I really have no words to describe how it feels to be done with school for potentially forever.  I mean REALLY potentially forever.  Especially when it’s ALWAYS been over my head – for my entire life – now, it’s just…I’m underemployed.  And a well-oiled science-class study machine at this point, which is so out of character that even D is impressed.

Honestly, I have never EVER studied with the intensity that I studied over the last 2 months…EVER.

I’m not really a study-er.  Let’s just say it wasn’t necessary.  I managed, and it worked out, probably because I write decent papers (some might actually say they are more than decent, but there have been some not-decent ones in there, too, started the night before they are due, written with bursts of clarity and “brilliance” at 4 am, and turned in at 9 am with absolutely. no. editing.….I can admit it, those really were not-so-decent) (although unfortunately, I never suffered, grade-wise, for that behavior, which would be the reason that it never actually stopped) (until the last 2 months, when it finally dawned on me that paper-writing really wasn’t the desired skill in biology or physics) – anyway, all of this to say that I am not used to studying.  At all.

(Those previous posts about studying?  Which you can find if you look hard enough?  Yeah, I mean, I did do that for points in time, but it was always a) late at night, and b) a day late, a dollar short…like in o-chem last summer.  So I guess yes, I did study, but not really in the effective way that one really *should* study.) (And I blogged a lot.  And took a lot of internet/walk the dog/talk on the phone/look at Facebook/eat some food/stand on my head breaks.)

And, in the last 2 months of my completely convoluted education path, I figured it out.  It only took….well, I’m 30, and I’ve been in school for most of the last billion years, so….that’s how long it took.

(I am starting MCAT studying next week.)

(I think those study habits of the last 2 months will probably come in handy for that.)

(Because have I mentioned how much I *suck* at science?!?  In hard science, you have a *right* answer and a *wrong* answer.  I INEVITABLY pick the WRONG answer.  And try very hard, with my lovely skills of Logic and Reason and Writing Prowess – that worked so well in previous courses – to explain why, after 4000 years of Conclusive Evidence-Based Research, that, really, it is This Answer that is ACTUALLY the right one.  Scientists have just not really understood anything all these years.  That, really, *they* should be grateful to *me* for FINALLY enlightening them.)

(It hasn’t worked.  Although in social science, where there are almost *no* Right Answers, or, at least, there are Some Right Answers, and Some Wrong Answers, and really, you could make a good case for any of them, and as long as it’s backed up by Someone’s Research, preferably published in a Peer-Reviewed Journal, it is totally fine.)

(Can we see why, perhaps, there was a taking-hard-science-classes learning curve?)

Going out with a bang, I did take the opportunity to write some love notes on my exam last night, mostly as a way to kind of pull it all (as in, all of these years) together.  Sample question:

A woman owns some sheep, and she loves them very much until they are 2 years old, when she ships them off to become food.  However, sometimes the neighbor’s mangy dogs come and eat the little lambs.  They never eat the big sheep, though.  Which survivorship curve best describes this population of sheep?

Now, the whole question of survivorship curves really depends on whether there is a sizeable population of sheep that can make to adulthood – ie, live a long, (prosperous?) life, and then croak.

But I sat there in the damn exam, wondering, “How old are sheep when they are technically adults?  Does it happen at 2?”

(And then, if you really want to know, I thought, “Well, Little is an adult at 2.  But oh, LITTLE!  Would we kill you for mutton chops?  Oh, that would be so sad.  I would not consider Little to be an adult, but I am pretty sure that is the standard for big dogs…isn’t it?  He still acts like a puppy now, and he’s four.  He still scampers!  But for cats – I think that is a year, to be an adult cat, isn’t it?  I wish I’d paid attention to the sheep at the petting zoo.  I wonder if that said when they are adults….” and on.  I’m sure you get the picture.)

So I wrote a little note.  “My answer is D, but if sheep aren’t at maturity at 2, my answer is B.

There were SEVERAL instances in this exam when I wrote such notes.  And, at one point, when discussing adrenal insufficiency – a topic I know a little too well, mostly because I am not the world’s most adherent patient, so I’ve taken it upon myself to be well-versed in what happens if one suddenly *stops* taking prednisone or whatever – which was REALLY not the question, but honestly, this man writes really *confusing* questions, and adrenal insufficiency was a *perfect* answer to his question, although it was not based on anything in any lecture or book – ANYWHOO, I wrote,

“Although I actually know this is correct, if this is not what you are looking for, please give me points for creativity.  Thanks!”

Which, you know, is right up there with Logic and Reason.

It’s over.