Don’t cough out loud

So it would appear after 14 weeks of placing nose to grindstone I have finally managed to catch myself one hell of a cold. I’ve got runny nose, sneezing, cough, feverishness and what I like to call wet sweatsock throat (the feeling not the smell. . . although, you tell me)

The problem is my school doesn’t allow us to get sick. At least not on clinical days. The rule is if you get sick enough that being around patients is not a good idea then you MUST stay home and you lose one letter grade. Let it happen twice and you fail your clinical.

Cute huh? Ironic too since, as my roommate just pointed out, we can skip the assigned readings, not come to class, be openly and vociferously rude to our professors and still pass. Come down with something potentially communicable however and you’re as out of luck as the chicago cubs.

Looks like I’ll be downing some Dayquil, washing my hands like a mad woman and claiming bad allergies if anyone asks about my sniffles.

Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!!!

I’ve been doing my first rotation in psych and it has been kind of . . . . .Crazy.

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The Miracle of Life

Explained through the miracle of molecular illustration.
Check it out.  I may assimilate the nitty gritty of RNA yet!

Plus it comes from the Museum of Science in Boston. Yet more evidence that Boston produces all the best stuff, Red Sox, Dennis Leary, Molecular illustration, and me!

Bleh and Buddhas

Sorry for the L-o-o-o-o-o-ng delay in posting. I keep wanting to update everybody with this rapid fire massive education I’m getting but the truth is lately I’ve been abiding by the, “if you can’t say something nice” dictum. Don’t get me wrong, I still really love it.  The whole thing.  The classes and the readings and the clinical experiences and the tests and the projects.  I love how much I’m getting to learn. But there have been some . . . disappointments.

Some were personal and existed mostly on the homefront and which have since been completely rectified.  Well actually kind of wrecked-ified first but ultimately I did something hard and lived through it and learned and grew and all that crap.

But on the school front?
Where I put all my heart and soul and intellect and money?
Things have been sort of disheartening

It’s hard to accept that not everyone at my school wants to get everything they possibly can out of our short education before heading out and starting to help hold people’s lives in their hands when those people are unable to hold on for themselves. Some people want grade inflation, easy first job placements and a fancy alma mater to brag about and disparage far into their professional folded arm, gum smacking, eye rolling futures.

Also sometimes an amazing institution with a wealth of possibilities and a wide population of brilliant teachers and learners learning how to save peoples lives is also a great big money making machine that makes decisions based on bottom lines not common sense or common goals.

Right. I know. I wasn’t gonna say anything

SO. Instead I’m posting about dancing Buddhists. And demon subjugation.

That’s right.  You heard me.

This past weekend I went to see ritual Bhutanese dances

It was called Cham! And was a presentation organized by the Rubin Museum practically in my own backyard at socrates park.

This one’s called Dance of the Terrifying Dieties

And this one is Dance of the Black Hats with Drums

Both were part of traditional Bhutanese demon subjugation and were done for free all around the city this summer in public parks.  I’ve had some close calls with demons lately so this was pretty timely.

It’s hard to say what exactly the best part was.  Seeing the buddhist monks perform in front of a gold spray painted Chevy Nova on a trophy stand or watching them react to it


8 weeks ago i started nursing school and i had never been to a hospital in scrubs before, never seen anyone older than me by more than maybe 10 years totally naked, and never knew so much detailed information about our bodies, and what we can do to them.

I’d also never committed to something so incredibly intense and done so consistently well at it. The book cramming, test taking, time managing part of it that is. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained like 15 pounds, and I haven’t made my own food in my own kitchen or even eaten at my house really for at least 6 weeks. But I got all A’s (well, one A- but I balanced it out with one A+). I also had a really freakin’ fantastic time doing it! Though you wouldn’t have been able to tell by what became my “after the big test” ritual, each time I managed to get through yet another barrage of exams unscathed.

Each Friday i would get on the train and about halfway home, just as the train came above ground in queens, i’d start to get really choked up. Usually I’d just barely make it in the door and up the stairs before I fell into a crumple of tears. And I’d sob and sob, for like 8 minutes. Then I’d be fine. My friend says it’s me getting all the energy and tension of it out of my body. She does it by laughing. I cry.
I had a real doozy this afternoon. This week I took 6 exams and last night I did what the kids called an “all nighter” with some serious sudden death studying. But this morning, or last night, or somewhere during this long today I couldn’t stop hysterically laughing about how nuts it was to be taking this many exams and not sleeping and trying to memorize like 109 drugs and 500 power point slides and then I gave them my final brain dump of information, got the grade i needed to keep myself in the all A’s category (which sadly I am a HUGE sucker for) and then came home and cried and cried and fell asleep. . . smiling. I’m having the best hardest craziest time of my life right now.

Tomorrow I’ll start my break from school, and I’ll travel and read and cook and go for walks and see movies. And when school starts again in September I’m going to go right back to doing this thing I love best. In fact, I think I’m going to lean into it.

Test Patterns

Next week I have 3 exams. The following week I have 2 exams. After that no exams. For a week. Then 3 more exams. But then I get 2 weeks with only 1 exam! Of course the following week has 6 exams over 4 days.

Today I got all giddy and started boppin’ around to some music as I tested myself on the autonomic nervous system, and the modes of transmission through a cell membrane, and the hormones involved with stimulating the anterior pituatary gland, and I realized that I actually sort of know my stuff! Heck, I could probably explain pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics if you really pressed me.

Then I sat down and cried for about 20 minutes for no apparent reason.

These are very interesting times my friends. I seem to be falling apart and coming back together again several times a day.

When we build muscle we do so by causing tears that our bodies repair with the muscle growing back bigger and stronger. They call it “tear and repair”

I think maybe we build nurses the same way


That’s the sound of me coming up for air.

I realize I haven’t posted since the last day at school that was work. And today was the 8th day at work that is school.

Yesterday, in class, I think I actually forgot my name.

No, not because nursing school is like the military where you sacrifice the self for the unit. . . although they do use military time in emails.

“We will see you at your first clinical assignment at 0800”

But there is SOOOOO much to do, and read, and think about, and integrate, and remember and repeat. Plus very very soon there will likely be people in hospital gowns who need me to do things like bed-baths and blood pressures. And in the meantime there are all these other students, and professors, and clinical instructors, and teaching assistants. Today in the library I’m pretty sure I saw med students. You can tell by how loud they are.

And I am nervous and excited and exhausted and delighted.

Also I love it.