Life in a Bubble

Hell seems to be bubbling up to the surface as I pedal away endlessly in the medical coding class. I swear I made the Dean’s list three quarters in a row when I was in school for electrical engineering; I was part of a two man team that built a Tesla coil (I crunched the numbers mainly). So I am not stupid. I am not failing the class by any stretch – my lowest grade so far is a 93% on a test – but the material is not digestible.

I am, as everyone is, stupid in some ways, but not in matters like this. And here is the big difference between then and now. There is an 18 year difference, but brains are not like muscles, and I haven’t been leaving my brain (not completely anyway) idle.

The difference is this. Electrical engineering is science – directly applied science. Medical coding is government fiat, and conclusion by committee. The only organizational thing about it is the medicine so it has to at least relate to that. Kirchoff’s Current Law is not a law like “use whatever bathroom you feel like using” but a demonstrable fact. And each such law, building upon the ones before it, becomes compact and retainable. In a way you never leave the most basic law V=IR or I=V/R or R=V/I.

The medical coding, each chapter has its own rules and each chapter has a string of concrete all this is that except when this that and this and that. Each progressive chapter, unlike electronics or even philosophy, wipes out the preceding chapter. Getting to the end of any chapter prepares you in no way for the chapter coming next. You are not dealing with a structured system of human knowledge.

So, it is taking a long time. Also, as I’ve said before, I have no medical background at all. So I have to learn stuff like bone grafting and the insertion methods of a port-a-cath, etc, etc.

The brochure for the school said “Some people finish their programs in just four months!” Apparently deans of medicine are becoming medical coders because there is no way someone is finishing that in four months without a degree and experience in medicine and surgery. And even then I think the coding will still take them out past the six month point.

So that is all I’ve been doing and outside of an hour or so of daily reading, or a television show, that is literally all I’ve been doing. I don’t even make goals for it now, nor estimates. My current extension runs out in December. I hope to be done then.

In other news I have added a new book to my itinerary: Finding True Happiness by Robert Spitzer. He used to be the president of what I like to call Gorgonzola College in Washington state. He is also a priest. Yep, another book by a Catholic author! Apparently Spitzer is a technical read, so I have heard. Good, I don’t like soft-boiled theology and I like my spirituality rarified.



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