Thursday, May 24, 2012

End of the Tunnel


It's been quite a while.

Since last April, I went to a private acupuncture college for eight months beginning in September. What a disaster. The school was a joke, a calamity, and a byword all rolled into one. So I quit a couple days ago, and have submitted my application for the acupuncture program at the local(ish) university. I'll go part-time, take this at a more leisurely pace.

It's all learning. I learned a lot about Chinese medicine, but I learned a lot more about myself and my family. Yes, I can do it. No, I don't want to do it like that. There are things I wish I could expect, but can't. Just ain't gonna happen. No one's advice trumps my own misgivings. Ever, ever, ever. I'm not mentally deficient. I can keep up with the "big kids", rather nicely.

That last one was a big one for me. One of the gifts of my upbringing was that I should never believe my own eyes or ears, that what I heard said, or saw done, never happened. Which leaves a person in a peculiar position. It's taken me a long time to learn to trust myself, and act on that trust. By the time I was in my teens I was convinced that I must be mentally handicapped, and that there was a conspiracy of kindness wrapped around me to keep me from having to realize it. Seriously. I thought all my teachers were just being "nice" to me, marking me up on assignments just to pass me through without having to deal with my disability. Yes, that was weird. And yes, on the other hand the facts just weren't measuring up. But it makes sense, when you know what was happening in the background, which I don't really want to go into.

Anyway, here I am a looong time later, and I took the plunge. I jumped into post-secondary education, nearly puking with fear of failure and confirmation of the fact that I'm not up to snuff. And I Did Just Fine. Better than that, even.

I recently sat in a classroom alongside an RN, and across from someone with a four-year university science program behind her, and when the instructor introduced the theory of Spontaneous Generation and asked each class member individually whether or not they thought it was true, no one knew. Nobody knew. No idea. Except me. This isn't a sign of genius, but I think it's definitely a sign that you can get through a lot of "higher education" and come out the other side without overly energetic reasoning skills.

So here I am, with a suddenly-free summer ahead of me when I thought I'd be trapped in school, and looking at all the possibilities. I'm going to plant things. Sew things. Paint walls. Do an English correspondence course so I don't have to do it later when I'm busy with studying other things. And keeping up with the acupoints, so when I come back to them later it'll be like a hot knife through butter.

And I'm very, very glad of it all. Today life looks beautiful.

16 comments:

clairesgarden said...

nice to see you back on the blog. a summer of freedom.... sounds bliss!!

Madcap said...

Thanks Claire, lovely to see you too! I'll still be working through the summer, but I'll be very glad to leave the head-busting study behind me for a while.

k said...

Your summer plans sounds just lovely Madcap. Nice to "see" you back and bubbling along so brightly!

kiwi said...

oops...that post above should have said "kiwi"....not k!

Madcap said...

thanks Kiwi! How are things at your end of the world?

kiwi said...

Settling into winter here now Madcap. Enjoying winter gardening and winter vegetables. Nestling into retirement contentedly....

Madcap said...

Lovely stuff.

WILDSIDE said...

Madcap -- mentally deficient?!? Nope, not you.

Thanks for your comment on the old girls' new life!

Mercutio said...

It's good to see you back around your old digs.

It didn't surprise me at all to know that you were at the top of your class; though it was a bit of a surprise that you once thought otherwise.

And yes, a great deal of university-educated people are stupid as the pavement, and a few of them rate only slightly above the most slack-jawed of farm hands that I've known (in Southern Illinois, there is a whole new class of slack-jawed mind-numb).
I know that all of these people didn't go to college on athletic scholarships. And I have a bit of difficulty believing that they received their grades in exchange for sexual relations with the instructors, although perhaps I underestimate. It simply doesn't stand to reason.

I'm thinking that American universities, perhaps others, have significantly dumbed-down as a college degree has become more of an entry-level certification, and degrees in general have become much more common.

And I have compiled material for a post on American health care following our exchange, but I have a few hot issues before me now. I must sound like a crank to many, but Americans are medicated at a far higher rate than any other nation, and even in instances where medication has no therapeutic value.
But really, I did enjoy that discussion. I thought my own ideas were quite a radical departure, and never suspected that they lined up rather well with the Canadian system.

Again, good to see you back.

Here's to a good summer!

sledpress said...

One of the dumbest-assed people in any massage class I ever attended was an ACTUAL DOCTOR OF MEDICINE who said something so all-fired ignorant about the psoas muscle that my classmates on either side of me actually grabbed me by my bunched upper arms in fear that I would launch myself across the room at her and tear her apart. I really hate stupid.

And some of the biggest stupid in the world dwells in the heads of people who have grand-sounding certifications.

Kudos for knowing when it's time to cut the rope. And glad to see you back.

Madcap said...

Wildside, you're good for the soul!

Madcap said...

Mercutio - "And I have a bit of difficulty believing that they received their grades in exchange for sexual relations with the instructors, although perhaps I underestimate." Which throws a whole new light on the possibility of insatiable instructors, and the tastes thereof... I look forward to reading what you have to say about the health-care stuff. Make sure you keep it simple for me - my head is feeling a bit fragile.

Madcap said...

Hi Sled, thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it.

One of the "instructors" of this program was styling herself as "Dr. So-and-So", but within a very short time I knew something was terribly wrong. I asked her what she was a doctor of, and she blew me off. I went to the administration and demanded her credentials. They'd never checked, for the love of the crows. I told them they had two days. Turns out she'd done a two-year course in homeopathy and colonic-irrigation through some two-bit private college in Ontario, and they gave her a certificate to tell her she was a "Dr. of N*atural Medic*ne" (not wanting that searchable at this point). I blew my stack. There were a couple excellent instructors too, so it wasn't a complete waste of time, but the way the program itself was being run was such a nightmare, and so unlikely to get me where I want to go that I finally had to jump the train. Wish I'd done it sooner. On to better things!

Madcap said...

Just curious though - what did she say about the psoas that nearly got her killed?

sledpress said...

Well, she claimed she had been teaching exercise classes, she was wearing two-inch heels to class, and she remarked in a deprecatory way that the psoas muscle "gets all the exercise it needs so it doesn't require any special attention."

If you could BOTTLE AND SELL stupid, it would start with remarks like that. Jesus please us, of all the muscles that need special attention. Whole books have been written on its dysfunctions.

It would have been kind of fun to rend the blobby creature limb from limb but I don't need the time in court.

Shadowmoss said...

Funny, I always had the same feeling that my Mom was protecting me from the fact that I was soft headed and weak in body as well as mind. This despite the fact that I was top of all my classes through school. At least until I got to the level where fitting in meant more than questioning deeper than the instructors themselves had bothered. So, sometime in Jr. High. So, to see you mention it is refreshing, maybe I'm not quite so weird.