I’m Getting Married

OK.  I’m not getting married…  But I can!

Well, no, actually, I can’t.  But if I could, then I could.

Maybe I better explain…

One summer when I was young, my sister and I were visiting my father and on one particular day, I overheard my father telling my sister about a popular “game”, when he was in high school that he heard the girls playing.  I assume it was the girls.  It sounds like a girls kind of game, but who knows.

Anyway, the game goes something like this.  You pick your favorite car.  Whatever your favorite car is, you look for it everyday all the time when you’re out and about and you count it; only, you only count the red ones, ’cause, you know red and love and all that.  Anyway, you count your favorite car, in red only, every time you see it and then when you reach 500, in theory, you will marry the next boy you kiss.

Erin’s favorite car at the time (roughly 1985) was the Mercury Cougar.  Mercury Cougars, in red, were not exactly common place and to be honest, I don’t know how far she got before she lost track, gave up, outgrew the game.

I didn’t see any reason why this had to be a girls only game.  I was such a romantic as a kid *cough, cough* yeah right *cough, cough*.  So I decided I’d count my favorite car, a Pontiac Fiero, in red only, of course.  I liked the Pontiac Fiero because it was, in my 10-year-old estimation, the closest attainable facsimile to a DeLorean/Time Machine I was ever going to get and that was enough for me.  Red Pontiac Fieros were a little easier to come by than red Mercury Cougars, but before too long my favorite car changed to something else and I had to start over.  And it changed again, and I lost count, and it changed again, and I lost count again, and eventually, I just gave up.  I was pretty young after all, marriage seemed a lifetime away.  Little did I know…


One of the first things that I discovered I had in common with Lil’B is that we are both very fond of Ford Mustangs.  We’ll be driving down the road and suddenly I’ll hear his low, excited voice from the back seat saying “Moostaaang!!!  I see one!  Over there!”  I quickly began to realize that THERE ARE MUSTANGS EVERYWHERE around here!

One day, just for grins and giggles I counted how many mustangs we saw.  I don’t remember what the count ended up being in a one day period and counting all of them, not just the red ones, but it was significant.  And counting them that day reminded me of this game my father had inadvertently taught me lo those many years ago. So I thought, “What the hell?  I’ll count the red, late-model mustangs, my dream car, and I’ll see how long it takes me to get to 500.”

And last night, on my way home from work, merely five months since I started counting, I passed my 5o0th red, late-model mustang on the highway.  And now the next guy I kiss, is the guy I’m going to marry… Right?

Look out boys!

Moving Melodies: Happy

Unless this is your first time visiting my blog (and if it is, welcome! I hope you’ll come back) you know that from time to time I get hung up on a certain song that comes on my iPod and I listen to it repeatedly until it is thoroughly engrained in my soul.

Toward the end of last week, on one of the rare occasions when I wasn’t listening to my audio textbook while driving, this song came on the iPod in my car.  I don’t even know where it came from.  I obviously heard it somewhere and it must have spoken to me.  I’m sure I Shazam‘d it to find out who and what it was and then I turned to iTunes to procure it for future listening pleasure.  Since the iPod in my car was loaded and installed right after I bought the car last November and hasn’t been updated since, I’ve obviously had this song in my library for quite some time.  I didn’t even recognize it when it started playing.  (Perhaps some would say this is an indication I didn’t need to buy the song, but I’m so glad I did.)

Check out this video.  Lyrics are listed below.

Happy performed by Leona Lewis

Someone once told me that you have to choose
What you win or lose, you can’t have everything
Don’t you take chances, you might feel the pain
Don’t you love in vain ’cause love won’t set you free
I could stand by the side and watch this life pass me by
So unhappy, but safe as could be

So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground?

I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
‘Cause I’m just trying to be happy, yeah
Just wanna be happy, yeah

Holding on tightly, just can’t let it go
Just trying to play my role, slowly disappear, oh
But all these days, they feel like there the same
Just different faces, diffent names, get me out of here
But I can’t stand by your side, oh no
And watch this life pass me by, pass me by

So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground?

I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
‘Cause I’m just trying to be happy, oh, happy, oh

So any turns that I can’t see
Like I’m a stranger on this road
But don’t say victim, don’t say anything

So what if it hurts me?
So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground?

I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in front of me
I just wanna be happy, oh yeah, happy, oh, happy
I just wanna be, oh, I just wanna be happy
Oh, happy


It was another week of stress for me.

After a three-day week-end, I was actually ahead of my reading for about five minutes.  I started reading the first of the three chapters for this week, last Tuesday, even though we hadn’t actually tested on, or had class about the last three chapters.  I finished reading that first chapter on Wednesday at work and gave myself a break on Wednesday night after class.  Thursday, I didn’t have any time to read at work which was fine because I had Thursday night and a good portion of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to finish.

Shortly before I was going to leave on Thursday evening my boss came into my office and in a hurried tone asked me if I had a radio.  He had been on the phone with one of the other Facility Managers in town whose office faces west and she told him, “I think I just saw an explosion… Kinda looks like it might’ve been at the airport.”  We went to the opposite side of the building, here on the 23rd floor and looked out and sure enough there was a very visible fire raging across the bay.  I tried to find out what had happened by way of my usual sources (i.e. Twitter) but there was nothing to be found.  The local TV stations websites didn’t have any news yet either.  I had to go to the store before going home and by the time I got home (and sat down to eat the Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits I did not need but didn’t resist) and turned on the television to find out what happened every station was teaming with coverage of this:

The San Bruno Fire” raged for hours as a 30″ natural gas pipeline, fifteen feet underground ruptured and exploded, blowing an enormous hole in the ground and sending a massive fire-ball more than 100 feet into the air.  The flames incinerated a few homes immediately around the rupture and the fire spread out over a ten-acre area burning 38 homes to the ground and damaging 120 more.  The number of deaths varies depending on the source of information but I have heard at least 6 people dead either at the scene or in the hospital due to injuries.

I was glued to the television and even as I was telling myself,”They’re not giving out any new information.  You’ve got reading to do.  You need to turn this off and get busy.”  I sat and stared at the television for four hours watching in morbid fascination and with rapt curiosity for any new information that might come.  Finally a little after midnight, I gave up, turned off the TV and went to bed having made no additional progress on my reading.

The additional two chapters I needed to read were about Respiratory and Cardiac Emergencies.  I did my usual routine of reading the chapters, working through the pages of the workbooks and listening to the Audiobook repeatedly, just hoping to some how osmosize the information contained within and I went into class last night, knowing we would take tests on all three chapters and feeling exceedingly uncertain about my level of knowledge and ability to pass the tests.

With his usual flair of disorganized inadequacy, the instructor arrived at class with not enough copies of the tests for each of us, so he split the room down the middle and told us “everyone on this side” his left “take the chapter 10 test.  And everyone on this side” his right, where I was “take the chapter 11 test.”  I took the test and pretty well whizzed through it.  I left a couple of questions blank because I wasn’t sure of the answers, and wasn’t sure how much time I had to take the tests and didn’t want to spend too much time mulling those over thereby not allowing enough time to answer all the ones I knew for sure.  Then I went back and completed the ones I left blank.  I didn’t feel like I was absolutely certain of the rightness of my answers, but for the most part I didn’t have to sit and rack my brain for them either.  When I finished, I turned in that test and picked up the Chapter 10 test.  I went through that one just as quickly and with the same strategy.  I finished that test, turned it in and sat down, marveling at the fact that despite my lack of certainty, I seemed to be one of the first people finished and now I could relax.

I pulled out my phone and started looking at Twitter, passing the time, waiting for everyone else to finish and the start of whatever came next.  Then I heard the instructor asking one of the other students if she was done or just taking a little break.  I realized from their conversation that we did have a test for Chapter 12.  I had expected a test for Chapter 12.  I thought it was odd that we weren’t taking a test for Chapter 12.  I was even a little annoyed that I had bent over backwards to get Chapter 12 studying completed when we weren’t even taking the test this week.  BUT no one had said anything about a test for Chapter 12.

I often wonder how these things happen.  I am such an auditory person that I actually struggle with tests when people are in the room talking (as frequently happens in this class) so there is no chance that I just missed them talking about it.  No one said anything about Chapter 12, yet many of the students had turned in their first two tests and picked up Chapter 12.  How does that happen?

Anyway, I picked up Chapter 12 and realized there were 76 questions on this test.  The other two had been 25 and 40 questions.  So not only did I waste ten minutes of prime test taking time, but I wasted them for the longest test we were taking.

Eventually students began finishing with and turning in the last test and things were getting a little more disorganized.  The instructor told us when we finished with all three tests to go take a break so he could tell who was still testing.

My strategy unchanged, I finished the test fairly quickly and with only a modicum of confidence; confident I had passed every test, less confident that I did “well” on them.  After a time, all the students were in the hall and the instructor came out of the classroom.  He called us all together and told us that for the tests that had already been graded by his TA’s (Chapters 10 and 11) our scores had pretty much sucked.  That’s a quote.  “You guys pretty much sucked.  The scores sucked.  They were bad.”  He said he was forced to conclude that either the instruction was bad (Ya Think!?!) or the students were bad.  But to his credit he claimed to assume that it was the instruction.  He also said that it seemed clear that many students weren’t reading their books.

He said we were going to go back in the room and go through the Chapters 10 and 11 tests and we’d go over the chapter 12 test on Wednesday if there was time.  I was glad for this because we haven’t gotten any feed-back or scores from him to date and I wanted to know how I did.  Plus if I “sucked” I wanted to know how badly and on which questions or points.

So we sat down and he re-distributed chapter 10 so we could go through it in class.  Because of his disorganized inadequacy we only got through one of the tests and it took more than an hour (making us 30 minutes late getting out of class, again!)  I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down “Chapter 10” so that I could make note of what I missed since I knew we weren’t going to get our answer sheets back.  When we were finally finished going through the test I wadded that piece of paper up and threw it away.  Why?  Because the only thing I had written on it was “Chapter 10”.

I was so stressed all week studying for this class.  I was anxious all day and during class about the tests and hoping that I could remember the right information when it mattered because I couldn’t think straight about any of it…

And I aced the test. 100%.

OK, that’s technically not true.  There was one question in the “Critical Thinking” section that I officially got wrong.  I got it wrong because answers B, C and D were all correct so I wrote all three down.  I knew that he was probably looking for answer B, but in my “critical thinking” answers C and D came before answer B and I would have completed the steps in that order in the real world.  I wanted to show that I understood the whole process and that I would have done them in that order.  And, in my stressed state, I wasn’t 100% sure I wasn’t over-analyzing what he wanted and that in fact C or D were the correct answer.  I fully expected to have that question marked wrong because I gave three answers.  And I know it was marked wrong because the TA questioned me about it.

But!  The instructor says he likes it when his students challenge him because “it means you’re trying to learn”.  I told him, I was only challenging this because it’s the only one that was marked wrong, therefore if he gives me credit than I’ll get 100% (which will probably never happen again) and since it is the “Critical Thinking” section it’s somewhat subjective.  He told me to come see him “during office hours” on Wednesday, the hour before class starts, and we can talk about it.

So, yes, officially I missed one question out of 76, so I got a –what?– 97%?  98%, but in my thinking that answer was correct and I aced the test.

Of course how did on the other two I have no  idea, but if the first one is any indication, I did better than I thought.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get home, and get started on Chapter 13.  I’ve only got six days to learn three new chapters of information and time’s awastin!


Just reviewing the comments that were separated out by WordPress’s Spam Filter and the most recent one simply said:

“I’m trying to locate you on Twitter, but I can’t find your name.”

Um…  Really?  I’m totally gonna fall for that!  NOT!

I’m Still Here

To borrow a rather brilliant title from what is sure to be a rather horrendous mocumentary, “I’m Still Here.”  I know you’ve been missing me terribly!

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have struggled with clinical depression in my lifetime and as many of you probably know, anxiety, in one form or another is often the evil handmaiden of depression (as if Depression on its own isn’t evil enough.)  I have been no exception to that rule.  Pretty early into my relationship with Deb, my therapist (like, probably 5 minutes in) she “diagnosed” me with Social Phobia.

For some reason this frequently comes as a surprise to people, but I’m actually quite shy.  In person, anyway, I am very uncomfortable meeting new people, or putting myself in situations where I’m going to have to meet and interact with strangers, and even though intellectually, I know I shouldn’t worry about what people think of me there’s still that small, insecure, child-voice in the back of my head that remembers every tease and taunt and abuse I suffered at the hands of other, cruel, children as I was growing up and fears experiencing more of the same.

Deb also diagnosed me, to a much lesser degree, with generalized anxiety disorder.  It’s nothing major.  In fact, for the most part I think of it as buzzwords that loosely translate to “I don’t like the unknown!!!

Who does?

Honestly, I am most aware of anxiety in the car, as I drive to my therapy appointments.  I don’t know what I’m going to talk about (which is actually a better way to go in, even if it doesn’t feel like it) and therefore I don’t know what our 50 minutes holds and it makes me anxious.  I feel a sense of needing to “do it right” even though there supposedly is no right or wrong way to do it and I worry that I’ll get it wrong and that it will be bad.

I occasionally realize, especially when I’m deep in thought, that I’ve not taken a breath in a while.  Quite literally, I forget to breathe.  My mind mulls over the situation, sometimes a very stressful thing, and I start to feel cramps in my stomach, both a feeling nausea and the potential on-set of diarrhea, and only as I feel a sense of panic start to come over me do I realize, “oh hey! I haven’t inhaled recently.”  A couple of deliberate, deep breaths, and the cramping starts to subside, the nausea disappears and the need to rush to the toilet subsides.  And then I continue to mull over whatever I’m mulling and I forget to breathe again and the whole cycle repeats itself.

Now, let’s be fair.  I’ve learned a lot in my… five(?) years of therapy and the anxiety, both social and generalized, has lessened quite a bit (though, sadly, not been completely dispensed with.)  I know what the physical symptoms mean, and I know that, usually, a few deep breaths will go a long way to remedy them.  Sometimes that’s enough to do away with the anxiety and sometimes it’s just enough to make me aware that it’s happening and to try to manage it as best I can.  (By the way, I’ve had to remind myself to breath, no fewer than 12 times just as I’ve written this much of this post.  Almost a “chewing gum and walking” effect.  I can’t seem to breath and type at the same time, right now.  I realize I’m not breathing, I have to stop typing so I can focus my energy on taking a deep breath.  There’s a reason for this.)

Up until recently, I’ve felt like I had a much better handle on these feelings.


When I decided to take this EMT class, I knew I was signing up for a lot of work.  I knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk and that I’d have to put a lot of time and energy into it.  I had no idea how much time and energy it would require.  We have to cover three chapters of textbook a week and we have tests over each chapter each week.  THREE TESTS!!  These chapters are anywhere from 40 to 70 pages long and they’re filled with information that is important and needs to be retained and remembered.

My instructor goes out of his way to be an asshole and his general attitude and demeanor are very difficult for me to tolerate.  He’s not friendly, or kind, or supportive.  He’s determined to make the class as uncomfortable and unwelcoming as possible.  He’s doing it on purpose because the job is a high stress job and he thinks he’s preparing us for it by doing things this way, he has said so, more than once.  He might even be right and I understand that way of thinking.  But on the other hand, wouldn’t it be better to make the class as conducive to learning as possible so that we can know our stuff and then when we get out in the field we can focus solely on dealing with the stress, because we’ll have the knowledge down?

The class is very disorganized.  We have the tests first thing Monday night, usually and then if there’s time and he has his act together (which he frequently doesn’t) he’ll lecture, but there’s never time to do lecture on all three chapters that we’ll be testing over the following Monday night, so it really does depend on the reading.  Wednesday nights are supposed to be about Skills.  We break up into groups and he assigns each group to one of the volunteers from the last class who go over the skills with us, which is all well and good, except they’re not experts and as likely as not, they’re not getting it completely right anyway, and then when we demonstrate what we’ve learned for one of the two instructors we get called out for doing it wrong and made to feel stupid when in fact we demonstrated it exactly the way the volunteer had shown us, (for example, using a pediatric non-rebreathing mask on an adult sized mannequin – thanks for that, volunteer whose name I can’t remember!)

So every Monday we have three tests, one over each of three chapters that we’re supposed to read and learn and then we have not very good lecture over the materials in one (maybe two) of the next chapters.  Wednesday we go over skills and are constantly reminded that there’s going to come a time – though I’m not at all clear about when that is – when we will have to actually test over these skills and if we don’t get them right on the first or second try (except for airway at which we only get one shot) then he will kick us out of the class.

The purpose of this class is not to qualify me to get a job as an EMT if that’s what I decide I want to do.  The purpose of this class is to qualify me to take a National Registry exam to become licensed as an EMT.  As if the stress of this class weren’t enough, there is then additional stress about when and whether I’ll take and pass the written and demonstrative portions of the National Registry exam.

I’ve heard conflicting reports about what the pay for an EMT is.  Some reports have it as low as $16.00 an hour while others have it at $60K a year.  If I decided to pursue a job as an EMT that means a cut in pay, but how much of one is still up in the air.  And while I decided to take this class first and foremost because I wanted to know the information, the more time and energy I spend on it, the more I think it might be the direction I want to go and if I go through all this and then can’t make the career change, then what has been the point?  (I do recognize that this is not entirely rational thinking, but it’s still among the thoughts that are going through my head.)

I spend hours and hours and hours reading my textbook and highlighting information (I’ve completely drained three highlighters, which either means I’m highlighting too much (likely) or there’s a lot of important information that needs to be marked.)  I spend at least two hours a day at work, most days, reading or working in the work book.  I have hardly watched any television at all in the last three weeks and once I finish preparing food for the next day (or on the nights before a class, the next two days), cooked and eaten dinner, I spend a couple of hours at night reading and have been staying up way too late.

I read and read and read, and then when I’m finished with a chapter, I go through the review materials in the back of the chapter, I go over the sample questions on the last page (to which I have found no answer key, so I have no idea if my answers are correct or not.)

Then I break out the work book which does not get turned in, but is purely for my own study purposes.  I go through the materials in the work book, anywhere from three to twelve pages and then check my answers in the back.  I usually do pretty well on the mix and match, multiple choice and true and false sections, though not as well as I feel like I should be doing.  But the critical thinking sections are harder.  And the written answer questions are —  I don’t even know how to explain it.  I read the answers they give in the back and I realize it made sense and I remember all the information from when I was reading…  But I couldn’t formulate it into an answer on my own…  I don’t know what that means for my ability to make use of the information in the real world.

And then as if that weren’t enough, I download the three chapters of the book I’m working with to iTunes and then into my iPhone and I listen to them. ALL. THE. TIME.  I listen when I’m working.  I listen while I’m driving.  I listen while I’m grocery shopping.  I listen while I’m preparing food. AND I LISTEN IN MY SLEEP.  All in the hopes of retaining most of the pertinent information.  I never feel like I am.  I never feel like I know this stuff backwards and forwards and every Monday I walk into class worried that I am not going to pass the tests we have to take that day.

When I’m reading, I stress because I don’t feel like I’m getting it and I think about all the other things in my life that I’m not getting done and then I realize that my mind is wandering so I have to stop and go back to the last thing I remember reading and start over.  (By the way, I read out loud to help focus my attention on the text.  How can I read out loud, say the words, and not be thinking about them at all?  Doesn’t seem like that should be possible.  But apparently it is.)

When I’m not reading, like right now, I feel guilty, like I should be and that if I don’t get to it, I might not finish reading in time and it stresses me out.

I worry that I’m not reading enough.

I worry that I’m not learning what I’m reading.

I worry that I’m not going to pass the tests.

I worry that I’m not getting the practice I need to learn the skills.

I worry that I will learn the skills and still bomb the test, even if only out of stress and fear.

I worry that I’m not equipped to handle what’s coming when we get into the trauma portion of the materials (I don’t have a great track record with pictures of graphic things.  I don’t get sick or throw up, though that might be better.  But in my lifetime I have passed out as a result of looking at pictures or reenactments of serious injuries and I worry that this will be a problem now.)

I worry that I won’t make a good impression, or be able to handle myself, when I have to go on a ride-along later in the semester.

I worry that I won’t make it far enough in the class to have the opportunity to go on the ride-along.

I worry that I won’t be able to pass the National Registry Exam.

I worry that I won’t be able to make a good impression on a hiring manager when I start looking for a job.

I worry that I won’t be able to find something that I want to do with this new knowledge and skill.

I worry that I will get a job, only to find out that I can’t live on the salary, or that I can’t handle the working conditions or the hours or the stress.

I worry that I’ll get to the end of all this and realize that it’s not for me and feel like I’ve wasted my time and energy.

I worry about all of this, ALL of the time and I can’t shut my brain up and focus solely on what’s in front of me, the learning.

I’ve been crampy and nauseated and diarrhea-y for three weeks (you’re welcome.)  And as I was driving over to my therapy appointment on Tuesday and feeling all those things, plus the not at all unusual anxiety of “what am I going to talk about today?”, I suddenly reached the very rational realization that, “Hello!  I’ve been feeling so crappy and stressed out because I’ve been living at a heightened state of anxiety since the class began.”

So I asked Deb about Anti-Anxiety medication.  Deb is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (what that means exactly I don’t know) so she is knowledgable, but not expert about medication.  It also means she can not prescribe anything.  She told me what she knows, and helped me to eliminate some specific possibilities (I can not go on a benzodiazepine – Valium, Xanex – because they’re too “stoney” and I wouldn’t be able to function, or retain information while taking them.)  But there are some other possibilities and she suggested it might not be a bad idea to talk to my psychiatrist about it.  Honestly, I’m a little reluctant because after five and half years on antidepressants and feeling dependant on them (I’ve now been off them for about 22 months) I don’t want to rely upon more pills to regulate my life.  On the other hand, I’ve never been under this much pressure before and if it’s a temporary situation with a temporary solution, maybe I can work with that.

I contacted the Psychiatrist that I last saw at my healthcare provider and he informed me that because he hadn’t seen me in over 2 years, I had to start fresh with the intake process, which is funny because when it was all said and done, I still ended up with an appointment with him. BUT, the earliest appointment I could get is on Friday, September 17th.  What’s wrong with this picture?

I was actually going to end this post right there, because, I at least, think that’s funny, and I like to end my posts with a humorous note.  However it seems like a good idea to add a little bit of a reality check to this as well…

Up until now, we have taken our tests in groups.  Each week, we split up into our little work groups and we get one copy of the test and put all our names on one answer sheet and submit the one answer sheet with our “collectively arrived upon answers”.  Starting next week we will take our tests as individuals and it will be every man for himself.  (Don’t think I haven’t worried about that too.)  But here’s the reality:

1) I have not once, so far, been unable to finish the reading before Monday night’s class.  (I was going to add some “but”s and some qualifiers, but let’s just leave it at that.  Reading gets done in time.)

2) Somehow I became the default test-reader-out-louder-guy, possibly because I am able to speak clearly and rapidly and buzz through the test at a rapid pace, or possibly because I felt the need to take control and feel like we were doing everything we could to get through the test in the time allotted.  I usually read the question out and then select the answer I think is right.   I told my group-mates, “I’m going to just do this, if you think I’m answering wrong, speak up.”  They were all OK with that, and hardly, if ever, disagreed with my selection.  Either I actually do know the stuff when I need to, or they’re completely clueless and allowing me to lead them down the wrong path, except…

3) We finished our three tests last night (yes it was Wednesday but there was no class on Monday for the holiday) in record time.  We were completely finished more than half an hour before the other five groups.  I started to worry that maybe that meant something bad and just as I was verbalizing that to my group-mates the instructor asked, from across the room, “Are you guys done already?”  We confirmed that we had and he made some sort of comment designed to shake our nerve.  But then the Teaching Assistant spoke up and said, “No, they’re actually doing really well.”  He had already graded our three tests and knew our results.  I asked him, “We did well tonight, or we’re doing well over-all?” We haven’t gotten anything back, or any way of knowing our grades to date.  The TA glanced back at the computer screen and said, “Well, everybody did badly on Chapter 5” (chapter 5 was vitals, so, you know, that’s bad) “but over-all you guys are doing well.”

As of last night, we have an 88% in the class.  Naturally, an A would be preferable but I was a C average student in high school; I will not be complaining about an 88%!

I know all the real, rational facts about this situation.  I have a job that I’m not in danger of losing and that pays a decent salary.  If I fail (or get kicked out of) this class, I can take it again next semester (at a different school where this instructor isn’t teaching).  I’m probably not going to fail or get kicked out and I’ll do OK on the materials and testing and the certification.  I own the textbook so I can review whenever, however often and for however long I want and I can learn this stuff inside and out, at my own pace without all the pressure, once this class is over.  Time and experience and exposure will over-power any anxiety about the job and the injuries I might witness and eventually, it’ll become second nature to me, just like my job today became second nature to me.

It would be nice to think that having this rational knowledge would help to alleviate the anxiety, but you know what?  It doesn’t! Not one iota!

I sure do hope the psychiatrist can give me something to help!