(Note: I started writing this damn thing on January 6th. It is now February 3rd. I haven’t felt motivated to do anything because of Reasons, but I’m getting it done now.)
The slog, it does not end. After being unusually optimistic about how quickly I was going to be done, I decided not to be a fool and double-check the admissions requirements of other schools… because if someday I’m taking Ye Olde PCAT, I’m going to apply to more than one school.
Guess what? My target school has requirements that are a lot different from most other schools. What was looking like another year and a half, tops, is now looking like two plus, more if I don’t get in. FML. Now I need to find time for economics- Micro or Macro, school depending, another social science, and if I wanted to go to Utah, a few years of foreign language. (Spoiler alert: I don’t have time to learn a foreign language, so if I am to ever live near the Rockies again, it’ll have to be on the Colorado side of ’em). I’ll probably have to re-take Psych again to get that grade up to snuff, too. For what will be the THIRD time. I want to strangle Fresh Out Of High School Going To Dixie Because Of Friends And Family History Me to death. Dixie State was an experience that helped me grow and appreciate things, to be sure, but if I would’ve been smart, gone to the U, lived in the dorms, et cetera ad infinitum different life blah blah blah. Of course, as this unhealthy spiral of What If continues, I again come to the ultimate conclusion of If That Would Have Happened, No Move To Georgia, No KLynne, No Max and Bumi, Therefore Would Make All Of The Same Mistakes Again, Yes, Even The One That Required Me To Get An Anti-Stalking Injunction Against Crazy Ex, Because KLynne And The Doggos Are Worth It.
Dr. Teach Your Own Damn Self
Dr. Teach Your Own Damn Self is a firm believer in what is being called “the flipped classroom”. Essentially, in a flipped classroom concept, it is on YOU to teach yourself all of the concepts on your own time through reading and online lectures (done by other people, mind you) so class time can be a never-ending orgy of Let’s Do Some Practice Problems, with the professor acting as some kind of oracle for you to pose questions to or beg to help you with difficult concepts.
This is a scheme that I’m sure the professors love the shit out of, because LESS WORK, right? Numerous studies show that it’s more effective as an educational tool. I trust these studies about as much as I trust studies done on the effects of tobacco funded by cigarette companies.
I don’t like it. I’m paying lots of money TO BE TAUGHT NEW CONCEPTS, not to teach them myself. I do well in a lecture environment. Lecture, throw in a video or two, add activities to cement concepts. Expect me to do reading, but come the fuck on… don’t expect me to be a subject matter expert capable of teaching the class myself. But wait, there’s more! The class that Dr. Teach Your Own Damn Self teaches is ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, which is known far and wide as a weed-out course for anyone hoping to gain a biology degree or go into medicine or chemistry. I’ve had multiple pharmacists tell me that if I can survive OChem, the PCAT and the rest of Pharmacy School will be cake. The most difficult undergrad course offered, according to Fastweb, that “separates the doctors from the wannabes” and causes many a STEM student to change majors and NOPE their way out of the sciences.
I’m not done yet, though! This man DROOLED scorn all over me for daring to ask him a question about the content. HOW DARE I NOT HAVE SPENT YEARS AND YEARS AS A WORKING ORGANIC CHEMIST AND PROFESSOR, right?
This was the first day of class.
It took me twelve hours to teach myself the first chapter of material and finish one assignment. This was not sustainable. I dropped the class after one class session and one lab session. I replaced it with a nice relaxing Survey of US History course, and a return to
Dr. Has Forgotten More History Than I Will Ever Learn
AKA Dr. G. If you’re reading this, Hi! Dr. G is the only professor who calls me by my nickname (the others seemed kind of weirded out when I asked it, so eventually I stopped) and the only one who kn0ws this URL. Who knows if he remembers it, but here I go.
I had Dr. G for my very first class in this Going Back To College Odyssey and I didn’t start this series of updates until FALL 2013, not Summer, so he didn’t get a nickname then. He gets one now.
Originally, I took Survey of US History 2 from Dr. G, which at my school starts just after Reconstruction (and “redemption”, ugh) and ended somewhere around the 2000 election. I learned much in that class, although the concept of uploading my notes every day to the LMS that the school uses was a pain in the ass (although it is a good way to make sure that people are paying attention, I will grudgingly admit).
Getting my second history class taken care of isn’t a prerequisite for Pharmacy, but it is necessary if I’m going to stick around and get my Bachelor of Science, so it was an easy pick. The fact that it’s Dr. G was gravy, because I got along well with him the first go-round. (It’s always nice being one of maybe two people in a class that get pop culture references that sail over the heads of the rest of the class).
Survey 1 tracked the story of the US from early Colonial times ’til—you guessed it—Reconstruction. I learned a lot in the class-particularly about the giving of gifts in different cultures, how Texas was founded, the great American tradition of “We want this thing, but we sure as hell aren’t going to pay for it”, and (as in any history class) man’s continued inhumanity to man.
I don’t have any bitching. I still find Dr. G to be one of the best professors that I’ve ever had, and I’m not just saying that. I’ve learned much more about things that I thought I knew in his classroom than I thought I would.
Professor Get on the Trail
Professor GotT taught the second class I added after bailing on OChem, Intro to Hiking. I had one outstanding PE requirement left in my Cores, so I figured that a hiking class would be good.
I don’t have much to say- the Prof was very nice and tolerated my out-of-shape ass slowing down the rest of the class (even if it led to part of the class getting lost on one of our hikes, oops). Most of the stuff in class I already knew, though… Leave No Trace principles, what kind of gear you need (and the law of diminishing returns on the really high-end stuff), and that we’ve got a plethora of good trails around us.
One thing that I really did like is a hike originating at the local Environmental Center. Out on this trail, in a semi-nowhere area, is a surprisingly large suspension bridge! Who knows how much money it took to erect that, but it was a really cool thing to see that I’m sure not many people know about.
Dr. Turn Down for What
Dr. TDfW teaches Cell Biology, and gets his name for a class activity where we absolutely DEMOLISHED a lab classroom to the dulcet tones of DJ Snake and Lil Jon… to illustrate cell apoptosis. The good Doctor survived med school and did postdoc at Emory and is very, VERY in tune with what the latest and greatest biological innovations are. On top of currency, the class also featured something that I’ve never seen before in my educational career… the concept of a mulligan. You see, if you answer the Question of the Day (sent out via GroupMe), or win Kahoot! battles (Kahoot!, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is an online quiz platform), or attend extracurricular stuff, or… well, various other things… you get a mulligan. These mulligans are then spent on tests in class. If you aren’t sure of an answer, you use one (or more) mulligans on that question. If you get the question right, you lose the mulligan but who cares. If you don’t, that question doesn’t count against you so long as you can prove mastery of it at a later point in time. I LOVED HAVING THAT SAFETY. Loved competing for them. Loved knowing that if I felt really bad about a question, I could answer it later. It helped my confidence enough that I ended up with a bunch of them left over when all was said and done. The ONLY things that bothered me were a) a wee organizational problem and b) when we were scheduled to take the first test, he moved it back a week on the day of just to make people study. That’s all well and good, but unfortunately I STUDIED MY ASS OFF AT THE EXPENSE OF MY OTHER CLASSES. Argh. Cell bio itself fascinated me, and I’d love to learn more of it in the future. TOO BAD THAT MOST OF MY REMAINING CLASSES ARE CHEMISTRY, RIGHT?