Friday, May 06, 2011

The "Wrapping It Up" Friday Random Ten

I had one of my last tests of nursing school today-- one of three HESI's (standardized nursing tests) that I have to take to finish up. It was my Gerontology specialty exam. I had to get an 850 to get the full 2.5 percent of the grade it would add. I got a 1047.

Each contributes a small portion to my grades in one of my two classes. At this point, though, it doesn't matter-- no matter how well or poorly I do on the HESI's, I have enough points to pass. I'm going to graduate nursing school this coming Wednesday, the day I also turn 50. Hot damn.

The picture at the top is of my last clinical group-- my last of the program. As I said when I posted it on my Facebook page, "Yes, they are as fun as they look. And yes, I am as tired as I look." I had driven my daughter and her friend to the airport at 3:30 a.m. for their 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C., then run home, changed and run to my 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. clinical. This last one was phenomenal. My teacher, Mrs. Johnson (back, far left) was great and I was trusted to give meds, including hanging IV bags, without my instructor looking over my shoulder. My last patient, an 81 year old Polish lady who'd lost a leg in World War II as a child, was very sweet and on two dozen different medicines. As I gave her nearly 20 between her eight and nine o'clock meds, I realized that I was completely confident in it, despite the fact that she spoke almost no English.

The picture is, though, tinged with a little sadness for me. One of that group, Hannah, a very nice girl from the Ukraine, dropped out just a few days before. Her grade was right on the edge, and she wanted to drop before the grade would count on her GPA. The good news is that she plans on taking summer school and completing the program.

I'll have a post on that group soon. Remarkable group.

After the test, we all hung out and talked. I was happy to see my friend Bisrat, who I became friends with when we took Nursing 101 together. He passed the first year with me, but dropped out at the end of the first semester this year. Students who drop out are guaranteed a slot back in the next year, one of the many great things about the program. He was there to make arrangements for that. I double-checked that he had my cell phone number and reminded him that he was welcome to any of my books he needed.

I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Recently, I finished a book I'd wanted to read for a long time, Andrew Chaikin's "A Man On the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts." The Apollo program, landing human beings on the moon, inspired and awed me. Chaikin's book tells the personal odysseys of the dozen men who walked the moons surface, and the stories of those who served with them and who supported them. One story that really moved me was that of Al Bean. He had given up hope of going to the moon-- he'd been relegated to the Skylab program, a program that would not come to fruition until years later. Bean did not know that Apollo 12 commander Pete Conrad had been lobbying for him. Conrad and Command Module pilot trained for Apollo 12, the second mission to the moon, with C.C. Williams, a Marine pilot. In 1967, Williams was killed in an air crash, and Conrad lobbied NASA again-- this time successfully-- to bring Bean on board. Bean had been one of Conrad's students in flight school in 1960, and had impressed Conrad with the tenacity with which he approached problems, refusing to give up until the problem was solved.

While Dick Gordon circled the moon in the Command Module, Pete Conrad and Al Bean became the third and fourth people to walk the moon's surface. Later, Bean would remember that on the way home, he had a sense of accomplishment, but that a feeling of camaraderie and friendship with Conrad and Gordon-- friendships that lasted a lifetime-- was the strongest feeling.

These people whom I've accomplished this over the last few years-- sweated test results, overcome our fears to do things we never thought we were capable of, surviving personal, professional and financial crises together-- I know that I've bonded with them. I know that years after I start my nursing career, I'll still be friends with some, and always think fondly of all of them.

1. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go- Soft Cell
2. Ring Of Fire- Johnny Cash
3. Texas Pulka- Jon Wayne Texas Funeral
4. Rats In the Cellar- Aerosmith
5. Carol- Chuck Berry
6. Flying Sorcery- Al Stewart
7. Hey Nineteen- Steely Dan
8. Dance Hall Days- Wang Chung
9. Blltzkreig Bop- The Ramones
10. We're An American Band- Grand Funk Railroad

1. Can you believe this one is 30 years old?
2.I saw a "Johnny Cash: Live At San Quentin" t-shirt at Target yesterday. Just a reminder that I have a birthday and graduation coming up, and that I wear size "large."
3. From the funniest album that came out in the eighties.
4. Love me some old Aerosmith
5. Still wonder how Chuck Berry felt about "Back To The Future;" Chuck learns all his licks from a suburban white boy.
6. From the wonderful "Year of the Cat" album.
7. This song's really grown on me over the years. I was 19 when it was a hit.
8. When this was first a hit in the mid-eighties, I thought the line "we was cool on craze" was "we was cool on Christ."
9. This song was used in "Detroit Rock City," one of my favorite movies.
10. A big hunk 'o seventies cheese-- and I like it.


TA said...

What a great present to give yourself...welcome to the 50's!!!

SkylersDad said...

That's a great picture of the nursing students, I would trust any of them. Although that guy in the front left looks a little hinky to me...


Mnmom said...

Graduating on your 50th? How perfect is that??? Congrats.

Erik Donald France said...

Hey man, congratulations and then some for reaching back and making it all happen!

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dmarks said...

1. There's a modern rap or hip-hop song that samples some of Tainted Love.

2. Ever hear the Wall of Voodoo version of "Ring of Fire"?