Thursday, May 13, 2010

Long-timey No-bloggy

Woah!  I really wasn't kidding when I realized on the first day of the semester that I wasn't going to have time to blog while going to school.  The semester is over and I have already started my summer class online - Intro to Organic and Biochemistry.

I ended up with a 3.92 for the semester - all A's except for a B in Chem Lab.  Oh well.  Very excited and satisfied with the A's I got in Gen Chem I and A&P II.

Just completed my essay for the Accelerated BSN Program application and I am happy with it.  Now I'm working on gathering all of my official transcripts to attach and I will be able to turn it in.  After tomorrow, the decision will be out of my hands!  I should find out by June 1 if I got in to the program or not. 

The boys finish school at 1st Pres next Thursday - looking forward to lots of summer fun with them!

In other news, I am training for this Triathlon.  July 31st in Memphis - must get a handle on the swimming, and soon!  Not that the bike and run are easy, but I have the confidence that I can do those distances - the swimming is a much different story.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Things to remember over the past several weeks:
Created Aspirin in Chemistry Lab
Dissected Pig Heart in A&P Lab
Took Easton with me on a tutoring session with my Chem professor.  He was adorable, carrying his own backpack, lining up his Star Wars action figures on the Chem Lab table, and answering quiz questions from Dr. Warby about what planet Ewoks lived on (Endor) and what planet Luke Skywalker was from (Tatooine).

Results from Tests:
A&P II Exam - 86% (Class average was 71%)
A&P II Lab Exam - 93%
Chem Midterm - 76% (Class average was 46%)

Took Social Stats Exam yesterday and will take my second A&P Exam tomorrow.

Midterm Grades:
Chemistry - A!
Chemistry Lab - A!
A&P II - A!
A&P II Lab - A!
Social Statistics - A!

The second half of the semester started yesterday, which also means my half-semester Pilates and Fitness Yoga class started!  Looking forward to some stress relief and core strengthening on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Met a fellow student in Pilates who is also in my A&P lecture, and found out that she is also finishing her prerequisites this semester to apply for the accelerated Nursing program that starts in August.  She has a bachelor's degree in Music and is now going into healthcare. It's nice to have found another person who is going through the same thing I am academically...we can sort of lean on each other while we wait until June to find out if we got into the program.

Pretty boring blogpost, but I wanted to document for myself how my grades are going this semester.  After church tonight, I will be studying about the heart, arteries, veins, and lymphatic system for my test tomorrow!

Friday, February 5, 2010

First Week of Tests

I had my first Chemistry test on Tuesday - this was over the before mentioned "assumed knowledge" in Ch. 1-3.  I studied flashcards, had a tutoring session from my younger brother over the phone (Nick has a Masters in Molecular Biochemistry from UConn!), peer tutoring from a nice young man with lovely long strawberry blond hair (who texted his friends the whole time he was calculating molar mass with me), did every practice problem, and took online quizzes.  Prepared - yes.  But admittedly I was not prepared to take a 53 question Chemistry exam in 75 minutes.  With one minute left, I had to quickly fill in answers to the last 11 questions.  At least I know what to expect next time! 

I just got my grade - 73%.  And I'm not upset!  My professor says the grades ranged from 15-93% and the average was a 53%.  So I don't really know what the 73% means, as far as whether its a regular old C, or if its a B (80% with a 7 pt. curve based on highest grade in class) or an A (90% with a 17 pt. curve based on average (53%) equaling C/70%).  I've got all kinds of theories, don't I! =) 

Thursday was my first exam in A&P II.  It was over the senses, the endocrine system, and blood.  Haven't gotten my grade yet, but I felt okay (not great) about it.  It was 66 multiple choice questions. 

And with all of the late night/early early morning studying I've done over the last week, I am now turning my brain off for the weekend.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowpocalypse Now

Yeah for snow in Arkansas!!  Just finished the somewhat gratuitous snowball fight and snow angel creation in the front yard.  It must be done if you are 1. an Arkansan who only sees snow once or twice a year; 2. you only see six inches once every five years (or more); and 3. you are the parent of preschool aged children who also can be categorized under section 1. and 2.



Funny conversation between me and David while we were outside.
Me:  Oh, I'm so glad the lights are still on the house.  It looks like Christmas!
Him:  Shut it.
Me:  Do you think you could get up on the roof tomorrow and take them down? (Sweet Grin)
Him:  Only if you want me to fall off the roof.
Me:  If I put your coat on, what do you think I'll turn into (you know, like on The Santa Clause)
Him:  An a***ole.

At least he admits it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Steph, the Science Kid

When I texted David to tell him that I had dissected a cow eye in Anatomy & Physiology II Lab on Wednesday, he sent me back a message that said, "You're like Sid the Science Kid !"  Let me tell you though, Sid's never done anything like this in Teacher Susie's class!  Can you imagine Gerald and May with scalpels?  Ahhhhhhhh!  Ha ha. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Was I Thinking??

Thankfully, the title to this post is not referring to my decision to go back to school.  It is actually referring to my decision to try to BLOG at the same time as returning to school.  What was I thinking???!  I don't have time to blog.  I found out this past week that I don't have time to sleep - why would I have time to blog?

All week long, I was writing blog posts in my head (while I was in the shower, while I was walking to class, while I was driving to pick boys up from school), but I was not ever able to actually get to the computer to document my thoughts.

So here are some anecdotes from my first week of school that I want to remember.  Oh, and a picture of the schoolgirl, of course. old do my classmates think I am?

A lot of my friends had been asking me over the last several weeks if I was nervous about going back to school, and I always said, "Not at all!  I'm excited."  Well at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, I bolted right past nervous to downright scared.  When my professor said, in his beautiful South African accent, "So we will be starting in Ch. 4, because Ch. 1-3 is assumed knowledge," I almost gasped aloud.  Oh wait a minute, I think I did.  And if there weren't 150 other students in my class for me to look stupid in front of, I probably would have raised my hand and said, "Um, are you serious?  I had high school chemistry in 1994!"  Please don't "assume" that there is ANY chemistry "knowledge" in this brain.  He went on to say that we needed to know the following (you know, just KNOW it - doesn't everyone?):
The first 109 Elements on the Periodic Table
Common Reagent
Common Cations
Common Anions
Common Strong and Weak Acids
Common Strong and Weak Bases

Now I was ready to start crying.  I don't even know what a cation IS, let alone a list of ten common ones.  And everyone who knows me knows that you can read my face like a book, so I had this great cringing frown on my face for an hour while I was sitting in the third row of the lecture hall.  But that wasn't the end of the Chemistry horror - then he passed out a quiz that he was going to use to gauge his students' knowledge coming into the course.  The first question was "What is an element?" Now the mumbling, whispered expletives commenced.  On that particular questions, I thought of that scene in Reality Bites when the prospective employer asks Winona Ryder to "define irony," and Ryder (an English major, college graduate) says, "Well...I know it when I see it."  I "know" what an element is, but no longer had the vocabulary to define it.  I wanted to mark a big slashing line through every page of the quiz and write a note to my prof at the end explaining that I had Chem. in 1994, I'm a good student, I will catch up, and I am embarrassed for him to look at my quiz.  Instead, I guessed on all of the questions...and still wrote the note at the end!

Next class is Social Statistics.  I didn't really know anything about the class, but was looking forward to it with my sunny, optimistic attitude.  In walks Dr. Shafer who says, "Welcome to your most dreaded class of the semester.  And I am your most dreaded professor."  What???!!!!  He went on to comment about the anxiety level he knew we all had about this course, and to say that when people ask him what he does for a living, they say, "Oh, I hated that class."  Yikes.  I had no idea.  He had each of us complete the following sentence on the back of an index card and turn it in: "A course in statistics is like..."  On Thursday he shared some of our responses with the class, including:
...nailing Jello to a tree. (Huh?)
...a bad breakup.  You know it has to be done so you just get it over with.
My response was "...a jumpstart for my brain after 5.5 years as a stay-at-home mom."  And so far I am really enjoying the class and expect to do well in it - despite the fear tactics.

Last was Human Anatomy & Physiology II.  I love biological sciences, and got an A in A&P I.  However, I took said course 6 years ago at Pulaski Tech.  The instructor started lecturing at the halfway point of Ch. 12 - which was the stopping point of A&P I, for probably everyone else in the class who just completed that course in December.  Great.  So now I am trying to refresh my memory about neurons and synapses and the central nervous system so I can understand what he's talking about.

While the first day was slightly defeating, Wednesday was "Lab Day" and it went really well.  Although, the hour long safety lecture in Chem Lab was more than slightly disturbing.  Dr. Warby and Dr. Rougeau like sharing horror stories of acid spills and exploding beakers.  Oh, and hair catching on fire.  And I don't own any shoes that are lab appropriate (Target clearance aisle, hear I come - size 5 ugly closed toe, flat, leather boot, please).  No tennis shoes because they are mesh on top and acid can burn straight through your foot.  No "UGG" boots, because they are absorbent and acid can burn straight through your foot.  So in order to be a chemist this semester I need ugly shoes and safety glasses.  Sweet. 

I DID feel my confidence lift a little, and I went to the computer lab and printed off all of the review information I needed in order to get up to speed on my science classes.  I stayed up until midnight on Wed. studying for my next day's classes and felt really prepared.  Honestly - NEVER did this my first time through college.  I actually don't think I ever opened my textbooks - just studied my notes from class.  It feels really good to be LEARNING this information with the goal of a new career in mind, (and the responsibility of loans being taken out to reach that goal for our family), rather than cramming the night before a test and retaining nothing.  

Now, in an effort to giggle at myself, here are my nerdy moments for the week:
Well, this was actually before the first week of school, but I will include it.  I went to campus the week before school started to scope out where I would park, and to find each of my classrooms.  Unequivocally a dork move.
Sat down in left-handed desk (didn't know there was such a thing) and had to get up and move.
Nodded my head when prof asked if everyone was familiar with each of the following:  "BlackBoard"  "ARIS"  "Clicker"  Really had no idea on any of them - they are all new technological advancements since I was in college in 1999.
Ate a banana walking down the sidewalk on my way to class.  I don't see anyone else doing such a thing, but I have class straight through from 9-2 and I have to eat sometime.
Along the same lines, cracked open a can of Coke after the lecture started (cursing myself for not opening it before class started), then proceeded to pull out my baggie of cheese chunks during the lecture on the olfactory sensory organs.  I imagine my classmates caught a whiff and thought, who's the nerdy old woman with the cheese?  Oh well.

Well, I guess I'm off to flip through my flashcards on the Peridodic Table of Elements.  Here's a quiz for all of you.  What does W stand for and what is that element's atomic number?

Monday, January 11, 2010

So, This Becoming A Nurse Thing...

Here are the details:
Spring Semester starts for me tomorrow.  I am completing my prerequisites, so I can apply for the Nursing program that starts in August 2010.

I'm taking Chemistry & Lab, Anatomy & Physiology II & Lab, and Social Statistics.  Because I received a scholarship (Thank You ASU Staff Senate!!), I have to be a full-time student.  So I am also taking Pilates, a one credit hour PE course, which will give me a total of 12 hours.

I was able to arrange my schedule so that I am in class on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  It's perfect!  Tanner and Easton are both in preschool Tuesday/Thursday 8:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Then Easton will be with Pat Pat (David's Mom) on Wednesdays, and she will pick Tanner up from school at 11:45 and have both of them at her house until I get done at 2 p.m.  Couldn't have worked out better!

The rest of the timeline:
May 2010:  Apply for the Accelerated BSN program.  Last year they took 16 students out of about 90 applicants.  Yikes!  Acceptance is based completely on GPA. 
June 2010:  Find out if I got into the program.  Also, I will be taking my final prerequisite science course online - Intro. to Organic and Biochemistry.
July 2010:  Breathe.
August 2010 - August 2011:  One-year accelerated nursing program, which results in a second bachelor's degree (BSN) and being an RN.  Three years of nursing school is squished into one year.  Also, Tanner and Easton will be full-time at Jonesboro Kindergarten Center and Pre-K Center, respectively.  What will David be doing during this time?  Hmmmmmm.  Being the great husband and dad that he already is, and holding on for dear life, just like the rest of us.  It's going to be a wild ride - and I'm completely excited about it.

Prayers are GREATLY appreciated.  God has led us to these huge changes in our lives, and He is going to keep blessing us and sustaining us through it, like He always has, always does, and always will.  Thank you, Father!