Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Living the Sweet Life

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My Anatomy lab has gone from 25 students (completely full) to 14. People dropped like flies the first two or three weeks and then there was a people are disappearing and never returning again. I wonder what those people who have dropped recently plan to do. We are way past the "drop without a W" point. Both of the nursing programs in my area look at how many W's you have in core sciences as well as how many times you repeat a core science. It's part of the selection criteria. What am I doing?!? I don't have time to wonder and worry about people I don't really sad is that?

Anatomy is kicking my butt! This class is the hardest class I have ever taken. I don't understand why it has to be this hard...I really don't. I don't understand why I have to be able to look at a slice of a brain (prosection) and be able to identify the corpus collasum, intermediate mass, the basal nuclei as well as dozens of other structures! exactly will I be using that as a nurse? I am so ready for this semester to be done.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dissecting went well yesterday. Pretty cool really. My partner and I dissected the left, posterior, upper limb. After about 6 hours of work, all that remains to be done is a small amount of "clean-up". There is still a very small amount of adipose tissue to remove from the area where the long head of the triceps brachii goes under the teres minor, heading for it's origin. There is also a small amount of adipose tissue at the termination point of the triceps brachii. Really about an hour of very careful work...we don't want to cut any muscles or tendons!

I'm actually a little disappointed. Because of the lack of available cadavers, each team dissects one small area...and we are done. I would really like to be able to do more, but it's not possible.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Statement made by teacher at beginning of lecture last Wednesday....
"90% of the people remaining in this class should have dropped after the first lab exam".

Overheard in Anatomy wing hallway last week....
New adjunct professor (new to our school, has been teaching for years): "This class is far too detailed, it's being made much harder than necessary. It's not even taught this way in pre-med at the UC level".
Department head: "It's taught this way here, it will continue to be taught this way here. If you don't like it, you are perfectly free to leave; we'll drop your students and they can try again next semester".

Yeah...these are real confidence boosters.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First Anatomy lab exam down, first Anatomy midterm down. Didn't do well. However, I was in the top 1/3 of the class. That is really scary because I got a 67% on the midterm...bombed the essay portion which is seriously bizarre to me because I just do not bomb essays and papers! I got a B on a History paper and freaked! Okay...I think I kind of know what to expect for essays now though...the multiple choice and fill-in was a piece of cake; I missed three, and one of those I went back and changed. Never ever go back and change a multiple choice answer!

So that is where I am at. I have another lab exam tomorrow...there is one every two weeks. Then Monday I start dissecting.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I have my first Anatomy "mini" midterm today. It's worth 50 points instead of 150 and the prof has made it clear that the purpose of this exam is to weed out the people who are going to fail the class!! Oh boy. :P

I have spent the last 30 minutes reviewing connective tissue...areolar, adipose, reticular, dense regular, dense irregular, dense elastic...I'm feeling rather dense myself. :P

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I am now two weeks into the Fall semester. I have my first Anatomy (mini) exam on Wednesday, the first Anatomy lab exam on Friday and a Spanish exam in another week. Nothing like jumping right in! I don't think I could have made a worse choice in classes to take concurrently...Anatomy, might as well move a bed into the lab; Spanish, tons of workbook and text pages each week plus mandatory language lab hours. There is one scheduling choice that would be worse...Anatomy, Physiology and Micro, concurrently!


I am about 95% decided that I will transfer to a nearby 4-year university as a pre-nursing student. Here is what I have been mulling over...

1. Pre-nursing students at the 4-year university get first preference for admittance to the nursing program at that school.
2. Students that meet admission requirements at the school I am at now are put in a lottery for acceptance. Everyone's name gets "thrown in a hat" and people are accepted randomly. Those not accepted get put on a waiting list, if anyone drops IN THE FIRST QUARTER ONLY, waiting list people are moved into the spot. When the next semester begins, the next lottery begins...and all wanting to be in the lottery have to REAPPLY to the program! I have talked to some people who have gotten in on the first round. However, I had someone in a class last semester who was completely changing the direction of her education because she had been through the lottery and wait-listed FIVE TIMES!! That would be two and a half years that she had been trying to get into the program!!
3. I have finally gotten to a place in my life where my education is a personal priority. I am not getting an education in order to "make the big bucks"...although the increased earning potential WILL be nice, it is not the main reason I am going to school. As a teenager I was the kid who didn't do hardly any of the homework. If a paper was required to pass the class then I would write the paper, the night before it was due. I would often not go to class at all, then show up on days there was a test. I would often ace the test or get B's. Although I would get very high scores on tests, I would get zeros on homework and attendance and any class activities that happened while I was not there. I barely graduated because of this. I also spent a lot of time thinking "I can't do this"... never recognizing (until recently) that if I actually did some of the work...not even ALL of the work, just SOME...I would have probably been a straight A student. Now that things have changed in my life, I am enjoying school. I have learned the value of studying (and actually learned HOW to study). I have discovered that I LIKE school! How cool is that?!? I like learning, I like hearing people's ideas during discussions in classes, I liked making aspirin in Chemistry (and also liked putting a tiny drop of a yellow chemical into my tube of clear chemical and watching it smoke and turn royal blue!).
4. I am graduating soon. After this semester I can petition to graduate with an AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences. It feels somehow "wrong" to graduate and then continue at the same school. I already have 68 units of lower division, transferable credit...continuing at the same school will keep adding on lower division credit. Why do that? If I'm going to continue taking classes, why not take classes that will actually count towards a higher degree?
5. I have the financial aid stuff going now. If I start working, I lose a lot of it...some of it is need based and some is due to being "disabled". Working will change my financial need. Working will end my disability benefits. In short, working will make returning to school at a later date very, very difficult financially.
6. Working will also effect my forward momentum...inertia may set in. I think I am starting to know myself pretty well. If I go work for a couple years, I will forget that I like school, I will forget that I'm good at it. I won't go back. It took 15 years for me to go back this time. If I get an ADN, go to work and then take 15 years to go back...I'll be 56 years old when I START back...that alone is likely to make me not go back. There is also the issue that when I am 56 years old, my partner will be 68. She is a very young 50 right now, but she is starting to talk about "when I retire"...and I want her to actually be ABLE TO retire if that is what she wants to do. If I am going to school (still or again), she won't be able to retire.
7. If I transfer to a 4 year university and finish there, I will be the first person on the maternal side of my family to achieve a 4 year degree. I will be the forth person on the paternal side. Interestingly, two of the three from the paternal side of the family have degrees from the same school I am of them is a BSN. The third one was my Grandmother...she was a 5th grade teacher. Two of her three children got Bachelor's degrees and the third got an Associate's and then a couple years of trade school. I would be the first (and possibly only) one of the three grandchildren to graduate from a 4 year university. It sounds a little lame but is important to me just the same. I spent many years feeling like the idiot failure that would never amount to anything...whether people actually said this to me or my perception was off kilter does not matter...I felt this way. I no longer do now. Getting my Bachelor's will be proof (to myself) that I am not an idiot.

So there you have looks like I am actually more than 95% decided!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I'm a struggling, pre-nursing student. Actually, my grades indicate I am not struggling too much, but it certainly feels like a struggle to me. I am at the point where I have core sciences to take, and that's it if I want to go for an ADN. However, I am also at the point where I have to make some decisions. I'm not entirely sure I WANT to go for the ADN. Would going for the BSN be better? I'm not sure. The school I am at now only offers the ADN. The school one town over offers BSN and Master's...and one town over is more like a suberb than another town, so it really isn't far to travel.

If I go for the ADN (and get in to the program right away) I will be done in three years. One year to finish core sciences and two years for the nursing program. If I decide to go for the BSN (and get in to the nursing program right away) I will be done in four years. One year to finish core sciences and transfer requirements (which I have been taking already) and three years for the nursing program. I could do the ADN and then bridge to the BSN...that would take five years though. I'm not quite sure how that works, but it's three years to get the ADN and then two additional years for the the year of prep I am doing. The last option is to get the ADN and call it a day. I think I need to hear from some RN's!! I need advice, stories, real-life issues...etc.