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Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm On the Right Path and It's the Scenic Route, No Shortcuts

So I officially bombed my first test in organic chemistry. The last time I did this poorly on a test was when I was in college over 10 years ago playing basketball. I actually almost started crying during the test because I felt so overwhelmed with the information I did not know. It was the worst feeling ever. I got my test back yesterday and my instructor said that in the 12 years he has taught organic chemistry, this is the lowest class average he has ever had. I don't know if that should make me feel better or worse. I can say though that this has made me step back and re-evaluate what I am doing with my time and what I need to do to change the outcome next time. The few days after taking the test I had to be very prayerful because after taking it, I literally just checked out for the rest of the day. I didn't want to look at anything concerning school and I really just wanted to be in my own space which my husband completely understood. I allowed myself to be upset for the rest of the day and when I woke up in the morning I asked myself what I had to do so that I would not feel this way again. I prayed. I asked for understanding about what I needed to change and how I needed to react to this situation. What I discovered is I had not been dedicating the amount of time studying that I had in previous semesters. Previously, I had study time scheduled into my day when I was at school but my schedule now does not require me to stay for another class and I do not have any gaps in my schedule. I realized it wasn't the material that had changed, it was me and my focus. I also figured out that if I chose to work a 20 hour per week job, I would be sabotaging my own success. I am on the precipice of everything I have been working for the last 2 years falling into place and my decisions and actions now will determine where I am 2 years from now. I'll either be starting my 1st year of osteopathic school or figuring out what to do with my life, again.

Failure is not an option for me. The goal that I have is not a dream or even a wish, its a calling, it's the path that I am supposed to be on at the time I am supposed to be on it. I know where I am going, I am in control of how I get there.

"I am working for what my heart is saying."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Being a Grown Up Is So Hard Sometimes

So my first Organic Chemistry test is tomorrow and I am freaking out a little. I have done some studying and I made sure to finish all the homework that was due so that I have all day today to study. My instructor was also nice enough to finish almost all of another chapter yesterday in class so that will probably be on the test too. Awesome. (NOT!) While I am grasping certain parts of the material in the class, I am having a hard time  fully grasping all of it. No matter how many times I tell myself I am going to start studying earlier than the weekend before a test, it always comes to that with most of it being done the day before. Honestly, I wonder sometimes how I got a B in the first semester of OChem. The last few days I have definitely had to remind myself that I am not indeed an idiot and while I do not always feel like I am understanding information, somehow it manages to seep its way into my brain. Right before tests I always tend to have an incredible sense of self-doubt and my confidence wavers a little but ultimately I make it through.

I have been wavering on the idea of applying for a work-study position at school. While I feel like it would make sense fiscally, I am unsure about how it will affect my schoolwork and my family. Most of the positions that are open are 20 hours per week. I would have to probably be at school at 8am, work for 2-4 hours before class, and then stay until 3pm almost everyday and then work a 7 hour day on Tuesdays since I do not have class that day. Some of this time is usually spent studying or doing homework so I would have to find other times to do my schoolwork. The time it would infringe on would be my family time during the week and on the weekends. I try to keep the majority of my weekends as family time but that would definitely have to change if I started working. Along with this, I would also have make a decision about whether I would still want running to be a big part of my life because it would be nearly impossible to run on a regular basis. That one is really hard for me because it is the one thing that I do that is solely for me and my personal well-being. Being a grown up is so hard sometimes. I think I have to remind my self of the goal I created for this semester: "Stay prayerful, stay motivated, stay strong and listen to what He has to say."

Mommyhood is wonderful as always. My little monkeys are pretty well adjusted to their school schedule now and my oldest has been able to handle football too. Now that he is in 3rd grade and having to take tests and learning study skills, he has a better understanding of why I am studying all the time and I have been able to help him understand why he is learning some of the skills he is learning in school (i.e. having a planner, reviewing information before a test, organizing a binder). While he is still only 7 years old, I am able to show him he will need these skills even as an adult and that learning them now will make it easier when he gets older. Its sinking in slowly, he's getting there. My little one absolutely loves school and has a little crush on his fine arts teacher. He's too cute. I asked him if he likes older women and he said, "Yes mommy," with a big smile on his face. Lol!  I <3 my monkeys!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Have Most Definitely Evolved

School has just started and I already feel like I am behind. This semester is definitely going to be a test to how well I am able to schedule my days and motivate myself when I am not physically in class or at school. In a lot of ways I think this will allow me to develop the skills I'm going to need once I do get to medical school. I have to say that I have mastered the ability to study anywhere, under all types of circumstances. Last week my oldest son had to go to the dentist and get some fillings. I took my laptop with me and watched 2 of the video lectures for my physics class, taking notes the whole time. I was able to understand what he was talking about (as much as I can understand physics ;-) and it was in an environment that was not necessarily conducive to learning. I was actually a little proud of myself because I can remember a time when I could not study unless I was under "ideal" conditions. I have evolved.

My class schedule is pretty awesome though. I have a total of 4 classes, organic chemistry (2nd semester), physics (online), nutrition and health communication and nutrition in western civilization. Along with that I am working on my research project that I will receive 2 credits for. I am not taking the lab for my physics class because I decided to take it in the spring, hoping it will help me review when I am studying for the MCAT. The physics class is going to be interesting in and of itself because it is completely online. It is nice that we have video lectures, video homework sessions and test review videos so I can only hope I am able to learn and retain information that way. So far, so good (kinda). Organic chemistry is what it is and it is a beast. My instructor is phenomenal and makes sure he gives us as much support as possible. I will miss not having him after this semester since I will be done with my chemistry classes. My nutrition classes are nice in that I do not have to take tests for those classes, but there are writing intensive which is strong point of mine considering I am formerly an English major. There are aspects of both classes I am really looking forward to and I can definitely say these classes are going to have a level of personal enjoyment for me. I'm pretty excited about them.

I learned this week that I do not necessarily have to work in order to continue to receive assistance, but I do have to send in weekly worksheets that show my class schedule and my study time. Despite not having to, I am considering doing some work-study in the honors office if they can find some tasks for me to complete. The process to have my financial aid amended so that I could receive work-study was much easier than I thought it would be and it just made sense to have it as a backup. Will it add more to my schedule? Yes. Don't I have enough already on my plate? Yes, but my goal is to do it during the time my boys are at school and it would create a small safety net for us financially because we will not have to worry about how we are going to make ends meet once my financial aid runs out. Again, we shall see what He has in store for us. Despite our best laid plans, God's plan will always bring us to where we need to be and many times our plans do not coincide with His plans so we need to be willing to listen to Him and open ourselves to all possibilities. Goal for this week, month, semester: Stay prayerful, stay motivated, stay strong and listen to what He has to say.