Geez, has it been a semester already? I feel like it was one of those paradoxes, where time flew yet stood still. But, with the posting of final grades today that means the Fall semester is officially over, and with it, my first year back in school. I’ll tackle that milestone in a separate blog post; this one is all about the semester that just ended. To start, let’s look at what my grades looked like when all was said and done:
- Introduction to Microbiology: B
- Introduction to Microbiology Lab: B
- Principles of Nutrition: A
- Introduction to Statistics: C
First of all, let me say WOOHOO, I PASSED STATS!!! That out of my system, this is how this semester went down.
Frankly, this was a lot tougher a semester than I thought it would be when I registered for it. Though it was only 3 classes and a lab, it somehow drained a lot of my time: between learning 8-9 chapters of information per Microbiology exam, doing the near-endless stream of inane projects for Nutrition, and slamming my head against any and every hard surface I came across due to Statistics, I was challenged constantly to change my ways when it comes to learning and studying. In many ways, I was still relying on the techniques I learned while I did my English degree–things like mnemonics, batch memorization, association of general concepts in order to deduce the respective details from those later on–and while this certainly worked in some classes (well, really, only in Nutrition), it proved only of partial help in Microbiology and of no help in Statistics. Which means I had to re-learn how to study as well as dust off that ancient mystic art of crammin’.
On a personal level as well, this was a challenging semester, which added pressure and stress to my already heavy load. Midterms week, for example, was just bad all over, resulting in my worst Midterm’s performance ever, and I mean ever, including the years oh-so-long-ago when I went to school to eat shit. Thankfully I was able to recover from it and ended up with grades that I am actually happy with.
In Microbiology, it took the professor curving the grades a bit, but a B is a great grade, especially when Ds abounded in the 300+ class. This was the first time I have filled an entire spiralbound notebook cover to cover with class notes. Seriously, the entire notebook. I have classmates that actually used one-and-a-half notebooks! It was insane. It was this class that made me understand why doctors have such horrible handwriting. I don’t have much to add about Lab, except we got to see up-close a whole lot of microbes and I learned a bit too much about the lifeforms that live in various parts of my body. I’m gonna start charging them rent, is all I’m saying.
Nutrition was an okay class, but honestly, it was a wasted opportunity. The professor never made it more than just the slides she read from (badly, I might add), and by mid-semester she had just lost the class. Seriously, people went there to be present, but paid little attention. She just lost us, and never fully regained us as an audience. Whatever I learned there I learned on my own, and it sucks that I paid a couple hundred dollars simply to have a grade added to my transcript. It’s a shame, there was some info I really could have used now that I am taking better care of my body and doing exercise.
This was my second time taking Statistics, and frankly, as much as I hated the subject with a passion, I have to give kudos to my professor because he truly taught me and made me change my perceptions. Yeah, I could actually see myself liking statistics at some point. In the future. Maybe. But the possibility is there. He was also a funny professor to have, a non-nonsense, sarcastic German with a thick accent and a dry sense of humor that I found completely hilarious. I wouldn’t say I did great in the class, however this is one of those cases where grade achieved does not equal actual learning: I actually learned a lot more than my grade would suggest, I just had problems with the examinations (damned binomial distribution!!!). After the final I was not sure I would score high enough to pass the class, and have spent since last Friday agonizing over the possibility of having to repeat the class a third time. Thankfully I managed to get the C I needed to pass the class, so I’m done with math for the time being!
I’m glad it’s over. I was mentally exhausted coming back from Thanksgiving; I’m not entirely sure how I plowed through those last couple of weeks. I did a lot of prioritizing of assignments, even leaving some undone because I needed the time to work on something else that would be more influential in my final grade. It all paid off.
Next semester’s classes are already chosen and as soon as I can find one more class to make up the 12 credits I need for full-time status, I’ll be enrolled in the last semester of my Pre-Nursing phase. Bring it.