Halfway through first semester

It’s hard to believe. I said good-bye to my classmates that aren’t in my clinical group today. It will be nearly two weeks until I see them again. It’ll be lonely without them… seriously.

Last week was almost like a break. We ended up having our Tuesday evening class cancelled, we had our Wednesday class called off to give us time to work on the assignments due this week for that class (ha! I did them yesterday), then Friday clinical was cancelled due to the weather. I have to admit that I got damned bored. Four channels and nothing on. Apparently if you’re home during the day you’re either injured (and need a lawyer to get you what’s rightfully yours) or you’re a lazy bum with no job. Did you know that YOU can become a medical assistant in less than a year? Of course in reality you’ll probably get a job that earns a whopping $10/hr if you’re lucky and you’ll be trying to figure out how to pay off the ridiculously high tuition that these “career schools” charge, but they don’t tell you that. Instead they show a bunch of whiny, pissed-off chicks who complain about the fact that they’re STILL in college (yeah, a four year degree takes four years, imagine that) or that they’re stuck in a dead end job doing retail. They don’t happen to mention the fact that there’s not much upward mobility in medical assisting, either, (without going back to school) and if that really IS your career goal you can probably find a program at a community college that won’t cost you your first born. The advertising seems rather predatory if you ask me. Oh well, I guess that’s what I get for watching daytime TV.

Anyway, school is going well. After the curve on my pathophysiology/pharmacology test I got a 98. Woot! I also got my annotated bibliography back yesterday and ended up with a 96, which was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect on that. The first assignments for each class are always a little nerve-wracking. I’ve got three papers to work on over the break, one for the nursing theory class (no comment), one for our clinical inquiry, which luckily the annotated bibliography relates to, and one for pathophysiology/pharmacology.

So, reflections on the first half of the semester… it’s really not as bad as I feared, or as it seemed at first. I’m not sure if they just threw more at us during those first few weeks and the workload has lessened or whether we’ve learned to relax and that sometimes we just need to let the nonessential stuff slip. It’s a lot of work, to be sure, but completely do-able. In fact, I’m thinking of trying to find a part-time job. Of course I figure the stuff I can get is probably going to be of the $8/hr variety, which almost makes it not worth it by the time I factor in taxes and gas money, but a little cash is better than none, right? A sick part of me is tempted to get in contact with the old company and see if they’ve got anything temp or work-at-home or whatever. I’m pretty sure they’d at least pay okay.

My classmates seem to be gelling more as time goes on. Of course now we’re only all together two days a week when we’re on campus, but everyone seems to be getting more comfortable with one another. The clinical groups seem to bond a little more since we’ve shared experiences and have had to learn to trust one another more, but the increased comfort seems to spill over into the class as a whole. A couple people are even planning our first party for the end of this month.

I’m enjoying classes for the most part. There’s one that I absolutely can’t wait to be over, but the others are all pretty enjoyable. I’m definitely glad I’m doing this now (not earlier and not later) and that I’m pursuing it at this level. It’s definitely academized nursing in large part. But it’s fun to be back in the classroom and to be able to be unapologetically idealistic about our future career. I figure there’s plenty of time to become jaded once I’m actually getting paid.

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