Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beer Fest.

Ahhhh, summer in Milwaukee. It's like one big frat party. Every weekend there is some sort of 'fest'--Summerfest, Irish Fest, German Fest, Cheese Fest, Polish Fest, etc. And then there are the fests that try to trick you by not having 'fest' as the suffix: River Splash, Storming of the Bastille, Indian Summer, the list goes on and on. While I appreciate that outwardly these are all celebrations of diversity, it's become clear to me that really, every single festival revolves around the same thing: beer. I don't know why we kid ourselves anymore. We went to Cheese Fest yesterday with visions of blocks and blocks of free, wonderful, Wisconsin cheese. In actuality, a few scant bites of cheese were consumed, followed by beer after beer after beer after beer....not that we were disappointed. The weather was absolutely perfect, there was tremendous people watching, the live music was entertaining, and there was even a drag show. You might ask: what do drag queens have to do with cheese?!?! Well, here's the answer: beer. Lots of it.

Matt enjoys these activities because he's constantly hanging out with large groups of future nurses. Life's not bad if your Matt these days. Evidence:


The people I've met through my program are obscenely fun, and hardly a day goes by when there isn't some grand scheme to get a whole bunch of people together and go to a 'fest,' or have a bbq, or storm the public pool. Summer is flying by, though! The mosquitoes and lightning bugs aren't quite as numerous anymore, our second summer session is winding down, and Matt and I are excited about our August plans: home for a week and then to Dallas to visit Chris and Cindy.

Life continues to be action-packed and lovely. We're trying to live it up this summer, knowing now what awaits us around the middle of November...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just an update...

Well, a day in the life of me right now may consist of any or all of the following: running tests on fake urine; giving my lab partner a bed bath or looking into her ears or just generally being waaaaay up in her business (and she in mine); learning about genetic diseases or cancer or kidney problems; sticking my own finger to test blood glucose; catheterizing a few headless, limbless dummies, or perhaps dressing one of their many serious looking wounds; writing a nursing care plan; getting mutilated by monstrous mosquitoes while sprinting to and from the car; hyperventilating/getting a fat lip/spraining my ankle in a soccer game. You know, the usual.

Time is FLYING by, and I really love school. It's fun! We are always doing things; this is so key for me. I mean, the book learning can be important, but I really learn best by doing. I cannot wait to get into the hospital. I start clinical rotations in late August; I will be doing med/surg once a week and OB once a week, along with associated classes. I am already sleeping better than I have in years--I come home from school absolutely exhausted and actually, it's a great feeling. Nursing is so much about competency, and becoming competent at a skill can be stressful but is also very rewarding; every day I come home having learned to do something useful, something that I will be good at, something that will help people in some way. It's a very practical, applicable way of learning, and I like that. I never feel like I'm wasting my time or my brain space or my limited attention span on something that I don't need and want to learn.

And on top of all that, I've met some great people in my program and we've been having a blast getting to know each other. It's been a pretty action-packed summer so far, and there's much more to come: trips to Maine and San Diego and Dallas, lots more school, festivals on the weekends, much outdoor activity despite the humidity and the bug problem....although, speaking of bugs, there is one unexpected and fantastic up-side to the heat and humidity: LIGHTNING BUGS. Quite possibly the most awesome insects I've ever in my life seen (I'd never seen them before this summer); our lawn is like a fairy wonderland at twilight. They are absolutely everywhere, and Vinny is fascinated by them!

So, all in all, besides the sprained ankle and numerous mosquito bites, things are great right now. Summer is wonderful. I love being a student again!