Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why stop now?

Michelle and Jim Bob are still at it. #18 will be about 17 months older than #17. The photo is worth it even without the article. All I can say is... oy. Oy vey.

So... career. I've postponed posting about this but I can't think of anything else to write about at the moment, so the thing is, I started taking prerequisite classes to go to nursing school -- specifically, an associate's degree in nursing from a community college, which is the cheapest and easiest way to go about it, since a second bachelor's degree is not an option with kids and mortgage. After you finish the associate's, you're allowed to take the national exam to get licensed an an R.N. The maybe later I could get a master's and be a nurse practitioner, but that's looking way too far ahead.

This spring I took Biology 101 in the spring term and just found out I got an A+ which makes me happy, though not as proud as I might have been, given how easy the class was. Thirteen weekly multiple-choice quizzes (10 questions plus a bonus), with the worst three grades tossed out, plus a 3-5 page paper with at least three source citations. So I got a 95 average and didn't even have to take the final as a result. Premed this ain't. Physics and organic chemistry at a real college? I failed at both years ago, but these are not in the picture in this scenario. Now I'm about to start A&P I (anatomy and physiology) which is actuality quite exciting -- now we;re getting down to what I'm really interested in (the human body). Next step: get accepted to the nursing program, which starts in January. It's two years, nights only but often four nights a week. but at least I don't have to quit my day job, which I wouldn't mind doing except for (a) the salary and (b) the fact that my employer has a 100% tuition reimbursement program. So theoretically this will cost almost nothing except time and textbooks.

When I say "get accepted," this does mean it's competitive, but only because there's a bottleneck in the form of nursing faculty. There's a clear shortage of nurses and there are also lots of people who want to train as nurses, just not enough qualified people to teach them. But Bunkah Hill Commyoonidy Cawlidge accepts people on merit only -- no recommendations and they don't care if you got most of your credits elsewhere, meaning those bachelor's and master's degrees I already have. It's all about GPA and your score on a nursing school test, which I think is just reading and math.

So the next question is, why? The short answer is that I've always wanted to do something in the medical field -- see: college freshman disastrous premed attempt, second attempt at med school prereqs in 1993 with similar results (TOO HAHD) and lifelong interest for reasons that are unclear. Also, I feel like I'm at a dead end in my current career path. I loved working for newspapers, or at least one newspaper, because it was a good paper with a good editor, never mind the lousy hours and pay. But when you "advance" to a daily paper with a bunch of total fuckwit incompetents staffing (hello, Ted F.!) and running the joint, no recognition and no chance of real advancement in pay unless you become an editor (work all nights and every weekend but slightly less money than an emergency room doctor), well, it's time to get out. Then come jobs with better hours and pay, sometimes more appreciation, but lets' face it, more and more boring. I now find that there aren't even jobs advertised any more for plain old writer or editor. It's all marketing and corporate communications with a heavy emphasis on key messaging, positioning the brand, blue-sky thinking, etc., etc. Time for a change. And maybe more flexible work hours. And feeling like I'm actually doing something to help people, even if they barf on me, which I don't look forward to, but being a parent goes a long way to de-horrify the prospect.

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