Archive for the ‘I suck’ Category

Last week, I got to run through the immunocytochemistry protocol I’ll be using from dissecting out the tissue to taking pretty fluorescent pictures and, as can be expected of most first attempts, I failed completely (OK, maybe not completely as I did get one cell that looked like it could be usable data, but pretty damn close). It’s frustrating because I really wanted for things to go well so I could prove to that part of my brain that has no self-esteem that I’m not just wasting everyone’s time and money with my incompetence.

So, that week didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but tomorrow I’m back in the lab and it’s a new week. I have some idea over where I could have gone wrong so maybe my failures will be more minor.


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Today was the last day of the second week of school (UofT has decided to create massive confusion with a schedule that makes sense but is still so fucking stupid) and I think I may be settling in with this going to lectures business and 10 hour days. I miss being a lazy good-for-nothing.

General updates on life:

  • I spend more than the course recommended amount of time working in the lab on my fourth-year project. I’m currently in the lab honeymoon phase where I’m convinced my supervisor is awesome (even if she intimidates me), the research I’ll be doing is pretty cool, and the grad student teaching me is not a controlling asshat who thinks I’m an idiot. Now I just wait until everyone realizes that I’m an incompetent idiot.
  • I’ve had a quick intro to neuroscience in three of my classes which is almost all repeat of stuff I’ve already learned (in one class I’ve even gotten the same lecture I had two years ago by the same prof). At this point, I think I may be learning more about the various ways to give this lecture and the different things you can emphasize.
  • The only non-physiology course I’m taking this term is with the two awesomest professors I’ve had at UofT. I took a course run by them last year and it freaking blew my mind. Since I’m sure someone will make a wrong assumption on the subject, it’s a science course.
  • I’ve got a lot of events to help setup as club exec and circumstances keep conspiring to give us even more stuff to do. I’ll also, hopefully, be volunteering at the Centre for Women and Trans People. Yeah for non-class stuff to keep me busy!
  • The last two days have been crappy emotionally. Everything external to how I feel is pretty good, but my reactions to stuff are completely inadequate. Anytime I’m not mentally occupied I start feeling panic-y, like I’m about to screw something up.
  • If I could have any superpower, I’d want to be able to stop time while I nap/sleep…
…and on that note I should go to bed.

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Fucking Monday

If been in a less than stellar mood since the end of exams. It’s probably some form of burnout and it sucks. If I didn’t have work and social obligations, I would have spent Thursday through today lying in bed with my laptop and watching cute animals on youtube*.

As for Mondays, they will be the worst day ever for the next month or so. I can deal with having to wake up at 6 AM to get to work and I can deal with a 6 to 8 PM evening class, but I don’t want to deal with both on the same day. Especially not when I have a 5 hour gap between the two. I am convinced that if previous experience hasn’t convinced me that Mondays were invented by the devil, this schedule would.

Today was particularily bad because I’m been a massive ball of nervous energy and nausea. I also got attacked by wild books leaping from atop my bookshelf and they were fucking heavy and OUCHmotherfuckingOUCH. The only redeeming part of today was spending two hours with the bestest person on the planet.

P.S. If this sounds disjointed as fuck and pointless, that because my brain is not exactly coherent.

* Damn, I just watched that and i’m already feeling better.

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Pyth suggested in a comment to a previous post that it may not be a terrible idea to vent/talk about my personal experience with self-injury. I’ve been reluctant do do so for many reasons. One of then is that I so rarely (never) talk about it IRL or on the internet and I just don’t know what to say or how to say it. A bigger obstacle is the fear of judgement.

I’m afraid of being seen as an “attention whore”. It’s hard to escape that insecurity when the most widespread image of a person who self-injures is the angsty teenager using mental illness cutting as a way of rebelling, getting their parent’s attention, and/or garnering sympathy from their peers. While this image is dishonest and dismissive, it’s not what really fucks me over and makes me insecure with how I’m judged when I talk about self-injury. What fucks me over is when it’s used to create a distinction between “real” and “fake” self-injury.

You see, there are fake self-injurers (whatever that actually means) who use self-injury to manipulate people for sympathy points when there is really nothing wrong with them (lets ignore that that cutting/burning/hitting yourself for attention indicates that something is probably not right). These people flaunt it (by which we mean talk about it at all) and should be ignored or laughed at (see various jokes at self-injurer’s expense). There are of course “real” self-injury. These are people with serious mental illness and serious problems because there’s got to be something really, really wrong with you if you purposely injure yourself. More importantly, these “real” self-injurers don’t ever talk about it because they are too ashamed and they should feel bad because they’re doing a very bad thing. In conclusion, if you talk about deliberately injuring yourself you’re just trying to get attention and you’re not serious and should not be taken seriously.

I know this is all complete bullshit. I know that what other people, especially ignorant idiots, think shouldn’t matter. But having that as a the main discussion and characterization of self-injury during those formative teenage years makes it hard not to develop anxiety about this judgement even when I know better.

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Tomorrow, I have my first exam and I doubt I’ll be sleeping tonight. Since almost anything is preferable to lying in bed trying to fall asleep while my brain is repeating the spinothalamic tract or the cranial nerve nuclei, I went and got enough caffeinated beverages to keep me awake for days…and chocolate gummi bears. Chocolate gummi bears make me feel better about my impending death by neuroanatomy final. I am, in fact, the most pathetic human being on the planet.

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I’ve been shit with posting the last week or so because I’ve been busy writing lab reports, assignments, and memorizing the fucking nuclei in the brainstem. So as penance, I’ll post this gel from two weeks ago:

I my defense:

  • I wasn’t the only one responsible for this mess (four pairs of hands are rarely better than one)
  • It was my first time pouring a gel
  • I hadn’t slept the night before.

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I’ve been feeling like shit for the past couple of days.

The past week I’ve gotten a break from school, which was appreciated after a week of midterm hell. However, this break also meant that I had a week of doing basically nothing*. Doing nothing sounds like a lot of fun, but indolence always manages to bring out the mental anxiety gnomes that that keep whispering about all the new things I should worry about. And thus I spent all of Reading Week worrying about the future, whether I did well on my midterms, and whether my GPA is total crap or not.

Today, I got one of my midterm marks back. By all objective measures it’s a very good mark and I should be happy. But I can’t help being disappointed because I thought I did better. I just feel so stupid and I keep wondering if maybe I totally screwed up on my other midterms. Maybe I’m not half as intelligent as I think I am. And maybe I should just quit now and find a job where I can come in, do my work as a good automaton, and go home to drown my sorrows in crappy reality teevee.

Sigh. Is this the sucky undergrad version of teenage angst?

*Going to work doesn’t count because it’s been a hell of a lot less taxing than school lately.

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