This is my next step. On the grind to zen scale, I was veered towards the grind last semester. Here are some concrete things I need to do:
1) figure out a new study plan for the next biology exam – what I did for my human evolution class obviously doesn’t work for this class
2) move closer to campus to cut down on commuting time – I often spend the ride home with a huge headache and half asleep, unable to get anything useful accomplished.. also it’s pretty much impossible to study on buses.. in summary, right now my schedule is 6am-7(8) pm most days and if I move on campus it will be 8am-5:30pm. That’s the difference b/w a 13-14 hour day and a 9.5 hour day (this is including my work and research obligations). This isn’t the industrial revolution, no body should have 14 hour days anymore (sorry lawyers/doctors).
3) Incorporate focused music ‘therapy’ sessions after I get home. I got this idea from my complimentary medicine seminar. I can’t relax when I get home and this technique lowers my stress a few points in only 15 minutes!
I’ve achieved a lot this semester, but I don’t feel like I completed this goal. I’ve gotten straight As before in my community college too, but I still haven’t achieved the right balance between rest, work, and fun.
The most important thing I’m missing is REST. For some strange reason, I keep getting into obligations and I never feel like I put time away just to do something for fun and not for a project. I wish I had time to do something like take a walk after dinner and listen to a book on CD. Or, bike to the picnic tables in the prairie and have lunch there. Or, do random art journaling or collages. Or, go to the library or coffee and shop and just read, instead of always working.
Another thing I’m a little worried about is my ‘impressiveness’. I know it’s my first semester at a university and I haven’t had many resources available to me before, but right now, I’m not very distinguishable from my classmates. It’s not that I want to be ‘batter’ than everyone, it’s just that I was under the impression that I was doing something ‘different’, and I’ve come to realize that I am just like everybody else. I need to figure out how to best use the talents I have to become more distinguished, rather than ‘the girl who always shows up at department gatherings and has nothing interesting to say about herself.’
How about that? I never stressed out about the grade, never pulled all nighters and most importantly sat in peace as classmates around me clamored to study right before the final exam. That is ZEN right there!
I realized that visiting this site frequently is time-draining and very unzen. It’s kind of like when I realized my internship search was a time drain. Sure, it’s important and it’s part of my goals, but I was forgetting everything else that I needed to get done and spent all my time wandering about the internet looking for anything internship-related to search. So new rule: 43things is reserved for Sundays. Sunday is the delegated day for the Sunday Ritual anyway, so it would only make sense to re-examine my goals on this day.
On the other hand, most of my internship search activities have been delegated to Saturday mornings as part of a Saturday Morning Project (basically trying to get into my field somehow). I do schedule time to complete internship applications outside of Saturdays, but only after my other scheduled activities, and it’s the SEARCH that was most draining. I can search for jobs and internships forever..
Unfortunately the prof I emailed did not reply to my email. I guess it would be difficult to switch around my schedule to put in the class anyway (my calc 3 class discussion overlaps with it and there is only one section for that good prof). I signed up for global health instead and I’m fine with it. I do crave upper-level coursework, but I’m not going to fight when there is obviously nothing I can do about the system here (the course hasn’t been offered for 3 yrs and there are only 20 spots??). The global health class will probably also expose me to readings and work in the field and also I will get to know at least one faculty member in the public health department that way. Overall, it is in accordance to the zen val philosophy.
But there is only one problem.. the class I really really want is full! I decided on the 1st 3 courses I listed previously, plus Culture & Medicine. The last one is full. I’ve emailed the prof, but after talking to some TAs, I found out that this would be the perfect class for me. I was advised against Qualitative Techniques until I took a couple medical anthro or public health classes to make it more useful. Additionally, I plan to make it honors by doing some independent-study-type work on the side (suggested by the TAs). I’m thinking of reading a handful of medical ethnographies to get better acquainted with the field. But what about the fact that it’s full??? Argh.
My final exam studying schedule is in full swing, yet I find myself reading a lot, sitting around thinking, and even (gasp!) watching a bit of TV. This is the ultimate indication of being a zen-valedictorian. Go me. Now, to make sure it doesn’t spiral down to laziness…
I’ve been very busy trying to regain zen-momentum in my calculus 2 class. But after a hard day’s work, I will reward myself by writing about what I’m thinking about for my new schedule and then doing an hour of reading. I’ve already technically registered for classes, but I’m still mauling over these classes:
1) Calculus 3 (registered and not likely to change)
2) Writing in the Major (registered and not likely to change)
3) Bio 100 (registered and not likely to change)
4) Qualitative Data Collection (registered and on the chopping block)
5) Honors Seminar about Alternative Med (registered and on the chopping block)
6) Female Biology (registered and on the chopping block)
7) Culture & Medicine (not registered b/c class full)
8) Global Health (not registered)
I’ve been composing resumes recently and I’m always stumped as to what to put in the “Relevant Courses” section. The truth is that I’m a rising Junior and I don’t have upper level courses, except for one in neuroscience, which has nothing to do with my aspirations in public health.
Right now I’m registered for 18 credits.. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to take for my 4th class, so I kind of just took everything. I know for sure that I’m taking the math b/c I’m a math minor, the writing class b/c I really want it out of the way, and the bio class for the same reason. As for the 4th class I’m not sure. I wanted to take female bio because it would finish off the physical anthro requirement for my major, but I just took a physical anthro class this semester and I’m not sure if I will burn myself out by taking 2 more sciencey classes next semester. I’m not sure about the qualitative data because I don’t know who the instructor will be yet (it’s a graduate level course so I would want a fair prof). Culture & med would’ve been perfect except that the class is full and I don’t think that anybody will drop it (every body in it is a senior in the honors college and probably an anthro major just like me). Global health I’m not sure about because registration for that dept isn’t open yet, so it may get filled up.. plus it’s a 100-level course, so it’s not like I can boast about it on my resume. By the time I graduate, I will be able to list upper-level statistics, public health, and hopefully medical anthro courses. But right now, I have nothing..
I got a 97% on my calc 2 midterm. 97!! I NEVER got grades like that in math before. The average was around the C-range and I was completely comfortable with the test. In fact, I thought I understudied, but I worried too much. Next time, I will study a max of 4 hours, spread out over a week. I’m doing all of the right things.
I tied with another student in setting the curve for my human evo class. It was the best feeling ever. I might need some work making my studying more of a “accomplished zen” than an “accomplished grind” flavor, but I didn’t have any all nighters.. I wasn’t incredibly worried that I didn’t study enough.. and I knew what I was doing on the exam. I hope it’s the same story with my calc 2 exam :).