I truly have nothing to say because:
1. I am planning on a post over at The Perpetual Student centered on my personal indecisiveness, and
2. This simply says it all:
Random musings on my life and the world
15 May 2013 Leave a Comment
I truly have nothing to say because:
1. I am planning on a post over at The Perpetual Student centered on my personal indecisiveness, and
2. This simply says it all:
08 May 2013 Leave a Comment
I really like my job at the hospital screening newborns for hearing loss. It pays crap wages, sometimes if it’s really slow not even enough to cover my gas bill to and from work.
I obviously do not do this for the money. It’s a rather mindless diversion with the added bonus of babies!
One of our requirements is to be CPR certified.
I found myself today in the situation of not being certified any longer. This means I cannot work–NO EXCEPTIONS–until I am re-certified. This means I will not be going to the hospital to work this weekend as I couldn’t get into a class soon enough.
Okay, so that part is slightly a lie, but it is a lie with my coordinators blessing. So the story goes…
Working in dentistry I held two certifications specific to first aid/CPR: Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
BLS covers CPR, AED use, some first aid, choking, assessment of an unconscious victim and the use of a bag-value mask and an automated O2 system. In other words I have a bit more at my disposal than CPR.
Everyone in a dental office should have a BLS certificate. We all did simply because it was easier to re-certify our entire staff even though this certificate was really only for our front business office staff.
I also was ACLS certified. This is all of the above, but also allowed me, in an emergency, to start IV’s, give advanced airway support like an ET tube and even deal with meds in cases of respiratory or cardiac crisis. This certificate was only for the actual surgical staff.
So I am hired for the hearing screener position last September. I submit all necessary paperwork, including a copy of my Basic Life Support card as we are only required to know CPR for that job. BLS covered that and more. I do not however pay much attention to the date of issue or expiration. I did know that my ACLS card expired this coming fall. I kinda-sorta thought my BLS card did the same.
In a text from my coordinator this afternoon, we both learned otherwise. BLS, the only card I submitted, expired at the end of April. That means I did a huge NO-NO last weekend according to corporate and screened one baby (we were really slow) without being currently CPR certified. I didn’t know this of course until today, but the rule is: YOU DO NOT SCREEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE CPR.
So in a semi-frantic search to find a class on a weekend as I have no free time this month what-so-ever, and in the interest of my fellow screeners who have to cover my shifts until I am re-certified, I did find a Saturday class on May 18th.
The little lie must be admitted here. I actually could have taken a class this Saturday in the morning and not missed any work at all, but…..it is a BLS class covering more than I would ever need in this situation, and while I would have loved the chance to play with some airway stuff, it just isn’t necessary at this point in my job. So in conversation with my coordinator, and because she knows that I’m not a flake or that I don’t typically attempt to purposefully get out of working, and because it was a higher fee (even though I am being reimbursed) she gave me the okay to wait until May 18th and take the basic CPR class. She is graciously finding another screener to cover my shift. In fact she surprised me a bit with her comment which was, “They all have the ability to cover a shift for someone occasionally, they just don’t like to.” Well…did I detect a bit of sarcasm there? Yes, I think I did and I think she was also recognizing that I have covered quite a few shifts for some of those same people. Thank you.
This all means that for the first time in a long, long time I have an entire Saturday to myself.
So, now what do I do with my time?
An entirely new world has opened to me and I have no idea where to take it. I am kind of thinking about calling up the son and future daughter as a visit to the new home is in order and just maybe they will have a few free moments.
Anyone have any great suggestions, being that it is also Mother’s day weekend. I feel like I got a pretty nice gift already.
02 May 2013 1 Comment
I don’t think that I mentioned that I finished my last day as a tutor one week ago tomorrow did I?
I think that I’ve commented in both blogs about my disillusionment with our public school system and my place in it as a tutor for students set upon college who need organizational and critical thinking skills to have even a glimmer of reaching their goals.
Now that I am taking care of the granddaughter five days per week since her mom is in training and transition before starting her new job I had to resign my tutoring position. Friday was my last day.
Do you remember my complaints? Do you remember my questioning the reasons for being a tutor, the inconceivable notion that I was making any difference at all?
My last day was one of surprise and a heartwarming acceptance on my part that just maybe, for a few of these kids, I did make some impact.
A few of my eighth graders met me half way to their classroom with one in particular stressing just how much she didn’t want me to go. Granted, much of her demonstration was the overwrought act of a dramatic teen girl, but behind it I understood that she was sincere. I had worked with her before earlier in the year. She is a smart, sweet and engaging girl who has a great sense of humor and was fun to challenge somewhat in a teasing, open bantering way. One of my male students who is truly either going to be President one day, or writing books on existentialism, or both, shook my hand solemnly when the class was over. He, I found out about one week ago, has chosen not to return to the program next year and I think he will do just fine.
The ninth grade class was just embarrassing and it was not because of the students. The teacher was rather demonstrative in her directions to the class to say goodbye. I got a rousing rendition of For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow while being asked to stand in front of the room, numerous cards with sentiments from the students, and a wavy finger sort of tunnel send off when the class was over. Way too over the top and unnecessary. The cards were nice however.
The tenth grade class was the least eventful as an entire class goes. I had aligned with one particular group for most of this year and really not worked with many others in this classroom. This group was the one in which I felt like I was wearing a sign around my neck that said TREAT ME LIKE YOUR MOM the entire time I worked with them. Ultimately they worked well together and so I let them get away with some behaviors that weren’t exactly responsible or on task. I also learned a lot from them about their opinions of this program. I was told by two of them that I was the best tutor that they had ever had. I suspect that comment had something to do with my rather laissez-faire attitude. The lone young lady of the group was incredibly sincere when she said goodbye in her card and with a hug. I liked her a lot, maybe because I saw some hints of my youngest daughter in her, maybe simply because I see potential there.
Finally, the eleventh grade classroom actually had organized a small goodbye party. I tried to visit with the kids that I had worked with the most. It’s sort of an awkward situation at that age. None of the drama like the 8th grade girl as these are young adults who must present a certain image for their peers. Again, I had some nice comments and a few of the students actually approached me with a hug goodbye. One in fact surprised me with this gesture as I thought she was often ticked off at me when I called her on some of her behavior and did not grade her as high as she expected.
So all in all I did touch something in some of these students. Most struck me as really pretty great kids. I admit to finding a few hard to work with attitude wise. That’s mostly because I could see potential in every single one of the kids I worked with but some were missing it in themselves and a few will ultimately never find the right road. I watched some excel from day one and saw many who improved greatly over the year. Those were the real successes, the ones I feel personally good about. The ones that I hope have caught a spark and will work hard not to let it be extinguished.
Will I go back in the fall?
At about one month into this job I swore that I wouldn’t return. Nothing could make me put up with this program and all its inadequacy past this first year. As time went on and I realized that my job was limited by administrative policy, failed systems, and disorganization I took on a new attitude. I knew I couldn’t change the world or even a corner of it. But I could be there and present and just give some time. Maybe that would be enough.
Go to each school on my assigned day, do the best that I could, grow some relationships with these kids, pass on some knowledge, some challenges, instill some pride and recognition for achievements and always make them believe that I believe. In them. In their potential. In who they are and where they want to go.
Am I going back in the fall? Right now I’ll leave it open. I may have the granddaughter more, or I may have her less. I’m not as adamant as I was a few months ago about nixing a complete return, but also I have said my goodbyes. It might be best to leave it at that.
28 Apr 2013 4 Comments
I have been on a whirlwind of spring cleaning when it comes to social media. I feel accomplished. I feel fulfilled. I feel gratified. I still like all of you, but no, you can’t come back to my page, or inbox or timeline. Sorry, that’s just the way it has to be.
Twitter: I post this blog there although I’m not sure why as I have few followers from that source. Who do I follow? My son only. It has become the easiest way to keep up with him and interesting tidbits happening in his life.
Facebook: I chopped a lot of friends a few months ago and even more recently really cut down on the info I receive from the few remaining friends pages. Sadly, I didn’t even know I could do this until my daughter gave me the insight. I can now log on and see nothing new for days. It has become my place to play a few solitaire games and steal the latest pictures of the granddaughter out and about. I’m having a few withdrawal symptoms, but I really realized that what was filling my news feed was stuff that I didn’t want or need or care about. Now it’s important life events and some pictures, not every “like” or “status update” or “game score” from every friend.
I’m wondering if the day will come when I can toss FB entirely.
They are all still being subjected to this blog though as it is linked to Facebook. Many people do read it there so that won’t change.
WordPress.com: I am not a follower of many blogs. I have some that I look forward to reading each morning while I drink my tea. Those are the ones that I feel a connection to as their authors have touched something within me or post relevant information, or even not-so-relevant information but at least have important stuff to talk about that I enjoy. Those are my go-to blogger friends.
I have others that I picked up long ago and after really taking stock, I realize that many of these are truly no longer active. With some of those I’m okay that I can delete them. For a few, I wonder honestly what happened to the writers. These were blog authors who used to post on a regular basis. like every day. Their blogs have been silent for months. That is disturbing. Maybe they got busy. Maybe they took their words to another site. Maybe something else happened. That last one is the worrisome answer.
Some that got the boot are those that tickled my fancy for an odd reason or topic, but in reality haven’t sustained by desire to hang around. That’s not to say that the blogs are bad (and who the hell am I to judge good from bad) but that they just don’t touch the same warm spots that my favorites do. In that regard, if I can take them or leave them I decided to leave them.
It feels good to free up these ties to the world of social media and that endless checking into others lives. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care. I just don’t need to care every minute that I sit down at my computer.
My phone may be next, although I think I have weeded through most of the people there and taken that list down to the ultra important folks in my life.
I was on Pinterest for about 2 weeks, mostly to keep up with some of the ideas for the upcoming October wedding of the son. I pinned about 5 things, lost interest and ended my account there. I just don’t get Pinterest no matter how many times I hear how wonderful and fun it is.
I wiped out my Yahoo account long ago. My Google account I will keep because I use contacts there for work so I probably shouldn’t do away with that yet. My other regular email has to stay also. That because all my online bills sit in that inbox waiting anxiously to be paid and I have connected my college email account to that one as well.
I think I covered everything but how can you really be sure anymore? When your life is not your own, but dependent upon technology every second of the day how do you know who or what is coming or going, where you posted what and to whom, and if anyone really cares?
Do you ever feel like you’re defined by an @ sign, or a .com address or a user name? What did we do before social media? I don’t think I remember, do you?
27 Apr 2013 3 Comments
I went to work this afternoon and just as quickly had the opportunity to leave. Saturday’s are my days to screen newborn babies for hearing loss at a local hospital. My shift begins at 2 pm and I arrived today to find literally nothing I could do. In cases like this we get paid for 2 hours but unfortunately that didn’t really cover the cost of my gas money to drive there and back. (This is not a lucrative job by any means, but I like the patients and I like the babies and so I almost feel as if I am being altruistic in a semi-voluntary sort of way)
I typically park in a lot associated with the outpatient surgery corner of the hospital building. This serves as a relatively well lighted, safe area on those evenings when I come out after dark. It is patrolled by hospital security and I have never had cause to feel uncomfortable using that lot. I still don’t, but after an interesting experience today I may be a bit more mindful.
I spent all of 30 minutes up on the floor and was heading back toward my parking space by 2:15. There were cars parked on either side of me. The one on my driver’s side was unoccupied. The red Kia on the other side held three local addicts all in various stages of shooting up. Okay, to be fair that is only an assumption but a pretty confident assumption if I’m going to be honest.
I also feel it is pertinent to mention that I saw a great dichotomy in this scenario. The Kia was fairly new, and in really good shape. Granted I am exhibiting an incredibly biased, stereotypical viewpoint here, but the occupants of the car did not match in any way the rather well taken care of car they were getting high in.
I have to be honest. I didn’t stick around long enough to make 100% sure that this was illicit drug activity going on. I did however clearly see:
1. One man in the passenger seat, shirt sleeves rolled up and arms with bruises, scabs and other skin lesions indicative to drug use. This person by the way was holding what I suspect to be a syringe and quite quickly turned away from my car as I got in.
2. One man in the rear driver’s side seat with his shirt off, window down and a rather anxious look to his face along with a hurry up attitude for the female in the driver’s seat who was turned backwards and who I am fairly certain I saw…
3. Twice do the characteristic finger/thumb flick to a small TB size syringe, and who also had very distinct and characteristic marks along her arms and the face of someone one sees in drug education posters and videos with the caption underneath the gaunt, pock-marked, ravaged face that says: THIS IS THE FACE OF METH/CRACK/OR WHATEVER.
I feel comfortable enough after 5+ years working in oral surgery, working with various syringes of different sizes, to be pretty confident regarding what a TB syringe looks like, even from 15 to 20 feet away as I approached my car. I also have often done the finger/thumb flick on those very same type syringes to move along air bubbles and would recognize the motion anywhere.
It was a bit tricky maneuvering out of my spot so I had to stop trying to covertly spy on the action next to me. I also didn’t want to suddenly find myself looking down the barrel of a handgun either so I did the “of course you’re just three friends hanging out in your red Kia in a hospital parking lot and I have to get out of this f***ing spot before I get shot so I am going to ignore you” routine.
I did have a moment in which I contemplated going back into the hospital and trying to round-up a security person but really, by the time all that would have occurred and anyone could have gotten out there, besides the fact that the druggies cover was blown, and their car was completely exposed when I left, meant that they would have been long gone.
So now, guilt ridden, I am telling myself that this is certainly not the first time this has happened in this lot. You have to understand that this hospital is located in an area of the city which is known for drug/gang/violent activity. I am not guilt ridden thinking of these idiots doing whatever they were doing to themselves. That’s their busy and if they choose to kill themselves who am I to comment or attempt to stop them. I am rather miffed that they were doing this at my place of employment in an area where staff, patients and visitors come and go. I however realized that behavior such as this has probably happened inside this hospital in the public restrooms that I pass on my way upstairs.
At least these three had a level of respect in place to do their drugs outside the building. I think they deserve some kudos for that.
24 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
It was truly an outstanding spring day here in the Pacific Northwest. Sunny, about 72 degrees and thankfully the pollen counts are low.
This meant of course that I couldn’t contain myself and was outside about 7:30 AM ready to dig. You should all be proud of me though, I splinted up both wrists first, which helped immensely. I stood contemplating the overgrown front bed, moved to the back yard to remove some weeds from my shady, zen area (at least that was the intended purpose of that area a few years ago), and then went back out front.
My final decision about that pesky flower bed was to begin removing plants that I could replant in other locations. The purpose here is twofold. I don’t want to harm those plants as the grass removal is going to be rather violent. The second idea is that if I can remove some plants, make more room and loosen the soil in the process then maybe grass removal will be easier?? I have my doubts on this, but it felt so good to be doing something productive this morning. The plants I moved, some small daisies and some Dianthus, are helping to fill in another front bed that borders my front step/porch area. That has been rather sad over the last few years with varied plantings and planted pots taking up residence as my energy allows. I have some tulips and a few daffodils in there, plus some bush type roses and a small section of slowly spreading ground cover that has sweet pink flowers.
I have a number of huechera, or more commonly known red coral bells, in that area. I think I can salvage about four of them, but this is questionable as that grass has really sprouted right up and around these plants. The huechera I have here have deep purple leaves and pink flowers just like these:
Huechera are some of my favorite plants for the variety you can achieve in the foliage alone. They grow really well in this area also. I have them in many places in my garden.
I had a nice visit with the daughter and granddaughter as well. This is normally one of the days that I babysit, and ironically it was also my daughters last scheduled day at her job. She was placed on call though and never did have to work but did go in to say goodbye to her co-workers. They had a potluck and a cake for both her and her friend, another nurse who will also be moving on to the new clinic job with my daughter.
This is the cake they had for them:
We took a little drive up to the under construction new home after the babies nap. A huge surprise greeted us when my daughter came around the corner and saw two stories with walls. Hopefully by Friday they will have rafters and maybe even a partial roof.
This is one of the most current pictures I have of the baby:
Her two lower front teeth really show when she smiles, she is crawling everywhere, pulling up to stand and such a joy. We had her outside on the grass today drinking some juice. She spotted some of my alyssum but wasn’t too willing to crawl over the ground cover and grass to get a good handful. She really isn’t too sure about the grass at all but we got her to crawl after her mom over some of it when she thought mom was leaving her behind.
I am so excited to be able to spend time outside with her this summer just enjoying the outdoors, exploring and learning. Now if I can just get her to use her little muscles and help with that grass removal we would be all set…
23 Apr 2013 7 Comments
Yesterday, because the sun was out and I was walking with the daughter and baby G and saw the multitude of weeds in my flower beds, it turned into a garden afternoon.
Each and every time I do this, I kick myself because it aggravates the arthritis in my hands and wrists. I was doing pretty well until I decided to lift and dump an old flower planter that had seen better days. That was a mistake and my right wrist is still sore, although I was smart enough to put my trusty splint on just after my stupidity session–maybe next time (because there will be a next time) I will splint BEFORE I proceed.
I seriously think it’s time to consider a yard service. It is just so, so hard to make that ultimate decision to leave even the simple gardening to others. I love puttering in my beds, but the fingers don’t pinch very well, the wrists are too weak, the neck screams for days and the legs come close to not supporting me at all.
I sit and ponder that question Take one more thing away and what do I have left that I enjoy?
So on to day 2:
The sun is once more out, the weather is lovely and I am doing everything I can to avoid looking at or even going outside for long because those damn weeds are still calling my name. Plus I have a bed directly in front of my front door that is overrun with a lovely variegated grass which I thought would stay nice and clumpy like the ones I planted in my back yard. No, this grass is true grass. It goes and goes and grows and grows. It now has to go, completely, because it is choking the other random plants in the bed.
So my indoor project has been to place my new loose leaf tea in some nice glass containers. If you remember by jump on the composting bandwagon from a few months back (which is going great I must say), I did note that I wanted to start drinking loose leaf tea rather than bags, even though those bags are compostable. I think I even mentioned that I found a few local varieties to try. I have not been too impressed with them. Just not the flavors I really wanted.
I broke down a few days ago and even though I could make a small road trip to Seattle to visit the store itself, I decided to order some of my favorite tea from the Market Spice store online just because it was more convenient. I got my all time favorite: Orange-Spice, as well as a Chai. The difference when I opened the bags to put them into the glass canisters was amazing. This stuff looked, and more importantly, smelled like tea. Strong, earthy, sweet, spicy, tea. Nothing like the rather bland, twiggy stuff I have been choking down.
That alone made me happy and helped me forget about sneaking outside. But wait, there’s another project.
While I was purchasing those canisters I also ran across some nifty little containers to put my spices in and create my own cute little spice area. I have long had one of those random, odd sized, bagged versus plastic versus glass spice sections in my cooking cupboard. No more. They are all nicely contained, labelled and organized. I would show you a picture but my camera is dead and I didn’t want to wait around for it to charge so just use your imaginations to see a highly organized spice cupboard and my smiling face along side.
I feel very productive even though I would rather be digging and pulling and feeling useful outside. Arthritis sucks big time. I would give anything on days like this to have my 35-40 year old, pre-arthritis body back.