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I did not know that heat actually increases one’s tolerance for pain. Like, literally; if you place a source of heat “upstream” on a nerve, you literally have a greater tolerance for pain “downstream”. I always thought it was just relieving the symptoms, e.g. the source of pain, and apparently it does more than that.

I had too many questions and was getting too frustrated with our PAM class, so I did go and speak with the dean. I started just by asking all my unanswered questions—which lead to a book with a good deal more of the answers. It’s amazing how much better I feel just being able to get my questions answered. She also took the time to really listen to what I was saying, and that really helped, too. Especially since it seems like the PAM teacher is always just blowing us off and shutting us down. Her entire vibe is “just shut up and sit down while I read this slide.”

I don’t know if anything will change class-wise or not, but for those two things right there, it was worth it. I hope class-wise things will change, because it’s starting to get pretty tense. If someone gets upset enough to walk out, I wouldn’t be surprised if we all did. And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I felt like it was time for me to say something. If it’s going to come down to dramatics, I want to be able to say we tried all reasonable routes first. And I wanted it witnessed that it was not just “certain people” in a class that were having issues, but that even certified “good girls” were not finding this classroom conductive to learning.

I think that helped, too—the fact that she realized a legitimate complaint, not a student-doesn’t-like-the-teacher complaint. The dean, having taught us all last semester (yay for small programs!!), knows perfectly well the kinds of questions I ask. She brought up first how I tend to be making connections and putting things together while the basic concepts are being discussed. She seemed disturbed to find out that felt I wasn’t really welcome to be asking questions or point out contradictions from the book vs. the teacher. She really wanted me to keep asking questions. So now if I’m the most-annoying-student-in-the-class, I’m the most annoying student with the dean’s encouragement to be so. Which is worth something, right?

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