Tag Archives: grades

She’s Done This a Time or Two

12 Dec

As you’ve heard, my program is very resistant to meeting with students.  Yet, I need 3 letters of recommendation from these same people–it’s tricky.  With one week before the end of the semester I wanted to be certain my Walking about-July 2012 038professor knew my face before I asked for a letter of rec next year.  We were told asking in an e-mail is appropriate, and also requesting a meeting to establish a reporre is fine.  So nervously, I did both those things.  And she took 3 or 4 days to write back.  I was nervous she wanted a more formal inquisition.  Nervous she wanted to say no.  But in the response she showed a willingness–if I kept my A in her class, and if I didn’t need a letter to apply for our school’s program (NO!) because she’s the head of our department and it’s probably considered a conflict of interest.  Anyway, the tone still seemed a little hesitant about the whole thing, and she said there would be no time in the next week for a meeting.

That’s the thing about December–when you say next year or in a year–clarification needs to be made.  I think she thought I was asking for a letter before Spring semester (2014) technically “next year.”  I was impressed she tree lt 2would write me a letter during finals week in the first place, though I’m certain it wouldn’t have been in any way “sparkling.”  I wrote her back that I meant a year from now, next December 2014, not next year, January 2014.  And I emphasized the meeting wasn’t time-dependent, we had a whole year to do it.  I also explained it was important to me because she was in the main (crowded) classroom and I was upstairs, unable to shout out answers or establish any sort of connection with her.  I don’t just want form-letters, I want nice reviews, based on ME and my performance. Her class is one of three that strongly relates to my audiology career AND she has nice credentials (and I don’t really love the other hearing prof’s attitude) so I want one from her.  We had a good laugh over the miscommunication, and she said, “just stop by my office next semester” as a way of politely disengaging my meeting request.

Well-practiced!  She never got beligerant (this was different and good), and she didn’t say an explicit no.  She’s good!  I was left with a choice–press for a meeting that she apparently didn’t want, or take my chances and get a generic letter.  Being me, I pressed (just a little bit) and asked what days she would be in town (she travels back & forth to the primary campus), and what times work best.  We all know that “stopping by” will not be welcome or productive, if I happened upon her at all.  She sort of gave out various non-comittal days, but no times.  I left well enough alone, because you don’t want to make your letter-writers annoyed (even if you are not being unresonable or out-of-line in your request).  I don’t think asking for a 20 minute meeting in the next year is crazy, but you know my department. . .  My professor never said no to a meeting–but I don’t have one either. Tricky, tricky.

In other happenings:

When did THIS happen?  A 90% seems to be my new unacceptable?  Tht paper that I worked so hard on–the one that I searched so long on Tuesday and Wednesday to find appropriate sources for, spent ALL day Thanksgiving better view of nervesworking on the citations, a huge piece of Friday writing it, and Saturday & Sunday morning editing.  45/50.  Hmmm.  I guess the percentage doesn’t look terrible, but the class average of 47.6 bothers me.  How was my work BELOW average?!!!  And I’m sure it will be just awful to get the paper back and see it all marked in red.  I need to forget the comparison with my classmates–who cares how they do?  It’s not relevent to my performance or my life.  But what really bothers me is the cost/benefit analysis.  I would not have poured so much time into the assignment if I knew I was going home with a medocre final grade.  Not final, final–I end the class with a 97.5%.  Which is fine–an A+ is an A+ after all.  But I feel gyped because of all those unfair test grading practices, and now the paper.  Whatever.  I guess it’s over, and can’t be changed, and I just have one more semester with this gal, and she’s not nearly as bad as “the bitch.”  I’ll just keep doing my best, and hope the grades reflect that (more).

Feeling (apparently) of this morning = disappointment.

Bent Out of Shape

8 Nov


Today I (now) get off work at 10 AM. The day is supposed to be for school-related studying, projects, and meetings. So when our student chapter of our professional body put their meetings on Fridays–I was mostly relieved I was able to attend. In the past, I would have been severely annoyed as I would have had to miss every meeting b/c of work. Which is how I played it last year. Paid my dues, never showed up, never participated in anything, because all of it conflicted with work.  And that sucks–because this club is akin to a pre-vet student not being in the pre-vet club. Or a vet student NOT being part of the SAVMA or whatever. It’s not too cool, and it’s a red-flag to any admissions/scholarship committee.  It’s sort of something everyone is expected to do.  And it makes you more of a community with your classmates and puts you more in tune with the career.

Anyway, I want to play a role in the club this year, and because I’m a gung-ho, joiner, kind of gal I would love to take an active role.  Today, I went to school at noon just for the meeting.  And for a second meeting in a row, those-20-somethings chatted/gossiped about boys and television shows, starting late.  You know how I feel about being prompt. . .

ruined hairSidenote:  When did I start feeling so much older than the college-aged kids (did I just type that?) I attend school with???  I never really fit in with the college gals, even when I was in my lower 20s, but wasn’t nearly as annoyed as I am today.  Maybe annoyed is too stong a word–I merely notice that I’m in a completely different place in my life than these younger people.  They are talking about drama, weddings, boyfriends, boys, name-brand shopping, boys, parties, and boys.  Not what I consider substance.  That sounds too harsh as well–it’s not like I feel superior or anything–just worlds apart.  There is suddenly a large gap between me and them.  And it’s been fairly recent.  Maybe when I turned 30?

Back to the topic at hand:  Then, in a disorganized way, the officers at the meeting just said things (sprinkled with many “like” and a “down with that”) that could have been e-mailed or put on Facebook.  And at both meetings when people asked questions, no one really knew the answers.  The meeting (both of them) ended after 20 minutes.

I can’t help but to feel really disgruntled at what a waste of time that is.  Sure, the meeting may be just 20 min of nothing useful, but I have to drive over there. find (far away) parking, walk in, wait for them to start, walk back to my car, drive home–the whole thing sucks an hour out of the middle of my day and breaks it up so I end up being unproductive.

I hate that.  I want to get home from work, get into my jammies, study with my family hanging around me and recouperatingfood at the ready, then get ready for the next day of work, and go to bed.  Here I am.  I have done nothing school-related today.  And now it’s 4:30 PM, 3 hours before bed, when my brain is all lethargic and it’s difficult to find the motivation. . .  Also, when I go an entire day without doing anything “school” I feel really, really guilty and begin to fret.  That ruins sleep.  And I’ll be tired tomorrow too.  I don’t think I’ll go to any more of those meetings unless I’m already at school for some other reason.

In other news, while I was at school I picked up my inner ear/auditory pathway exam.  She keyed in one answer wrong so I get one more point–making my 3rd exam grade a 96.8%.  But I’m not satisfied with that because I don’t think the professor writes her tests (or grades them) very fair.

As an example, she had a fill in the blank portion where you could either write “inner hair cell” (IHC) or “outer hair cell”(OHC)  in response to various items.  One was “motile” which of course is OHC.  Well she wrote “one to many” on one spot and “many to one” on another.  I KNOW that OHC have one efferent nerve fiber that go to many hair cell bodies and that IHC have one cell body with many afferent nerve fibers transmitting info to the brain.  But did she intend “one” to mean a hair cell or the nerve fiber or vice versa???  How am I supposed to know?!  Without being IN her head.  So on the test I wrote “neron” after both questions–to show that I was considering the first item to regard the cell body and the 2nd to be directed at the neron.  And she apparently meant it the other way around, so she marked both of those wrong.  Even though I obviously know the material.

Makes me crazy!  Counting all the unfairly graded questions I’ve missed so far, I’ve missed 8(?) things that it was obvious (from my notes on the exam) I knew, but differed from what she intended to mean when writing the exam/key.  That’s 2 full points of my overall grade. . .  *frown, frown*

Other then those neusances (and feeling extremely tired all week, despite decent sleep) I’m very, very happy that work is going better for me.  I could get used to this.  It really bleeds over into my whole live, emotional state, and attitude–whether negative b/c work is $hitty or awesome b/c work is neutral to good.  Takes tons of stress and worry out of my life-yay!  I hope it lasts.

Discouraging Thoughts [+ all percentages from Riverpoint]

6 May

This from 2 (or so) weeks ago:

For some reason this morning I woke up wanting to be in Colorado already.  I don’t know why.  Nothing really happened.  Not the weather–that sucks everywhere.  Nothing at work or school.  No fight or strife.  There was no catalyst -I just woke up wanting to be somewhere else.  Which requires having a marketable skill aside from vet peon.  Which means getting in and through some upper-level school.

campus_rec UNC bears

So I go to the UNC page (which is NOT user-friendly) and try to find transfer information.  Or AuD or even SLP masters pre-reqs.  To no avail.  But I did see the AuD program is 2.33 years of course work then another 1.66 years of internships, externships, and teaching.  Four years feels like forever.  And that’s just WHEN I’m admitted to the program–I’m not even to that point yet.  And it’s 1.5-2 years before that even happens.  Every time I go to the CO AuD page, it makes this path I’m on seem so loooong, progress so slow, and ultimate degree feel so unlikely.

I will be 31 or 32 before I get out of Spokane.  Which I guess gives me time to save loads of money.  And I will be 33-34 before I get to step outside of the classroom.  And that puts me at mid-thirties before I even think about landing a job, and being a big girl.  Thinking about all those school loans accruing and the interest adding only makes things seem worse.

So I will focus on the positive:  For every semester I’m in school, I will get loans.  Which enable me to work veterinary hospitals PART time, which does make a huge difference in my morale.  I sort of get summers off when I am not in classes, but still only work part time.  And that’s nice.  And Even 6 or up to 8 years waiting for school is better than a life-time of veterinary assisting.  That makes less than a decade feel substantially shorter.

Besides, what would I be doing anyway, that I’m not doing now if I were in my stable career?  I like the sentiment that the time will pass either way.  So what’s the difference if I’m still struggling to get into a career?  There’s nothing in particular I want to do today.  So I guess I shouldn’t rush things or feel retarded in my progress.

I am working, the best I know how and the fastest my finances will allow.  I am getting the 4.0 I know I need and that makes me feel VERY hopeful.  I will do it right this time and play the game.  And these stats make me feel great:

Speech Disorders:  [A+]

Anatomy, Fall 2012:  98.76% [A+]

Language Development, Fall 2012:  97.45% [A+]

Language Impairment, Spring 2013:  96.3% [A+]

Speech Sciences, Spring 2013:  99.2% [A+]

Hearing and Hearing Disorders, Fall 2013:  97.5% [A+]

Aural Rehab, Fall 2013: [A+]

Audiometry, Spring 2014:  97.4% [A+]

Clinical Methods, Spring 2014:  101.4% [A+]

Phonetics, Fall 2014:  95.1% [A+] (before curve was applied)

Neuroanatomy, Fall 2014:  96.9% [A+]

In order from best to worst (excluding classes that didn’t utilize technology, because I don’t know my %):

clinical methods (lots of points opportunities)–>Speech and Hearing Sciences (how did this even occur?!)–>Anatomy (also surprising)–>Hearing and Hearing Disorders (eff you, B.P.)–>Language Development–>Audiometry–>Neuroanatomy–>Language Impairment–>phonetics (transcription is NOT my friend).

That’s not for you, and not bragging–just a little something to uplift MYSELF and remind me that I’m not just treading water, and wasting my time.  I’m accomplishing something–however slow.

Letter to Myself

2 Nov

Dear Laurel,

Firstly, you are doing awesome this semester!  109% on an Anatomy exam?!  And not an easy one that the whole class aced either.  And not with a thousand bonus points from other projects either.  You studied, learned the material by going the extra mile and drawing everything, then studying it at every opportunity.  Good job.  Mean Prof was even impressed, “You rocked this!”  she said.  You know what you need to do to get the grades.  Just remember what’s important, that the sacrifice will be worth it in the long term, and you’ve not only got a dream, but a tangible goal.  Buckle down and keep at the hard work.

Laurel, don’t let haters get you down.  You don’t need to hear no, no, no from the school.  And whine, whine, whine from co-workers.  Don’t let all that bad stuff make you feel hopeless, and unworthy, and stuck in your mundane life.  Tune out the noise and continue on your path.  You have never paid much heed to the nay-sayers, so don’t let them get you down now.  You can and you will find a way.

One day Laurel, you will be living all your dreams:  Working at a real career that utilizes your mind and dedication, with good pay, and decent hours.  You will make a difference in many lives one day.  I know it is in you to excel–you just need to work for the chance.  Nobody has ever given you a free pass/free ride/hand-out, and you wouldn’t want it that way anyway.  Prove yourself.  One day, there will be no worries of money, and sitting in the cold apartment with no parking or washer/dryer, so you have enough to pay the bills.  Laurel, you deserve a better life.  You have always known this.

And you will make it.  No matter what.  This is just the warm up lap.  You have a lot of life left after 30 years of age.  And you will make the most of it, by ignoring the negative voices, and doing what you do best–dedicating yourself to the task.  Put your heart in it, and achieve great things!  Colorado, loft, happiness–here you come!

The Survival Plan

25 May

Looking at the bigger picture, I AM thankful for a promised maximum 30 work hours a week in the fall.  [I ought to get that in writing given the sketchiness at my work.]  This schedule will alleviate some a bunch of stress of school and hopefully garner A’s in both classes, which is THE most important thing.  That’s what I ought to think of every time I’m overwhelmed and frustrated by work this summer:  GPA.

That said, I have made it too easy to take advantage of my work ethic, quickness, and ability to pull through adverse situations.  It was unethical of my co-worker to game me as she did, and it hurts most because I didn’t see it coming from her.  I (stupidly) trusted that she was a good person with good intentions.  Now I know better.  And looking back, I should have known this WOULD happen.

I am dreading working Thursday, Friday, and some Saturdays in a row with Dr. makes me effing crazy.  Scheduling can still be a problem.  I don’t formally complain if the schedule is over-booked either.  I just suck it up and try to work harder, faster, get there earlier, anticipate what will be needed and try to prepare ahead as much as possible.  It stresses me to the max.  What I have to remember:  Being just one person, there is only so much I can do.  Given that I have to work with a slow, messy, doctor with high expectations and low communication all summer, I need to have a game plan to get through.  This WILL not ruin my favorite season, and break from school!  And I will not let it break me.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  When things are (inevitably) crazy or ridiculous, I will say something–to my boss.  Maybe even in writing to make it even more serious and formal.  Instead of just trying to grit my teeth and make it through the day, then bitching about it to Cool, my parents, and on my blog.  I am going to bring up every incident that makes me crazy-stressed to my boss, who is able to make changes and fix things.

If there are no tangible results or changes made after making a sincere attempt to bring problems to light, I will truly HAVE to search for another job–to save my sanity.  This is no longer exasperated empty threats.  I promise to keep my word to myself and work elsewhere, because I deserve to not stress to the breaking-point.  But I think as long as I am not just complaining, but bringing legit concerns to light, they will try to accommodate me.  I am a dependable worker, and good employee.  It is usually not in my nature to verbally complain (except, obviously on here) and internalizing this stuff AT work is hurting me.

So here is to making it through 10 weeks with the difficult doctor.  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. . .

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Anatomy Essay-Possible Topics

21 May

Can you tell I’m stressed about Anatomy + another class + full-time work?  I just KNOW work will do its best to eff me over in the fall, and I’m really scared about the GPA or financial consequences I will face on account of that.  So in the interest of getting ahead. . .

We have to write a 4-5 page paper about a syndrome or pathology that impacts speech and/or swallowing:

My etiology options:


down syndrome

CHARGE syndrome

velopharyngeal insufficiency

dystonia (oromandibular or cranial)

Wilson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease



GERD–>esphogeal stricture

eosinophillic esphogitis



cleft palate

post-polio syndrome



cervical osteophytes


mysthenia gravis

myotonic dystrophy

Sjogren’s syndrome

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Motivated by Guilt

22 Feb

It just KILLS me when there is not a single appointment scheduled in the afternoon, two other people working, and I am already gone for class from 1-3 PM. Why bother going back until 5:30 PM? And when I ask to just leave for the day to study for my exam my boss says, “Is this the SAME exam? How much do you need to study for ONE test?”

It is the perfect example of why my undergrad GPA is lower then I like–and subsequently I am in this position of starting over instead of at the finish line of some career.  It made me resentful and motivated to find another (part-time) job.  One that is low key that would allow me to focus on what’s really important–my studies.

But did this stop me from feeling bad?  It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to go back to work.  Only to wack my pud ie scrub walls and the like until closing.  And if I AM so imperative to the operation, one–that is sad for my co-workers and two–I should demand a raise.

I might have to make moves to change my scene–real soon.  Before the past repeats itself.  Wish me luck on my exam.  I’m going for that elusive perfect score!

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