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9/30/03
I passed - by one point. Most of the class did poorly. But now I don't need to stress as much. And don't need to ask myself the all-important question, "What am I going to do with the spring off when I fail Nursing III?" ;-) We're going to review the test on Monday.

9/29/03
For those of you who take tests - or who have taken tests - you know those ones where the entire class walks out in a haze, wondering, "What the hell was that?" That was today's test. Out of the 50 questions, I circled 13 that I didn't know the definitive answer to. I felt good about most of the cardiac stuff, but the hematology (anemias etc) threw me for a loop. I'm much better at the assessment-type questions than the straight knowledge ones, which is good for what I'll be doing, but I need to know all of it.

But in good news, the new Diana Gabaldon book, Lord John and the Private Matter shipped today! It's not in the Outlander series, but the lead character in the new book is one of the characters in the series. So it's sort of a spin-off, what this guy was doing in the time he's absent from Outlander.

9/28/03
Yesterday was the monthly NJNS meeting down in Trenton. I didn't get lost this time. The meeting dragged on forever, and didn't end until nearly 4.30pm. Needless to say, I called out from work. I need to see if I can change my weekends, as the rest of the meetings and important events are - of course - all on weekends that I work. Erg.

After the meeting, I returned Tesse's call, and she said that she was in Princeton. Only about 15 minutes from Trenton, so I drove over. We drove (with the top down, until it started pouring) to Cranbury to go to a used bookstore, but we got there just after it had closed. Still, we had a good time browsing the books they had out on their porch. From there, we drove back to Matawan so we could watch the season premiere of ER and get some cheap Chinese food for dinner. And then off to Marie's.

Today I'm working, tomorrow is our first test at school (infection/inflammation, cardiac diseases, hematology/blood diseases).

9/26/03
After our half-day of clinical today, I took the car down to Eatontown to get inspected. After a speedy 30 minute wait in the line, it passed. It shocked me to realize that by the next time it needs to be inspected, I'll be an RN. Time will fly.

I wandered up route 35 on the way home, stopping to do some holiday shopping at the bookstore, in Red Bank, at Old Navy, at the car parts store (OK, that was for me, I needed leather cleaner and an EZ-Pass holder), and at another bookstore.

I forgot that the season premiere of ER was last night. Luckily, I have friends with VCR's.

9/24/03
Happy birthday, Dad! Remember, you're not getting older, you're getting more interesting to the medical community.

In honor of Dad's birthday, I FINALLY got my car back. It has plates now, too, so I can take it on Friday after our half-day clinical to get it inspected. Whew.

9/23/03
I don't know if it's the pouring rain or what, but I am so tired today. It's not like I worked last night or anything, so I don't know what it is. I nearly fell asleep in class today, and took a nap at lunch. Then after school, I slept for another three hours.

I'm sure there's something more productive I could be doing with my time.

later on 9/22/03
So what if they lost in the tenth? The Yankees are still going to the postseason.

And I learned what the "save" thing means:

Can you explain the save rule?
Rule 10.20 credits a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and
(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and
(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
(a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
(b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces); or
(c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.
9/22/03
So they found white powder in the mailroom at ABC. Ten bucks says someone was eating a donut while sorting the letters.

And Yankees postseason tix went on sale today. The only game there were tix avail for by the time I made it to ticketmaster was for a night I have to work. Nuts. I will watch on TV. The better to ogle Derek Jeter with.

Oh, and still no car. Raised hell at the Ford place again - tho I can't fault them, they had to take it to the VW place, and the VW place is taking their sweet time "getting a part for it." Joe, my service guy at Ford, is an absolute sweetheart. He's going to talk to the head of the used cars department tomorrow and see if they can compensate me for my time. Or rather, for the lack of time I am spending behind the wheel of my convertible.

9/21/03
Is it Sunday already?

My feet are really hurting. I did something to my foot, which involved smashing my little toe into something and tearing off half the toenail. In avoiding pressure on it and compensating with a slight limp, I've wrenched the calf muscle (say it with me: gastrocnemius muscle, god bless anatomy class). So I had it wrapped in an ace bandage all weekend, and I went through half a box of bandaids, too.

As promised, I did indeed sleep all day yesterday. I went into the city on Friday night after work and went to Marie's, but I wasn't in the mood to stay. So I drove downtown and stayed over at Dad's. I slept until about 2pm, woke up to have breakfast/lunch, went to J&R (but didn't buy anything), walked back in the humidity, said "hi" to Dad and Ann, and went right back to sleep. I woke up around 9.30pm, and went to Tesse's. We'd been meaning to have "movie night" for a while, so we watched The Ring and fell asleep.

Today was the broadway flea market, so we got up early and drove in to meet up with the rest of the gang. None of us had any money, so none of us bought too much. I found the script to QED - the play that Alan Alda did, about Richard Feynman - for a dollar, so I bought it and crossed it off my amazon.com wishlist.

Steve and I saw the matinee of The Boy From Oz (we love us some Hugh Jackman) and the evening show of Little Shop (we love us some man-eating plants?) and then I headed home, where I am sitting with my foot up on many pillows.

Back to school tomorrow...

9/19/03
Clinical was fun (and a bit slow, after dealing with 12 patients as an aide). My patient's family was incredibly annoying and rude however. Not my favorite kind of people to deal with.

I had to work yesterday, too, and by 10pm I was falling asleep on my feet. I got home and fell right into bed, my feet were killing me, and my knees were sore. When I woke up this morning at 6am, for clinical, I didn't think there was any way I was going to make it. So I called out from clinical (which was only a half-day anyway, and I'll make it up) and fell right back asleep. I have to work tonight, too. Hopefully my feet will hold out.

Luckily I'm off tomorrow, because I plan to do nothing but sleep.

I still have the loaner car. The car place said that they found another engine problem and had to fix it. I politely asked if they'd like to make my first car payment, as I'm paying for a car that I'm not driving. To my surprise, the service guy said he would look into that.

9/17/03
So I called the Ford place in a tizzy because I still don't have my car back. I told them how upset I was that they knew two weeks ago that the car needed this part, and now they've had it for another four days. They told me it should be ready tomorrow morning, and I said that's not good enough, as I need to be in Perth Amboy at 8am, and then am working after clinical until 11.30pm. So they gave me a sweet loaner car (why didn't I think of this earlier?). I'm still not happy, but I'll deal.

Clinical prep was good today. We had to go in, get our patient assignment, and look up all of the pertinent info in the chart etc. My patient has a bunch of interrelated health problems, so this should be fun.

Our Sociology class is not going so well. None of us like the professor, and he isn't a very good instructor. I'd say more than half the class (including me) walked out at the break. One of my classmates is going to contact Middlesex to file a complaint (the teacher comes from MCC to teach us).

9/16/03
I was rereading my notes on cardiology, and I can't even remember taking some of them. That's how much work we have. Our clinicals start tomorrow - we go in on Wednesday morning to get our assignment and do research (from the Kardex, chart, med adminstration records, talking to the nurse and pt) and then go to school at 1pm for a pre-conference. Thurs and Fri are spent in the hospital with the patient. Must. Find. Uniform.

And must reread notes again until they make sense.

9/15/03
Somedays, it's the little things that make me happy. Like being a Yankees fan.

Dude, Bill Maher is doing a show in Red Bank next month. Must go.

9/14/03
My feet and knees hurt so much, they are going to just fall off one of these days.

9/12/03
My brain is going to explode. Too much information.

After school yesterday, I went to Jersey City Municipal Court. Of course, I had written down directions to the wrong courthouse, so once I realized that, I called Tesse, who was in front of the computer, and asked her to tell me how to get where I was supposed to be. I got there, and plea bargained my way into two points (instead of four) on my license, and a whopping $130 fine. That'll learn me.

After that, I headed to the city (yes, getting lost in JC again, ending up at the Lincoln Tunnel instead of the Holland) in time for the Marie's Crisis concert version of YAGMCB. It was just the thing I needed yesterday (well, happiness is a warm body to sleep next to, that would have been better, but I can deal). I played my usual role as videographer, in exchange for free drinks.

Drove Tesse and Michael home with the top down, and it was so chilly last night that I turned on the (yay) heated seats and the heat, still with the top down. It was lovely.

I am loving Lord of the Peeps. Too much fun.

9/10/03
I can't believe it cost more than $20 to put gas in my car.

Speaking of the car, I read an articles in the Times magazine this weekend about happiness. It pretty much said that when people have anticipatory happiness - e.g., buying this car will make me happy; losing 20 pounds will make me happy; moving to the middle of nowhere will make me happy - that that, looking back on said event, they really aren't as happy as they thought they would be.

Let me tell you. I'd been saying all summer that buying a sporty convertible (with AC) would make me happy. And I am. I am thrilled, I love driving it, I am happy.

Of course, tomorrow is a day of mass anxiety. Things I will not be doing: sleeping all day; attending any sort of memorial service. Things I will be doing: going to class; going to traffic court in Jersey City for this citation I got in July. I guess I should find directions.

9/9/03
I have retitled Med-Surg: "Nursing III: Unpleasant Ways to Die." We're in the middle of the cardiac chapter, and none of it sounds appealing. I've decided to relate every possible symptom I have to the cardiovascular system tho - headache, left-sided swollen throat (I swear I can see my carotid artery pulsing, if I hold real still and tilt my head to the side), etc. Can't wait to get to Psych next year.

I picked up a book of sample NCLEX (licensing exam) questions and practice tests, so I can review during the semester. It's really handy, and it's nice to know that I know many of the right answers on units we've covered. Of course, it's not the short-term memory, but whether I can retain and recall the information. I'm good at that sort of thing (except with Calculus and Chemistry), so I should be alright. Two years til the NCLEX tho, so no rush. I also picked a book on Pathophysiology (where diseases come from and how to spot them), which will be a good reinforcement tool. I should send it to Missy.

Tomorrow is the rescheduled school picnic/swimfest, due to last week's rain. I hope the weather stays as nice as it has been over the past few days. Best part is, the picnic doesn't start until 10am, so I can sleep in!

9/8/03
So we learned about cardiac enzymes etc at school today, and then tonight a patient came into the ER with "positive triponin" - and I knew what that meant! How very cool. One of the ER PCA's really wants me to come work there, she thinks I have the right attitude for it. I told her I'm definitely interested, but I need to stay on Med/Surg at least through this semester (since Med/Surg is what we're studying, I'm in the right place). Plus, I don't want to disappoint my boss, who I think is super. Every department is understaffed in nurses and aides, but that's no reason to jump ship to another area. I'm having a lot of fun up in MS.

later on 9/7/03
Derek Jeter returns, and the Yankees win. Coincidence? You decide.

Rumor has it that New Line is going to rerelease the first two LOTR films in theatres when Return of the King comes out (three more months!). I will be spending all day in the movie theatre.

9/7/03
I went to Marie's last night to hang out with Tesse et al, but it was so crowded - and with a tourist crowd - that I didn't want to stay long. I stayed upstairs where it was quiet for the most part, and we left around 1am. Late by some standards, but not ours. Not on a weekend.

And it's another beautiful day out.

Derek Jeter, come back. Your team needs you.

9/6/03
I'm so glad we had a half day of school yesterday. I worked Thursday night, and didn't fall asleep until 1.30am or so. And then getting up at 7am... erg. I'm glad I didn't have too foul of a night Thursday, because I didn't bother to jump in the shower. I think most of the class was tired out from the long week, because we were all zoning out and glad when the lecture was done. I picked up the car after school - altho I need to bring it back in two weeks to have a part in the "throttle body" replaced. Not even sure what that is, but heck, I'm not paying for it.

Since I was so tired, I came home and took a nap until 4.30pm. And then drove the car to the city to meet Steve for Little Shop - totally fun! We had a great time, and I ran into three people that I know there. When I was getting ready to come home, John - the son of the patient at work, who I went out with (did I mention we straightened things out and it wasn't him asking Dawn out?) called. We'd had tentative plans to get together for the weekend, and he asked if I wanted to come over, so I did that, and slept there. I don't know if I understand people who sleep with the radio on low, but I think it's something I can deal with. I really do like him, fingers crossed.

Today is just gorgeous out - sunny and cool. I'm planning to spend the afternoon in the backyard with my drug therapy book so I can get some studying done.

9/4/03
This weather is like walking outside into a sauna. And I do not like saunas. My left knee is really bothering me, and my back aches - tho I think that's from too much work. My part-time schedule kicks in now, so I'm off for the weekend, and just working next Monday and I think either Thurs or Fri. Fine with me!

9/3/03
Fine examples of poor planning, number 674: "double shift" plus "school night"

Having not slept in 36 hours, I think I will now sleep for the next 12.

Anyway, school's good, feels like we never left (except there are some new students in our class, some of whom are very pushy). I'm on the SNO board as an ex-officio (non-voting member), and I have a grievance to bring up with the director about a new line that was added into the clinical dress code - "no visible tattoos" as that is not the image of nursing that the school wants to project. Well, what IS the image, then? I have to figure out how to word what I want to say about this.

Work's good - except my back is really hurting. And my feet hurt, which has something to do with 6 hours in ER Holding and 8 hours on the third floor, followed by today - our first day of lecture.

OK, sleep.

9/1/03
I'm sick today. It started last night with the achy back and sore throat, and it didn't improve. I popped a Vicodin to fall asleep last night, and took a Benadryl this morning to unclog my sinuses. And then I called the nursing supervisor to let her know I couldn't make it.

So instead, I slept until 5pm.

I'm all ready for school tomorrow (except for the frog-voice and the achy back): my notebooks are packed, I bought a new binder, and I have my locker combination. Heh. I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to getting back to classes and clinicals. Oh and in good news, I found the missing piece to my stethoscope - it was between the passenger side seat and the door. It must've come unscrewed when I tossed my stethoscope on the seat after work the other night. I'm glad I don't have to go buy another one (something I was going to do the other day but spaced on).

I didn't actually buy the binder, Mom did. My credit card and debit card were both declined! I have to call the bank(s) tomorrow.

-catherine

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