It’s amazing how exhausting a day full of checking off peripheral to-do’s can be. It’s my first week of school and I’ve been itching to get to work on all my coursework, but after a morning and afternoon of working hard on other things, I can’t quite bring myself to jump into my work. I’ve already perused my regularly-visited blogs, caught up on emails, and I’m not supposed to watch TV in the middle of the day (self-imposed rule), so here I am. Back at my wordpress with a cup of afternoon joe and my laptop, wearing my favorite boots.
As I mentioned, this week has been back-to-school week, and I am still in a bit of shock over the classes they’re letting me take this quarter: Physical Diagnosis through Examination and Assessment (did you catch that? This means SEEING PATIENTS AND KNOWING WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM), Diagnostics for the Advanced Practice Nurse (aka MAKING DIAGNOSES AND KNOWING WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM), Pharmacotherapeutics in Primary Care (which translates into KNOWING ALL THE MEDICATIONS THAT CAN HELP YOUR PATIENTS AND WHEN/HOW TO USE THEM), and Major Psychological Disorders (ok, no surprises here. This is really just your basic psych course for APNs).
It’s insane. I don’t know why I keep thinking NP school is going to just be RN school on steroids. It’s not. IT’S JUST LIKE DOCTOR SCHOOL (maybe toned down a little?). The thing is I LOVE IT. I am SO pumped about my classes this quarter. I actually can’t believe I didn’t know I wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner all along. Because let me tell you working through a case study, figuring out what could be wrong with the (fake) patient, and making real(ish, considering the patient is fake) decisions is FUN. I am being serious when I say I’ve spent the entire week itching to do school work. Instead, I have mostly not done any real schoolwork.
Since I’ve been MIA for so long, I’m giving you a detailed week in review. Boom:
Monday we drive home from (a glorious weekend in) Minneapolis. I spend the evening trying to get semi-organized for my first class on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday quickly becomes the worst day of the week (and the worst day in a while too, I think). Class is from 8am-noon, which goes well enough, except that I find out the incredible woman giving our lecture has Lou Gehrig’s disease and is now losing her voice as a result. She is unable to finish the lecture, and I nearly start crying right there in class. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t going to divulge this, but I was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease 6 months ago. I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to do this today.” She is retired and has spent her entire career helping women (and men) fight breast cancer. She apologizes profusely and leaves. On my way home I am bothered by two old (maybe not of sound mind) men at the L stop, who feel the need to tell me all about how “hot” my “shape” is. I tell them not to be disrespectful. The train finally comes, and just before getting on, one of them says “If I was yo age, I’d knock you. And that’s not bein’ disrespectful.” I get on the train, sit down, and spend half the train ride home crying and staring at my phone. My afternoon is equally discouraging and not very productive, but evening eventually arrives, and the glorious bi-weekly tradition of House Dinner is upon us. I eat Mexicanish food and drink boxed wine with my friends and we talk about politics, NPR, The Hunger Games, and things that make everyone laugh. I am reminded that my life is really wonderful, everything is going to be ok, and I am living with some of the best people on Earth.
Wednesday is such a wonderful and satisfying day, it makes Tuesday seem like it never happened. I spend the morning eating blueberry pancakes and drinking tea with my dear friend Elsbeth, who has brought her award-winningly adorable daughter Madeline. We talk and listen and take turns holding the babe and by the time she leaves my soul is full and I am ready to tackle the day. I spend the day making phonecalls, running errands, and going over the responsibilities for my classes. I buy a 3-hole-punch, make folders, and fill my calendar with due dates and exams and academic commitments. I “attend” an online webinar by the National Health Service Corps that goes over most of what I need to know about where I’ll work when I graduate.
Thursday I have my physical assessment class from 8am-noon. I think it is awesome and can’t believe how much I am going to learn through it. At noon I attend a 45-minute mandatory meeting that outlines what my clinical experience will be like throughout the rest of my program. Expectations, requirements, information, dates, meetings. I find out I walk at graduation the first weekend of June 2013. Ah! This feels crazy soon and comes as a surprise, because my clinical residency runs through the end of August and I figured graduation would be at the end of summer. After a 4-hour lab I hurry home and force myself to squeeze in some piano practice before my husband gets home. We make and scarf some super-fast dinner and go on a date see The Hunger Games. It is (for the most part), worth all the hype.
Friday (today) Jeremy drives me downtown early so that I can square away some documentation at Northwestern. I take the blue line out to the far west loop for an interview at a nursing agency. I get there early so I spend a little time drinking coffee and catching up on my Bible reading in a cafe. I practice piano when I get home and then have yet another lesson that exceeds my expectations. My teacher helps me work through a section of Fur Elise that I am just NOT getting, and she’s very encouraging.
It was so lovely to be on Spring Break, but it is also so nice to be back in school again. This quarter is going to be far busier and far more stressful than last, but I feel more invested. It’s a unique season of life, and I want to make the most of it.
[My apologies for being away so long. If you’re thinking back to my New Years Resolutions, wondering if I fell off the wagon on any others, I am proud to say I was mighty behind on the Bible-in-a-year plan but am back on track as of this morning. (I’m afraid the running has been a bit more spotty.)]