What happened

January 7, 2011

Every now and then on Nevis, things just go wrong, and that’s what happened–many things went wrong all at the same time on yesterday.  Thank you guys for your concern and your words of encouragement.  I took the evening off,  talked to my folks, had a good cry, went to bed early and felt better.

1. Each semester, we get to move to a different classroom here at MUA.  Premed 1 and 2 are held in other buildings on campus, but all other classes, Med1-Med 5 are held in the giant New Building.  Med 1 was in the top back of the building facing the sea–we had 10 vast, extremely wide rows, lots of windows, and 2 lovely balconies to go take our breaks on.  Med 2 is next door to our left, so now we occupy half of the wall that faces South.  We lost our side windows aside from one that opens onto our one balcony, but the door to the balcony is locked.  The other side, where there should be a wall is actually a false partition.  Because the building is longer on the South side, the side is split into the Med 2 and the Med 3 classrooms.  So we share a wall with Med 3 and are separated by nothing but a thin wall of paneling, so we can hear most of what’s going on in their class and it’s hard to concentrate.  But–long story short, the new classroom isn’t as big as our old one.  It doesn’t have as many rows, nor are the rows as wide, plus since the left side is so loud, no one wants to sit in the last few seats on that side, so there’s quite a bit of dead space in the room.  So rather than approximate where they sat in Med 1, some people in our class have decided to just start sitting new places–unfortunately this includes my seat.  I know it sounds petty to fuss over seats when we are adults and don’t have assigned seating, but I found a sweet spot where I loved sitting–you get good eye-contact with the profs, can easily see the projector and the board, and I liked the people I sat around.  First day I came in, someone was in my seat.  I thought ok, they’re just confused because it’s a new room, fine I’ll sit somewhere else.  Sat somewhere else, didn’t like it, thought alright, it’s clearly important for me to get here earlier.  Next day, I got to school 35 minutes early and my seat was free.  Awesome, sat in my old seat, loved it, decided it was annoying but worth it to come in 35 minutes early to have my old seat back.  Yesterday, my bad day, I came in 40 minutes early and there were only 2 people in the classroom, but they were in my seat and in the one next to it!  WTF?!  Didn’t you pay attention last semester?  That was MY SEAT.  I was so mad.  I ended up sitting one row back, but the person who took my seat was tall, so I couldn’t really see at all yesterday.  Really annoying, and because our classes start at 9:00 now and I was 40 minutes early, I had to sit there for 30 minutes with no internet and nothing to do except sulk that I was in a mini war over my damn seat.

2.  I’m sure my teachers will probably be really cool, but right now I’m just not feeling them.  I talked the other day about physio, that we’re going really slow on easy concepts so it’s making me nervous that I’m missing something.  So that makes me feel uneasy.  All of my other friends really like the Biochem/Genetics gal, but as funny as some of the things she says are, and as nice as it is of her to give us those luxurious 15-minute breaks, I just can’t make myself believe that she’s that nice when she starts out class saying rude, nasty things, threatening us 2 days in a row with how powerful she is.  Day 1 she told us if she caught us cheating, she’d put her job on the line to make sure that we were expelled.  Ok, a bit melodramatic but I hate cheaters too.  Fine, she’s passionate about her job.  But then she follows it up with something along the lines of “don’t think I won’t do it either, I’m pretty sure I’m more valuable to the school than you are, I used to teach at Saba and was dean of Students.”  Wow.  That was unnecessary, I believed you.  Then the next day, there was the whole thing about I told you to be in your seats by 11:00, if you’re not in your seats by 11:00 tomorrow I’ll mark the whole class absent and “don’t think I can’t do it, I do what I want here.”  What?  Did you just say that?  And then yesterday, we’re sitting there at 11:00 waiting and waiting, and finally at 11:08 she comes walking in the door and says well since you guys made me wait the past two days, I thought I’d make you wait.  WTF?  This is NOT POLITE CONVERSATION–how about a “hello class, how was your evening?” “hello class, good morning” or you know, if you’re having a bad day or a bad week, don’t say anything at all, but there’s no need to yell at us and be rude when we just met.  You don’t have to do that.  Besides, the people she’s yelling at are the very ones who are in their seats and ready for class.  I had to pee, but because I didn’t think I’d have time and didn’t want to get yelled at for coming in at 11:01, I stayed in my seat and waited an hour for her to lecture, then go.  It makes me nervous to spend 4 hours a day in class with someone who lets things like that slip out every now and then.  She seems like a great teacher who really knows her stuff, but I just can’t like someone who is mean to me and thinks it’s ok to talk to students like that.

3.  I found out yesterday that I didn’t get histology TA.  I admit, it was presumptuous of me to assume that I’d get it, but come on–I got one of 9 A’s in the class out of a 100+ person class, and made the top scores in the class on block II exam and on the shelf–I got 98th percentile–come on, what else do I have to do?!  I physically sent an email last semester saying I was interested [in TA-ing], was attentive in class, was an active listener, asked questions when they arose, answered questions she asked, and took my lunch break to go review my tests on all but 1 block.  I hadn’t heard who did get TA  and didn’t know how many TAs there were but I remembered there being like 5 or 6 for my semester, so when I didn’t receive an email during the first week of classes, I thought I was one of the only people who made a high grade that didn’t get asked.  I didn’t know what I had done wrong but I was feeling really lousy–I just knew I would get TA and couldn’t think of what I had done wrong.  I felt like I had failed somehow.  (I found out today that she only gets 3 TAs this semester and didn’t ask students in order of grades to be TAs (she told a student last semester that she DID do it by order of grades).  I have no idea what method she used, but now I don’t feel singled out as much from all of the other people with high grades.  Just confused.)

4.  To add insult to injury, after I’m feeling REALLY down about the TA thing, yesterday during the afternoon classes, the internet comes up during one of our breaks, I refresh my facebook page as I always do at xx:50 when the internet comes back on, and I noticed that one of the people I met at the very beginning of the school year, who was good friends with someone I lived close to in Potworks had posted on my wall.  I thought that was odd as we hadn’t spoken since then and went to go check it out.  Turns out, I had said something silly on my facebook page that morning about physio prof pronouncing saline as “sah line” instead of “say lean.”  In the context in which it was used, I was really confused and actually wrote myself a note to go onto wikipedia and look up a drug named sayline.  As I was writing it, I realized what it was supposed to be and laughed.  I thought it was funny so I wrote it on my facebook.  So my cousin posts haha your prof’s funny, and then a friend from home (actually one of my childhood friend’s moms) posted oh–is your prof Indian?, I had responded with a yes, and so she had written on my wall again, during the break that they were “entertaining to listen to.”  What she meant is that there are no Indian people back where I’m from, and India is actually the only place she’s been outside of the US (her best friend’s Indian) so yes, to her they’re exotic people who are interesting to befriend and talk to because they’re not like your average Western North Carolinian.  It was a bad choice of words.  Anyway, this person from pre-med decided that it had offended him enough to post on my wall, in response to her comment that it was a really rude and inconsiderate thing to say [that Indian people were entertaining to listen to].  I saw the post and immediately deleted the entire thing–my initial status and everything.  I felt caught in the middle and guilty somehow, but then I felt bad for the lady back home who had posted the comment because it’s totally not what she meant–it was just taken the wrong way.  And then, my deleting the posts would be misconstrued as me agreeing with the kid who was offended–no I don’t agree with either person–it was a poor choice of words on her part and (IMHO) he was being oversensitive.  Naturally when I got home, I had a big long message from her–she felt awful and spent many paragraphs explaining how she didn’t mean it that way at all.  I felt bad, and responsible–all of this was over my stupid comment–so I assured her it was ok, I just deleted the post so that no one would be offended.  This makes me feel worse.  I barely talk to this woman or this guy in pre-med and now they’re either indirectly mad at me and think me racist or condoning racism, or they think I hate them and think they’re racist.  So I thought at this point, how could my day get worse?  That was a mistake.

5.  I get home, wanting a huge bar of chocolate after the crappy day I’ve had, and decide to give myself a little luxury by firing up the A/C for the first time.  I grab the remote and nervously turn it on (the landlady had asked before if it and the stove were working–I had tried neither at the time, but why shouldn’t they be working?), it cranks up and cools pleasantly, finally something goes right today.  I walk over to my closet where I was still trying to finish unpacking clothes at the time, and look down to check out my bad spot where I had ants crawling all over my vanity before to make sure there weren’t any more.  There weren’t any on the vanity, but I did notice there were a couple of ants crawling on my closet shelf.  This creeps me out because there’s never just 2 of those tiny ants.  I thought I had sprayed well enough but apparently not.  I grab my can of ant spray and start spraying around the edges of the closet and then I see them scatter.  Turns out there’s a nest in the side of my closet.  WTF?  I quickly take the few clothes I had hanging in the closet out–they were on the opposite end.  Take out everything else from the closet, then blast the entire closet.  I have the kind of bug spray that kills on contact.  I almost asphyxiate myself on the fumes, but I leave and come back 20 minutes later.  Still ants moving.  I spray again.  No movement.  I leave and come back, no movement.  I clean up the dead ants and as a precaution, keep my closet empty and vow to go buy more ant spray.  As I’m spraying the entire closet again, I look up and notice a cob web.  In it are 2 giant spiders.  EEW.  Seriously?!  I kill them and spray the web and the corner where it looks like they came in.  Feeling completely grossed out, I come back out into the living room and sit down to rest and honestly, just to be far away from my bedroom and that closet.  I’m looking at my laptop and in my peripheral vision, I see something green fly up into the light above the kitchen table then dive down onto the table.  I go over to investigate and there’s a gigantic 2″ flying grasshopper.  I try to squish him and he flies towards me.  End up chasing him into the kitchen proper and having to smush him up against a wall.  Gross–I throw him outside.  I’m just completely creeped out at this point.  I go back to the sofa, sit down watch TV and call my Dad and have a break down.  I hate living in bugs, I hate not getting to be a TA, I hate having to show up to class 40 minutes early, I hate issues on facebook.  He comforts me and tells me he’s proud of me no matter what.  He tells me not to worry about my seat that it’s not such a big thing–it matters a lot to me, but admittedly it is petty.  He tells me that whether I want to admit it or not, I’m probably lonely here all by myself–there are no students–and he hit the nail on the head that I did really miss Jo (the girl from pre-med 1 who lived next to me at Potworks but decided not to come back to Nevis this semester).  And more importantly, he tells me not to post anything about class on facebook–probably very good advice.  He says that he’s had issues with his employees at work trying to get each other in trouble with it, that as nice as my classmates may seem, that people could use it against me or try to get me into trouble, especially people who aren’t doing as well in classes.  It’s sad, but it might be true, good advice.  So I give him a teary goodbye and go to make a sandwich.  I’m getting stuff out of the fridge and see something brown out of the corner of my eye as I’m sitting stuff on the counter–ANOTHER GIANT GRASSHOPPER.  Are you kidding me?!  I chase him around, get him to fly to the ground and squish him.  I decide that I haven’t been outside since I came in from school and that they must be getting in through the A/C unit.  I turn it off and go to bed.  I’ve had enough.

That was my crap day. Admittedly, some of the stuff is petty and there are easily worse singular events that happen to people on a daily basis, but it made for a bad day for me.  But today was waaay better.  I found out that it wasn’t just me who didn’t get TA for histology, so I felt better.  Biochem/genetics prof let us out an hour and a half early (I’m sure we’ll pay for it later, but it was nice to get to town on a Friday) so I went to town with a friend and was able to get to the hardware store before it closed and bought up a TON of bugspray for both inside and outside of my house.  I was able to go by the drink depot and get a case of diet coke.  And I went to Ram’s which apparently has great deals on Fridays–got a bottle of Ocean Spray light Cran-Pomegranate for $5 EC–it’s usually $17.  And got special K and corn pops for $5 EC/box when they’re normally $25 EC/box.  Unfortunately I got them home and all the boxes and bags of cereal were full of live bugs–not just little ones either–a moth or something actually flew out of one of the boxes.  Caveat emptor.  After yesterday, though, it wasn’t that bad.  I just bagged them all up and took them out to the garbage–4 boxes for $5 EC each is still cheaper than 1 box for $25 EC–now I know not to buy cheap cereal at Rams.

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