US Navy Nurse

What are your thoughts about joining the US Navy?  Today, I received an email inviting me to learn more about the US Navy Nurse Candidate Program.  They would pay all my tuition in exchange for 3 years active duty after graduation.  And, it looks like I would either be stationed in San Diego or Maryland.  I would get much needed experience at a much faster track.

Please weigh in on this – application is due July 1.  I’d like to hear your comments.

Finding a new home

They have Badminton, Equestrian, and Figure Skating among the sport club teams – but no archery! What am I going to do? Should I take up Equestrian so I can ride horses then maybe one day shoot bows and arrows while riding horses?

They are Division I – so they have the most amazing pool, an indoor track, and a climbing wall. The main gym is on the West campus, which is where all the graduate programs are located. East campus is for undergraduates. The main library, the chapel and the Botanical Gardens are also on West. Supermarkets are closer to West campus. I was considering a variety of different neighborhoods for housing based on recommendations but now that I’ve found out the gym and the supermarkets are on the same side of town,

I’m looking primarily at Old West Durham, then (Walltown, Trinity Heights, Trinity Park). The Nursing School also has their own tech support and librarian – just for the Nursing school! I love the resources and I might be one of the few people really excited about the gym.

18 again

I’m feeling a little sad today.  I reached out to a girl who I met when I interviewed at Duke.  She was admitted first and I was wait listed.  I learned today she declined her acceptance which likely lead to my offer.  I’m sure I took her spot.  She has a similar profile to me (demographically, socioeconomic, woman, person of color, non traditional background, etc.)  It made me sad to learn she would not be my classmate, nor would she be attending nursing school this fall as she only applied to one school.

I am thankful that I applied to multiple schools and had choices.  She declined because she said the cost of tuition was too expensive for her.  Where as, I decided, even confidently that this is the place I want to be.  The loans, I can figure it out.  There are loan reimbursement programs, and I will have more debt with round 2 of school when I continue on as a nurse practitioner.  And, it’s possible I will need a car by my second semester for clinical rotations.  Loans, it’s a little like monopoly money.  I questioned for a long time if my undergraduate degree was worth the cost as I am still not sure of it’s value.  I did not graduate making a great deal of money, nor did I have a skill set that was tangible, nor did I have direction.  I didn’t enjoy college the way many people enjoyed college.  I felt I was busy at protests or arguing about Ethnic Studies, or providing services to the under served.  I may have done just as well at a more affordable undergraduate school.

This next degree, is my do-over, although it is considered a graduate program, I am entering an Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing program.  I will finish in 16 months with a BSN and be a registered nurse.  I look forward to going back to school a second time, but with much more purpose and focus.  Not only knowing who I am but knowing what I want to do and be.  I am grateful for this opportunity to begin again.  Welcome to being 18 years old again.

30 days left in SF

I have packed away 19 small boxes of mostly gear and have probably 10 more small boxes left to pack. As I write my spreadsheet to account for my inventory, every item that went into a box is loved. I love my snow jacket, my puffy coat, my puffy pants, mountaineering mitts, hats, and everything else. I have been building my winter collection and I haven’t lived in winter in 5+ years.  Maybe Marie Kondo was on to something and it is important to hold each item in your hand.  
I am almost done selling all my furniture – 1 floor lamp, 2 side lamps, a rolling cart, 1 sleeping bag and pots and pans remain. I do have my bed/sofa/tv left but a friend is visiting next week so I have to keep them for a little longer. Although I was sad to see my furniture and plants go, they served me well and now found a new home. I am grateful for not only selling everything but nothing was wasted and everything found a new home, even the items that went to goodwill. Selling everything also gives me the freedom to create a new identity in a new space. I look forward to having a home of my own for a few years, no roommates.  
I have started to reach out to the Duke community for advice on my move and getting started. I am surprised, although I should not be, everyone is like me, kind, helpful, all with deep dreams and they are all over achievers. I have never been surrounded by people who are just like me. I hope it pushes me to be a better me.  

Life on Craigslist

I picked up 30+ free moving boxes yesterday from a guy named Frank who posted them. He recently moved into a new home with his wife. I told them I was moving to North Carolina, for nursing school @ Duke. His reply was Duke’s a good school. This is the same response from everyone I meet. They tell me Duke’s a good school. I like that reputation and feel confident in my decision to go there. Sometimes, though the response is, oh, Duke, they are my team! Duke basketball is big and I’m excited too, more from anthropology perspective to learn about its culture. I am looking forward to watching things like marching bands, and basketball games in a stadium that fits 8,000 seated fans, and 12,000 standing fans.

The boxes were used only once for this move, and by professional movers. The boxes were labeled, vases, ski jackets and pillows. The couple mostly moved kitchenware. I appreciated picking up the boxes but they are all small, 16”x12”x12”. My down puffy jacket takes up one whole box. I have packed about 20 small boxes: camping gear, helmets (climbing, skiing, bike), bicycle pump/accessories, winter sports (ski jacket, pants, gloves, thermals, hats), mountaineering specific clothing (like gaiters, crampons, climbing harness, etc.), and sleeping bags. I packed one box of linens and towels, another of school supplies/books, hangers, trekking backpacks and regular jackets and shoes. I really don’t think I need an apartment just a garage or large closet/gear room.

I also posted a few things on Craigslist for free, left over from the previous tenant or I received for free: over the toilet glass stand, plastic shoe rack and outdoor patio furniture. Each of these free posts, I received over 10+ replies. I deleted all the messages from people who did not follow the directions of my ad and gave the items to those who could follow the directions. My note included, please reply with your phone number, date/time you would like to pick up the item.

Last night, I asked the girl who picked up my outdoor furniture if she wanted other things for free. I proceeded to give her bags of tea, opened bottles of aloe vera, sunblock, mosquito spray, wooded trivets, old ski goggles were the glue/adhesive had worn off from the padding, tennis balls (I don’t play tennis) and a stainless steel cocktail shaker. I was happy those items found a home since goodwill does not accept perishables. Now I have to give away my flower vases, lasagna glass pans, and other fragile items. I think I’ll ship my other prohibited items via Fed Ex through work, but I need an address to ship to.

The definition of an appliance is a device that is used for a specific task. I think the small electric kettle, hairdryer and hand held clothing steamer are defined as appliances, which are prohibited on Amtrak. Or maybe they only mean large appliances like a washing machine and I can still ship my small items. Other items not permitted: archery equipment, power tools, silverware, fragile items, artwork, liquids, perishables and ice axes (sharp objects). I don’t know how they would know if any of those items are in my boxes because the boxes do not go through a x-ray machine. However, I understand archery equipment is considered a weapon, ice axes and fragile items could break and hurt someone so I’ll likely ship those through work. I’m glad I had a month’s head start to start this moving process rationally. Otherwise, if I was short on time, I’d frantically be giving everything away.

Paperwork welcoming you to Duke

Sharing a photo: playing peekaboo.

I have been to the Student Health Center, 4 times in the last two weeks to be cleared for my immunization paperwork. The immunization paperwork requires birth immunization records. If you do not have your birth immunization records with the Dr.’s official stamp, you need to order titers with quantitative lab reports to prove you have the immunity. Luckily I had my paperwork, but additional paperwork was required for a Hep B titer ($16). I had to get a new TB test because TB tests are annual depending on the communities you work with. Fortunately this TB request was only one series and not the two series that I have needed in the past for my previous volunteer paperwork. The flu shot also is required within the program start date when it becomes available. 
I paid ($130) to have a background screening to ensure I do not have a criminal or sex offender record in the last ten years within the last three States that I have lived. Friday, I have to pass a drug screening. I have to renew my American Heart Association CPR certification, even though it has not expired and I have other CPR certs good for two years. They require a valid AHA certification for the duration of  program ($60). All forms must be completed by June 15. 
Additionally, I am getting blood lab work done and my eyes checked as well. The blood lab work is not for the program directly, but my last 4 visits to the school health center they said my blood pressure was so high, it was indicative of pre hyper tension. I could only equate the high blood pressure with stress, rather than medication, lifestyle, or even hereditary issues. I am surprised the stress I have been feeling over this application period is resulting in physiological indicators. When I said I felt stressed over the last several posts, and I was unable to overcome it in my normal ways of exercise, outdoor activity, friends, and sleep. My heart was actually squishing tighter. 
The move is going ok. I am now at phase 2 of the reviewing stuff – Marie Kondo method – do you love this stuff? I really do like my flower vases, but do I need to ship them? Will they break along the way? It’s apparently harder to part with some things than others.  

Purge away

I gave away 8 pairs of shoes, some of which I have not worn in over 5 years (work flats, sandal wedges, old sneakers, old hiking shoes, water shoes…). I gave away knee pads and wrist guards from over a decade ago when I used to snowboard. I found a blue tooth device, from the days when I used to sit in the car and have conference calls.  What is hiding in your closet?

Generally, I feel prideful about keeping my possessions in check and it surprises me to find these outliers. I have given away 8 paper shopping bags of stuff. I am slightly horrified that I had so many things to give away.

My friend argues that I should sell my two zero degree sleeping bags (one is down, the other is synthetic – serving different functions). She asked if I would use them in the next few years and if they are worth the cost of shipping and keeping. Yes, I love my sleeping bags, and they will never go bad. Technology will change, newer sleeping bags will become lighter, but I’m happy with them so I think they should move. I also don’t think I will ever return to SF, to visit yes, but unlikely to live here in the foreseeable future. I want to bring with me all that I will ever use, which is why I am keeping my ice axe too.

I am also surprised at how quickly all my furniture sold. I only have a few remaining items I will use over the next month (bed, and sofa), then those too will go. I enjoy the refresh, and opportunity to begin again. The only good thing about moving is to examine one’s possessions, and be honest, if they fit your current lifestyle. I read somewhere, when moving, be ruthless with the purge.