Monday, September 13, 2010

The story of a crazy Dr. who almost made (makes?) me cry.

Advanced human physiology. Also known as the bane of my existence. Where to even begin with this dreadful class?

A majority of my prereq's I have taken at a community college. This college has campuses all over Indiana, so if you can't get into a class at location A, try location B. There is one campus 30 minutes from my house that is the "hub" for health sciences. All of their programs are extremely competitive and all of their classes fill up in about .24 seconds. Because of this, I had to look to another campus 45 minutes away to take Anatomy I last fall.

Now, I wouldn't say Anatomy I (or two, which I took at the same campus this past spring) were exceptionally hard, but they certainly weren't easy. I also took Microbiology at this campus and found it to be, dare I say, easy. I did really well in all three courses without having to put a whole lot of effort in. Looking back, that should have been a pretty clear indicator that something was wrong. I mean, hello, Microbiology is notoriously one of the most difficult classes, like, ever. The three health care classes people bitch about most? Organic chemistry, pharmacology, and microbiology.

Since I changed my mind about nursing programs, again, I was scrambling to find a campus where I could take Advanced Human Physiology. I was really bummed I couldn't get into one of the classes at the 45-minute-away campus, but was SHOCKED that there was an opening at the campus closer to home. I snatched that seat in the blink of an eye, thrilled with the prospect of not driving to Timbuktu for school.

Fast forward to the first day of class, where it immediately becomes clear as to why I didn't find A&P I/II or Micro to be hell on earth. As I'm sitting there, waiting for the instructor to show up, the girl sitting next to me said, "Oh, don't ever flip through your book, breathe loudly, come in late, or do anything remotely distracting. She'll call you out and tell you to leave." I thought, "Surely she isn't that bad." And then I remembered a story from a friend who was kicked out of class by some "lunatic A&P prof" because she was turning the pages in her book. But my naive little self still brushed it off. Besides, I've had 10's of professors, I can handle anyone.

So as I sit there, with my space organized and ready to begin class, in walks this short little woman, in her 50s I guessed, slightly masculine, and with the biggest scowl on her face. I became a little scared. Someone goes up to ask her a question before class and refers to her as Ms. She instantly corrects unsuspecting girl and says, "It's Doctor. What do you want?" I became more scared... and think, "How pretentious can one be?"

As she starts in on lecture, I immediately am overwhelmed and on the verge of tears. It is then that I think, "Holy shit Marianne, what have you done? You royally screwed yourself by taking those classes at the other campus and not here. They were easy because your instructors DIDN'T TEACH!"

Seriously, they taught me nada. This instructor is carrying on about God knows what, asking questions about various topics and probing us to answer said questions. I'm sitting there with smarty pants next to me answering every question correctly, and I'm still trying to figure out what the hell the question even was! And then Dr. said, "Come on you guys, you learned all of this in 101. I hope none of you got an A [um, I did], if you can't recall this basic of material."

I left class 80 minutes later beyond overwhelmed, but hopeful that she was just being a hardass and trying to weed people out who aren't serious about school. I have had profs do this before and just assumed she was the same way.

So I go to class two days later, a little more optimistic. First up was the lab portion of the class. The instructor is different, but under the control of my lecture instructor (did you follow that? if I wasn't too lazy to go back and insert names, I'd do it). Lab Man passes out two THICK packets and said, "These are the practice questions for exam 1. There are 300 questions here. 50 on the test." Jaw? Meet floor. I turned to the girls behind me and said, "Holy crap. It's going to take me the entire semester just to be prepared for the first exam!"

So much for starting off the class on a better note.

After lab, we got to lecture and it's like deja vu all over again. And I leave after 80 minutes on the verge of a breakdown. Again.

That weekend, I began working on the practice questions. It was here that I realized the instructor is just too brilliant and over-teaching the material. Since I don't plan on getting my PhD. in neurophysiology like she has, I realize if I'm going to come out of this class alive and without some serious medication, I'm going to have to teach myself. And that's exactly what I have been doing. I read the chapters a couple times each, then do the practice questions. After I answer the practice questions, I go through each one and write the definitions for the other possible answers so that I basically understand why the answer is A. and not B, C, or D. This has been really helpful in understanding the topics covered in class and it didn't take long for the material to "click."

I have well over half of the 300 questions complete, but had a question to ask Dr. last Thursday after class (yes, I was scared to approach her). She couldn't believe how much work I had done (and all the extra work I had done by writing definitions on the side) and praised the heck out of me. I was SHOCKED! This gave me the little boost of confidence I so desperately needed.

I plan on finishing the packets tonight and tomorrow, so I can have an entire week to review, review, review for the first exam. I'm hopeful that all of my hard work will pay off! It better, considering I have to get a C+ or better the first time taking it or I don't get into the program and then I'd be SOL because I do not have a back up plan. Eek. Insert panic.

So even though I sometimes wish I had fought harder to get into this course at the "easy" campus, I realize that taking it where I am will probably be far more beneficial in the long run. I'm actually learning the material and it's topics that will help me excel in nursing school. So while it may not be an "easy A," at least I won't be clueless when it comes to applying the material and won't be that girl that people ask themselves, "She thinks she's going to be a nurse? How the hell did she get into the program in the first place?!"

However, the countdown to the end of the semester is definitely not too far from my mind.

Oh, and Dr. really is nutty. She's already yelled at people for turning the pages in their book, she bitched out a girl for coming in late, and yelled at a maintenance man for trying to fix the projector during class (in her defense, he was rude. He should have waited). And don't you dare ask a question during lecture. Either ask it before or after class, or visit her during office hours. Turns out, she really is "that bad" about some things.

Slightly off topic, but for those of you keeping track of my Statistics course, it is over in 2 weeks! Hallelujah! And this class is far easier than I had prepared for; at least it is for me. I'm the only one who doesn't whine about its difficulty. Then again, I got 100% (some people got as low as 48%)on the midterm and learned all of it in grade school and high school, so I guess it helps that this material isn't new to me (even though my prof refuses to believe that I have already learned all of it). It probably also helps that while most of them have been OUT of school for the past 20 years, I have been IN school for the past 20 years. You think I'm kidding? I'm not. Started preschool at 2, been in school ever since. Registered & Protected


Lani said...

Wow- gotta love those crazy teachers.. glad she recognized how hard you were working though!

Justed wanted to invite you to check out my Blog For A Cure Blog Party-

It's a great way to get new followers for your blog, help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and win some great prizes!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I bet at the end of this course you will look back at this post and smile because she will have been the best teacher you have ever had.

Adriane said...

Phew! I'm so glad because when I read the title, and then I read about what a beyotch your prof was/is, I thought she made you cry by kicking you out of class for breathing or something. OMG, I just literally got chills at how horrific that would be. My hubby says things like that happen in law school all the time, which is reason #48 why I'm NOT in law school. ;-)

Well, I guess you know why you were able to get into the closer campus for this class...I guess the professor's "tough" reputation precedes her and everyone is staying away!

Pink, Green, and Southern said...

I can totally relate. I have nursing teachers who are total horrors and ontop of that, you STILL have to teach yourself the material. I wish you luck in that class and I feel a little better knowing I don't have to take it!

lindsey said...


I am glad that everything is starting to click for you. And I can only imagine what it felt like when the good dr praised you for your extra work.
Good job Marianne :)

Helene said...

At first, I thought maybe you had cried because she booted you outta class. She sounds like a piece of work.

You know what, though...she's a professor you will never forget!!

So glad to hear that you're almost done with the stats class!!!

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