Friday, November 27, 2009

If heaven were a pie...

November is winding down, it pains me to type this because I wish fall would stick around a little longer and mostly because I have two large papers/projects to turn in by the first couple weeks of December. Ugh.
I really don't have much going on right now, being part time and all (c: As Joc likes to tell people when they ask how my new schedule is treating me, "She has more time to watch TV" oooo I want to kick her butt every time she says that! Back in GR now after a nice Turkey Day meal and short couple days in Cadillac. Michelle came up, Lucas was hanging out while Jules and David work on their house, and it was just the thing I needed to remind myself just how thankful I am for all life has dealt me, well us as a family. And now I'm sitting at the table, working on one of the aforementioned project/papers and wishing it were another day and I could put aside the papers and curl up with the dogs and read one of the many books burning a hole on my shelf and calling my name. Soon... so soon.
Listening to some music as I work. I opened up a playlist that hasn't seen the light of day in a while and many memories are pushing forward. I tie a lot of meaning to lyrics and songs, I find that many of them are very applicable to life lived. Makes me melancholy to absorb the words and think of old times. I have many "old country" songs on my list, some Jim Reeves, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, etc. My dad loved country, listened to it a lot. He cried the night Conway Twitty died, real tears. I remember that night, I don't recall if Brian had died yet or not, I think so, but it was on the radio that Conway had died and I remember my dad with tears in his eyes and on his cheeks. I had not seen many tears from him. I remember that every Saturday night we would watched some TV show in the living room and at the same time in the kitchen there was a 1800 in the USA show on the radio. People called in to request songs (think Delilah or KC Kasum) and many of the songs I associate with my youth were played. Every time you walked into the kitchen there was that show and some song playing or a sappy story being told. Sigh. We used to have Billy Rae Cyrus' first tape of his Achie Breakie Heart in the car and we'd play it loud as Jules and my dad and I drove around the lake. I probably know most of those words still if I were to put it on.
I imagine my friends and family remembering me with songs someday when this life is done with me. Sometimes, a song can really say everything you can't or don't know how to. A good song can stop you and make you hit repeat to listen again.
Christmas is around the corner, hard to believe another year is so close to the end and a new one is set to begin. What's in store for me?
Love to all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My teaching adventures

I am a part time employee officially. It feels.... lazy. Especially when people keep asking me, "So, how many days are you working now?" and I have to respond, "2".
I completed my three official teaching sessions. I had a really good time too! In case you are interested, and even if you aren't, let me recap... Three weeks ago (it's a once a week, 3 hour class) I started off with a 35 minute PowerPoint presentation, then about an hour of concept mapping. I was naive, I thought the students would really be into the concept mapping but it took a bit longer than I could plan for and I did more of the interaction than I thought I'd have to. It continues to boggle my mind that these kids don't know a lot about nursing, assessments or how to put it all together. (They are only sophomores, and this is their first semester of hands-on nursing.) Because of my lecture and mapping, we had limited lab time. As I re-capped the lecture with my preceptor, we decided the next week we would spend much more time in lab and we would get a bit more interactive with the students. That week, I devised a quiz-like assignment that put them all in the lab at the start of class and we used washable markers and they drew important landmarks on each other. I mulled over lecture and ultimately decided to omit it from the class, instead I created my PowerPoint and simply printed it out for them. It was comprehensive so they really just needed to review it. We spent about 2 and a half hours in the lab, discussing assessments and practicing. I had a good time and their feedback told me they felt that they had learned a lot. The third class was a decent close to my time at the front of the room. They had an exam, which was a majority of the material I had presented so I'm anxious to see what their grades were. I had only about an hour and a half to present an accurate picture of a neuro assessment. I did lecture for about 10 minutes, looking back, I should have surpassed it again for the extra time in lab. We then spent the remaining time completing a neuro exam, doing some role playing (to apply the knowledge in a hospital situation where much of these skills they are learning will be applied) and discussing any questions they had. I gave them an evaluation following each class period, to give me a picture of their learning in each class and a larger, more formal evaluation of my teaching following the last class. They were overwhelmingly good, a few tips for next time were appreciated. I think they enjoyed my teaching style, I had fun with the three hours each week. I was always enthusiastic and probably pretty entertaining (a couple even told me I was). Like I said, I'm anxious to see how their exams turned out, that is a pretty large piece of the evaluation for a teacher.
Now, I have two large projects to complete, each about 8-10 pages a piece. And I have some residual grading to do from my weeks of lecture. A few things I learned: a lot of prep time goes into a three hour lecture, the more talking I do the bigger my headache is at the end of class (I need to hydrate during I think), the longer you wait after posing a question the more likely a brave soul will step forward to answer your question, using "real life" examples holds their attention better, and asking their opinion helps.
That's been my life lately. It's all new and exciting to me. And! my preceptor whispered to me during the beginning of the exam that she thinks I should teach the class next year and she would "put in a good word for me"! I have some good ideas to improve class and a few modifications I would love to see happen so the students have much more time for putting it together and using their brains. Only about 6 months till I'm a graduate of MSU with my MSNeD. May 7th here I come!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November begins...

October ends quietly, November begins with a beautiful day.
Joc and I made the trip to Cadillac for Halloween to see Mr. Lucas head out as a cowboy for the big night. It was a typical Halloween night in Cadillac, so cold that you have to bundle up enough so no one can tell who/what you are. Thus the reason my sisters, brother and I were generally ghosts or witches (the hat could be worn and made the whole outfit!). I think Lucas had fun, he doesn't quite grasp the concept yet, so I figure next year he'll be wild and crazy into it and after the candy. This year, we did a large block loop then back to mom's house where us adults poured out his candy and proceeded to eat it. He didn't even notice and hardly likes candy! A perfect evening.
Back home today, Joc finished raking the leaves in the backyard, 10 bags total I believe! I got some reading done for class, then cleaned the house top to bottom. My fingers are prunney and my back sour from bending over. Apparently I should order my swifter in tall as well as my mop so I can stand upright when using them! Oy, who doesn't think of us tall people?!
Just a month and a half until class is finished for the break. I made the leap, put in my parttime notice. 2 more weeks as a fulltime RN then who knows? I have stopped fretting about it so much, I am just letting whatever happens, happen. When I am in my Spring semester, I'll send out some resumes, do some interviews and play it by ear. I have a pretty wide open future sitting in front of me, many options and many skills to put to use. The stress from school and the stress from my indecisions were giving me breakouts! Enough already!
Also, sending out my thoughts and prayers to the Janik family who has endured the loss of their son and brother, Tom. I am sorry, Teresa, that you and your family are among us who know the loss of a brother. You were blessed with Tom for 33 years, take each precious memory you have, write it down, keep it special. Speak of him often, remember him always and know that he is in a good place, with God. I pray that time heals your heart and you remember him always.