I signed up to be a mentor to pre-pharmacy students, mostly because I needed a few altruistic hours. I got assigned with Aspie (a coincidence) to this chemistry PhD guy who’s in his fifth year and hates it. His experiments haven’t gone anywhere and he’s not happy with the future of his particular subfield. He had a ponytail and a kid and a wife. He worked in a windowless office in a basement. His adviser was poached by Rutgers but it didn’t really matter because he had a shitty adviser. He wanted to stay in academia because he’s kind of a hippie and has a chemistry equation tattooed on his arm and did Peace Corps. But obvs he doesn’t have good research so he can’t publish so he won’t be able to stay in academia. It’s just a shitty world sometimes.
Also there’s a storm that’s been here. It was snowing quite heavily when I walked to school this morning, and it was raining when I walked back. Now it’s sleeting I think so it’s just interesting to hear the sound of the weather change as the temperature falls.
So there’s this Asian girl who’s weird looking and quiet and religious. She looks like the alien from the movie Alien, with eyes that are too big and far apart and high on her head. I disliked her from the start because it was impossible to have a conversation with her. I would say something and she would say something and then I would just kind of look at her while she laughed at her own unfunny joke.
I told this to my international student friend, and he said that she thought the same thing of me. I guess that’s true because I generally act aloof around people who I don’t like. I also don’t bother remembering their names or anything about them.
“There’s no point in remembering the names of ugly girls.” –me
That is true on some shallow level. Girls who aren’t pretty have to work hard to be noticed. It’s slightly better for guys, but I’ve never particularly cared for thinking about it too hard.
On Wednesday I had an interview in the morning with a hospital and then two midterms in the afternoon. Also last week I took the biochem midterm and got the results back Wednesday, so it was a big day. The interview went fine, she laughed a bit, I laughed a bit, it was one of my better interviews like a 7/10. But then she gives me a tour of the hospital and she has a really blunt affect the whole time and that was like 3/10. So I don’t know what that was about. She was Norwegian so she naturally has a bit of froideur in public. I dunno if I’ll get it, a lot of my classmates also applied and they have interviews until next week.
Then I got my biochem midterm score back. I got a pretty hard B, but a lot of people did horrible on the exam. He had a lot of questions that were poorly worded. Aspie got a hard D. He apparently forgot a lot of stuff I knew he knew while we studied. So yeah, during lunch the first-years were embittered but we moved on quickly. We went to biochem class afterwards and it was okay. Nobody paid any attention because we were studying for the midterms we had that day.
My frenemy (who is now basically my friend and not at all an enemy but is still really weird) left twice during biochem to throw up. I have always hypothesized that she had a grievous illness for which common soda was a therapy, so I assumed that she had some sort of relapse. She went to the hospital after biochem, so she missed the two midterms. Her hospitalization merely reaffirmed my hypothesis. Whatever, I didn’t care. I had two midterms to take. I got rocked on one (it was about physical chemistry and it was really different from the practice tests so I hadn’t actually prepared for any calculations that couldn’t be done using the provided formula sheet, but he expected us to memorize some equations that weren’t on there). A lot of students came out feeling bad about it, but I for sure missed at least 20 points on the exam so I’m definitely testing below average in that class now. The second midterm went really well, I knew everything and it was fine. But what I hate about their grading is that short/long answer questions are graded not by how well they answer the question, but by key phrases that must have been used. Like, you get +2 points for mentioning “endosome” and +2 points for mentioning “MHC alpha subunit”. Knowledge is tricky, evaluating knowledge is trickier.
Anyway, after the two exams I went home and slept and my day was fine or whatever. Today Dacia told me that my frenemy threw up because she had gotten a C and she was used to getting really good grades. That gave me a warm little feeling inside. It’s like the old Berkeley MCB major oath, “It’s not enough that I succeed, everyone else must fail.”
Apparently I don’t have a bedside manner. After I practiced patient counseling today on my TA, she was like, “You clearly knew what information to get out of the patient, but you were really blunt and didn’t let the patient talk.” That explained the previous 7 minutes of her kind of looking horrified at me while I asked her closed-ended question. Also I have a lot of commentary, like I’m really judgmental apparently. She was like, “I drink six cups of coffee a day” and I was like, “Oh, okay, so you drink a lot of coffee.” Apparently that is judgmental.
Also later when I was studying with some other students, I was like, “Yeah, I’m not going to try to persuade people not to smoke. It’s their choice and I don’t give a shit.” And this dude was like, “Then you shouldn’t be here. You should leave and go into some other field.” The first thought that popped into my head was a kind of laughing voice that went “hahaha who are you to judge?” He might have been mad at me because he’s kind of big and only eats 1600 calories a day and then I said that people (not him) should go on the Auschwitz diet because nobody there was fat. Fat people are sensitive.
So I guess I don’t have a good bedside manner but that doesn’t matter because most practicing pharmacists don’t actually give a shit.
Dacia can hear me when I come out of my room and walk down the stairs to the first floor, and sometimes she comes stampeding down afterwards like an ugly dumb Romanian water buffalo or something. She was like, HOW DO I MAKE SUBSCRIPT I HAVE BEEN TRYING FOR 45 MINUTES AND I CAN’T FIND
I informed her that I didn’t use Microsoft Word, but I would attempt to help her as soon as I put on some pants. Fuck wearing pants.
So I put on pants and walk upstairs, where I can see that she’d been looking through the symbols trying to find a superscript number 2. She said that she found 0 and 4. Ugh. Retard.
I can see that she already has a superscript 2 on her page, but she said that she copy/pasted that one but couldn’t make one on the sentence below it. I wanted to ask her why she didn’t just copy/paste it again, but I really don’t like to hear her talk so I just showed her how to go to font > subscript and then left. I then washed my hands because I touched her computer which is full of ugly Romanian old lady germs.
So I had an interesting conversation. I was speaking with Aspie, my international student friend, and this fobby Asian girl. The girl was talking about eating chocolate and getting fat.
Me: I don’t want you to get fat!
Me: Actually, I don’t really care if you get fat or not.
Everyone else: …
Me: This is probably why I don’t have a girlfriend.
Aspie: That’s ONE OF the reasons.
This was sort of random, but when I lived with Archibald he said the same thing to me once or twice, so now I’m curious as to the other reasons. I don’t relate well to people. And I have no game. And I’m not muscular. I guess those are good reasons.
Also my light bulb burned out and apparently the electric company here doesn’t subsidize CFLs so everyone uses conventional bulbs. When I screwed the new one in and turned on the light, I thought FIAT LUX. Go Bears, I guess.