I have been awake for about an hour and my wake up call is still about 30 minutes away. I tried getting back to sleep but no such luck. I really wish I could run to Starbucks for a little early morning pick me up but between the less than wonderful effects caffeine (and not to mention all the calories in my favorite drinks) and the warnings about caffeine during pregnancy I will remain uncaffeinated.
It seems like a good time to get up and start homework for the week while everyone else is sleeping anyway. But before I start that I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on my first week of classes. Public transportation in Minnesota has left me with a lot to be desired. I am either driving just a little out of my way to be able to avoid bus stops in sketchy neighborhoods or I am spending a lot of time on the light rail. In the past 2 days I have seen 3 different sets of cops patrolling the light rail for correct fair. Somehow that really doesn’t make me feel all the much better about the light rails safety.
Beyond the transportation situation (which is saving me hundreds of dollars by the way) I have some rather interesting instructors this semester and have gotten some very mixed responses to my pregnancy. I honestly assumed that in my program and especially at an institution was really put on the map for some questionable kin experiments in the past, that they would be just a little more progressive about exercise participation in pregnancy. My tennis instructor was really great about it and expressed zero concerns. My major advisor was also great – but the advisor ‘above’ her and my exercise physiology professor both referenced my pregnancy as a ‘condition’ and really made me feel like it is something to whisper about, almost as if we are still living in the early 1900’s when an unwed woman having a baby would vanish during pregnancy and delivery and then come back as if nothing happened. But I am in fact married and I happen to just fall in that ‘non-traditional student’ classification.
While I understand it is an unusual situation for the professor, I can’t be the only student ever in this situation. And I just wish based on the fact that I approached them about it and assured them I would be keeping my midwife in the loop about any activity, complications, or concerns, that they would have handled it a little better. Maybe in the professor and advisor’s heads I am 20, away from home for the first time, and landed pregnant by mistake – but I think they could have taken a neutral line and instead of comments like ‘let your professors know about your condition’, or ‘I have alerted your TA to your condition’ they could have just said ‘please let your professors know about your pregnancy’, or ‘I have alerted your TA to your pregnancy’ – Because frankly, I have a pregnancy not a condition. And I promise I am not contagious.
While it is nice to have the first week done, it wasn’t a full week and I still have to experience the lab in which the professor referenced my condition. I also noticed this week that sitting in desks is going to start getting hard in the coming months. There really isn’t a ton of space. And once again – I totally get that I am in the minority here but it is making me much more alert to how accessible the University is (or isn’t) to those who are disabled. I think each classroom has one table and chair labeled for handicap individuals. Sometimes that is for a room full of 50 students. I didn’t think much of it in the past but I am in an exercise related program – people get hurt and put on crutches regularly making desk seating hard. What happens when there is need from 2 of the 50 students? Or there is not an elevator to get to your classroom?
Admittedly, disability of this nature seems to be rare on the campus too, but it sure does make me wonder about things I just wouldn’t have thought of before.
The one other thing I learned this semester is being a good student is actually rather time consuming and demanding. I am already finding it a little hard to manage my home life and school life and it was only the first 3 days of the semester. I am sure it will be a little easier as I get into a new routine but it already blows my mind that I used to work full time and take a fairly heavy course load and I was trying to be wonder woman at home. I think I get it now when everyone would ask me how I did it. My answer was always, this is just what I know but looking back to even just a month and a half ago … how was I doing that?