21 January 2011

First week of class is done.

I made it through the first week.  That's a start.

Some observations from this week:

  • All of my classes are either full, or very close to full.  I'm okay with that, as long as I can sit in a safe place; back row is preferable, back corner is perfect.  If I can't get there, sitting on the wall opposite the door is tolerable.  (I've tried the rule where you get more out of a class if you sit in the front row, but that just doesn't work for me.)
  • I'm far more comfortable in a class if I get there a few minutes early.  Being early gives me a minute to get my coat off, switch glasses, find the right binder, and look at where the last lecture ended (in other words, get my mind working on the subject at hand).
  • It took a little while to find some of my classes, figure out where the easiest entrance/exit was, and (critically important) find the nearest bathroom to all of my classes.
  • One of my classes in particular involves a lot of handouts-- for this class, I take notes in my Livescribe notebook, and on the handouts I reference the notebook page where the actual notes are.  Part of my studying routine for that class is transferring the notes to the actual handouts (meaning I see it twice, once in lecture and once on my own).
  • I can look around in any class, and see one or two people never pick up a pen and look terminally bored while I fill page after page of notes.  I'm also the only one in the room using a Livescribe pen.  My first semester here, I paid a lot of attention to my classmates.  Now, I don't pay them much attention at all.  (This is probably due to my success last semester, which convinced me that I belong here, and the effects of the meds I've been taking.)
  • I am enjoying being in class.  It's all math, logic, and abstraction, and material from the classes I had last semester is showing up again this semester.   That continuity is very reassuring.  I'm as trained as anyone else in each of my classes.  I can do this.
Overall, I'm feeling better about school this semester.  Things here are familiar now, and last semester's grades feel good.  I'm still on academic probation, and I can still do better getting things done and keeping up with homework.  There will, I'm sure, be many stressful moments this semester.  Life isn't perfect, but I will say it's a bit better.

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