Thursday, 30 April 2015

Well crap.

My biochemistry mark came back today. 


I am only waiting on one more mark - imaging - but I reasonably expect it to be in the 90s. My GPA for this year will be 3.74. 

I am... beside myself. I was not expecting biochem to be that low. I was thinking a 79 was a possibility, but not mid seventies. I just was not expecting it to be that low. 

It's amazing how much damage to one's GPA just a couple of Bs can do. 

Out of thirty completed courses, I will have achieved less than 4.0 in six of them. *Six* courses below 90 in three years and my cGPA will only be 3.9. 

Because of how much damage this year has done. 

I am asking my prof about biochem because I honestly do not know for sure how my final mark was arrived at - he was really unclear - and so there may have been errors. I really want to know what I got on the exam and I intend to ask to see it as well. If there are any marks I earned that weren't awarded, I intend to ask. I'm not the sort of student that does that, but if I earned a 77 instead of a 75, that will mean it converts to a 3.3 instead of a 3.0 for that class. 

My average this year is going to be in the range of 86.5-87%. Funny how much more drastic GPA makes any inconsistency in marks. 

My average last year was 90.1% and I had a GPA of 3.95. I will have an average only 3-4% different this year, but will have a 3.74 GPA for this year because of two Bs. 

Do everything you can to avoid earning 70s. 

Monday, 27 April 2015


This may have come across over the last three years, but if you haven't picked up on it yet, let me be blunt: I am a huge nerd. 

I play video games and read fantasy and comic books and graphic novels. I'm a huge movie buff, particularly sci-fi and fantasy movies, but I'll watch anything. And I love math and physics and technology and I'm a bit of an awkward sort in a general sense. My husband and I, early in our dating days, bonded over a shared love of Akira, Gundam Wing, and anything to do with Hayao Miyazaki. 

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of watching Star Trek TNG as it aired and I have seen every episode of every Star Trek show multiple times. Love Star Wars too. 

Like I said, I am a complete and utter nerd in many, many ways. 

Naturally, my kids are getting exposed to it all too. My daughter is in love with Inuyasha and my son really likes Squid Girl. My daughter is obsessed with superheroes and my son is an aspiring engineer. All four of us enjoy video games and play many together. 

It makes me very proud as a parent that my kids enjoy what I enjoy. They have other interests too, which I'm glad of, but I love that there are things we can all enjoy together. My daughter likes princess-y stuff too, but she tends to be a self-rescuing princess in her pretend play. When the new Star Wars trailer came out, she was practically vibrating with excitement. 

So this Friday, for the first time ever, we are going to the movies as a family, to see the new Avengers movie. We all love the Marvel Cinematic Universe films - me most of all, admittedly, but my husband and I have had plenty of arguments about continuity - and I'm so excited to take the kids to see one in theatres. We'll be seeing The Force Awakens in December as our next family foray to the flicks. 

This is a fantastic age for the kids - they are really old enough to enjoy and remember these things. Should be super fun to seethe movie all together on Friday. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015


Just under 16 days until decisions start going out for Ontario schools. 

I am vacillating between utter certainty I didn't get in and marginal hope that I did. Almost nothing went right for us this year, so while I would love good news, I'm sort of done hoping for it. Hoping just leads to heartbreak. 

Since I decided against taking the day off because I am taking three other leaves in May - all for stuff for my daughter - and a full day in June, I will be at work when I find out. Plan is to immediately call my husband and then either go out for lunch to celebrate or go out for supper (rejections tend to come in the afternoon for Mac) if the news is bad. Celebrate the end of the year and the start of another application cycle. My last application cycle. 

If I don't get in this year, I will be taking first year calculus this summer. I can do the material already, but to pursue the physics degree too, I need the credits. This will mean my first year calc course will retroactively not count for credit towards my degree. I don't know how the med schools will look at that. 

The plan is that I'll do calc I/II this summer, then intermediate calc I/I next year along with mechanics, waves and oscillations, intro comp sci, intro medical physics, the four biology courses I need to fulfil my degree requirements, and the one English I need to complete my gen ed requirements. I've registered to do an English late this summer as well, so that I have the 6ch English that MUN requires. 

So yes, if you counted, I'll be taking eleven courses next year. English 101 is a bit of a joke, so I don't really count it. Intermediate calculus is very challenging, but I'm not as worried about maintaining my very high GPA next year. Medical physics programs are competitive, but entering averages are more on the high seventies end of things. I'm more than competitive academically, I just need the degree. 

If I do an honours physics degree, I could apply to the distance education medical physics program with University College London. It's designed to be done over 2-3 years, mostly online but with some lab work done at a local institution under the supervision of another medical physicist (conveniently, I have access to one!) Thing is, because the honours physics program requires so many more courses than the physics major, it will take me an extra two years, so fully six years of undergrad, then 2-3 of a masters. But I could work while doing the masters. 

So who knows. 

If I get into Mac this year, my planning is all for nothing anyway, so who knows. 

Just under 16 days. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Motivation Dwindling

I have grand plans for what to do this summer break.

So far, I've watched a lot of Netflix and painted my nails with cute or interesting designs several times. Currently, they have cherry blossoms. 

One thing I really want to do this summer is work on a research proposal. I've never written a formal one before, and this isn't for school, exactly, but it's something I really want to do and since this will be (maybe) my last year with access to a physics lab, I'd like to try. 

But it feels like everything is in limbo right now, and I suppose that's true. If I get good news on May 12, my plans for the summer go one way. If I get bad news, my plans are something else entirely. 

We're just sort of going on as if we'll be here in the fall. Doing the assessments and such for my daughter to start school here in September. Once the snow melts, we'll start preparing the gardens for planting, though we might still have a lot of snow come planting time so I have no idea what we'll do about that. 

As for now, I'm just going to work every day and doing my job. I'm not sure how it is people can go years and years working 9-5. I love my job, but I don't actually like these really normal hours; I would really prefer an irregular schedule. Not necessarily unpredictable shift work, but just something to break up the monotony. 

Working the same hours all week every week leaves my mind crying for stimulation by Friday. I imagine as a doctor I'll have some atypical hours for my office. Do a few evenings a week or a weekend a month or whatever. Taking an afternoon off every week. Things like that. I just want to not have the same damn schedule week after week, year after year, until I die or retire.

Right now, I'm going to go find something to do. I need something or I am going to go utterly mad between now and May 12. 

In other news, we finally found our old mailbox. It was under about ten feet of snow, taken out by a snowblower before a big storm. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


I got 97% in human physics. 

Now just waiting on three more classes. I'm really surprised I got two marks back this fast. I only wrote the exam for endo on Sunday and human physics Monday night. Both were writing-heavy exams and would have taken a while to mark. 

Perks of small classes, I suppose. 

End of Year Roundup

So I got a mark back that was higher than expected. 

While my Endo exam wasn't horrible, it was challenging and there was one section of it (worth 10% of the marks, so 5% of my overall grade) that blindsided everyone a bit. 

I ended up with an 83% in the course. Considering I got 73.5% on the midterm, which was nearly as heavily weighted as the final, I am surprised. I didn't study nearly as much as I would have liked to have. 

It still hurts the GPA a bit, but the damage is not as bad as it could have been. 

Biotech, I'm fairly sure will be at the least mid to high eighties. The final was fun. 

My two physics courses will be in the range of low nineties. I would be surprised if they are lower. 

Biochem - who the hell knows. We didn't even have a big part of our marks going into the final. The prof just didn't bother. A lot of the weighting for the marks is unclear. We have three papers and six quizzes that count for 20% of our mark but the breakdown has never been given. It's a bloody nightmare trying to figure out what my actual mark is in that class. Anywhere from high seventies (yeah, I know, horrible) to even 90 is possible with this class. It's really that unclear. 

So let's say I get 85 in biotech, 80 in biochem, and 90 and 91 in my physics courses.  I'll end the year with a respectable but decidedly unimpressive 86% average and a borderline competitive 3.80 for the year. Had I been able to pull Imm in at even a 79 instead kf the 71 I did get; I'd have a much better 3.86. 

For next cycle, if my GPA ends up as 3.8 as I expect, and should I need to reapply, my GPAs for the various schools will be as follows:

Basic cGPA: 3.92
Ottawa: 3.88
Dal: 3.88
Queen's: 3.92 (last two years only if higher than cGPA)
MUN: 90.3 (they ask for % in the app) or 3.92
Toronto: 3.99-4.0 (because my lowest 3 full course equivalents, so 6 half courses, will be dropped, and I'll only have 5-7 under 90)

As you can see, just one bad mark can seriously impact your competitiveness at various schools. I debated dropping immunology. I was seriously considering it on October 30th, the day before the last date to drop without academic penalty. I cannot possibly say how much I wish I had just dropped that course and added an English or vertebrate zoology or something. 

That one course was the single biggest mistake of my academic career so far. 

But, I suppose, being able to say that about only one course means I am probably in a better position than most. 

Monday, 20 April 2015


Since Saturday morning, I have written four exams. I write my fifth in just under 2 hours. I'm not so much burnt out right now as I am just feeling exceptionally tired. I was not able to study as efficiently as I wanted last week, so I don't think I did as well on my exams as I could have, but I don't think I did as poorly as I feared I might. 

I think my GPA will be around 3.8-3.82 for this year, though as low is 3.75 is possible. The highest possible is 3.87, because of the bloodbath that was Imm last semester. Not horrible by any stretch, but low enough I'm probably out of the running for Ottawa for next year unless I apply to the French stream. My GPA for this year has to be at least 3.77 for my wGPA for Ottawa to be 3.87 - the minimum for OOP. It's not worth applying there without at least 3.9, for which I'll need a 3.83 for this year, though, so I probably won't waste the application fee next year. 

To be honest, this year sucked. Great courses, wonderful profs, but almost everything else deteriorated fast. My husband and I are closer than ever after the last horrible months, but that's pretty much the only good thing. Depression is hell on the grades. Working as much as I have is also not helpful. I will definitely work less, if I work at all, next year. 

While I realize it is entirely the gambler's fallacy at work, I can't help but think that after the horrible string of luck I've had this year, there's no way I'm going to get into Mac. I have given up hoping that anything good will come out of this school year.

And yes, I realize this entire post sounds like the rantings of a mopey teenager. I don't drink, smoke, party, do drugs, or stress eat. This is pretty much my only outlet for discharging frustrated energy like this. This or knitting furiously, and that just leads to a whole lot of swearing. 

Although we did not eat particularly healthfully at our study session yesterday. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Three Tuesdays to Go

I'll know what I'm doing next year three weeks from Tuesday. 

Right now? Don't care. 

I'm studying. 

Yes, I wrote on a window. We don't have a whiteboard in the bio lounge and the ones in the physics lounge are covered in work that I don't want to erase. This tutorial room is right beside the bio lounge so I borrowed it. 

Don't worry, it wipes right off. 

Biochem exam is in 2.5 hours. Then I have endo two hours after that. That takes care of my hardest exams. Tomorrow will suck because I'm working in the morning then I have an exam at 2 and another at 7pm. Then I'm working extra all week to make up the time I missed this week. 

But Tuesday evening, I'm going over to my friend's house to celebrate the end of third year. 

I am either finished with undergrad and moving on to medicine in the fall, or I will be done my biology degree next year. If I don't get in after next year, I'll be back for a fifth year to finish my physics degree and move on to medical physics. 

But still. If I don't get in this year, I will at least have the consolation that I will get to graduate from something next year. I will finally receive a bachelor of science. I'll have a degree to my name, my kids will get to see me cross the stage. Next year will end in achievement, no matter whether or not I get into medicine. There's no such guarantee this year. 

34.5 hours until third year is done.

23 days until I find out if I'll be back for fourth. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

On the Outs and Outs

Last night, around 10, my daughter woke up crying. She had thrown up all over her bed. 

I got her cleaned up while my husband tackled the room. I scrubbed my hands almost raw afterwards because the absolute last thing I need during the most intensive exam period of my life is gastroenteritis. She settled quickly and slept through the rest of the night except for when she came into my husband's and my room and cuddled up with me. 

I was really hoping, after spending around 4 hours unknowingly snuggled up to a potentially infectious four year old, that it was one of those fluke puke episodes kids go through now and then (those of you who don't have kids - yes, this is a thing. Sometimes, kids just throw up for a while and you never figure out why.) She didn't seem sick, aside from the throwing up, and she had eaten a lot of junk on Friday since she spent it at the university with me and people were giving her treats. I was really, reaaaaally hoping it was not some contagious cause. 

Then my son woke up. Let me just say I am immensely thankful for waterproof bed coverings. Again, fantastic husband handled the cleanup and I just got the hell out of the way. 

My friend is offering to let me stay with her tonight. I think I might. The kids will probably burn through it really quickly, and I just absolutely do not want to catch it. 

I feel horrible for leaving my husband to deal with output hell, but I have four exams in the next two days (just wrote biomedical imaging) so I absolutely, positively, can NOT catch this bug. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015


I met with one of my physics professors today. He's, rather conveniently, a medical physicist so I was meeting with him about the prospect of a career in medical physics. 

It was a very helpful meeting. He's guided other students, and helped in the development of one of the graduate programs in medical physics, so he had lots of information. He's also somewhat familiar with medical physics in the UK (yes, we're still considering it quite strongly) so had a few comments about that to throw in too. 

I've decided for sure that I'm only going to apply once more if I don't get in this cycle. I won't write the MCAT again. I've worked it out that I can do the physics degree in just one more year. I can't do honours physics without at least two extra years, but I could graduate in 2017 with a physics major and apply MSc programs. The programs are all two years, and none are close to here, so who knows. 

For years, it's been pretty clear that to do anything with my education I'll need at least a masters. Hard to do much with just a BSc these days. I've been really putting off developing my backup plan because I've really thrown myself completely into getting into med. But medicine is getting ever more competitive, and after getting two straight up rejections, and one post interview rejection this year, my optimism is tempered considerably. 

I have to accept that this path may not end in medicine, or that medicine may have to be a second career at some point in the future. But I can't leave my family in limbo for years and years, reapplying over and over. At this stage, I will be working as either a medical physicist or a physician in 5-7 years (2 years of which would be a residency in either case.) I think that 8-10 years of school is probably the maximum I can reasonably expect my family to put up with. 

All of this comes at a cost to them and I have to keep that in mind. 

I think the most revealing thing about my discussion with my prof today was how much I really regret not just starting in the physics program in the first place, and how happy I am at the thought of a possible future in med phys. My backup is as appealing as my Plan A, which is helpful. It's certainly making me a bit calmer about the possibility of not getting into medicine. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Birdy Days

So, in a fantastic display of poor prior planning, I decided to combine my study week with spending a bit more time with my kids.

My daughter attends a morning program 4 days a week, and then usually goes to daycare after that. I decided, since this is the first time I've taken time off work in years and realistically I probably won't take the time off this summer that I really need to take, I'd use one of our 'vacation' weeks for daycare (we only pay a small percentage to keep the spaces), save that money for part of my deposit next month, if I need it, and just bring my daughter with me to school while I study.

It's actually been rather fun. She's silly and playful and gets to run around being cute and she chats with me and my friends. There were a couple dogs in the bio lounge today - our school has a vet college, this sort of thing is fairly common - and she just had an absolute blast.

I don't really do very intensive studying during the day, just the bulk stuff - I just seem to think better when it's dark out - so it's not really a loss of productivity.

What should have occurred to me, though, is that it would be a loss of napping time. I LOVE to nap. When you have children, the opportunity to sleep undisturbed in the afternoon is like an amazing gift and after classes finish, but before I go full time at work, is the perfect time to steal a few naps.

Having my daughter with me ruins that. Not that I mind the quality time since she and I rarely have any opportunity, but man am I missing some awesome napping time.

Ah well, there's always the civic holiday in August. As a federal public servant, I get that holiday off, while my family gets a provincial holiday later in August (for a horse race. Really.)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hopefully Final Finals

My first exam is on Saturday. I only have three I need any sort of intensive studying for, and fortunately that I not one of them. It's material I know very well so I am not worrying about it. If I get into Mac, I won't have finals like this again. Ever. Interesting thought. 

My grades this semester are not going to be up to my usual par. They just aren't. I'm struggling really badly with depression and, frankly, just getting out of bed every day is an achievement at this point. If this blog is to be an honest accounting of this journey I can't dance around this issue like I have. 

I'm still, of course, meeting all of my obligations and my grades won't slip so badly that I won't be competitive anymore. I can cope well enough to prevent lasting damage, but I'm definitely not myself. Leaving things to the last minute, not putting my full energy into assignments. 

It's mostly situational worsening of underlying depression - I'm never 100% free of the symptoms, but it's managed enough that I'm generally functional. I think I'm going to increase my dose of my medication until I get through this rough patch, though. 

This exacerbation started in September and has gotten worse since. The ectopic pregnancy is probably why it's so much worse this semester, and as I approach May 15 (the due date for the pregnancy I lost in September) it gets harder. It seems like half of the women I know are either pregnant or recently had babies. It's like I'm reminded of my losses every time I turn around and it comes up in unexpected ways. I more or less had to put a pause on my dealing with it because of the semester starting just days after, but you can only bottle that up for so long before things go to crap.

I may need to just take a break from social media and friends and just hole up for a while after exams are done. It'll be nice to get back to work next week and just lose myself in my job, too. That's what I very much need right now. A distraction. 

I'm feeling very sorry for myself, and overall rather black-cloud-ish. Part pathology, part situational. Looking ahead and seeing another application cycle in my future, given that I don't think my chance at Mac is that great, is also definitely not helping right now. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

1 More

I'll be sitting down to write my endo exam in just under a week from now. 

One month from today, I'll finally know if I get in or not! Woo! I'm down to the days count. 

At least there's my final two presentations and then exams to occupy me until then. I'm off work this week so I have more time than I would otherwise. Endo classes are done for the semester, so I don't have class until 9:30 tomorrow, so at least I get to go swimming!

Final presentation is on Tuesday in human physics, then I'm into heavy studying. First exam is 9am Saturday (imaging), then I have biochem and endo next Sunday, then biotech and human physics on the 20th. 

I'm going in to work on the 20th in the morning, even though I have two exams that day, at 2pm and 7pm. It's going to be a very long day, but I don't want to miss even more work. I've never taken a whole week off from my job. Even when I intended to in second year, I went in some days that week.

Considering I've been there nearly two years, I think it's high time to take a week off. I'm seriously considering taking the entire month of August off if I don't get into med. We are probably pulling the kids out of daycare as of the end of the summer, so it would be nice to take an extended leave of absence to do some intensive enrichment work before my daughter starts kindergarten and my son enters grade 3.

But, yet again, that's something that I can't decide until I know where we're going to be next year. 

One month left!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

What's in my name?

I SHOULD be working on my biotech paper. Am I? Nope. I was until about five minutes ago, though, so I'm taking a break/procrastinationary moment. 

Lately I'm really going back and forth about whether to finally change my name. 

My legal name is not Kay. No one uses my legal name, least of all me, unless I am at the doctor or, say, a med school interview. I introduce myself as Kay. Everyone (except my family but I don't really talk to them anymore) calls me Kay. It's how I sign my name. 

The fact that it is not my legal name or the usual derivative of my legal name ("Kay" as far as I am concerned is a diminutive of any name that starts with K, so I feel I have every right to use it) causes a surprising number of headaches. 

I've only held onto my birth name more over the fact that I'm sentimental than anything. I cringe when people call me "Kim" and I actually don't immediately realize that someone is speaking to me if they use that name. But it's still the name I was given at birth. I suppose I keep it for the same reason I have my baptismal gown; it's not something I ever really intend to use, but it's got a certain nostalgic quality to it. 

It ultimately comes down to what I want my degrees to say, which is why I am really considering changing it now, despite the headaches it will cause. It's only about $200, plus the fee to get a copy of my long form birth certificate. I've gone back and forth on this for years and typically just pushed it off because it's a lot to spend on myself, but if I'm going to have degrees - which will hang on the wall of my office someday - I would kind of like them to be in the right name. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Spring Springing

This is what my province does to respond to the fact that we have potholes that can swallow small children. 

The Island's favourite springtime game is "how deep is that puddle?" They don't actually fix the potholes, they just wait until winter rolls back around and the snow fills them in again. I haven't been able to drive my car around for weeks; we've been going everywhere in the SUV. 

Anyway, we're launching into spring cleaning. Yes, I'm into exam season but I start getting antsy around this time of year, wanting to clear things out after being cooped up. Even if we don't move this summer, we really do need to do some downsizing, so we're unloading some stuff that we don't need anymore. Made a bit of money, which is nice too, and the basement is starting to have a bit more space

The goal is, essentially, to take as little with us as possible. We live in a four bedroom home and we've settled into the space over the last few years. We've expanded to fit our environment which means that we have a lot of crap that we really don't need. 

Even if I don't get in and we don't actually move this summer, it will be good to get this massive de-cluttering done. I'll have to leave the heaviest parts of it for after exams, though. It'll be a good project to distract me during the three weeks between when exams end and when I hear from Mac. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015


My only class for this morning was cancelled, so I went swimming. Still convinced it's the best way to start the day.

Of course, as soon as I got out of the pool, there was a message for me to come pick up my son because he threw up at school. Le sigh. So I had to call off work and stay home with my wonderful, darling little puke machine. I used liberal amounts of hand sanitizer today. Also gloves, which I keep around for days like this. I cannot adequately capture in words how much I hate cleaning up vomit. 

But it's somewhat telling of my choices in life that I can do so and then immediately return to my lunch. It'll be interesting to see what things in medicine can make me feel ill. I'm sure I'll encounter something eventually.

At the moment, I'm taking a short break, having just completed my final touchups of my biomedical imaging poster and paper - must say, it looks fantastic. Very professional, and suitable for a 4th year paper. I'm going to spend the remaining hour of my scheduled time tonight working on my biotech paper - we're giving a 20 minute presentation on that on Monday - and tomorrow evening I'll be doing the human physics paper. That one has a very short presentation (5min) so I'm allowing myself to put it off a bit.

Tuesday is the last day of classes for this semester. My first exam, imaging, is in 9 days. I have biochem and endo (my two hardest) on the 19th, and biotech and human physics on the 20th.

I'm taking next week of work - yes, really, I'm actually taking time off - so that I can study. Considering how condensed my exam schedule is, I won't have any time to do more than very basic essential review in between exams.

After this next week, I am going to be a walking zombie for a few days. Ugh.

Monday, 6 April 2015

I neglected to post...

The McMaster Interview Video

I thought it was fantastic. The lead singer is obviously quite talented. A good friend of the friend I stayed with in Etobicoke is in it as a background dancer. Small world.

Over the past three years, I've enjoyed watching these interview videos and looking ahead to when I was the target audience. That I was fortunate enough to experience that twice this year was fantastic.

That said, I'd rather not have to do that again so I am REALLY hoping McMaster accepts me. The concerns I did have about the school were pretty much all addressed during the interview and associated events, and I think I'd be very happy there. Being done a year sooner is a huge draw, so I think Mac has a lot more potential than I initially afforded it.

The one downside I see is that you don't really get any significant amount of time off. No summers. You get a week here, a week there, but otherwise it's headlong into the books for three years. It would limit the amount of time I'd be able to travel home, but it'd be worth it, in the end.

Pointless to consider for another month, but I can't help it. For the next 36 days, I get to dream. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015


I grew up surrounded by music. My father is, at best, tone deaf, but my mother was a prodigious musical talent. She passed on her love of classical music to me. My childhood had a soundtrack, and it was beautiful.

While the RSD stole away her ability to play as she once did, it was the final break from my family of origin which occurred in the last few months that cut the last notes of her flute from my life.

So, as tends to happen when one is brooding, I've surrounded myself with pensive, evocative music. Liszt, Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Vivaldi, Holst. My house sounds like a cathedral half the time. At the moment, I'm listening to Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor.

It's made me aware of some ways I have neglected my childrens' classical educations. I had access to books and works on classical literature, theatre, art, language, and music, growing up. I learned to read and play music. Developed some understanding of Latin and Greek. History and politics, aside from what I learned at school.

My children have primarily only been exposed to contemporary subject matter, aside from the somewhat considerable amount of classical music to which they've been exposed, and I need to make up for what they've lacked.

Having more time to work together on their enrichment at home is certainly making leaving my job after this summer an appealing prospect. I will never be a stay at home mom again (I have no desire to be) but I would value having more than 2 hours with them in the evenings before bed time.

I want to make sure my kids also grow up surrounded by music and the beauty of language and science, and the richness that comes with an appreciation for the foundations of the modern day.

Lots to think about. 

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Numbers time:
- 6 days of class left
- 14 days until my first exam
- 16 days until my last two exams
- 18 days until I go full time for the summer
- 38 days until I hear from McMaster.

I'm pretty busy for the next two and a half weeks, with final assignments and studying for exams, but then I have a twenty day downtime between the last exciting bit of the school year and either the first exciting thing of next year (an acceptance) or the crushing realization that I have to do this insane process all over again.

On the plus side, I've started my course planning for next year and my schedule is going to be pretty amazing. I'm hung up on one particular decision, though, and it also comes down to numbers.

I'm not entirely certain whether I'll keep working after this summer. I currently earn only about $200/mth more than I pay in daycare and parking for work during the school year, and I work 19 hours a week which takes quite a bit of time away from school.

All that is to say that, realistically, I could stop working after this summer with absolutely no change in our financial situation because my daughter will be in school as of September. If I am home by 3:30, which I will be able to do 4 days a week, we won't have to worry about child care.

I love my job, but it has undeniably affected my grades and my stress level. My boss is amazing and has been a mentor to me and I hate the thought of leaving, but I only have so much time in the week and something has to give because the last two years have been insane.

Decisions will have to wait until May 12, at least. For the next five weeks and three days, I don't know what I'm doing next academic year. At least it's not five months this time around. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

What on earth...?

Someone shared my blog on Facebook because all of a sudden I am getting a whole bunch of people clicking through from there and I have no idea why. 

If I've suddenly managed to hit the social media sphere, allow me to borrow the moment for some PSAs:

- Please vaccinate your children. 
- Make sure your vaccines are up to date too! Adults need a pertussis booster at least once and pregnant women in areas where there are or recently have been pertussis cases should discuss receiving a pertussis shot in their third trimester to confer some protection on their newborns. 

Seemed like a good time to use my oddly increased readership for a good purpose. 

Anyway, changing gears...

I have three big assignments to finish right now. My big poster and presentation for biomedical imaging, scientific paper presentation for medical biotechnology, and the physics of the human body assignment for human physics. 

I'm a year from finishing my biology degree if I don't get into medical school this year, so it's really crunch time to figure out what to do afterwards if I'm unsuccessful gaining admission to medicine. 

I really want a physics degree. Have for a long time, and I've decided in medical physics as my backup plan for sure. It'll take me another two years after my biology degree to complete the requirements for physics, and then a masters, at least. 

My project for this summer, if I don't get into Mac, is to brush up my calculus so that I can try to get permission to enter the second year intermediate calculus courses. I'll need to speak with the maths chair but I can probably get permission if I demonstrate competency. Math and physics courses are consistently my highest marks, so I want to fill my elective space with them next year. 

Not getting into MUN, even though I did expect it, really drove home that I need to be thinking about what to do if I don't get in, and how long I'll keep applying. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, and figure I can probably only do one more application cycle if I don't get in this year. It costs us a lot of money that we can barely afford and it is very hard to keep up the pace necessary for all of this. Being a premed puts so much pressure on everyone in my family that I can't keep doing it endlessly. 

Wrapping Up Three

To my immense amusement, my husband has become hooked on Downton Abbey (my fault.) He's really attached himself to the idea of moving to the UK and has somewhat submerged himself in British television, reads about life there, and just seems generally to have become a bit of an Anglophile. I am finding it completely adorable, and hopefully he isn't horrifically embarrassed by my posting that (he does read this.)

We're watching the fourth series on Netflix right now, to occupy our evenings until Game of Thrones comes back. We don't actually watch much TV, never really have, and we don't have cable, but we're certainly not opposed to *good* television. 

All that is to say that I am not studying tonight, even though exams are only two and a half weeks away and I haven't even begun studying for them yet. 

This semester has been pretty much a wash, really. Because of the huge number of snow days - we missed 12 whole days, 5 part days or delays - a lot of material from courses had to be cut. Even the extra four days doesn't really make up for it. 

I have a four day weekend coming up, and plan to finish my final three projects. Well, 80% of them should be done by the end of the weekend. Then I just need to do the final wrap up next week, do my presentations, and then that's it for third year, aside from exams. I'm taking the week after next off from work, to study, but then I go full time so it evens out fairly nicely. 

This weekend couldn't come at a better time. I need a few days to shift into exam mentality, and so a dedicated four days of school work is just what I need. 

This month will be over before I know it. It's already April 1st and my exams finish on the 20th. It'll only be three weeks after that until I hear from Mac. That will pass in a flurry of activity, as everything else this year has.