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time for a change

*Have you ever realized it's not your job you hate, but your profession?

*'Cuz I did. Oddly enough, I actually can tolerate my job. I think that's only because I enjoy -- and get along with -- my co-workers. Management seems to like me a lot, doctors think I'm okay, and my patients usually don't hate me. But I just don't like the job.

*I didn't grow up saying, "I wanna be a nurse!" Or even, "I wanna be a doctor!" I feel like I fell into this by arbitrarily choosing it when my parents were getting a divorce, I was dating crazy-ass Hadley, and I was stressed the fuck out. I thought of nursing as, "Eh, I could do that." Then, before I knew it, I was pushed up on the wait list for clinicals. I hated clinicals, but I figured everyone did, and the job would surely be better than the schooling. Wrong.

*People always ask me why I would want to change my profession: "But you're so good at it!" It's kind of interesting. I tell myself, hey, I'm a pretty good nurse, even though I hate it; think how great I would be in a career I actually liked. Nursing, albeit female-dominated, is hugely chauvinistic. And even though we're coming on a new generation of younger nurses, this inbred dynamic perpetuates itself and I have a huge problem with it. "You should go to med school," people say. Yeah, I probably would be a great doctor, but it's not the lifestyle I want to live. Nor do I actually agree with a lot of Western medicine. 99 year-old male who strokes? Sure, let's give him some thrombolytics, put a feeding tube in when he can't swallow, and he'll probably need a trach. Off to the nursing home!

*"But healthcare is a business like anything else." And you're absolutely right. Patients = money. Doctors = money. Why do they kiss doctors' asses? They bring in the revenue. Nurses are but an expenditure. Stretch them thin, wear them out. Yes, healthcare is a business, and we thrive on capitalism. But when we deal with people's lives, it shouldn't be all about money. It frightens me that healthcare is a money-making business. In 2007, the United States spent $2.26 TRILLION on healthcare alone. We have one of the highest, if not THE highest, healthcare expenditure in the world.

*And yet, we rank a mere 27th place in longevity . Japan ranks above us. Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Australia, for goodness sakes. I could go on a socioeconomics/public health tangent here, but I didn't intend for this blog entry to even be this long. Guess I got myself fired up!

*Either way, I hope you see where I'm coming from. The other day in physics class, we were talking about dark matter. My teacher said something that really creeped me out. "Everything you can see, feel, taste, hear -- essentially SENSE....is only 5% of the entire universe. The other 95% is something we call dark matter, and we can't perceive it." Do you ever get that sudden feeling that you are reeeeeeeeeeally small? That there are things out there we have NO idea about? We can hardly figure out the human body! We can't get along with other nations! And, oh, shit, there's a whole universe out there...

*To some, this realization might be discouraging. To me, it was actually freeing. It was almost like, "Oh! It...doesn't really matter what I can do. So, I can do anything I want." And I don't mean that in a hedonistic sense. I mean that in a practical, I-don't-have-to-be-miserable sense. I don't know where I'm going from here, or what my next step is, but I will make a change. There's no reason to stick around doing something I loathe. I deserve better, and I think we all do. And, seriously, I don't have a mortgage, my car's paid off, I don't have any debt from my nursing degree, I have no kids, no husband (although Maurice is quite the contender)...so, truly, to make a change, this is a good point in my life.

*And hell, if everything goes to shit, I've at least got my Bachelor's in Nursing I can fall back on. ;)


chair exercises.

*I got up this morning sans alarm at 9:20 AM. I knew I wanted to work out at some point during the day, and somehow I convinced myself to do it early. Eh, there's a class at 10:15, I can go to that and get it out of the way. From what I remember, "Diane" teaches this class, but I can muddle through it. It's called "Aerobic Combo", and we do something different every week, which can be great or really awful. But at least it's a good workout when she teaches.

*Right. A good workout. Except she's a psycho Nazi boot camp lady. I guess she can't really be a Nazi because she has an Australian accent, but you never know. Yadda-yadda, I made it through the class, it was really hard, wah wah. That's not what bothered me, though. We get to the end of the class and we're sitting and stretching, and of course, in the front row is some dance major who decides to show us all up and bend her body in half. Really, ma'am? Really? We get it. You're flexible. But you do not need to put your face as close to your cooch as possible. This is a YMCA, not the Olympics. But you know, it was a good workout.

*So, I'm picking up all my stuff to put it back, and the next class is already coming in. THIS class is a Chair Exercise class for seniors. And for some reason, elderly people seem to lack social grace. Two 5'0'' grey haired ladies decided they couldn't wait for me to pick up my step and my weights, so they had to invade my space, and put their things down AROUND me. It was like a mob scene of old people. Before I know it, all these old people are milling about with chairs in hand, not really caring that our class hasn't even *technically* ended, and perhaps we need to put our stuff back. I noticed the new class was getting exercise bands, so I said, "Hey, does anyone need my exercise band?" figuring it would save an old person a trip to the weight room to get an exercise band. One woman tentatively said, "Yeah...I need one...are you- are you done with it?"

"Yeah, I'm done."

"Oh, you already worked out?"

"......Yes. You can have this one." Keep in mind that sweat is pouring down my face and chest, and my hair is wet with perspiration. Oh, and my cheeks are beet red.

"So, you're not going to be in this class?"

"No." And with that, I handed her the band (with a forced smile) and walked away. NO, I won't be joining your chair exercise class. Number one, I just got my ass kicked in this other woman's class, and number two, I am the youngest person in here!!!! Even if I were 75, I would rather do water aerobics than chair exercises. Because I know chair classes go a little something like this:

*In other news, Katelyn (sherpa_sherpa) is in town...and I'm going over there tonight. :D Yaaaaaaaaaaay! Byes.


P.S. I'm really not this much of an asshole. I swear.


*I had a dream last night -- or, I guess, today -- that was very provocative...Collapse )

*and then I woke up, wondering what it all meant. When I have dreams, I try to understand what each symbol means. Am I supposed to be me? Was Coco Chanel really representing Coco Chanel? Or a symbol for someone else? It struck me that Coco Chanel is supposed to be me in the dream. The future me. Then I looked up dream symbols, and found this really interesting one:

"Sneak / Sneaky
If you dream of sneaking around, it may symbolize your nervousness about pursuing some path in your life. You may also believe that others don't support you in something, and you feel like you have to be secretive about your values and goals. If you are being sneaky in your dream to avoid a certain person, this suggests that you are avoiding some aspect of your own self. Consider the character traits of the person you are avoiding - that will give you clues."

*I think the dream means I'm afraid of success. Afraid of the future. Afraid of becoming a doctor, a possibly unattainable and far-off dream. I have trouble making goals for the long-term, because I really can't see myself 8-10 years from now. And I learned early on that the only thing you CAN rely on in life is change. So, I definitely gave up the ten-year plan thing after my first bout of disillusionment.

*Anyway. I thought that was really interesting. But oddly, recognizing my fear seems to fuel my drive. So, I'm going to keep trucking on. And to make things really cool, I put in a successful IV last night and the lady had really bad veins. AND I did it on the first stick. I'm awesome.

li zz le

odd sleep

*I just got up from, I guess, a really odd nap? I actually don't know what to call it. Working night shifts really messes me up. I fell asleep at 1 AM and woke up at 3 AM...since I work tonight, what time am I supposed to go back to sleep? Well, I'll worry about those details later.

*I've been in the oddest mood the past two days. Very moody, up and down, sometimes feeling optimistic about things, and other times to the point of despair. The despair is enough to make me doubt myself, my profession, my skills, my relationship, my whole life. Although I appreciate the change of scenery at this new job, I still feel bored. We're not getting as many acute patients as I thought we would. I left my old job because I was bored and felt like a task monkey, and here I am all over again, different tasks, watching the clock. I'm just not learning enough. I'm hoping all of this will change when our neuro ICU actually opens up. (Right now it's just a step-down unit/intermediate care.)

*I realized I become very dissatisfied in myself if I'm not learning new things every day, if I don't have goals to accomplish. I'm ready to go back to school NOW just to satisfy that need to learn, but instead I'm biding my time and hopefully I'll get a year of ICU experience somewhere in there so I can become a CRNA. What makes things worse, I don't feel passionate about wiping ass. I really don't. Believe it or not. The most fun I've had at this job was my first day, when we were floated to the cardiac ICU. If things don't shape up, I'm honestly beginning the countdown to the 6-month mark where I can switch jobs again. I don't want to seem like a job hopper, but I need to get the right experience to get the fuck out of this setting.

*Anyway. Tonight I took Maurice out for his birthday. We've been together about 7 months, so I figured I'd be able to pick out some place he'd like. The evening didn't start well. I bought hm the game, Infamous, for PS3, because he had rented it this past weekend and loved it. But I found out this afternoon when I got up that he had compulsively played it and beaten the game. So when he came over and I gave him his gift, he was like, "Ohhhh......yeah......." I felt like a dolt.

*Then, I took him to this great place I love called Harvest. It has a romantic ambiance to it and spectacular food. I've never had a bad meal there. Well, he was really aloof all throughout dinner. I was preoccupied with feeling like a failure, so I excused myself to the bathroom and broke down. (Don't know wtf that was about. I'm obviously not great company lately.) I came back to the table and we finally got to talking by the time our entrees had arrived, and he told me he just felt uncomfortable there. I was waiting for the race issue to pop up, so I laid it out and said, "What, because it's all white people here? If I thought you would have a problem with coming here, I wouldn't have brought you. I thought you would like the atmosphere." He told me it just felt pretentious or something. Now, keep in mind, this place isn't even all THAT nice. It's not some five-star restarant with a billion forks and knives you have to choose from throughout your 16-course meal. It's not Tony's on the Hill. The waiters/waitresses weren't stiff or stuffy at all.

*And then I just realized how different we are. How different I feel from everyone else. It's how I've always felt. He softened up after dinner because he knew something was up. We went out to the car and he asked where I'd like to go next, and I just couldn't hold it in. Tears welled up and I said, "I feel like going home and curling up in a ball." So my relationship with him is -- surprisingly -- going well. Especially considering the amount of bullshit he has to put up with from my moody ass.

*Something's wrong, guys, and I just can't put my finger on it. Something needs to change -- and fast.

li zz le

new job.

*Okay. So, I worked as a psych nurse for, what, 6-7 months? As soon as I got out of orientation, I was bored. And I really felt like I wasn't making a difference; like I was putting one of those tiny-ass Bandaids on a stage 4 pressure ulcer (really big wound). I wasn't mentally stimulated, either. I need to learn something new every day, and I think I learned a couple cool things within the course of those months.

Cool things:
1) Lithium toxicity. People act really weird.
2) Critical high blood sugar (which totally isn't psych-related).
3) Guy acting weird with mental status changes, we didn't know what it was, he went to medical floor and apprently his lung cancer (which we didn't even know about) had metastasized to his brain.

*I also realized I want to be a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). So, after much ado, I finally got a job at St. Clare in their neurological ICU. My mom always said I should be an ICU nurse because she thought I would take to it. It's funny; I think mothers really do know their children better than anyone else.

*My first night is tonight. TONIGHT!! Instead of pacing the floor anxiously, I decided to update ye olde LJ. Plus, I figured maybe some people might want to know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

*I have no idea what I'm doing in this job. I feel like I'm walking in completely BLIND. I wasn't able to sleep today; people called and woke me up or texted or whatever, but I'll eventually get used to sleeping during the day. Aaaaaand I'm turning off my phone. I usually use it for my alarm because I don't trust my clock, but I'm gonna get another clock.

*Today will be the worst, I think. I will feel completely overwhelmed and frazzled. I won't know anything, and I'll feel stupid. But at least by next week I'll know a little more than I do right now. Today is complete ignorance, but I'll at least be a little LESS ignorant after this shift. I just hope my preceptor is supportive and doesn't get frustrated with me. Sighing, rolling her eyes, "Ugh, don't you know ANYTHING?" That's what I'm afraid of.

*Well, goo. Bloop. And all that. Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted if I'm not drowning. Or in jail for killing someone on accident. Blurg.

li zz le


*You know you're a nerd when you're tempted to go to the athletic department and ask the salesperson, "Excuse me, does this Underarmor come in platemail?"

li zz le

I like this article.

Popular view of King ignores complexity

By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press WriterSun Jan 20, 6:56 PM ET

They are some of the most famous words in American history: "I have a dream ..." And the man who said them has become an icon.

Martin Luther King Jr. has certainly gotten his share of attention this year, the subject of a presidential campaign controversy over his legacy that blew up just around the time of the holiday created to honor him.

But nearly 40 years after his assassination in April 1968, after the deaths of his wife and of others who knew both the man and what he stood for, some say King is facing the same fate that has befallen many a historical figure — being frozen in a moment in time that ignores the full complexity of the man and his message.

"Everyone knows, even the smallest kid knows about Martin Luther King, can say his most famous moment was that "I have a dream" speech," said Henry Louis Taylor Jr., professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Buffalo.

"No one can go further than one sentence," he said. "All we know is that this guy had a dream, we don't know what that dream was."

At the time of his death, King was working on anti-poverty and anti-war issues. He had spoken out against the Vietnam War in 1967, and was in Memphis in April 1968 in support of striking sanitation workers.

King had come a long way from the crowds who cheered him at the 1963 March on Washington, when he was introduced as "the moral leader of our nation" — and when he pronounced "I have a dream" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

By taking on issues outside segregation, he had lost the support of many newspapers and magazines, and his relationship with the White House had suffered, said Harvard Sitkoff, a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire who has written a recently published book on King.

"He was considered by many to be a pariah," Sitkoff said.

But he took on issues of poverty and militarism because he considered them vital "to make equality something real and not just racial brotherhood but equality in fact," Sitkoff said.

While there has been scholarly study of King and everything he did, that knowledge hasn't translated into the popular culture perception of him and the civil rights movement, said Richard Greenwald, professor of history at Drew University.

"We're living increasingly in a culture of top 10 lists, of celebrity biopics which simplify the past as entertainment or mythology," he said. "We lose a view on what real leadership is by compressing him down to one window."

That does a disservice to both King and society, said Melissa Harris-Lacewell, professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University.

By freezing him at that point, by putting him on a pedestal of perfection that doesn't acknowledge his complex views, "it makes it impossible both for us to find to new leaders and for us to aspire to leadership," Harris-Lacewell said.

She believes it's important for Americans in 2008 to remember how disliked King was in 1968.

"If we forget that, then it seems like the only people we can get behind must be popular," Harris-Lacewell said. "Following King meant following the unpopular road, not the popular one."

In becoming an icon, King's legacy has been used by people all over the political spectrum, said Glenn McNair, associate professor of history at Kenyon College.

He's been part of the 2008 presidential race, in which Barack Obama could be the country's first black president. Obama has invoked King, and Sen. John Kerry endorsed Obama by saying "Martin Luther King said that the time is always right to do what is right."

Not all the references have been received well. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came under fire when she was quoted as saying King's dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

King has "slipped into the realm of symbol that people use and manipulate for their own purposes," McNair said.

Harris-Lacewell said that is something people need to push back against.

"It's not OK to slip into flat memory of who Dr. King was, it does no justice to us and makes him to easy to appropriate," she said. "Every time he gets appropriated, we have to come out and say that's not OK. We do have the ability to speak back."



Your Inner Retro Girl Is

1950s Pinup

surely, my internet must be on crack

*Okay, I just spent all this time troubleshooting my network, and it was acting all weird, and as soon as I found the root of the problem, POOF! It came back. Completely out of the blue. I didn't touch a damn thing. I have NO idea how that happened. That was so messed up, and it wasn't hardware-related.
*I had this weird dream about skydiving last night. I was falling from this plane, with Alex Fossey (yeah, haven't talked to HIM in a while...I don't know if he's relevant or not), and I was really enjoying it. The first part of the falling was nice and stress-free because I had done it before and was trying new things like flipping around and stuff. I kept laughing a lot. Then I started to worry that my parachute wouldn't open, and I asked Alex, "Are you SURE it's going to open? I mean, what if it doesn't?" He had to reassure me repeatedly that it would open, and everything would be okay. Then I said, "Wait, is this how you open it?" and I pointed to two ripcords on my backpack-looking thing. He said, "Yeah, sorta. And don't worry, remember, there's another one that opens if the first one doesn't." I tried not worrying about it anymore and flipping around again, but still, the earth was getting closer and closer....it felt like it was taking FOREVER to fall from this plane...
*Then I woke up. I looked that one up right away.

A pleasurable dream of skydiving - floating down gently in a parachute - signifies that you have protection and security during a time in which turmoil surrounds you. If you dream that your parachute doesn't open, or if you are scared in the dream, this represents your feeling that you've been deserted by someone who was supposed to stand by you."

*Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Parachute. Trust. People. Falling. Scary situations. Risk-taking. It completely clicked in my head...sometimes I just want to shake Dream Liz, though. I want to shake Real Liz even more and tell her to trust people...kinda. I kind of just want everyone to stop telling me to trust them, because they don't give me a reason to.
*In other news, I'm sick of living in whitetrashville. It's been getting to me this month. Hmm.


ice skating with tim

Niz-Niz: i would crush him.
Niz-Niz: he's like a hadley.
E A: :)) oh comically tiny boys