The Fall Semester So Far

I intended to write this post after the first week of classes ended. That didn’t happen. Then maybe after the first month. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. Why? Because this has been a very busy semester so far, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

I am taking 3 classes and a lab this semester:

  • Principles of Nutrition
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Microbiology Lab

I have two classes on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, shuffling between the south campus and the north campus of the university in between classes. On Wednesdays, I also have lab in the south campus at 8 AM, so Wednesdays are my long days. Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Microbiology in the south campus, which makes these my “light” days, except for these being my only days to catch up on studying and class homework. In addition to all this, since the first day of classes, I have been attending the university gym pretty much every day.

Yeah, it’s been non-stop since. But you know what? I’m doing fine and rolling with it. Especially with the gym part, but I’ll write about that separately.

Nutrition has been something of a disappointment so far – we’ve been covering a lot of basics; six chapters worth of basic stuff. All useful, but boring, to be honest – it’s just a lot of the theoretical foundations of food processing in the body and nutrient composition; all very important, but, let’s get to the good stuff. I’m looking forward more to lessons on nutritional balance, food choices, etc, especially as I’ve altered my eating habits to match my new physical exercise ones. Our first test is this week, so we’ll see how I do.

In Statistics, surprisingly, I’ve been doing a lot better than last semester. My professor is German and has a thick accent and pronounces “the” as “ze,” but he’s incredibly organized and explains well. I just took my first test, and though I know I bombed a couple of things here and there (I totally blanked out on some details), overall I feel good. I mean, this time around I am actually understanding most of the material, and that’s huge. I’m still shooting for a C so I can pass, but maybe, just maybe I can get a B? We’ll see.

Microbiology, wow, that’s the class where for an hour and fifteen minutes we are writing notes non-stop. First of all, it’s in an auditorium and there’s 300+ students. Three hundred. I have never taken a class of this size, ever, and I hate it. The professor just stands in front and zips by his PowerPoint presentations while we race to keep up when jotting these down because he doesn’t upload them to his website. It is downright insane. It makes me fear my last two science classes for next semester. The first test was during the holidays, so I will have to take a make-up, which also scares me, but we’ll see how it goes.

And Lab, well, Lab is where we do SCIENCE! So far I’ve observed under a microscope a whole bunch of bacteria and other microbes, including the ones living rent-free in my mouth, which has been cool, if icky at times. We’ve done some cultures and we’re in the process of growing a couple of colonies of microbes that we can then study. SCIENCE!

The hardest part so far has been meshing my class schedule with the Jewish High Holy Days. Over the course of a month, I’ve missed three sessions of each class (except the Lab) and one test, which means I have had to cram a lot of studying and homework into the days before and after the holidays. I know I am not the first Orthodox Jew who has gone through university or the Nursing program, but this is my first time going through this period while taking classes (when I was doing my BA in English, I wasn’t Jewish yet, even if I already had the inclination) and it’s been a learning experience. I don’t suppose it will get easier as I go along, so I simply gotta deal.

Next week will be the seventh week of the semester, technically mid-term, and Thanksgiving break is still quite a ways away, so I gotta keep trudging along. With G-d’s help.