I've spent the day alternating between running the last errands from the move and studying from a couple books to help with the NCLEX-- the National Council Licensure Examination. If I pass this test, I will be an RN. I take it at 2 PM tomorrow, July 13.
Over the last month, my classmates who are my Facebook friends have reported that they passed. It's been very cool. My class was fascinating-- amazingly diverse in every regard-- ethnicity, background, age. We studied together, sweated test results, discussed which teachers to take. And in the end, it comes down to passing this test.
It was funny studying-- I stayed focused on content, but each question brought back memories of the people, the times.
Tonight, as I was approaching my limit in studying, my old friend Tim U. from when I got my first college degree, in Political Science, popped up on my Facebook chat. (okay, probably should have had that off). Tim and I were the Ebony and Ivory of Eastern Illinois University's Political Science department around 1984. He was a delegate for Reagan at the Republican National Convention in 1984. I have an FBI file for lefty activities from that very same time. Tim was a good ol' boy from a small town not far from my college town. I was from Chicago. Yet, we became great friends. We talked about politics. We had huge disagreements, but always kept it friendly. It was hard not to like Tim, and hard to be angry at him, even when you wholly disagreed with him.
We got back in touch through Facebook about a year ago. He's just about my age (I'm 50), but has just married for the first time, to a woman from China, and became a father for the first time just about a year ago. I love when he posts pictures of his new family; he clearly loves his wife and is clearly loving fatherhood. Thinking about it all, I had to laugh. For all the differences in our background, we've got a lot in common. Both of us got our degrees in Political Science together at Eastern so many years ago, but ended up in fields completely different-- video production in his case, and nursing in mine. We both parented kids who are half Asian. And both of us completely enjoy fatherhood.
So much work has gone into this, and it comes down to this test tomorrow. I've been pretty good about it-- my classmates have told me that in the end, given the rigor of our program, the test ended up feeling almost easy. Still, having Tim pop up on chat on Facebook was reassuring, as well as his promise to send a prayer my way. I'm an atheist, but I like to hedge my bets. It's funny how life is. If someone told me 25 years ago that I'd be enjoying being a dad to two kids, getting ready to take the nursing exam and still friends with Tim, I'd have laughed in their face. But here it is. Sometimes you have to go where the winds carry you.