Thursday, March 15, 2007


That is the sound of Spring. It has Sprung. I now have a waltz going around in my head that I learned as part of the School For Girls choir, it's a good waltz, so it's OK. Though I always thought the bit about the violets blooming was inaccurate because there never were a lot of violets around, crocuses and daffodils and a few early flaming parrot tulips. No violets.

Living here I feel as though we go straight into summer, the bright hot sun, with a breeze that varies between a little warm and perfectly cool. I really wish my lab had windows so I could enjoy watching the weather go by.

This coming Monday I have my first exam since early 2001, which was my ill-fated finals in London. This midterm is based on an 18 page terms list with definitions of words related to epidemiology. Some of the definitions are actually contradictory to the text book, a lot of them are inelegantly worded, but I have been told "stick to the version in the list, even if the book says otherwise". I am torn: I don't know if I'm more worried about being able to learn it all by then, or about being marked down for an "incorrect" answer because I find it easier to memorize paraphrased definitions that make more sense to me.

I suppose this is the part of "school" that I find the hardest. Not the learning and understanding of new stuff, it's the flaming hoops of nonsense you have to jump through, the atrociously written homework assignment it takes longer to decipher than to actually answer, and the terms list that someone pulled out of their ass and then didn't even bother to proof read before flinging it at us. Um. Sorry. That was a little disgusting.

I know I will have to deal with more of this, and I know that if I do go through this program, THEN get into the Epi Doctoral program, and end up teaching this class, I will want to rewrite the terms list, and maybe I'll be told it's not allowed, and maybe I won't possibly have the time to, but I really wish academic success were based more on learning and intelligence than on the ability to parrot back a definition exactly as written, even if parroting their exact wording may detract from real understanding of the term or concept.

1 comment:

K said...

Good luck. I know what you mean about the list - I used to have the same trouble learning lists of Latin vocab out of context...

But. I'm sure the test will go fine.