Prosaic Paradise

Campaign for the Mundane

So school started…

Filed under School by at 4:31 pm on Jun 04 2010

Oh has school ever started. To say that the accelerated program is not a walk in the park is an understatement. It’s definitely more like a walk over hot coals. While people are throwing hot coals at you from secret unseen alcoves.

They are very strict in nursing school – presumably because in the real world, if you are late for your shift and you cause another nurse to have to stay late on their shift, you deserve to be shot. And fired. In whatever order works at the time. Because of this it feels like the course leaders giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other – “We want you to succeed, we are here to help you” vs “ONE MINUTE LATE IS DEMERITS AND SIX DEMERITS YOU ARE OUT OF THE PROGRAM”. But if you stop and talk to a clinical professor for a minute, they will tell you that you can do it, and you’ll be OK, and that 30 seconds of reassurance – well, they mean the world to you when you started day three feeling like you were going to throw up from anxiety.

One of the things I knew would happen with the accelerated program is that I am no longer the “smart girl” in the class. The whole class is smart people. I knew this, and yet, could not quite predict how it would feel. A little like drowning in information I guess.

I mean, all spring I thought, “when things get hard I will just think about my miserable desk job that I hated, and it will renew my energy”. Well I am surprised at how quickly I entertained the idea that maybe that miserable desk job wasn’t so bad. But nothing worthwhile is easy, and I have to remember – and sometimes this is hard – that helping people, caring for people, is what will feed me. Not sure I believe in a soul but feeds my soul, let’s say. Actually, I wish I was religious, because prayer and discussions of a higher being pulling me through hard times would feel pretty good right now.

So if you see me, you can probably treat me like I am Going Through Something, because I think I am. I know I am not the only one who feels this way (already shared “can’t wait to see my therapist” stories with a classmate). I hope our class develops a healthy “never leave a man student nurse behind” mindset.

Some songs that have lifted me from very bad mood swings this week, the start of a Nursing School Playlist if you will:

Come Sail Away by Styx – because singing “CAAAAARRY ON!!” at top volume helps.

Fire and Rain by James Taylor – for possibly the first time in my life, I need the kind of soothing that James Taylor offers.

Shambala by Three Dog Night – because I want to believe that “everyone is helpful, everyone is so kind” right now, because people being mean would shatter the fragile mental health I am working on.

Misfit Love by Queens of the Stone Age – because Josh Homme doesn’t fuck around, and that’s a quality I would like to have. Hearing his voice is like hearing pure ambition to be who the fuck you want to be in voice form. To me anyways.

23 Responses to “So school started…”

  1. 1 CSueon 04 Jun 2010 at 4:41 pm


    I cannot IMAGINE going back to school at my advanced age. It just boggles the mind. More power to you!


    Kim Reply:

    Thanks so much. I actually wish I could have a hug party where people just stopped by and hugged me. Selfish? Yes. But I am a stress puppy@!


  2. 2 Cindyon 04 Jun 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Congrats on making it through the first week, one down!

    I can’t even imagine, but I’m excited for you and it’s good to hear that the professors are supportive. I may have written about this before but I really wanted to be an architect and, literally, day 1 of Architecture 101, the professor pulled me and the only other girl, er woman, in the class aside and told us that women do not succeed in the field and so he would focus more on helping the men in the class. Being the fragile 18 year old I was, who already HATED school, this was the excuse/permission I needed to drop out and give up my goals. I would never tolerate that now, but back then I didn’t know I should, or even could, prove him wrong. So. Yeh. I’m so happy that you have support at school and at home, because that will make the difference. Oh. And support online too. You can do it! 😉


    Kim Reply:

    Thank you so much. I am very intimidated by the nurses leading us, though they are clearly compassionate people and want us to succeed.

    I did not know about your architecture experience. But as unbelievable as it is, I went to VA Tech and I know that we had, probably contemporaneous with your experience, a professor or two who gave the exact same speech to female engineering students. Despicable.

    The support from my online friends here and my friends at home mean everything.



  3. 3 Jenon 04 Jun 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Damn skippy you’re going through something, and it’s a Big Thing too. It’s a big deal. I can’t imagine keeping up with the guidance but then the DEMERITS. Like, whoa, demerits.

    Bring on the nursing school playlists, I say!

    I hope you do keep getting time to blog about it a little, too. In the years to come it will really be great to look back at your thoughts along the path.

    Your time is limited, but mine – not so much! So some night, especially if you’re up this way already anyway, if you wanna swing by and talk about goin’ through stuff, just holler. =)


    Kim Reply:

    They don’t really call them demerits, but they might as well.

    If nothing else I promise I have been making paper journal entries to keep track of the mood swings and feelings.

    I don’t quite know if I feel like I will have time, but let me know the time you usually get home and if I feel like I can swing it (or desperately need it) it I’ll call ya!


  4. 4 Mariaon 04 Jun 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I’m sure it will be worth it when it’s all done!


    Kim Reply:

    I know that rationally, yes. :) Oh, I am so emo!


  5. 5 Rachelon 04 Jun 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I cannot imagine doing an accelerated program. I didn’t even entertain the idea back when I thought I was going the route of nursing. I wish you the best during this next year plus.


    Kim Reply:

    Thank you so much. We’ll see if I don’t ratchet back to traditional, but I am trying to keep that thought at bay.


  6. 6 Meganon 04 Jun 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I’m with Jen – you are going through a Big Thing and I’ll bet it’s scary and exciting and SCARY all at the same time. I felt like that when I went for my TCRG (irish dance certification exam.) The examiners were gunning for me to fail and I have never felt so sick and nervous and full of self doubt as I did then. But just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll get there. It’s all about the momentum. Keep moving forward.

    You’re going to be an awesome nurse, by the way, and your patients are going to be very lucky people to have you to care for them.

    Waving my “Go Kim” pom-poms and doing a few split leaps in your honor.


    Kim Reply:

    Thank you times a thousand. I hope you are right about my patients being lucky people. :) I am trying very hard to envision tender little old ladies happy to be cared for.


  7. 7 Mad Shutterbugon 05 Jun 2010 at 5:37 am

    You’ll make it. And though it sounds cliche, since you know where I’m coming from on this, there is a reason it’s so hard now. Some things get easier as you gain the knowledge, skills, and practice. Some don’t. Knowing you can get through something hard, gets you through later, too.

    And yes, that nurse you’re going to relieve will appreciate your being on time. We know things happen that are unplanned, unavoidable. We also very much want to dump the chronically late. Since so much will be on a timeline in clinical practice, starting late… sux. Majorly. Srsly!


    Kim Reply:

    I told myself, in fact wrote myself a post it note to remind me:
    “I felt like becoming a nurse would make me a badass. Did I not remember that becoming a badass requires a Trial?” Worthwhile things are hard.

    I can still do it. Just have to conquer the anxiety.

    Thank you immensely for your comment.

    (And as someone who is chronically early, it is very hard for me to hear the intense speeches designed for people who are chronically late!)


  8. 8 kon 05 Jun 2010 at 9:30 am

    It *is* a big thing. And it’s going to be painful; my last several years in school were really all about confronting my own personal fears and shortcomings, and not so much about the material. In your case, the material alone is staggeringly weighty, and you’re still going to go through all of the self-confrontation. But– I know you can do it, all of it.

    And you’ll have a cohort of people all going through the same thing you are. That’s really important.

    Silly question- did you ever read the Cherry Ames nurse series?


    Kim Reply:

    You have hit the nail on the head. The material is weighty, and I am also personally confronting parts of me that have to be confronted to succeed. It’s a lot to do at once.

    I hope the cohort are as kind and supportive as they seem to be so far. By the end of the month we will be pretty close I think.

    I never did read those but I have heard of them. :)


  9. 9 Stimeyon 05 Jun 2010 at 10:02 am

    Hang in there! Starting something—anything—new is hard. I bet that once you get in your groove that things will go great!


    Kim Reply:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I know you are a hero every day so it means a lot. Have a great time in Camp Stimey this summer, I hope I have time to read a few snippets here and there!!


  10. 10 paleotheiston 07 Jun 2010 at 6:11 am

    Although you may not feel like the “smart girl” anymore, just remember that you had to be really friggin’ smart to get into the program in the first place. You aren’t just hanging out with the cream of the crop, you ARE the cream of the crop. They will all have to work just as hard as you do to succeed. You’ll find your groove and you’ll totally rock it!


  11. 11 Brion 08 Jun 2010 at 4:45 am

    Wow. How intense. And scary. I know you’ll do wonderfully…

    But this post scares me, you know why!


  12. 12 IsntSheLovleion 08 Jun 2010 at 6:38 am

    Demerits? Seriously? Sheesh.

    But look at it this way–week one is over, and though there are many more weeks to come, you won’t ever have to do THAT one ever again. :-)

    I won’t tell you it gets easier, but after awhile you do develop sort of a rhythm (I know I for one always feel like I’m running on autopilot…). Hang in there and good luck!


  13. 13 LiLuon 15 Jun 2010 at 3:24 pm

    “…because singing “CAAAAARRY ON!!” at top volume helps.”

    Yes, it does. It really, REALLY does.


  14. 14 Camlaon 18 Jun 2010 at 9:45 pm

    While working, I took statistics in summer school when I was getting my BSN and I still don’t know how I did it… It’s tough but you sound like you’re coping well and the reward will be well worth it. Nursing is a great profession with many different avenues one can pursue. I am a former oncology nurse, then OR nurse and now an RN in Healthcare IT (nursing informatics) helping develop our new EMR. Wishing you the best!


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