Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dear School: I Hate Your Stinking Guts

Three weeks. It's not a very long span. Especially when Christmas and New Years take up much of that time. But it seemed like a blissful eternity to have 3 whole weeks off after Fall semester and before starting Spring semester. Three glorious, Netflix-filled, family-snuggling, dinner-making, carefree weeks.

And then...just like that, it was over. And hell on Earth began in earnest once more. 

Each semester seems to be just a little bit worse than the one before it. 
And this one came with a full-on vengeance. 

I started classes just last Monday. And I think I've cried, if not real tears than at the very least, near-tears (not to be confused with near-beer, although shockingly, even more unsavory) probably about 4 times. And dropped a class. (Don't worry, I replaced it with something only slightly less horrible.)

I know what you're dying to ask. Why? Why, Cyndie? What makes this hellish semester any different than all the other hellish semesters before it? Well, I'll tell you:

The Workload
I'm not a fan of textbooks. Or hugely long supplemental pdf files. As much as I like to read. Textbooks? Well, they're not even on my list. I would rather read the German assembly instructions that come with pressed wood bookshelves. Really and truly. Wirklich und wahrhaftig.

I have been able to get away with skimming, or skipping altogether the textbook reading thus far in my schooling and picked up the info through lectures or slides. Preferably both. But this semester? Not a single lecture. Not a single slide. And every grade based on quiz and test scores. Which are based on obscure facts found in ridiculous, superfluous amounts of readings. In every. Single. Class.

It turns out that, generally speaking, the highest-paid, greatest-credentialed, most-experienced, tenured professors spend infinitely less time and energy teaching their classes than the lowly adjunct staff and assistant professors. 
Ah yes, the American dream. 

Maybe they just went to school for too long and they're sick to death of it. That, I can understand.

The Ex is Back
Remeber that time I broke up with statistics? That was a happy, happy day. I thought I was done with him. At least in my school life. I thought we were finished. I thought he'd leave me alone and go find some other innocent girl to torment.

Nope. Like a stalking, abusive ex-boyfriend or Poltergeist II, he's baaaack.

There is a required class I signed up for this semester called Principles & Applications of Psychological Testing. Which I, foolishly, thought would involve...I don't know...basic principles and real-life applications of psychological testing. Like methodology and ethics and crap. I could not have been more wrong. (I could try. But I would not be successful.)

All statistical formulas. Mostly ones I don't even remember learning.
And did I mention there are no lectures? Only 20 different 30+ problem, 8-page "optional exercises" you can do to prepare for the 5 exams. Oh, and a textbook. The only thing less helpful than a statistics text is a two-year old folding laundry. 

Don't worry, I got to problem #3 on Optional Exercise 1 before I had no idea how to do anything else. And had a complete breakdown.

Then I dropped the class. I will deal with it this summer when I am only taking 3 credits instead of 15.

Worn Down
I'm so close. (In the scheme of things.) The end is (semi) near. I can be done by December. Of THIS year. That's amazing. The end is in sight. And it should be invigorating. 

It is not.

I am tired. I am depleted. I am weary. I miss my life. I don't want to do it anymore. 

Not to mention the loans. And the GRE. And the decisions about graduate school. Utah? Arizona? California? Nevada? North Carolina?
Evening cohort program? Online? Assistantship?? 
Where's Zoltar when you need him? 

To top it off, I just discovered yesterday that when I am finished with the required classes I have left, I will be one credit shy of the necessary credits for a degree. I will have 119 instead of 120. 

One. Freaking. Credit. And there are no one-credit classes for online students. Of course there aren't. 

It would actually be sad if it weren't so funny. Or funny if it weren't so sad. I can't remember which.

So if I am noticeably absent from the blogosphere in the coming months, know that it is because this semester is trying to kill me. 

I am quite sure I saw it positioned around the canyon corner on the desert path where I like to run, sneakily holding on to a rope pulley system, poised to drop an anvil on my head when I zip by.

And just the other day it tried to disguise its mouth to look like a swanky restaurant so that I would walk in unsuspecting and it could eat me alive.

Mean semester. 


  1. Yikes. Sounds like old age which generally gets harder to deal with each new year. The worse part is that more decisions follow more decisions. Deep breaths dont make it all go away, but they help you through the day.

  2. Ugh, ugh, ugh. This makes me want to cry right along with you, if that helps. But i know it doesn't. Which is the crappy part. We can all cheer you on and be there to listen and pray our little hearts out for you. But in the end, you are the one that has to do all the work. And that is a horrible, overwhelming feeling. I know you can do it, I really do. I just wish you didn't have to!