School Update!

It’s been ages since I’ve done a school update, and thought it was time to talk about what’s been keeping me so busy!

First, I thought I’d recap the fall semester!

I had an astronomy class, which was really fun!  Science is cool, but not my strong suit.  Still, I enjoyed the class because there were a lot of random assignments where I had to look stuff up, and some questions to answer.  The professor was super involved, and checked in with us a lot.  It was really obvious that she wanted us to do well, and gave us a lot of different resources throughout the semester.  It was really easy to get an A in this class.

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum was Anatomy And Physiology.  This was in the medical assistant department, though there is a similar class in the biology department.

I really wish I had taken the biology one, because this class was terrible.  The material itself was fun, but really dense.  It was also a lot of information.  The professor wasn’t involved in the class at all- other then a few announcements at the beginning and end of the semester, there was nary a peep from him.  The tests were pretty strange too.  Answers were in a strange order.

You’d have something like this:

  • A.  All Of The Above
  • B.  Answer
  • C.  A And C
  • D.  Answer

Or this:

  • False
  • True

Or you’d see the same question twice in a row- as in the exact same question, but 4 choices for the first and 5 for the second.  Or true/false and then false/true.  And there would be a lot of detailed questions about diseases, which were talked about in the book, but the book was more of an overview since this was a class about the parts of the body and how it works, and not a class about the diseases.  It was so strange to see super-detailed questions about diseases that weren’t covered in the book and were not linked to or mentioned anywhere in the book.

And I felt like nothing stuck, because the class was primarily tests, with a few discussion posts sprinkled in.  I ended up with a B, and I do not have to take this particular class again, which makes me happy.

I also took Native American history, which was a really good class!  I learned a lot, and not surprisingly, we were absolutely horrible to them.  I knew we were, of course, but I am glad I took this class.  It’s unfortunate that we don’t get a lot of this information in regular history classes, and have to take a separate class if we do want to learn it, but at least it’s offered for those of us who do.  This class was another A!

As for this semester:

It’s a busy one, because for some bizarre reason, I decided to take a total of 5 classes.  While working full time.  It seems like most of my time over the last month has been working or doing school stuff, but it’s not as bad as I thought.

I have pathophysiology, which is all about diseases.  It’s really interesting, though some of the pictures in the book are a little hard to see.  There’s a reason I deal with medical records and paperwork.  But the tests are short and they aren’t frustrating.  We have to do a paper on a disease, so I need to figure out which one to write about.  And I like that every week, we have to do a worksheet on 5 diseases.  I don’t get those questions wrong!

I’m also taking biological anthropology- lecture and lab, which are two separate classes.

  • Lecture class is pretty cool- we’ve had discussion posts and quizzes, mostly, but I think we’re going to be getting some other assignments in the very near future.
  • Lab is a zoom class.  Tuesdays are pretty long, because of going to work, and then coming home with just enough time to get my computer set up for a 3 hour zoom class.  Props to everyone who’s on zoom for a lot longer than that.  Because lab is on Zoom, and most of the work we’re doing is during class, I felt like I was able to handle a 4th class.  It’s pretty fun but also weird to do a lab class on zoom.

I have two 8 week classes this semester also.  Biological anthropology and pathophysiology are a full semester, so they are definitely moving at a slower pace.

Currently, I’m taking intercultural communications, which has been really great!  It’ll be over at the end of the month, which is weird because I feel like I just started it.  But I’m learning a lot in this class, and I think it will be helpful at work, since I do talk to (and work with) people from a lot of different cultures.  Actually, it’s helpful for life in general, so it’s been worth it!  I ended up in this class because I need to take a personal growth class and was looking for something that was 8 weeks, which is how I ended up in this class.

In April/May, I’m taking mythology!  I just really wanted to take mythology, and didn’t care that it was 8 weeks, or that the only one that worked with my schedule was a zoom class.  Also, I needed to balance out all of the science.  I don’t know what this class is going to be like, but I’ll do an update if I can remember to do one.

And that wraps up all of my school updates, at least for now!

See you soon,

School Is Back In Session

It’s something I’ve mentioned in my monthly wrap-up posts, but I wanted to do a post specifically about it.

I’m back in school!  My goal is get into a health information technology program, and once I graduate from that program, there is a test I can take which, assuming I pass, means I’ll be a registered health information technician.  So I’ll basically be certified to do the job I’m currently doing, plus a few other things.

That’s going to be a long ways off, because I’m doing all of the prerequisite stuff I need to get into the program and to graduate with an associate’s degree.

Let’s talk about summer classes!

Summer school was definitely interesting!  I took three classes, so I was really busy for a couple of months.  I took math (to get it out of the way), English (I needed it to take a lot of other classes) and medical terminology (to even get into the HIT program, and as a pre-req for another class to get into the HIT program).

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that I ended up with an A in English.  I would have been annoyed with myself if I did.  After book blogging for so long, it was really fun to talk about books.  I felt like that actually made the class easier!  I liked the books we read- Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet and The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society, and the third book was a book we got to choose.  Of course I went with Illuminae, which was a very good decision on my part.

My other A was medical terminology, which wasn’t a surprise because I’ve worked in healthcare for over 8 years now.  Also, if I got anything lower, I would have been really disappointed in myself.  It really was a great class, and with the discussion posts, we got to apply what we were reading to a real life situation.  I learned a lot and I’m actually finding it’s making my job easier!

Math was the one I was worried about, and the first couple of weeks were rough.  I’ve never been a math person, and I’ve always struggled with it.  But I somehow got a B, and it was the one class where I didn’t particularly care what my grade was, as long as it was a grade that meant I didn’t have to take it again.

Math was definitely interesting.  I worked super-hard that first week, only to have a professor change one week in…and all of the homework I did that first week didn’t count for my grade.  It was super-frustrating, but at least I knew that material pretty well.  A different professor meant a completely different grading system and a completely different access code for My Math Lab because he used a different book.

On the plus side, though, we had unlimited attempts for the tests, so I could take it as many times as I wanted until I got the grade I wanted.  And it was the same for the homework- if we got a problem wrong, we could get similar problems until we got it right.  That helped a lot because for the stuff I struggled with, I could do it over and over until I got right and understood it.

I can honestly tell you I have not used trigonometry in over 10 years, when I was last in school.  And I’m pretty sure I will not actually need it in the future, but it was a requirement that is now done, and I will never have to worry about it again.

And now that the fall semester has started, let’s talk about that!

This part is going to be a lot shorter, because I’m only a couple weeks in.

History is really interesting.  I’m taking Native American history, since I’m not really familiar with their history.  It’s a lot of reading and discussion posts with a few tests.  Since I’ve always loved history, so I’m not super-worried about this class.  There is some supplementary material given to us every week, like movies or websites to check out.  But the workload isn’t too bad.

Astronomy is pretty similar to history in that it’s reading and a few participation exercises each week.  There are videos and links to extra material for both astronomy and history, and with both classes, there’s a lot of structure and support from the professors.  It really feels like they want us to do well.

Unfortunately, I don’t get that same feeling with human anatomy and physiology.  The material itself is fine, but a few weeks in, and I’m finding this class to be frustrating.  The tests are really strange- there is some repetition with the questions, in that some of the questions show up several times but with a slightly wording.  Some of the answers are bizarre- you see answers like brain, all of the above, heart, liver.  And some of the questions are worded really weird.

On top of that, with the tests I’ve taken so far, there are always a few questions that have nothing to do with the assigned material for the week.  It’s material that’s not in the book, or referenced anywhere in the class- no links to videos or things we need to read.  It’s frustrating, because it’s hard to study for a test when I don’t know what I need to study!  The workbook the teacher put together that we have to turn in at the end of the semester doesn’t completely match up with the textbook, so it’s hard to do that on a weekly basis.

Overall, my ultimate impression of this class is that the professor isn’t interested in engaging with us or the material.  I feel like we’re on our own, with no guidance from the professor at all.  Other than a few announcements the first day or two, there’s been radio silence from the professor.

This is a weird time to be in school.

I know teaching online is very different than teaching in-person, and that with COVID, a lot of people who aren’t used to teaching online/remotely now have to.  It would just be nice to feel like he’s putting in some effort, or interested in us learning the material.  I’ve gotten that from every other class, but unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.  I really am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, because it’s been a weird year but I am struggling with being understanding.

Still, I think I have some hope it will get better, but it is what is and in the end, I’m sure I’ll do just fine.

That’s all for today, and I hope today is a good one for you.

See you next time,