Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Don't Know All The Answers

We've all hit our breaking point.
There have been threats made.
I fear...for our future.

No, seriously, this semester blows. I don't know if it's because we are all just burnt out, all working in the medical field now, along with school or the fact that our guidance has been less than stellar. Or a combination of the above.

Regardless...it blows.

My class is in a constant stage of "let's-quit-and-run-away." (And burn the building down, on our way out.)

I've taken a lot of online courses in my time. Hell, I've been a college student for the last 7-ish years. This isn't my first rodeo. I know how they work. Or, rather...how they should work. I should get power points. For every class, for every week. I should get a lecture. Recorded, live, something. I should get some kind of interaction with my professor that doesn't involve him/her blaming the class for being shitty. I should get some assistance, not a determination that our work ethic sucks and we just need to buck up.

If everyone could learn to be a nurse just by being assigned 100 pgs of reading, in scattered areas of a few books, and then being tested on it...everyone would be nurses. This isn't a driver's ed booklet, for hell's sake.

Engage me!
Teach me!
Break it down into simpler terms!
Tell me stories by relating the concept to a patient you've dealt with!

Don't admit to me that you don't know the answers to the test I'm taking. Don't admit to me that in order to correct my assignment, you had to consult a nurse who actually works in that field. Don't become frustrated that I don't know all the answers, when it's been made clear time and time again...that you don't either.

Am I blaming? Maybe. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. Could I give school more of my time and attention. Of course. We all could. But...there comes a point where priorities have to dictate. There comes a point where kids, family, work...they all take priority.

Telling us that we suck and that we're going to be nursing school drop-outs isn't the solution.

It's the problem.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I Gained

I knew when I finally became a nurse, I would gain a lot of things. I knew I would gain a sense of accomplishment. I did this. Me. No one else did my school work or put in the hours to get me here. I knew I would gain job stability. I will always be able to find a job, no matter where I go. Will it always be in the specialty that I want? No...and that's a good thing. I've learned so much by being in long-term care and rehab...when I originally swore up and down that I would never work in "an old folk's home".

What I didn't know I would gain is self confidence. The ability to talk to strangers. To be able to walk into a room of people I don't know, and hold my head high. To be able to deal with people that aren't pleasant, with poise.

Those that know me...I mean REALLY know me...know how little self confidence I have. They know how hard it is for me to be in new places, with new people, and feel comfortable. They know how much I would rather sit in the corner at an unfamiliar place and go completely unoticed, instead of be the center of attention. Those who think otherwise...well...they don't really know me. 

Nursing has forced me to put myself out there, in social situations. It has forced me to talk to people I don't know. >stranger danger!< It has forced me to be the one that people come to with questions.

It has forced me so far out of my comfort zone. 

"Life begins, at the end of your comfort zone."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Angry Momma Bear

I'm a rational human being.

I can see both sides to any situation and most of the time, I can argue for either side. (Really should have gone to law school, huh?)

This applies, even in situations with my kids. I'm not the crazy Mom that thinks her kids are perfect. If there is a fight going on with a neighbor kid, I know there is a 50% chance that it is my kid's fault. I don't assume my kids are perfect...because they aren't.

When it comes to my kids and school, I know that I expect a lot. I want them to learn from my journey and attempt to avoid the hardships and challenges I've faced. When something is going on with them in regards to school, I do not blame the teacher. Or the school. Or anyone else on faculty. I want to get to the bottom of a situation and solve it, but I'm not one to lay blame.

Avery has a F in history. She has one missing assignment, that is causing this F. Avery swears she handed it in. Avery says her teacher says she didn't. Avery says her teacher won't print her another one, because Avery needs to find her missing paper.

What does the teacher say about this?

I. Don't. Know. See...when I've reached out to the teacher to get her side and her guidance, I've not been responded to. When Josh has reached out to the teacher, he has not been responded to.

That irks me.

We are the parents of a student in your class. We deserve a response.

Five days ago, I sent this:

Dear History Teacher,

I am writing in regards to Avery Garrard. She currently has an F in history and when I asked her about the missing assignments she is adamant that she handed them in. I'm not agreeing with her, but I'm wondering what we can do at this point in regards to the missing work. Avery's medication dosage was recently doubled by her psychiatrist and unfortunately one of the short term side effects is forgetfulness. I don't say this to make an excuse for her, but perhaps to explain that she is not being difficult on purpose. We've seen an increase in her leaving homework and study materials at school, since the dosage increase. If it doesn't resolve soon and continues to affect her schoolwork, we do have a plan in place, with the guidance of her psychiatrist, to hopefully remedy the situation. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do.

Sincerely,
The Mom

I got nothing. Nothing. Not even a "Hey, got your email, but I'm gonna be super busy for the next week and will respond when I can."

So, today I sent an email to her main teacher:

Dear Main Teacher,

I reached out to The History Teacher on 10/3 in regards to Avery’s grade. I have not gotten a reply and Avery is still showing as having a F in history. Do you have any suggestions for me? I’m not asking for special treatment for Avery, I would just like it to be acknowledged that we ARE aware of this situation and asking for guidance. I would hate to see her remain at an F because of one missing assignment, that Avery still to this day says that she handed it in. I’ve checked on Compass and unfortunately there is not a way for me to print the assignment.
I welcome any help that you can give me.

Sincerely,
The Mom

Now? Now I'm becoming frustrated. And angry. And turning into a Momma Bear.

I can't do my job as the parent, if someone is unwilling to do their job as a teacher. I know teachers have a lot on their plates. I'm not disregarding that at all. I think teachers are amazing and underpaid and underappreciated. I appreciate everything that all of my children's teachers do. I just want to be acknowledged, as a parent trying to do her best, that my concerns are being listened to.

It doesn't help that this is the second teacher that I have opened up to, a little bit, about Avery's situation, who has ignored me. This happened last year, as well. Why can't I just get someone, anyone, to recognize the struggles that I...the struggles that AVERY...faces on a daily basis? I don't want special treatment. I don't want her to float by on her "excuse". I just want someone to take the time to say that they see her. Just see my child and who she is!

I will never stop fighting for her.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Makes Someone Beautiful?

A letter to my children...

What is beauty? Is it skinny legs and a tiny waist? Is it a perfect nose and long hair? Is it blue eyes? Brown eyes? Green eyes? Perfect teeth? A certain number on the scale?

These things may fall into some people's idea of what attractiveness is, but these things are not what makes someone beautiful.

Beautiful is a tired mother, pushing her giggling toddler on a swing, on a lazy fall afternoon.
Beautiful are the hands of an elderly couple, linked by love, hardship, commitment and six decades.
Beautiful is a mind that is able to respect different ideas, without needing to approve of them.
Beautiful is the teacher who stays after school, to help the struggling student with his reading.
Beautiful is the soul of the victim, who has forgiven.
Beautiful are those that build up the worth of others.
Beautiful is the woman who stands up for herself and her family.
Beautiful is the sound of the wind, blowing through the autumn trees.
Beautiful is the man with tough hands, calming a crying newborn.
Beautiful is the drive to follow your passions, even if the drive leads you off road.
Beautiful are the eyes of the dying; all "worldly" problems have been stripped away.
Beautiful are the arms of a mother, comforting her child.
Beautiful is a cancer survivor.
Beautiful is the lap of a grandparent; from where all the best stories are told.
Beautiful is self confidence, self worth and self reliance.

Beauty is more than how you look, my children; it is in who you are. Beauty is in the way you are kind to those that may not deserve it and in the way you help those that can't repay you. Beautiful is when you are a voice for someone that doesn't have one; when you stand up for those that can't stand up for themselves. Beauty is in knowing who you are and never apologizing for it or defending it. Being beautiful is not about the clothes you wear, what your body looks like or how big your bank account is.  Beauty is about the smile you wear, what your soul feels like and how big your heart is.

You are the most beautiful people I have ever known.