Friday, June 18, 2010

Generation "I don't wanna work but I wanna get paid"

This week was absolutely exhausting and not exhausting because of work and study for the MCAT which is going well. It was exhausting because I requested and was given a first generation minority college student for an Intern, and let's just say, that you really should be careful what you ask for sometimes.

The first problem is that BOTH her parents and I work in the same general location which basically means that I see her parents a hellava lot more than I should (and next week, Imma' need to check this situation because it's HIGHLY triflin' AND unprofessional!!!!). Second, because she's the first in her family to go to college, she spoiled. Okay, my kid is spoiled too but she isn't a brat by ANY stretch of the imagination because I don't play that! So the first 2 weeks were great, and I realized that this kid could major in anything she wants. But because she's looking for the easy way out in life, she choose Psychology for a major. Now I really don't intend to put down other majors, but Psych is one major that if it isn't being combined with something like Secondary Education or Social Work, is a COMPLETE waste of time from a job perspective. And in thinking about this 19 year old college kid's situation, I'm reminded of why project 3000 by 2000 was unfortunately a failure. For the uninformed, Project 3000 by 2000 was a goal set by AMCAS in the early 80's to graduate 3000 URM medical students by the year 2000. Of course, the problem is that despite the enormous opportunities minority students have had, there are FEWER of them pursuing majors in the sciences, engineering, math, health care fields, than there has ever been and as a person who was the first minority and/or minority female in a couple science departments, I can't tell you how disappointing this fact is for me personally. As if everything I went through was wasted since there isn't anyone that looks like me coming up behind me.

Okay, so people should be able to major in whatever they want, but if anyone is paying attention to this recent recession, Psych majors are one of the lowest paying and least employable majors out there. Case in point, a cousin of mine finished Magna cum laude from a NC school in December 2009 with a degree in Psych, and is currently employed by Target. Now my sister works for Target too so I'm not downing target, my sister is a Pharmacist. HUGE difference in pay!

Getting back to the young lady in my lab, I'm trying to decide how much time I want to spend (or waste) motivating her to pursue a major that she is perfectly academically ready to pursue, knowing that she will likely choose the stay on the easy road. Interestingly, so many of my friends in academia tell me many minority college students are also choosing the easy road as if a Bachelors degree in whatever is really going to cut it in the future. I say these days, a Bachelors degree is slowly but surely becoming the equivalent of a high school diploma and that smart parents are not only telling their kids of what is to come, but helping them prepare for it as well.

At the end of the day, I'm reminded of just how far behind other racial groups URM students tend to be and of how difficult it is to change a mind set that is just happy see a kid make to college in the first place. Nowadays, I'm feeling like Oprah, who says that shes only interested in helping kids motivated to both receive her help and succeed.Okay, enough of my rant about that......

My MCAT prep while not outstanding, is moving along. I finished Bio 2 and 8, with scores of 10 and 12 respectively, repeated Chem 1 and scored an 8 (BOO!!), and will review Chem 1 again tomorrow and complete Chem 2 as well. As for verbal, I read a few Neuropath papers just to mix things up a bit and also some other major newspapers. You know it's funny all the opportunities to fine tune your verbal skills that are out there!! I also realized that as far as my study schedule goes, I'm a little ahead having giving myself 12 weeks to complete a program designed for 8.Unfortunately though, because I was so stressed at work this week, I was too tired when I got home to study more, and actually got more done during my lunch breaks than I did when I got home. Healthwise, I've had a bit of a setback, with my broken right toe from 2 years ago starting to cause me problems (could it be the 5 inch high heels, LOL??) so now I'm resolved to another summer of tennis shoes and stationary bikes for exercise.

Finally, my daughter graduated middle school last week where she received an award signed by President Obama for being one of the top students at her school. Obviously, we're VERY proud of her!!! And other good news, I finished the requirements for my MS today, and will soon officially become a Georgetown Hoya Alum!

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