hillarygayle: (arima & miyazawa flying)
1. What do you do to encourage yourself when going through hard times?
That depends on what the hard times are. If I'm struggling through something I can't affect, I use the phrase "Can't go around it, so I gotta go through it." Time will eventually lessen the blow, and in the meantime I use distraction to great effect. Just keep living life intentionally instead of letting it happen to you. Take action where you can. The only constant in life is change.

2. How do you motivate others?
Again, if someone's going through something hard that they can't change (a breakup, death of a loved one), I try to use distraction and humor. It gives a bit of relief from the constant ache. That said, I also listen if what they need to do is vent, and I try not to be a "fixer" if that's not what they need.

If someone is DOING something hard, like making a decision or performing some action, I motivate them by telling them all the things they've accomplished before, & how they can do this thing now. I also like to point out how it's better to regret having done something than having done nothing. :) GRAB LIFE & EAT IT!

3. Who do you talk to for encouragement and inspiration?
I have a fantastic support system. I have a husband & BFFs & family who all think very highly of me & my abilities, and they're always available for encouragement.

4. What books have offered encouragement and inspiration?
I use books mainly for distraction purposes. The tension of doing something very difficult (grad school for example) leads to a lot of stress build-up for me, and one of the best ways to diffuse that a little is to read a book that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Fluffy scifi & fantasy are my super favorites.

5. Which of your family members have encouraged you most over the years?
That has to be Bryan. The best decision I ever made was to marry him. He believes in my ability to do basically anything, and he supports me in whatever it is I want to do. Before I got on the elevator to go to my grad school interview, the last thing he said to me was "Whatever we have to do to make this work, we will do it. We will make it through this, and you will get a doctorate." From little things to the very biggest thing I've ever undertaken, Bryan never doubts me and always offers whatever support I need.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
Something that keeps me from journaling every day: it seems like things happen all the time that make me think "Oh I should put that on LJ!" The problem is, then the NEXT thing comes along I feel like I should blog, & I get so caught up doing bloggable things that I never actually sit down to write about them!

Today is the first day of school for Bryan & Ganon. They're off, Bryan to teach & Ganon for his first day of 3rd grade. I woke up early so I could pack his lunch & then get an early start on my own school stuff.

Man, this was a really good summer. Got to do the Texas Two Step DMB shows, Wakarusa was fun (even if we did leave a bit early & hated the camping), week at the cabin, Blanchard Springs Caverns, trips to Texas, getting Q's car. We also got a lot of stuff done, like the sink in the basement & FINALLY hired someone to come clean the house bi-weekly. It was busy, but it was all good & it was the brain break I needed.

Now it's back to school, and to go along with the stress, I seem to be having symptoms of a gastric ulcer. Pretty textbook. *sigh* On the other hand, what we do to treat peptic ulcers (either gastric or duodenal) is pretty easy to do on your own: I'm doing a 2 week round of a PPI (like pantoprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, etc) and laying off the spicy & acidic foods. I guess in my head I knew that I ate a lot of spicy & acidic things, but I didn't realize exactly HOW much of my diet we were talking about. Almost everything I eat has red pepper or a spicy sauce in it. And of course coffee & juices are my favorite drinks & oh hey there, acid! I have cut myself down to a single 6 oz. cup of coffee per day, and no spicy foods. I ate noodles last night and only put like 3 drips of Sriracha in them.

It's nice having friends who have been through something similar or otherwise have super useful knowledge. Q & Jess are both way into tea, and Jess has definitely done this ulcer thing before. They both tell me that maté is a tea with about as much caffeine as coffee. It's quite a lot easier on your stomach though, so after my daily cup of coffee, I switch to a maté/black tea blend I've got from Celestial Seasonings. It's called "Morning Thunder." Next time I'm somewhere close to a Teavana, I'm going to pop in for some Samurai Chai Maté, which is a super delicious tea they always drink when we're there.

One week from today I'll be starting clinical with Dr. H at NEA Baptist Memorial here in town!

The caffeine has kicked in, so it's time to start on the directed study module for this week.

hillarygayle: (Hillary Smart)
Once upon a time, I had a chemistry class with [livejournal.com profile] starry_midnight.  The professor who taught this Chem 101 class had NEVER taught undergraduate chemistry before; he had only previously taught at graduate levels. After the first couple of weeks, he began to realize that he was talking WAAAAAY over our heads, and I quickly jumped in to identify myself as the canary in the coal mine. Of all the students, I'd had the most retained knowledge from previous science classes, and I was best able to understand the lectures. We developed a system in which he'd look at me & I would either shake my head or give a thumbs up, and he would continue his lecture, bringing it down to a lower level if I indicated he should.

Today when I was cleaning out my desk & storage cubes, I found some notes we wrote back & forth during particularly mind-boggling lectures. I'm going to transcribe them here for fun. :)

General Chemistry, circa 2007 or 2008

Me (re: the lecture being mind-boggling): I feel like I'm walking up stairs too fast. Like I'm getting it but not really well.
[livejournal.com profile] starry_midnight (or B): *written above my comment* Welcome to my WORLD! :)
B: *written below* --Do you think he has a blow dryer?
--Also when he repeated himself 3 times when that kid stood up, my brain was like "Oh no! He's skipping! Something's wrong with his program!" Sadly, an agent did not hop out of his tight pants.
Me: My interest in chemistry would increase exponentially if I thought every chemist had an agent hiding in his/her pants.
B: The tinyness of his clothes compels me to believe deep down he is SOOPER SEKRITLY a wee emo boy. P.S. If you get agents, I get McKay (I think this is Rodney McKay from Stargate: Atlantis). Today's lesson: humans suck, we KEEELLED IT DEAD. (tightpants save!)

B: Not only my dear, is it not making any sense, his voice is doing a fantastic impersonation of the adults in Peanuts. "Wah wah wah wah..." God help us if we have a quiz today.
Me: I have had a perfectly decent grade in this class, but it is going to TANK if I don't do something quickly.
B: It'll be fine! No worries! One quiz. You're gonna wipe the floor with the final & all will be well. Also we're going to do bonus before Thursday. You will come out of this on top & we shall all congratulate you while glaring daggers! :) Don't let it get you down though, he's a little off. Did you hear the affection in his voice talking about carbon figures earlier? <3
Me: He obviously loves him some chemistry. Honestly, could anyone make it as far as he has without loving chemistry?
B: There was nothing right about what just happened. Killed my brain. Small woosh. Big poof. Gone. (I have no idea what this was a reference to.)

B: That dickhead behind you is spitting his chewing tobacco into a bottle & digging in his ears with his keys. I'm going to puke or scream!
Me: I knew he was high class. Anyone who makes the statement "Fuck me runnin'" is likely to be spitting tobacco & digging out earwax with keys. Why's he IN this class? Does he stand a snowball's chance of passing?
B: Absolutely not! If he gripes one more time about the class or Dr. R, I'm just going to ask why he bothers coming. I'm finding class (with the exception of dumbass anonymous) fairly amusing today. Y'know I think we should all just vibrate at a perfect distance. HAHA! He drives a bike, doesn't he?
hillarygayle: (Miyazawa looking up)
We are about to re-organize a large part of our den, otherwise known as the Nerd Cave. I've just gone through my desk & my storage cubicles. I was pretty brutal. Threw away a TON of stuff. Bryan did the same for his desk, and we ordered lunch. Ruby Tuesday, while it has online ordering, was most disappointing. They forgot to put a pretzel bun on Bryan's PRETZEL burger, and the cheese fries, which promised to be layered with queso, had not a drop of queso on them. I think I will stick to Sonic for cheese fries in the future!

We are moving my small desk to the basement, where I do most of my school stuff. I hide in a cave during the winter, y'know. :) Bryan's desk currently resides behind the couch, where it isn't very useful because it's crowded to walk back there. Mostly it just became a place for things to land & not be used. Most of it either got thrown away or put into storage containers. His desk will be moved to where my small desk & storage cubes were; my storage cubes will move to the back wall of the Nerd Cave where his desk once was. All this shuffling will improve the flow of the den; there will be a desk where we usually use a desk, and storage where we rarely use anything. When we moved into this house, we put things where we thought we'd use them; now that we've lived here for a few years, we're re-arranging so that things actually belong where we usually need them.

It looks like school starts at a prime time for me this year. The first week in August is when UTHSC starts, and it's also the time of year I always start to get tired of summer. By the beginning of August, the heat has worn me down. This particular summer, the TRAVEL has worn me down & the mosquitoes at home haven't helped. I'm almost looking forward to the first freeze during the fall, which will mark the absolute end of the mosquitoes this year. I can't imagine how bad the mosquito problem would be if Jonesboro didn't contract a pest control service.

I'm looking forward to clinicals this year! I'm going to be working with a physician in the hospitalist group at NEA Baptist Hospital. It's new, it's fancy, & I get to learn there! Speaking to Dr. H about working with him was most funny.

Him: There's a drawback to you working with me this fall, however. The hospital is switching EMR programs to a new software called Epic. It's going to be a really rough ride when we make the switch.
Me: *mad giggling* Oh, I think I might be pretty good for that. I survived actually working through St. B's software switch. Also, did I mention nursing was a second career, & I had once been a software support technician? You can give me a cup of coffee & a new program, and in 30 minutes I'll tell you things you didn't know it did!
Him: ...I think I am going to love you.

Two of my classes are didactic and one is clinical, so while I'm carrying 10 hours again I don't think it will feel like the same KIND of 10 hours it did this last semester. Spring 2014 felt very overwhelming in terms of sheer book/screen time, though we had a few clinical hours. I think Fall 2014 is going to feel less sedentary for all of us.

Bryan is on his way back with sodas (and Sonic ice waters!) for all of us, and then we are going to hit the organization again!

Moar meme

Jun. 26th, 2014 12:51 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Blue & Black)
Again, stealing a "fill in the blanks" from [livejournal.com profile] thejessone because I love them. They're fun & they make my brain wake up.

A

- Available:  Nope. Married for 14 years to the love of my life.

- Age: 35, I think. I can't keep up.

- Annoyance: Not being able to get hold of ANY OFFICE at my school on the first phone call. You ALWAYS have to leave a message & someone calls you back.

- Animal: Elephant

B

- Beer: Cider. Preferably Woodchuck.

- Birthday: Marsh 12

- Best Friend(s): [livejournal.com profile] thejessone, [livejournal.com profile] asqmh, & Bryan

- Body Part on attractive person: Smile. Has to be bright, open & engaged.

- Best feeling in the world: Figuring out a perfect solution to a sticky problem

- Blind or Deaf: Blind

- Best weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 72 and a slight breeze from the south

- Been in Love: Very definitely

- Been on stage?: Yes.

- Believe in Magic: No, but don't I wish!

- Believe in Santa: Heh. I don't think I ever did!

C

- Candy: Snickers Dark, Milky Way Midnight, Reese's Dark, Dark Kit Kat. If they would ONLY make a dark chocolate Twix I'd be set.

- Color: Purple, red, & green

- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate, specifically dark

- Chinese/Mexican: Mexican

- Cake or pie: PIE!

- Continent to visit: Australia & Asia. They're so close I can just hit them both at once, right?

- Cheese: ALL OF IT. Huntsman is my all-time favorite, however.

D

- Day or Night: Night

- Dance in the rain: With my BFFs!

E

- Eyes: Gray

- Everyone's got: Something to teach others

- Ever failed a class?: No, although I did drop a geology class once at Harding because it was taking up too much effort for a general education class, & I felt like it was detracting from other classes.

F

- First thoughts waking up: COFFEE.

- Food: Definitely. All of it. Except curry.

G

- Greatest Fear: Not being able to help

- Goals: Doctorate in Nursing Practice. C'mon, May 2016!

- Gum: is gross.

- Get along with your parents?: I do indeed.

- Good luck charm: Makeup, maybe? When my makeup looks super awesome, I feel more confident & I do better. I don't go into an exam without killer makeup, especially perfect eyeliner & lipstick.

H

- Hair Color: Copper red

- Height: 5'5"

- Happy: Pretty darn happy!

- Holiday: This one is hard! I really love all holidays! I'll say for major holiday: the Thanksgiving-Christmas season and for minor: St. Patrick's Day because I got married on it.

- How do you want to die: At the ripe old age of 92 I will lay my Harley-Davidson motorcycle down in a successful last-ditch effort not to hit a little girl walking a puppy across the street. It will be instant.

I

- Ice Cream: Buttermilk vanilla from Loblolly Creamery in Little Rock, AR

- Instrument: I am capable of playing the flute, the piano & singing. I don't do so much of the instruments anymore.

J

- Jewelry: Wedding ring, earrings. If the earrings are dangly, no necklace, but if they're studs, I usually wear a necklace as well.

- Job: Graduate student technically, but I am an RN training to be an acute care nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice.

K

- Kids: Ganon, the coolest 7 year old I've ever met

- Kickboxing or karate: Kickboxing! I should take it up.

- Keep a journal?:  I'm getting back into this one!

L

- Love: the whole world! Boom de yada!

- Letter: H

- Laughed so hard you cried: The last time I played Cards Against Humanity with the Borg, Bryan, [livejournal.com profile] stripedsocks & [livejournal.com profile] moogintroll.

M

- Milk flavor: Milk.

- Movies: Lord of the Rings trilogy, Matrix trilogy, the current Marvel universe movies

- Motion sickness?: No, unless I'm wearing an Oculus Rift. In that case, DEBILITATING motion sickness.

- McD’s or BK: Taco Bell! But if I gotta choose between those two, I'd say Burger King.

N

- Number: 4

O

- One wish: That someday I get to have an RV.

P

- Perfect Pizza: Greek pizza without chicken from Upper Crust in Jonesboro, AR. The Lucky 7 from Mazzio's comes a close 2nd.

- Pepsi/Coke: Dr. Pepper!

Q

- Quail: Are delicious & they lay teeny tiny eggs

R

- Reason to cry: Frustration

- Reality T.V.: No way

- Radio: iTunes radio or Pandora

- Roll your tongue in a circle? Yes

- Ring size: Size 9 on my left ring finger. Right hand fingers much bigger due to skin grafting & scar tissue.

S

- Song: Of the moment: "Do My Thing" by Estelle, featuring Janelle Monae.

- Shoe size: 9

- Salad Dressing: Peppercorn

- Sushi: Salmon, tuna, avocado, &  the spiciest sauce you got back there.

- Slept outside: UGH camping freaking sucks. But yes I have, because I don't consider a tent to be "inside".

- Smoked?: Yes...but not cigarettes. Gross.

- Skinny dipped?: No way.

- Shower daily?: Yes, but I don't wash my hair daily. Hair gets washed every 2-3 days.

- Sing well?: This is my "open secret" talent. I probably could've been a professional, but I never had the ambition for it.

- In the shower?: LUSH goodies!

- Strawberries/Blueberries: Both together with whipped cream.

T

- Tattoos?: The "coffee rings" design from Dave Matthews Band "Before These Crowded Streets" on my left wrist.

- Time for bed: Old Navy tank top, Bath & Body Works bedtime aromatherapy scents (honey/chamomile or lavender), melatonin if I really can't get to sleep, Benadryl as a last resort & only if I do not have someplace to be the next day!

- Thunderstorms: Love them if they don't have a lot of wind, but if they have high winds they scare me to death

U

- Unpredictable: Not once you know me. I imagine I might look a bit unpredictable to outsiders, but Bryan & the Borg can guess right 95% of the time.

V

- Vacation spot: The Ozarks.

W

- Weakness: People having hard times.

- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: None of my friends really act like any of the others. We like it that way.

- Which on of your friends makes you laugh the most: Bryan.

- Worst feeling: Feeling stupid, failing at something even though I REALLY tried.

- Wanted to be a model:  Never did, but if someone will give me Igigi or eShakti dresses in payment, SURE, I'll be your plus-size model!

- Where do we go when we die?: I don't think anyone REALLY knows.

- Worst Weather?: Searingly hot & suffocatingly humid.

X

- X-Rays: A couple. C-spine in winter 2009 because a patient tried to wrestle me. Both hands & both knees re: pain.

Y

-Year it is now: 2014
-Yellow: Flower in my hair

Z

- Zoo animal: Elephants

LAST PERSON WHO…

1. Slept in a bed beside you? Bryan
2. You went to the mall with? Bryan & Ganon
3. You went to dinner with? Bryan & Ganon
4. You talked to on the phone? [livejournal.com profile] girlwithoutfear (Facetime last night so she could tell me a CRAZY hospital story)
5. Made you laugh? Bryan
6. Hugged you? Bryan
7. Said they loved you? Ganon
8. Held your hand? Ganon
9. Spoke with? [livejournal.com profile] asqmh
10. You cried over? Everyone & everything at my old work situation
hillarygayle: (Kero-chan freaks out)
It sounded so impressive when I laid it all out for [livejournal.com profile] thejessone that I decided to put it here too.

This week is a bit different because I decided to work Thursday instead of Saturday to help the schedule out.

I have a heart sounds exam this week. It's open until Saturday. It is a "do not pass this test=do not move on in this program" test. All the studying inherent to that (I have 8 chapters left to read).  This includes where to listen for what normal heart sounds & what murmurs. How to grade a murmur Grade 1-6, what a murmur indicates pathologically. How you can make each murmur louder or softer using physical maneuvers or medications. Oh, and identify 9 heart sounds by hearing them. Next module in acute: read 5 PDFs, one white paper, 2 videos, & 2 textbook assigned readings.

In philosophy each week, there are 2 discussion board posts due, along with an essay-style quiz; this week's reading is only three chapters, thankfully. I have a paper due in early October, here, however.

In biostats: adobe connect session on Wednesday. She hasn't released the assignment information so I can know how much of what to read, but we always have an attendance assignment and a quiz in addition to the adobe session.

So in short, I have never been required to read this much in my life, and I had no idea it would feel like I'd been worked to the bone after staying home all day.

Students: This is MADNESS!
Professor: This. Is. GRAD. SCHOOOOOOOOOOL!
Professor: *kicks us in a scary hole*

A versus B

Aug. 30th, 2013 10:26 am
hillarygayle: (Miyazawa looking up)
Of course, one of the first issues to come up when I'm in grad school: what grades do I want? Do I go with that urge to be a 4.0 student? Or do I need to chill out & settle for a B, and when I get an A every so often, I'll just call it bonus?

To hash this out with myself, I first determined why I want to make the highest scores. This has probably got several factors. When I was in elementary & high school, I made mostly A scores with very little effort. I was the slacker salutatorian. (I did have a lot of extra-curricular stuff, though, and that's when I first became aware that maybe grades weren't everything, but more on that in a minute.) I was told this was great, wonderful, this was why I was going to college. And it was true--my first scholarship, the one that allowed me to go to college in the first place, was because I scored very high on the ACT & because I had stellar grades. (And I could write a killer essay.) I have always been praised for my grades. So: historically, A's are my modus operandi, and because getting good grades allowed me to move up in education. And the last factor…self-image. I am an extremely intelligent person and I know that. I have always felt that I needed to PROVE my intelligence by getting the grades.

So in the last 3 weeks, I have set up those facts to determine if I think they are good enough reasons to try for A's in an extremely rigorous doctoral program. UTHSC is the first clinical nursing terminal degree program in the United States (ooooh, look at me giving a source). I am not in some half-baked degree factory. The professors teaching my classes are the giants in their field. With that in mind:

Get A's because I've always done it: Well, anyone who knows me is aware that tradition is like my LEAST favorite reason for doing something. In fact, I buck tradition quite often just on principle.

Good grades allow me to move up: This is the terminal degree. There is no scholarship for making amazing 4.0 grades. There is no further to go, unless I want to move laterally & get some hours for education (which is quite likely), or maybe later get a PhD (I don't think that's likely, but one never knows). However, simply HOLDING a DNP will be enough for those things. My GPA will not matter at all. In fact, my GPA was not a weighted factor in my selection for this program. I was accepted ahead of at least 2 people with GPAs far & away higher than mine.

Get the A because I am intelligent & need to prove it: Here it is, then. When I boiled it down, I realized this is a pressure I'm putting on MYSELF, and I'm not sure it's worth it. If you put any stock in the numbers of the IQ test, I am a genius (hello, absentminded professor type!). Who am I proving it to? My closest friends already know. My family has always known. The people I work with treat me as a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. Colleagues seek me out for collaboration. None of these people need me to get a 4.0 in graduate school to realize my brains are a useful tool. Besides--why exactly does that matter? Intelligence does not equal worth as a human being.

One of the things I learned in the transition from high school to college is that when someone is looking at you for a position or scholarship, a well-rounded candidate looks better than someone with perfect scores. Thinking of my nursing students from last year, I understand that. Someone who has found an equilibrium between their extra-curriculars & their grades is stable, capable, proficient, & aware. People who focus only on grades often miss the wider world, and in my profession, that's not acceptable. Do I want people to know I'm intelligent? Sure. Do I want that to be the only important facet of me? Absolutely not. The smartest nurse in the universe is worth less to some patients than the nurse who really, honestly cares about them as a human.

This program being what it is, a 4.0 (or even >3.5) is going to be a TOUGH row to hoe. I would probably have to give up my hobbies, my free time, possibly even working. I would have to ignore Ganon & Bryan. I would have to do nothing but school…and looking at those reasons for getting the A, I can't say I think it's worth that.

My recent epiphany: B stands for "balance". B's are what I get when I study all my stuff, I work all my problems, I skim all of my assignments & highlight the relevant portions. They are what I get when I do my best, but refuse to give myself stress related illnesses & pin all of my self-worth on achieving a score. At the end, I will still have a DNP and I will still pass the APN boards and I will still become an acute care nurse practitioner. In this program, they will not come easy, but they are achievable without me killing myself. I can maintain my equilibrium this way. B is for balance.

(And C is for cookies & coffee, which might also be critical to my success in this program!)
hillarygayle: (Floaty Brain)
I haven't done the Friday Five in a long time, & I worked Friday, so I didn't do it then either. Technically being back in school, though, I thought it was appropriate to answer this.

What was your first day of school like?
I don't so much remember my very first day of school EVER, but I can remember this year's! It was intimidating & exhilarating at the same time. I was happy to meet so many people who wanted to do the same thing I did, and I was thrilled to meet the professors who were going to help me get there. UTHSC campus is in the middle of downtown Memphis, so it was really unlike any college campus I'd experienced before. Harding has that "Ivy League" look where campus is clearly a separate, tree-filled, park-like world separate from the town, and Arkansas State U pretty much looks like every generic state university. Memphis was humid, bustling, & busy. Somehow it made me feel important. There's a lot of character in a campus like that, not to mention the superb little restaurant only a block away from campus. The Trolley Stop Market is officially going to be my oasis during on campus weeks. We had to contend with a lot of traffic, crosswalks, & even trolleys. I found out my friend Tashina is afraid of trolleys. :) I adore them & wish I had a reason to go on one.

What was the last day you attended school like?
My best "last day" of school was probably from my accelerated BSN program in 2009. We had a small pinning ceremony to serve as our graduation, and all of our families came for that & for the reception afterward. My in-laws showed up unexpectedly to surprise me!

Have you had a teacher who really influenced you?
I credit two teachers with making me who I am academically: Patricia Hesse & Martha Senteney. Ms. Hesse is a gifted & talented teacher, and she is unlike any G/T teacher you probably have ever known. She doesn't just take learning out of the box. She takes it out of the box, then turns back around & sets the box on fire. I learned to love learning because of her.  Our G/T program threw a Renaissance fair, a speakeasy, a 1920s shanty town, a hoedown. We put on plays. We rode buses to Memphis & St. Louis to see Les Miserables & Phantom of the Opera & Miss Saigon (and please remember I grew up in a rice farming town in rural Arkansas so these were Big Things).  We did read-throughs of the libretto on all three. We made movies. We dressed in costume & performed as historical figures during a "Night of History". We did huge exciting things that every one of us was personally invested in & enthusiastic about. I learned that "learning" is not always sitting in a classroom or reading a book. It is living experiences & examining them to gain understanding. That high school is closed now, and with it, one of the only gifted/talented programs of its type. Most schools use AP as "G/T", and do not have separate G/T classes. It's a DAMN shame, because I know--I know in my bones--that her type of teaching is the hands-down best for many students, including myself. I am afraid that none of them will ever get it, now.

Martha Senteney was my 7th & 8th grade biology teacher. She was a super-fascinating person, too. She had a room full of aquariums, including a salt water one with sea anemones. She had lizards & snakes & spiders & so many plants that the biology room looked a little like a jungle, especially over in the corner with the sun lamp. She let us listen to Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, & other instrumental music I'd never heard of while we were working on things. The biggest thing she did for me, though--I often wonder if she knew it changed my life. The transition to "high school" at my old school happened in 7th grade. You moved to the high school building & got a locker & began to switch classes cold turkey, never having been exposed to such a thing. You also had to very suddenly keep up with your own due dates. It was a shock, and looking back now, it should have been clear to everyone at that point that I had ADD. I found myself entirely unable to remember dates for tests & papers. I was forgetting EVERYTHING, in a panic, & entirely without a way to organize myself. My parents were no help; my mother remembers everything naturally & she keeps my dad organized. Ms. Senteney caught me one day after class & told me "Tell your mom to buy you a day planner. The kind with a weekly calendar AND a monthly calendar." So I talked my skeptical mother into it, and brought the planner back to Ms. Senteney. She proceeded to show me exactly how to use it, and told me if I was using it in class, none of the other teachers would "get onto me" for having it out all the time. I wrote EVERYTHING in that thing, and used all her advice to develop the organizational style I have today. I went through a planner per year from age 12 to age 19, when I got my first electronic PDA, a Handspring Visor (this exact one: http://www.amazon.com/Handspring-1002E-Visor-Deluxe-Ice/dp/B00004TDMY). I have used that Visor, a Palm Tungsten, and a Palm LifeDrive (MAN did I love that thing!), before moving to the iPhone upon its release in 2007. I graduated salutatorian, have graduated cum laude from two bachelors programs, and am now pursuing a doctorate. I could never have done ANY of this without Ms. Senteney showing me how to organize my considerable brains into a thinking machine.

What was the first school you attended?
Weiner Elementary School in Weiner, Arkansas. Also the first school Ganon attended, but alas, the high school closed so Bryan doesn't teach there, & Ganon went with him to his new school in Bay, Arkansas. He's loving it (his teacher is redheaded, as he tells everyone), but I am still brokenhearted about the school.

To you, is college important?
Goodness, yes. I've been twice, Bryan's been twice, and I'm now pursuing a doctorate in nursing. I'd say we are true believers in college.
hillarygayle: (Caffeine DS9)
Sheryl Sandberg & Unpaid Internships. I really dislike the entire concept of unpaid internships. I actually always have, but this articulates it better than most: it's the privilege. I felt this very keenly during my own unpaid internship (I was in a media-type profession, then). During the summer between our junior & senior year at Harding, Bryan & I were expected to perform internships. Both were unpaid, and we had different experiences: mine worked the devil out of me, receiving a great deal of work (some of which went into their own internal publications & external advertising) for free, and Bryan's was worthless. He did no work & got exactly zero out of it. We were married & this was summer. We got no financial aid for this because we weren't even enrolled part-time; it was a single "class". We were expected to somehow have a place to live & food to eat, but without being paid. Our families were a huge help, and thanks to a friend of my family we had a free house to live in for those 3 months. We made it through--comfortably, in fact. Didn't have much money for luxuries, but we got by without starving. Most people can't do that, and that makes the entire practice unfair. It's the wealthy helping their own. It frustrates me no end, and it's a terrible way for someone to do businesses if she claims to be a feminist, and wants to help other women achieve what she has.


In the story of someone who actually IS leaning in: Worked the last couple of days, and I don't have to go back until next Thursday. September officially starts my "weekends", and that'll be fun. I'm actually looking forward to it, and so are the other weekend ladies. I talked to Lulu & Brenda yesterday, and we agree that weekends will be getting a ton of "bravos", and that it's just so sad that all the weekday folks will be deprived of my chocolate chip cookies. ;)

Finished financial aid online counseling today, so soon my federal loans will hit my UTHSC account & I can stop worrying about that $7k debt I suddenly have hanging out there. At least until I graduate, when hopefully that won't seem like such a massive, insurmountable thing.

Bryan went back to school on Monday and today he's getting his room together for open house tonight. We will go see his room & meet Ganon's new teacher, etc. Ganon starts school on Monday. I'm happy about it, but I miss him when he isn't at home. I'm worried about how I'll do with weekends, but I WILL see them every day after school. Bryan's considering a class they've offered him at the community college again, and the idea makes me all frowny, because it means more time away from him.

Not gonna think about that today though. I've finished the reading for biostats & now I'm going to go take a look at the quiz. It's a gorgeous day, so I'm feeling like maybe me & Ganon ought to get out of the house. They say to keep up with your favorite hobby during grad school, so I'm feeling like I should take some photos.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Pink Hat)
I am much more excited than I thought I would be about the end of ASU clinical teaching. I loved teaching the students, but I've been a bit overwhelmed with working. I think the fact that I taught clinicals on my own floor was a blessing & a curse: I knew exactly where everything was, how to do all of it, what we specialized in. I was the perfect teacher for that environment: someone who knows it inside & out, someone who loves it, & someone who loves teaching it to other people who want to learn it. On the other hand, it meant that I was working on the progressive care unit 3 days a week for 12 hours, then 1 day a week for 8 hours. THAT'S TOO MANY HOURS in such a stressful, high pressure environment.

I can't teach next year anyway. As of this coming fall, every teacher who does anything for the ASU BSN program has to have a master's degree already. It used to count if you were enrolled in grad school, but not now, so I am going to simply drop to part-time at my current job & call it a day. (The grad program is mandatory full time, so something had to give anyway.)


I am SO STOKED about Wakarusa this year! Bryan isn't as excited as I am, but he humors me so it's good. I can't wait to get back to all the craziness & all the music & all the fun stuff to do & things to eat & people to meet.

They released the stage schedule this week, and I found even more to be excited about. In the Revival Tent on Friday, only like 2 or 3 bands aren't on my "must see" list. I can sit in that tent all of Friday: from mid-afternoon to 3am, and I will ALWAYS be listening to a band I want to see! Of Monsters & Men, Ozomatli, STS9, Galactic! *dance* I am already making plans to stake out a spot on the left hand side, by the woods, with our backpack chairs, and soak up the music. I CAN'T WAIT.


SOOOOOOOOOO, prom! I did not do Nerd Prom (i.e. the White House Correspondents' Dinner) last night; I did Real Prom instead! Last night was Weiner High School's very last prom. Next year they will be consolidated with Harrisburg High School. A damn shame, too, because the junior class at WHS this year is silly, funny, smart, & very close-knit. Everyone was hoping they could graduate together from WHS as they started together in kindergarten. :(

So the prom could easily have been a depressing sort of event, but it wasn't. It was upbeat & fun, & they had tons of fun. Bryan wore a bow tie & suspenders, and he actually looks a heck of a lot better in that type of formal menswear than he does a regular tie & belt. He's decided it's his new dress up look, & I could not be happier about it. It looks super dapper while retaining a slight nerd vibe. I fangirled my husband. :)

Weiner High School Prom 2013
Bryan & one of his students. Prom is srs bsns.

More photos from WHS Prom 2013: Glowstick Apocalypse )
hillarygayle: (Hottie Mask)
I'm not the type of person who marks the passing of time.

Other people make "end of the year" entries in December, or they make big "the progress thus far" entries on their kids' birthdays, or they mark big milestones with entries dedicated to whatever. Me? Nope. I might make a "It's my birthday! Give me cake!" entry. I might make a happy birthday entry for Bryan or Q or Ganon, or mention someone else in the entry I happen to make on their birthday. Might wish you a happy holiday. But I've never been one to mark the day or feel as though it's important that I do so, whether with a blog entry or anything else.

I think this is a function of my "now"-ness. As [personal profile] quiara has put it, I'm so inherently part of the present, so completely involved in this moment RIGHT HERE, that there are some things that escape me. I can be flaky, though I try my hardest not to be. I am often extremely forgetful of things that aren't right in my face (leading to severe absentmindedness). I don't remember birthdays (including my own) or holidays, I forget to buy gifts, I forget to send thank-you notes (though I do thank people at the time, always). I'm pretty much chronically late. I just don't think much about time, and the ways in which we mark its passing.

This program has been different. My social world, usually as widely varied & diverse & frenetic as I can make it, dwindled & retracted to a very small handful of my closest. I became the closest thing possible to "introverted" for me. It exaggerated my now-ness and heightened my absentminded & flaky tendencies. It was nuts. I was getting distracted from my nursing homework by more nursing homework. I had little time for family, friends, or anything that I wasn't supposed to be assessing or making a care plan on.

Now, after it's over, after I've graduated, gotten a pin & an official transcript & a bachelor of science in nursing, I feel as though I have been catapulted off a train and hit the ground to grind to a complete, breathless halt. Like running at full speed and slamming into a brick wall. Maybe it's more like a cushioned wall, since I have to say being homeworkless isn't exactly painful. ^_^ But it's noticeable. I suddenly profoundly realize the passage of time. I've missed a year, and suddenly I realize that fact. It's a sharp, acute feeling. I never feel older, but now, after this program, I do. That is so unusual for me.

So I'd like to thank those of you who've been close to me. To those few to whom I retreated, thank you for putting up with my bonus flakiness & absentmindedness. I will try to make it up to you; at least I'll try to get back to my usual amount of it instead of the elevated state I've been in this year. :D Thanks for still loving me in spite of my lateness, my absence, my preoccupation, and my backing out at the last moment on a million things.

To Bryan: thanks for watching Ganon when I needed to study. Thanks for eating take-out all the time. Thanks for being aware that my short temper & snappishness were results of elevated stress. Thanks for...I don't know. Just thanks for EVERYTHING. Thanks for loving me.

To Ganon: You won't remember this, and I'm glad for that, 'cause dude you HATED it. I'm sorry Mama had to be gone so often and for so long. I'm sorry you always had to stay with someone who wasn't me. I'm sorry I had to lock myself in the office away from you to take tests.

To Q: Thanks for sticking around when I was never online and even less present in person. Thanks for always telling me I was doing a good job at a worthwhile endeavor & that I'd get through it. Thanks for reminding me, continually, that Bs were just fine. Even when I insisted that I had internalized this. Because I hadn't, and was still trying to convince myself and you helped massively. ^o^ NO THANKS FOR TEASING ME ABOUT CROCHETING.

To the Ladiez & my local friends: Thank you so much for the support and a place to vent. To you as well, thanks for putting up with me despite my flakiness & my absences. I'm really sorry for my unreliability as a friend this year, and I'll be doing better now that this is over.

To my house: Holy crap, I'm sorry I neglected the daylights out of you. Gross. I don't have to go in to work until August 24th for orientation; I promise I'm gonna clean you up. <3

To all of you: thanks. You've put up with me through this & you're still reading. It's over now, so expect more commenting out of me as I have more energy & time to do it. I appreciate your stick-around-ness.

SO. Now begins the real life part of nursing. I'm excited to see where this goes, and I look forward to writing lots of vague, frustrating entries that don't violate HIPAA. ^o^
hillarygayle: (Hottie Eyeshadow)
I was too busy yesterday to mention it...

IT'S OVER.

I have a bachelor of science in nursing and a fancy-pants pin that says I graduated from the Arkansas State University school of nursing. I have been charged with going forth to pass the boards on the first try and I WILL. Then I'll follow up this post with a giant "I'M A REGISTERED NURSE!"

For now I am reveling in the fact that I don't have a single. solitary. thing. to do other than go to Memphis with my in-laws, who came down for a visit (and totally surprised me; we had no clue they were coming!). <3 And brought me an INCREDIBLE pink & orange Coach bag, in which to place the freaking DIGITAL SLR CAMERA the rest of my family went in on.

LIFE IS GOOD. SO GOOD IT REQUIRES CAPSLOCK.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
photo.jpg



These are some of my favorite flowers, and they also happen to be easily found at farmers' markets in our area. These were labeled as "sunflower bundles" but they obviously aren't traditional sunflowers, and I don't really think they're sunflowers of any sort. I think they're daisies of some flavor.

We had planned to wake up this morning and drive to Little Rock to check out the farmers market at the Rivermarket, and hopefully to check out the Riverfront park as well. However, when we woke up, Ganon had 100.4 degree fever and reported "I don't feel good, Mama." So that was out. I started dosing him up (I'm alternating ibuprofen/acetaminophen every 3 hrs)and as soon as he felt better, I thought I might take my chances with the ASU farmers' market. I'm so glad I did!

For less than $30, I got a reusable bag with the ASU Farmers' Market logo, a jar of pineapple jam, this bundle of flowers, and a pint each of cucumbers, sweet potatoes, peaches, green peppers and 2 pints of tomatoes. One of the pints of tomatoes was EXTREMELY ripe, so I went on a hunt for the cucumbers specifically to make the tomato & cucumber salad that [personal profile] velvetpage told me about. Moreover, there were something like 2 dozen vendors there! And the vast majority of it was local! Local tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, okra, peppers, peaches, and tons of melons. Everything I bought was grown within 50 miles of me...most of it within 25. One vendor had TONS of gorgeous produce and I thought at first he was a middle man from produce that had been shipped in; local produce is usually not this pretty. Turns out he's from about 10 miles up the road from me, on the Poinsett/Craighead County line on the other side of Highway 1. I was floored; I didn't even know there was a farm back there, much less one big enough to produce this kind of produce.

Pineapple jam is amazing, especially on leftover birthday cake. The cucumber-tomato salad that [personal profile] velvetpage recommended is amazing (the way I did it: 2 medium tomatoes, 1 medium cucumber, a dusting of large crystal kosher salt, a dusting of Mrs. Dash table blend, and enough reduced-fat olive oil mayo to make a light coating on all of it when tossed). I should've added in a chopped green pepper but I didn't think of it until just now. I haven't yet tried the peaches or sweet potatoes. We're roasting some of the sweet potatoes with brown sugar for supper.

I'm pretty glad I decided not to give up on ASU farmers' market. They said it's twice the size it was last week, even. I guess that when we hit peak produce season, all the farmers out there said "Why not?" and brought their stuff.


Back to Mr. Overlord: he's running a low-grade (100.something) fever and it's lasted all day. I can control it with the tylenol/motrin cocktail, and he acts a million times better when I do, but a nap that went through the medicine schedule confirmed that the fever does still come back when he isn't medicated. Poor little guy feels miserable. I feel so sad for him.


This week is my preceptorship, during which I follow one nurse through her whole week. I chose to do mine at the Jackson County Health Department, which is in Newport. I thought I'd get a better idea of community health there than I did during my admittedly short rotation in November.

Then it's over. Then we graduate and that's it. I get a job, I start working 3 12-hour shifts a week and leaving my job at work instead of coming home and writing research reports. I START GETTING A PAYCHECK. I am so relieved I could fall over.
hillarygayle: (With Chopsticks!)
Courtney wants a shawl, so I decided to crochet one for her. It started out like this



But she had asked that it not have many "big holes" in it (i.e., she wanted it to be warmer than big lace). So I went and found a different pattern, and now we have this:



It's a solid half-moon of extended double crochet (edc) with standard increases, but then at the bottom it's going to have 7 really big panels of a lace pattern called "strawberry lace". As I put it to Q, I'm slogging through this boring-as-grass-growing shawl, all this repetition of edc after edc just to get to the lace at the bottom. ^o^ Sometimes the things that are most boring are the ones that look most striking when you're finished with them.


Speaking of things I am finished with...

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I HAVE FINISHED WITH CLINICALS.

Today was the last day of straight-up clinicals. Next week we have our final (exam & presentations) for nursing research as well as our preceptorship weeks. Then on August 6, I graduate with a BSN. I'm scheduling my NCLEX exam for licensure, looking for a job, planning our pinning ceremony and just generally being ecstatic that THIS IS ALMOST OVER. This has been the most difficult sustained thing I have ever done. It has been the most rewarding. It will be the most beneficial. BUT HOLY COW.

So relieved.

Looking for ER jobs. I've applied to NEA Baptist for an ER position there, but looking back I realize it was PRN and they usually want a nurse who's been through an orientation already for a PRN position. There's a PRN ER position at St. Bernards if you look on their internal site, but when you go to their commercial website that opening does not appear. There is an overnight opening on one of the 2 floors in the hospital I think I could work on: 2 North (orthopedics). The other possibility is 4 East (where [personal profile] starry_midnight's mom works) but there's no opening there. I'm REALLY hanging in there for an ER position. If not ER, then ICU would be my next choice. Floor nursing is not on my radar, but I'll do it if I have to. There are more floor positions than anything else, but y'all, I am NOT capable of taking 6 patients! I don't know that I ever will be!


I haven't been journaling much, but I've been taking a lot of photos. I can snap a picture or 2 faster than I can write something, so I've been clicking away. I love photography, even if it is just with my iPhone camera. <3 Some of these are from our weekend in Hardy (taken with my nice camera) and some of them are from elsewhere. Lots of pics of food, babies, and dragonflies (or damselflies, as I believe these are)!

Behind the cut )

Also, 3 years ago today I spent the whole day in labor! And blogged about it. Happy birthday to the Cute Overlord, Ganon Hoyt!

I'M BACK!

Jul. 18th, 2009 10:24 am
hillarygayle: (Hottie Eyeshadow)
I returned yesterday from the trip to Memphis. Oh goodness I am SO GLAD to be home, where my stuff is and my boys are. I'm comfortable for the first time in the week.

Yesterday after I got home, Bryan & Ganon & I went into town. We wanted to hang out, so we went to Barnes & Noble and parked at the train table. Ganon played happily, we ate pretzels, we drank lemonade. After a while we decided to take him to see Nana & Papa so we could go see Harry Potter: HBP, but the strangest thing happened. Ganon started to cry pitifully, saying he didn't want to go see Nana & Papa...he wanted to stay with Mama & Daddy. OMG. That has never freaking happened. We were stoked; so much that we decided not to go. Instead we went to the mall playground where Ganon ran & climbed & jumped with the other kids. But we had Nana's phone, and she had to come get it from us, meaning that Ganon actually SAW her...and then there was a meltdown when she had to leave.

Bryan & I decided that HBP was in the cards after all, and met up with my parents to give them an obviously sleepy Ganon. (This turned out in retrospect to be an awesome idea, because he had a very big potty success later!) Then we hit the theater for the 4:30 showing of HBP, which we both really loved.

Rambling observations about the HBP movie )

After HBP, we went to Hiro. Hiro is a new Japanese restaurant in Jonesboro. Bryan & I had been praying and begging for it to be one of 2 things: 1) A sushi bar with "our type" of sushi, meaning unusual mixing of ingredients & spicy sauces, or 2) a place that had rice bowls (i.e. steamed rice with stir-fried beef or chicken or whatever on top). Anything but a tepanyaki grill, because we have 2 of those in town already. We were happy to find that while it does serve some tepanyaki stuff, they don't cook at your table, and the main focus is as a sit-down restaurant. They also have a decent sushi bar seating area, and they definitely had crazy sushi rolls. We had the Razorback and the Hiro. We liked the Razorback better, but it had one main issue: the fried oyster inside was very large and too crunchy--almost hard. It was a big roll, and that one hard spot on the inside, while providing a perfect contrast to the soft fish on top and the avocado inside, made the whole thing very hard to chew! It was literally difficult to eat the roll. Bryan & I started poking the oyster out & eating them separately. The Hiro was another very good roll, but it had avocado (both inside & on top) and cream cheese (inside). There was too much creaminess for the amount of heat provided by the honey sauce (a creamy sauce with a lot of wasabi) and the hiro sauce (a spicy mayo), both of which were creamy themselves.

Next time I certainly want to try the Harry Potter roll. It's soft-shell crab, asparagus, & cream cheese inside with seared tuna on top. If they could put some eel sauce on that for me, I think we'd be in serious business. Our waiter seemed to be heavily involved in running the restaurant, and he pegged us as sushi fans right away. He stood and talked to us a while about the types of things that we liked, and places where we'd eaten rolls like that. We told him that before, if we'd wanted sushi like this we'd have had to go to Memphis for Sekisui at least, and that we'd recently been enamored of Sake Toro in Frisco. I gave him a tip we learned at Sekisui: Sriracha hot sauce on certain rolls. We told him about the Fire Roll at Sekisui, and how each bit of shrimp tempura was topped with the slightest bit of Sriracha (rooster) sauce. He seemed quite interested, and I told him that if he made one with Sriracha on top he'd have to call it the Hillary roll, or maybe the Creecher. ^o^

We got Sonic drinks on the way home. For the record, their Mango Cool Breeze can be made into a cream slush and it's AWESOME.


Today the weather is DIVINE. Look at our highs for the next several days. It feels almost like autumn out here. I could just bask in it, but most likely what will happen is that we'll throw open all the windows & clean up this house. This entire year our house has suffered from my lack of time and motivation to really clean things up. Mostly I just clean things that have to be done, like laundry & the kitchen & bathrooms. Even the bathrooms suffer; I scrub the tub and the toilet because we use them often, but our bathroom cabinets are seriously icky. Anytime we've had people over I've vacuumed the carpet, and I think I might've dusted like 4 times in the last 12 months. Today I'd like to get some things done that haven't been done for a long time. I think I'm going to start with the bathrooms & the kitchen, and then move on to actually dusting & vacuuming the whole house.


Graduation is August 6. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
hillarygayle: (With Chopsticks!)
Once there was a meme, and [personal profile] jorajo did it, and then I did it too because a) I was feeling sheeplike and b) she's freaking awesome and c) the meme was pretty neat & different from the usual music ones.

1. One of the earliest songs you remember listening to:
Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On - Mel Williams [I was so young that the term "baby" meant Courtney, my younger sister, and I wondered why anyone would care that she was wearing blue jeans.]
She can't help it if she's made that way
She's not to blame if they look her way
She ain't really trying to make a scene
It just comes naturally

More songs for various questions )


Bryan & Ganon & I are about to go into town. It's been a crazy week but I think I finally feel rested...just in time to jaunt to Memphis this evening. This week is my pediatric rotation, and I will be working at LeBonheur in Memphis, Tennessee. Thanks to my crazy!awesome father-in-law, my classmate Jennifer and I will be residing at the Doubletree Inn, just a 4 minute drive from LeBonheur itself. (He's got lots of Hilton Honors points, so it doesn't cost anything to stay at a Hilton-associated hotel). I'm looking forward to it! Right now I'm fixing up all my laundry & packing my bag. I'm REALLY excited about LeBonheur. It's one of the few hospitals anywhere near here where they can perform surgery for things like transposition of the great arteries. I might get to see something like that on Wednesday (my observation day). There's a chance I might work in the ER at some point, which may mean starting an IV line on a child, which I've never done before.

It's storming like crazy outside. There isn't any wind, so I am not nervous at all about it. Wind scares the devil out of me, but lighting & thunder & rain are no problem. Ganon's doing fine, but Pete is flipping his poor little mess. He HATES thunder.

Town errands: send off AppleTV for repair (why do we have the worst luck in history with logic boards?!), pay my ticket (note to self: cruise control is YOUR FRIEND).


We had a good time in Little Rock on Friday, and then in Hardy on Friday & Saturday. Staying at the cabin always feels slow & relaxing to me, even now that I have internet access via iPhone there. The only major problem with the cabin is that it gives Bryan hella asthma problems. His asthma is triggered by his allergies, and any time his allergies get a massive exacerbation, he has asthma attacks. He's used his albuterol inhaler all freaking weekend since Hardy. -_- ALLERGIES FAIL.


Okay. If we're going to leave I'm going to clean up the kitchen. Ganon & Bryan can't deal all week with a kitchen in this shape.

Paradox!

Jun. 19th, 2009 09:39 am
hillarygayle: (PP Molly kicks ass)
The busier my life is, the more I have to blog about, but I blog less because I'm so busy DOING the things I have to blog about.

12 hour shifts are hard, but having 4 days in a row off is pretty stellar. We were in the ICU this week, and it was good & bad. The first 2 days I had boring patients who didn't require much support, the 3rd day I had to go to the ER because there weren't enough patients in the ICU, and the last 2 days were good because I had exciting patients. One gentleman was quite sassy, once I got him talking. I just loved him. ER was way interesting--I had a VERY old patient at one point. VERY. Like when the call came in from the ambulance bringing this person, we all looked at each other and said "WHOA." I've never even met someone that old, much less had to perform procedures on them.


1. If you could go back in time to change one choice in your life, what would it be?
The choices I've made have led to my life being the way it is now. I love my life, so changing decisions is a dangerous concept. Maybe this one: There was a cute guy in my stats class who tried to impress me with his Sailormoon videos that he'd ordered off the internet. I was unintentionally dismissive, so he thought I thought he was a dork. I ended up marrying him anyway (hee hee) but we could've been dating 4 months earlier.

2. What would you like your dying words to be?
BOOM DE YADA!

3. If you HAD to change bodies with someone you knew for 1 year, who would it be?
Bryan. I'd want to pick someone with a very different body from mine so I could see what it felt like. I thought at first I'd choose a very thin woman, but then I realized if I was going to do "very" different, I'd have to go male! Plus, it would be kind of awesome to see the other side of certain things. :) I wouldn't particularly want to put him through having a period every month, complete with cramps & crankiness & bloating. BLEH.

4. Choose your favorite license plate combination. What does it read?
I don't really care anything about license plates. Weird question.

5. What fantasy world would you live in (i.e., movie, tv show, book)?
HOGWARTS! Yes indeed, I'd pick the Potterverse and hopefully I'd be a witch. Q & I are always talking about attending Salem Witches' Academy for our graduate degrees. ^_^


Ganon & I are waiting on Bryan to get home from teaching the ACT cram session so we can go into town. We're going to sell back some of my nursing books and just generally hang out. Probably play in the mall playground. I think I want IHOP. I also think I want to have friends over to swim tomorrow.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Queen)
What can I say about the ER...except that IT IS FREAKING AWESOME.

Since the first day of nursing school I have been dancing to go to the ER. In fact, it's such a well-known fact that when Mrs. C was making clinical assignments this summer, she put me in the very first ER rotation. ^_^ She told me she did it on purpose so I wouldn't have to wait any longer than necessary. Bertrand came too; we've both been there this week. We did 2 12-hr shifts: Wednesday & Thursday from 11am to 11pm.

On Wednesday, it took a while for the nurses to catch on to the fact that we wanted to do procedures, and we found out later that day why that was. One of the new nurses there is an ASU traditional BSN graduate, and she told me they got all of 4 hours on the ER floor, and it was observational only. No one told the ER nurses that the accelerated BSNs would be there for 12-hours and that we would jump all over procedures. Bertrand said he wanted to find someone & stick to them like white on rice.

"But you're black," I pointed out.
"Is there black rice?"
"Yes," I answered.
"Oh. Then I'll stick like BLACK on rice," he said, nodding.
*giggle*
[This is actually an extension of sort of an inside joke. One day, about halfway through the 2nd semester, Bertrand helpfully pointed out to Ms. Wiggins: "I'm black". I can't even remember what prompted that comment, but Bertrand, who is from Cameroon, nonchalantly announcing he was black like we'd never noticed that before, was HILARIOUS.]

Once the nurses figured out we wanted procedures & experience, but didn't have to "check off" on things, it was ON. they'd give us stuff hand-over-fist, and by the time we left, they were filling our arms with things from the Pyxis (supply closet that's coded; students don't have access so nurses have to get supplies out for us) and sending us off down the hall to assist in something. Last night when one of the doctors was suturing a laceration, it was just me assisting. I did the sterile field, I irrigated the wound, and I cleaned up & bandaged after he finished stitching--all without anyone hanging over my shoulder. The independent feeling is heady to someone who has been watched like a hawk to learn all these skills.

Let's see; what did I do in the last 2 days?
The list )

I know I've wanted to work in a burn unit up to this point, and I haven't worked in the units yet so I'm reserving judgment. But as much fun as the ER was, I really can't see how I'd rather work anywhere else. The ER is very good for the way my mind works. There's a new thing in each room, a new person, a new story, a new problem for me to help with. A new adventure. You do not have to be nervous about every move you make. You want to be careful and clean and do your procedures properly, but time is more important in the ER than strict procedure. You have to get things stabilized so they can be managed elsewhere, whether that means at home or upon admittance to the hospital. It's fast and flexible and changing and constant adaptation. And it's never boring. Nurses have "room assignments", but because of the way the software works, any nurse can see any nurses' order that hasn't been filled yet, and go fill it herself. So if a doctor orders 2mg morphine given to the patient in room 4A, and that's not my patient, I can pick that up & complete the task regardless. And in addition to the doctors putting in orders for nurses, the nurses can put in orders for doctors as well (i.e., I irrigated the wound, so now it's time for you to come do your stitches thing). The doctors were great and the atmosphere was collegial. SUCH a good experience.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Mask)
Well last night was fancy. We were sitting at home, watching our newest Star Trek: DS9 dvd from Netflix, when I started to get text messages. The first was a tornado warning from KAIT, the local television station. This made me kinda blink because, while it was rainy out, it looked nothing like a storm, much less a tornado. o_O I went out on the back porch. There was something that looked like it might be a funnel cloud, but it was far off south, toward Cherry Valley & Cross County. I came back in to find 2 direct messages from Twitter friends and about 4 or 5 @replies warning me to get someplace safe. *blinkblink* I called Daddy to see if he was hearing anything, and he told me to turn on our radio to 104.9 (it's a local country station that has really amazing weather updates; they were invaluable during the ice storm). I did, and there were the nice DJs telling me that there was a funnel cloud approaching the ground. It was 5 miles east of Waldenburg and moving north. *checks* Oh wait, that's making a beeline for HERE. We're about 5 miles east and 10 miles north of that. Also...we live in a mobile home (we already own the land and it's mega-cheap). So! Instead of staying in the tornado magnet, we jumped ourselves in the CR-V and drove 30 seconds across the yard (water was ankle deep by this point) to my sister Courtney's house. It is brick. This is much better than my house which is just slightly more sturdy than tin foil.

And we sat there while nothing but really pretty clouds and intermittent rain happened. As usual. I told Bryan that we're actually keeping anything from happening by going to Courtney's. The day we decide to stay in our tin foil house is the day a giant tornado comes bearing down and eats the whole farm. I got some neat photos, though.


Today we're going to be having a marathon potty training session here at the Creech household. Cut because some people don't care )


Devil's Den State Park. This seems like it would be such a fun weekend adventure. <3 I certainly am not into the caving part, but the scenery in that part of Arkansas is INCREDIBLE, and I could take tons of awesome photos. The 3-bedroom cabin sleeps 8 people and is only $180 a night. If you split that 8 ways, that's CHEAP.

Eureka Springs is another weekend adventure I'd like to take.


Do any of you have a Tumblr blog? I do: I'm HillaryGayle there, too. It's a mobile photoblog for me, since I do any writing/journaling here.


Everything above this line was written yesterday; I totally forgot to post this. Ugh.

We had a hilarious conversation last night with Ganon. We had gone to Aunt G's, where we ate grilled hot dogs with the rest of the family, and when it was time to leave, Ganon threw a FIT. It was certainly worthy of his Overlordly name. So on the way home, this ensued.

Ganon: *throws Epic Tantrum of Supreme Anger, which dissipates into a coughing fit*
Bryan: Do you want a drink of water?
Ganon: *screams angrily* NOOOO!
Me: Ganon...
Ganon: *screams angrily* NO THANK YOU!
Me: *to Bryan* ...we're going to have to have a conversation about "tone" sometime.
Bryan: Yep.

So today it's me & Ganon. He WAS having a fit for me to play MarioKart, but with the help of a Thomas DVD, we eventually came to grips with the concept that "Mama has a quality assurance fishbone diagram due, and cannot play MarioKart all day long". I also have a wretched sore throat on one side, and the ear on that same side hurts. This is not good.

Tomorrow is both the HESI exam and the orientation for this summer's "Practice for Real Life" clinicals. On Thursday, I begin 10 weeks of clinicals--3 12-hour shifts per week on Tuesday-Thursday. Would you like to know my schedule? I KNEW YOU WOULD. <3 I've no idea which hospitals these will be at.

Thursday: Management
June 2-4: Management, then 2 days in ER (only 2 days? Feeling ripped off.)
June 9-11: 2 North, then Critical Care (OMG the unit; I'm so excited and so nervous!)
June 16-18: Critical Care
June 23-25: It says "H" for all of us on the 23rd, but I'm not sure what that's about. 24-25 I'm back on 2 North.
June 30-July 2: 2 North
July 7-9: 2 North, then 2 East
July 14-16: THIS is what I'm stoked about. LeBonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis! Obvs this is our pediatric rotation. I'm so excited; this is a premier children's medical center in the US. My pediatric rotation is in the big leagues! Yaaaaay! I think I will need to stay in a hotel; though; our shifts are 12 hour, and I won't feel like driving all the way back to Weiner after that. Especially if a shift is super-busy.
July 21-23: 2 East
July 28-30: Something about "preceptors", so I'm not sure what that's all about. We might be assigned to a specific nurse? Any other BSN students want to enlighten me on what this might be? It's only 3 days, which is way too short for an actual preceptorship. And I thought you did the real preceptorship when you got hired on someplace.

Anyway, there's that. Now I am going to complete that quality assurance diagram, and I'm going to read the Legalities in Nursing chapter & finish up that quiz.

I think Earth Jam has replaced Lochs of Dread as my favorite Flecktones song.

Studious

May. 11th, 2009 10:05 pm
hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)

So very studious
Originally uploaded by Hillary Gayle
OMG this chapter is so full of catch phrases and keywords and garbage that I could scream.

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