Judith's Squirrels
4 min readJan 24, 2023

My integrals final went well, at least from my perspective. Only my grade will tell if I, in fact, performed decently. I could complet one very hard question, and I’m doubtful of another question’s answer, but as a whole, I understood the strategies to adopt. My struggle was with algebraic manipulations, as always. Not having been able to acquire that skill over many years, has left me without the necessary practice to comfortably calculate complex problems.

As for my current semester, I chose to let go of my psychology class. At first, I wanted to see how I would handle four courses that weren’t too hard. Then, when I noticed that the teacher was at the last minute, I started to doubt if the course was worth taking. Not only was the course plan not posted yet, a snarky comment to the whole group before the first class left me sceptical. “Good luck finding the classroom” ain’t an empathic nether professional way to address the confusing maize my campus is. The first class got reorganised into a Zoom meeting due to a snowstorm less than two hours before class. At that point, I had already sent my email to inform my teacher that I couldn’t attend due to a cold, and asked for advice on who to prepare. I only discovered that day’s course changes after the class time.

So, last Friday, I eventually managed to attend in person for the first time. After a none stop blasting of information, with no pauses to let time to properly transcribe important definitions, no official communication on which book to buy that was used in class, no answer to my previous week email to allow me to prepare, I gave it my all, and manage to fill in half a notebook of notes. Afterclass, I went to see the teacher to ask for clues on how to prioritise since the course plan wasn’t out, and I never got an answer to my email. I was met with content, and arrogance. What a disappointment. For someone who loves psychology as a hobby, and has herself done so much therapy work, this was a cold reminder that university teacher motivations are often not for the benefit of their students. An outage of teachers throughout the province, and a rotten union culture has turned most schools into waste bins for inadequate pedagogue.

Comforntations, and arguments with strangers are stressful. Comforntations, and arguments with someone you look up to is very destabilising. That was a suboptimal misfortune less than 24 hours before a difficult final. I kept calm as well as I could, and contained my rumination to push through last minute studying. Trying to sleep was challenging, but I managed. In retrospect, I did excellent on my exam considering the circumstances. Plus, removing this class doesn’t cost me anything since the cut off date to cancel was today, and I got rid of the class online on the weekend. Still,three things kept me tossy turny the past few nights. First, would my part time recognized as full time status be active on my grants, and loan file? Second, would my school medical insurance be applied as a full time student or not? Finally, would the online change show as a cancelled or an abandoned class?

The system didn’t have a cancellation button, just an abandon button. The online instructions seemed to indicate that it was the way to go when making the change before the cut off date. I’ll keep an eye on my online file to see how it gets rearranged. It shouldn’t be too hard to bring the correction in the future. Still, yesterday being the last day to make course changes, I had to make sure my grants, and loans would stay the same before dropping to three classes. I was lucky enough to find a dedicated phone representative that will follow up on my file to make sure all goes well during the changes. Still, between classes, trying to learn complicated organic chemistry principles, I managed to squeeze in my call. As for the medical insurance, I’m still waiting to get my policy number to make my call to the collective insurance. On the weekend, I had to pay for some medication, as my new policy hasn’t kicked in yet. Yes, that was another thing in the back of my mind while taking my exam.

It was a challenging weekend, and Monday, but things are slowly settling in. I have some studying to catch up on, and I will have more time to do so with one less class. Missing courses in the first week while battling a cold, then having to postpone some homework the time to complete a final from the previous semester certainly didn’t help. I love my courses so far. I had great teachers in all the classes I’m keeping, and I’m optimistic that I will perform well. I slept well last night, and should sleep even better as I resolve each problem. St is supportive, being a wonderful guardian angel. Being with him makes a universe of difference. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll finally be applying to a microbiology program. Surrounded with safety, and love, I’m approaching this life landmark with joy.

Gratitude journal:

I’m grateful for the wonderful home I live in.



Judith's Squirrels

Completed diary of a student entering university at forty. Just writing for me. Kaizenka, ex-nomade, foodie, and health nerd.