Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Successes and failures

Successes: I survived the holidays (well, almost). I finished Microbiology and did well, I think. USF accepted me to the Master's Entry program.

Failures: I was rejected by UCSF without even an interview. I am plagued by self-doubt where it comes to my Samuel Merritt application because I really want to get into the FNP program (which USF's isn't), and my rejection by UCSF stings.

Then, as the cherry on top, I feel angry all the time right now, especially with my husband and kids. I could be PMSing, but don't think so. It's been a long time coming.

At least I was able to see two movies this week that I enjoyed wholeheartedly: The History Boys and Night at the Museum. Good thing about the second is that I went alone and could laugh to my heart's content. Bad thing about the first was that my mother, who has absolutely no whisper at all, kept asking me questions about the plot or asking me to translate the bits in French (there were no subtitles). Still, it was lovely to be challenged intellectually by a film, and it has helped me to realign my personal statement for SMC.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I have known for most of my life that one of my major flaws is a mean perfectionist streak. I hold myself (and sometimes others) to unreasonably high moral/ethical/performance standards, and I often become really morose or angry or both when I (and they) fail to meet those standards. Perfectionism is ridiculous, I know, but I also feel that it has helped me be successful in my academic work. It has also made me a damn good copy editor (aka nitpicker).

I had a head-on collision with my perfectionism this week after I got my grade for an exam I took in Microbiology. I did well (got an A) but it wasn't as high an A as I would have liked, and I am excoriating myself for making two stupid mistakes that would have given me three more points. I always recheck my answers to catch careless mistakes, but occasionally I don't notice the mistakes, or the way in which I thought about the question at first continues to color my reading of the answer on the second run through. I probably wouldn't even care so much about my score if a fellow student (a very lackadaisical, uninvested young student in fact), hadn't bettered me (by one point). It's so awful, but I have now spent two days second guessing myself and driving myself and the people around me absolutely nuts. I feel completely pathetic being so obsessed about such a small thing. I can come up with innumerable reasons that I should let go of this, but none of them are working at the moment. I guess I need to go on a good, long run or escape to the movies. All I know is that I'm going to KICK ASS on the take-home final. I am sooo fired up.

If I were a reasonable person, I would be focusing on my older son's downright beautiful blossoming in speech. For some reason, the floodgates have opened and he is a becoming a complete chatterbox. I really think that he will catch up verbally, or be close to catching up, by the time he starts Kindergarten. How exciting for him! I am also incredibly thrilled for him because his ability to speak is making so much difference in how he handles stress; now that he can explain what's going on for him and how he feels, he resorts less to physical violence directed at his brother or the poor (medicated) dog.

Another completely unexpected thing happened today. My husband mentioned that he'd been thinking about what it would be like to have a third child (rest assured, I will NOT allow this to happen). I have not entertained the thought of a third for more than a heartbeat because the prospect is so overwhelming that it makes me want to vomit, faint, then run away upon resuscitation. I am flabbergasted that my dear one would even verbalize this; as a friend said, his telling me this means that he's given it more than cursory thought. I am beyond shocked because I thought that if ever one of us would contemplate having a third, it would be me (after a cold day in hell). Well, people are surprising.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


A friend once told me that she found it quite odd that the very first thing I ever said to her was that I had to drop off my dog at daycare. I guess that I've been on the fringes of the dog world for so many years that it didn't seem weird to me. But I have now really crossed the weird threshold in my own estimation: I spent the afternoon at the vet having a three-month checkup for my dog, who is on Prozac. Yes, my dog is on psychotropic meds. Why? Because she has to live with me (certifiable) and two very naughty little boys. I feel so sad and awful that I have to medicate my canine friend in order for her to handle everyday life.

On a parallel track of strangeness, I find that I am fascinated by the weird facts I'm having to learn about parasites for my Microbiology laboratory exam. I had no idea that there were so many little creatures so happy to make their homes in humans. And of course, being a hypochondriac, I will soon diagnose myself with at least ten of them.

Less absurdly, I am thrilled to have found the person from whom I was separated at birth (give or take a couple of years). My new partner in crime brings a smile to my face and a wicked laugh to my belly. It's nice to giggle with such a kindred spirit. She is also in my Microbiology class and is a fantastic study buddy, not to mention having a large soft spot in her heart for men from the Northwestern Archipelago and being willing to analyze the character of Tom Quinn in MI-5 with me ad nauseam (and in return, sharing all kinds of juicy tidbits about Hugh Laurie). She is also a refugee from the arts, but in a much more glam fashion. She worked in film and even has her own page on IMDb. I will be sad when she gets into Johns Hopkins and NYU and flees the West for greener pastures East, but I promise I will haunt her there.

Only five papers and an exam to go before the holidays.