amberite_archive: (future life)
In other news, this last term I made:

A- in Ethics
A- in Physics
B in Organic Chemistry
A in Physics Lab

I am bummed to have broken my straight-A streak in physics, but an A minus is hardly the end of the world. Altogether not a bad showing. (GPA this term = 3.48. GPA for my postbac work so far = 3.68.)

It is, however, the end of the year, and for that I am quite relieved. I took on too large of a load, between school and work and creative work and my fleeting attempts to have a social life, and it's making me realize that a path in medicine other than the M.D. may turn out to be the right one for me. Still have a lot of ruminating and learning to do before I make my choice.

Summer brings another insane workload - I'll basically be completing nine credits over the next three weeks, an amount of school which would be equivalent to 27 credits if extended over a normal term - but I have elected to take the first two terms of bio as the summer intensive and finish the third somewhere else later, in order to get August and September off. (The extra four credits in the first three weeks are a biomedical physics class taught by the physics teacher I've enjoyed throughout this year, and it should be a relatively easy way to buff up my transcript and, better yet, finally understand more of what my father does for a living.)

More importantly than that, it will be different coursework. [livejournal.com profile] tlttlotd recently reminded me gently that taking the same classes every term is not what everyone does, and not, in fact, what I used to do in college - it's what I'm doing as a post-bac student to get a degree quickly; no electives and few extracurriculars. No wonder I've been hitting a wall. I honestly think that the huge workload in front of me will feel easier than the last term (which was only 14 credits stretched out over a normal quarter) did because it won't be the same things over and over again. I need a lot of novelty in my information flow, and I haven't been getting it. This next year I'm looking into creative ways to make sure I do.
amberite_archive: (chaos)
* I got back my physics final exam grade and so I've got an A in the class - maybe an A- if they have set the cutoff higher than last time but that's unlikely.

Not sure how that ochem final went. I have entirely given up on trying to predict my results. Even when I know what I answered AND what the answers are, the partial credit is so damn screwy that I have no way of guessing how much I'll actually get. So... bugger that for a lark. The final grade shall emerge next week.

Ethics I can't imagine I did too shabbily, and both ochem and physics labs have likely done me no worse than an A-, though I don't know for sure yet.

...and I may have just screwed up my ability to use the tuition benefit my dad gets (for this term, at any rate) by forgetting to send paperwork in time. We'll see. If so, well... lots of article writing and brown bag lunches are in my future, but I can survive.

* Oh, and I just ran into an *awesome* book. It's called How Not to Write a Novel and it's what it says on the tin. All of their little writing samples have excellent little easter eggs in 'em for those of us who have seen, and identified, real-life bad writing, and I often find myself guffawing out loud.

* In other other news, Dr. Peter Watts was convicted of obstructing a border guard in a courtroom in which the fact that he'd been assaulted, and had not been violent in return, had been completely established. His crime? Asking what was going on instead of complying with orders quickly enough after being beaten up. I Am Not Making This Up. I am fucking livid.

* Over and out... and over to the DC area for a while this Monday. I'm going to be staying with [livejournal.com profile] lyssabard and [livejournal.com profile] tlttlotd for a week, and if others in the area would like to hang out, have lunch, etc, I'm game.
amberite_archive: (lard bucket)
But I got A's (straight-up A's, no minuses) in everything except organic chemistry, in which I got a B. (A's include the lab for said class, by the way - due to an excellent TA, who I think I've enthused about here before.)
amberite_archive: (into time... and SPACE!)
Did my final exam yesterday at the height of a nasty head cold, dreaded the results, ran all sorts of projections on my calculator, and came back to get them today and determined I have an A minus in the class.

Since this is exactly the same thing that happened to me the first "term", I guess I can now reasonably predict that taking finals in unsound physical condition will usually lose me about half a grade from what I would have gotten otherwise.

I'm still doing well and that's what counts. And I get to do things today that aren't studying, even if I get to do them with a sore throat and a stuffed-up head (bleck.)
amberite_archive: (donna oi)
One defeat at least - the last week of attending lectures with a head cold seems to have completely shot to shit my comprehension of the material, and consequently I think I'm going to foul up the first midterm of the second section. (Remember, one week of this class = 1/3 of a term.) I'm practicing problems and going, whuh?, when for the first section I knew I had this down.

So I'm making a backup plan, which consists of dropping the rest of this, getting into a statistics class that coincidentally starts tomorrow, and picking back up in the fall.

It would mean another year in school, but I'm really flailing here.
amberite_archive: (eye)
So I got my final grade back yesterday for the first term (aka three weeks) of the gen chem intensive, and I seem to have acquitted myself more or less admirably with an A-. The final, on which I made a C, was about as tough as I expected, but one question which I should have gotten totally threw me for a loop -- and that was because I came down with a cold the day before the exam, and came in slightly feverish and miscalculated the simple addition that should have given me the molecular weight of carbon dioxide. Oooops. C'est la vie. I had good enough marks in everything else that this didn't take me down too hard. (I thought she'd curved because I thought that mark would give me a B, but no, it turns out that the cutoff for an A- is a little below ninety.)

And then the next day after the finals - new term! Complete with a new teacher (who will, at least, teach us through the second two-thirds of the class.)

Yes, this is definitely chemistry for crazy people.

This morning, on the bus, I met a young OHSU resident. I'm always a little awkward when talking to people who are ahead on the trail (most of the ones I've met so far have been med students) but I think it says much for OHSU and Portland that they've all been quite gracious and not condescending. Heck, even the other pre-meds have been pretty nice. Most PSU professors seem to grade on a model where they will curve up a failing class, but will not curve down an "overly successful" one - and I can't help but think the other way of doing things, the competitive model, is just a total clusterfuck as a way of encouraging people to learn.

In the classes I've been taking, students are happy to help each other, which means that the total average knowledge and understanding of the class goes up. And frankly - given I haven't met a student in there who isn't a pre-health major - we want that. The world deserves doctors that know their stuff.
amberite_archive: (third doctor sonic loofah)
Tomorrow is the middle of the "term" for this class - that's right, ten days in! - and I think I'm having the kind of meltdown we used to get during MFA residencies, somewhere around the middle of the week: - sleep dep + paranoia + the inability to actually stop because one is in the middle of these ridiculous long days, so Everything Is Awful And They All Hate You And You're Gonna Fail (tm.) Mostly centering around lab stress and the report I had to pull out of my arse in a hurry. Which is a foolish thing to worry about, since even though the TA marks down for small stupid things, it's a pass/fail lab and takes 75% to pass.

So, um, WTF me. Glad I know how to recognize it. :P

As evidence that everything is not awful, they do not all hate me and I'm not going to fail, I got 109% on my first midterm! YAY! There was an extra credit question, and it seems as though I aced that as well as all the regular questions minus one part of one question, and I know exactly what it was and what I did wrong there.

So, in short, today I am splibby. What is 'splibby'? You know when a cat runs up to you and asks to be petted, then bites you, then begs for food, then ignores the food bowl, then gets all wild-eyed and attacks your hair? That is splibby. It means: "There is nothing actually wrong BUT I MUST ATTACK THE DRAPES!"

Word credited to someone in my immediate family/friends circle, not sure whom.

P.S. I am creating a "gpa wank" tag so that people know that all this is wanky! Hi!

P.P.S. In case anyone is wondering WTF is up with my normally mellow self, I've elected to go back to school for the fourth time in order to complete pre-health requirements, with an eye to maybe getting into med school*, and I'm taking this chemistry class that's three terms of Gen Chem in nine weeks, because I am just that crazy.

* - I'm still not sure whether that is what I want. I'm very conflicted between ambition and having a life, and actually more scared of success than failure, but I think I'm just stubborn enough to succeed anyway... And in between all that, I sort of feel weird and bashful about being back at school again. Though it helps that I'm not the only 25+ post-bac student in any of my classes, not by a long shot.
amberite_archive: (me with kitton)
...I just walked out of my pre-calc final. This is the class where the teacher's idea of preparing us for a test is giving us a sheet of sample questions and half the answers, many of which are things like "There's a formula for that. Use it." (To be fair, that was on a quadratic equation, so I totally got why. And yet...!) and telling us "Anything we studied in this class could be on the final. You can have whatever you can fit on a 4x6 index card for notes."

Not a bad teacher by any means; just a real hardass. The lectures were pleasant, but dense. I would recommend his class unreservedly to anyone pursuing a tough course of study, who expects to really need the math (such as me) - not so much to anyone who is taking it to fulfill the math requirement on a humanities degree and doesn't care about the material (me several years ago.)

Anyway, I finished all the questions, and checked my work, and although there was one I was unsure about - and sometimes ones I'm sure about bite me in the arse, here - I decided I'd done the best I could, and deposited it in the pile on my teacher's desk. And walked out of there feeling like it was my birthday and Christmas and Hanukkah and the end of a marathon, with that weight off my shoulders.

From what I know of my previous grade and what I can guess of my grade on the final, I probably pulled an A-. The worst I could have done is a B+, and there's a small margin of possibility that I made an A - only possible by a few points.

How much I used to not care about the difference between these grades!

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