As of today, I have about four weeks left to nursing school. I had my first clinical day of my last rotation, Gerontology, yesterday.
I had taken the bus to the hospital in the morning, but my friend Alina offered me a ride home-- she lives a few blocks up the road from me. She also gave two others in the group, Shirley and Shazia, a ride to an el stop. As the four of us rode toward home, I thought about the work I've put into this, and about the friendships I've made. I've been reading Andrew Chaikin's book "A Man On The Moon," the book the mini-series "From The Earth To The Moon" is based on, in the minute amount of spare time I have. In it, the voyage of Apollo 12, which carried the third and fourth men to walk on the moon, Pete Conrad and Al Bean, to the moon. Bean later talked about how the marvel at the journey ended up secondary to the friendships he made with Conrad and the Command Module Pilot Dick Gordon. You form a bond with the people who shared the journey with you. My life came together for two years with these three friends, who hail from three countries, Romania, Pakistan and Ghana and three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa, to sweat this training, this degree, which will define the rest of our lives. It was cool, after an exhausting twelve hour clinical day, to have this moment of joy, camraderie and bliss.
It's hard to believe after these last two ball-busting years that I'm nearly done with school. I was telling one of my friends at school that though this degree is my lowest one-- it's an associate's degree, and I also have two bachelor's degrees and a master's-- that it was the hardest one. And ironically it's also the most marketable one.
There are a lot of changes coming up. My wife and I have talked of moving later in the year. For a while it looked like we might have to move; my landlord was considering moving his mother-in-law into this apartment. We had thought about moving as it were because we've simply outgrown the apartment. We now basically have four adults living here. It looks like the changes may either take longer or not happen at all. I'm hoping for some time. I need to finish school, get a job and then get cash together for a move.
Also, some work changes. The owners of the restaurant had been trying to sell for some time, and finally did a few weeks ago. The transition to the new owners is supposed to happen about the time I graduate. The new owners seem like stand-up guys and are claiming they won't change anything, but in 31 years of working in the restaurant business off and on, I've never once seen new managers or owners come in without changing a bunch of stuff. I'd hoped that the ownership wouldn't change until I was done with school. I guess I got my wish.
One last thing. I got a message yesterday, through the list-serve I set up nearly five years ago when my friend Mark was murdered, that the first Mark Evans Memorial Art Scholarship was awarded at Eastern Illinois University recently, to a senior art student from downstate. It made me happy. It's been nearly five years, but I still miss the hell out of Mark. It's nice to know that every year, a person like him, an art student at Eastern Illinois University, will be helped in his name. In honor of that, I lit a candle in the ashtray that's in the picture at the top of the post. He made it at Eastern, and it was always near his art table-- he used it when he smoked his pot. It was something I associated with him, and when his parents told us to take anything that had sentimental value to us, I took it. If you notice, it's cracked-- there's a funny story, involving me, of course, for why it's cracked. I'll tell it another time.
1. Cry, Baby Cry- The Beatles
2. Saturday Night In The City of the Dead- Ultravox
3. All I'm Thinkin' About- Bruce Springsteen
4. Run, Run Rudolph- Chuck Berry
5. Louie, Louie- The Kingsmen
6. Cherry Bomb- The Runaways
7. If The Kids Are United- Sham 69
8. All The Voices- INXS
9. Isis- Bob Dylan
10. Monday, Monday- The Mamas and the Papas
1. A gem from the great White Album.
2. From the "No Thanks" set of seventies punk and new wave.
3. Love this little number.
4. Great Christmas song. Keith Richards did a nice cover.
5. I was just reading about this song on Cracked Magazine online. I'll devote a post to it.
6. Got my daughter the Runaways movie for Christmas. Thumbs up all around.
7. More seventies punk.
8. From "The Swing," an album I bought and just about wore out the summer of '84.
9. On the live "Rolling Thunder Revue" version of this song on the "Biograph" collection, Dylan introduces this song with "This is a song about marriage." One of my favorites.
10. I grew up listening to my dad's copy of the Mamas and the Papas "best-of" album. Still love them.