Go for Broke

I feel like I am sometimes living a bitter sweet, double edged dream.  I love college…learning all the amazing things about the human body and having so many new experiences.  I seriously thought since I was 40 when I returned to college, I wouldn’t be able to learn many new things and I’d do good with a C.  I have learned that I’m actually an exceptional student and I make A’s.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be a smart college student.

But let me tell you….It certainly does not come naturally.  I study almost every waking hour that I’m not in class.  I quit my job in December and I haven’t looked back.  This entire year has been college focused and I’ve loved every minute of it.  After being in the work force for 20+ years….man, it’s so nice to be away from grumpy people and drama, drama, drama.

The downside?  I’m broke.  Normally by October 1, I have all my Christmas presents bought and wrapped.  But this year, I have only purchased 3 things.  I am dreading presents this year.  We barely have enough income to pay our bills, buy gas, and purchase groceries.  There is nothing left at the end of the month.  Nada.  I just want to skip presents for the next 3 years and then start gift giving once I’m finally working again.  This whole “not having money” thing is for the birds.

I was able to get some scrap wood from some neighbors and have made some reclaimed wood picture frames.  I will give some of those for Christmas gifts.  Other than that, I will probably make some candy and cookies to hand out as gifts.  I think I can find some little gift boxes on sale at Hobby Lobby.

Being broke really does help bring the focus back to Christ at Christmas.  It really isn’t about the gifts.  It’s about Christ being born into this world as our Savior.  And so, with that, I will choose not to focus on being broke, but rather being the richest girl in the world because Christ has come.

Recently I have had several times that I could have been discouraged.

My husband had a procedure last week and while he was in recovery, I was talking to his male nurse (RN). He said nurses are a dime a dozen, there is no longer a shortage, and finding a good job in nursing is difficult.

I live in Memphis, TN. Home of some of the best hospitals out there. We have St. Jude, The Regional Medical Center, Lebonheur Children’s Hospital….not to mention several Methodist Hospitals, St. Francis Hospitals and Baptist Memorial Hospital.

I am a glass is full kind of person. I don’t choose to focus on the negative….there are too many people out there that do that for me already.

At first, when the nurse told me that nurses are a dime a dozen, I felt a little deflated. I am working super hard in school and I love every minute of it. So far, I have made great grades and stayed focused on my studies and pretty much given up any social life with family or friends that existed before January.  So, why would this guy want to deflate me?

The conversation I had with said male nurse makes me wonder if he is a little burned out and in need of a break. It reminded me to always encourage people to follow their dreams and to NOT blow their candle out. It takes people so long to finally determine what they want to do with their lives….look at me….I’m 41 and in college pursuing a dream. So, I heartily appreciate the reminder to encourage others, cheer them on, and support them in whatever endeavor it is they have chosen as their life’s mission. I will not blow their candle out and send their dreams into darkness. I will help them, motivate them and send them well wishes. After all, one day I will be a nurse. I have a heart full of compassion and a love for humankind. I want to help people and to inspire people.

Blessings :O)

Comprehension

I have the best A & P instructor.  He lets us know what tests will be the hardest and what will be the easiest. Up until yesterday, both lab and lecture have been a lot of memorization.  Anyone can memorize stuff if they study it enough.  But now, it’s all comprehension.

I never really put much thought into memorization verses comprehension.  Well, let me tell you…there’s a lot of differences.  You memorize where you live, how to drive your car, where your moms house is, where the grocery store is….etc.  You don’t even have to think about it.  You do it automatically.  Easy peasy once you’ve done it a few times.

Comprehension…..well, it’s a bit different.  It’s the difference in just driving a car verses knowing why the car starts, what causes the fuel to go to the engine and what do the spark plugs do and how do the wheels align and stay that way and on and on and on.  WHY?

We had our hardest lab test yesterday and I feel certain I got an A.  I studied a lot of hours to not just memorize the data, but to know it.  I mean, you can memorize it for the class, or you can “know” it for your life as a nurse.  So, I really try to know the information so that when I am a nurse, I can be the best nurse I can be.

On Nov. 18, I will take the hardest lecture test we will have.  It’s 100% comprehension.  The breakdown of the muscle fibers, the contraction and relaxation, the joints and movements of the skeletal system, and the breakdown of the entire central and peripheral nervous system.

I have been really busy studying for the lab exam.  Now that it’s over, I will focus my time on the lecture exam coming up.  I seriously feel like I am living my life in 2 week increments right now…..and I don’t see an end in sight anytime soon!

But honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  It’s hard.  But I love proving to myself that even though I just turned 41, I am smart enough and compassionate enough to be one of the top in my class and the eventual nurse I dream of one day being.

If you’re a nursing student…keep your head up!  All your very hard work, endurance and passion will pay off one day soon.  After many years in school, you will one day look back and it will have passed in the blink of an eye.  Be sure to make friends along the way.  Enjoy the studies you are learning.  Get to know it….not to pass it, but to be smart and informed.  The human body is amazing!!!  Get to know it for yourself, not for anyone else and not just for a grade.  You’ll thank yourself for it later in life.

Have a blessed day everyone! Remember to stop and enjoy life along the way.

kindness-quotes-5

Volunteer

I’ve been listening to students and teachers talking about nursing pre-reqs, nursing school, and being a nurse.  One of the things I keep hearing, but no one ever seems to respond to, is that what you do while you are in school to gain experience matters!

One day, in my not too distant future (I pray!), I will be accepted into a nursing program.  I figure I should be able to start the nursing program in about a year, Fall 2015, after I’m finished with all my sciences.  What will I do for the next year while I’m in school to be able to gain some experience?

I decided to check out some volunteer opportunities!!

volunteer

I contacted Methodist Hospital and filled out an application.  I’m so excited because they called me today to confirm approval for a background check.  I should hear from the hospital I chose in the next few days.  I pretty much have Friday’s free, so think I will volunteer my Friday’s for the rest of this semester and then see what my schedule is next semester and plan accordingly.

I’m super excited to be able to help people and make a difference; as well as getting my feet wet in a hospital setting.

Why do I want to be a nurse?

Apparently I have to write a paper and submit my answer to that question with my nursing program application.  How do I put into words what I feel in my heart and soul?  I love people.  I love giving people my best.  I love making a difference in someone’s life especially when they need someone to make a difference.  I have unfortunately had several surgeries in my lifetime.  I’ve learned a lot of how a really good nurse can completely change your entire experience.  I had popliteal entrapment syndrome and had to have a large part of my gastronomic muscle removed.  It was literally the most painful experience of my entire life.

IMG_4710   IMG_4733

There is no way I could have gone through that kind of pain without a super fabulous nurse.  I had the best ever.  The night shift nurses were definitely more humorous, compassionate and patient.  They would come in and just chat with me for 15-20 minutes in the middle of the night.  They didn’t just come check on me at the assigned times….they came to visit.  Of course, I did have an extremely unique type of surgery, and I gave them each a box of girl scout cookies….Plus I never ask for anything, so I’m sure all those factors come into play.

Nevertheless, I am very much a positive and glass is full type of person.  I pray I am able to make a huge difference, and to give people the best of me.

Take a break and enjoy some pics

I love capturing memories through photography.  I had a photography business license from 2007 until December 2013.  I decided to let it go while in college and pursuing my degree. 

Here are some pics I’ve taken.  Some are of my handsome hubby.  Some are of my beautiful grandson, Reece. Some are of my 4 legged kiddos, Bella and Rane.  Some are just random stuff I like.  Enjoy! 

(please be kind and don’t steal images.  thanks!)

IMG_8324 IMG_8632 IMG_8823  IMG_6423 IMG_7077 IMG_7414IMG_7218 IMG_7323  IMG_7428 IMG_7675 IMG_7864  IMG_4979_MG_2464   24

_MG_3077   14

Production

Paul-Meyer

After taking a timeout to write my blog post last night about procrastination, I spent 2 solid hours listening to the lecture and typing up notes, adding pictures, etc. Have I mentioned I love OneNote? If you’re a student and you don’t use OneNote, you are missing out. It is the best notes tool since the word processor was invented.

I am motivated this morning to finish typing up my lecture notes and then move on to the rest of my list. I have so much to do….and on top of it all; I’ve come down with a seasonal cold. No fever as of yet, but all the other blessings that come with a cold are all intact. A mega dose of vitamin C and Zinc twice a day for the next few weeks are a sure bet and I will be feeling 100% before ya know it.

So I don’t know how many of you are in college or are soon to be in college. I want to share a few things I have found I can’t (or don’t want to) live without since my college journey started 11 months ago.

  • A daily planner and some colorful ink pens & highlighters. You have a lot to keep track of, but that doesn’t mean it has to look boring. Add some major color to your schedule and make it fun :O)
  • I think it came free with my computer. A fellow classmate told me about it as I was looking over her shoulder while she typed notes up in class. I was like, WOAH! What’s that? So thankful for that encounter. I went home that night and started using it. Haven’t looked back….not even once ya’ll!
  • Quizlet.  Have you heard of this?!?! Amazing! I type up all my notes into OneNote. Then I transfer all my notes to Quizlet in a “term and definition” format. I recommend doing all this on a real computer (laptop, desktop, etc.) Then if you want to add images, I think an annual membership is $12. Crazy cheap. After everything is entered….you can look at different formats. You can use it as flashcards on your phone (just DL the app) and you can even customize tests to test yourself on what you know. Our teacher does multiple choice only, so I choose that format to test myself (there’s also true or false, fill in the blank and matching). You can select how many questions and whether the question should be presented using the term or the definition. Try it…but fair warning, it’s addictive!!
  • Half.com – where you don’t have to spent your life savings on a college book. I mean really…a book is worth that much??? Check out half.com for those classes that you don’t have to have the web access code. You can literally save hundreds of dollars…thousands even over the course of your college years…just by purchasing your books at half price or less. The notes in the comments for each book will tell you the condition of the book. I got a $252 A&P book for $25!! Seriously. And I don’t mind at all that the book was already highlighted.
  • Student ID Card…..do you realize how many places you can get a discount if you just ask and then show your ID? Sonic is already cheap and they will give you a 10% discount. Many other places will, too! When I started school, I was way above using my ID to get discounts, I mean, really. But as the semesters continue and my pocket book withers, I am all for penny pinching wherever and however I can. Put your pride away and save some dollars, ya’ll.

Well that’s about it for now. I am off to finish typing my lecture notes. Think I may celebrate when they are done! Should have never waited so long. Typing 3 full lectures into notes. Craziness….that’s 9 hours of notes. So glad I can see the end, and lesson learned to continue typing notes up right after class!! Have a great day everyone! xoxo

Procrastination

“I try to procrastinate, if I can, productively,
like I’ll work on something else as procrastination.
Or I take a walk.
Because often I find,
if you get out,
more things come to you.
Boy! Isn’t that the truth! 
 
I have an exam coming up in 4 days.  It’s a lab exam.  We have 50 questions and are timed.  We have no more and no less than 1 minute per question.  We are covering 3 things.  Sounds easy, right?!?!?!  Well, not so fast….haha  There is always more to the story.
The test requires the following:
  • Diagram a microscope and identify ALL the parts
  • Know ALL the muscles…..and their origin, insertion, and action (where are they and what do they do)
  • Identify each tissue and all the structures within the tissues

Whew!  See, that’s a lot of info to store in the brain!  I have studied for most of the day for the past 4 days.  I pretty much know all the muscles and their info.  I think I lack like 2 actions.  I will get it soon. And the microscope is almost memorized.  The tissue, I can identify, the structures….well I really need to study.

In addition, I have a 3 hour lecture class every Tuesday and things are really getting a lot more comprehensive.  So, I need to type up my lecture notes and be ready for class on Tuesday, so I have an understanding of everything covered so far and don’t fall behind.

I say all this to say…..today is Sunday and I’m feeling unmotivated.  Really unmotivated.  We started our day our by serving as leaders with our Guest Services team at church.  We got to church at 7:45am and had fun with Guest Services until about 10:30am.  Then we attended the 2nd service at church as part of the congregation.  I LOVE our church home.  Then after church, we met up with some very good friends and went to lunch and had some really great conversations.  Then we came home.  Last night was our first frost of the year and it was like 30 degrees when we woke up.  So I came home from church and threw on my fleece PJ’s and hit the couch.  Football is on and I sat down to start typing up my lecture notes.  THREE hours later, I have pinned several things on pinterest, I have played ball with the dogs….

IMG_4622I mean, who could resist those girls!?!?!?  I certainly could not.  I have also watched some football, applied coconut oil to my chapped lips and that’s pretty much it….

I was considering starting to type up lecture notes and then it occurred to me that you may also be having a problem procrastinating….So I had to type up this blog post to get me motivated and help me realize the multitude of information I really need to know within 3 days.  And I don’t want to just memorize it, I want to know it.  I want to be informed of all the anatomy and stuff when the day comes that I get accepted into the nursing program.  So with that….let’s stop procrastinating and let’s get busy.  Make a TO DO list and pick somewhere to start.

Here’s mine:

  • Review Notes
  • Review muscles, etc and say them out loud….have hubby test me
  • Study microscope diagram
  • Label blank microscope diagram
  • Review Tissues
  • Learn tissue structures
  • Go to school library tomorrow, meet study group and go over tissues
  • Type up lecture notes before Tuesday, email to study group
  • Type all lecture notes in Q & A format into Quizlet

Well, I don’t know about you, but that was quite motivational for me to be able to list everything and know what all is a priority for my schedule right now.  I’m signing off and going to listen to the rest of lecture and type up all my notes.  I’ll be sure to follow up later to see how ya’ll did and to let ya know what I make on the test!  Time to get started…..