Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Not just my imagination

Considering how much lament the  challenges with  being a woman in Science, it's always nice to read an article that reminds me that I'm not alone in this "fight":

Here's yet another article which speaks on what I talk about pretty regularly, the difficulty of being a Woman, especially a Black woman , in Science. And as much as I'd like to say that the "kum-ba-ya" moments in scientific research are increasing, I think the reverse is true, that's there's never been a more difficult time to be a woman AND a minority in Science. And I point to ONE very important politically INcorrect reason for this disturbing trend and that is the large influx of people from misogynic cultures into research positions in the US. There I said it (again), Doc201X keeps it real!!!!!!

Moving on, I'm working on some Youtube vidoes in Biochem in support of my tutoring business and to help myself and others prepare for the MCAT, and lemme tell ya', this is NOT an easy thing to do! But I figured since I have some time on my hands, I may as well do something productive. Plus, this would be a great way for me to draw in more business so I don't have to work with little egotistical men in tiny Family Dollar suits in the near future, LOL!!! I also purchased my first EK book (Biology 1) and will get to work on an MCAT study plan over the next few weeks. I say weeks because I have NO IDEA how I'm going to approach preparing for the exam this time, I'm looking into what others are doing and trying to get an honest assessment of where my weaknesses are (cough, genetics/physics, cough). Here's a screen shot of my using the Khan Academy videos (with me in the background shadows, lol) to play catch up in the biological sciences:

And in the spirit of keeping it real, here's my girl, Cheryl Lynn with a classic hit about doing just that!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I go to work!!!!

It turns out that over the past year or so, a recurring message keeps popping up over and over again, more than at ANY time in my life and that is:


Starting this Fall semester, getting into med school will be my PRIMARY objective. Not research gigs, or even clinical research gigs, just getting into med school. So my first step was to resign from my clinical research gig because while I was only being paid for 40 hours, I was expected to work 50+ hours on an inflexible 8-5:30 when you MUST be here, strict schedule. Of course, I knew this gig would be "problematic" from the jump because my too small Kmart suit wearing, 2 feet shorter than me from a highly misogynistic, foreign culture supervisor turned out to be the epitome of the phrase "how da' heck did you get YOUR job?!?!?!!?". His "soft major" aside, I mean he asked me in an email why I used the "@"sign in a database dictionary I created and what the symbol meant. Yes you read that right, he asked me what the "@"sign meant, in an email and he was dead serious. Less than a week later, I resigned. Adding the fact that I out educated him by 3 STEM degrees, and it was clear that from a "working for a short man from a misogynistic culture perspective", this was never going to work in the long run, not that it was supposed to. Along these same lines, research environments have over the past 5 or so years, become filled to the brim with middle aged people from cultures where women are less than second class citizens. And this is a huge problem that no one seems to want to talk about or address.

Now I know I said before I wouldn't speak negativity on my blog, but this just couldn't be helped this time, LOL!!! And it's well with me because I NEVER resigned from my teaching gig which should have in itself, been a "sign". Having the "Fly Doc" (who warned me about this gig and my little dude supv in particular) be replaced with "Mr. soft major in a too small Kmart suit" should have been a second sign, and it was. And that's why I hung onto my teaching gig, so when the kids return to school in August, I will too!! I'm also looking at an Adjunct teaching gig at the university level as well as tutoring over the next school year, a couple premed students too. Truth be told, I really missed having a flexible schedule at this point in my life, and working overtime for a micromanaging incompetent wasn't going to get me to my goal.

However, the two most important things I'm going to do this fall is volunteer at a hospital (the one I just resigned from, haha) and study for the MCAT. There's also a couple 5 year premed/med programs in the state that I have my eye on, and with the 3 additional med schools opening in Texas, moving here was by far a super great idea for my family and me! The fact that we love living here (minus the devil's anus heat) and are around the nicest people I've ever met, I couldn't be any happier than I am now about the future! Except if I were also IN Med school! ;)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Back in the saddle again.

So I'm now regularly studying for the MCAT, though I've yet to develop a formal plan to do so. And I started with taking practice tests and scored an impressive 27 (All 9's based on the old scoring) and considering I hadn't taken an exam in over a year, I thought that score was fantastic!!! Honestly, I'm just kinda bored studying for the exam this time around because between the last time I took the exam in 2011 (I think), and the fact that for almost 2 years, Ive tutored students (in the science sections only) taking the exam, I'm just soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
"OVER"this freakin' exam!! URGH!!! Double URGH!!!!!!!!!

Anyhoo, I also decided to pick up a class this summer (advanced stats in R) because I simply don't have enough to do, LOL!! More importantly, I don't want to forget everything I learned last semester and programming isn't like riding a bicycle, at least not for me. Too many weeks away and I forget every damn thing I learned!!

Outside of that, nothing much is going on, my kid starts her first job next week and has joined a few engineering clubs for women and minorities at her school. My FIL is still by some miracle hanging on in what looks like the most dysfunctional family situation I've EVER seen as far as what should be his end of life care. Having been down this road myself with my own father (and with a remaining parent in denial about her own cancer Dx), I totally "get" some of the dysfunction I see as it's incredibly hard to let people you love "go". So in an effort to keep from being judgmental, I try to stay supportive but it's incredibly hard to see someone suffering to no end and for a poor quality of life to boot. Just very sad...............................................

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

From comment/message to post June 2015

Just found your blog (I'm sitting for the summer exams and was having a crisis of faith so was google searching for non-trads) and wanted to say that I felt really inspired by your posts!   I'm kinda in the same boat (but a bit farther behind on the river, LOL). Best of luck on your path!!!

It absolutely never EVER ceases to amaze me that when I'm in my darkest hour for whatever reason (and I've got a multitude of them going on now), one of my readers drops a few lines at just the right time to remind me to stay on course. And this was the case with the message quoted above from one of my readers.

So in the interest of "keeping it real" I have to admit that I've more than a few moments in the past few months where I considered nursing school, yep I said it, nursing school. Or maybe I should specify the DNP program. But between the fact that I'm not interested in the slightest in the nursing model of medicine and I work better in environments dominated by men (a lesson I'm reminded of now as I type this), I'm certain that a clinical career as a Physician is in my future.

And I don't have words for how laser focused I am on this goal, I understand with great clarity more than ever that there's a reason why my current clinical research work with Physicians is so enjoyable and fulfilling! I want to someday answer the questions they're asking, helping patients in the same capacity they are. And I obviously want to ask/address the same types of research questions too. Plus there's a TON of work to do in my new favorite area of medicine, GI or gastrointestinal. No, I never quite imagined performing a colonoscopy on someone one day, but there are many questions to be answered in this field. Not to mention that work in this area could include Peds, I think this may be a good premedical student/health disparities match! :)

Lastly, I want to publicly thank the reader who sent me the message, I hope you don't mind me publishing it!