Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gd kicks me when I'm down. Again.

My life is never so bad that Gd can't make it worse.

I've been miserable all week because of the bad way my sister Jerusha treated me over chag. The pain in my knees is getting better, but I'm still at PT for hours at a stretch. And school is stressing me out unnecessarily.

I need to practice administering the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), a widely used intelligence test, to four people. Two administrations before Oct. 31, a date rapidly approaching. Dr. Jerk, in his infinite wisdom, thought that we should bring in the names of willing participants and share them with our labmates. I brought in 11 names. I got 4 back. One decided she didn't want to take the test after all, one won't return my e-mails, and one lives in Brooklyn.

I am trying not to travel overmuch because of my knees. The agony is no longer constant, but I'm still balancing caffeine and painkillers so I can stay awake during class and not be in pain. So I wanted to test people in Manhattan. A number of the people I found, whom I do not know very welll, live in Manhattan. Nobody has been able to give me other people to test in the borough.

I don't think this is an excessive request; I think it's a reasonable accommodation for a temporary disability. I told my bitch of a TA that I don't have two Manhattan test-takers, and she told me to ask my labmates for more names. Which I did, and they don't have any.

I am being punished because I did what I was supposed to do and they didn't.

It gets worse. Today the deputy director (Dr. Octopussy) of the clinical program called me into her office to say that the faculty unanimously thinks I have loose boundaries and act inappropriately. In plain English, they think I talk too much and about myself to an inappropriate degree. My disclosure during the guest lecture was the key example. Apparently Dr. Leahy was expecting people to talk about problems that a client of theirs might be having -- not their own problems.

I was stunned. I had always heard that self-disclosure was expected, even required, in a grad program. Not at my school. And after the colloquium the program director came up to me and asked how I was doing. Now she's siccing the Dr. Octopussy on me to chastise me for opening up my big fat mouth.

It was completely painful and humiliating. Dr. Octopussy told me I wasn't supposed to think that they all disliked me, or that I wasn't suited for the program; I was just being given a warning so that I could correct my behavior. When I was able to talk, I asked for some concrete guidelines -- how should I know what is and isn't appropriate? She said she'd ask about that at the next faculty meeting, get some feedback for Ayelet the blabbermouth.

She also told me to e-mail Dr. Jerk and ask if I could ask the rest of the class to try to find me another Manhattan test-taker. I did; no response so far. I'm not optimistic. I'm just furious at my TA, and my stupid lab-mate who brought in only 2 names that turned out to be duds. And the deputy director, and the director, come to think of it. She was all nicey-nice to me after the colloquium, and now she's punishing me for it.

I'm not asking for special treatment. But I am in a lot of pain, and I expected reasonable accommodation. Can you imagine if I told them I have bipolar disorder? How quickly they'd condemn me for disclosing something completely relevant to what I'm supposed to be studying?

If I had gotten in anywhere else, I'd look to transfer. But I'm stuck here. I considered re-applying, but I really don't want to go through the agony again. It was a miserable experience.

I thought all I had to do was show up, study hard, and be myself. I can't believe I'll have to pretend to be someone I'm not in order to get my degree.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. That's just awful. I truly feel for you.

    By the way, if you have an email address I can reach you at, and you can do the test on random volunteers, I'm a Manhattan resident.

    (This is the same anonymous that replies every couple days or so to your posts)