Thursday, January 22, 2009


I'd say it's been the longest week ever (even though the week's not done yet, fuck), but that's almost certainly going to be superseded by an even longer-seeming week in my future. So a quick run-down:

Tuesday = longest. day. ever. The vast majority of this post is about Tuesday. I was basically busy from 8:30am until 8:30pm and didn't get back to my apartment until 11pm. T.T I had to teach my discussion during Obama's inauguration speech (I did watch it later, however) and was mildly surprised that maybe 1/3 of the class showed up. Bayes' Theorem is not an easy topic to teach. I spent over an hour last night typing up a notes file to distribute to my students, to walk them through how to use Bayes' Theorem step-by-step.

One of my students emailed me asking for the solution to one of the quiz questions he had to take before lecture on Tuesday. I saw this question and basically went, "Wtf." I enlisted the help of AG-F, my genetic counseling friend. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I really need to get myself a genetic counselor on retainer. She solved it because it was the EXACT same question that was given to her class - a grad-level class. Poor undergrad guy, no wonder he couldn't figure it out.

For one of my classes, we had to watch the documentary "In the Family" which is about BRCA1 mutations that greatly predispose women to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It was a pretty intense film. I could totally sympathize with the one woman who said that getting her ovaries removed was akin to a guy getting his balls removed. Removing ovaries = instant menopause, not a pleasant thing. Mildly better than death from cancer.

As I was walking with AG-F back to her apartment (so she could give me a ride to mine), we got talking about abortion and how both pro-life and pro-choice are retardedly wrong in some respects. I won't get into it here, a later post perhaps.

I hate biostatistics. I cannot emphasize my extreme hatred for that subject. The professor talks in theory and then expects us to apply the theory to solve concrete problems. I don't know how to apply the derivations he writes. Plus his handwriting is horrible. Plus all I hear are meaningless variables all lecture and scratch my head at their meaning.

I haven't gone to the gym all week. The cold freezes my will to go to the gym. I've been feeling pretty lazy and unmotivated. This isn't good, because what follows unmotivation is exhaustion, then a twinge of sadness, then loneliness, then despair. Then oddly the cycle resets itself and I'm suddenly motivated, energetic, and ready to bring on the day. It's usually not as bad as it sounds.

I think I'm becoming borderline anorexic throughout the day (aka, for breakfast and lunch) because I simply don't have time to eat nor do I have the time (and backpack space) to pack a larger lunch. I also hate to eat out alone. I basically only eat out with friends because eating out alone is costly, relatively unhealthy, and kind of depressing. Dinner is my main meal of the day, which I know it shouldn't be if I wish to lose weight. Blah.



Anonymous said...

That's not anorexic, it's called "grad student." There's a big difference between the two.

Yeah, my reaction exactly to statistics. At least your teacher has the decency to lecture on the material. Mine had you read the book and then we jumped right into problem solving.

Ummm...I know this might sound mean, but you're not responsible to answer those types of questions for undergrads. Homework is homework. They can come to office hours and get help figuring something out, but you shouldn't be having to spoon-feed them the solutions via E-mail. Treat the undergrads good and with respect, but don't get too caught up with them that you lose time for yourself.

E said...

Feeling overwhelmed is natural. That is why its a job. I completely understand because I had a long day too and mine was only half of yours, but I keep having to do stuff that is not in my job description. I have to put it in the perspective that I this is my life only temporarily. This isn't a concrete reality.

I laughed at your remark about the retainer. A friend asked me what one of those were today. I used prostitute services as an example.

Aek said...

James: Lol, then being a grad student borders on anorexia.

At least my biostatistics GSI is really cute (and he's good at explaining the program). ^_^

To be fair, this person is a nurse and is unable to come to any of our office hours. So I don't mind spending a few minutes answering his questions. Now, this Korean girl who keeps flipping about and doesn't really know anything . . . she I might have to put down gently.

E: Yeah, but none of my previous jobs have been so overwhelming. Maybe research is just easier than teaching, haha (actually, I'm pretty sure it is).

LOL! A genetic counselor on retainer is SO useful, you have no idea, hahaha. One day, when I have my own practice (and assuming I'm wealthy enough), I hope to have both a pharmacist and a genetic counselor on retainer. Or at least on speed-dial for consulting. XD

tracy said...

Hee, that commercial is too funny!

Feel better, 'k?