Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Professor Meeting

Those who have been following my blog for a long time (ie: years) know the struggles I've been through on almost every facet of life. This is not about those :)

I struggle with test anxiety. Not the normal, I'm nervous, jittery, test anxiety but the kind that makes me black out mid-exam. Like faint type blackout. My blood pressure skyrockets, I get chest pains, get woozy, then... gone.

Propranolol helps that. I don't blackout anymore. My BP stays normal and my head does not pound as if jackhammer were playing havoc with my skull.

I'm still not getting an A in ochem, though. It bugs me greatly. Hundred hours of doing the problems, making note card, funneling and filtering the information down to a suitable amount to synthesize and I cannot get an A.

I met with the professor yesterday. The university gives awards for best professors in teaching, research, sucking up, etc. He is not quite tenured but I have no doubt he will get an award at some point. He is that good and that helpful.

We talked ochem, kids, learning. I showed him what I did for the last exam, showed him my latest homework which had been unchecked at that point. I showed him my funneling system. I told him about addition reactions I was thinking about as I feel asleep the night before. Then he said,

"Well, show me at the whiteboard."

When I got there, I knew what to do with the cyclohexene and methyl group, with Bromide over the line. I could see it in my head. Could not get it on the whiteboard. Actually, I could draw the starting material and the product but not the mechanism to get there.

We sat down at his little table... and he paused.

"That's what happens to you on exams, isn't it?" He was not joking, or making fun of my situation, he was earnestly trying to help.

"Yes." My head was hung a little low. I also struggle with letting others down, not wanting them to feel like I did so and I was feeling that way.

"Well. I think what we need to do is this..." and from there, we devised a plan to help me work not only on ochem, for as he said, "It's not your preparation Ad2b, it's your execution on exams that is at issue here".

So, I will continue to do my homework as is, leaving exactly 5 problems out to time myself the next day. Rinse repeat for the chapters on looming ochem exam and maybe, I will be able to finally get a solid "A" on his exam.

I'm hoping so. Med school is calling. I hear it beckoning me, still from afar but drawing near. I need to get the A.

And, I will! All due to a great teacher trying to help his otherwise student :)


XOXO Dr. Kay Elizabeth said...

OMGosh I am sooo happy to hear that. It sounds like my chem teacher years ago that let me know I get test anxiety and I didn't even know that. See I knew you would make it. Next I'm going to be calling you Dr.!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Mentors, many of whom are teachers, professors, instructors and coaches help us become the righteous people we are destined to be. Dr Elling (A & P, Fall 83) thirty years later has influence on me. He is not alone either. I am glad you have great people who believe in you too. You will be an excellent Doctor. Will you consider practicing in the SF Bay Area please ?~!

Slamdunk said...

Glad you have a good professor.

When I teach adjunct from time-to-time, our local university has an office of accomodative services that helps students with your problems. I have one or more that are allowed to take my tests at that special office on campus (where they are permitted silence, extra time, or whatever).

If you have a chance, you might want to see if your institution has something similar--I think the students with issues really appreaciate it.

A Doc 2 Be said...

I <3 you guys/gals!

I do take my tests in the DS center in a private room with extra time, and take propranolol just before. I've been told those accomodations will stay with me through USMLE and boards, even with the MCAT :)

Actually, what I'm aiming for is taking it with everyone else at some point.

I just want to be normal. That said, I have definitely learned a lot about myself through this process and about learning difficulties that have absolutely nothing to do with intelligence!

Lynda, I LOVE the Bay Area - had may clients there for years and spent many weeks living on the Wharf.