21 February 2009

In which I try to decide whether to throw in the towel

Some of you have heard me talk about my Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS professor. I hate him. He's an asshat.

He didn't make a good first impression on me when during the first session when he referenced his "contract with Temple" no less than three times (he's an adjunct). He didn't change the impression on the third meeting when he showed us a movie for the entire two hours. Folks, this is a grad-level course. After the movie, he told us that we didn't get to the point that he really wanted us to see (it's called a DVD, moron, and you can start or ffwd to that section). Then he went around the room and asked half of us what we thought about the movie. Not, mind you, "Does anyone have any thoughts about the movie?" or "Does anyone have anything they'd like to discuss about the movie?"

Today was the fifth meeting of the course. Before today, he has blamed the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Haiti on bisexuals. Then last week, he asked us to discuss the following case study: Tony is a homosexual male who has had three sex partners in the past six months, two of whom he did not know well. Pam has been married to John for ten years. John is the only person Pam has had sex with. They use oral contraceptives for family planning. Who is at greatest risk for contracting HIV and why?

Some people said Tony because he had multiple sex partners. Some said Pam because we don't know if John is stepping out on her. I asked if we can say that they're at equal risk because they're both sexually active and we don't know who's using condoms. He said no. Then since we were all arguing about it, he decided to make it an assignment. No more than one page, double-spaced.

After talking to several people about it, I decided to phrase my answer thusly: In terms of population statistics, a homosexual male with multiple sex partners has a greater risk of contracting HIV than a heterosexual female with one sex partner does. However, when assessing the individual risk of Tony and Pam, I would need information on whether Tony is having oral or anal sex, whether John is monogamous, whether any of them are using condoms, whether any of them are using drugs, etc., to make an accurate, informed decision.

Today, he started class by asking us how we answered the paper. He told those of us who chose Pam that we were wrong. He told those of us who answered both or neither, that we were wrong. He took his laser pointer and circled "homosexual," "three sex partners," and "didn't know well." Then he told us that since Pam was using oral contraceptives that she and John are "responsible." WTF???

He then spent the next 20 or so minutes explaining to us that homosexuality is a risk factor for HIV. One woman in class and I vehemently argued against him. Our argument is that sexual orientation (or "sexual preference," as he refers to it -- ASSHAT) is not a risk factor. The BEHAVIOUR is a risk factor. A gay man could have protected sex and a straight woman could have unprotected sex. It's the use (or not) or safer sex precautions that makes on at risk, not eh mere orientation. He told we were wrong.

I hate him.

Nancy had talked me out of dropping the course last week, but I'm 95% sure now that I will drop it.

And I had SUCH high hopes for this course.

20 February 2009

Calling all knitters

Go look at this and laugh:


Dear Universe

You're really starting to piss me off now.

A friend of mine can't find a job.

My sister hasn't had job satisfaction for years, and just when she finally decides to put herself back out on the job market, you decide to put our economy in the crapper.

A friend of mine just lost her beloved four-legged baby.

Another friend of mine just had to say good-bye to a beloved four-legged baby.

You stuck me with a dumb-ass of a professor for a course I was looking forward to and could have thoroughly enjoyed.

You planned my first mid-term to fall right after Daytona, so I had to study during it instead of knit.

And depending on the day, the hour, and the source, I may or may not have a job at any given point in time. If I DO have a job, I may or may not have benefits. If I DO have benefits, they may or may not be worth having.

Universe, I would like to remind you that I asked for a better 2009 than 2008 was, for both my friends AND me. Yes, I know, so far I am personally doing better than I was this time last year. I've made it this far with no surgeries or hospital visits (as a patient, anyway). I DO have a job, for which I am grateful. Friends of mine that were without jobs two months ago now have them, also.

But, dude... you better be front-loading all the woes of 2009. 'Cause if these first two weeks are a sign of things to come... I think I'll move to Australia.

19 February 2009

Still off the wagon

I just sat through my entire 1 hour and 50 minutes pre-calc class picking at my lips. It didn't matter that the professor was looking at me. It didn't matter that I sit at the front table to the side and I know most people in the front could see me.

All that mattered was that I needed to pick. And I couldn't stop.

Oh, and bonus. How did I handle the anxiety of getting ready to make a huge presentation at a huge meeting today? Picking. Yep, in front of the Director of Residency Programmes, in front of the Director of Nursing, in front of many directors.

Go me.

17 February 2009

Meme from Ria

Your Friendship Style is Gregarious

You love being with people, and you find it easy to make friends.

Hanging out with your friends gives you a real charge, and you tend to be busy every night of the week.

You enjoy interesting conversations and shared activities with your friends. Your motto is: "The more the merrier"

While you love your friends, you don't love it if they put demands on you. You don't think that friendship should be about obligation.

You and an Empathetic Friend: Are get along best one on one. Your Empathetic Friend loves talking about your social circle but may feel left out when the whole gang is around.

You and another Gregarious Friend: Are a perfect match. You've finally found a friend who's as outgoing and fun loving as you are.

You and an Independent Friend: Are well suited for each other. You don't put too demands on your Independent Friend, and your Independent Friend finds you fascinating.

You and a Philosophical Friend: Are pretty different. You're high energy. Your Philosophical Friend is more cautious. You'll have to meet in the middle and learn from one another.

16 February 2009

Stressed Much? Why, yes, I even have proof.

While several of you know that I have some slight OCD going on, very few (if any) of you know that when I am VERY stressed out, I have a nasty habit. And by VERY stressed out, I mean that I didn't do this particular thing when I was in hospital last year for 15 days, when I was going through Thesis Hell (tm) last year, or when I was unemployed and scared that I would have to move back to Missouri.

However, now with having a job that I
love, working with people that I love, and facing the very real possibility of losing my job, combined with the stress of having exactly one full day and either one or two evenings (depending on the week) to myself (as in, no commitments), combined with the stress of hating one of my professors because he's clearly homophobic/biphobic, combined with The Big Project at work putting a ton of pressure on me...

lus, the universe continues to throw shit at my friends. I have friends who are trying to make major life decisions that aren't easy to make. Friends going through major life adjustments. Friends dealing with illness and death. And while I'M not going through it, what affects my friends affects me. Because I love them. And I want to be there for them.


I'm taking a bit of a
leap of faith here because some of you won't understand. And that's okay. Some of you might not even TRY to understand. And I can understand that, too, although it's unfortunate. But I have faith that those of you that are my True Friends will try to understand, even if you don't.

So. When I get VERY stressed, I pick at my skin. Usua
lly the skin on my lips. Think about when someone has chapped lips and they pick the dead skin off. Not a big deal, right? Now think about doing that until the lips are bleeding. And they aren't even chapped. The person just digs into the skin with their nails and picks and picks and picks until there's something to grab onto. And then keeps picking. And won't let it heal.

I had an appointment with my therapist today and I to
ld her that I've been so stressed that I started picking again. When I moved my hand away from my mouth, she could see it from across the room. She was shocked. I haven't done this in YEARS - as in, probably about four years, if not more. I've worked hard to develop other methods of coping with stress, but they've all failed me now.

And the fact that I fe
ll off the wagon in and of itself kind of wigs me out.

But she and I ta
lked and I feel better. We reviewed coping mechanisms. We talked about how to deal with work stress. She gave me ideas for managing my homophobic professor. She helped me brainstorm where to do the job search.

But sti

08 February 2009

Answer #1

Q: What is your name?
A. Min

Q: Your quest?
A. To live... as opposed to merely existing.

Q. Your favourite co
A. B

More answers to come... But this was the easiest to answer.

And it's not too
late... no question is too personal. There is exactly ONE question that I refuse to answer, but I doubt of any would ask it. :)

02 February 2009

Min: The Q&A

Here's your chance to ask me a question - any question.

I promise an answer. It my not be an answer you like, but I'll answer in a future edition of my blog.

You can even ask it anonymous
ly if you'd like. :)

01 February 2009

General Update

So, as you may have noticed, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to blog about these days, but I'll give it a go.

There is a shit-ton of, well, shit going on at work, but I'm not really going to discuss it on a public blog. There are a few people with whom I have decided to share what's going on, but since it's very sensitive information and I'm not even sure I know how much of THAT I'm supposed to know, well - I'm sure you understand my reluctance. I will, however, share the bottom line, which is that times are tough in healthcare right now, and I was the last one hired in my department. Yay.

School is going well. I have a study partner in my Pre-Calc course. He's a 21-year-old kid from New Orleans. He's studying to be a high school math teacher. I have thoughts whether he will succeed at this goal and whether he would be good at teaching; unfortunately, they do not match. But perhaps he is just intimidated by the force that is Min. :P For now, he is a good study partner, and I enjoy hanging out with him.

Both of my professors are duds. One was saying questionable things about the transmission of HIV/AIDS in class yesterday; the other yells at us for not asing questions, then when we do, yells at us that that is what office hours are for. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. SP (study partner) has told me that since I'm the oldest one in class, it's up to me to stand up to him and tell him to treat us with a bit more respect. I told the SP I'm waiting for him to yell at me, and then it will be on like Donkey Kong (thanks, Manning brothers, for introducing that one into my lexicon).

Social life is NOT happening. I have work Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to either 4:00 or 4:30 p.m., depending on the day. Every other Monday, I have therapy. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I have class. Wednesday mornings, I leave the office for two hours for class; Wednesday evenings, I have WeightWatchers meetings. Saturday mornings, I have class. SP and I study together on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 1.5 hours until he leaves to go back to work. Then we study again on Saturdays after my Saturday morning class.

This schedule means that the days/evening I have to myself are: every other Monday evening, Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Sundays (which are largely spent cooking lunches for the week, laying out my clothes for the week, etc. - oh and homework).

I would love to be dating but (1) I have no one to date and (2) WHEN???

Also, a general note to all: I am VERY forgetful about turning my mobile ringer on when I get home from work/class. If you call me and I don't answer/return your call in a timely manner, always check online for me. I have no less than four different IM protocols up and running when I'm home and I have several email addresses. And, yes, my 24/7 phone policy is still in effect; I do, however, still reserve the right to tell you that yes, that WAS a funny story, but it could have waited until NOT 3:30 a.m.

Another meme

Min. Live the Pleasure.

That pretty much sums you up!