Being loud and first week wrap-up

I came home one night this past weekend in a good mood to find cookies, dog treats, and a note outside my door. “Odd,” I thought. Then I read the note which, though “nice” was enough to shoot my good mood all to heck. Apparently my downstairs neighbors feel that there has been excessive noise coming from my unit for “over a year.” Funny, we went from two people to one person a year ago… and I started school which means my ass is parked most of the time I’m home. They did detail a complaint about the “dog” running around at 6 and 7am. I have a dog? What kind is it? Is it cute? I will admit that the kittens (NB: I’ve only owned kittens for six months) have a morning routine that involves laps around the house. But I have a hard time believing that two kittens can produce enough noise to wake them, particularly as up until a month or so ago I kept the kittens locked in the bathroom when I was asleep and I usually slept past 7 at least a few days a week. Heck, on breaks there are weeks on end where I am asleep past 7am. There are apparently also vibrations coming from my unit that have knocked things off their shelves. I find the idea of kittens waking them up more plausible than kittens (or me) creating enough force to knock things off their shelves. Perhaps it’s the washing machine? But then, it could be just about anyone’s washing machine, including theirs, creating the vibration. Anyway, initially I felt really remorseful after I read this note, thinking that perhaps I’ve been really rude. But the more I thought on it the more pissed off I got. I don’t wear shoes in the house, I haven’t used the stereo in probably 6 months, and I keep the TV down in an effort to be neighborly. I do have animals, but they meet the condo requirements. And yeah, they run around for a few minutes, but then they sleep for about the next 22 hours. And for a little bit of tit-for-tat… I have been woken up by their diesel truck idling for 15 minutes on end (may I note here that this is typically around 7:15 in the morning, meaning, being woken at 7, how is that an issue, shouldn’t you be up anyway?), I have been woken out of a sound sleep or not been able to go to sleep due to their nocturnal “activities”, my floor vibrates when they walk around, and there are explosion sounds (a video game?) regularly coming from their living room which also vibrates my floor. Oh, and during the summer there were also multiple occasions when I was trying to enjoy the good weather with the windows open and the cigarette smoke and smoke from their (I HOPE electric) grill came wafting in. I was annoyed, but I didn’t complain because these are things you just have to deal with. The punk kid who lived down the hall from me, HIS noise was excessive and I called the cops on him. Household noise, well, it’s just stuff you have to deal with. I am beginning to consider looking into townhouses after I finish school and can reassess my financial situation. Alternatively, I’m considering installing hardwood floors and taking to wearing stilettos regularly, adopting a newborn and co-sleeping with it, and taking up random primal screaming, just so they can get the full-on noisy experience. Oh, and I chucked the “gifts” that accompanied the note. I prefer my cookies without a side dish of guilt trip and the cats don’t really go for dog treats. Argh.

Anyway, school. I did three days at clinical last week and it went pretty well. I sat in a LOT of meetings, but I got to meet a lot of people and they all seem incredibly nice. On the first day I had been walking down the hall and we saw the Chief Nursing Officer coming the other way and she immediately brightened and said, “Is this our student? We’re so excited to have you here! Are you liking it? Your preceptor is a great lady! If there’s anything you need here is our office. You can come in for anything, cry, laugh, whatever, you just come on in.” The Chief Operating Officer encouraged me to stay at one of their employee forums and later in the week when we had a meeting that she was in, she made sure I was introduced. I went to a meeting with the infection control committee and my preceptor’s boss made sure to introduce me to the group first thing and the CNO sat next to me and kept leaning over to point things out to me. It’s nice to feel wanted 🙂 I’m wondering whether it’s coincidental that the friendliest places I’ve had clinicals at have been Catholic hospitals. I think I’ll be able to learn a lot and perhaps even contribute to my group. I’ve also been able to meet all the nurse managers of the various departments, so I’m thinking I might be able to sneak some hands-on clinical time in, as well as do some good networking.

Saturday we had our first lecture class. Being in class all day Saturday isn’t the most fun time in the world, but it’s only four Saturdays during the semester and at least the traffic and parking are easy! I think I’m really going to enjoy this class. It’s on health care systems & leadership and seems as though it’s going to cover a lot of the business/management side of nursing. Yes, you read that right, I am excited about a class in business/management. I am perhaps the only person in my class who feels this way, though I think we all agree that the professor is wonderful and dynamic. Some of my enjoyment may simply come from the fact that it’s bringing me back to a comfort zone of sorts… despite the fact that we’re discussing management and leadership within healthcare, I can relate a lot of the readings and exercises to things that I saw in the corporate world. It’s something I know. My clinical is also helping me to draw connections between business acumen and nursing knowledge and skills. Yipes… here I was trying to get away from corporate stuff and nursing seems to be leading me back to it, admittedly with a much better attitude. I’m actually kind of sad that we’ll only be meeting four times during the semester!

Yesterday we had the lectures for the other two courses we’re taking this semester. The morning one was for the course with the clinical component. I don’t think it will be too taxing, mostly blah blah, kumbaya-type stuff. I’m not a big fan of the hugs-and-sunshine stuff, but I can deal with it for 3 hrs every other week 😉 The other course is in epidemiology & decision analysis. No, I’m not quite sure what that means, either. Though it appears that we’re going to learn how to read statistical stuff, which, though not exactly stimulating, is something that I would like to relearn. I still have no idea how I managed to graduate from college with a math major seeing as I don’t remember a darned thing about it. I am not sure about how that class will work out quite yet, but I’m willing to give it a chance.

So, I was going into this semester with the worst attitude yet (please, just let is pass quickly!), but I think I may find myself enjoying it far more than I ever expected. Good stuff! The only downer is the lack of organization that still persists within the program. I try to keep in mind that our class is guinea pigs in a way. While the school has had the direct-entry program for a few years, we are the first class with the new curriculum and time-frame. But I still feel as though there must be a better way to ensure that there are appropriate placements for everyone prior to the start of the semester. Students were starting the semester with no idea where they would be, and some are still waiting for things to be settled and are being told that they may have to go into the summer (and pay $60/hr. to cover each clinical hour), which is beyond me. If students aren’t placed due to situations out of their control, why are they being made to pay through the nose? Oh well, we’ll see how everything pans out.

All in all, this loud girl is happy with the new semester!

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