So this is grad school.
Grad school is perpetual exhaustion. It doesn’t matter if you had one class or two classes or more during the day. Even if they were two or three hours each, it’s still draining. It could be the easiest class ever like Med Term, but I will still come home and crash for a couple hours. Stay up late to do more studying, get some semblance of sleep, wake up and do it all over again. I live in a state of exhaustion. That is my normal.
I talked to my cousin, who is in the Navy, last night and we were comparing lives. His is obviously more rigorous, but at least he gets paid a bit. I have to pay to stay in this state of exhaustion as training. We both did this to ourselves. Technically, he volunteered for the Navy and I applied to grad school. I think it’s safe to say we’re both where we thought we’d never be at this point in our lives.
It’s funny. I don’t remember if I mentioned this before, but back in the day, grad school was never a goal for me. It wasn’t needed. As a kid I dreamed the usual — being an astronaut, a ninja, a genius superhero, or a super genius inventor that created stuff for the heroes. Now, granted some of that hasn’t changed, it’s just changed which superhero I’d like to be. 😛 I’d still love to be a ninja, I’d love to have the brains of Tony Stark so I could invent AND be a superhero (without all the narcissism, but I guess that’s what makes Tony lovable?). I definitely do NOT want to be an astronaut though. I just liked the spacesuits and the idea of zero gravity.
In high school, they lied to me. They said you don’t need grad school, you’ll get a job when you graduate college. So, grad school was never within my sights. I just figured I’d go to a university, graduate, then work in some kind of lab doing whatever lab tech job they wanted me to do and work my way up. I toyed with the idea of doing forensics because I was really into CSI back then and I thought it was the coolest thing. Then I realized it’s a lot of chemistry and tests and legal stuff that I don’t want to mess with. But I honestly don’t think any of my high school friends would be surprised that I chose to go pathology and do autopsies or cut open surgical specimens for a living. I think most of them figured I’d be doing something gross and/or gruesome since I was the one who liked to do all the dissections and wanted to go see a cadaver lab.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised I went this route. Everyone else could see it before I could. But every single day I show up to class, I keep reminding myself that I am here. I am getting an advanced degree to do this. It’s terrifying and exciting all at the same time. It’s different, too. They treat us differently, have higher expectations of us and we have to learn almost everything on our own. There’s no more hand-holding or coddling. It’s, we’re all adults, say whatever you want, but we still expect you to go home and do copious amounts of reading and studying to come back next week and get tested on it, okay? Any questions? No, okay, let’s move on. Everything is accelerated, but that could be because summer is 10 weeks instead of the usual 16. So we’re breezing through everything. Gross Anatomy is 5 units, which isn’t anything I’m not used to, but we had 16 weeks to do all this stuff. In fact in prosection at Mt. SAC, I had 16 weeks to skin a cadaver, pick off the fat, and separate muscles.
We had to do all that in 3.5 hours today.
We skinned everything in about two hours, but the fat is the worst. I ended up with the torso, and we have a big guy. So the others helped me skin and take off some of the fat. We didn’t do it all, because it’s literally impossible, but you can see some muscles! You can see the trapezius and the latissimus dorsi on the torso at least. I think you can see part of the teres major and maybe a bit of the infraspinatus, but we’ll see. Apparently we’re going to hit the nerves next week. I don’t know how that’ll happen. But it’ll be interesting to try.
This is grad school. This is my life. It’s a good thing I like a challenge and getting dirty. (I was absolutely filthy today, no joke.)
(Yes, I know I changed my layout again, but I’m finally happy with this one. It’ll stick around for a while, except I might change the color now and then. Red is my favorite color, plus I’m a Niner fan, so really, what did you expect? It sure as heck won’t be lime green.)