Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shakespeare and Exam amongst the rubble


A belated happy birthday to William Shakespeare, who turned 444 yesterday. He doesn't look a day over 400, I swear; that's what a good moisturizer will do for you.

Oh, boy. The rubble would be the aftermath of the last couple of days, remnants of flying shrapnel that used to be my tiny little mind. So hello, and welcome to the smoking wreckage. It's all more fun than I could possibly describe. Exam, and computer issues, and hardly any sleep at all, and like that.

Middle child is in a production of "Midsummer Night's Dream," and they open tomorrow; much excitement. She is now given to saying things like, "why do people think Shakespeare is hard to understand? what's so hard about it?" Go, kid! The rehearsal schedule has meant that every time I think I have a good chunk of time to relax, plant some pansies, and maybe read, I'm wrong - instead I'm supposed to be driving somewhere. The play will be wonderful, and she's an amazing kid and doing amazing stuff; it's just this "limited number of minutes in a day" thing that's the issue, and yes, I'm no longer counting in hours, minutes is what we're reduced to chez Weasel.

Bio exam last night, and it was actually okay. I think I did pretty well, although I did, as per usual, change an answer at the last minute to make it incorrect - longish description of the action of phosphodiesterase, and for some reason I convinced myself this was actually the molecule the phospholipase C cleaves in a cyclic AMP signal amplification cascade, which of course it doesn't, duh, it's an enzyme, and what it really does (WHICH I KNEW!) is re-set the cAMP to an inactive state and stop the cascade - so, ah crap, definite points off on that, also I was unable to correctly calculate - wait for it - the square root of 0.16 - which I realized in the car was of course .4 not the .04 I'd written. Good god. So a whole bunch of other stuff was wrong on the basis of that allele frequency calculation. Fuck. Let's see, what else did I screw up ... oh, yes, I attributed the embryonic development of drosophilia to another organism entirely. And kind of punted on some of the action of the kidney.

Other than that it was fine. I felt like Dory, in "Finding Nemo" - kept on saying to myself, I remember! hey! I remembered again! There was a LOT of short answer, and to my amazement, I knew almost everything. I remembered notochords and what the difference is between chordates and vertebrates, and all kinds of stuff like what a podocyte is and name three cytokinins in the immune system and what they do, and oo it was sort of fun. I remembered MHC I and MHC II, and far too many things about macrophages...in many ways it was Night of the Macrophages, that and everything you ever wanted to know about embryonic development in all species but were afraid to ask. Plus the endocrine system.

Less fun was the realization that my biostatistics assignment was due not April 29th but, um, April 23rd. So I ended up spending a huge amount of time doing that through the night rather than the almost-sane studying I'd mapped out for myself. Did studying, too, just not so much the sleeping. Bonus: finished early, uploaded, checked course message board, discovered I'd used wrong approach on part of it, re-did it, re-uploaded, checked with TF to see if it got there, no it was a garbled file, saved in another format...crap, yes, this means I spent at least two hours not studying, thinking, or trying to figure out the guts of the statistics program, but solely trying to get my computer to transmit a document in a format that could be recognized by another computer. DONE. YAY.

The best part - yes, there is a best part - is that all the excruciating detail I was despairing over on immunoglobins and their genetics and molecular structure? Not on the exam at all. Which means they won't be on the final, either. Which is awesomely fantastic.

Wait, no, the BEST part? That was going home and hanging out with my oldest child for a little while ... and then, finally, getting some sleep. As the preceding may have indicated, I've pounded myself pretty hard, to the point where I think I'm at the limits of what I can stand. And now I get to stop and breathe for a bit.

It's a beautiful day out. Think I'll go plant some pansies.

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