Saturday, October 1, 2011

Yesterday's class was incredibly frustrating.  I arrived a couple minutes late (mea culpa), and had to sit a bit further than I would normally choose to sit.  That being said, given a choice, I usually sit somewhere in the 5-7 rows from the front, and yesterday sat in probably row 8 or 9, so not a huge difference.

What was a huge difference, was the number of my classmates not paying attention to the lecture (and it was a doozy -- 90 minutes spent on the physics and chemistry of action potentials of nerve impulses). 

Many more people are now bringing their laptops to class, as opposed to the first weeks.  That in itself is fine, except that I see so many people using them for stuff other than accessing the prof's pre-posted lecture notes.  Yesterday there were so many Facebook sites up, photos being listed through, Tetris games played, Solitaire games played, someone near me had apparently Googled "light sabers" and was going through the various sites that Google generated for her, texting, etc. etc.

Frankly, all these things going on doesn't bug me, per se -- they're quiet activities and don't really disrupt the class.  I think they're incredibly disrespectful tasks to be doing during a lecture.  Oh yes, and then there's the other reason we go to lectures -- to listen to the prof and actually learn something.  But again, that's the individual's choice and prerogative whether they choose to learn or not. 

What frustrated me yesterday, beyond belief, was the two, extremely young, girls chatting directly in front of me for the entire lecture.  It took everything I had in me to not tap them gently on the shoulder, and suggest that they go to a coffee shop to continue their conversation.  Why were they in the lecture?  They were not taking notes, they were not listening.  They were talking, giggling, laughing so hard they had to wipe tears from their eyes and put their heads down on the table (this was the result of realizing the desk was sloped and that their pens roll down), and texting.  Nobody takes attendance at university.  They were just a distraction to everyone around them.  What did they think they were gaining by showing up?

I'm not expecting everyone to take school as seriously as I do.  Of course not.  But it just made me feel so frustrated and even bad about this second career choice.  Will people like them be my future bosses at hospitals?  I'm giving up a lot to be doing this change, and I still at times doubt myself in this choice.  I have an established career that I'm good at, that pays very well, that has a great pension, benefits and job security, where I have good friends, colleagues, managers whom I really like and respect.  Anyhow, I don't have to decide this right now.  I know I'm back in the office on May 1, 2012.  I sat there in the lecture thinking maybe I should have gone to medical school instead of nursing school.  Maybe that would be a better fit in terms of students being there because they truly want to learn the material.  But I truly do not want to be a doctor, I want to be a nurse practitioner specializing in maternal health. 

Then I looked around me, and saw other young students sitting near me, all with lecture notes printed off or studiously typing notes into their laptops.  Clearly the few totally immature ones in front of me would be considered the few 'bad apples' that tend to give entire demographic groups a bad rap.  They'll either not be around by the end of the year for flunking out (if that even still happens at university - things have so changed in terms of deadlines...that's another blog post in itself!), or will get their act together, grow up and smarten up.  And the class demographic is about 50% being 30+, and the other 50% being fresh out of high school.  So at least half the class is in a similar mindset to myself. And, most importantly, I'm building a core group of friends that are great.  :-)

Given the was they behaved yesterday during the lecture, the giggly topics of conversation I was privy to listen to, I simply cannot imagine these girls in their first clinical rotation next year, when we'll have real patients to touch and work with. 

This vent is ending.  My lesson learned from yesterday was arrive to class early, and choose where I want to sit!!!  And I guess I really need to focus on the end result of the schooling, not necessarily the process, and the fact that like-minded friends are in the program.  I need to visualize myself really working with a labouring mother, and assisting her in the safe delivery of a new life.  That's what I really want to do as my job.  More than anything else. And I've been given the opportunity to do so, even at mid-life.

Time to hit the books.  It will be a full weekend of studying.  My first exam is next week!  Ouf!

No comments:

Post a Comment