Tuesday, August 30, 2011

organic chemistry - at the outset

Had my first organic lecture yesterday - it went well. Sure, it was the syllabus day and that tends to go well regardless of how poorly the rest of the semester goes. The thing that made it actually awesome was the professor's ability to get us excited about the subject. He talked about synthesis problems as if they were puzzles waiting to be unlocked. He discussed the more esoteric points as being nothing more than whether or not you could count to eight.

All in all, I'm pretty excited to actually get started. (Despite the fact that I'm blogging instead of upstairs actually doing.) I'm looking forward to teasing out the answers, and hoping that they won't elude me. He said that one of the keys to success is to be obsessive... and well... yeah, I know how to do that. I just have to apply it to the subject now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The new plan...

Summer did not kill me, although there were certainly times I thought it might. I survived with a "B-Variety Pack" of a B-, B, and a B+. Not what I wanted, but in the grand scheme of the world, perhaps a lesson can be learned about not biting off more than you can chew and the importance of starting early.

I also got surprising news right around my birthday that pretty much wrecked the rest of my semester, so I should be happy I pulled B's in those courses anyways. My 14 year old son decided he wanted to go live with his father, and instead of tell me about this, he let his father sue me for custody. Le sigh.

Everything eventually worked out, but there were a couple of rough weeks before things were settled. I have mixed feelings about that - one the one hand I am incredibly sad and just miss him pretty much all the time. On the other hand, this will give me a chance to focus on the other things going on, not the least of which is getting ready to apply to med school.

In that vein, I just finished up with my year of gen chem and my year of gen bio, leaving me with a year of physics, a year of organic chemistry, calculus, human phys, and neuroscience. Having learned the lessons offered this summer, I've decided to take less classes at once in order to get a better school/life balance. This does stretch out my timeline a bit, and I am somewhat dismayed at how long its going to take to actually get there, but I'm trying to make the journey more enjoyable along the way.

The current plan is to start med school in 2015. Dear god, I'm going to be so old by that point. I'm really hoping I can combine some things in order to decrease the timeline, while still leaving time for things to be enjoyable. It's really only another two years of classes, but the premed adviser is giving me a year to prepare for the MCAT and committee and a gap year. I'm hoping I can combine MCAT studying with finishing up classes and then somehow avoid a gap year altogether. We shall see.

In the meantime, I accepted a position in a cancer research lab as an undergraduate unpaid researcher, and am working on getting into a hospital as a patient transporter. It is awfully difficult being an adult and not working, even just a little bit, so I'm trying to find a job that lets me further my goals while still earning the mortgage money. Additionally, I'm taking an EMT class this fall that will bring a little more excitement and interest to my volunteer experience. All in all, I've been told that I'm "fine" as far as planning goes, so now it's just a matter of doing the work, passing the classes, and scoring some more A's.