Monday, January 31, 2011

Hitting the Books

I never knew there was so much information on blood. Oh my goodness. I guess if I had really stopped to think about it I would have realized there is a huge amount of information we get from getting blood drawn, but I just never thought of the intricacies of different blood cells and what different sizes and shapes and nucleii and granules and platelets really mean.

I spend about two hours a night on Anatomy and the lab that goes with it, and then I have three other classes as well. And every night after I finish studying blood or cells or whatever the topic is, my eyes are glazed over and I'm wondering why I ever thought I was smart enough to be a nurse.

But then by the next morning I wake up and I'm already thinking about the night before...about some concept I learned or the way to tell the difference between this or that or terms I need to memorize. And that makes me pretty positive I must be on the right track, because when I was in college before I never thought about what I was learning outside of class, not ever. As hard as it is, this class keeps my brain percolating in a way I've never experienced except when reading a great book or trying to solve a particularly frustrating problem. I just can't stop thinking about it, even when it feels like a foreign language.

So I'll keep on keeping on, and hopefully I'll find myself at the end of this semester actually understanding a lot of these concepts. Because I cannot tell you how many people have come up to me since I started this saying "Oh yeah! I was going to be a nurse until I took Anatomy and couldn't pass it." It freaks me out every time, and I want to pass. I want an A, to be honest, although I'll be happy with a B, because like I said, this stuff is hard. My quizzes have been in the nineties the past couple of weeks, though, so it could be possible. And then I can move onto the even harder classes where I'll really feel out of my my league.

 This whole thing is such a challenging experience for me. I thought I was done with school, and my brain was all full of kids and discipline and how to make really good snickerdoodles and how to get the perfect faux finish on a wall. I liked that I would never have to take a test or write a term paper again. And then all of a sudden I was tossed back into the academic world where I have to string together sentences without the word "like" to tie them together. I have to form thoughts and opinions and make room in my brain for science and chemistry and memorization of body parts I previously thought were adequately described by saying "arm" or "leg." And then, just when I'm in the middle of figuring out what the heck is wrong with the leukocyte on the screen, I have to jump up and switch my train of thought to taking care of a six year old with strep throat when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

I'll tell you a secret...I was the kid in school who did the bare minimum because it meant I didn't have to try. My best friend Kara was literally howling laughing on the phone the other day remembering how useless I was in chemistry class. I barely graduated high school, and I wouldn't have if my guidance counselor hadn't let me literally cram three independent study classes into one period my last semester of school. Of course, on those classes, I got A's. Because I finally actually cared. I never would have gotten into college at all if it weren't for my fairly stellar SAT scores even though I forgot a calculator the day of the test and I am terrible at math. Thank goodness for a perfect verbal score.

My point is, I lacked a gene in school. I don't know what it's called...I just didn't care about my grades, for the most part.  I was far more interested in being social than being smart. So this...this learning that I can actually do this, even though it's incredibly hard, is kind of empowering as well. I have a long (long, long) way to go, but when I actually sit here and realize that I've made it through a full time semester while part-time homeschooling my kids, working part time, and still taking relatively good care of my home, it gets me a little excited for the other things I may be able to do if I set my mind to it.

There was a whole other paragraph here about parenting and self worth. It was kind of good, too. But it disappeared and there's no way I am reproducing it. In fact I couldn't if I tried. It's like when you have a great idea right before bed and you know it's the best idea ever and then the next morning you can't remember it at all.  Oh well.

Anyway, I'm going to bed before I spout any more nonsense. Goodnight!
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