..need someone to share this with

sad.gif Hi Everyone, I've been outof the loop here for a few days---trying to make sense out of what seems to be the most dperessing and confusing time of my life. I just saw my grades for this semester. I got an A in one class......but got a D in Organic I--which brings my GPA down to 3.1. I can think of a million and one things to spurt out here about what I'm feeling right now but I'll spare everyone. I have always been a good student...and since this journey through the pre-reqs began, I've gotten all As and Bs. I struggled with Organic from the beginning---and got a tutor and poured blood, sweat and tears into the class. For the first time in my life I've done poorly and scraped by. Sometime during the beginning of the semester I lost my steam--because I failed the first exam and had a professor who spent a lot of time teeling us all that only 40% of students "make it." HE kept telling us that if we couldn't handle organic, then we'd never handle med school. In spite of acing my lab reports and scoring well on the homework assignments, my low exam scores did me in. I pleaded with my professor to consider working with me over the winter break....and that I would be willing to do ANYTHING to earn a higher grade. He could care less----and told me that he stands by his decision---in spite of the fact that applying to med school this June is now impossible---and my application will now be pushed back one more year. I'm so angry at myself---and angry that professors treat me as if I'm 19 years old and have NO OTHER responsibilities in life other than their class. I was told that working while taking this class "isn't advisable." Give me a break I wanted to tell him.
Anyway...the doctor I work with told me that she got a D in Orgo I and had to retake it---that it isn't a big deal and that plenty of people get into med school in that situation. My problem is though--I'm not 19---and only working part time to pursue the pre-reqs was only supposed to last two years, so I could go back to work full time during glide year. I've been talking about med school and wanting to go forever--and it just always seems that something goes awry---as if someone up there doesn't want me to go. I can't even take the class over with another prof--as he's the only one who teaches it. I was told to NOT take it at the local community college...because my advisor tells me that the committee at my school who will write my letter of rec will shun that......and claim that I am taking the easy way out.
I'm sorry this is long---but I really needed to talk about it with someone who can understand. I feel like only the non-trads like myself could empathize with this. It's not the same for some of my friends who are 19 and pre meds. Anyway....any pep talks would greatly help---and thanks for listening. By the way. I do acknowledge that a poor grade is my responsibility and there's no one to blame but myself. I still hate my prof though.
Thanks guys, Anna

When my sister was in sixth grade(?) she was an honor student at an elite prep school where she attended under full academic scholarship. When she took algebra, there was much worrying, gnashing of teeth, long hours of studying, and finally tears when she received the first ‘F’ of her life. She had to attend summer school and retake the class, as she couldn’t advance without it. At the end of the summer (and without too much fanfare) she received her grade: ‘A’.
One night sitting around, you could tell that my dad just couldn’t stand it any more and asked her, “honey, why is it that the first time you took algebra, you worked so hard and ended up failing. Then when you retook it, you seemed to just be more comfortable, and you’ve made nothing but 'A’s ever since?” She looked off in thought for a moment, then said, "the first time I took it, I didn’t get it; now I get it."
So many times the difference between performance levels is such shades of gray. Small changes can have big effects on outcomes - for good and for bad. As a person with a solid history of academic performance such as you have, I have NO DOUBT that you can do organic chemistry, that you can do it well, and that you can excel at it. NO DOUBT. Worry over your performance, intimidation by this professor, whatever else are causing you to perform lower than you might. There are changes you can make that will help you to perform better: focusing on problem sets, working with a tutor, relaxation exercises… You will get this; you will. I promise. We’ve all been there.
Chin up, girl!

Okay, I do want to say that you can do it, but you have to realize that the road to medical school is not a sprint but a marathon. If it takes you three years to get there with A's so be it, I do think that working, having a family, and taking rigorous classes can be quite demanding, but we have options. You can take less classes, or cut back on other things. I am not trying to bring you down any further but just realize that you can do it but that might mean taking a little bit longer.

One bad grade does not equal a death sentence…period. Anna, you have read through many of the volumes of postings here and know that we’ve all had boo-boos to overcome. We overcame them and so can you. Orgo ain’t easy, but neither are any number of other courses that you will have to take and will succeed in. As Efex wisely points out, this is a journey – you will always be working to master the body of knowledge that we know as modern medicine – and you will NEVER actually accomplish this feat. So, we are all in the same boat, just sitting in different rows.
Right now, take some time to wallow in your unhappiness. Then, get back on the horse and tame it. Take Orgo over, but take it when that is your only course so that you can focus on it solely. So what if it is another year…in 10 years, you will be your current age + 10 and can be a physician or not one – it is your call.
You will encounter fabulous support & stern resistance to your becoming a Doc on your journey. Some of it because you area nontrad, but a large amt of it simply because folks choose to make themselves filters and all of your peers, young & old, will catch similar grief. Only you can decide whether or not your dreams & aspirations will come out on top or if the nay-sayers will win.
I wish you the best of luck & success. Now may be the time that you learn to heft yourself up by your own bootstrings and kick some @$$. Time for your game face! mad.gif

Hi Anna:
The first time I took organic I got an “F”. I retook it the next semester and got a “D”. Forward 7 years later and I got a “B” taking both semesters in the summer no less, did above average on the MCAT in the biological and physical sciences, and got into graduate school as a Chemistry student.
I’d advise NOT retaking the course for a few semesters to let the dust settle. I think Organic is just one of those “mind-game” courses that people hype as being difficult I think to scare away premeds. In my case once I treated this course like any other and let go of the "oh my goodness, I have to take organic to get into medical school blink.gif attidtude, ALL of my grades improved greatly.
Good Luck!!!

Hi Anna,
I failed the first semester of orgo - twice. I tried too little the first time, and too hard (that it psyched me out) the second time. I let a bunch of years go by, and retook it - on my terms and with the mindset that this was the only course between me and med school. Guess who won? smile.gif
Not doing well in a required course is a setback - not a failure. Just believe that.
- Tae

Thanks everyone—for the advice and words of wisdom. I really do appreciate it. I have decided to take Micro and Pre-Calc in the fall. As for Organic…well, I'll either find another school to take it at over the summer, or perhaps next year at another school. Either way, it'll give me a chance to breathe and re-group. It was absolutely the class that psyched me out. You're right when you say it's the class that we think is between us and medical school. I got myself soooo afraid of it and had so much anxiety over it that my hair was falling out in clumps and I had difficulties catching my breath for one semester!! Anyway—thanks for everything…it means a lot to have people to talk to about these things.
BEst of luck to everyone, Anna

Hey Anna,
Organic didn’t “do you in” but simply provided some experience. As your doctor friend told you, plenty of folks get into medical school after getting a “D” in Organic Chemistry. As Dave said, have your cry and then do some post mortem work. What are you going to do differently when you climb back in the saddle?
Don’t let anyone talk you out of your dream. The only person’s opinion that matters is yours. Maybe this throws off your timing but you are in it for the long haul. Let that professor’s discouraging remarks spur you on to hitting the ground running. Resolve to master this class on the next round and put this one behind you. It is experience and nothing more.
When you become a physician, there will thousands of things that will throw you against the wall. Consider this prep for those things. Shake them off and keep on plugging away. Remember, the last one standing is the one who wins. Hang in there and start plotting your strategy to get through this class. You already know more than what your test scores indicate. Build on that and move over the top. You know that the second time through, your perspective is going to change and you will be fine.
You have a great cheering section here so feel free share your triumphs and “near” triumphs with us as you have.

I think of organic kinda like childbirth…if you can get past your fear of how “painful” sad.gif and “difficult” unsure.gif it (supposedly) is, it gets easier! Which is not to say it’s an easy subject…
Nat’s right about coming at it with a changed perspective. Although I only took organic once (and did childbirth twice biggrin.gif), I can now admit that organic scared the socks off of me a lot of the time, and was far, far scarier than childbirth ever was laugh.gif ! …and in 20/20 hindsight, what the he77 was I scared about anyhow?! It’s chemical juggling on paper! Okay. Repetition of all those reactions is key, but so is understanding what’s attracted to what…a dating and mating analogy helps here and you can make it as memorable as you like wink.gif .
Our prof the second semester knows organic better than anyone, but can’t teach his way out of a corner! Heart of gold, but clear as mud. It was a real self-teaching and frustrating semester. If you need to “vote with your feet”, you can…let the administration know, in writing, what you’re doing and why…then go get organic done with a different prof somewhere. OR stick it out with your current prof. His “puffery” over how hard organic (i.e. the passing rate) is to make himself feel more important. It’s probably an insecurity.
Your mileage might vary, but I thought of labs as gourmet cooking: you follow the recipe and things usually turn out all right. Please forgive all my silly analogies…if any of them help, run with 'em! The lecture was the hard part for me, but I managed to net a B each semester in lecture and an A in lab. Believe me/IMHO, if I can do it, you can do it! Chin up…you’ll do fine!

Anna: Is there an option for professors for that course? Sometimes people just don't mesh and the teaching process just isn't there. I've had professors that had personality traits that were so unappealing to me that I would've learned more about the subject from a gorilla that spoke chinese. (now that HAS to put a smile on your face)

QUOTE (RN-MD2B @ Feb 6 2003, 07:43 AM)
I would've learned more about the subject from a gorilla that spoke chinese.

I think I was in his calculus class ... biggrin.gif biggrin.gif