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  1. The Commuter
  2. How Agatha Christie Became an Expert on Poison | Time
  3. Agatha Christie

Gebler was abusive and controlling, and O'Brien was "petrified" of him. The tensions were exacerbated when she began to outstrip her husband as a writer. She wrote her first novel, Country Girls , in three weeks: she said it was "waiting" to be written, partly because of her ambivalence about the country she had left behind. Her mother wrote to her before publication, saying she hoped "she was not about to bring ignominy and disgrace on my own people," but nonetheless, she was surprised by the vehemence of the response.

The book was banned, and the local postmistress told O'Brien's father that she deserved to "be kicked naked through the town. O'Brien believes its directness was partly to blame: "It had the flavor of a diary—it had an intimacy that angered them even more. It seemed to be their story. And I came from a small village: there was no tradition of reading or books in that village, nor writers—let alone a woman writer, in her 20s.

They saw it as a smear on Irish womanhood. The fact that it opened doors in England in the literary world didn't affect me as much, because I was still married, and there was disharmony about it at home. The money would have allowed her to "flee with the children," but she refused to sign the check over to her husband, as she always had before, and he assaulted her. She left that evening without the check, but knowing "that she was walking from the past, from the twin governance of parents and husband. Country Girl describes the subsequent battle for custody of her sons.

She says it was not an easy book to write, and in the prologue, she claims she "swore" she would never write it. It was partly irritation at the way she is perceived that prompted her to change her mind: she says she has led a studious life, mostly taken up with reading and writing, and yet people seem to think it has "been one long gaudy Mata Hari adventure. She was self-centered and domineering, but we shared many common enthusiasms—painting, music, poetry. My father was an architect.

He came from old Pennsylvania and Southern WASP stock, but he grew up in genteel poverty, living for years in boarding houses. His father died when he was nine, having squandered what money he had. She was a violinist, a former child prodigy. She supported the family through violin lessons until she got tendonitis. But he decided not to go to college, which was a great disappointment to her. He went straight to the Yale School of Architecture. Then instead of following an artistic vocation like Le Corbusier or Frank Lloyd Wright, he became a successful professional architect, and I think this brought him regret and even bitterness.

I spent all my time in dreamland, listening to obscure music and reading Henry James. What was that like? He was sensational. He devoted our first class, which was three hours long, to the two opening lines and showed how the whole play was implicit in them. In those days, it was too Southern genteel. I came into Princeton an enthusiastic poet, then I wrote less and less, and soon my desire to write was gone. I left after the first semester of my sophomore year, in December of , and joined the navy. It seemed an exciting prospect. I went to boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois.

I got physically strong. I met new kinds of people. It was the first time I had ever known a black man outside of waiters in restaurants. I bunked with a black man whose name was, of course, Jimmy White. I had a terrible experience with him, one that fills me with shame to this day. He showed up without calling and got chucked out. I was supposed to ship out to the Mediterranean that summer. Fabulous prospect! But my whole plan for the year fell apart because I eloped with Niki, my first wife. My father wanted me home to get the marriage annulled.

He had become a commander in the Navy Reserve at the end of the war, so he pulled rank and called up the director of the Norfolk, Virginia, receiving station. He succeeded in having me kept there for the entire summer—pure misery. Finally, in September, I shipped over on a transport ship.

By the end of the summer, I came down with a feverless flu. My head ached, my legs ached, my feet ached. I felt horrible all over. I was the last one to get on board my transport ship, so the only place left where I could set up a cot was all the way in the bow of the ship next to where the anchor chains were lodged, which meant that every time the ship rolled, a ton of chains would slide across the floor and bang up against the bulkhead and then slide back again. I went to the pharmacist and he gave me aspirin.

But when I asked for something stronger, he accused me of being a goldbrick, a slacker, and told the other officers. As punishment I was given the job of chipping paint with a mechanical chipper. It was nine days of pure hell. We reached Plymouth in a parody of English weather—fog, rain, darkness. I was assigned to the deck force of the USS Columbus , the flagship of the sixth fleet in the Mediterranean.

I had to get up at four-thirty in the morning and scrub down the decks in bare feet. This went on for about a month. Finally I developed a fever of one hundred and four, which was my salvation. I was able to go to sick bay. There was the Riviera coast under a cloudless October sky. I had three nights of glorious liberty. You know what liberty is? A furlough.

Our marriage was a way for Niki and me to get out of the Upper East Side. We were both going crazy in that world, which was much stuffier than it is now. I knew that all hell was going to break loose when we got married, and it did.

The Commuter

It led to an estrangement from my parents that took twenty years to resolve. My parents had made a considerable sacrifice to send me to the best schools and colleges available. The whole idea was for me to become a respectable gent with an office job in New York. The last token of satisfaction that I gave them was finishing Harvard, where I transferred after my year in the navy. I majored in music.

Literature was my great love, and I was determined to keep it unsullied by academia. A prime example is a school of fourteenth-century music called ars nova , where elaborate formal demands run the show. The practice was invented by Philipe de Vitry and continued by the great Guillaume de Machaut. It was a period much like the twelve-tone school, in that these great composers were followed by a whole slew of disciples who took their methods to insane lengths.

They would create music in which thirteen notes would be played against nine notes which would be played against five notes—things that are hard to figure out even on the page. Studying ars nova was an immersion in a nonromantic and nondramatic way of creating music. Like stanza forms, they were tools used by the composers to construct their music, and this in fact is what poets have always done, until free verse came along. What is interesting about a complicated stanza form?

It has no inherent dramatic or emotional value. Its main use is to construct the poem. The following summer Niki had a serious nervous breakdown. She was put in a clinic and had electric shock treatment. In the clinic she started doing little collages with grass, stones, twigs, and so forth. A friend of ours bought her a box of gouaches.

She started painting, and gave up a very promising acting career. She worked with an ardor that delighted me because it meant she was better. It also filled me with envy. I said, My God, being able to work the way you do must be heaven. She said, Are you crazy? Start writing. So I did and that was that.

Then I got a depressing letter from my father. When I think of him reading my first novel, The Conversions. Fortunately there were some reviews—in America, two that I saw.

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One was in Time magazine, if you can imagine such a thing, and the other was an exuberant article by Terry Southern in The Nation. But the English edition was reviewed glowingly in almost every major paper. And because my father was a snobbish Anglophile, he said, If the English like it, it must be good.

At that point, he relaxed. What I think of as my writing life began when I met him.

Why I quit pharmacy? (The HONEST truth)

He had already published his first book. But he never spoke much about poetry. He was very proper, though he led another life at night, when he drank and carried on. A couple of weeks later, I gave him a poem. He read it and said, I see you read all those poets that I recommended to you. His mentioning them and briefly describing them were enough to transform my writing. There was another very important thing he did. And that was bye-bye New Yorker models—or any other models, for that matter. In my life, that was a radical shift.

Yes, thanks to John I began reading Raymond Roussel. Roussel had methodical approaches to writing fiction that completely excluded psychology. In the American novel, what else is there? What was really holding me up was this idea that you had to have character development, relationships, and that this was the substance of the novel. Indeed, it is the substance of many novels, including extraordinary ones.

But I had tried writing works involving psychology and characters and all that, and the results were terrible. In Roussel I discovered you could write prose the way you do poetry. You make something. You give up expressing and start inventing. One method he used for short stories involved making the first and last sentence identical except for one letter. Each word has one meaning in the first sentence and a different one in the last. A word like train might be a choo-choo to start with and a trailing skirt-end afterward.

In the longer works, he would take fragments of nursery rhymes and parrot them phonetically and then use the new words to construct a story. For example, in Selected Declarations of Dependence I gave myself the task of writing a story using the one hundred and eighty-five words that were found in forty-six proverbs. This is a forbiddingly small vocabulary. It was hard to know what to do with them. Then I started putting words together and a few words would lead to a sentence and then eventually it became this sweet love story. It was as though you were wandering through a jungle and suddenly you came into a clearing that is a beautifully composed garden.

The whole thing is based on misunderstanding language. That kind of thing goes on throughout the book. But when it came out, except for a handful of readers, nobody could see what was there. They kept trying to read through the text rather than just reading it. I think he was expecting a gnome. I had a surprising encounter with Bennett Cerf, who was head of Random House at the time.

This was the man who published Ulysses. One day I was called in to his office. He said, Mr. How did that come about? My grandfather died in and left me twenty thousand dollars, which is like a hundred and forty thousand now. So I agreed to put five thousand into Locus Solus , little knowing what I was getting into. This was just the point when my marriage to Niki was breaking up and it gave me something to do while trying to get through it. My passions had been Eliot and Pound.

So I left the decision of what Locus Solus was going to be to the others. Like the others I had veto power, but I was so ignorant I rarely dared exercise it. Their idea was to publish their own work and that of their friends. Of course, it turned out this little circle had three future Pulitzer Prize winners. We were all categorized as belonging to the New York School, but there was no school. There was little in common between the writing of John, Kenneth, Jimmy, and me.

Think of opening your own pharmacy, the overhead is HIGH. It isn't like working as a chiropractor which has its own issues , but they do not struggle with the overhead issues that pharmacy does. You can earn your own keep at least. JJ85 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hi everyone, I know this board is about the horror stories and experiences of being a pharmacist; however,I need some information She only has a diploma from college because that's all they needed back then to become pharmacists, and she never went back to school to get any degrees as the requirements changed.

So, as silly as this may sound I wanted to know if there was some kind of reciprocity that would allow her to become licensed in the US without having to go through maybe 8 years of school, or if it would be possible for her to legally work in the field e. She has so much experience and I would hate for her to move here and have to take an unworthy job where she would be unhappy.

Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I have no idea where to start looking. Sandy in Santa Monica, California. I think another question to ask is what does she truly enjoy doing? It is one thing to be good at something but to also enjoy and be passionate about something is a different thing to base one's decision on, and in my opinion the more important one.

And I regret still after 20 yrs for not following my gut. But pharmacy isn't all bad. If you find the right area within pharmacy then it's not as bad as comments in this forum, although some are spot on accurate. If your daughter truly enjoys science then perhaps she can still go to either medicine or pharmacy school and look into research or teaching. If money is the reason and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you will enjoy it then definitely go into medicine.

If lifestyle is important to her then she may have to look elsewhere. Truth is she doesn't really need to decide right now.. I am assuming she is graduating high school. I wish I had the wisdom to know that I didnt have to rush into a decision. Once she enters college , who knows she may find some other avenues she finds strength and enjoyment. Having different experiences and following your gut is the best way to make decisions, in my opinion.

I am a good pharmacist but I don't enjoy being one. I regret not following what I loved I think this was the best suggestion so far about choosing any career as a young person thanks so much for your statement Sandy. I have stated this before. I regret becoming a pharmacist almost every single day of my life.

If I could turn back time and get my money invested into this terrible career back, I would without any hesitation.

  • How Agatha Christie Knew So Much About Poison;
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My degree is worth toilet paper, I cannot find any sort of work and in fact the degree hurts me from employment. These are the shackles of the PharmD degree. Anyone who reads these posts and still persists on getting into the pharmacy field is going to get exactly what they deserve for being so foolish. I would never ever recommend this profession to anyone. You will do whatever they decide they want you to do to make them more money give immunizations, work with insufficient support staff.

Anything the customer says against you, you will pay for. It does not matter if the customer is lying. If the customer complains, you will be reprimanded. It pays well, but you get no respect- from the customers nor from the corporation. The situation for pharmacistis in Brazil is even worse. And we have to deal with the same situation mentioned above.

I graduated from one of the first all PharmD schools. There was a lot of pie-in-the-sky talk back then. Now it's more like a pie fight. Thank dog I'm not dyslexic.. I'm atheist I'm retiring from this profession. I used to LOVE it! A BIG difference was that more of us actually enjoyed the work and had a genuine desire to help people. Even adjusted for inflation our low salaries then would have current graduates running for the exits.

I've worked everywhere from big hospitals to mom and pop pharmacies to LTC. Today they all have two or three things in common that together will very soon reduce pharmacy to a VERY tiny fraction of its current size or do away with it altogether: technology, corporatization, and legislation. With CPOE, a prescriber watch out physicians.. From there, they may have the option to do a PA or chose another drug from the list of therapeutic equivalents on the screen possibly with a financial incentive. Now they run to a computer or pull out a smartphone.

How Agatha Christie Became an Expert on Poison | Time

IF your hospital even makes the TPN anymore! It's often farmed out. Many states allow techs checking techs. So, no matter if you have a job good or bad today, within a generation, there will be almost NO pharmacist jobs at ANY pay! They simply don't need our brains anymore; it's that simple. Miss in Mumbai, India.

I was thinking of switching to a PharmD program. I am not really sure though after reading all of the comments here. I have read all your posts and wonder how you are doing, did you find anything yet?

Agatha Christie

I have been a pharmacist for 16 years and unfortunately only graduated with a BS degree. I was one of the last classes to graduate with a BS before my school went to the mandatory pharmD degree. As a pharmacy student and intern I worked 2 years in hospital and 2 years for a drug company.

After graduating I completed a 1 year hospital residency, but foolishly took a job in retail for the money where I have been since. I am currently employed, but I am at my breaking point with my company and have been looking for almost 2 years and found nothing! Our profession is and has always been devalued much from our doing because we must silently protect doctors and nurses from harming patients.

The fact is and remains that the pharmacist are liable for the errors created by physicians, nurses, and pharmacy technicians, as well as his own. So for those who claim pharmacist make a lot of money let us first look at the pharmacist's liabilities and responsibilities. The public does not know how this other professional in the white coat detects a prescription written for 10 or times the prescribed dose or a life threatening drug interaction.

We are a silent profession. So what the public also does not know is that in many states technicians are or will be allowed to make the final check on prescriptions. Many techs are high school graduates who just take a certification test and some take a 18 month course for a diploma. States allow technicians to make the final medication check. Is it the state's ;0 , pharmacy manager or the pharmacist on duty when the error occurs? It is sad to say In the mean time pharmacist protect your license. In order for pharmacies to operate, a licensed pharmacist must be on duty. Do not allow pharmacies to abuse your license i.

Cubbie in Fort Worth, Texas. I've read nearly all the posts in this thread. I find it disheartening. I have a Masters in Business and was hoping to get into the health care field by studying pharmacy at the University of Texas. Firstly, I wanted to study independently for the pharmacy tech exam, pass the test and hopefully gain employment as a pharmacy tech to see if I really wanted this career change.

One thing I haven't read here I could have overlooked it. I had anticipated along with Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Handbook the industry job demand would increase. Do you all not think this way? The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states it will grow by twenty five percent.


A friend of mine got into a pharmacy school in California I was thinking of going to pharmacy school. So I started scouting jobs and couldnt find anything, other than some pharmacy manager type stuff. In Nebraska, I have a job making about 75K doing healthcare analytics. Very flexible job, low hours most of the time, medium stress factor due to politics. I guess I have an advantage though, I can keep this job and slowly work on my pharmD part time and when I get it wait for the right oppurtunity. Does that seem like a good plan? I think my work will pay for most of the schooling too.

Seems ironic though, 3 more years of schooling to go back to taking breaks at the walmart break room. Just like when I was a cashier during my undergrad. For those that will disagree, feel free to take the pre-pharm courses, go through the application process, take the PCAT, hope to get into pharmacy school without a previous degree, complete 3 years of didactic coursework and 1 year of rotations all the while acquiring an incredible amount of debt and sacrificing so much especially those with families. The profession is just not how what it used to be 10 years or even 5 years ago.

The opportunity still exists; the opportunity to experience all those incredible things that being a pharmacist provides …. Pharmacy schools still sell the profession like the gold rush in the 19th century. The profession has become what it has due to a number of different reasons from the downturn of the economy to the EXCESS of pharmacy schools churning out students because they find it profitable for themselves.

Pharmacy is simply not resistant to basic economics. The demand was there, but there was a lag time while everyone kept pushing to increase supply, measures were not taken to moderate the supply and today supply has overtaken demand. What follows is what happens in any situation where supply exceeds demand.

Ramones 1 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. PharmD in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Morgarath in Chicago, Illinois. I'm planning to get my PharmD when I go to college , but looking at all these forums, being a pharmacist seems like such a hassle. Are there any particular companies, or specific locations that have good working conditions or at least a lower amount of work hours? Hi everyone! I am in my second year at a community college trying to take all the pre-pharmacy courses.

After reading these posts, however, I wonder if I should consider different paths, maybe Medical Technologist instead of Pharmacist. I do hope to receive some feedback before I apply to a pharmacy school. Thank you all. Montray in Abilene, Texas said: I'm not sure where you live. If I was you I would check the job market to see if pharmacist's are saturated in the area you want to practice. I am in my first year of pharmacy school and just know heard about how it is difficult to find a job as a pharmacist. However, I worked in pharmacy before pharmacy school as a tech.

With that being said, you need to ask yourself why you wanna goto pharmacy school and if sacrificing 4 years in school and acquiring debt is worth it. You have a long road ahead of you but if you are not scared of working, challenges, and commitment then go for it. Also, most pharmacist that bad mouth the career got into it for the money or they are lazy and thought a pharmacist is a cake walk.

Pharmacy is a business and like any business you need to work hard all the time to fight competition. Yes you provide a service to your patients through counseling and clinical activities but you also manage a business and people. If your a leader then this is a role for you. I don't know the exact reason why people whine on here but I know it takes a certain type of person to be a pharmacist from my 6 years working in the profession.

You would think with all this upset pharmacists on here they would join together and step up to try and change their profession for the better. Guess they are just waiting for someone else to handle that for them. Anyway pharmacy is a fun profession that challenges you daily if your willing to put the commitment in. There are many opportunities to help patients and yourself. Thanks so much for your input. I live in Fairfax county, Virginia so the pharmacist job market is probably not as bad as some other areas.

I have always wanted to be a pharmacist as I find it amazing to learn how a little pill can save a life. I think I will keep my mind about Pharmacy school. Where is the promised milk and honey in Chicago, Illinois. I just read the two previous comments to mine. Are you kidding me! Either you are both the same or work for the same private school.

How Naive, "I don't exactly know why people whine on here What do you think, pharmacist are standing on the side sipping coffee , waiting for their next paycheck. You must be one of those techs "who knows more than the pharmacist! If your a leader then this is a role for you Same thing in a hospital. If you are scheduled to work in the main pharmacy entering orders, you will be doing with fewer and fewer pharmacist and more techs that you have to verify.

How the hell are you going to be doing clinical work when there is more than 60 orders in the Q, playing catch up all the time.