Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Longest Short Week

For some reason Peds and Psych are crammed into the same quarter by making each one go halvsies which meant that I had my midterm Peds evaluation in the second week of clinicals. But Peds class ended last week and Psych started up this week. I thought it was kind of nice to have Peds end over President's day weekend so we had a little time to rest up before starting another new class.

I was wrong.

It started with the barrage of emails about Psych nursing class starting. This program is sort of known for being accelerated and tough and quick and crazy. And the people who sign up for it are also a bit... accelerated and tough and quick and crazy. So most of our classes have started with a general feeling of "this class is going to be fast-paced and you might have some trouble with it because we are going over a ton of material in a very short amount of time. But we're all in this together and the professors want to help you out so let's all just take this one day at a time okay? Hugs!"

But our Psych professor emailed us about seven times before class had even begun: Your syllabus is posted! Your readings are posted! There will be a reading quiz online after the first day of class! Go and get fingerprinted! Make sure to do your readings! Psych is starting! Psych is starting! Get ready because psych is starting!!!!

Since Peds had just ended, I had been planning to take a little time off. So I spent some time with my mom and dad. I went out with Miss Jenny. I celebrated Valentine's day with my man. I cooked and cleaned and grocery shopped. And then on Monday I started to do the reading for Psych.

Turns out it was a lot of reading. So much that it cost me about 50 bucks to print almost all of it at Kinko's which I did because my printer has this cute little idiosyncrasy wherein I must stand next to it and feed it each and every sheet of paper and the thought of doing this over 200 times was daunting. And also, I assumed I would run out of ink and/or paper. So I printed the articles and then I looked at them and it was a lot. And when I say a lot, I really mean it-- I have been to college and grad school and I KNOW that there is a big difference between "a lot" meaning a reasonably doable amount if you would just put down the remote and "a lot" meaning so much that it makes you nervous and jittery to think about and you can't even start it because you know you can't finish it in time for the quiz that is coming. It was A LOT, in the sense that every time I sat down to do it, I would start to read and then find myself flipping through the pages with an increasing sense of disbelief and anguish and eventually giving up.

Tuesday was a 9-5 lecture day with a professor who has a rather different style from my preference. Whereas I am a person who likes her teachers to be concise and poignant, he is apparently of the "more is more" school of thought and (in my opinion) manages to say quite a lot of words without actually bequeathing very much information.

He also reminded us that the "exam" (apparently it wasn't a quiz anymore at this point... somehow??) would be the next morning. Class was supposed to start at 9:30 but since they could not figure out how to put the quiz up online, we should all come in at 9:10 and take the quiz then. Because in the EIGHT HOURS we were going to be together, they could not possibly fit in a 20 minute quiz. Excuse me, EXAM.

And so on Tuesday night, I found myself spontaneously bursting into short fits of tears as I tried to complete the homework assignment (also due on Wednesday) and study for the quiz (EXCUSE ME, EXAM) and prepare for another 9-5 day of Psych. I feel like I should maybe mention that a lot of the reading was actually interesting and that if I had felt less stressed out it might have been enjoyable.

On Wednesday, I actually had a group project meeting at 8. Then we started the EXAM at 9:10. And it was... um... detailed? We actually went over the answers in the afternoon and it was clear that many of us had not done as well as we expected. Which led to a forty-five minute discussion with the professor wherein the students might say something like "I did the reading, but the questions asked for small detailed points and not overarching themes, like you had said it would" or "Maybe next time we could have the quiz after discussing the readings so we understand them better." And then the professor would say "I hear what you are saying. LOOK OVER THERE! BEHIND YOU!!"

Thursday was clinical orientation and Friday was the first clinical day. I would write more about them but this post is already overly long and I think I'm out of steam. Suffice it to say there were some moments when I was tired and frustrated but overall they were fine. In fact, they were good because I am in what I believe to be a good clinical rotation site. I have experience working with mentally ill adults so it's actually a place where I think (hope) I might feel comfortable. But it also made me kind of upset because I have spent so much time and energy feeling stressed out, frustrated, and anguished about this class when, really, I WANT to like it. Psych is interesting. I sincerely hope the excessive reading, minutely detailed exams, and inability of our professor to let our class leave on time do not crush my fresh buds of curiosity and desire to help people.