About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Last break I'll get for a while

So wow, my road trip was fabulous. I shall detail it shortly... But first, the information you nursing-students-to-be are clearly dying to hear about: how the N95 mask fitting went!

Ok, so this isn't a pic of my group, but it was essentially the same thing: standing around with spaceman bags on our heads, with the masks on. There was a hole in the front of each head-bag that the tester would spray some Bittrex (super bitter airborne chemical) into, and she instructed each of us to breathe deeply through our mouths with the masks on.

There were 3 different sizes to choose from. I originally had the medium sized one on, but it was really hard to get a seal around my nose and my glasses kept fogging up. It was weird, none of the other people had an issue (or appeared to have an issue) with their masks, so I felt a little self-conscious with all my trouble. I just kept in mind that one day I would be caring for a TB/SARS/H5N1 patient and I would be sorry then if I wasn't honest now!

So the tester downgraded me to the small mask, 3M 8110S. That was a much better fit and I was able to wear my glasses comfortably. And I didn't taste any Bittrex, hooray!

So here's my $40 mask. As in, it's technically worthless now that I've worn it, but they let me keep it, and I paid $40 for them to spray chemicals in my face. Cool, huh? The warning label is a little scary: Misuse may result in sickness or death.

Now for the road trip details: I went to work until 9, and came home to pack my bags. The list was a little exhaustive, what with the changeable weather in the mountains, but I have a gianormous backpack that I used while traveling through Europe. It can fit pretty much my whole life in it when packed correctly. Well, I ended up taking so long with the packing that I didn't get to bed until midnight. I had to set my alarm for 0345!! We had to meet at the school for 0430 and the city buses weren't running that early, so I ended up taking a cab. The cabbie was really nice and I was kind of pumped so I kept chatting away and I'm sure he was just thinking God, I hate college kids.

There ended up being 30 students on the trip, and we took a charter bus to the teeny-tiny-town of Nordegg, where we dropped off half of the group to go rafting and the rest of us headed to the rock climbing place. Turned out there was a good hour's hike to get to the actual spot, which I was sooo not in shape for but was game anyway, up through a canyon and along a mountainside. It was incredible how the weather changed so dramatically. When we were in the canyon I literally was dripping sweat from under my helmet, but we then got up to the rock face and it was raining and hailing and freezing in general. I had a lot of fun with the canyoneering part but when it came to do the actual climbing, I wasn't so into it. The rain and sleet made the rock face slick and freezing cold, and even though I was wearing triple-layer snow gear complete with toque and skidoo mitts, I was drenched and pretty much miserable. I did give it a fair shot though; I belayed someone up a climb even with hail falling into my eyes. I also took a stab at the easier climb (I am deathly afraid of heights, and climbing a real cliff is not quite the same as a climbing wall) but I slipped while making a big step and fell. That was a good enough try for me :)

That night at the hostel, there was a great deal of drinking and rabble-rousing by most of the students but I pretty much hung out in my room and studied Anatomy. I crashed at 2230 and that was all I remember, except one girl in my room (who, interestingly, is also in the Nursing program) somehow rolled off of the top bunk, over the rail, onto the floor. She was pretty drunk, lucky for her.

The next day it was a little warmer and we went rafting down the mighty North Saskatchewan. The water was pretty much hypothermic and, even though I love rafting (in the summer), I was not feeling it. We went down once and I was in the front, which is splash central. The run took about an hour and we got back to camp, where there was a fire and a picnic. They wanted to go again but I stayed at the camp and had a nap in the sunshine on the beach - somewhere along the way, it got super nice and sunny outside! I was there watching some kayakers and snoozing for a couple of hours until the group got back and said the water was way better now that the sun was out, and I should go for the third and last run. I agreed and got all of my gear back on, and down we went again! It was so much fun when I wasn't freaking about the water temperature! Our two raft crews were feeling pretty goofy and we had a guy on each raft stick his head out the front and bashed them together. They then went face first into the rapids. It was really fun and a great way to end the trip.

All in all, I can't believe that only cost me $50 because it was a fantastic escape from the city and cheap-cheap-cheap.

Anyway, I have midterms coming up in a week and I'm pretty much just going to study hardcore for the rest of the week.

AND, I thought I was all ready for class today because I stayed up last night, after getting home, in order to finish a paper for English (yes, that English). Picture my expression when I discovered that I missed one of the five online reading exams for my Discipline of Nursing class!! It had closed at 0700 this morning. I am so ashamed - that is 2% off of my final grade. Believe me, that's not a mistake I will make twice.

Forgotten test notwithstanding, I hope your weekend was as good as mine!
Friday, September 26, 2008

N95 mask fit test, and a road trip!

The mask fitting is today, and the road trip is this weekend.

My fit test was originally scheduled for October 1, but they called me and needed to reschedule it for today at 10:10. I had heard from some of the other students that the test is kind of gross, I guess they spray some super bitter chemical in the air and ask if you can smell it. You aren't supposed to eat or drink for half an hour before the test, to try to preserve your sense of smell.

The road trip should be fun (I hope); it's a school-subsidized trip out the mountains for some rock climbing and white water rafting. Total cost for the weekend, including everything except food, $50! The only thing that concerns me is the fact that it's the third weekend in September. In Alberta. And we're going to the mountains. I will probably need to pack some super winter gear!

Anyway, off I go to the mask fitting. I shall report all later.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

General malaise & it's all my fault

Ok, I seriously need to take better care of myself. I have slipped into the UgRN-Diet (tm) which consists of whatever carbs are handy if I absolutely need to eat something, supplemented with a daily Centrum Junior multi-vitamin (colors and flavors and shapes, oh my!).

Clearly, this is not adhering very closely to the Canada Food Guide.

So yesterday I felt kind of dizzy and spaced out. I called up my mom, who is good with distance diagnosis.

Mom: So describe this feeling?

Me: I don't know, like I'm pumped on caffeine, but without the energy. I can't sit, I can't think, I'm sore all over, and I could probably fall asleep right now!

Anything else?

Yeah, one of my tonsils is, like, 4 times its normal size and hurts like a bitch.

Hmm. How have you been sleeping?

Good, for the most part. A solid 7.5 hours a night, I'd say.

How have you been eating?

Um, I forgot to bring my lunch so I had a bagel today and a bag of Sun Chips from the vending machine. Then I got tired so I had a coffee.

What?? When's the last time you had PROTEIN?

*thinks* Probably on... Saturday? We went out for sashimi.

Maybe, just maybe, that is your problem. You know, if you want to do this whole vegetarian-except-for-fish thing, you actually have to compensate at some point.

Oy, moms are always so right. Happily, I received a call from my dad about 10 minutes later insisting that he take me out for groceries. Hooray!

So, here's hoping that I feel better soon. I called in sick to work today, which is a big no-no, and plan to just curl up with my homework all night, feeling sorry for myself. 

Goal for tomorrow morning: Cook vast amounts of balanced meals to put in freezer.

A few reasons why I love Canadian health care

(and why I think socialism got it right)

That vodcast I linked the other day in my presentation - I have been watching it on my iPod and I am more relieved than ever that I was born in this country. Although I wouldn't have minded being Swedish or even Belgian, I'll gladly settle for being a socialist in this country, too.

Watching this shit just makes me so sad! The United Corporations of America can't help but put their fingers in every pie. Seeing health care approached as a business is just so wrong to me. Of course people are going to get substandard care, if they can't afford to pay for better. Of course for-profit health insurance companies are gaining profit at the expense of the health of their customers. Where else would those dollars come from? How can this be allowed??

And yet, I hear American opinions that socialism is potentially the worst thing that could ever happen to them. (Well, maybe communism is a little worse.) But as I understand it, government regulation regarding universal access to health care is not so much socialism as it is humanism.

Now, now, I'm not trying to get all up on my high horse and say that universal health care is not without its flaws or that no one slips through the cracks.

All I know is, when I get sick, all I'm going to have to worry about is how I'm going to get better, not how I'm going to try and get my "insurance" (term used loosely) to cover the astronomical costs, or else get my extended family to borrow against all of their homes to help me pay for it.


(end rant)

Which reminds me, we got our mark for the presentation today - 13 marks out of a possible 15. Not too shabby! One of the criticisms was that we should have all talked equally. Yes, I guess she noticed me covering for the Slacker.
Monday, September 22, 2008

One significant chunk of this semester, down!

My group and I did our presentation today on the roles of unions in nursing. I had pretty well finished my Keynote presentation last week, but last night I buckled down and put the finishing touches on it. I had thought I only had a few minor changes to make, but one change led to another, and I ended up putting in another 6+ hours on it! While I was searching for the sources/authors for the media I used, I stumbled upon a great Vodcast that highlighted some of the exact points that our presentation was trying to cover. I embedded a few minutes of it into my Keynote and it worked perfectly... after a few hours of troubleshooting.

So the slacker came to class today with a skit for us to do before our presentation. I was in the middle of setting up the slide show, and the other girls were busy getting their content and activities ready. She handed out folders to each of us with our lines... 15 minutes before we were due to present! She had even brought props and costumes and everything. One of the more assertive girls basically said, "Yeah, thanks, but... no." You could see how deflated she was, but I was a little glad (horrible, I know!) that she had actually done some work even if we weren't going to use it. In the end I had to do her slide content for her because she neglected to email me. Again.

Anyway I had spent a solid hour last night before bed rehearsing my slide content and how I would introduce it. This preparation is a first for me, normally I get so consumed with the presentation that I forget to actually practice what I am going to say! So I talked to myself in the mirror and told me all about unions. I have to say, I felt super self-conscious at the beginning but what a difference it made! Usually during presentations, I get red and sweaty and experience involuntary GI contractions. Man, today I was absolutely rocking the presentation. Coupled with the other two girls, the three of us really knew our shit and pretty much blew the prof's mind. Or, that was the general impression we got. I'll take it!

We gave ourselves 10/10 on the self-evaluation (even the slacker gave herself 10, but... meh) and for once I really felt like I deserved it. I am so glad that we are done. I think we set the bar pretty high, and that's all I wanted. We will know our mark later this week, hopefully.

In other news, my English Lit. prof is ghastly. I love to read, write, and understand literature, but this class is bringing back awful memories about why I hated English in high school. Honestly, who cares what your interpretation of a story's theme is, or style techniques that you perceive the author used? I often wonder, what if the authors wrote their stories with absolutely NO UNDERLYING THEME and just meant for them to be a story? Why does the author have to be "arguing a point" in everything? It's also a little sketchy because she, like, over-reads into a piece and finds all these little nuances that no one else can see. I just kind of mentally check out at the door - the class is seriously a waste of time. Especially because it seems highly irrelevant to nursing! I can just picture myself 10 years from now, starting an IV or drawing up a syringe and thinking I wonder what the central theme is to that memo that my manager sent out this morning? I should have a look for any uses of imagery, irony, or perhaps foreshadowing that we will work yet another week short-staffed. Yes, this class is definitely worth paying tuition... *cough*

Anyway, I popped my presentation up on Youtube if you want to have a look. Because I'm in copyright v. fair use paranoia, you can find the references for the content below. The video at the beginning has Woody Guthrie's "Union Maid" playing, which is a folksy bluegrass-type song. It didn't upload because of the DRM protection, but it's there on the real thing :) Let me know what you think.

References available upon request :)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Group angst

It's been a week and some since I last mentioned the ubergroup that I was assigned to for my Discipline of Nursing presentation. My views have somewhat changed since then. 3/4ths of my group is still rad (myself included), but there's one person who just can't seem to get her shit together. We're presenting on Monday and she still hasn't given me her content for the slides... she kind of sort of had something for me this morning (that, ahem, looked like it was written this morning) but she took it back again saying she had to work on it. Les sigh.

We just met up for our semi-last group discussion, went over the slide content, and made some adjustments. Everyone was awesome about thanking me for putting together the presentation. It was really nice of them, but I'm a huge control freak so I took that on purpose. I hate it when people are using Powerpoint like it's the first time and fill it up with ugly transitions, clip art (or distorted clip art, aaargh!), and strange audio clips. Not many students have discovered that Keynote is, like, light years better than Powerpoint will ever be, so my presentations always look bitchin' even when it's straight out of the template and took me an hour to throw together.

I went a little above and beyond on the Keynote (as I am wont to do)  and found a fun hack for pulling video off of YouTube and importing it directly into the slideshow. Honestly, considering how much Apple and YouTube are in bed together, you'd think that would be a thoroughly integrated feature. Actually, it's a huge pain in the ass. The program works pretty well though, it automatically finds the .flv Flash video file from the website, downloads it, and re-encodes it as a .mov Quicktime file, which is compatible with Keynote. It's nothing you couldn't do yourself with a little know-how and a Quicktime Pro subscription, but it saves time and money. My only complaint is that the audio is lost. For my presentation, I used a b&w video of railway workers in the 30s and played Woody Guthrie's "Union Maid" intro over top. It goes very well and I'm happy with it.

One point I was re-iterating with my group again and again was that slideshows alone do not make good presentations. How many times have we watched presentations where the group just gathered around and read off the slides with their back to the audience? How effing boring is that? I can read for myself, thanks. I REALLY pushed my group to come up with something creative to have as filler. We left this task to the slacker because he seems fairly creative. Surprise, no content! So now we are just like every other group with a slideshow that we will read verbatim. Hopefully he will come through with something fun by Monday morning. If not, I'm going to try and add in some additional fun content to the slides so that it's not completely lame.

I just put in an order for a new iPod touch/Macbook (which is no surprise to those who follow me on Twitter!) and I'm hoping to have the new computer in time for the presentation on Monday. Two days ago it was in China, yesterday in Anchorage, and today in Tennessee (um, ok..?) so it should be. My old iBook doesn't have a remote so you have to hit a key to change the slides, and it runs so s-l-o-w-l-y that sometimes my transitions don't happen when they are supposed to. Here's hoping, anyway.

Other than the whole group project thing that is consuming me, I made the mistake of going away to a house party out of town last weekend. I don't drink often (last time was last year, I'm pretty sure) but I was in the mood to party. We all had an uproariously good time but what it did was waste the one day I have to recharge my batteries. We were up all night and then I went to work on Sunday, and straight into the school week from there. The extended hangover/sleeplessness killed my study drive and I spent Sunday and Monday's study time doing absolutely dick all. Watched TV and ate a tin of smoked mussels... that was pretty much it. Result being that I am behind on all of my readings and I had tons of work to do on this presentation anyway! 

I'll be glad once this is presentation is behind me. I'm pretty stoked that we are going first, so that all of this shit wouldn't be piling up right at midterms or something! It's always harder to get something done when you have all the time in the world to do it. Well, that's true for my procrastinating self, anyway.
Friday, September 12, 2008

First full week

My first full week is complete and I am feeling completely brainless. Mostly the issue is that I'm already behind because technically I should have done my first readings for Anatomy and Physiology sometime last week, even if I didn't know what they were. Anatomy's readings for next class took me all week to do, because there is SO much to the chapters. When the material is really dry and complicated, I have to highlight as I read, to try and grasp the major points and prevent my eyes from glazing over. I haven't even started reading Physiology yet.

So far, nursing school is way more intense than my years in police or design studies. Part of that is because I'm actively trying to learn the material instead of spacing out during class and then cramming later. But honestly, the only class I can compare the pace of A&P to is a design history course I took, which, at least, was spread out over 2 semesters. A&P is 6 hours a week, crammed in to one semester. I really wonder why that is, given that I will be in school for another 4 years...? The pace is so fast that the profs aren't teaching the material, so much as they are just reading it out loud off of the projector slides.

I think the competitiveness of nursing school is directly related to the course difficulty. A minimum high school average of 80% (letter grade B/3.0 GPA) was required for entry this year. 1275 students applied, and 186 were accepted into the program.

Compare this to my last two programs, where the minimum average was essentially a high school diploma or GED. The profs did not take for granted that we understood anything, really, so they went through and explained everything the way you might remember in high school.

However, I think that since you have to have good study habits and have cognitive abilities in order to be accepted into nursing, the profs take advantage of this and hit the ground running with course material and pacing.

Now, I'm not complaining. If given a choice, I'd rather be in a class too fast for me instead of a class too slow. It keeps me engaged and an active participant, and keeps me motivated to keep up.

It's definitely different than I'm used to... I'm just sayin'. :)

One last thing to note: I've read a lot of student nurse blogs over the past year, some from start to finish (they are now nurses). One thing that jumps out at me is the content starts out strong and frequent at the start of their blogging but tapers off to maybe once or twice a month (or less) later on. I know from having kept journals before, it can be hard to find the energy to write something, anything, but before you know it the chance to write at all is gone, and you're left at the end of some big event without much to show for it. I don't want that to happen to my blog.

Therefore, I am committing that even when the week has been crazy, crazy, busy and all I want to do is hide somewhere, I will blog at least once a week.

There. I said it. Now you can hold me to it.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The wonders of technology

Considering that I grew up without a computer and did not start playing with them until I was well into my teens, I imagine myself to be somewhat proficient at this thing we call technology. I can usually find my way around a program without much help, I know what an L2 cache is, and I can troubleshoot a no-POST if I really have to.

So I have had access to Blackboard (then-webCT) for the last few years in college. I understand the general purpose and the potential for integrating the coursework to make everything highly accessible from wherever the student may be - I think it's a great idea! However, exactly one of my professors has ever used it, and that was 3 years ago. I think I've just got this picture in my head of the hopelessly confused teacher trying to find the "play" button on the VCR and pretty well every instructor ever since has fallen into that category.

Picture my surprise when every one of my classes this year is ALL OVER Blackboard. I'm getting e-mails, updates, and additional course content every 30 minutes. I didn't realize this until during all of my classes today, when I hadn't done the required readings and didn't print a copy of the slides to bring to the lecture. Oops! The best part was I asked a girl in the class where she got her notes from and she gave me an oh, you're slow look and said "Do you know how to use Blackboard?"

It will be interesting to see how this heavy Blackboard usage plays out for me. Over the last 2 days, I have spent probably 2.5 or 3 hours just navigating to, downloading, and printing required lecture material. It takes a lot of time, really. The program is a little clunky so navigation isn't as fast as it could be, and then I have to wait for the full lectures to download, and then convert them into PDFs if they aren't already. Oh, and the printing. Printing at the library costs $0.25 per page... just today, I have 20 pages to print. So I print at home on the 'use as little ink as possible' setting, and I'll try to sneak some in at work tomorrow. Next year I should apply for a grant specifically to cover printing costs... it will definitely add up!
Monday, September 8, 2008

A day of grammatical proportions

Today, I am feeling like a student nurse. Although this semester we are only covering theory (no clinicals), I got a glimpse of Pressure - with a capital P.

The morning class was great. Maybe it was the fact that I remembered my coffee this morning, but I just loved how it went. We started out doing some "forced fun" with the instructor asking us yes or no questions and having those choosing yes or no move to opposite sides of the room. It was a nice way to break the ice with my neighbors as a few of us kept choosing the same response. She then put up a few sticky notes around the room with activities on them like biking, reading, listening to music, hanging out with friends, etc and asked us to move to the sticky note that we preferred the most. I chose reading, as did a few other people. She then used the sticky note groups as a platform for assigning our project groups. Let me tell you, I have been in (more than) a few unpleasant groups in college so far and this was the best way of choosing cohesive groups that I have ever experienced. There are 4 of us and it appears that we all have the same effort level and we were all keen to get the project going. I am SO relieved. More than once, it has been me pulling the lion's share because I just can't sit around until the last day to get it done. We also had to come up with a group name - so we called ourselves the Four-ceps. Our presentation is the first of 10; we present on Sept. 22! The dates range between then and Dec. 1. I'm glad we go first because we can get it out of the way and it's sorta smooth sailing after that.

During my break before Anatomy, I went to pick up another 2 of the books I need this semester - Essay Writing for Canadian Students and Health in Canada (which, oddly, does not exist anywhere on the internet, even on the publisher's own website. Hmm). Anyway, except for one more used book that I will secure soon, I am finally done buying books and I'd say that the grand total is just under $1000 for 12 books. 

Anatomy was CRAZY. Everything about it was CRAZY. I mean, I really like biology and I excelled in senior biology, but I just about had my head 'asplode all over the lecture hall. My prof has a Ph.D. in some science field and he is definitely smart and knowledgeable. He is also incredibly enthusiastic. He's talking about epithelial cells, and then about cancer, and then about reproduction and cilia, and back to epithelial cells again, and he changes the powerpoint slides all over the place along with his train of thought. Add this with his heavy Indian accent and the unfamiliar pronunciations he uses, and you have one very confused undergrad RN. The lecture was 3 hours long and I was writing like a madhouse the whole time. Thank God the class is only one day a week. I need the rest of the week to recover.

Finally, I had English for my last class today with the prof who says everything in a quiet ramble in her thick accent and everyone in my row had no idea what points she was trying to make. We launched into a dissection of last week's reading, which was a short essay on the challenges of living independently. No one could quite follow what she wanted us to tell her. It was awkward and unpleasant. She used a lot of terminology that I haven't used since high school - which is fine, given that we all have used it at some point but it would have been a lot more effective to give even a brief review first. She asked who in the class felt competent with grammar and I put up my hand - the only one, apparently. (Don't take this to heart and start combing my posts for grammatical inconsistencies. In my blogging I write for pleasure, not accuracy!) She, apparently, took this to mean that I consider myself infallible and kept calling on me for the Final Answer on each part of an exercise that we did. It was kind of embarrassing, but I was also kind of up for it as I do consider myself to have a good 'ear' for modern writing.

Anyway, we now come to the title of this post: one question on the exercise had her and me disputing the accurate word choice. I welcome any input from you on the correct wording(s) of the following: 

"Each girl and her escort have their own room in the hotel."

Now, aside from the obvious risqué innuendo of this particular problem, I see it as a sentence that has two interpretations: 
1) The girl and her escort are both staying the same room, and therefore each set of girl+escort has their own room in the hotel; and
2) The girl and her escort are staying in separate rooms, and therefore each girl and each escort has his or her own room.

I brought this conundrum to the attention of the professor who assured me, beyond all shadow of doubt and through quiet mumblings referencing "rules" that I could not follow, that option #2 was the only correct answer. When I pressed her for the reason why, her response was that it was the correct answer in the textbook.

Well, pardon me.

I've seen more than a few textbooks with errors. I know from writing experience that it is easy to see an ambiguous sentence as only having the meaning I intended it to have. But I am pretty sure that I am right in that the sentence can be interpreted, and correctly worded, both ways.

I welcome your opinions! This problem has been buzzing in my ear ever since I first read it.

Otherwise, today was great! Great, great, great.
Thursday, September 4, 2008

The short day

Today I only had to go in for one class.

The class seems really interesting. There are about 40 students in it and the professor is a sweet-sounding nurse, possibly in her 50's. The way she talked to the class sounded like we were at a tea party. It was nice though. You have to really listen to be able to hear her.

She covered some of the course content - it sounds heavily theoretical, with discussions surrounding issues like how some people can be health-concious all their life and still die of cancer at age 45, and others can smoke 2 packs a day well into their 90s. Also topics like is it fair for all to pay for unhealthy (obese, smokers, etc) peoples' healthcare and how is that different from people with chronic conditions who don't manage them appropriately (diabetes).

The class seems kind of fun. Heavy subject matter, but I think we can all use a good debate now and then!

I don't have classes again until Monday. That's when the 3-hour lectures begin. I hope I remember my coffee...
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 1, complete (and I survived)

This morning my alarm went off at 0630. For many of you I'm sure that's no biggie, but I usually work 3-11 and I was feeling like pond sludge. I haven't been sleeping so well the last couple of nights since I am alone in the apartment and there have been a rash of B&E's with a side of rape in my neighborhood.

The nights have started to get down to freezing so I wore pajamas to bed, but I still refuse to turn on the furnace until the last possible day - have you ever been camping and awaken wanting to never leave your sleeping bag because it gets SO COLD at night? I kinda felt like that!

So I dragged my feet, slothlike, around the house, getting ready for the day. Left all of my textbooks at home - they weigh so much! Poured myself a yummy coffee from my new coffee maker. Then I left for the bus. Of course, I left my coffee on the table. Awesome.

I made the connecting bus to the fancy express one that takes 8 minutes to get to school and it was full! So I had to take another transfer, and ended up getting to class just in time.

This morning it was Discipline of Nursing, from 0800 to 1000. The instructor seems great. She is vibrant and has lots to say. Unfortunately she invited the chair of the program in to give a 30-minute presentation on philosophy. First class on the first day, and we are given a variety of terms including existentialism and humanism. Um, right. The guest speaker had the sweetest little voice that did not command my attention whatsoever and I was falling asleep. I felt bad, but still! Giving a presentation and then telling me that I don't have to learn any of it is basically giving me free license to ignore you completely.

Then I had a 4-hour break until English. My prof seems cute, if that's a word you can assign to someone who holds a PhD..? She's from India and speaks flawless English but sometimes her accent left me a little confused. She also kind of has that totally fluid conversation style that chases tangents every other sentence. This might be a problem, but I shall see.

All in all, a positive first day, and my efforts to outwit my severe introversion have been cautiously successful. Hooray!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Well, I am finally, officially, a nursing student.

This morning I woke up about an hour before my alarm, and tried to while away the time by housecleaning before it was time to go to school. I got there around 10:30 and boy was it busy! The whole college population was trying to get registered, ID'd, paid up, and whatever else between the hours of 9 - 1.

If I can sum up orientation in a single letter, it is Q: there were queues for absolutely everything that just went on and on... but happily, I did most things ahead of time so I didn't have to wait around too much.

I got to school and handed in my student loan documents, and opted out of the benefits plan because I already have coverage. I also spent an hour waiting to get my student ID because I needed it for the bus in order to get home! Otherwise I probably would have come in later in the week.

At noon they had a sponsored bag lunch, and I got a semi-good egg salad thing. If there's one thing I refuse to pass up as a student, it's free food. I don't care how smarmy it is. :)

Then at 1, I headed over to the health sciences building  for the nursing student orientation. There was one last line to get through, for the orientation check-in, and FINALLY I got to sit down as a student. I have been looking forward to that moment for years now. It reminded me of a few years ago when I was attending one of the nursing program information sessions, except that now I am really, really, in.

We all sat together in a big amphitheater and the dean, chairs, and faculty introduced themselves. It felt a bit like a re-run of the Spring into Nursing that I went to earlier this year. They said there was 186 students accepted into the program this fall, the largest intake they've ever had! Thank you, Stelmach government. We also got a 100-page handbook full of rules to adhere to, yay...

The student's union is celebrating its first anniversary, and they want first-year student reps. I think I might want to get involved. I really do want to make the most of my experience, it only happens once!

First day of official classes tomorrow. My first class is at 0800, and then I have a 4-hour break until my next class. Then, off to work from 1600-2200. I'll likely catch up then.

'Til tomorrow!
Monday, September 1, 2008

The night before!

I just got back from moving my boyfriend to that far-away town. It's almost 11 PM and we iChatted for a few minutes, and now I'm heading to bed. I swear, that program is going to save my sanity.

The whole way home, I talked with his mom about going to school and life after university. She asked if I was psyched, and I said not really... mostly because we had just left the love of my life's new pad and driven away.

But then we started talking and I realized, yes, I am psyched. In 9 hours, orientation begins! 9 long months of waiting and here I am (no baby, though).

I'll report back tomorrow, after orientation!!