Monday, February 05, 2007

when the dog slides underneath a train, there's no cry, no use to searching for what mutts remain

School is stressing me out. When I say that, I mean it in the most oh-holy-shit-I-can't-handle-this way possible.

My Ethics and Medicine class' grading system is terrifying. I am under the impression that if I don't get 100s on every assignment, I will end up at a C in the class because there are only 100 points possible for the whole class, and everything is worth some points. So, you fail a quiz, that's 3 points off your final average. Then you do so/so on a chapter summary, that's 1 point off. It adds up quickly. Also I haven't gotten any assignments back yet, so I have NO IDEA how I am doing, which is killing me and making me work monumentally harder because I have to assume the worst. Also, it is an ethics class. I am reading essays and participating in discussions that challenge my views on abortion, selling human organs, marriage, feminism and God only knows what else (religion), and I am starting to lose track of who I am. If that sounds like an exaggeration to you, please believe me when I say it isn't. I really am losing myself out here.

Ancient Greek is the most difficult language to learn. And it's a dead one. When it was my only real class that required work last semester, that was fine. I had all the time in the world to study extracurricularly, days before quizzes and weeks before tests. And I did. For fun, even. I made flashcards and practiced them with Austin over the phone every night, and did my translations the day before they were due. But I have three other very real classes this semester. And now we have a quiz every Tuesday and a test every Wednesday, and long, difficult translations in between. I do not have the time to study days in advance anymore. I make flashcards the morning of the vocab quizzes, I memorize verb forms instead of eating lunch on Wednesdays. I've stopped trying to make sense of the passages because it's so difficult I burst into tears, and have started just translating word for word, the verb in whatever tense I feel like, without changing the word order at all. As in: "quickly running was clever the Persians ordered Xerxes by hills through ocean." Obviously that's not right, but I can't take the time and painstaking effort to recognize obscure verb and noun forms, or tell the difference between participles or infinitives--a lot of times they both end in the letter that makes the "n" noise! On Friday I got all my translated sentences wrong because I fucked up the word order even though I thought they were right. I freaked out and started tearing up during class and afterwards ran to the bathroom and cried for 15 minutes.

My Plants and Human Affairs class is mostly tedious. Read a boring chapter, take notes. Come to class, take lecture notes on something we read about over a week earlier. The professor goes on tangents--write Three Musketeers fanfiction. Then we had our first quiz and it was not on what she said it would be. Oh fuck. Then she misses two out of three classes last week due to her daughters being sick and the snow, and says, here, do this review for the quiz grade you would've earned on Friday. A quiz is about ten fill in the blank questions long with 2 bonuses, so I don't look at the review till Sunday afternoon before my litmag meeting and it is 4 pages long, covering shit we have not read yet, and each question is about 5 questions in itself; "define this" "discuss this" "explain how this" "summarize this" "draw label and define this" ETC ETC. If you know me well, you know I freak out when asked to draw something. In 7th grade I was asked to draw the crawfish I had dissected and I told her I couldn't draw. She thought I meant I didn't want to, but really I just couldn't. I burst into tears and refused to draw it. That is how I am with drawing. It gives me nervous breakdowns when I am forced to do it for a grade. So this review asks me to draw something at least three times per four pages, and I am totally losing it. I just can't handle it. This is not a good sign of things to come.

Then there is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which is no work at all at this time. Read like two pages for homework. Listen to professor drone on and on during class--maybe get called on to read in Middle English. Middle English--that's the thing. I did not sign up for a foreign language. I signed up for literature. So a fifth of my grade being based on proper pronunciation (did I mention she doesn't even follow the "rules" of the pronunciation) is just crazy. Whenever I go in the room I get nervous that I will pronounce "lippes" wrong or something and then fail the class as a result.

Not to mention that I am up at 7am 4 out of 5 week days. I am short on sleep, on time, on patience, on sanity, on anything. I am hanging by a thread.

So, I am sorry if I am short with anyone. I am constantly in a terrified for my future, if I don't do well I am probably going to explode, everyone is out to get me, and oh by the way I am in an ethics class that is making me wonder who the hell I am and lose my identity... type of mood. I am freaked out, stressed out, bursting into tears randomly and inconsolably.

Of course, add to this all of the scary social aspects of college and having a long distance relationship, and I feel like I am really just screwed.

Oh, won't you do me the favor, man,
Of a giving mind,
A polymorphing opinion here,
And your vague outline,

I'll find myself another burning gate,
A pretty face, a vague idea I can't relate,
And this is get what you get for pulling pins,
Out of the hole,
Inside the hole you're in,

It's like I'm pressed on the handle bars,
Of a blind man's bike,
No straws to grab, just the rushing wind,
On the rolling mind.

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