working. Unfortunately, work is not optional. But is I am used to managing 24 credit hours, then 13 should not be that hard during the week. The answer to this problem: the quarter system. I was foolish to think that the courses would compensate for the lack of time. I was thinking that UC would be easier because of the quarter system. After all, you have more chances to earn the same amount of credit hours as a semster would provide, but you get three quarters instead of one semester. Ha! I was wrong.

The courses cover the same amount of material a semester-long course would, but in about 8 weeks less. They move fast, and if you fall behind in one little aspect of any class, you are lost for good.

So here I am, three weeks from the end of my first quarter back to school. My grades are intact, and I am passing everything. I am sure I am going to get an A in biology and it's lab. I think I will get an A in my chem lab as well. My chemistry course may be a B. I asked my prof yesterday if it was still possible for me to pull out with an A, and he said absolutely yes, I could. But he looked me straight in the eye and said that I needed to allow myself more time. He says I know the stuff, and the nights before the last two exams, he doesn't want me to look at the book at all. That all of the mistakes I made on the last exam were silly ones to questions he knew I knew how to answer. He's right. When I went to do my self assessment on the exam to recover the points I lost, and I had to provide the correct answer, there was only one question for which I had to physically look up the answer. For the rest, I was able to just provide the correct answer from the knowledge I already have. That tells me I should have only missed one question out of the 200 points. But more time? How? Where is that to come from?

I actually took some vacation time the week of my finals. I have no intention of answering my phone that week. I work the Friday night prior to my exam week, but then am off of work until the Saturday of the next week. My latest exam is on Tuesday of that week. I was thinking I would pick up some overtime after I am finished with my exams that week, but now I am thinking that I am just going to use those extra days off to relax. To be nice to myself as I wait for my grades. I will have earned it.

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