Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Going up!

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

I am pleased to report that, as I write this, I'm in slightly higher spirits. This evening, I visited with a relative who has achieved some of the same academic goals I have set for myself at one time or another (some of which I abandoned). We discussed my first term at my new university and I explained that I had just barely scraped by. In 3 of the 4 classes I took, I was hanging onto a C by a wee thread, while my claws were dug sufficiently into a C in another. Straight Cs. That is a first in my academic record. I've had a C or two in the past (damn you to the depths of hell, Mr. S. Alek, and your ridiculous pre-calc class, too.), but generally As and Bs. These grades have been the source of much of my recent depression, for I took some pretty important classes. I was convinced that my medical career vanished right before my eyes. The reality is that I might not now get into any of my top choices of schools, but I'm not yet condemned to St. Lucia (please imagine me laughing, because I am). It's over and I'll never make the same terrible mistake of signing up for so many difficult and demanding courses in the same term. My ego is now ghastly under-inflated.

I am soon to see my doctor again for my 6 month check-up. More blood drawn. Oh, how I look forward to sitting in that frigid waiting room, starving to death! Also, I am not looking forward to being told to raise my HDL. I hate making him say that every time, and the embarrassment and shame I feel about it is good for a few weeks' worth of daily exercise, but there's always that one morning when I wake up after insufficient sleep and I'm feeling a bit off..."I think I'll take it easy today, get to bed early, and really put in a good effort tomorrow." I might have a go for a bit a few days later, but that's the complete and total dropping off point. Since switching universities and having classes all over campus, I figured that all of the walking between buildings (as briskly as temperatures allow...don't care to be exerting myself in 90+ degree weather and high humidity!) and taking the stairs, always taking the stairs, would give me just about the right amount of exercise daily. Of course, I know this to be wrong...mostly.

Also, a cause of great embarrassment is an allergy to a medication that I once thought that I had. My doctor didn't argue with me about it, but only asked what it was that led me to that conclusion. I told him, and he didn't seem convinced, but again, didn't argue against it. If he has a blog, I'd love to go back and read the entry from that day. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I'm sure he thought me nearly fit for the asylum before that revelation, and it's a wonder I wasn't committed after. I can take some comfort in the fact that all of that happened after an extraordinary and terribly frightening medical incident brought on by ingestion of an unfortunately common food additive, to which I'd never experienced any adverse reaction before. At that point, I was terrified to introduce anything new to my body and was eating the same "safe" foods for months, for fear that I'd experience those symptoms again. Without question, the three (yes, THREE) times I went through it were the most torturous events of my life.

New Year's resolutions have never been something to which I've paid any mind, except for when forced to for a writing assignment in grade school English class, but I'm thinking about devising a list of things that I've neglected long enough. Hmm.

1. Quit smoking.
    Aha, one down already! Round about next Easter time, it'll have been 5 years.

2. Cut down on the alcohol intake.
    Say, I'm on a roll! I haven't been drunk since a blow-out with a former lady friend in the early months of the year. Before that, it had been at least two years.

3. Exercise more
    Celebration of accomplishing the first two goals is now to cease. The idea is to take advantage of the free gym to which I have access, and to do so at least three times a week. Next term, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be my "off" days, having only one class to attend. I shall also try to work in something on Wednesday or Friday, depending on which day ends up being scholastically more demanding. Once I'm adhering to that schedule without fail, I should then seek to tack on an extra day, and then another, until I'm in there for at least half an hour five days a week. Yes.

4. Seek help for depression. well as whatever else may be going on up my head that causes me to fall into such nasty ruts every now and again. I have noticed that it all starts with me feeling a little "off" one day, and then something happens to take my level of self-worth down a notch or two, which opens the floodgates. At the lowest point, I'm just about ready to accept complete responsibility for the slaughter of this continent's indigenous folks in the name of westward expansion. It doesn't make any sense, but it's how I end up feeling, although slightly exaggerated in my description here. I'm sure that part of this affected my grades, which served to make me even more depressed. Nice little cycle there, and I really don't want it to get further out of control.

5. Kick Biochem square in the pants.
    ...but first, provide that treatment to Organic II. That poor showing in Organic I has to be made up for.

6. Seek help in bettering my time management skills.
    I've always been good at splitting up my time and prioritsing...that is, until last term. There were many moments where I spent ten minutes try to decide between studying for my calc or organic exam first, and for how long.

7. Smile more!
    I enjoy smiling and I love laughing, but I've noticed that I've, at some point, picked up a scowl as my default facial expression during my travels across campus. There have been probably untold numbers of female admirers spurned by my angered look.

The first step to success, they always say, is setting attainable goals, and I believe that I've done just that. So, my dear, off to bed I go.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

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