Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Beginning of the End

Several people have asked me how school is going so far.  It's time for a serious update.  I know.  I still don't have a New York or Disney post, but I seriously didn't have time to get on the Internet outside of school-related stuff last week.

Monday was day one of our 30 month adventure of Mommy in PA school.  I woke up bright and early at 5:30am to get dressed and ready to go.  Made my lunch like a good girl and woke the girls at 7:00am to get them dressed and ready to go.  We were out the door by 7:10 and at their school by 7:25.  Leaving the girls at school was not made any easier when they both looked up at me and said, "Mommy, wanna go home."  My heart still shatters into a million pieces when I think about that moment.  Thankfully there were no tears as I walked out the door.

I made it to my school by 7:45, which gave me plenty of time to find my building, find a parking spot, organize my things and put on a brave face for Anatomy Lab.  We were divided into six groups, one for each cadaver.  All was well until we opened the lid on our cadaver table.  That is a smell that I don't think I will ever get used to.  I tried to be brave and get close, but then I started feeling the blood drain from my face.  I sat down to avoid passing out.  I must have looked pretty bad because several people asked me if I was okay.  When a girl in my group offered me a piece of gum, I took her up on it and the smell of WinterFresh immediately replaced formaldehyde.  By the end of the class, I was watching my classmates dissect, but was not yet ready to actively participate.

After lab, we have lecture.  This is the schedule everyday.  It's a teleconference with a professor in Oklahoma City.  Questions are harder this way.  Nobody is thrilled with it.  Apparently the Anatomy professor from last year went in for a procedure shortly after the Spring semester let out and didn't make it.  Another example of why I believe that one should consider surgery thoroughly before jumping under the knife.

After lab is lunch and then we have another lecture.  Depending on the day of the week it varies from 2-4 hours long.  In addition to Anatomy, we are taking BioChemistry, Professional Issues in Medicine, and Public Health.  Yesterday we took a Medical Terminology test and assuming I passed, that will be the last I will have of that class.

We didn't get the car seats in for Jonathan's car until Tuesday, so I had to pick the girls up from school Monday and Tuesday.  Now it's Jonathan's job to pick them up.  This gives me a little flexibility so I can spend quality time with the cadavers (I am fully capable of participating in the dissection of Fiona now - Fiona because her skin is a bit green) Thursday evenings in preparation for our weekly Friday lab exams.  Fill-in-the-blank.  Ouch.  There's no guessing.  You just either remember what you are looking at and the term for it or you don't.  Pretty sure I passed, but most likely won't be hanging that grade on the fridge.

I did a good job this week of making up a list of easy meals and shopping for them over the weekend.  I came home and knew exactly what my options were and had everything on hand.  Hopefully I will remain diligent with that.  Despite all my preparation and the support of my amazing husband, I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety.  The kind that twists my stomach in knots and makes me wonder just when I will toss my cookies.  Also, even though I am a (nearly) 30-year old student with a husband and two kids, I feel a bit overlooked by some of the other students - it's like high school all over again.  Hopefully, as my anxiety passes and I get to know everyone better, this too will pass.

As for the girls, they don't seem to be any worse for the wear.  They miss us, but seem to have fun at school.  They only cried two of the five days we went to school and I'm sure that will improve when they get used to our new routine.  I'm not happy with the foods they are fed (taquitos, pancake-on-a-stick, pop tarts - seriously?), but their school is clean and the teachers are nice and they have been napping.

Prayers are appreciated.  This is going to be hard on all of us.


  1. Hang in there! I am so proud of you for starting this journey! You guys are on my prayer list for sure! Hope the girls are feeling better!

  2. Hi Michelle,
    I'm the Guide to Continuing Education at, part of The New York Times Company. I found your blog this morning and blogged about you:

    Good luck!


  3. We haven't reached that stage yet (thankfully) but it is a great reminder to enjoy all the moments today, because they won't be here for long. Thank you for that!