Thursday, March 20, 2008

Week 5, Catch-up and I survived until the mid-semester break!

So... week 5 is over, another assignment down and it´s time to have a short break.

I made it through the ´mythical´ week 5, have keep up to date with my assignments - if not always my readings and general study. I´ve been playing catch-up this week and have plans to use the break to try and get ahead again.

I´m still struggling to get myself into a set study routine, and am disappointed that I´m disorganised. I want to be more organised and I find myself frustrated that I´m falling back into old and bad habits. I never really learnt how to study properly in the past and it´s really starting to show. I get distracted far too easily and procrastinate/find excuses to not do things.

That said, if I can use this break to catch up and get ahead a bit more I will do okay. And I really want to learn good study habits and skills. I wonder if I can find a good book on study habits/skills that would help me?

I should get back to work.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Week 4: ´puters, assignments and study groups

So here I am in week 4 with just one more week to go until the mythical ´week 5´ which is rumoured to be the week where youĺl know if youŕe going to make it or not.

This week found me settling in more and feeling temporarily less stressed... at least until I realised that I had yet another assignment due next week. There were other problems as well, with the power adapter for my laptop dying (after being replaced just 5 weeks ago!) hunting for a new and affordable ´puter (Asus Eee PC - affordable and cute and tiny at just 7¨), forgetting that I had to write a self-evaluation on the seminar I did last week and the seemingly unending state of exhaustion - not to mention the apparently impossible task of finding vegan nurses shoes.

There have been some good things this week as well. The study group that we´ve been discussing starting had itś first meeting this week and it proved to be an excellent idea- with all that attended feeling like they were more sure of what they were doing.

There seem to be some people in my classes that are drifting away more and in some cases the age differences are really starting to both show and be felt. I find myself wondering just how much longer it will be before some of the younger ones quit. Some of them are lovely, but it seems like they are out of their depth or not willing to accept the not so good parts of being a nurse.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week 3, Week 4 - Assignments, Seminars and feeling like I belong here

Week 3 is finally over! I was feeling pretty stressed about this last week, since I had my first three assignments due - including at 20 minute seminar to present. The seminar went well and I've had my fellow students tell me that they learned something from it and that it was interesting, which has been great. Although I do keep on thinking of things that I was supposed to include and didn't mention.

I know that there was a lot more that happened in week 3, but I can't remember most of it because I was so focuses on the assignments... The clinical lab class was pretty good though. Teeth cleaning and shaving. It's kind of weird shaving somebody of the opposite gender when you have never done that before. I really like the other students that I've worked with in my clinical labs - we always seem to have so much fun while we are learning...

I remember reading online that some nursing students could be really bitchy - generally on international sites and forums, but I haven't found that to be the case. Everybody that I've spent time with has been so supportive of each other, even when there's the occasional personality clash (read as personality that the individual find annoying/frustrating). And even the lecturers and facilitators are great - and that includes the 'scary' ones.

One of the lecturers that I have has a reputation for being 'scary', however when I had to see her about my seminar she was fantastic and gave me so much help!

Into week 4 now and a little bit of breathing space, even if there is another assignment due in next week, but after making it through last week I feel much more confident about it.

I feel like I am slowly becoming more in control of my studies and that they are not running away without me. And this week should see the beginning of our official study group meetings on Thursday afternoon/evening.

There are things that I need to improve or organise more, but they do seem to be falling into place. I'm still a little behind on my readings and need to spend some more time doing research into a couple of my subjects, but it's not totally overwhelming or something that I can't deal with.

If nothing else I've been so proud of myself in the last couple of weeks. It hasn't always been easy - especially when some things haven't gone according to plan, but I've been coping with it well most of the time. And I think that is one of the things that is making me feel like I belong at nursing school. In the first couple of weeks I didn't know if I could deal with it - especially alongside my GAD (generalised anxiety disorder), but I have done well. Just one or two moments of really bad anxiety and then after the event rather than before. And generally happier than I have been in years.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Week Two Review

So here I am, about to head into week three, and not a lot of posting happening.

Week two was pretty hectic and crazy. So much work to do, with three assignments to be completed for week three. I've been working hard on them, including tonight and am now feeling all headachy.

Biology was interesting, with a dissection being done in class. I had mentioned briefly to the facilitator that I had an ethical objection to participating in a dissection, but my comments were pretty much just brushed to the side. That said, my lab group is fantastic and understanding. I spoke with them before the dissection and said that I didn't want to participate due to my ethical objections to animal dissections, and they were fine with it. Seeing as I actually find the human and non-human body interesting I wasn't as concerned about observing the dissection. And it proved to be a good opportunity to talk to my lab group about why I have an ethical objection to the practice.

The dissection that was being done was of a Cow bone, and it enabled me to have a conversation about how Bovines typically don't even get to live a quarter of their lives. And that considering that a Cow may live for 20 years, and they are often killed by five years of age it wasn't a lot different to saying that I should have been dead by now - at just 28.

I'm pleased that I was able to use something that I was ethically opposed to as a way to start a conversation - and to start a conversation in a way that was accepted by those listening to it.

Other than the dissection, the week was good. I finally feel like I am starting to get into the right head space to be studying and there was a moment where I felt that it was all just falling into place.

I've still got a lot of work to get done before classes tomorrow and need to try and get a good nights sleep - and check to see if I will be getting a lift to uni tomorrow.