Saturday, April 29, 2017

Post #4 - A Sense of Humor

Cherries: 8 Pits: 5

Pit 1: Let me start by saying I only have one day until the deadline for the Intent to Enroll fee at the university where I hope to attend nursing school. However, I can’t pay the fee until I have been provisionally accepted as a student. I haven’t been accepted, but I haven’t been denied either, so here stands the dilemma that began my day.

Cherry 1: I woke up extra early this morning because 30 minutes before my morning class I needed to sign up for my next semester classes. That sounds easy except my normal schedule places me in my car, driving to my class, 30 minutes before my class starts. So I decided, today I would get to school early and sign up for my next semester. 
I got dressed early, I ate breakfast early, and read an uplifting story in the newspaper.

Pit 2: When I got outside and started my car, the engine coolant light came on. I think I stared at it for a few moments hoping it would just go off. When the light didn’t go out, I turned off my car and called my dad.

Cherry 2: Thankfully, my car has a tendency toward a “coolant deficiency” so there was a bottle of coolant in the garage. My dad knew right where it was, and I have done this before. In a matter of minutes I had the coolant filled and was ready to go. 

So much for getting to school early to sign up for next semester! I ended up leaving 5 minutes later than my normal time.

I turned on my radio for uplifting music as I drove to school.

Cherry 3: I made it to school in great time watching my speedometer carefully to be sure I didn’t speed. At school I put up my parking permit and headed to class. Even with the delay I was able to sign up for next semester and get the classes I wanted! Yay!

Cherry 4: After signing up for next semester I immediately went to pay. Surprisingly the total for the semester seemed really low. It was only about 10% of what I expected it to be . . . that's 10% of what I thought it should be!!! I thought I had somehow made a mistake, but another student helped me look at it and confirmed the good news. As it turns out the California Community Colleges Board of Governors offers a fee waiver for qualifying students. I had applied for the waiver “accidentally” when I filled out my FAFSA. 
You know, the FAFSA that I only filled out because the university required it? Yeah, that one! 😃
I wonder how much money I could have saved if I had filled out a FAFSA every year I was at the community college. Hmmm, no . . . I don’t need to go digging for pits.

I paid the amazingly small amount for next semester just before the professor came in to start our class.

Pit 3/Cherry 5: Right after class, I started talking to a fellow student who applied to the same university as me, but also hasn’t heard anything about acceptance or denial. She even told me about another friend of hers who is experiencing the same problem. 
I found this encouraging because as the deadline got closer I had really started to worry that I was the only person who hadn’t heard yet. Then I wondered if the issue was only students applying for the nursing program. 
In this case, I am applying for Nursing, my classmate is doing Kinesiology, and her friend is doing Communications. That means all different types of applications are delayed.
Our professor heard us talking and strongly suggested we drive over to the university and talk to Admissions about the status of our applications and the fee we need to pay.
This decided it for me and I offered to give my classmate a ride over and back so we could go together.

Pit 4: As I left the community college campus, headed for the university, I got turned around and wasn’t sure how to get where we were going.

Cherry 6: We had to stop at a long red light that gave my classmate time to look up the directions on her smartphone!

Pit 5: We bought a 2-hour parking pass and parked in the university parking lot. As I was getting out of the car, I placed the sunshades in my front window and made sure to tuck the parking pass against the window so it could be seen from the outside. 
Just as I closed the door, the pass slipped over sideways and ended up between the front windshield vents and the windshield itself. In this location, the corner of the pass was visible, but there was no way to read it or confirm if it was still valid.
I tried to catch the edge with my fingernail, but my finger couldn’t even reach it. My classmate suggested a pencil, but it didn’t have a small enough end. Then I tried a car key, but it was too short and not flexible.

Cherry 7: Laughing the whole time, my classmate and I tried one thing followed by another. 
Then my classmate suggested a paper clip and pulled one out of her bag. It was a nice large one! 
The unbend paper clip had a small end, was the perfect length, and with a little sliding back and forth, we got the parking pass out. 😃 It’s a good thing we bought a 2-hour pass!

I decided to leave my sunshade down and put the parking pass flat on the dashboard. I didn’t want a repeat of the fun we had just finished. 😉

Cherry 8: Admissions wasn’t busy and we each quickly received help from the staff. We were both told that our applications were still in the finalizing stages. We were also encouraged to hear that we can pay our university fee just as soon as we have been accepted even if that date is after the deadline we were previously given. 
In other words, we still need to check every single day. 
At least it was a confirmation that we weren’t missing anything!

I got to say, it’s amazing to me how many “cherries" you can find in your day when you think about the small details that make up each moment of each day.

Running total
Cherries: 14
Pits: 9

Friday, January 13, 2017

Post #3 - Today's Pits and Cherries

Score - Cherries 6: Pits 4
I have had a day full of pits and cherries and it’s not even lunchtime yet. Let me tell you about it! 😃 
I woke up early this morning to deliver an application to one of the nursing schools. I dressed up in black pants and a pretty top and wore waterproof shoes so I wouldn’t end up with wet feet because of the recent rain. 
I had time for breakfast and some House and Garden channel before I left.

Pit 1:
As I was getting to my car with my travel mug of tea, my application packet slipped out of my hands and right into the water at my feet! I just stood there for several seconds looking at the pages soak up the water. *sigh*
With a slow breath, in and out, I gathered up the pages and took them back into the house. I spread them out and took stock of their condition. 
I will have to print out everything again, re-fill out the application itself, and talk to my current employer on Monday about signing a new copy of the letter that proves I have been employed while completing my prerequisite classes.

Cherry 1:
Not to be deterred from having a productive day I made a phone call to be sure the hospital internship office was open so I could pick up a certificate I earned for my Patient and Customer Focused service. 
I had received an email earlier in the week, but this was my first chance to get over there.

Pit 2:
The office wasn’t open yet. Since i got up early, I had planned to drop off my application first and then stop by the intern office. It was still too early for them to be open. Pretty frustrating!

Cherry 2:
I told myself yesterday I would go to the gym for an energetic workout today. Now because my plans for the morning changed, I exchanged my dressy clothes for workout clothes and headed over to the gym. 
My workout was great! I got my heart pumping and the music I listened to was super motivating, both for my exercise time and to power me thru the rest of the day. 😃

Cherry 3:
After the gym I called the internship office and found out they were open. With a smile on my face, I changed back into my clothes from before and drove over to pick up my certificate. I got a chance to have a great conversation with the lady at the front desk. She and I have worked together before and it was fun to see her again after so long.

Pit 3: 
As she handed me the certificate, she asked me a question about it and we quickly discovered there was an error on the certificate. I would need to come back again in a few days to pick up the corrected one! 

Cherry 4: 
Just before I left, another woman in the office came forward to ask the other lady if she had a screw driver. With a laugh the lady said, “No.” 
I opened my purse and pulled out my pink pocket multi-tool. A really good friend of mine gave it to me a few years ago. This made us all smile.  It was just the right size for what the woman needed. 😃 It’s so much fun to be able to help, even in the small ways! 
Thanks for the pocket multi-tool, my friend!

Next I stopped by my local community college to get some help with printing my unofficial transcript. 
Yes, I did say unofficial transcript. At home, I can look at it on the screen, but it won’t print correctly. It either prints tiny or with the information running off the page. 

Pit 4:
So at the counseling office, I asked the scheduler, at the desk out front, about getting the unofficial transcript printed. She said she would print it for me and we used her computer. However, she got the same results I got at home. 
Crazy, don’t you think! That I can’t print my own unofficial transcript! 😃

Cherry 5: 
After waiting for one of the counselors to finish his meeting, the scheduler asked him to help us. The counselor was able to print my unofficial transcript just fine. 
Now, why do you think the counselor was the only one who could do that? 😉 

Cherry 6: 
On my way home, I stopped at the grocery store and while I was there I saw another woman I haven’t seen in a really long time. It was so great to see her! We talked for several minutes and caught up. 
Who knows if I would have seen her at all if the rest of my morning had gone the way I thought it was going to when I got up early. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss seeing her.

The days not over yet, but I say it’s a great sign that I have more cherries than pits! 😃

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Post #2 - Always Learning

Hi and happy Wednesday evening!
Today I woke up early and studied one last time before heading over to school for my TEAS exam. This time the test is weighted more toward science knowledge so I focused mainly on that subject for my final review.

The test felt pretty good for the most part! There were some things I didn’t know and a couple questions I had to read a few times before i realized what they were actually asking, but overall the experience was really good.

I met one of my fellow testers on our break and found out that she is already an LVN. This experience gave her extra confidence on the science part of the TEAS test. She told me a little bit about her current job as an LVN and I learned some new things about another branch of the job.

That is one thing I have learned through my learning and training so far, I can learn something by doing just about anything. Sometimes its the info you study to pass a test, sometimes its talking to someone about what they do for work or play, and sometimes its about messing up and learning through that. I even found myself learning new facts by reading the English and Grammar paragraphs on the TEAS test.  😃 

Post #1 - Recognizing Cherries and Pits

Hi all,
Welcome to my new blog! Glad to have you with me.
I am a pre-nursing student currently volunteering at the local hospital and learning a lot every day I am there. Now as I am applying to nursing school I decided to start writing down some of what I have learned and will surely learn in nursing school and beyond. 
Even from my limited experience, I know the life of a student nurse is not always fun and rewarding (sweet fruit). Sometimes it can also include difficult people, differences of opinion, the possibilities of mistakes, other negative experiences (pits and stems). 😃
I came across a pit in the sweet cherry of my student nurse experiences several months ago when I was notified that a new TEAS (nursing entrance test) was open. I have already taken the older version of the TEAS test a year and a half ago right after I finished all my science prerequisites. Now most of the schools I am applying to require that I take the new version of the test.
So now I need to brush up on my English, Grammar, Science, and Math for a test right after Christmas! Yes, that exclamation point is there more for emphasis than from joy. 😃 
Until next time!