Asian “A”

It only took three weeks for me to sit in a professor’s office in tears. Overwhelmed by the volume of school work, my schedule, and maybe thinking about the future, I went to her office to ask if I should switch sections to another professor. Maybe, her class pace is too fast for me and I would do better with a different teaching style. She asked what was it that pushed me over the edge. I said on yesterday’s quiz, which was 20 questions, fill in the blank questions. I left one question completely blank. I had no answer for: what is the common name of the 40x objective lens on the microscope? I looked through my notes after class and still didn’t know the answer. My score was 16.50 out of 20, 82%. I felt horrified by this grade and the other grades I have received thus far. On two other quizzes, I received a 4/5. It doesn’t sound bad when you say, you missed only one question, but if you say it as 80%, it sounds terrible. She said the lab practical grade of 17 was one of the highest in the class and I should not feel concerned. I told her averaging 80% is failing. An 80% is not anywhere near an A, anything other than an A will make me a less competitive graduate applicant. I’m not being hard on myself on purpose or putting additional pressure on myself. I am trying to be realistic about which situations will lend themselves to me learning the best.  
I also told her I attempted to make a study group and the two girls who I studied with last week, I didn’t like and don’t want to study with again. I asked her who I could reach out to that might be a better match and she named three boys in my class, Jack, Chris, and Vaughn. I’m not sure if the right option is to switch class, three weeks in to school or track down these boys. I think I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed if I had a weekly study group where I could ask questions and quiz each other about content. Even though the other class is using a different text, I don’t think I would be behind, they haven’t had their first quiz yet and I scanned all the power points and syllabi. The other professor’s class meets M and W. nights, which means I would have Tuesday and Thursdays free but have to stay at school M and W from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. with about 6 hours free in between, but I can sit at the library during that time.    
I have been trying to find clinical volunteer work. I didn’t know it is a competitive market for free labor. I called Planned Parenthood, the free clinic of San Francisco, contacted a few women’s clinics, completed an application to a hospice care center and waiting for an orientation at California Medical next month. The volunteer orientation for this month was full at 70. Each of the places that replied to me said they do not have open volunteer positions and might not have any openings until the fall. How can so many organizations not need free labor? I need 1000 volunteer or work hours if I apply to the PA program at UC Davis and 3000 hours (1.5 years/full time) if I apply to Stanford/Foothill’s program.    


I also decided I will apply to SFSU this fall 2016, for entry fall 2017, a 3 year Master’s Program, with summers off instead of their accelerated 2 year (no summers off) program. I will continue to take classes at City College, adding Physics, Biology and more advanced Chemistry to Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, basically completing a post bac. By 2017, I will have redone college and earned an Associate’s Degree. If not accepted to the nursing program or given the option of accepting and declining, I will consider applying to PA school in Fall 2017 for entry Fall 2018.  
I spoke to a guidance counselor and the chair of the biology department today. The chair person said those applying to PA school go above and beyond, spending more time preparing, putting in extra years to their application more competitive. The guidance counselor asked me which do I want more, and I should work towards that goal. Great advice from both. The guidance counselor also said if I need to cry during the semester I was welcome to go to her office. I hope that doesn’t happen often.    

One Comment

  1. Liane, I feel your pain! I was there, unable to accept the fact that I wasn’t making A’s like I did during my pre-req classes. Sounds like you’re getting good advice though! Nursing school is hard, there’s no getting around that. Find some good study partners. It may take time to find a good fit, but you’re right, it will make a huge difference. And try not to let it all get you down too much. This too shall pass! Have a good cry when you need to, shake it off, and keep trucking along. You, Liane, will get through it! Take care!


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