I’m currently in the midst of orientation day at acupuncture school, and the differences between it and library school could not be greater. At my library school orientation, we discussed matters germane to us as future educators: licensing, standards, etc.
At acupuncture school, we began with an icebreaker to introduce ourselves to our classmates as a precursor to the extremely hands-on practice we will soon be engaging in with each other. In a matter of days, we will begin to literally use each others’ bodies to learn, touching, feeling, palpitating, needling, scraping, and more. To say it’s a much more intimate learning experience is a vast understatement.
And now, I am sitting in the midst of a seminar on infectious diseases. This is important information – we will be working out in the general public, exposed to any number of infectious patients, some with your run-of-the-mill issues like the common cold, others with more serious issues such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. I think I know more than the average person about infectious diseases, being generally interested in the sciences and having studied biology at a higher level, but I had forgotten how learning this information has a tendency to make you a little hyper-paranoid.
I am not the most health-nervy person out there – I don’t jump or take notice of every little sniffle or sneeze, but when you take a moment to stop and consider just how many nasties are out there, that we are being exposed to without even realizing it, well, it’s enough to make you really freak out if you let it.
My feelings on this first day are hard to describe. I’m apprehensive at being able to tackle both programs at once. I’m worried that I’m going to be in over my head, that my relationships are going to be impacted, that my skin is going to flare up again. I’m wondering how I’m going to juggle what promises to be an intense workload. But most of all, I’m curious to see how my brain handles dealing with two very different subject matters simultaneously. I had a taste of it this summer with my technology class, but for a variety of reasons, my brain didn’t really feel like it was being split in two, so to speak. This semester, I think it very much will.
No matter what, it promises to be an interesting ride. All aboard!