This past week was tight because we had 3 modules, so that’s 3 online classes a day. It means more data to be consumed. But this is the new normal and I have no choice but to keep up. But this week was disheartening. We had our SGD (a graded group conference) last Tuesday and I could say that I was more prepared than the last one we had during the first week, so I was quite confident that I can have a good performance this time. But I was wrong—the internet acted up again like always, and I ended up not being able to attend the meeting properly. Worse, my laptop screen started blinking everytime I turned my camera on. It’s because my laptop already has a defective LCD. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time and money to have it repaired.
I felt bad and disappointed with myself, because it hurts that I studied for it but I couldn’t get credit because I have a bad internet connection. But there’s nothing I can do because the location of our house has a bad reception to begin with. My dad finally decided to apply for the cheapest Home Fiber WiFi plan but until now there has been no update because understandably, services are delayed nowadays due to the high demand. Anyway, Thursday came and we had our 2nd SGD for the week and this time, it was worse because it was raining hard that afternoon and the signal was really totally going out. I was only able to connect back at the closing remarks. 😔 The doctor was chatting our SGD leader to tell everyone to turn their camera on, but I know that he meant that for me, because everytime I was able to connect back, everyone else had their camera on. I tried to tell him that it was raining hard and circumstances wouldn’t allow me to travel to the city to find a good connection and that my screen blinks whenever I turn my camera on because my LCD is defective and it was beyond my control at the moment, but in the end he didn’t accept it and told me to find ways and be responsible for these things because I signed up for this online school after all, despite all its cons. I agree with his point tho, but I was just hoping that he’d be empathetic and loosen up the chains a bit since we are in a pandemic.
Not to put them in a bad light, but some doctors think that all medical students have equal privileges, but I don’t think so. Or maybe I’m just the only poor student in my class—it seems that everyone else has nice stuff and can eat Samgyupsal once a week but I can’t even afford a dorm room that is over P2,000. My parents can only afford the normal physical medical school which entails me having to find the cheapest living conditions and we certainly were not prepared for this pandemic, which would require good performing gadgets and a secure internet connection (which will cost more than my actual living expenses in the city back in pre-pandemic days). This laptop that I’m using was won by my dad at a Christmas party 3 years ago, and my phone was given to me as a gift. I don’t have the physical medical books, because we can’t afford them. I can’t print out chapters from my e-books either because a chapter in our books is more or less a hundred pages, and my parents who are teachers are printing their class modules for their students as well and we are saving on ink and bondpaper, so the priority is them because it’s their work that sends us to school. My scholarship application is still being validated, and I’m really hoping and praying to get it.
I’ve been struggling this week, because my parents are already having their online classes as well, and my mom who is not very techie is having a really hard time in using her laptop for class. She’s the least techie among all her colleagues, and she has been getting the most criticisms from her supervisors. She even told me once that she wanted to quit already because she can’t take it anymore. 🥺 Poor mama, she doesn’t deserve to suffer like this—all because of this pandemic. If only I could clone myself so I can help her 24/7. My dad and brothers are now the ones taking turns in helping her because I have to study, and it’s not very conducive when I can hear them arguing or ranting while helping her (she keeps forgetting some of the basics and sometimes they lose their patience over it). Our dogs and the neighborhood dogs often bark a lot too, and we live beside the road so I can hear vehicles passing by especially the daily fish vendors with a recorded announcer, so I listen to white noise while I study to obscure all of the noise. It was okay at first, but as the week progressed, I felt exhausted because there was so much to read, added with the heavy feeling of having to face my SGD doctor again and hearing him imply that I’m not doing enough, the anxiety for upcoming exams, and the fact that it’s sometimes still hard to unhear everything going on in the environment even with the white noise in my ear.
Now I’m scared to share my sentiments to anyone because some people think these are just pathetic excuses. Yeah, maybe they are, but being human I sometimes drown in negativity and I may rant and ramble a lot, but it doesn’t mean I’m not trying. I just need some moments to let my thoughts out, and then I get back to the grind.
My brothers were doing most of the house chores this week—the youngest even gave me breakfast once on my study table while I was up early for class. The younger one who just graduated college is currently busy looking for an on-the-job training with pay so he can help out. As an eldest child, I’ve never felt so conscience-stricken. How I wish I could make things easier for everyone.
I know, most people would ask, why did I even go to medical school in the first place if it meant suffering financially. It’s because my dad supported this dream of mine and he believes it’s a valuable lifetime investment. He always says that education is the only inheritance he can leave us with because he has no lands or other riches. I’m eternally grateful for that but I’m starting to feel the pressure, because I failed my exam today. But most of the class did, too, anyway but doesn’t mean it’s okay. We have to seriously make bawi (do better) next time (like we always try to do). I’m just scared because unlike others, I only have one shot at this, and failing a year in medical school is the gravest thing I could ever do at this point in life.
I’m feeling the “tired (3rd) year” atmosphere already and what’s sad is I can’t share my sentiments with my family, because they might think I’m being too entitled to feel tired and sad about my exams. 😔 I’ll just continue to strive hard and pray. And listen to white noise.