Monthly Archives: September 2016

Strategic disengagement

Today I quit.

It’s not a territory I am all that familiar with.

Sure, a couple years ago I quit a career, but that was with a new one in the foreground.

A few years ago I quit a race, but that was the act of Dear Diabetes, completely out of my control.

Speaking of Dear Diabetes, I quit her once too, but my brain wasn’t fully developed so I can’t really be blamed for that.

I’ve had thoughts of quitting other things: my first marathon I had visions of running in front of the tram; my first time up the Grouse Grind, I had urges to hurl myself over the side of the cliff. Chemistry, I thought for sure I’d blow up the lab and be done with it. But never, never, never was there the option of stopping and turning around.

Today I stopped.

But I didn’t turn around.

Today I quit physics.

Two weeks of physics and this is what I got out of it: a tutorial on how to make paper airplanes, and I didn’t even do those that well! (Little Ring loves them!)

After four straight semesters of chemistry, I thought for sure I was primed for physics (okay, I didn’t really think that), but nope, that was not the case. By second class I could feel the sweat building up in my underarms; I could feel the heat in my face, the shaking of my limbs.


I got a tutor, he’s a great tutor, a phenomenal tutor, a tutor that worked so thoroughly with me to understand the concepts, in a really cool way, and at such a shockingly low wage. If I could learn this course through him, I would excel. If I could be one-on-one with the prof, I would excel. But in a class of 300 x 3, I am but a bug on the wall.


I went into physics with an open mind. I had no idea what to expect, I don’t recall ever doing physics, but then again I don’t recall much of math, and I shut my ears to anyone who told me it was tough as hell. This past weekend I had two assignments due plus a lab. I spent all night Friday, well into the morning hours, all afternoon and evening Saturday, and all morning Sunday. There were a lot of eff bombs, a lot of distressed exclamations “I don’t understand what it’s asking me!!!” and a lot of unreasonable, I feel cruddy as hell outbursts towards the most I love.


This course is not a priority course.

This course is a course that I potentially need, but a course that’s ultimately not going to get me into the program I desire.

When I get into dietetics, there is a core course that requires the foundations of physics, but for those in the dietetics program the prerequisite is waived. Most who don’t have physics struggle.

I was trying to be proactive.

I am taking four courses this semester, three of which are priority courses. I was spending way too much energy, both mentally and emotionally, on a non-priority. A course that if I struggle all the way through who’s to say any of it will take hold in my brain and carry over to that core course? And who’s to say I won’t completely mess up the priority courses that I should actually do quite well in?

There was a lot of soul searching, a lot of weighing the pros and cons, going back and forth, a lot of outside guidance. I don’t like to quit, but it didn’t make sense to disregard the priorities in favour of a non.

So, today I quit.

I quit for the betterment of my goal; the betterment of my grades; the betterment of my mental state; the betterment of my family.

To quote a friend: It as a matter of strategic disengagement.