Monday, December 29, 2008

Things you wish you could say – the dating edition

One of my favourite websites often has a “things you wish you could say” discussion. For the most part it’s filled with work complaints, bitching about in-laws or matrimonial gripes. I think dating could use it’s own things you wish you could say, so here goes.

“I really like. Do you like me?” Sadly, this cannot be said because it sounds needy, desperate and may cause a boy to run.

“I want kids. If there is any chance you will not want kids, feel free to walk out the door now.” Again, this cannot be said because any guy will think you’re just looking for a Baby Daddy and will be out that door whether he wants kids one day or not.

“I have chronic depression. When I tell you this one day, will you freak out and bail?” Another thing you can’t say until you’re confident he really likes you. Of course, waiting means you’ll be investing in something that might end in disaster because you just never know what someone’s preconceived notions on the subject are.

“Where is this going?” Nope. Don’t even go there.

After I ended things with Mike, I told myself I would never again erase myself so I could be the person my partner wants me to be. However, I’m finding it so hard to be me, when I can’t say the things that are so important to me. Blarg. I know some of you are saying, don’t be ridiculous Changa! There is nothing wrong with being honest! What’s with the head games? Believe me. I’ve learned from my own mistakes that you just shouldn’t reveal too much of yourself too early. I used to be honest about exactly what I want out of life and it made a lot of little boys run away from the scary ol’ assertive lady. So now I wait. I wonder. I try not to forget who I am in the mean time.

Run Pacha Run!

I went running with Pacha today! It was such a gorgeous day, I couldn't resist. She actually did pretty well considering her legs are only about 8 inches long! We did run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute and only went out for about 10 minutes. She dragged behind for most of it and it was probably the slowest run in the history of running, but she did it! It was nice to be out for a run again.

Ring-a-ding-ding

I just realised I never posted about my new ring… although it’s a few months old now.

I’d been looking for a ring for a long time now... probably 3 to 4 years. I know this is going to sound silly, but I wanted something personal that would always remind me to never let go of my dreams and that I'm the only one who can make them come true. Like, not needing a man to "complete" me and therefore holding out for the right guy, going back to school, etc. I also wanted to have an inspirational phrase engraved inside.


I finally found it back in the Summer. It's called a Celtic Warrior Shield Ring and is meant for warrior/survivors which I think makes the ring even more symbolic. It was ordered from Ireland and took forever to get here! I also had it inscribed with the following Gaelic phrase: Anso táim sona, which means, Here I am happy.

Now I feel like She-Ra… or maybe it was He-Man… which one had the ring?

Anyway, I’m so happy to finally have it. Here are some pictures.





And the inscription:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh thank goodness!

I passed my killer exam from last Monday! I think I would have been more embarrassed and pissed off at myself if I hadn't passed that class! I've received 6 of my 7 scores back and so far my final results look like this:

Biology: C- (this was my killer exam)
Pathophysiology: B- (this is the course where 40% of the class is failing)
Holistic Approach to Nursing: B-
Introduction to the Foundations of Nursing: B+
Nursing and Wellness: B+
Lab/Clinical practice: B+
Therapeutic Communication: A+


Overall, I'm quite happy with my results. Especially given that I was doing my second year classes and the prerequisites at the same time!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

La La La La La La

That is my song of joy! I’m all done my exams and now have two weeks off! Wheeee! My last three exams where pretty rough. The one on Sunday was supposed to be the toughest of all my exams, but it went quite well. 40% of the class is failing so the fact that going into the exam I had a B+ average is really good. I’m just greedy and am hoping to maintain at least a B in that class.

My exam on Monday was horrible! I simply ran out of time to prepare. I need to get a 33% to pass that class and I’m just hoping I made it. Pretty bad, huh? It was mostly multiple choice but with trick questions in which you needed to really understand the subject to pick the right answer. Ugh.

Yesterday I had my final exam and that didn’t go too well either. I came down with some wacky cold yesterday and was feeling miserable during the entire thing. I had so much trouble concentrating because of the head stuffiness and constant nose blowing. I was hoping to get an A in that class but I know I won’t make it. It’s ok, though. I did the best I could, given the miserable-ness I was feeling.

Last night I curled up on the couch with Pacha, lots of blankets, a hot cup of coco (spiked with Bailey’s) and the musical Mama Mia. Is there anything better than Abba to make you feel all cheering inside? Oddly enough, it’s like my cold has disappeared today! Wahooo!

I also got a sweet email from the boy yesterday (seriously! I need a nickname for this poor guy). We had gone out on Saturday but our date was cut short. We had talked a few times since then on the phone, but I’m just horrible with phone conversations! I swear, as soon as I have a phone next to my ear it’s like I forget how to form words! Anyway, I was feeling kinda blah over our mangled conversations so I sent him an email explaining how phones are my nemesis. He wrote back saying he understood and how happy he was I was done my exams and that he really hoped I would feel better soon (because of my cold) so he could see me. Awwww.

I don’t want to say it out loud... but if I write it down it doesn’t count... right? I really like this guy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friends for Pacha

I’ve adopted a few friends for Pacha: bunnies. So far they haven’t played much with her, but she has tried to play with them.



The dust bunny was on her nose when she came into the room, but made it’s way to her head after some scratching while I went to get my camera.

The end of exams can’t come soon enough because I really need to clean!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holy Crap!

I’m in shock. Total. Complete. Shock. I wrote an exam yesterday, and it went quite well. Today, I went to check online to see if any of my results had been posted. I was surprised to see the results of yesterday’s exam already posted… I was even more shocked by the result: 100%

Jebus! I’m bloody brilliant!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Almost Halfway

By supper time today I will have completed more than half my exams. That means four down and three to go. Unfortunately the really tough ones are the final three. At least I can say I only have five days of studying left.

In other news, I went out with the boy again last night. Hmmm... I think I need a covert name for him to use on my blog. Suggestions are welcome. :-) Anyway, we went for a walk in a local park after my exam. It was such a wonderful evening! We walked for about two hours while the snow was lightly falling... it was just gorgeous. We talked and talked and talked some more. Seriously. It’s like we couldn’t stop talking about everything and anything. After our walk we went to his place for nice cup of hot tea. It was just a nice end to a super relaxing evening.

Right after our walk he received a phone call and of course I had to ease-drop. It was one of his friends. After about a minute of chatting he ask if he could call him back later this week. I heard his friend say, Oh sorry, I didn’t know you were busy. To which he responded, no problem, I’m with Changa and don’t want to be rude. Alas, I didn’t hear his friend’s muffled response. Boo. However, I take it that his friend knows of my existence since he only had to say my name and not something like I can’t talk I’m out or I’m with someone or I’m on a date. This means he’s talked about me! Am I being silly if I’m excited about this?

We’re going out again tomorrow night.

Must not be giddy. Must not be giddy. Must not be giddy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One Down. Six to Go.

Well, I just finished my first exam and it went extremely well! Wheeee! It was my lab exam and I was incredibly nervous because of what happened the last time (see post). The nurse evaluating me said: “It’s always such a treat to evaluate a student who is completely prepared”. :-) What a difference from last time!

Then count down is on: eight days left.

**And just for the fun of it - a picture of Pacha who decided my pile of dirty laundry was an excellent spot for an afternoon nap.**

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Long Live the Queen of Gossip

Have I ever mentioned how my Mom knows everything and everyone? Well, she does. She knows more gossip about people I know than I do.

Anyway, I hadn’t told my Mom about the new guy. I just find it easier not to mention anything because she gets all excited and then it ends up being just one date. So last night she called me up and invited me over for supper. I told her I had plans. When she asked with who, I told her a friend to which she replied, ohhhh? (insert big smile) Of course, she called tonight under the pretence of inquiring about my day at work and then adds, well… if there isn’t anything else you would like to tell me… *sigh* Fine. Yes Mom, I had a date. Oh really? What’s his name? Where is he from? I tell her his name and where he grew up (nothing more, might I add) and she pauses. Wait a minute… does he have a son? He does. I cringe wondering just how she knows this. Do you know who his parents are, she exclaims excited. At this point I’m thinking: Oh God! Oh God! What does she know? Well, it turns out I’m dating my Mom’s massage therapist’s son. The first words out of my mouth were: Don’t. Say. Anything.

She’s all excited because “they are such a good family” and then proceeded to ramble on a bunch of information I already knew. Did you know he lives a few streets from you? Did you know he recently went back to school? Did you know he too was engaged but broke if off? Yes. Yes. And yes Mom. I can hear the giddiness in her voice. Great. There’s no turning back now.

I soooo hope she can keep her mouth shut!

Sealed with a Kiss

Four dates in and I finally got a kiss! I think that’s a good sign, right? I mean, if he kissed me, it must mean he’s interested. He is so hard to read!

We went out for supper and then rented a few movies. We ended up sharing a bottle of wine and having two martinis each at my place! Yet, it still took until the moment he was leaving before we kissed. Anyway, when we were at the door, I was determined not to let him leave without a kiss. I was sure I was going to have to put the moves on, but he is the one who leaned in first. Then he added, I’ve been wanting to do that all evening. :-)

I really hope he’s interested… I hate setting myself up for disapointement.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Retrospective

It appears I’ve been studying my brother’s medical history this semester. In one of my classes called Soins de l’adulte (which essentially deals with disease management), we’ve focused, among others, on diabetes, renal failure and heart failure; all things that affected my brother. During my last class earlier this week, I couldn’t help but think how much I would love to get my hands on my brother’s medical records. I understand so much more about his diseases now and would love to see what was documented in his files. I realise that will never happen now that he has passed away, but I think it would be wonderful to get a better understanding of what he went through. I mean this not only from a nursing perspective, but also from a personal perspective. I’ve come to realise that I truly didn’t understand him or just how much his illness affected his personal life.

Sometimes, during class, I go over scenes from my past and think about what I know now versus then. I can see now why certain actions where taken and just how many times I was lied to or when medical staff did things that weren’t appropriate. None of them were major, but I still find it so fascinated just how naive I was. I wonder how things might have been different had I been a nurse when my dad or brother were dying.

When my father was diagnosed with a second bout of cancer 15 years ago, I had no information whatsoever. No one ever told me the extent of his disease and up until the last few weeks, I didn’t even realize he was dying. I know this wasn’t the staff’s fault in any way, but rather my dad (and maybe my mom) simply omitting details to protect their children. After going through hundreds of oncology files during my work this summer, I know there is no way my father didn’t know he was dying. Whether my Mom knew or not is uncertain. When my father was transferred to palliative care, I was told it was because there was no other bed available in the hospital. I believed them. Now that I realized there is generally a waiting list to get into palliative care, I feel like such a fool. He didn’t go there because there weren’t any beds… he went there to die.

I wonder if my experiences will have an impact on my work as a nurse?

Anyway, classes are done for the semester and will soon be starting my finals. Twelve days to go and I’ll be done my first semester in nursing! Crazy how time flies.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's that time of year again

I’ve come to the conclusion that I date once a year… usually in November/December. In the last 5 years I’ve always had someone I was “seeing” during those months.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I’m dating someone. Actually, I’m not sure if we’re dating, but we’ve been out three times. Believe it or not, I actually don’t have any issues with this guy! Can you believe it? He doesn’t live with his parents, has a job, isn’t a virgin, has been in a long-term relationship in the past, isn’t a sex-crazed maniac and hasn’t been snipped. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll have to read my previous posts because I’ve dated guys with every one of those “issues”. Ugh.

We went to high school together, although we didn’t know each other at the time. We have taken eerily similar paths in life: both were in 8 year relationships that ended in 2004, both engaged, both returned to school for a career change in recent years, both bought our house in 2007 (two streets from each other), both haven’t had too many long term relationships since 2004.

So what’s the problem? You knew it was coming… didn’t you? Three dates and still no kiss. I’m not really sure he’s into me. For our second date we went bowling and after, came to my place for a drink. We ended up watching a movie I had rented. After he left without even a “is he going to kiss me” moment, I figure we wouldn’t see each other again. But then he suggested we go see a movie last night. Same thing last night. We went to his place after the movie and sat on his couch listening to music, talking and still nothing. There was the momentary knee-to-knee touch, which my friend Kevin says is about as meaningful as having someone step on your toe. So I’m really not sure what to make of it. Sure, I’ve had dates where we didn’t kiss, but there was always a sort of high schoolish tension going on… like both parties are wondering when to make their move. But with this guy, it’s like he’s my buddy I should be giving him a high five at the end of the night.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bah Humbug

I hate Christmas. I was reminded of these feelings while aimlessly wandering the mall today. The crowds of nasty, stressed-out shoppers made me nauseous. Ugh. Everybody ends up going mad trying to get everything done, you buy stuff for people who don't need it, just because it's what you do, and you'll inevitably gain a good 5 to 10 pounds.

The only good thing about the Holiday is that I get time off from school.

So. Umm. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pacha stole my sock

Pacha is obsessed with one of my socks. She has already stolen it three times this week. Here she is with her prized possession:

Friday, November 14, 2008

It Turns Out I Was Right!

Remember that whole practical exam fiasco where I had no idea what I did wrong? Well, after meeting with the course director and the nurse evaluating me, it turns out she had not evaluated me properly. My score went from a 65% to an 85% - quite the difference.

Essentially, what happened was, I contaminated an instrument without realising it at the beginning of the procedure and lost a point there. However, since I kept using the instrument, she kept deducting points every time I used it. Now, if this were the real world, then yes, using a contaminated instrument on a patient would be a BIG no-no, but since this was an exam, I did not make 10 errors, but only one.

Her reaction and meanness was still very much uncalled for, but that's another issue. I’m just happy to know that I didn’t make a ton of errors without realising it. It had seriously shaken my confidence. I mean, when you get blasted like that when you think you did quite well, you start to wonder if anything you are doing is right. But it’s all good now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How Could I Be Mad at a Face Like This?

While I was cleaning my house from top to bottom, Pacha was excitedly playing with her new bone. She kept roaming near the door with it so I knew she wanted to head outside to bury it. I reluctantly let her out in the rain… knowing she might come back muddy. I never imagined she would come back this dirty!!





In the picture I have her wrapped in a towel in my attempt to keep the mud contained to the bathtub! As you can see, she uses her nose to push the dirt around. Of course, this was when I was about 3/4 done my major house cleaning! Hah! Needless to say, the bathtub got cleaned twice.

Ugh

I had a horrible exam on Friday. It was a practical exam and I still don’t understand what I did wrong. The nurse who was evaluating started yelling at me saying she had never seen such incompetence. I was completely caught off guard because I had been practicing and didn’t even know I was doing anything wrong. :-( Every time I would ask her why such and such was wrong she would say it wasn’t done in the order on her sheet. When I answered, yes, I understand that isn’t the order on your sheet, but I would like to understand the justification behind the order… then she would get even more pissed. It was horrible and I was crying when I left. Turns out almost everybody cries when they get her.

What I find particularly upsetting is the way she berated me. There was no need for it. Nursing students are quitting left and right because of the stress, they don’t need any more reason to leave… especially with the nursing shortage

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Only 16 days left. Only 16 days left.

That’s what I keep saying about my accident-prone roommate. She says her ADD gets worse when she is stressed and I can attest to that. Of course, I can just let go of the weird/funny stuff like finding her teaching assignment in the fridge or discovering a pair of dirty socks on the food cabinet (ewwwww), but last night I was pissed.

It was around 11:45 pm and I was sleeping. I usually go to bed early, but last night I wanted to get a good night’s sleep because this morning I had an exam for which the passing grade was 90%. I was awoken by a huge bang! For a moment I panicked wondering what she had broken now. I resisted the temptation to go check... I figured, no matter what it was I wasn’t going to fix it tonight.

12:45 am: Knock on my door. Ugh. Ummm, Changa? I don’t know how I did it, but I was using your computer (at this point I’m thinking Oh God! Oh God!) and I broke the tray that holds the keyboard. (phew. It wasn’t actually the computer). I tell her it’s ok and go back to bed. I’m fuming. Not only did she wake me up on a very important night, she was also using my computer, again! Now, I have let her use my computer in the past, but I precisely said it was for emergencies. Checking facebook is not an emergency. How do I know she was using facebook? Because she never logs out, never closes the internet browser and never turns the computer off.

At this point I can’t sleep so I stomp downstairs to assess the damage. Keyboard tray AND keyboard on the floor, half drunken glass on milk on my desk, computer is still on (facebook, as predicted) and my notes for my exam (which I had placed on my chair for easy access are pilled up with some other notes. Roommate has gone to bed. Grrr. I immediately change the security access code. Just like with a kid, you have to remove privileges for bad behaviour. Now she will only be able to use my computer with my permission.

The super scary thing is... the next roommate could EASILY be 200 times worse. :-S

PS: I'm about 90% sure I got at least a 90% on my exam this morning. :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

My emotions got the better of me...

I always thought I was able to keep my emotions in check. Movies, TV Shows, books, music rarely makes me cry. Even when my brother passed away I barely shed a tear. Believe me, it’s not because it didn’t hurt! I’ve just always been the strong, serious one. Then today, almost out of nowhere, I get sideswiped by my emotions!

I was in class watching an educational video on head injuries and comas. I’ve seen many videos this year that dealt with a variety of difficult issues and I’ve always been fine. Most of them dealt with real people who witnessed real loss and I was ok… but today… ugh. There was a mother with her 7-month old baby who had a traumatic head injury in a car accident. The baby was essentially brain dead and the family decided to stop all forms of life support… but the little guy kept fighting for a whole 2 weeks. There was a scene where the mother was rocking the baby and telling him, “It’s ok, you can go now, I’ll always love you”… and I lost it. Even now as I reflect on it I’m crying. At the end of class I had to head to the washroom to try to compose myself before my next class.

This really took me by surprise. I still can't shake the image out of my head. I thought I would be ok working in pediatrics, but maybe I’ll have to revise that idea. :-(

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Political Correctness

One of my roommates (the teacher/virgin Mary) could be considered a great roommate. I love the fact that she is never around. It’s nice to have the house to myself more often than not. However, my fear with this particular roommate is that I might come home one day to find my house burnt to the ground or maybe a wall or two accidentally knocked down. You see, my roommate has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) so extreme I sometimes wonder how she functions. Some of you might remember the tomato on the floor incident (see link), which was very much her work. Earlier this month she destroyed my mixing bowl (the one that is to be used with my food processor). She was never willing to admit just HOW the mishap happened, just that it was a very stupid mistake. I believe it involved popcorn and it left my bowl looking like this:



Last week I came home to discover a steak knife with mustard on it in the middle of the living room floor. Actually, Pacha is the one who discovered it! I was not impressed to find my dog licking a very sharp knife! Ugh. This morning, I tried to leave the house, but couldn’t open my front door. I have no idea what she did to it, but unless you put your entire weight on it and push really hard, you can't get out. I still don’t know how someone is going to get back in. *sigh* Last year she tore the door off the hinge so I guess it was just a matter of time before she completely killed it. I don’t even know where to begin to fix it.

So here’s my question: is it politically correct to tell someone with ADD to focus? Let me put it this way, if I were really depressed (having been diagnosed with chronic depression) and someone would tell me to just “snap out of it” or “just be happy”, I would be royally pissed because sometimes it is out of my control. Sometimes I want to scream: “Good Lord Woman just pay attention!!!!” I have brought up many things she has done and she feels horrible about it, but it doesn’t change her behaviour. What else can I do?

Anyway, I think she is moving out at the end of November. I say I think because she is supposed to get married on November 22... but doesn’t have enough money to start planning the wedding until the end of October. What the ?? Given that she is supper religious, we aren’t talking about a little trip to city hall, here. I have no idea how the most disorganized person in the world is going to put together a wedding in 22 days. I haven’t advertised her room yet; because I get the feeling it’s just not going to happen. I guess we’ll see.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Step. By. Step.

I just had to share these hilarious mini-videos of Pacha!

As I've mentioned before, she's afraid of stairs. She has come along way though and now zooms up and down short, wide stairs. She also isn't big enough to jump up on the couch, although she can jump down. She tries to jump up all the time by giving herself a running start but she never quite makes it.

So last weekend my sister saw these funny little "doggy steps" while we were in the States and decided to purchase them for Pacha as a gift from her boys. So far she has gone up a few times on her own, even though it's taken a LOT of coaxing! Here are two little videos of her attempts. The first one was sooooo funny, but my memory ran out so I didn't get the end. The second one should wrap it up a little better. Notice my attempts to help her out.





And just for the fun of it: sleepy dog picture

Dropping like flies

We are midway through the semester and almost 25% of my class has dropped out! We started out with almost 90 second-year students and we are supposedly down to 70-something. Some of them have completely abandoned the field, while others have merely spread out their class load over 5 years instead of 4. Honestly, I don’t blame them. I can’t imagine doing this undergrad as a 19 year-old. It’s quite the workload and very demanding. I was talking to some of the “kids” I study with and they are already burnt out. Most of them haven’t gone out all semester. I haven’t gone out either, but I’m 32 and have lots of going out years under my belt! I find it sad that there isn’t more support for second-year students. You really only skim the surface of nursing in your first year and the second year can be quite a shock for many of them! I fear more are going to drop out. :-(

The nursing shortage is scary, therefore we need as many graduates as possible. I wish there was something I could do to encourage them. I know I want to be here. I know what I want out of life so my decision to stay is an easy one... I can't say it would be the same if I were 19.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Coffee first. Haircut Second.

There should be a Surgeon General’s Warning posted at the hairdresser’s door:

Getting your haircut before your morning coffee can be harmful to your hair and lead fits of swearing.

As you can guess, I got my haircut this morning. Since I was running late I didn’t have time for coffee and sat sleepily in the chair. I get my haircut at the University Salon because it’s cheap… however, I don’t, always get the same hairdresser. The request was a simple one: just a trim, but please accentuate the angle going from the back to the front. It’s essentially the cut I currently have, but I wanted slightly shorter in back. Think Katie Holmes last years.

As I flipped through a magazine, I could barely stay awake. Damn you coffee addiction! I wasn’t paying much attention because it was just supposed to be a trim! I looked up to see huge bits of hair falling to the floor. What the? She had trimmed it shorter in the back, alright... or should I say shaved. Ugh.

My hair before the haircut was almost shoulder length and now the shortest part is an inch... the longest part? Maybe 3 inches. Frack. Frack. Frack! I was so pissed off at myself for not paying attention. Now I can’t tie my hair back when I’m working in the hospital. Grrrr.

Two years ago I went to a hairdresser and had a similar mishap only she cut the front part super short. It’s taken me this long to even it out... now I’ve gone bald in the back.

Don’t even get me started on the bangs! I’m not 5 years old and therefore should not have bangs that go from one ear to the other.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mid-Terms: 5 down, 2 to go

I’m almost done with my mid-terms… although some of them are 1/3 terms I guess. I’ve done five so far and still have 2 left. I’ve received my score on three of them; Lab: B (I was a little disappointed but still very good), Intro to nursing: A (super easy!), Therapeutic Communication: another A and Biology: C+ (I was actually really happy with this one given that it’s a class that I’ve really been neglecting and not keeping up with my readings). Yesterday I had an exam in Principles of Nursing (I’m thinking A or B). I still have the two most difficult exams to do: Adult Health which requires us to assess, identify, analyse and identify the steps needed to care for several diseases and/or health issues and Health Impairment (roughly translated). The second one is tough because is mostly philosophy-based and quite vague.

I’m loving it so far! I mean; I’m REALLY loving it! It’s tough and requires a ton of work, but it really is awesome. I feel like I’ve found my place.

Well, back to studying!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thank God for ID tags!

I have three big exams early next week so I’ve been studying non-stop. Pacha tends to sit on the couch with me when I study. In the evening we go for a walk, but during the day I’ll just let her out a few times to go play outside a while. I have a fenced-in yard so I don’t tie her. When she gets bored, cold, tired, etc. she barks and I let her in. She gets cold pretty quickly so if I don’t hear her barking within a 15 minutes I go check on her. Sometimes she’s just sitting on the patio watching over the neighbourhood, other times she’s walking around with her bone looking for a new hiding place or at the fence staring down Blackout the evil neighbourhood cat.

Today I was absorbed in my studies so I don’t know if she had been out there more than 15 minutes but when I went to check she was nowhere to be found. It’s happened before, but she is usually just in an area I can’t quite see or she somehow got through the fence and is sitting on the other side trying to figure out how to get back in. I thought I had blocked all the holes in the fence, but I guess not!

I ran around the house desperately looking for her. She was nowhere! I ran inside, grabbed my phone and some shoes and started to walk down the street. My heart was racing a mile a minute and I thought I was going to cry. Why hadn’t I checked sooner?! I was 4 houses from my house and was about to call someone; anyone, to come help me look for her when my phone rang. It was my vet! Pacha has a rabies ID tag with my vet’s phone number and her ID number. The vet was calling to let me know someone had found her.

Turns out she was at the house right behind mind. She had somehow gotten through the fence to the other side and was pacing back and forth trying to get back in when the neighbour saw her and picked her up. She had her wrapped up in a blanket because she was shivering (probably more from stress, than anything).

I was so happy to hear she hadn’t actually run away! My stomach is still doing flip-flops over the situation! I consider myself a really calm person, but I sure wasn’t calm when I thought I had lost her. Gah! I can’t imagine how emotional and crazed I’ll be when I have kids!

Now I need a new tag that says: Hi, my name is Pacha please call my Mommy before she has a heart attack at 123-4567.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today, My Dog is a Real Dog

I am so proud of Pacha! She actually did a dog-like thing. I gave her a bone (I think it was a cow hip or something like that). Anyway, she was so excited and gnawed on it most of the day. Later on she went outside and brought her bone with her. When I went outside a little later on I was shocked when she showed me she had buried it! Ok, she actually shoved it under a tree and put a few leaves over it, but it was very dog like.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Finally. Pics!

Finally. Here are some pictures of my most recent projects (laminate floor and headboard).

The old floor. This is actually the floor in the hallway because I forgot a before shot of my room. It was painted soft wood. Eventually I'll do the rest of the house.


The new floor! I hadn't planned on installing laminate, but my sister had extra and gave it to me so i figured why not?

To create the headboard I took an old wooden door, cut it to size, framed it with 2 x 4 and painted it. Then i attached it to the wall. Here are the results:


The door looked like this before the construction:


Close-up. It's too bad you can't see much.


I'll be hangning some B&W photos I've taken, but for now I just placed them above the headboard.


I also made the bedskirt and all the cushions as well as the night table cover which you can see in an earlier picture






Finally, I took an old wicker laundry hamper I had since I was 14, fixed it up and repainted it to match. The bottom had fallen out so I "sewed" it back on with twine.

Friday, September 12, 2008

... $1,319 later

That’s how much I’ve spent in books and school material so far this semester! Yikes! It’s pretty much because I have to buy the big 1st year books and the even bigger 2nd year books at the same time.

I’ve been back to school for two weeks now and it’s crazy busy! Therefore, it’s going to be another point form post for now. Hopefully, once I get into the groove, I’ll be able to post more frequently.

- As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking 7 classes. 5 classes is pretty much the norm; 6 classes is considered a heavy semester. For 7 classes you need special permission! It’s intense and doesn’t leave me much time for anything but reading and homework. There is A LOT of reading and prep work to do! I mean, I have $1,300 worth of reading! Hah!

- My classes are all very interesting with the exception of biology. The ironic thing is, biology would normally be my favourite class, but now I’ve been introduced to better things. :-)

- I’ll be starting my hospital clinicals in just two weeks. Things progress quickly in this program. I’ll be in the hospital 2 days a week, every two weeks. In the beginning it was quite overwhelmed. It seemed like I had just decided to study nursing and would already have my first client before the end of the month! EEEK! I’m getting used to the idea, though. There is no doubt that I will know by the end of the semester if I like this career path or not.

- I had read this summer that the average age for a first year student in nursing was 32. That was obviously a US statistic because I’m definitely the oldest one there! There is one more girl who is an LPN and now studying to be a BN/RN and she looks close to my age. Other then that, everybody seems pretty young. Even some of my profs are younger!

- I bought a stethoscope this week. Now I really feel like a nursing student. I sat on the couch and listened to my heartbeat for 15 minutes. Hah! Then I listened to Pacha’s heart. I already know that any nurse out there will be frowning on my listening to my dog’s heartbeat. Yeah; I’m pretty sure it’s a no-no. Her heartbeat was all whack! It was completely irregular. I checked online thinking it was a dog thing, but apparently dogs should have a rhythmic heartbeat somewhat like ours. Hmmm... I’m going to have to check that again.

- I'm back to work at the restaurant and am really happy I'm working one day a week. It's nice to have the cash and do something other than study. It's also nice to only have one day, though!

- I’m done my headboard and finished installing laminate flooring in my room, but don’t have any pictures yet. Soon – I promise! I really need to clean my room first.

- I have new pictures of Pacha, though!

This is her "Rub Mah Bell-eh" pose


When you stop rubbing her belly she does the wiggle dance which means, hey! Don't stop rubbing my belly!



"I go on couch now?"

Earlier this week my nephew came over to cut my lawn and he brought Gabi with him. Gabi and Pacha go nuts when they are together. They ran around the yard while Alex cut the lawn. After a while they came inside for a drink of water and I discovered two alien-pawed dogs!





Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Quickie!

I haven’t been a great blogger lately so here’s a quick update:

- I’m on vacation this week – yay!!

- I’m working on a few projects such as building a headboard out of an old door and installing laminate flooring in my bedroom. The headboard is coming along nicely and I will be starting on the floor soon. My sister gave me her left over flooring; what a sweetie she is!

- It’s Pacha’s birthday today! She is 2 years old. :-)

- After 14 long months on the market my sister finally sold her house last week and moved yesterday. Their new house should be ready in a few months. I’ve been visiting the lot regularly and it looks awesome!

- My Mom also sold her house last month and is moving tomorrow. She bought a brand new condo and will be moving in next month. I’m so excited for both my mom and my sister.

- I accepted Pravus as my friend on facebook with limited access to my profile. This morning I saw she posted a memorial for my brother complete with pictures of his final days. I feel so bad… she always wants expose the worst pictures of him. I’m sure my brother would prefer not having pictures of himself in a hospital gown for the whole world to see. *sigh* she also doesnt seem to understand the concept of caps commas periods general punctuation ugh

- I start school next Tuesday and I am so excited! I have to buy a stethoscope, which makes me ridiculously happy.

- I’m done working at the hospital and am returning to work at the restaurant this weekend.

- I promise pictures of my projects and new pics of Pacha in my next post!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Evil on Facebook

I can’t believe this has happened! Pravus has asked to be my friend on facebook. Gah! I don’t know what to do. She’s the type of person that would totally hold a grudge if I wasn’t her friend, but I also DON’T want Pravus to know any personal details of my life! Granted I don’t share much on facebook, but even have her see a recent picture of Pacha makes me nauseous.

Newer readers might not be acquainted with Pravus. If you search my blog you might eventually make sense of who she is. She is essentially someone I don’t like very much who is somewhat related to me. I am no longer full of hatred and loathing whenever I see her, but I can’t say I like her either.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In my bed? But I trusted you!

Pacha, Pacha, Pacha! Last night she peed in my bed! I couldn’t believe it. And here I thought we were doing so good. We had 3 days in a row without any incidents and then yesterday was just an overall bad day. When I got home she had peed twice in her “room”. Then my roommate told me she had let her out while she was home and she had peed on the landing in front of the stairs. That evening I brought her for a long walk and figured she would be all peed out. When I went to bed I brought her with me as usual. I always place her on my bed while I go get ready in the washroom so she doesn’t wonder into one of roommates’ room. When I got back I was shocked to see the big pee stain on my sheets! Luckily the sheets made it to the washer before it had time to reach the mattress. Finally, in the middle of the night I got up to go pee and figured I would bring her with me… not trusting her alone in my bed and she peed on the washroom floor. This time she didn’t even try hiding from me. Ugh.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Dog – She’s no Lab!

I’ve had Pacha for a month now and we are still working through some issues. Namely; house training. The move to her new house has been good, but the poor girl has forgotten how to pee outside.

We spent a fairly horrendous few weeks of poopapalouza (where she would panic in her crate and pee/poop while in it, then stomp or roll around for hours). She had more baths in the last month then she normally has in a year! Last week we started a training class which has been helpful in identifying her particular needs. The trainer felt she was suffering from separation anxiety and suggested I place her in a small closed-in area instead of her crate. Now she spends her days in the mud room at the back of my house, which appears to be helping. She’s still having accidents, but at least she’s not panicking all day long. Poor baby. :-( The trainer also reassured me that it was completely normal for a dog to have house training issues whenever they change to a new environment.

Pacha cracks me up to no end! I call her a dumb blonde because sometimes she appears completely clueless. The first training session was done without the dogs and the trainer used a young lab pup to show us the commands we would be working on. The technique used is based on positive reinforcement. No yelling, no pushing, no pulling – you just reward the dog every time he/she does the appropriate action. Anyway, at the orientation session, the lab puppy quickly caught on that, when he sat he would get a treat. It seemed so easy when the trainer did it. I’ve been working on “lie down” with Pacha for the last few days and she still doesn’t get it. Each session we’ve spent 30 to 40 minutes starring at each other waiting for her to lie down. When she finally does (usually out of boredom) I reward her with a yummy treat, but still she doesn’t associate the lying down with the treat. Hah! I can’t help but laugh at her.

She appears to have a fear of garbage bags and bicycles. If she sees a garbage bag on the side of the road she’ll go around to the other side of me so I am between her and the evil garbage. Last week during garbage pick-up day there where bags on either side of the sidewalk which meant she would have to walk between both bags. She wouldn’t do it. She placed both front paws firmly on the ground and wouldn’t budge. I finally ended up carrying over the bags. What a goofball.

Then there was the time I was at my sister’s place and Pacha was sniffing around checking out the surroundings. She sniffed right into a corner and stood there for a good minute – I think it took her that long to realise she couldn’t move forward anymore.

This morning she was super thirsty and drank her entire water bowl in one sitting. When she was done we headed out for our morning walk. At one point I could hear a strange noise... gloo-gloo-gloo... I didn’t know what it was. I heard it again... gloo-gloo-gloo. That’s when I realised it was all the water Pacha had drank swishing around in her tummy! Oh man – I love her so much!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Four Days Off and I Can’t Move

The weekend started out great! Friday night I had my family over for a little campfire in my backyard fire pit. My nephews and niece had a blast and so did the adults.

Saturday I decided I would bring Pacha to the park. I had everything ready to go, but as I picked up Pacha my back gave out. I don’t know what I did, but I figured it would pass. Off to the park we went… with me swearing all the way. My back wasn’t getting any better; it was getting worse. When I got to the park there was an event going on and the closest place I could park would have been almost a km away. It just wasn’t going to happen. Since my Mom lives close by I decided I would head to her place to see if she has any pain killers. There was so much traffic it took me 30 minutes to get there (normally it would be 5 minutes). By the time I got there I had trouble getting out of the car.



I ended up going to the clinic and the doctor prescribed me some anti-inflammatory/pain killers. Ugh. Today I can more at least, but I won’t be doing all the yard work I had planned on doing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Saw the Witchdoctor...

... and he told me what to do.

At my Mother’s insistence I went to see a pharmacist who specializes in homeopathic medicine. He is well known locally and she was hoping he could help me sleep better and give me something to energize me. He ended up telling I was very healthy and has excellent coping skills. He still recommended some stuff so I am now taking the following pill poppers:
- Vitamin D for preventative measures
- Vitamin B Complex for energy
- Iodine to reduce eye puffiness (I didn’t even know I had eye puffiness)
- Cordyceps Sinensis for more energy
- Magnesium Glynicate to help me sleep

I’ve seen many para-medical professionals who claim they have the cure for my energy woes, but none have yet to prove it. We’ll see how this one fairs.

My meeting was actually more productive than just the vitamin burst. When he asked me what I was studying, I told him about the nursing versus radiology situation. Turns out his first specialization was in nuclear medicine. That’s when he added; you must love math and physics, huh? I laughed and explained that the math and the physics was actually the issue with radiology. He said math and physics were a big part of the field and therefore reconfirmed my decision that nursing is the right direction for me.

In other “medical” news, Pacha went to see the vet last night and received a clean bill of health! She also got her vaccines, flea/heartworm medicine and her dog license. Now she’s all set for a while. She was a brave little girl and took the shots like a trooper.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

So far so good...

Yesterday I left Pacha alone for an hour out of her crate and she did great! No destruction and no little puppy poo surprises! Today I did the same thing for two hours and she was still awesome! Wheeee! I’m so proud of my little girl. Tomorrow we try for 3 hours.

Here a recent picture I like to call puppy yawn.

Introducing: Pacha

I found a dog! Her name is Pacha (pronounced Pasha but spelled in French). She'll be 2 years old on August 27. She has the sweetest disposition and must be the calmest dog I have ever seen! I drove to Halifax on Canada Day to meet her and ended up taking her right away.



Ironically, she is originally from Stellarton! Her former owners lived in Truro until recently.

She’s slowly adjusting to the new place and seems to recognize that I’m the one who feeds her and takes her for walks and therefore greets me with much tail-wagging.

Monday, June 30, 2008

You’re Just Not the One

I met with Molly on Saturday. She’s the Bichon Frisee with the proper do. Although she was really hyper, she was also very sweet and cute. When I asked about her routine... i.e. how often was she walked, the girl looked at me with a puzzled look and responded, "Oh, I don’t walk her". This would explain the super hyperness.

Since she was already spayed and came with all her "toys", she was only slightly more than I wanted to pay. I debated about it, did some calculations and looked at my options. In theory, she was only about $150 more than a dog from the SPCA.

In the end, I asked myself the following question: "When I saw her, was I absolutely in love with her?" And the answer was no. Therefore I decided not to take her. A dog is a long-term commitment lasting longer than many marriages and I really don’t want to get a dog just because the price is right.

I’m following up on another lead in Halifax. This time it’s for a 2 year old female shih tzu. I’ll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It’s All About The Do

I’m going to see a dog today and am really excited. This girl had contacted me through kijiji earlier in the week about her bichon frisé. She is an 8-month old female who is up to date on her needles and has been fixed (big bonus). I didn’t know all that much about bichon’s so I did a little search and found out they are dogs with a very playful and sweet temperament. Even though they had wonderful qualities, I wasn’t sure I was a “bichon” kinda girl. They seemed a little too frou-frou fro me. But then she sent me a picture:



Gah! Look at that face! She is adorable! That’s when I realized it was all about the way she was groomed. What I didn’t like was the cheesy afro-look some bichons have:





I mean the poor pups look like they walked out of a 1970’s disco movie! Seriously, that’s bordering on abuse.

So I’m off to see this nicely style pup this afternoon. I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Log-off; it’s a Simple Concept

I don’t understand why people don’t take the time to log-off after using a public computer. Almost everyday, I go check my emails during my break at the hospital. I can’t access personal emails while at work and since I have nothing to do during breaks; I use the public computers to do a quick check. Almost every time I go to yahoo or facebook, the last person who used the computer is still logged in. Don’t they know that I can see ALL their personal stuff!

Perhaps I’m just ubber cautious about my personal stuff, but I find it mind boggling!

My roommate does the same thing. She’ll use my computer while I’m away and not log off her facebook account. I click on facebook to see I have 274 notifications and 82 messages. For half a second I go wah? But then I realise it’s not even my account. I don’t think my roommate knows how to use facebook... I mean, she doesn’t even realise she has almost 100 messages!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Light Summer Read

I picked up a nice book to read over the summer months: Human Anatomy and Physiology. Since it's been 15 years since I did this class and have the follow-up class in the Fall I figured I'd brush up on the subject. I was sure I had kept my original course manual, but can't seem to find it, so I picked up a copy at the University Library. The book is almost 1,500 pages and weighs 9 pounds (yes I'm a nerd... I weighed it).

I started reading last night and am surprised at how much I remember! Biology was my favourite subject and lots of it just stuck. It's amazing how much information the brain retains when you're actually interested in the subject matter. The comparison between the math I remember and the biology I remember is astonishing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pupster

For the past few weeks I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect dog. I’ve wanted a dog for a long time now but I thought I would put it off until I graduate. Well, I’ve decided I’m tired of putting my life on hold! I can’t seem to find a boyfriend, I can’t have kids right now – I should at least be able to have a furry friend!

I’ve talked to two of my three roommates and they are fine with the idea. The only reason I haven’t talked to the third one is because I haven’t seen her (she’s the one I refer too as the ghost).

I’ve been actively searching kijiji, pet finder, classifieds and local shelters. I had found one potential pup but the owner wanted 300$ for an adult mixed breed that is not spayed (which is an additional 200$ - 350$). I think that’s a bit ridiculous. I find it amazing that so many people can get away with charging 250$ to $700 for mixed breed dogs! Plus, so may of them are not spayed or neutered… I think that’s just plain irresponsible if you’re not a breeder.

So my search continues. I saw a cutie-pie at the SPCA on Monday but he wasn’t available for adoption yet. When I went back last night my little guy was gone. He must just have been a lost puppy and his owner claimed him. Oh well. The search continues.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kitchen Surprise

This is what I found in my kitchen when I came home tonight:

Yes. That is a tomato on the floor and a boot in front of my fridge. Confused? Don’t worry, I’m also going “what the fuck?”

One can only assume there was a struggle between the tomato and the boot owner. The tomato clearly won, causing the boot owner to lose her boot in the fight.

I’ve left it there purely for entertainment purposes. :-)

I’ve decided to begin a new blog segment called From The What The ? File. I’m hoping to have more pictures to post soon. I really regret not taking a picture of the bra, thong and bible I found on my kitchen table one day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What happened to my dance?

Two minutes ago I was doing a happy dance... so why am I tearing up at my desk?

I emailed my sister to tell her the great news and called my Mom. Both were thrilled! I asked my sister if she wanted to meet for dinner to celebrate but she reminded me that she had to leave town for work. No biggie. I was about to call my Mom when I remembered she already had plans for dinner.

So here’s where the tears come in… I realised there was no one else I could celebrate with. How incredibly sad that because my sister has a life, my only back-up was my Mom?! That’s seriously depressing. :-(

I think I’m neurotic. For the last 2 years I’ve been either:
a) working full-time, training for a marathon and raising money for diabetes
b) working full-time, teaching learn to run clinics and training for a half-marathon
c) working full-time and working part-time
d) studying full-time and working part-time
or
e) working full-time and studying part-time.

Now that I’ve had “nothing to do” for a whole 2 days, I’ve realised I have no friends and am completely bored. I don’t know what is more depressing; the fact that I don’t have anyone I can share my joy with or the fact that I can’t let myself relax for than 48 hours.

So now I either have to learn how to relax or go on the hunt for a new activity/friend/hobby/volunteer opportunity.

YAY!

1 – I finished my calculus class on Monday

2 – I have 11 weeks of blissful study-free time

3 – I never ever have to take another math class for the rest of my life (unless I decide to go back to radiology)

4 – I got an A!!!!

I realise it took me 3 tries to do the stupid class, but I never expected an A! EEEK! I am so excited!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

If looks could kill

I just asked one of my roommates if she could wipe up the floor after she’s done taking her shower. I thought her stare was going to cast an evil spell on me. Yeesh! You’d think I was asking for her first born!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stupid. Stupid. Math.

Have I mentioned just how much I hate my math class? I was supposed to be done with math tomorrow. I spent the weekend studying and am more than ready to get the final exam over and done with! Last night, my prof decided to extend the class until next Monday because so many people were confused. Ugh. Of course, I’m the only one who protested. He offered to have me take the exam this week, but it had to be during the day. Umm... hello? Some of us work for a living! So now I have another 6 days of lingering thoughts of calculus.

I realise it’s not that much of a big deal but I just want it over with.

In other news, I don’t have to take an additional French class this summer. I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not in previous posts, but there was some confusion as to whether I had all my French credits or not. If I didn’t, I had to do another French class before the fall semester (meaning; starting next week). Thankfully it got all cleared up yesterday.

As of next Tuesday I will no longer have any studying to do for an entire 11 weeks!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stressed Much?

I woke up this morning at 6 am. All week I’ve been so exhausted and looking forward to the weekend so I could sleep in. I laid there for a bit complaining to myself that I should be sleeping. I finally got fed up and went downstairs for breakfast. When I got to the kitchen I saw a frying pan in the sink. It had been there for two days. Over the course of the last few weeks I have frequently washed dishes that were left in the sink because I couldn’t stand seeing them there anymore. The frying pan was staring at me… taunting me. I was so tempted to pick up and chuck it out the window! Ugh.

A little later, one of my roommates came in the kitchen and left a bowl on the counter instead of putting it in the dishwasher. I swear, the bowl was there a total of 30 seconds and I thought I was going to loose it. I got up and slammed the dirty dish in the dishwasher. Honestly, it’s quite possible she set it down for a minute and was coming back, but I didn’t even give her a chance.

While making lunch I realized another of my roommates had left a pair of shoes in the doorway instead of placing them on the shelves in the porch. I picked up the shoes and seriously contemplated throwing them outside. Instead I put them away.

A few minutes ago, I was fed up by yet another mullet bearing guy sending me a message on lavalife that I started rewriting my profile to essentially say: looser need not apply. That’s when it hit me – maybe I’m feeling the stress of the week? I mean, things did end up pretty well, but it has been quite the week! No one can be this upset over a frying pan?

I think I need to go for a run tonight!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Are my standards just too high?

I don’t get it. I seriously don’t get why men can’t live on their own. Why is it so hard to find a guy who doesn’t live in his parent’s basement? I mean, I get that sometimes circumstances arise and maybe you have to move back home but rounding out your 30s (38 to be precise) and never having lived with anyone other than Mommy and Daddy is just so wrong on so many levels.

I’m a freakin’ student and I can make it work. Is it so wrong that I want to meet a guy who wants more for himself then having Mommy make his lunch?

What to do next...

What has transpired in last 48 hours has been a bit of a whirlwind. But isn’t that how my life always is; much drama, contemplation and finally a solution?

The following is version of my thought process over the last few days. Much of my decision making was helped by discussing the matter (virtually) with some great friends.

It goes a little like this:

June 5 - 10 am
I’m making a sort of cyber pros and cons list in the hopes that it will bring me clarity. I realise most people won’t read my entire ramblings, but it’s a way to help me see things clearly and if by some chance someone gets to the end of my message and has some suggestions, then all the better.

Someone asked me if I was as passionate about nursing as I was about radiology. I’m not sure I can answer that question. Radiology came about while evaluating what I liked/wanted and finding the best fit. In all honesty, the thought of becoming a nurse didn’t even cross my mind. I realise how silly that is now; but I guess I wasn’t sure if the level of stress was too much for me. I’ve had a burnout before, but I don’t know if my burnout was caused by the stress of the job or if the stress was actually a result of my hatred for the work I was doing.

So what am I passionate about?
- health care
- anatomy and physiology, the human condition, the body as a whole
- helping people
- having a job to which I feel connected
- feeling like my work means I’m making a contribution to society
- having a career that offers me lots of opportunities while remaining within the same organisation. I tend to get bored every couple of years and need a change/new challenge
- knowing exactly what my role is – that doesn’t mean I don’t like the unknown or spontaneity. It means I like knowing my role within the unknown. Science is generally very structured and covered in rules and facts. I function well in a world filled with rules.
- Above all, a career that makes me want to get up in the morning

What am I not passionate about?
- math and physics
- doing a job that is completely subjective (like, say, an artist)
- never seeing any results in my work

Before going the radiology route I looked at many options such as Nutrition, Respiratory Therapy and Physiotherapy. I wanted to study in health care all while staying in Moncton . Like I said earlier, the thought of studying nursing never even occurred to me. However, I started thinking of this option in January/February of this year. I was desperately struggling with math and physics and kept trying to tell myself that it was only one year. At one point I met a girl who was pre-med (same classes as I had) for a year and a half and had recently changed into nursing. We discussed the completely different approaches to health care offered in both fields. I found it fascinating how different the classes were and how more patient centered they were. I let that stew in the back of my brain for a few months.

Eventually, I checked out the class requirements and was surprised by how much more interesting they were! At that point I thought it might be an option if I didn’t get into radiology.

Fast forward to about a month ago... I was feeling completely discouraged by my chances of getting into the program. My GPA was less than stellar and as much as I knew I was a great candidate, I just didn’t think it was enough. Of course, as my previous post states, it wasn’t. Even before I got the news I started researching my options. I sent emails to every nurse I could think of, I talked to people at the hospital and started reading everything I could find at the Health Science Library at work.

When I got the official letter I took a long hard look at my options:

Option 1 – School part-time and work full-time
- This would require getting a part-time job at the hospital comes September. Given that I’m already a casual employee here, I figure my chances are pretty good as I get dibbs on any new posting.
- Take two classes per semester (Fall, Winter and Spring) to redo Physics I and II, Chemistry II, English and 1 elective which I’d need for my 4th year. I might potentially need to do Math II as well, but that depends on how I do this summer.
- I could do French again but it’s really a hit and miss. They are all writing classes and one grammatical error costs you 6 to 8 points each. If you have even 1 bad essay your grade plummets.

Option 2 – School full-time and work part-time
- Keep working at Cora’s and essentially redo my first year in the hopes of getting my GPA closer to 3.5. If I do option 1 and bring my Ds and Cs to Bs it would still only bring my GPA to a 3-ish.
- I’m still unsure what to do about those stupid French classes
- Why is this even an option? What if 3.0 still isn’t high enough? Then what?

Option 3 – Nursing full-time and work part-time- This option would resemble option 2, but in a different field. I have 11 of the 14 requirements for my first year. In a perfect world I would like to complete it in 3 years but I have no idea if this is even possible. I fairly certain my emotions, pocket-book and sanity cannot handle another 4 years of school.

Why nursing?
I guess I never realised just how vast the field could be. Nurses are going to hate me for this, but I always thought of nurses as the ones who hold the surgical tools for the surgeon (“Nurse, scalpel please”) and the ones who empty the bedpans. Obviously, I had that all wrong. I’ve recently come to realise that nurses do it all... becoming a nurse could open up a world of opportunity and would also give me more to fall back on. With nursing I can work with patients in dozens of fields, but I can also work in research or education.

Also, my not so great performances in math and physics have been a real eye-opener. Radiology is physics-based... what if I struggle with all my classes? What if it’s not the particular area of health care for me?

Finally, what if there is a reason I didn’t get into the program? My mother always says there is a reason for everything, but I tend to look for the reasoning. What if it’s a sign that I’m heading in the wrong direction?

Why does switching make me hesitate?
Remember when Britney Spears proclaimed to the World she was a virgin and then months later she wasn’t acting very virginally? That’s how I’m feeling. For the last year I’ve been “fighting” to follow my passion… now all of a sudden my passion has changed? I can hear the people crying out: puuuuullllease! Make up your freakin’ mind already.

What if going back to school was a way to avoid reality? What if I actually don’t know what the hell I’m doing… just knew I didn’t want to be in marketing?

What if I make the switch and realise this still isn’t for me?

I’ve always said I have no regrets in life because regretting means I don’t like the path that has led me to where I am. However, what if I don’t have regrets in life because it means admitting failure? Maybe I made the wrong choice and just can’t admit it.

----------
June 5 – 1 pm
Some of the feedback I received from my initial message:

“Changa this is all very well thought out. You need to drop those thoughts on hesitation though, and go with the gut and heart. Fuck off to everyone that rolls their eyes at you or makes comments. Just because you decided Marketing wasn't "it" for you, doesn't mean that every decision regarding your career and future from that point on is going to be spot on.”

“I am going straight up here because you're the best and you deserve the honesty.

I think your comment about hating physics and radiology being physics-driven would push that option straight out the door for me. Do I think this is a negative? Not one flipping bit. You spent the year figuring out what specific areas of the healthcare field might be the best fit for you. If this one isn't, that's hardly the end of the world. It just positions you to understand your own skill set better.

The nursing one is standing out strongly to me. I agree that the 3.0 GPA will very likely not be enough if they're asking for 3.5, so spending another year re-doing what you've already done is unlikely to give you the opportunity to move forward. Honestly? I'd close that door.

You can do it, D, and don't spend a single second worrying that people will question or judge or whatever - you're doing the right thing and following your instincts, understanding yourself. These are all positives.”

“A very wise person once told me (recently, ha) that if you pursue something and find out it's not your passion, there's no shame in that. The only shame is in not trying to find it at all. Don't worry about what the head-shakers say, the people who really matter will want you to find what makes you happy.”


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June 5 – 5 pm
I just got back from a meeting with the director of the school of nursing and I've been accepted into the second year of the program. Just like that. It would take me three years to complete - which is the same amount of time it would take me to do radiology anyway. I'd have to take a heavier course-load for the fall semester, but come January I would essentially be caught up. If I want to, all I need to do is transfer and I'm done.

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June 5 – 6:30 pm
After a lengthy discussion with my good friend M, I realise I have absolutely nothing to loose by transferring to nursing. If at the end of my first semester I hate it (not that I think I will) then I can still try to upgrade my physics, math and chemistry classes in January in time to re-apply to the radiology program come spring.

At this point I'd be selling myself short if I didn't at least try. So it looks like I'm going to transfer!!

June 6 12:20 pm
Which brings us to today – As of this afternoon I’ll officially be a nursing student! I still have a few kinks to work out and I’m also meeting with a bunch of people to further discuss my options. I want to make sure this is the right decision for me so I’m meeting with a nurse mentor (essentially a career counsellor for nurses) next week and an actual career counsellor at the end of the month.

The more I think of my options, the more excited I get! I could work in the OR (and do more than hold the scalpel for the surgeon); I could work as a Diabetes Educator; I could work in Labour & Delivery; I could work in interventional radiology; I could teach; I could promote health care; I could be an advocate for people living with depression; I could work in paediatrics; I could work in women’s health! I am so psyched!

Side note: I'm reading a book on nursing as a career and apparently the average age of a nursing student in 2004 was 32. Well looky here - I'm exactly 32 right now! :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I didn't get in....

I realise most of my readers might know this already, but I thought I'd still post about it.

It's official - I didn't get accepted into the radiology program. :-( They stated it was because of my GPA and encourage me to redo some classes. UGH.

I was preparing myself for this, but there was still a glimmer of hope. Of course, I'm crying even though I told myself I wouldn't. *sigh*

I'm ok. I just wanted to share the news (even bad news) because you all have been so supportive.

I haven't given up... it just means another year of school... another year of roommates... another year of being in the poorhouse. UGH.


I'm debating on a few options:

1 - Try to get in at the hospital part-time for September and take part-time classes as well. I still have an English class I haven't done for my 4th year as well as one elective. I'll also redo physics and maybe a chemistry class.

2 - Go back full-time and redo any class below a B (while working part-time at Cora's)

3 - Quit and go into nursing.

The last one is something I've been mulling over since I started working at the hospital but I feel like I'd be crazy to switch even though it opens a world of opportunity. I think I'm just panicking over not getting in.

The way I see it, the universe wouldn't be so cruel as to not let me in the program AND have me remain single for another year, right? So I guess the universe owes me one!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Is The Universe Just Messing With Me?

I’ve had my profile up on lavalife for a month or two now. My usual routine is to have it up for a few days, get discouraged by the lack of potential mates and delete it. A few months ago I decided I would make more of an effort. I met a few dudes and many duds. It’s been over a year since I met a guy online who seemed actually interesting (that didn’t turn out to great either).

Earlier this week I started talking with a guy who seemed perfect. His profile said that he had never been married but was looking to settle down, he loves being active and loves kids. The more I talked to him, the more I liked him. He’s French, from a big family, has a job he loves, has an 8 year old son and he and his ex share custody and get along great, he’s 5’11 and completely my type, he’s funny and intelligent… what could possibly be wrong with him?

Last night we talked about meeting for a drink later on this week and I was psyched. While talking about his son I asked if he thought he wanted more kids. He told me it wasn’t an option as he had had a vasectomy a few years back.
Me: …..pause……oh.
Him: Had I been younger I might have had more, but as I got older I knew I didn’t want to be an old father. I’m happy with my decision.
Me: …..pause……oh.

This has never happened to me. I told him I wasn’t sure what to do now since I really wanted kids. What do we do now? Just stop talking? Not meet for a drink? He told me he understood completely and said he would like to keep chatting as friends. *sigh* I knew he was too good to be true.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I Gotta Get at Least One, Right?

I’ve been thinking about getting into the program (no, I haven’t heard anything yet). I figure the universe wouldn’t be so cruel as to not let me into the program AND have me remain single for yet another year! Things need to balance out, right? So I figure if I don’t get in the program it at least means I’ll find the love of my life this year. The universe owns me at least that much.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Ex Makes an Appearance

My Mother went to the hairdresser yesterday and while she was having her hair shampooed she heard a familiar voice saying, “Are you going to cut it all off? Die it red?” She looked up to see my ex being his usual joking self. My ex sees to the same hairdresser as my mother. Yes, you heard that right – they have same stylist (can you see why at one point I questioned whether he might be gay?)

Anyway, he seem very jovial and back to his hyper self. I was happy to hear this because the other times my Mom has run into him he appeared somewhat morose. I would much rather he be happy in life as it alleviates the guilt… well not too happy. :-P My Mom said he was looking rather bum-ish which is unusual as he is very concerned about his looks. He had long hair and a big beard. Of course, he made sure to point out to the hairdresser not to cut too much off since his girlfriend likes it long. Obviously, mentioning the girlfriend was very much for my Mom’s benefit, knowing full well she would report back to me.

I didn’t know he had a new girlfriend. I’m happy he has found someone else, but I’m always fearful that he will get married and/or have kids before me. I know it’s not a competition, but I still would feel like I had lost the fictional game that is being played in my head.

He asked about me and seemed genuinely happy that I was doing well. My mother was ready to tell him I had the most wonderful boyfriend should he ask, but the subject didn’t come up. My Mom cracks me up!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I always imagined it would last longer.

Last Thursday I had my interview… the interview I had been waiting and preparing for since September – the interview that will determine if I get into the radiology program or not.

It went really well, I couldn’t have answered any question better, but I left feeling like I didn’t really wow them. I’ve had job interviews were, the moment I left I knew they were impressed. I just didn’t get that “Oh yeah, they loved me feeling”. I guess you could say I was perhaps over prepared. The entire interview lasted less than 40 minutes and I had material for a good 2 hours of talking! Since I was so prepared, I was also hoping for a tougher interview that would leave other applicants squirming.

They said the decisions would be made soon and they would be sending out letters next week. I figure I should know by the first week of June. At this point, my gut is telling me I didn’t get in. I’m not being negative, it’s just the feeling I have. My gut has been wrong before so let’s hope it is wrong this time as well.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Smart Guy in Class

For those of you who haven’t followed my calculus saga, it went a little like this:
Calculus version 1 – I had know idea what was going on and abandoned the class about two thirds of the way through
Calculus version 2 – Things were much clearer and I definitely understood most of the concepts but still failed by a few points.
Calculus version 3 – So far classes are so boringly simple since most of the information I’ve already done twice. Ugh.

Last semester (version 2), I had a couple guys in my class who knew all the answers. They knew how to do the work before the prof even explained the concept! They amazed me and I thought they must be very intelligent. Fast forward to calculus version 3 – this time, I’m the one with all the answers and most classes seem to be a individual discussion between the professor and I as no one else participates. It finally hit me; the guys in my last class weren’t smart! They were just taking the class for the third time!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TMI: Too. Much. Information.

I have a very chatty neighbour. I’ve been here 9 months and I’ve only discovered this valuable piece of information recently. My neighbour George (or Georgie) is an elderly man who, for the longest time, looked like he never talked to anyone. I would see him on his porch wrapped up in a blanket and couldn’t even get a wave from him. I didn’t mind, though, because I’m not a chatty person myself.

A few weeks ago I set out to clean the yard and saw Georgie on the other side of the fence doing the same. He was standing there staring at me and I made the mistake of say Hi, How are you? Really. Bad. Idea. His first answer was: “they might have to amputate my toe”. Having never talked to the man, I had no idea what he was going on about. He went on to tell me he had been off work since last August because they had to amputate his small toe. He has diabetes and therefore poor circulation. Now, they might have to amputate another toe. Then the once-sided conversation went on and on for an hour! I stood there nodding my head, praying for it to be over with soon. Among other things he told me:
- He works at the hospital cleaning floors but is currently on disability
- He wants to retire but needs to know if he could still make $1400 a month once retired.
- His insurance will cost him $350 once he retires
- He has an appointment at the optometrist on Thursday, a doctor’s appointment Monday morning, an appointment at the bank on Friday.
- He walked to the store that morning to buy six 2 litre bottles of diet Pepsi. He has diet Pepsi with every meal. He has to have diet because he’s diabetic.
- He’s had surgeries in the past.
- He’s circumcised
- He doesn’t drive and his wife’s mother drives him and his wife everywhere
- My patio was built about 8 years ago.
- My kitchen is really cold
- The fence on the other side of my property is mine
- The neighbourhood cat is called blackout

And on and on it went! I tried to leave several times saying, well, I better get back to work, but the talking just kept on going. I finally managed to break myself away. I figured it was because he was tired of standing.

Georgie has become a serious liability! I have to scan outside before heading out for fear I might get caught in another uncomfortable conversation. I’ve been caught twice since the initial meeting and just can’t afford another run-in with him! Gah! I have yard work to do!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Interview!

I just got the letter I have been waiting for: you are invited to an interview Thursday May 22 at 8:30 am. Wheeeeee!

Now I get the chance to wow them so much that they will forget how dumb I am. :-) It’s such a relief. I realise it’s still a long shot, but at least it means I’m still in the game.

I called my mother to tell her the good news and this was our conversation:

Me: Mom! I got my interview! It’s on May 22.

Mom: That’s the same day as my colonoscopy

Me: urr... ok

Mom: Well, they wanted me to go in on May 12 but I told them it was the day after mother’s day and I couldn’t possibly do that. I mean, I know my kids likely won’t do anything for me, but still, it’s mother’s day. That’s why they scheduled me for the 22nd.

Me: ummm... sure

Mom: Well, I better get going I have things to do

*sigh* I can tell she’s really excited.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I calculate; it’s what I do

I’ve been calculating and recalculating my GPA again. As it currently stands, my GPA is 2.46 for all my required first year classes (excluding math). I need a 2.5 so I’m going to round up and say I’m good. With all the other classes I’ve taken (which are credited to my fourth year), my GPA is 2.8. I guess that’s not too bad.

I’ve decided to redo my math classes this summer and hope for the best. If I don’t get in, it just means I’ll have that much less to take in September. I can do 2 classes per semester and hopefully work part-time at the hospital. If I pretend I pass both math classes with flying colours this summer, I can redo physics and chemistry (my lowest scores), English and one optional credit and my first and fourth years will be done.

The interviews for the program are being held from May 20 to 23. I haven’t received my invitation yet, but I’m hoping it was sent out before they got a look at my GPA! Maybe then I’ll have a chance to wow them at the interview.

I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, April 25, 2008

So… now what?

My final marks have been trickling in and the news isn’t good. My expectations versus reality looked a little like this:

French hoping for a B+ got a C
Physics hoping for a B got a C
Physics lab hoping for a B+ or A got a B

I’m still waiting on others. Last night I checked to see if any new marks were posted and was floored by what I saw… Math: F. Yeah F, for FUUUUUUCK! This is my freaking second attempt at the class. I was actually getting it this time, but the prof’s exams are notoriously difficult. I only needed a 45% on the finale to pass so I never really expected to fail. I emailed the prof and he’ll be in his office this afternoon so I can go check out my final.

I guess this means goodbye to getting into the program. Well, at least for another year anyway. That means an extra year of sorry salaries… an extra year of stressing over money… an extra year of roommates. UGH.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night realizing that it might still be possible to fix this. There’s a spring class for Calculus 1 starting May 5 and then Calculus 2 (which I was planning on taking) starts 2 days after the first one ends. It would mean another 12 weeks of school while working full-time. I’m trying to decide if this is really what I should do. I tired out as it is… will this make it even worse? I would end up with about a month (August) with only having to work full-time. I have one more week off before school/work would start and I’ll also get a week off in July because I’ll be switching departments at the hospital. Is that enough?

It also comes with a huge risk. I won’t know until at least June if I get into the program or not. I’ve heard of exceptions being made in special cases and I might be a special case given that I’m a mature student. It’ll cost me $1,000+ for the 2 classes this summer and if I do them and don’t get in, then what will I do?

This sucks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The downfall of Barbecue season…

I love to barbecue! I think my favourite thing about it is the lack of dishes to do after the meal! However, I"ve discovered a slight problem with barbecuing: having your roommate forget to turn off the burner and you throwing in a match… thinking you will throw in the match and THEN turn on the burner… only to realize seconds later that you’ve burnt off all your forearm hair!

It’s all stubbly and feels like I shaved my forearm! Bah!

Happy barbecue season everyone!! :-)