So, my whole schooling/work situation is a little bit complicated. I shall try to explain it all (from the start of the decade, omg) and hopefully it will be understandable.
- 4 years undergrad at UCI - graduated with Bachelor's in Biological Sciences
- 1 year work at an eco/evo lab at UCI - applied to grad school during this year
- 2 years grad school at Cal State Fullerton - graduated with a Master of Public Health degree. I graduated and then went straight into my nursing program... so yes, I graduated, but no, I was not done with school yet.
- 1.5 years of 3 completed prior to finding out about Anderson's 2nd brain tumor recurrence in January of 2009. Was in an entry-level Master of Nursing program at CSUF. At this point, I was able to take my NCLEX (nursing boards) and became licensed in February 2009. Took a leave of absence from school for 2 semesters to go with Anderson to Texas. Came home in early August 2009, started classes again at the end of August 2009.
- Fall 2009 - completed 5 courses towards my masters degree in nursing.
- Jan 2010 - transferred into the entry-level Bachelor of Nursing program.
- CURRENT - Jan-May 2010 - taking one last online course to complete my BSN
- CURRENT - End of Jan 2010 - hired as a new graduate nurse at Anaheim Regional Medical Center on the telemetry/oncology (cardiac medical/surgical patients and cancer patients) on the night shift (hours 6pm-6:30am) for approx 2 shifts per week while I'm taking the new graduate courses. I will be working with my preceptor (an experienced R.N.) for 23 shifts and then I'm on my own. 22 now, I guess since I've already done my first one.
- CURRENT - New Graduate Courses - once a week during the day for 6 weeks, plus an EKG course, ACLS course (I'm certified but I'll probably just take it again for review), and telemetry classes which will extend until sometime around June 2010.
Hm. It still looks kind of complicated. Hope you all understand it a little bit better.
Sorry for the boring stuff. My first shift went really well. I started out a little bit overwhelmed with all the charting/paperwork, figuring out the floor which has 4 identical hallways, remembering the door/medcart codes, where to get linens and supplies, etc. etc. I got to clock in for the first time. Everyone's really anal about it. Very long line at 6:30am, on the dot, to clock out. :) I also got to use the Pyxis (medication vending machine) for the first time! No more asking my nurse to get my Pyxis meds for me... I can do it myself! Got my finger scanned and everything. :D I ended the shift pretty tired and pretty excited. One thing I like about night shift is that when I'm done with work, the sun is out. The brisk, morning air is so refreshing.
Something interesting... about work... is that almost ALL my co-workers are in LOVE with Twilight. I got to use a Twilight reference during my retreat speaking and I thought that made the reading worth it, but actually being able to connect with my co-workers about something non-work-related right off the bat was nice too. Thanks again, Laura Bear.
I finally finished the 4th Twilight book yesterday. I say finally because it took me a while and it was slightly torturous. I'm so relieved, but I'm actually glad I read it. K, I just read Romans today about not having an exalted view of my own opinion and I'm not... it's just my opinion. I'm sorry if it offends anyone. I've heard many mixed feelings on Twilight... some ppl love it (I say ppl, but I think I really mean girls/women), some people hate it, some are "eh" about it (my fave comment is "I felt like my brain cells were dying as I was reading..."), but I think what's kind of interesting is that I've had more conversations about Twilight than I've had about Harry Potter, which I love and which I think is far superior to Twilight. I know they're completely different but on the inside sleeve of the Twilight book, one commentator said "move over Harry Potter" and I was kind of offended.
I was chatting with another friend lately who was surprised that I was reading Twilight and who sent me a link about 40-year-old-female Twilight fanatics. If my co-workers were pictured there, I wouldn't be surprised. Someone said that they've read each book multiple times. MULTIPLE TIMES! Once is more than enough for me. That and how I've been able to talk to so many women across so many ages, at church, at work, in my family... about something like Twilight... got me thinking about WHY. Why in the world is this book so popular? It's definitely not for the writing. It must not be for Bella because she's so annoying. I cannot relate to her, I don't find hardly any redeeming qualities about her, and I spent most of the series being really irritated at her, her thoughts, and her actions. Sense and Sensibility... now Jane Austen writes about two women, one that I can totally see myself acting like, and one that I totally would like the strength of character to be like. And they all get their men, but somehow the endings of Austen's books are so much more gratifying to me. And I don't read a lot. So... yeah. Anyway, back to Twilight...
If it's not for Bella, then I think people like reading it for the guys. For me, I kinda just wanted to read it for the same reason that even though I'm watching a crappy movie, I will still finish it just to get some closure and see what happens at the end. I just wanted to know what happens. She's got an interesting imagination; I'll give her that. But back to the guys... Edward and Jacob. Most people like Edward. Some ppl like Jacob. Taylor Lautner's pretty hot so I tend to gravitate towards Jacob, but even for his character in the book too. If I had to choose between the two, I'd choose Jacob... because he's more "real". Flawed with a temper, but he's more realistic.
Meyer writes some fairly annoying characters, but one thing I think she's got a firm grasp on is that true love is sacrificial. I see it in how she describes the relationships and how it goes beyond physical attraction (and maybe if you look beyond the Grecian-god-like physique, musical talent, athleticism, intellect, outrageously fancy cars and unlimited money at his disposal) to sacrificing yourself for the one you love and having him sacrifice himself for you. Granted... the types of sacrifices they make for each other in the book are really WAY out there, but if you boil it down to the essence... Edward sacrifices for Bella, and later on, she does the same for him and others as well. I'm taking a stab here... but I think girls/women like Edward because he's what they want but probably don't have. And I think that's really kind of sad. Firstly, because he's a fictional character creating impossible standards for real guys out there, and secondly... that most women just don't have that kind of love that they so desperately crave. I used to think that oh little girls are reading it and they're left pining after someone in the future, but with the realization that these grown women with husbands are in love with the book... made me sad to realize that there is no difference between the teenager reading it and the middle-aged woman reading it... this is something they're probably not getting in real life which is why they love to escape into a world where it exists through Twilight. I could be totally wrong here. Just my opinion.
I'm really, quite happy and satisfied with my life. Sometimes even telling my story to other people makes them cry. Shouldn't it make ME cry more than it makes others cry? A lot of times, other people's reaction is my own reality check in that I should be more grateful and more appreciative of the life I've been given and the state of my heart and my life right now. If I never marry again, I think I'll be OK. I'm pretty satisfied with my 6 really awesome months of marriage in which I experienced sacrificial love first hand. I think that might be more than some experience in their lifetime and I know I'm very, very blessed to have been loved that way. I've experienced that love that is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast... the love that believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things... the love that never fails in real flesh and blood. Would you think that having experienced it and having it taken away would leave me in even more desire of it than I would having not experienced it at all? You betcha.
I've come to realize that God's love is perfect and God's love fulfills me in ways that I never thought possible. God was just some vague "thing" somewhere out there that I had never really experienced but just knew that He existed. For reals... I've lived all my life having heard of it but never experiencing it... and now that I have, I can't imagine living without it... and I never have to. That is the beauty of being in a relationship with Someone who is eternal, who is constant and never changes, who always burns with passionate, sacrificial love... a love that is not dependent on anything I do but that is mine simply for the fact that it is. And I wouldn't have been able to see it or experience it, had I not lost my husband to brain cancer. I never would have chosen this life for myself, but I've said it many times before... that God's way is better than Tiff's way 100% of the time. He knew exactly what, who, where, when I needed and instead of fighting it, refusing it, or denying it... I accepted it. And what a marvelous thing it is to receive.
Sometimes I wish Asian people weren't so "polite" about refusing gifts. I also wish they weren't so return-the-favor-with-a-bigger-gift. When the gift is especially precious and priceless, specially chosen, specially personalized, specially prepared just for you... just take it. It's meant for no one else and cannot be re-gifted to anyone else either. I didn't deserve my gift, but that doesn't mean that I'll refuse it just because I can't give an equal one in return. I take it and give back what I can... which is all of me. You know what's super awesome... is that you have your gift too. It's already yours, already offered to you... it's just waiting for you to take it, use it, experience life with it... experience freedom, experience being transformed, renewed into the best version of yourself and to continue to be transformed for the rest of your life... and being passionate, fulfilled, and joyful regardless of your circumstances. It's the best thing that happened in my life and I know it will be the same for you too.
Just goes to show that when you see God in everything... He calms and colors everything you see... even things like Twilight.