A Brief Pause Please

Just got my midterm grade back for my sociology class.  I got an A!  95%  I’m really pleased and proud of myself!

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Bubbling Up

I have no words.  I can’t seem to express myself the way I want to.  There are these differing feelings just below the surface, but they’re not coming out. The words aren’t forming. I’m not even sure where to begin.

I found out last week that my midterm for my class is a take home.  It’s such a relief because I was worried how I was going to study to produce something I was proud of.  Now I can write it all out, but I’m having difficulty.  I understand the subject matter and I’ve formed my opinion.  I’m just having a difficult time getting started.  Well, I have a good intro paragraph (I think), but then I’m stuck.  Everything I’m writing isn’t good enough and I end up deleting it.  I’d like to have a rough draft done by this evening, so all I have to do is revise until it’s due on Thursday.  But if I don’t get anything done today, then I won’t have anything to revise and I’ll be stressed and struggling to finish it in the evenings.  I don’t want that.

Part of my worry is that I’m not smart enough to get this done.  While I’m pretty sure this isn’t true, I’m still doubting my abilities.  More likely, this is difficult because I haven’t had to really write anything in the past 10 years.  Not anything that’s going to be graded anyway.  I’m just out of practice.  I know it will become easier the longer I’m in school.  But there’s still that part that this is how it’s going to be from now on.  I’ve already used up my writing talents when I went through school in the first time.  What makes me think I can do it again?

I took my new medicine for the first time yesterday.  I didn’t experience any side effects, so that’s positive.  And my digestive issues were greatly decreased, which is great.  It’s just what I wanted, but…  I was consciously restricting because I knew I wasn’t going to have the issues anymore, so there wasn’t going to be any compensation.  I’m going to gain weight.  I don’t want to gain anymore weight.  And that’s what the scale showed this morning.

I  logically know that my weight is going to fluctuate day to day.  It’s not supposed to stay the same.  But I still don’t like that the numbers went up.  And now I feel like doing whatever I can to get the numbers to go back down.  I know I can’t do that.  It will really interfere with my school work and life, but the thoughts are still there.  Some of the follow through is still there.  And I’m not sure what to do.

I just don’t know what to do.

Except get back to trying to get my midterm done.

Speaking Out

I find myself in a very interesting situation.  I just noticed it during last night’s class.  I have very easily and quickly slipped into the “quiet girl” role I used to play in school.  I never said anything and I never asked any questions.  And I’m doing it again.  It’s just worrisome because part of our grade is based on participation, not just attendance, and talking equals participation.

I’m apprehensive about asking questions normally, but last night’s lecture kind of sealed the deal that I would just keep my mouth shut and figure it out on my own.  A student asked a question about what the professor was talking about.  And the professor basically jumped down his throat saying that he needs to figure it out on his own.  And while I understand, it’s ultimately up to me to learn the material, if I ask a question, it’s probably because I don’t understand and need clarification.  I think that’s normally why people ask questions.  But this professors’ reply makes me want to ask or answer anything.  I will just sit in my chair, listen, and hopefully take good notes.  The student was angry after class, and rightfully so, but he kept his anger until we were out of earshot.

But this made me think–Would I have responded any differently had I been the one to ask the question?  I’m not sure.  I probably would have sunk down in my seat and hid my tears.  And I wonder how I can be so intimidated in a certain situation, but I can be intimidating in others.  I can speak my mind with my husband, friends, family (well, for the most part), and even the occasional stranger.  But put me in a situation where I’m slightly uneasy and I can barely say hello.

I would like to think that I would have some courage to stand up to this professor and tell him that’s not a particularly appropriate response to a student’s question.  I am paying the school a tuition.  The school takes that tuition (along with other monies) and pays the professor a salary for providing a service–teaching specific classes.  I am taking that class, therefore I am paying for that service and should not have issues like this come up.

I work in customer service.  I deal with customers.  When they have questions, I patiently explain the issue to them.  I can’t tell them to figure it out for themselves when they have the paper work in front of them and I’ve already explained it once.  I understand that teaching is different, but even when I taught I never spoke like that to a student.  It’s just frustrating and defeating to have a teacher like that.

I also started speaking with some of the other students before class started.  It was good.  I thought I was the only one who was lost during the lectures (and reading) and had difficulty keeping up with the reading, but I’m not.  It made me feel better that current undergraduate students (who are majoring in this subject) are having difficulties.  Almost a sense of relief.  At least I’m not alone.  I also felt a little relief during the lecture when I realized I had taken notes on the reading about what the professor was saying.  I felt validated that I was doing the right thing and need to keep going it.

School and the E.D.

I’m taking a much needed study break.  I’ve been up to my eyeballs in the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.  Going back to school is a much more difficult task than I envisioned it to be.  Well, I knew it was going to be difficult, but didn’t quite realize to what extent.  The material isn’t difficult to understand, as I do have some knowledge in European history after the Enlightenment, but it’s just bit more tedious.  All the reading is making my head spin.  And I’ve realized that I read a lot faster when I’m reading for pleasure, regardless of my initial level of understanding of the material.  But all in all, I am enjoying being studious.  I love learning.

I just wish that the eating disordered thought wouldn’t creep in so much.  In the middle of reading an article, I find myself staring off and adding up the calories I’ve consumed, or about to consume.  There’s no relief.  Just a whole bunch of numbers in my head.  Then there are all the thoughts about food.  What I’ve had, what I’m going to have, what I would really like to have.  And the thoughts about my and my body.  I’m too fat.  Not smart enough.  Not working hard enough.  These thoughts are a plague on my brain.

This morning I found myself negotiating to eat breakfast.  This in and of itself is not new.  It’s the way I operate.  But I had something new to add to the table.  I couldn’t eat breakfast (no matter how hungry I might have been) unless I did at least an hour’s worth of studying.  It’s just one stipulation after another.  I can’t take a break until I’ve read the next chapter.  I have to get through the next 10 pages before I can get something to drink.  It’s just on and on like that.  There’s no respite.  And on one hand while I’m used to the negotiating, now there’s something new being thrown on the table and it’s taking me a bit to get used to it.

I don’t want to give up going to school.  I really don’t.  I think I’ve finally figured out my scholastic path (assuming grants and scholarships are given) and I’m really looking forward to it.  After a decade of kind of knowing what I want to do, then debating it, I can see it now.  But I also see the eating disorder blocking my path.  And I don’t know if I can do it with the eating disorder there.  I know ways of working around it, but I also know how much harder that is.  And the proof is in this past weekend.  Who knows how much of the reading I’ll actually remember?  But I do know that I will remember every morsel of food that passed my lips and my weight each morning.

I’m just frustrated.

One Last Push

My second class is about to start. I’m already exhausted. There was a lengthy reading assignment for today. I’m just glad my boss was out of the office so I could do the reading. And I made it. Barely.

I had forgotten what it was like to read for school. For some reason, when I read for pleasure, I read so much faster. It just felt like I was struggling to make it through. I know it will get easier and when I don’t have to read so much at one go, it will feel better.

I went to get my books today. Um, since when does a college bookstore only open from 10am – 5pm? That doesn’t really work if you have a full time job. Once again, thank goodness my boss what out of the office today. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I would have got the materials.

Now I get to play the fun game of seeing how much I remembered from the reading. And I’m so exhausted I’m not really sure how I’ll do. I am desperately wishing for a nap. I’m lucky that I’ll have the holiday weekend to catch up on sleep. And reading.

First Day of School

I’ve always loved the first day of school.  No matter what grade I was in, it was always exciting.  It still is.  Here I am, again.  Waiting for my first day of school to start.  I’m excited and nervous.  Registering for my class was a bit more challenging than I had hoped.  I ended up settling for taking a required class.  The other classes were either repeats or I was ineligible because I hadn’t take the prerequisite yet.  I’m getting more and more okay with that.  And at least I’m starting.  It’s better than doing nothing for another 6 weeks.

I was so giddy at registration yesterday.  I got my welcome packet and in it was my acceptance letter and a letter saying that I received a partial scholarship!  I almost started dancing in my chair.  The partial scholarship isn’t a lot, but it’s way better than nothing and will definitely help.

4 hours until my first class in over 10 years!  I’m so excited!

Sign Me Up!

I go to register for my summer and fall classes today after work!  I am super excited to be continuing my collegiate career.  I went through the undergraduate bulletin to research possible new majors for the post bac.  And not to be all dramatic about it, but I feel like a lot of it is dependent on this first class I’m taking (assuming that it’s not full and that my prerequisite applies).

It’s a human biology class.  I’m actually looking forward to delving into the world of genetics and DNA.  And I think this is close to the field that I am really thinking I’d like to pursue.  At least, right now.  But I really think this class is going to be the deciding factor.  Do I really want to challenge myself with something far more scientifically based than I originally thought?  If I were to continue on this path, my eventual focus would probably be along the lines of epidemiology or medical anthropology.

Now, if I’m not eligible for that class, I can take a philosophy class that fills one of the core requirements.  And if I don’t want to challenge myself, but still be fascinated by the subject matter, I’d like to focus on genocide/human trafficking.  I have read so much on the subject already.  This would definitely be the easier route, but it would still be enjoyable.

And I think either way I go, I’d like to end up teaching at the collegiate level.  I want to share the knowledge I have.  I enjoy teaching.  And I’m good at it.

I just hope I’m able to make a decision and not go through the hours of back and forth I normally do.