Friday, September 28, 2007

My Cousin From Red Bank, New Jersey.

It's my time of the month. Sometimes it's worse than others, but typically I get alternately panicky and depressed for a few days. Little things, like running out of printer ink can put me in a black mood for an hour or two. Tears come easily, sometimes out of nowhere, when I'm waiting for a bus, or, recently, when I'm working out.

The rent and bills are due.

I'm grateful that I've had a break of a couple months from this monthly punch in the gut, but now my financial aid money is running out. I have to come up with some cash to get me through November and December. I applied for a job cooking at a cafe in the neighborhood, and I was hopeful that they'd hire me in September, but I haven't heard from them, and I've been so overwhelmed with school that I haven't followed up on it. I really only need to work a couple days a week to make enough to cover the financial aid shortfall, but even so it's hard for me to imagine
fitting that in with all the studying.

I was also holding some hope of a little windfall for the Lizzie Borden option. We're still waiting to get a proposed agreement from the producers. When that is finalized and signed, I'll get some money. It could be next month. It could be next year. It could be never.

I've been working out at the gym every day for two weeks. My body is different. Especially my arms. I don't think you'd be able to tell by looking. Even I can't really notice a difference when I look in the mirror, but my arms feel bigger. It's a weird sensation when I touch my arms and shoulders, almost like touching someone else. And I've lost about 5 pounds. I didn't need or plan to lose weight, and I'll probably gain it back in muscle. But all that time on the elliptical machine and the fact that I'm eating a lot less now that I'm busy all the time have had an effect.

My American Government test was easy, but not as easy as I expected. One question really stumped me, and I second guessed my second guess and gave the wrong answer. I haven't gotten my grade yet, but I think that was the only wrong answer. (If you're interested, the question was about women's suffrage and government efforts to clean up air and water pollution, whether they started at the state or federal level. I didn't know. I had a hunch, since the question said "started" that something happened with those issues at the state level before the national government dealt with them, but I wasn't sure. I decided that, since both were ultimately national issues, the answer was federal. Even though I'm sure I got a good grade on the test, I hate that I didn't know that. I should know things like that. We should all know things like that.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Like My Yeast to Stay in My Bread.

Yesterday I had an appointment at a clinic that I think is part of the U.T. nursing school. I don't have insurance, or income to speak of, so I rely on the kindness of strangers (i.e., free or sliding-scale clinics) for my health care. Thankfully, I don't have any serious health issues. But I have had a persistent case of Tinea cruris (look it up), and I was concerned not only about the fact that it wouldn't go away but also about the possible side effects of using over-the-counter anti-fungal drugs on my skin over such a long period of time.

We've been studying prokaryotic cells in my Biology of AIDS class, and something about the huge projected slides of yeast cells budding in colonies made me get off my ass and make an appointment to see a doctor.

It turns out there's not really a whole lot I can do about it that I'm not already doing. Some people are just more prone to these things. Especially people, like me, who sweat more than average. I'm an above-average sweater. Speaking of sweaters, lately I regularly see people, mostly women, walking around campus wearing sweaters. Oh my god, it's 93 degrees out! I can barely stand to be wearing pants.

The doctor who saw me was Lisa Doggett, daughter of my favorite Congressman. That made my day!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'd Like to Thank God, Because Now I Know He Exists Because He Gave Me An A on My Biology Exam.

Just kidding. About god, not about the A. I got a 90! Actually, I got an 84, but there was a 6-point curve. If there are questions on her exams that less than 25% of the class gets right, the professor considers those questions to have been ambiguous or too confusing or just too difficult, and she takes the number of points those questions are worth and adds that many points to everyone's scores. In this case, there were three such questions. (I'm sure I could have said that in fewer words.) Even with the curve, the median score was 68 -- and I found that out before I knew my grade. Anyway, glory hallelujah.

I have a test in American Government tomorrow. My easy class. But I don't want to get all cocky and blow it, so I'll spend the evening studying the Constitution and Federalism and such. I have a quiz tomorrow and a test next Tuesday in Spanish and a 2-page paper due in English next week, too. Must be the season.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tell Me Why, I Don't Like Mondays.

My biology test today was hard. HARD. And I really knew the material. I could have a conversation with you about it. (Let me know if you ever just want to chat about nucleotides or eukaryotic cells.) It was a multiple choice test -- those always throw me a little anyway -- and this professor is very clever and she posed a lot of questions in ways that force you to think on more than one level, so it didn't feel so much like an evaluation of my familiarity with the material and concepts as a test of my logic skills. (For instance, she often included answers like "1 and 2 are both correct," or "two of the above are correct.") I rushed through the last several questions because time was running out, and on half the questions I didn't feel at all sure of my answers. Shit.

Biology and Spanish are really testing me. I study both subjects for at least a couple hours a day, often more, and several hours on the weekends, and still my grip is tenuous. Both classes require so much memorization, and it's relentless. This is the fourth week of classes, and I already have a stack of 250 words in Spanish that I need to know, besides the grammar. There are slightly fewer words to memorize in Biology, but they don't for the most part match a word in English that means the same thing. Rather, each word corresponds to at least a paragraph of plain English. And they're long fucking words!

I'm going to bed.