Brain in a Blender

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ew, right? I'm not really sure why, but whenever I have decision to make and there are a lot of factors involved, the image I get is that my brain is in a blender and someone has turned it up to 11.  So yes.  It's Friday, I'm in "complete and total free-association mode" ... and holy crap, there is a one week old infant in my office.  He is a tiny ball of squee, wearing a pumpkin hat.

See?  Free association mode.

Anyway, I haven't done anything useful at work, because I'm obsessing about my life.  I have a feeling that normal people, when faced with a problem/potential problem/decision don't act like this.

Normal person: I have a problem over which I have little to no control.  I will evaluate the situation, change what I can, and then stop thinking about this, as there is nothing more that I can do and life will work itself out one way or another.

Me: I have a problem over which I have little to no control.  I MUST COME UP WITH 47 SOLUTIONS!  I must contemplate ALL the potential outcomes!  I have to make sure that I have approached this from all sides and angles, leaving no stone unturned!  I will obsess about this, even when I am aware that there is nothing I can do at this very moment in time!  It will occupy all of my thoughts at all times and I will obsessively ask people for advice, even though they have even less control than I do!  I will somehow solve this problem BEFORE the problem occurs!  ::flails arms and falls over::

So yeah, that's totally normal, right?  I didn't think so.

My current obsession is what to do if I don't get into PA school this cycle.  I have this USP interview, which is great, but as I mentioned in my last blog, they're provisionally accredited... which they can apparently hold for up to 5 years (not three, as I previously thought/wrote).  After much internet searching (see, sometimes obsessive research and thought pay off... at least, that's what I'm telling myself), I discovered the following:

"Provisional accreditation is an active accreditation status. Prior to 2003, those graduating from a PA program that held an active accreditation status at any time during the student's enrollment were considered graduates of an accredited program, and thus were eligible to sit for the NCCPA exam. This policy changed in 2003 and in order to be eligible to take the PANCE, students must successfully complete a program that was accredited at the time the student matriculated. It is best to check with the NCCPA concerning exam eligibility criteria."  - From the ARC-PA website

If you are like me, you're probably still unsure what it means if your program is provisionally accredited.  I kept looking and found some info on the website for another newly beginning program, explaining their accreditation and what that means:

"If the program gains provisional accreditation and does not obtain full accreditation enrolled students will not be negatively impacted. Provisional accreditation is an active accreditation status; therefore students would be eligible to sit for the PANCE exam." - From IUPUI's website

Sooooo basically, as long as my program doesn't completely LOSE accreditation between when I matriculate and when I graduate, I can sit for the PANCE exam, get certified, and go on my merry way.  I'm still going to call USP and make sure that that IS the case, but it looks promising.  As a friend pointed out, if that WASN'T true, then schools in the process of accreditation would never have students, haha.  So yes, that makes me feel better.  Now i just have to get IN, and the rest of my problems will be solved.  At least, the ones related to PA school and my future career.

So anyway, the rest of my obsessing centers around NOT getting into a program.  I would be far less concerned if my status wasn't:
Drexel: Waiting to be reviewed
PCOM: Waiting to be reviewed
Barry University: Waiting to be reviewed
Salus: In the pile for "waitlist interviews" (I applied there in September versus June, and there class was mostly full already, apparently)
NYIT: Waiting to be reviewed...?
Chatham: Who even knows?
NSU in Fort Lauderdale: "Decision Pending", whatever that means (I assume it means that a decision is pending... ha ha)

I've been rejected from Towson, Arcadia x2, Nova in Fort Meyers, and GW.  So... I guess I should stop freaking out, as Barry, Drexel, NYIT, and PCOM all interview through February/March.  Chatham had their first interview day on 11/3 (clearly I was not there), and their next one is 1/12, so who the hell knows if I'll be invited to that one.  Anyway, when I applied last year, I applied late (like, October) and only interviewed at Drexel (in March, on their last interview day) and was rejected.  I decided that I'd reapply this year much earlier (which I did) and hopefully, that will help.  If I get rejections all around again, I have to assume that it's because my GPA isn't high enough or my GRE scores are too low (which not every program requires, so that might not be it).  So, in an attempt to raise my GPA, I took A&P I this semester at Camden County College.  I'm pretty sure I have the highest grade in the class (not surprising, given that this is the THIRD time I've taken A&P and this is a 200 level class), and I know I'll be getting an A.  But I actually went and did the math on my GPA, and if I get an A in this class, my GPA will go from 3.10 to 3.13, which means approximately nothing.  I was contemplating taking another class (Microbiology) in the spring at CCC, but even if I got an A in that class as well, my GPA would then go from 3.13 to 3.16, again, not doing much for me here.  Thanks to a handy-dandy GPA calculator online, I realized I would need to take something ridiculous like, 80 hours to get my GPA to a 3.5.  Since that isn't happening (I don't need another bachelor's degree, thanks), I can get my GPA to a 3.3 with 29 hours, and to a 3.38 (basically a 3.4) with 35 hours.  So... that was the math.  I realized that taking one class this coming spring may not be the best or most efficient thing to do, especially since I could end up getting accepted during this spring semester to one of the programs I'm waiting on, and then I'll have wasted over $700 when it doesn't even mean anything.  SO... I flailed around with that information for awhile.

I decided I wouldn't take a class in the spring.  I decided I had to take a class in the spring or I SIMPLY DID NOT WANT THIS ENOUGH.  I was wracked with potential guilt (how stupid is that?) over not taking a class in the spring semester.  Fortunately, I have sane people in my life who talk me off of these imaginary cliffs.  I called my dad, and after giving him (read: word vomiting) all of this information, he came to the conclusion that basically, my applications for this cycle are what they are, and even taking a class in the spring isn't going to change anything drastically for any of my programs.  Wait to take classes again until the summer and/or fall, once I know that I haven't been accepted anywhere, and don't reapply for Fall 2014, since I need more than 2 semesters to get enough credits to raise my GPA.  Not ideal, but it would work.

Then began my hunt for the best way to take classes.  I could continue randomly taking undergrad classes at the community college, but frankly, I'd rather shoot myself in the head.  I contemplated doing an entire post-bacc program, but the only ones around here are full-time programs that would require me to quit my job, or they take over 2 years to complete.  The other way I can boost my GPA is by doing an MS degree in a science (Bio, Biochem, Micro, Physio, etc), as then those grades would be calculated into my GPA.  Most MS degrees are 36 credits, which means I'd hit that that very high 3.3 if I got all A's, or at the very least, hit the 3.3 range with A's and B's.  I looked into a few online MS in Bio programs, which would be great because then I could work full time, take the classes at my own pace, and hopefully do really well.  So... yeah.  We'll see.  HOPEFULLY, this will all become a non-issue when I get accepted somewhere, but as you can see from my reaction to uncertainties above, there is no way that I am going to be able to stop thinking about this in some way, shape, or form, until I have an answer.

In other news, it's taken me literally all day to write this entry, and it's not like I've even been DOING work, I've just been unfocused all damn day.  And now it's 4:13.  I have to get ready to go, get to my car, drive home, go pick up a copy of my labs from the hospital (because maybe there's something interesting on them!  Unlikely.), go pick up books at the library (and pay a $1.80 fine, whoo hoo), make and eat dinner, and hopefully get over to synagogue for services tonight, since I haven't gone in approximately eleventy-billion years.  Then tomorrow... coffee with my friend Lauren, possibly late lunch with my mother, then a dinner double date with our friends Madi and Ray (who I went to college with).  Sunday... I am theoretically supposed to go to a reunion at Drexel with my a capella group... but we'll see how I feel.  It would only be for a few hours, and I'd like to see the girls who are supposed to be there.

So yes.  That's all of the crazy I have to report today.  I'm trying to reign it in, but I apologize in advance if I bombard you with questions about whether I should get another degree or where I should do it, or how.  In the meantime, I'm going to try and occupy myself with fun things this weekend... not the least of which is planning a game night in the not too distant future!

Have a good weekend, all....

- A

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