Posts Tagged ‘Stupidity’

…. you spend the last forty-five minutes of a decidedly long and arguably boring six-hour nursing meeting passing notes with the most feared and formidable teacher in the nursing program.

Yeah—for those of you who know Mrs. Harris, pathophysiology and acute medical-surgical professor extraordinaire, that’s who I’m talking about. The whole time I was waiting either for my alarm to go off and wake me out of a very strange dream or for the earth to split open and half of us to fall into hell and the rest of us to drift up through the ceiling.

(Though that sounds kind of bad, like I’m implying something about the moral status of our nursing students. It’s just an illustration, guys.)

This morning I actually got up and exercised, if riding your bike for 40 minutes can be called exercise, which in my book definitely is. (As opposed to sleeping another hour, anyways, which is what I wanted to do.) I’m pretty pumped to have a bike, because in my mind’s eye it looks like losing the seven pesky pounds that have rather stubbornly attached themselves to my personage since I started college. We’ll see.

Also, as I was walking across campus today in a rather hungry, sleepy, dizzy daze of having just sat through too many hours of presentations and inductions and other nursing what-not, I spotted my friend Meagan walking towards me. No one else was around, which becomes important in the story. So I waved really big and said, “Heee-eeey!” in that extremely too-many-syllables Southern way. But instead of responding, she just stared at me. At which point, of course, I realized that the girl I’d accosted was, ah-hem, not Meagan at all, and I didn’t know her from Adam.

I’m pretty sure she was a freshman, too, because she had that totally freaked out, why-didn’t-I-just-go-to-the-state-school-with-all-of-my-high-school-friends look. Oops.

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“Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.”

—Friedrich Schiller

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So… I’ve been MIA a few days. Between clinicals, the aftermath of clinical (also known as paperwork, but I have to put it in parentheses because it’s a bad word), and watching Vampire Diaries after clinical going to bed early last night, things have been busy.

Honestly, yesterday was a responsible day. So let’s just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. Minus the watching Vampire Diaries part. And yes, Vampire Diaries does have to be crossed out. It’s for your own good.

So today, since apparently I personally had been rather boring, my gastrointestinal system decided to be irresponsible and spontaneous since the rest of me was focused on getting my paperwork done and being a good little nursing student.

I was well on my way to finishing my med sheet and nurses notes and all that fun stuff on time, when voilà, the Bowel Attack of Death swooped down out of nowhere and completely foiled my efforts to get my paperwork finito by five-o and, to top it off, threw all my vestiges of self esteem off the top of the Olen Hendrix as there was no time to get back to my room, so… yeah. It all happened in the nursing bathroom as all the cool level two students and teachers leisurely strolled in and out. Fun times.

Thanks for the whack stomach genes, oh dearly beloved ancestors.

Just in case you were wondering…. Last time the Bowel Attack of Death dropped down on me out of the sky, I was photographing a wedding. An Asian wedding, no less. (I’m not really sure why the Asian part is significant, but I feel like it’s important.) My stomach had been sending little warning messages up to my brain, but as the wedding was somewhat disorganized (or perhaps this was just my impression, since everyone was speaking Chinekoreapenese), I didn’t know when it would start.

So, like an unsuspecting kitten who has just wriggled under a pretty wooden fence into a rabid Doberman’s yard, I decided to wait it out.

I’ll be fine.

I’ll just go to the bathroom after the ceremony is over.

About two bridesmaids before the bride marched down the aisle in that irreplaceable moment of photographic Asian heaven, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Like a cliff falling on an indigenous village. Like the Doberman ripping out that poor little kitten’s intestines.

I threw the camera at Charlene and bolted for the bathroom. Right in the middle of the processional. And I was sitting on the front row. And everyone was staring at me.

I’ll spare you the details of what happened for the next twenty minutes.

Luckily, I made it back in time to get the now-you-may-kiss-the-bride… but not back quickly enough that everyone who could speak English asked me what on earth had happened to me.

I could only hang my head in shame.

Oh… and after today’s One of Those Days atmosphere, I finally got back to the room, closed my door, put on an… interesting outfit, and had a forty-five minute Ke$ha and Joan Jett dance party. It was epic, and right now you are just jealous that you aren’t as awesome as me.

And after the stomach episode, Ke$ha’s inspiring lyrics, “This place about ta blow,” took on a much deeper meaning for me, if you know what I mean.

Unless you live in a metal box in a permanently sedated state with nothing but air and an IV to keep you alive, then you probably learn something new every day.

For instance, you might learn that if you cut open someone’s abdomen, blow a little air into it, and stick a little camera down inside of the space created, not only can you see their large intestine and small intestines, but also their stomach, their liver, their gallbladder, and their heart beating against the upper part of the peritoneal cavity.

Or you might learn just exactly what the head of one’s femur looks like when it’s been ravaged by osteoarthritis because the surgeon saws it out of you and hands it to the scrub nurse.

Or, hypothetically speaking, you might get to learn just how incredibly small a nonpregnant uterus is, after having only seen pregnant ones in the past. (And you wonder how something that small can cause such a universal and age-old fusion of both misery and joy.)

But then again, you might learn something else.

You might learn that if you take a nap after clinical and set your alarm for an hour and a half later, you will probably end up snoozing for quite a long time. And then additionally, you might learn that if you hit the snooze button consistently for a full hour, then the alarm finally just turns off.

And then you might find yourself waking up a full four hours later, wondering where you are, when you are, who you are, and how in the world you are ever going to get your days and nights back on a normal schedule.

No bueno.

[The rest of today’s adventure is brought to you by HIPAA: Destroying interesting blog posts since 1996.]

Today’s action of irresponsibility was….

Green eyeshadow and red lipstick. Well, pretty red. Not knock-you-down-redlight-district red, but still redder than my lips ever pretend to be on their own. Considering that my makeup is usually pretty played down, this was pretty exciting.

Also, in lieu of the madness of Spring Sing, some Ju Go Ju girls were spray-painting in the third-floor Searcy hallway. I got back to the dorm after class, and there were about five or six fire trucks outside of the dorm, swarming the building. And it turned out that the fire alarms had gone off from the incredible particle count in the air because some total idjits were spraying flammable aerosols inside of a completely closed system.

When they finally, let us back inside, the air literally looked like someone had taken about ten flour sacks and banged them against the walls for about ten minutes. You could see the spray paint in the air, not to even begin mention what it smelled like.

I’m pretty sure I have dain bramage from it.

What in the name…?

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Yesterday, I was walking across the caf, taking my plate to the dish disposal, when I saw two girls sitting together who grabbed my attention immediately. Both wore what my back-home readers know as Mountain Brook clothes, and what my at-school readers know as Ju Go Ju-Kojie clothes; one had dyed her hair pitch black, the other bleach blonde. However, I would not have noticed them for these generally unremarkable traits.

What I did notice was the fact that they were… orange.

Yes, some girls go to the tanning bed and get way too tan. I’ve seen them, you’ve seen them, we’ve all seen them. Not until yesterday, however, had I actually seen someone who was literally orange the way your regular healthy Oompa-Loompa might look. Have mercy.

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“Let us leave the beautiful women to men who have no imagination.”

—Marcel Proust

It’s 11:22 PM here and I don’t think I can stay awake much longer so I will be brief.

Today we went into Florence for the first time. We rode Bus 16 from the base of the Hill (I capitalize it because it really deserves to be its own proper noun; this is the incline that leads to the villa from the outskirts of Scandicci) about thirty minutes through the suburbs into city center. From there we walked… and we walked… and we walked…. Honestly I didn’t mind the walking at all, it wasn’t that bad—my Chacos were the most comfortable shoes in the world and my feet never hurt (well, not from walking, anyway, but I’m getting there). We saw lots and lots of churches, the ones of which I can remember being this big brick one at the beginning at the end of the Gothic period, the Duomo and its surrounding counterparts, the Church of Dante where Beatrice and his grouchy wife are buried, and the Santa Croce on the Ultra Arno (the opposite side of the river from where the Duomo and a lot of the famous stuff is) outside the city walls up on a hill overlooking the city. We ate gelato (twice as a group and for free, but I’m pretty proud of myself for only eating one). We took (or I took) lots and lots and lots of pictures. We used Whispers, which are these obnoxious touristy radio things that the tour guide (in this case, Robbie and Kyle) can speak into so that everyone can hear it within a reasonable radius.

All in all quite a wonderful day, but….

Around twelve, I’d say, standing outside of the Scienza Museum where a lot of Galileo’s inventions and instruments are housed and displayed, I could feel my toes suddenly catch on fire like there was no tomorrow and I’d gone straight to hell. Perturbed, I looked down, only to realize that they were flaming red. Not the rest of my feet, only my toes. Terrified, I remembered that my feet were the only part of my body that had NOT been sufficiently sunscreened and immediately borrowed some and slathered it on thick. Probably another thirty minutes later, I realized the knuckle of my pointer finger on my right hand was flaming as well, and within an hour the entire crescent of my hand from the tip of my pointer finger, over my ring, around the skin between my thumb and hand, and the top of my thumb were burned to a crackly crunch. And why? From holding my camera.

These are about the dumbest sunburns I’ve ever heard of. A toe burn and a camera-holding burn. What the crap.

Well, it doesn’t matter what the crap, really, what matters is that I have no aloe vera and I’ve taken Advil and done everything I can and I still feel like my hands and feet are on fire.

I have a pretty hilarious tan line—or burn line, as it were—from the ring I always wear on my pointer finger. It’s snow white surrounded by fire engine red.

Slightly miserable. It’s like a million fire ants stinging you in those two places. Probably the worst sunburn I’ve ever had. The pain simply never stops. At least, I guess, it’s only in those two places.

All whining aside, my favorite church by far today and probably will continue to be for Florence, at least, was the Santa Croce. Located above and outside the main city, it overlooks the entire Arno Valley (I’m pretty sure I just made up that little geographical term but there you go, it fits). It was built in the 1100s, I think, and so is built in late Gothic style, and Gothic is my favorite (think Notre Dame in Paris), so that was the first plus. Secondly, it’s attached to a Benedictine monastery, and monks are fascinating to me, and because a friend told me about some place where you can come listen to the Gregorian chants at daily Mass so I was quite pleased to finally figure out where that was. Thirdly, the entire floor of the church (and its size is nothing to sneeze at) is paved with marble slabs carved with inscriptions about third century martyrs. At the back of the church and down a short, wide stair is a crypt—the altar is an enormous sarcophagus sort of thing housing the bones of… some dead Christian whose name starts with an M, I can’t remember. But it was very dark and quiet in there, very reflective, and we all sang a few hymns and the acoustics were pretty much haunting.

The incredible thing to me about cathedrals is the way they just draw your eyes up; I have a bad habit of looking down when I walk (mostly to avoid tripping, I think, but also a leftover from fourth grade when I remember training myself to do this so I didn’t have to ever make eye contact… I was a little weird), but whenever I walk into a cathedral my eyes are automatically draw upwards. I can understand why the medieval Christians placed such importance on their churches and chapels…. In an age where almost everyone was illiterate, if the wonder and awe and power and mystery of God wasn’t displayed in stone, in painting, in glass, in masonry, so much of the Biblical story and its impact would have been lost to the masses. I know we often discredit the seemingly (and sometimes assuredly) flagrant expenditure of wealth on these buildings, but there’s something about those soaring ceilings, making you want to be quiet and simply be still.

I’ll be going back to Santa Croce first chance I receive.

Tonight we also had our Benvenuto in Italia party, which was great fun despite the fact that at the beginning none of us wanted to be there, bed being the only thing on our minds (being in Florence and walking constantly from nine thirty til five thirty will take the life out of you, not to mention burning to the point of fried-chicken-crispy… I’m just lucky it was already the aforementioned places). The games were silly but it was a wonderful, upbeat time, and I got to know people a little better, like the HUF facilitator Kyle, who is about the most enthusiastic, crazy-eyed person I’ve ever met in my life. A couple of the games verged towards violence, and multiple people ended up on the ground, but it was all a lovely time.

Also, I learned something else today. It is called (Mollie, I’m stealing your favorite phrase) don’t talk to strangers. I’ve heard all kinds of lovely stories about HUFers (I’m going to have to find another noun) meeting awesome people from Florence and other places, so I’ve been trying to be open to opportunities. But… wait. Hello! You’re Kellum! You attract creepers like moths to a flame! Guess I forgot…. Anyways, I was taking pictures (surprise!) and this man, probably between thirty and forty, took a picture of me taking a picture of him. He had a really nice camera, so I thought I would stop and talk to him. I did, and the conversation wasn’t too awkward, except in the process I got a little ways from the group (they were still in sight, it wasn’t a huge big deal), and then he followed me and wouldn’t leave me alone and asked me where I was from and where I was staying and I couldn’t get away….

Ugh. Luckily I was just wearing a T-shirt, my big giant sunhat, and capris…. A few of the girls actually looked nice (a side effect of most of the girls being Ju Go Ju and Kojies, I suppose) and they were getting the creepy lookover left and right. Let me just sit here and shudder for a moment.

At least he didn’t try to touch my hair, and then tell me it felt like some sort of crazy Italian pasta….

Well… I have to sleep. Exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it. And something has to happen to my hands (like, they have to be chopped off… it’s like little tiny lizards from hell with glowing hot claws are climbing all over the semicircle of skin exposed directly to the sun from the camera-holding position). So… ciao for niao… haha….

About fifteen minutes ago, I was hanging up pictures of Italy along the top of the dorm room wall along the ceiling—I cannibalized my 2008 calendar of Italy to make mini-posters to symbolize my deep and abiding love for the bella country of Italia—standing up on my rather bouncy mattress.

My bed is approximately as high as my belly button, maybe a little higher.

All day, for reasons I can’t quite comprehend, I’ve had an inexplicable case of vertigo, feeling ridiculously dizzy at random points throughout the day—it literally feels like some rather vindictive brain-gnomes have been playing nine-pins with my equilibrium since I got up this morning. 

(Can you see where this is going?)

I probably laid on the ground for about five minutes after I fell, trying to decide if anything was broken, if I was going to cry, if I wanted to scream for help, if I just wanted to sprawl there melodramatically for the rest of the night. Finally, I got up once I realized that no one was going to rush in and give me loads of attention and kept decorating… but I had quite a good time, for those few minutes, spread-eagled on our orange chenille carpet, one foot awkwardly wrapped around the stool, contemplating what would have happened if I had banged my head and Charlene had come in to my dead body, blood slowly draining from a horrible head wound….

Cough. Melodramatic, much? Yes.

The only injury I sustained was (what I suspect will develop into) a pretty massive bruise on my left gluteus maximus where it whacked into the stool on the way down (which, strangely, took quite a long time, to me, kind of that movie-like slow-mo effect). Rather boring, but there you go.

Yesterday, I was thankful that we made it back to Harding (despite losing thirty or forty minutes due to turning the wrong way onto the interstate… about fifteen minutes away from Searcy).

Today, I am thankful for poetry, and the way that it acts like a release for the pressure of built-up feelings that can’t exactly be expressed in concrete words.

Haha. I feel like I’m dreaming, but it’s one of those dreams that is neither wonderful nor horrible—just strangely surreal. Everything just feels… not me. Like I’ve fallen into a parallel universe.

I’m psychotic, probably.

(Be afraid.)

Hooray for short paragraphs!

I dreamed the other night that I had a pet tiger cub named Yao Mang. He was very cute and cuddly.

I kind of want one, now. Though that’s most likely illegal.