Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good Tunage

These guys get it.

The Disclaimer

I went on Blackboard, as in the school software that serves as a communication network, a way to post assignments and grades, etc., for school to double check that all of my grades were submitted and there were no errors. There is this little tab that lists the courses in which you are currently enrolled. My list had grown substantially. There were 4 each of chem and bio, etc. It took me a second to realize that next quarter's classes are on there already, along with last quarter's. Cool. I can get a head start.

I start with the syllabus to history, and pull it up so I can print it out. I had a brief moment of panic when I saw that there are going to be graduate students in it, as there are two different sets of requirements for the course for grad students and undergrad students. I had to stop and remind myself that I am a senior and these people are just a year or two further in their education than I am. That turned to "Cool! I am SENIOR!".

Moving on to psych and chem. No biggie for either, though I am scared of chem just a bit this quarter. After all, last quarter almost broke me. And that was at a little campus in a small class. This time I am at the main campus, there are going to be about 300 in my class. Oh well, I digress...

The only given is biology. I save this class for last because it is going to calm me down after seeing the others. I am excited to see that the professor has everything for the entire quarter posted already. PowerPoint presentations, outlines, and even exam reviews. Sweet! I can get started right away on bio, and do really well this quarter, as it is my major, after all. I start with the syllabus, and pull it up to print it. I notice it is taking a long time to print, so I look. Why is his syllabus 20 pages?????! WTF? So I start to read it. There is a damned disclaimer on it, in bold type. In so many words, it says that the course is notorious for a high percentage of withdrawals, D's and F's. That the course is specifically designed for Biology majors and thus is designed for a student who can manage a large amount of information in a short period of time. That if the reader is not a Biology major, they will most likely not be able to be successful in the course, and there are other more basic biology courses that would be more appropriate for them. Oh. Shit.
I am scared. And I am already studying for it. I managed to get all of the material for the first exam printed off. There were 200 pages. Seriously.

Ring Ring

Okay, peeps. I am busy. Very busy. Picture the busiest person you know and I am even busier than that. Seriously. Well, I slipped. I have managed to work away most of my spring break, picking up extra shifts at work to make up for the deficit in OT while school is in session. After all is said and done, I am human, and so while I can gracefully manage my full-time hours, I do not pile on extra while classes are going on unless someone makes me, and that someone has the power to say I am no longer employed. So anyhow... In addition to the extra work, I am trying to get ready for the next quarter of classes. Buy books. Ensure tuition is paid. Make sure my schedule will mesh with John's and Evan's. I forgot to pay my phone bill. Oops. In a crunch, I give John a wad of cash and tell him to go somewhere and hurry up and pay the total amount due before the powers that be at the phone company decide I am no longer deserving of phone and internet services. I did this once before, so I knew exactly where to go so that the payment would post immediately. I gave my dear husband specific directions on where to take the payment.
So here I am at work last night. It is about time for me to leave. I picked up extra to help out coworkers during our period of short-staffedness. All I wanted was a quesadilla on my way home. I anted to see if John wanted anything. What happened? "The number you are trying to reach is either out of service or is being worked on at the current time." Whaaa?????? My first though was "BUT I PAID YOU PEOPLE A LOT OF MONEY!" Then the confusion turned to panic. I called the repair center from work to let them know that something has to be wrong with my line. She let's me know in a snippy tone that there is a block on my line for nonpayment. She sounds very judgemental, as in I am the type of scum who does not pay my bills. I get mad and tell her I paid my bill and I want my phone turned back on right now. When she tells me I have to wait until the morning, I tell her she needs to quit her job, as she obviously sucks at it. Poor girl. I was so rude to her. So I wake up early this morning, though it is my one day off, in order to send up a flare to the phone company to clear up the mistake. Hmmmmf!
The first lady I speak with treats me almost exactly the same. I explain that we paid. I have the receipt right in front of me, and offer the transaction number. She tells me that apparently there are authorized payment centers and unauthorized payment centers. John took the money to an unauthorized payment center, so we will have to go without a phone for 5 days while we wait for it to post. Then (gasp) she tells me the internet will be disconnected tomorrow if I do not pay. OMG, now they are out for blood. I freak out and tell her that we paid the damned bill. And I didn't pay just what was past due. I paid the entire thing, old and new charges. With my internet now in jeopardy, I demand to speak to a supervisor. She gets very rude, and transfers me anyway.
So the supervisor comes on the line, and I tell her what happened. She repeats what the rude girl told me, that they cannot turn the service back on unless the payment is posted or I go and pay the past due amount at an authorized payment center. I desperately ask if there are any other options. She is giving me directions on how to fax the receipt to her when I blurt out that I am going to make John do it, as he is the one who didn't go to the payment center to which I told him to go. She laughs, and I also blurt out that I am full-time pre-med student, a full-time RT, a full-time wife and mom, and that some things fall through the cracks. That my husband is new to the Mr. Mom role and doesn't always do the best job. This is when she softens up and tells me she isn't going to make me go through the ordeal of faxing her a receipt. She'll turn it back on, but to watch my account to be sure that the payment posts. If I would have been speaking to her in person, I would have hugged her right then and there.
So.....Lisa from Cincinnati Bell: Thanks!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Finals are, that is. I got A's on everything except chemistry, which I don't know about yet, as he still hasn't posted the grades. He has this complicated grading policy, where you choose up to so many points of homework and quizzes. These count as your grade for those, so you get to choose the highest ones to count. IF you perform better on the final, he also has this grade replacement policy. This means that instead of my final being worth 300 points, it becomes worth 500, and my other two exams are no longer worth 200, but will then be worth 100 each.

I am hoping I did well on the final, because then my chemistry grade will be an A as well, and I am off to the next level in about a week and a half. I am such a geek that I am ready to buy my books and throw myself into studying. Of course this is more about necessity than it is about my love of the subjects. I enrolled in 18 credit hours this next semester. That plus work is not a pretty picture. Organization and studying in advance is required to keep it all from falling in on me.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I am sitting here pondering my schedule for next quarter as this one is drawing to a close. I am enrolled in HIS489, which is a senior-level history course entitled "U.S. Women's History". Hmmmm. I am wondering what it will be like. Enlightening? Eye-opening? Thought-provoking?
But the greater question is this: are my classmates going to remind me of this?

Say it with me, ladies: One can have smooth underarms and legs and bikini lines, smell like flowers, and wear makeup without it equating to the downfall of equality for women. Better yet, the true test of a strong woman is whether or not you can kick some ass while smelling like gardenias. I know I can.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Feeling Like Crap, But YAY, ME!

I saw a MD. I was wheezing terribly, and left the office with scripts for a steroid burst and a PRN inhaler. Well, after three days of the medicine, and nothing but the bed in my life, I was still no better this morning, and may have in fact been a little worse. I got up to go to the restroom and got so winded that I had to stop and take a break. Bad stuff. I'm an RT. I know this. So I had no choice but to call in again today, which completely screws with my planned vacation days next week in time for finals. Not very happy about that at all, but oh well. Well, after the bathroom incident, I thought it would be best if I got a chest x-ray, so I trudged to the ER. Turns out I have an "atypical pneumonia" that resulted from a stint that was indeed our friend influenza. So now I can add antibiotics to the roster of meds.

But wait! There is one more. I started Chantix. Yes, I did it. I was honest with the doctor that I smoke, and that, yes, I do want to quit very much. I, of all people, know what it does to your body. I have tried other methods, and none of them have worked. The doctor warned me the medication was expensive. Insurance won't pay a dime for it. But with the current rate of Marlboro Ultralights being about $4.50 a pack, multiplied by two pack-a-day smaokers in the house, I figure that, if the drug truly does help me, I would actually come out ahead in the long run if I just drop the $140 for the prescription. Not only will I save on cigarettes, but also on silly side expenses, like the impending treatmnet for lung cancer that would most definitely be in my future. I mean, let's face it: some people can go their entire lives without ever feeling any impact from smoking. They are 96, still smoke Camel Non-filters, yet have no emphysema, no cancer. I just do not have that kind of luck.

I plan to blog about my cessation efforts, if for nothing more than to keep myself sane through the use of an outlet. I started another blog, though it only has one post so far. I named it Operation Fatbody No Longer, as it is all about my quest to get myself in shape for the much desired commission into the Navy. Since smoking cessation fits into this quest, that is where it will be.


I saw a chick wearing something similar today! Nice!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Let me just clear the air by saying first and foremost that I did not vote for you. I am a Rebublican through and through. This did not stop me from tearing up when you were elected. You see, despite my stuffy Republican ways, I am all for change and progress.

Other than being a Republican, what other roles do I play? Well, I am a mother and a wife. I am a full-time student. I am the sole supporter for my small family of three. I am a full-time healthcare provider, a taxpayer, and more.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, quite simply, I would like to be exempt from having to work more so my tax dollars that I earn can go to bail out companies, or to pay for the healthcare of others. After all, 40 hours per week of my time, and thus my family's time, is devoted to the health and welfare of others. Must my paycheck be as well???

You see, there used to be a time when my family was below poverty lines. While my low-income neighbors were complaining about the low dollar amount they received in food stamps while spending their welfare checks for weed, I was using mine to put gas in my car to get to and from class so I would not need the help any longer. I earned my ticket out and subsequently to my nice middle class job with benefits. Yes, I have insurance. I have great insurance, but even so, I still spent $200 on prescriptions today. This means I cannot afford to pay for the others who don't have insurance.

And speaking of the bailouts that are spreading like wildfire: I don't feel like I should have to pay anything toward that, either. I have contributed to the wealth of these companies in other ways. I help CitiBank by paying my student loan payments with interest each month. Sallie Mae too. I helped the automotive industry and the banking industry at the same time about 4 months ago when I had my bank give the dealership $22K in exchange for a 2009 model car. In exchange, I pay 19% interest each month because I have a medical bill in collections from my son's premature birth 7 years ago. Another way I help the banking industry? I know my limitations and do not take on debt I cannot afford.

I saw through it all. You said you would take care of us middle class people. I saw through it, but everyone wanted to believe you. Now you are giving all of this money to people who don't need it. Or people who may need it but do not deserve it because of their manner of conducting business. Is it fair for me to have busted my ass for all of these years so I could better provide for my family, so you could give my money away to these people? Is it fair for me to have to work like a dog, when I cannot get so much as a little bit of help toward my $36K/ year tuition bill? No wait, I forgot. My husband is now going back to school, and my son is in private school because the public school system I pay to support has grossly failed him. So in total, my family is paying more like $56K/ year for just tuition.

So please, President Obama, take more of my money. After all, there is still a little bit left to be had. There must be, as we are not yet living in a cardboard box under a bridge. Not yet, anyhow.

A Pissed-Off Taxpayer

They Said No

I am still sick, of course. Very sick.

Well, we have this policy at work that in the event that someone is called off of work due to overstaffing, you can indicate that you would like to be the one by placing a big red dot by your name on the schedule. It says to the world that, hey, I am a team player and did not call in, but if you are going to send someone home, please let it be me.

I called my supervisor, realizing there was a snowball's chance in Hell that anyone would be called off, to have her red-dot my name. Ha! Hahaha! Let's just say, I got a lecture and am now off of work tonight. As it turns out, several of my coworkers are off from the same thing, one of which has pneumonia. 10 bucks says we all got it from the same patient. "I really don't need you here in that condition." Grrrrrr. While it is very true that I now have an entire day off of work, I hate it. I hate doing this to my coworkers, making them work their arses off to cover for my absence.

In the meantime, I found out something interesting. Each and every day I report to work, I find myself adjusting to the difference between this place and my previous employer. Other employees grumble about the place, but I know better because I have seen firsthand that there is worse out there. Much worse. This place actually takes care of its employees. But here is another difference I discovered: if you are ill for whatever reason, and it is something that is deemed contagious by your doctor, so long as they document it in writing and you report it to employee health, the absence cannot count against you. Fabulous. I only miss work when I am physically unable to work due to illness. I missed a couple months back because I had this horrendous stomach virus, for example, and was unable to get out of bed.

I have made a doctor's appointment for this afternoon. I really hope I have nothing but the flu. But I cannot breathe. I see a chest x-ray in my future.

That's Our Girl

This chick is becoming my new idol. Long after she should have been out of competitive waters, she is still doing her thang. Check this out.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Flu Happens

Forget Chemistry and Biology, work and family and everything else that is going on.
I. Am. Sick.
I have no idea how I am going to manage to be successful at work tomorrow night (or at any other task I undertake in the next couple of days).

Right now, I just know that I cannot call in sick. One coworker is on FMLA because his wife just had a baby. Another took a leave of absence, and I am not sure why, but I am sure I will find out when I report for my shift tomorrow night.

It all started with this benign tickle in my throat. Which made me cough just a little bit, but hey, no big deal, right? I popped Halls Defense tabs like they were going out of style, telling everyone that I cannot get sick. Between school and work, the world will stop turning if I am ill. But then it happened. I was cuddling with John on the living room floor, all snuggled in a blanket, watching a movie, when I started to cough really hard. I coughed so hard I urrrrrppped. Gross. And John, God how I love him, helped me clean myself up and helped me get tucked in on the sofa for the night. I remember waking up this morning, freezing despite the big comforter wrapped around me. The rest of today has passed in a blur of periods of awake and sleep. I would be freezing, and he would wrap me in such a weight of blankets that I should not have been able to breathe. I would wake a few hours later, drenched in sweat, and toss off the blankets. All of this only to repeat the ritual an hour later. The monotony was broken up by him bringing me a dose of Robitussin every 4 hours.

The period of time I would have spent in chemistry recitation came and went. Lecture came and went. In a fit of wakefulness, I ended up emailing my professor this afternoon to let him know where I was today. We have these little cards, worth only two points each, that we turn in during recitation each week. No big deal, but they add up to be a full quiz grade at the end of the quarter. In his response, he told me we would talk when I return on Tuesday. I am sincerely hoping he will cut me some slack on this one.

Other than all of this, my body is racked with aches and chills, and I truly think I have the flu. My mind flashes back to a time earlier in the week when I saw a headline that the flu is showing some rather resistant strains this year. "That's interesting", I thought, as I went on about my day. Now I am left to ponder that in conjunction with the fact that I got a flu vaccine earlier in the season from work. In fact. they pretty much made me, in that if I did not, I had to fill out this big waiver for the hospital, which in turn is reported to employee health, etc. In other words, just take the damned shot already, and thus I did.

Oh, the irony!

So now I am sitting here, typing this in a haze. I know I should use the time to study, being that I slept all day. I am having a hard time being productive, and am starting to feel hot again, wondering if I am about to break another fever. Blah!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Did it Again

Our chem professor was pacing back and forth in front of the classroom in front of the 16 of us that are remaining in the course at the end of the quarter. We are approaching final exams, have not yet been given our last exam grades or report grades. (Keep in mind that this was a course so jammed full of bodies at the beginning of the quarter that I had to beg for a seat.) He was speaking of how he will be computing our final grades so we would know, after being handed back our graded exams, if we would need to drop or not. He was saying how the trend is usually that he sees students bring up their final grade within one letter grade of the score they received on their first exam. He said he has never seen a student pull themselves up 3 whole letter grades by the end of the quarter, except for one. "And she is sitting in this room", he said.

I do not know how I did it, when there is no extra credit or curves or any other little nudges, but I managed to get an A in chemistry, so long as I keep my final exam grade above a 60%. I am so glad I did not give up.

Monday, March 2, 2009

On Land and On Sea

The past week has been rather interseting for me. I contacted an Officer Selection Officer and started talking commission with him. Now that I am in my last year of pre-med, it is time to start getting serious about the prospect of paying for medical school. I have a lot of work to do first, but I really want to go into the Navy.

Seriously? Yes, I do. And I can say that it is all about the financial aspect of going to medical school free of charge. The truth of the matter is that I would do this even if I had to accrue massive amounts of debt. In truth, it is just what I want to do. Is it because John is a veteran or because I like the uniform? It's hard to say. I know I would not prefer to addressed as Lieutenant instead of Doctor. But I am so pro-military, that I can think of no better way to use any training I have or have received than to serve our men and women in uniform. I'm not sure where this feeling came from, but all I know is it is there. Inside of me somewhere.

So what is this work I have to do? Well, I would be going through OCS relatively soon considering I haven't swam since Fall and am completely out of shape. I want to lose a large sum of weight. I will never make weight, I don't think. I am not designed to be petite. Instead, I aiming for the set body composition for my gender and age. I've been watching my intake, have surrendered the addiction to Diet Mountain Dew, and am taking steps to be more active. My diet is consisting of lots of boneless skinless chicken, fresh veggies and fruits, and lots of water. I am sitting here munching on a small salad right now as I am typing this. It's working, because as of today, after less than a week, I have lost 3 inches off of my waist and 1 off of my hips. It is going to be a slow journey because I am more interested in taking the fat away while building lean muscle. This isn't about a crash diet or taking a pill to make it all go away.