September 6, 2008

Week 2

Two weeks ago, I started taking evening classes at Oakton Community College in order to complete my pre-med requirements. I am taking a physics course and an organic chemistry course. Neither is particularly hard and I think that this would have been the case had I taken these courses in university. However, they both require a fair amount of work. I would argue that this is true of many classes.

What I am finding is that I am differently motivated than I was when in my undergraduate program. In undergrad I worked hard but the value of success meant less to me than it does now. There are a host of motivations that move me to be interested in succeeding. I know that I need to do well in order to get into medical school (though, I have no fear of the MCAT for whatever reason), I am motivated to do well because I am paying directly for my classes, and I have my own typical desire to be a good student. However, I am finding, now, that I am motivated by a force that I never predicted, I feel that I need to prove to myself and maybe someone else, somewhere, that I can work full time and kick ass at classes at night.

Unfortunately, by the time I get to Friday night, when I should be studying, I'm so burned out by the week that I can't focus on school work. It's like eating granola for every meal, there comes a point where you know that you're hungry but you just can't put another bite in your mouth. Your body won't let you. It makes me want to go to bed at 7:30PM on Fridays.

Despite this, and despite not feeling like I have any time in the world, I've been able to socialize a fair amount. Even if it is only getting together in the evening on weekends when I can't absorb any more information. Being this busy is a new experience for me. I have never been so task oriented. I have always sought unstructured time. Yet, there is a certain pleasantness to simply trudging through a 14 hour day. Something about not needing to fill your day almost makes it easier. I have no intention of becoming addicted to working, by the way, but I can see how some people are able to lose themselves in it. You just get up and go and, when you get back, crash until you have to get up and go again.

Hopefully, I'll still be as chipper as I am now in another 10 weeks. I'll try to make periodic posts to keep you up to date. If all goes well, I'll be able to take 2 night classes again next semester (physics II and O-chem II) and then summer will be a biology course or two and maybe an anatomy and physiology course. I've pretty much set myself up for a year of using my vacation time to study for tests (boo).

Posted by Mendon at September 6, 2008 11:29 AM

Good for you for finding your mission and going back. Welcome to the wonderful world of "adult education" -- where exhaustion and reward go hand-in-hand. Nine more months before I can quit for awhile (graduation, at long last -- again).

I have no doubt, though, that if anyone can succeed, it's you.

Posted by: Janet at September 6, 2008 4:21 PM

Aaaaah, the joys of advancing oneself into the unknown oblivion of healthcare. I have no doubt you will do well. The sleep thing is fairly important tho'. You do need a solid nites sleep each day(6-8 hours is recommended) for your metabolism to stay in good order. Then the nite classes don't bite so hard by fri. nite. or six weeks down the line. I find lying down for thirty minutes after work even without sleep is very invigorating. It helps if it is quiet though.

Posted by: papa at September 8, 2008 12:24 PM

You and I seem to continuously have inverse problems!

Posted by: R.T. Bean at September 16, 2008 7:02 PM
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