October 28, 2008

Philip Cash - Teacher of the Month

My youngest son, Philip, was recently honored as Teacher of the Month where he teaches math at Blythwood High School near Columbia, SC. Our family is pleased that Philip has done such an outstanding job doing something he loves. (Philip is holding the school mascot in the picture.)

We are proud of both my sons who have pursued teaching as a career.

This is the letter Philip was presented with during a surprise visit to his classroom a few days ago. (He gave permission for me to post this on my blog.)
From: Patrick Kelly
To: Price, Keith
Date: 10/15/2008 2:34 PM
Subject: FV TBOM- October

CC: Polson, David
Mr Price,

We would like to nominate Mr. Philip Cash as the Future Visions Teacher Bengal of the Month for October. Mr. Cash has gone above and beyond in finding unique ways to engage his students in the study of math. On a given day in Mr. Cash’s class, students can be found doing everything from arranging cards to create a “flow proof” in Geometry to competing to answer questions so they can run up their score in “Cashball.” Mr. Cash is also a master at meaningfully integrating technology into his curriculum and finds excellent ways to make the SMART Board a daily part of learning.

Above all these things, Mr. Cash deserves to be commended for his heart and passion for working with students. It is apparent to anyone that talks to Mr. Cash that he is deeply committed to helping each of his students succeed in math and in life. The most eloquent statement of Mr. Cash’s care and concern for his students actually comes from a parent, who in writing about Mr. Cash noted that “as a parent I get to see the impact of great teachers down the road and how they have such a positive influence on my kids. I dare to say that Mr. Cash is one of those teachers.” We completely agree with this parent, and are happy to recognize Mr. Cash as the FV TBOM. Thanks!

Patrick Kelly
Lead Teacher, Future Visions
AP U.S. Government Teacher
Boys Cross Country Coach
Blythewood High School
Blythewood, SC 29016

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

Pick-Me-Up Needed

(This was edited for content Nov. 3, 2008)
I only have a few minutes before time to get hubby from the bus stop, but I know some of you might be checking here for the results of my test.

My first major exam was not the best test I've taken in my lifetime. The good news is that very few made above 79 percent. The bad news is that I made a disappointing 74 percent.

Yep, it hurt pretty badly at first, but I've had time to re-center after a long talk with youngest son who already called to see how the test went and to encourage me that it won't always be this bad!

Later, I made an almost perfect score on the pharmacology test and a perfect 100 percent in Psychology, so that was encouraging!

Like most of the students of our A&P class, I knew most of the answers as they were listed in the book. But when the questions had some sort of twist, I picked the wrong one of the two "right" answers. (Multiple-choice).

The professor did acknowledge to me that my "study skills are excellent" and that my mind "soaks it up like a sponge", but he told all of us that we have to "think outside the box", and he worded his questions so we would have to think that way - even though many of us wonder if one should be expected to "think outside the box' the very first time we do something?

While I can't list specific questions here, I will say that several of the questions did not even have the answer in the book. He calls that "thinking outside the box" when challenged.

Well, I don't want to use my energy blaming the professor, but will use this as a learning experience and become a better student. (Pass the ... course, to be specific!)

If you don't agree with my somewhat positive attitude, that's okay. You should hear Jim going on and on and on about how unfair this test was... Me. I have to move on and let it go so I can study for tomorrow's testing.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

October 22, 2008

Tests! Bring Them On!

Fickr.com photo
That's not to say I'm not concerned about three major tests in ALL my classes next week, but I'm prepared to study hard and give them my best shot! (No pun intended.)

Updating on my last blog posting, the financial department at Bohecker College has assured me there have been no additional charges to my account that I have to pay. The extra $1,500 relates to their bookkeeping and not something extra added. Whew!

Regarding my headache. A very detailed eye test showed that I do indeed need a different pair of glasses. We paid $319 dollars to provide me with that information even though we have "the best of insurance", according to Pearle Vision. The new spectacles should be ready by election day - and my headache has lessened from the placebo effect of the idea that there's nothing seriously wrong with me.

A&P classes include learning about how the inner body works with neurons, membranes, nuclei, molecules, meiotic and mitosis cell division, to knowing the jobs of those things that keep us ticking like Golgi, mitochondria, organelles, osmosis, homeostasis, and learning the appropriate places all of those items are located!

In Psychology class, we can't seem to get past the first chapter, although we're having a test over chapters 1 & 2 next Wednesday and chapters 3 & 4 the next week. A lot of us are a bit nervous about that.

English should be easy, according to everyone who knows me because, as they say, "you wrote a book". So far all I have to say about that is that I'm begging my English professor not to read my book! We had a quiz on the use of commas, and I made second highest in the class but only 84%. The class is interesting, though, because this is a subject I've been eager to study more of for a long time, and it's not impossible to learn - just tedious. By the way, every part of writing is based on RULES. Did you know that now it's not acceptable to put two spaces after a period? That's scary!

Our 'group' is getting more relaxed with each other, and we're working as a team in a lot of ways to make this journey easier for all of us. I think we have a great class!

On the home front, every morning this week has been "electronic starter" day. Getting into a toasty, warm car on a crispy, frosty morning has been a real treat and delight with our new remote starter! While Jim finishes breakfast, I click the clicker twice from the bedroom window and watch the miracle of lights flashing and engine purring! (I set the defrost and heater the night before.)

Jim has changed his bus schedule to avoid another mishap like what happened a couple days ago. His first bus was late, so he missed his transfer bus AND, his cell phone was dead so he couldn't call me to come get him. Poor guy walked several blocks to find a PAY PHONE to call for a ride. So now he's taking only 45 minutes for lunch and leaving 15 minutes earlier to give him more time to catch the express bus.

Now I just have to remember to pick him up at 6:05 p.m. from the bus stop. (What time is it now?)

Thanks for your comments and to those who have signed up as a follower. (You have to have a Google account to do that, I think.) It's always a joy to see you've stopped by.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

October 19, 2008

Dear Mr. Crag

Yep. I'm using acronyms to memorize lists in Anatomy and Physiology! Dear Mr. Crag (leave out the "i" in Craig) helps me remember the 10 basic functions needed for life: Digestion, elimination, assimilation, respiration, movement, responsiveness, absorption, and growth.

Although I really didn't need an acronym to remember the four requirements of living organisms, I enjoyed making up one. OH-People Fight Well stands for: Oxygen, heat, pressure, food, and water. (Just in case I'm nervous in a test!)

BTY, I'm sure my sister, Sandy, will leave a comment on how she remembers the spelling of arithmetic! ha ha Jim asked why she didn't just write the word 50 times to learn how to spell it. Her way is soooo much more fun! And, highly unforgettable!

It seems I've been reading textbooks in my sleep! - and have a headache to prove it! Actually, I'm not sure why this headache won't quit! It's been going on for four days! At first I thought it was from carrying the heavy book bags. Or, from so many hours scrunched over reading. Maybe sitting long hours in the cool classrooms? Now, I wonder if I need my eyes checked. My regular glasses aren't strong enough and the 'reading glasses' seem too strong! Both cause eye strain. I called off from work yesterday to get some extra rest, but the headache continues just as badly!

Don't worry. I'm not complaining! Even though my A&P professor confided that at my age "learning might be more difficult" (LOL); and even though the college has tacked on an extra $1,500 to my college tuition; and even though I'm going to have to cut back on work in order to study more; I still say, "BRING IT ON". Getting the RN degree is something so special that no thing or no body is going to diminish my excitement!

Tomorrow I'm thinking of going to get my eyes checked and I'm planning to contact the finance department at Bohecker College to discuss the mysterious discrepancy.

Yesterday I got my new rolling briefcase! It's a duezy! I'd recommend it to anyone who hauls heavy books around and likes to work out of their briefcase. At the library today, it rolled easily and quietly, and was convenient for packing the pens, papers, markers, notebooks and textbooks. I'll try to find a picture of it to post here.

Studying at the New Albany Library this afternoon in the "quiet room" was a pleasant break from the dogs who always bug me for something when I'm sitting at the table ignoring them. And, Jim did lots of housework like taking the trash to the dumpster, stacking the dishwasher and vacuuming all the carpets!

Don't forget to vote for Joe the Plumber on November 5 or, if his name doesn't make it to the ballet, we're voting for Obama! Jim says Obama took Oregon as of Friday!

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

October 16, 2008

My Blog Follower List

Tonight I noticed a little icon on my profile page listing "1 Follower". I clicked on it, and it was my sister! I don't know how she did that (yet), but I've added this new 'widget' to the sidebar. Anyone who would like to become a 'follower', please feel free to add yourself if you can figure it out.

School is going GREAT! There's a lot I'm anxious to SHARE, but I'm too tired to write more tonight. (My English professor would say I've used too many commas... Sorry.)

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

October 12, 2008

Hello and Goodbye

(For those of you who get this in your email now, I hope you'll also check out the website at http://dustyangels.blogspot.com for all the stories. Linda Meikle photos. Click on the photo for real close-up views - especially that awesome moon!)

This weekend we were so happy to have Kathryn and Bob (pictured with me) come down from Dayton to visit for the afternoon. I lived with this couple and their three children for a year while I took the LPN course in Dayton, Ohio in 1970. We've kept in touch all these years, but this is a first real visit in many, many years! (I can't wait to get their age so I can be skinny again! One can hope!) We spent the afternoon chatting and sipping cold apple cider. I was thrilled to see my 'second-family' again! They are a very special couple. I love them very much!

Jim has been waiting for this Harvest Moon! (He's sitting out on the porch enjoying the Autumn night sky as I write this.) My camera took this one picture, then wouldn't focus for any more shots. Oh well, one good shot is all I needed...

The tall grasses outside our front door have gone to seed for the winter.
A close-up of the tree next to our home. Just this week many of the trees have started to turn into soft fall colors.
Sadly, our most favorite neighbors are moving. He is an airline pilot who lost his job here in Columbus when Skybus failed. They packed the truck tonight and are ready to pull out in the morning. We will surely miss our friends and grandpa Ed! God Speed and God Bless!

Take Care on the Journey - One and All

October 8, 2008

English Composition and a Deck of Cards

Now that I’ve attended class for each of my course subjects for this quarter, I can report that I’m still smiling and still casting a golden glow in my shadow!

You never know what new idea or plan a teacher will bring to the classroom. (Are they called teacher, instructor, or professor?) Our English teacher came into class today shuffling a desk of cards. The psychology professor asked us to put our name on a piece of paper and place it on the front of our desk for instant recognition (smart). Our Anatomy & Physiology instructor is also a massage therapist and a Myopractor (look it up). But alas, there will be some MATH in Pharmacology. Our Pharmacology teacher is the only nurse instructor so far. She is brimming with experience and extensive knowledge of nursing!

Bohecker College in Westerville (sometime referred to as in Columbus, but it’s actually in Westerville, Ohio) is a fairly new college so it’s still having some growing pains. Perhaps some former students felt its birthing pains in the last couple years, but all have lived to tell the story.

In our first two days, we have adjusted to some changes in every course including a mix-up in posted classrooms and some modification of class times. I like the adjustment of A&P because we loose a couple extra breaks, but get out an hour earlier than expected. For some reason, Bohecker offers a 10-minute break out of every hour! Most classes are 3-5 hours long, so I guess it keeps the momentum going. The instructors take roll call every hour too. I suspect too many skip and run students forced that rule!

I hope we keep every teacher presently on staff because I like all of them – and each is as different as the leaves on a tree! It doesn’t appear that we will be overloaded with homework, though one will need to organize notes and plan ahead to succeed. I’m sure there will be some difficult assignments but I still say, “Bring it on!”

What I like best is the large classroom where we spend most of our time – especially the morning classes. One wall of the second-story classroom is all windows that look out over a small subdivision where the trees are changing into fall coats of Autumn color and onto a busy street where Jim’s bus goes by taking him to work in the city. “Hi Jim. Have a good day! Bye Jim!”

Psychology is in a room with all the windows at the back, so it feels a little stuffy and because the time frame is 12:30 to 3:30, it seems to drag on a bit. Maybe it’s those photos of old men like Aristotle, Wilhelm Wundt and, of course, Sigmund Freud make me feel even order than I really am! (That’s okay, Sandy, I didn’t know who those men were either!) Our instructor is teaching this class for the first time, but it sounds like he’s already read the book and will keep us on our toes. He asks questions that our blogger friend,
Floyd, would love to answer. Like, “Do we think with our minds or our heart?”

The subject I think I will enjoy the most is (you guessed it), English! While I have been a writer since I could hold a pencil, I have not had the opportunity to enjoy leaning the details of correct writing and rules of the English language. I'm surprised how far I've come with so little formal education in that area. I just hope that my book, "Dusty Angels and Old Diaries" is never put on a pedestal. It's too personal and close to my heart to be taken apart like that. Otherwise, I'm eager to learn every nuance about proper writing! And, do even better with my next published book, "The Laughing Place."

The biggest problem so far is the massive weight of all my books! Heavy backpacks and book bags do not go hand-in-hand with lower back pain! If you were to actually look at the lower part of my back (the distal end), you would see some swelling that is painful to the touch. Imagine a heavy backpack hitting against that spot with every step! We stopped that after the first class!

I finally broke down and ordered a rolling organizer briefcase from the
Nurses Station Catalog
. (I give you that link because it’s a wonderful place to do Christmas shopping for a nurse too!) In the meantime, I’ve dumped any extras and all the heavy books I had in my current backpack onto the kitchen table until the rolling briefcase gets here.

Most quotable quotes from teachers so far include...

“Grades are not all that important in nursing. You just want to pass so you can sit for the state boards. Grades don’t matter in the long run.”

“No texting! No sidebars. No excused absences.”

“Most of you have recently graduated from LPN school.”

“My wife and I are on the outs…but don’t feel sorry for me.”

“LPN’s don’t do assessments”. (They do! RN's sign them.)

An English classroom assignment today was to write a paragraph answering these questions. If you could invite four people from history (past or present, dead or alive), for supper, who would it be and why? What would you serve, and where would you serve it?

Briefly, I wrote that I’d invite my two sons because I don’t see them very often. I’d ask the English teacher over because I enjoy talking with other writers, and I’d invite a student in class named Katy who seems to be lonely. The menu would include my, “Mama Linda” homemade cheesy lasagna. I'd also make a crispy green salad and some hot garlic toast because that’s my sons’ favorite meal at home. We’d eat at home in our dining room to encourage small talk, and so that my oldest son, Billy, could discretely pick out the bits of tomato from his lasagna. (I didn't put that in my paper. lol)

If I was suppose to invite President Kennedy or Obama, that wasn’t on my menu today.

Oh yes, the deck of cards in English class? It was for us to select one to determine what group we would subdivided into for discussion groups.

Speaking of groups, I've already made several friends from school. Of course I'm the oldest and have been a LPN the longest. (Everyone now knows I've been a LPN for 38-years. The class applauded me when I told them!) The next longest-time LPN is a woman who has been a LPN for 17 years and wants to go on to be a Nurse Practitioner. Every LPN is our class has high hopes that becoming a RN will help them make a difference in the life of those who are ill.

We have four men and 20 women in our RN class, but there are about 20 others who are on a different schedule for the same program. By the way, I noticed a large classroom of very noisy students down the hall. I asked who they were and discovered these are a group of about 100 student LPN's!!!!! I don't think there's a nursing shortage at Bohecker College!

I’m really tired tonight, so I hope this gives all of you a nice overview of my first days of the RN program without my overwhelming feeling of tiredness coming through. Jim and every dog in the house is already sound asleep.

I went straight from class today to check on the little boy I take care of because his parents are out of town and he's quite sick. I ended up staying there for five hours until his grandmother could arrive from another state. He's better now and was very happy to see his grandma! (So was I.)


Take Care on the Journey,


October 5, 2008

Tomorrow Is The Big Day

Jupiter reaches out to the moon in the October sky. (flickr photo)

First, for those who depend on me to keep you updated on world news: OJ is found guilty of armed robbery - all 12 counts - and is handcuffed in the courtroom after the lights came back on and taken to prison to await sentencing. There's a very interesting story that includes a bizarre twist of the number 13 for OJ but it won't save here. You can goggle OJ Simpson for the story with the words "snake eyes" in the title.

For those who watched (as I did) and to those who simply heard the news reports, Sarah Palin did not fall on her face during the vice-presidential debate. She looked right into our living rooms with a vibrant strong voice and said just what she wanted to say! While I'm still NOT going to vote for McCain, I have to admit she carried herself beautifully and even caused the "church-mice" quiet audience to chuckle a time or two. Woman-to-woman, she does have a figure to die for! But, that does not make her qualified to run the country. Nor do I think McCain will be actually do more than Bush has done for us in the last eight years.

Well, it's almost like a wedding day at our house! My RN program starts at Bohecker College in less than 24-hours on October 6, 2008 although my first full day is Tuesday because of the class schedule. Life as I know it changes on that day!

Jim and I have been discussing our early morning schedule. While we don't have little kids to get off to school, he catches the city bus for his ride to work, and I'll be picking him up from the bus stop in the afternoons. This because we made some driving changes in order to save hundreds of dollars in gas money by not driving to work every day. Jim's got the route under his belt and actually enjoys reading the paper on his way to the city and back.

During the summer we made another change in anticipation of Old Man Winter here in Ohio. Modern technology has offered a way to avoid cleaning off the snow, scraping the frozen windshield and sit shivering on the icy cold seat waiting for the heat to warm our frozen fingers. We had an auto starter installed in our car!!!!

So, on a school day I'll go to the bedroom window and clicker-start the car with the defrost and seat warmers already turned on. After breakfast we drop him off at the bus stop (about a mile away) and I'll go to school (about two miles away). On non-class days I plan to spend several hours at the local library so I'm not tempted to do housework or watch my favorite show, The Baby Story. Also, when someone is home during the day, the dogs think they have permission to ask to go out every hour on the hour!

I'm wondering how many of you who know me have asked the question already? "Is Linda going to keep working while going to school?"

Yep. You know me well. I ask myself the same question several times a day. Yesterday we sat down and put our entire budget on an Excel program and it's very very close with expenditures and revenue! But it IS possible to get by without me working if there are no unexpected surprises.

As Jim and I enjoyed our weekend treat of supper at Cracker Barrel last night, we discussed how we could save even more by planning meals during the week (like my sister Sandy does) and limiting how often we give in to the temptation to enjoy someone else doing the cooking (and cleaning).

"If my boys and my sister hear that I'm trying to work and go to school, they're going to be very mad," I told Jim. He agrees that this is a time in my life to do something 100 percent for me. He will tie my hands behind my back if he thinks I'm dialing my agency to offer to work!

On the other hand, the first four months of school will be a light schedule due to not doing clinicals at the hospital. We agree that I might work 8-12 hours a week during these months if we find that I'm keeping up with school work and it will mean a little more spending freedom for us. (I hate when I can never go shopping!!!!) But nobody's getting the call yet! It's a wonderful feeling not being pressured to WORK! Thank-you hubby for doing that for us.

Last night parts of Ohio had its first mild frost. They say the leaves will be in full color within a couple weeks but we aren't seeing it yet. We've pulled out the jackets and mittens but are enjoying every minute of the misty cool nights and sparkling beautiful days of Indian Summer here in the Ohio Valley. (Jim says it's Indian Summer until the first full moon of October.)

On the way home last night we were enjoying the sky constellations and commenting that almost 11 years ago Jim wrote a poem to me about Jupiter, Mars and Venus coming to a conjunction around the full moon in the October sky. We were married a month later on November 23, 1997.

While the news is good here, it reminds me that not everyone is feeling so 'happy'. Jobs are scarce. Money is tight. Families despair and work hard as they hang on to tiny threads of hope. Friends seem too far away, and there are not enough hours in the day to keep up! I am aware of the frustrations and fears of those around me and those I love. Just know that I do care, and I believe in YOU. As my friend, Kathryn F. used to say, "Write, stop by or call anytime." We can add e-mail to that now.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com

October 1, 2008

After Midnight

Fun things to do after midnight! Click on each box for a surprise. I just typed in the address and wordle picked out the words and made the cloud.
Linda's blog in Wordle
Floyd's blog in Wordle
Sandy's Blog in Wordle
Olive's Blog

I'm learning more everytime I do this, but guess I'd better head off to bed now.

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com