Monday, March 21, 2011


My motivation wasn't hiding, it was all piled up waiting for the email from the course coordinator, always a swell guy, which informs me about the withdrawal policy. His lovely perfunctory note reads (identifiers deleted):
Thank-you for your email.  I’m sorry to hear that the course is not meeting your expectations. 
In answer to your query about refunds - the date for obtaining a full refund has passed.  However, you are still eligible to receive a 50% refund if we submit an add/drop form to .... before March 31st, 2011.
If you decide that you would like to drop the course please let me know and we can get the process started.  As you have already completed .....  you will receive credit for that course and it will appear on your .... transcripts.  However, only individuals completing all three courses in the series would receive the certificate issued through the .....
Please let me know if I can help in any other way.  Hope all is well with you!

It feels like the trap is off my foot now, and I'm pleased to report that virtual feet on virtual rabbits heal instantly with good news.

So, what WAS this all about, anyway? For sure, this latest (and hopefully final) move away from the actual program was about a visceral response to an irritant.

Some of the irritant was the course content, some of it was my own lack of adaptability, some of it was how I couldn't figure out how to consider this chunk of it important - for me - and some of it (a lot of it, actually) has to do with how I was treated when I asked for some help to clarify some things.

Instead of a boundary being maintained around the student-teacher issue by the instructor, the conversation derailed, got personal and political about all sorts of things that were not directly about any "student-having-a-problem-with-the-material" issue. I might be a bit of a handful from time to time, but I think the real train wreck, for me, in terms of developing an allergic response and getting irrevocably turned off her and the program, happened when she decided to take an opportunity to talk about all the other stuff that she had on her mind. I think that really weighed down the cognitive dissonance issue with which I was already struggling.

Furthermore, I felt my intelligence being insulted about A beta fibers, and about "muscle pain" which she apparently accepts holusbolus as a heuristic, and with which I have a problem, and support for objecting to, right in the Textbook of Pain, on page 906. Rather than clarifying the issue in a couple sentences in one email, over several emails it was implied I was an unteachable crummy golfer with a closed mind.

Anyway, that's what happened, in vague terms, so as to protect identities of those involved or discussed by us. So, I have lost confidence and trust in the instructor in terms of being able to relate to her as a student. I don't agree with where she thinks the profession should end up (i.e., stay in the same holding pattern intellectually). I don't want to continue under these circumstances.

And what WAS my motivation in the first place for taking on a project like this, at this age, and without having any practical objective reasons for doing so? I was in a lull, needed stimulation, needed brain food, needed to see what it was all about, needed to find out if my brain still worked.. was bored, needed something different to do for awhile.. a post-midlife minicrisis, or at least doldrum, maybe... looking back I'm not really sure anymore.

I guess something useful will come from it. Anytime a compost bin gets accidentally tipped it makes a mess, but in the process the compost itself becomes aerated. 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Just because I didn't survive the program doesn't mean I didn't learn a great deal, and education is never wasted. I understand more about research and reading papers. That's got to be good. I've listened to lectures from excellent people in the field and have made copious notes. I now know who I don't want to hang out with, in my profession, and why. I now see the shape of the battle we all face together more clearly. That's always strategic.

I was a dead woman (in terms of having any influence over anything important) to begin with; I'm still just as dead as ever, so it doesn't much matter that I drop out of this particular battle, whatever it's about. I concede defeat. I now have my rabbit foot out of that steelclaw trap though, and feel way more comfortable.

While all this was happening last week I couldn't sleep, found myself up at 2:30AM, shopping online looking at treatment tables. It could well be that part of me is stirring once again, the part that likes having a location defined by me, where I control the ambiance and decor and cleanliness, that is warm and bright and comfortable, where I can treat people at my leisure without any pressure. It's the human primate social groomer motivation stirring again. I can feel it. It had a nice long rest, and I think it may be wanting to wake up and get busy again one of these days, have a defined practice again. That's always been my one and only motivation, since I was a child. It's the one I'll take with me to the grave.

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