First week of school

Now my first week of school is over, and it’s really about time to make a legitimate journal entry and report on how things are going and what I’m working on and such.

To start out wis, the course is really intensive. It’s been four days (a lot of which has even been spent on red tape rather than actual study), but I feel like it’s been a couple of weeks already. They warned us that it’s a demanding program, and they sure as hell were right. We’ll see how our first test goes (next Tuesday), at which point I should be able to say whether I think a course this intensive is going to be a problem for me or not.

Secondly, teachers. Our main teacher is named Bethany. She’s a few years older than I am, though she’s very beautiful and looks about ten years younger than she is. She’s fun and nice and a good teacher, and so far I am thoroughly pleased wis her. The other teacher, however, named Alexx, who is also the program manager for the whole Dental Assistant Program, IS AN IDIOT. She’s been doing dental assisting as long as I’ve been alive, and may indeed be very good at it… but at teaching not so much. She’s co-teaching the Tuesday/Thursday class wis Bethany, so we only have to put up wis her sometimes… but I can already tell that doing so for eleven months may well be the biggest challenge of this program. She’s a nice idiot, one that cares about students and is very encouraging and such… but an idiot she remains.

She’s totally stream-of-consciousness. This is a really fun style sometimes in writing, but in teaching (again) not so much… especially given that she is unable to complete a coherent thought and/or relate it back to her original point. I remember one particular instance, on Monday, I believe, when she was explaining the breakdown of grades (tests are worth this much of your grade, attendance is worth this much, and so on): “The reason it’s set up this way,” she begins… “We care about every single student here. Every single one of us cares about every single student here and we all want to make sure you all graduate.” OK, so far, so good… not exactly connected, but at least still in the same ballpark… “And when you get out into the field…” And now (to continue the baseball metaphor and tie in what she said), we’re suddenly out in left field. And then she starts describing situations that arise in the daily life of a dental assistant, and never comes back to the breakdown of grades.

You know how people put filler words/sounds into their speech? “Like” and “um” and “y’know” and so on? And how you don’t really hear them because they’re mostly meaningless? Well, some people use actual phrases that have actual meanings for this space-filling purpose, and it makes their sentences sound very stupid and sometimes confusing. Alexx’s space-filler is, “Believe it or not.” On Tuesday I kept track of how many times she said it: 55 in two hours. At one point she managed to say it three times in one sentence. “Believe it or not, bones are important” would be a mildly amusing phrase when spoken ironically. But irony could wave its bare, hairy ass in this woman’s face and she wouldn’t recognize it. Another thing she says a lot is, “This is true” — usually in front of random facts she’s attempting to teach us. Well, it sure as hell better be true if you’re teaching it.

She has a lot of pet phrases, actually. We all have pet phrases, of course, but she takes it too far. She’s constantly talking about “Negative Nellies” as if this were a term included in the CDT (Current Dental Terminology, established by the ADA to assist in protecting patient confidentiality; see, I am learning), and she can’t refer to extracurricular life as anything except “Real Life 101.” “Real Life 101 happens,” and that sort of shit. She says this every other second when she’s talking about how to be a good student… and apart from this obnoxious repetition, the phrase makes no fucking sense in any context other than “learning how to deal with real life” (which is what is generally implied by tacking “101” onto the end of something), and that’s usually not how she’s using it.

God, you should have seen her today trying to search for a videon on YouTube. It was just… words cannot describe…

They go on a lot about “professionalism” at this place; all of them do. But it’s not what I’ve always considered professionalism — that is, maintaining a standard of dignity that reflects the expectations and deserts of your employer — but rather basic social skills wis a hint of customer service thrown in… things that, if abandoned, can destroy your professionalism but that, in themselves, I would not call “professionalism” per se. Anyway, Alexx talks about these basic social skills one needs to have to remain at this school and to succeed in a medical career from the perspective of everyone being exactly the same (i.e. like her) and prepared to react to any situation in the exact same way. So she talks about situations I don’t get into and reactions I don’t have and how to deal wis them, and I’m like -__- Then she’ll say to the class, “Have you ever…” and describe some situation or experience that supposedly illustrates her point in language that suggests we’ve all had this experience or been in this situation — and not a single one of these applied to me. It got so maddening that eventually I started actually shaking my head whenever she did it.

And then she goes on about how you can’t assume things about people. And she made the comment that this generation (my generation) is a lot less tolerant than hers and has a tendency to judge people based on appearances. Aaaargh.

Today I found out that she plays WoW. Given her utter, almost frightening inability to perform basic functions on a computer… and her seeming stasis in a previous generation and that generation’s frame of mine… this was something of a HUGE SHOCK. It was the first conversation I’d had wis her that didn’t make me murderously frustrated. Apparently she reached level 80 on her main just recently, and is pleased wis herself. To be quite honest, this made me like her a lot more. Like I said, she is a nice idiot… and I would never actually want to say something mean to her, much as I might be thinking it. OK, but, seriously, moving away from Alexx XD

Thirdly, transportation. The bus stop is two miles away. So I get up at 530 to get ready, walk to the bus stop, sit on that bus for twenty minutes or so, transfer onto another bus, sit on that bus for twenty minutes or so, and then arrive at school. We wear scrubs — they are so cute; I have four colors — and white socks and shoes (some all-white Vans I ordered and love telve million), and since there’s no way I’m going to walk those two miles in my nice new white shoes and get my scrubs all sweaty, I change clothes once I get there. The problem wis this is that in stuffing my sweaty walking clothes and shoes into my backpack and leaving them there all day, my backpack ends up smelling like a locker room. I am pondering a way around this that will not add significantly to the bulk or weight of my load. Because did I mention two miles? Fortunately, I don’t need my dental instruments guide, my dental terminology guide, my coloring book, or my medical dictionary at school, so I’ve cut aforementioned load down by about ten pounds.

In general I am exhausted. Just completely worn out. The walking, the school (and I don’t even know how many years it’s been since I’ve been in a school situation), working thereafter, and homework have had me dead on my feet most of the week. And then Mostle is here for a bit unexpectedly, and I’m like *ded* Anyway, although this post seems really complainy, I am, in fact, very happy wis the current situation.

Besides the ficlet I wrote on the bus today, I have been working on Subtext (not that anyone but FarStrider even knows what that is) and the whore story (uh, not that anyone but FarStrider even… knows… what that is…) I need to get on a chapter of something. I will.

Also I will stop writing this long entry, though I’m sure there are some things I have forgotten to mention.

7 Replies to “First week of school”

  1. Working and going to school at the same time is very, very, very draining. You will adjust to it eventually, but you will probably always be tired. I know I am.

    1. I believe it. The last college classes I took were so long ago that, though I was working full-time at the time, I seriously can’t remember what it was like. I’m only working part-time right now (thank god), but I have more hours of classes than I did back then. We’ll see how it goes, ne?

  2. You can get pretty big Ziplocs, I think. At least I’ve seen some big ones…

    Also, you could try a wetbag. These are made specifically for transporting soiled cloth diapers, but it can also be used for wet swimsuits and a variety of other things. Plus, they come in cute designs!

    (Edited to fix my HTML.)

      1. Yep, those are cute! I have a small bag in “Aqua Goth Baby” on order, but I’m debating getting a bigger bag in one of the other designs. I like the Calaveras designs and the owl one. I’m sure the bigger bags would be able to hold your clothes and they’re not too expensive.

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