July 15, 2009

Let Me Be In That Number...

(Slightly edited 7-17-09)
Bureaucracy is... Allstate raising our car insurance rates because our zip code is different this renewal time - and we haven't moved an inch since we signed up with them!

Education is bureaucracy when... the microbiology lab test made me cry with frustration because I didn't ' see' the same thing in the microscope that others did; and the Nursing 250 comprehensive test over 10 chapters and 270 "big book" pages was something our instructor called 'impossible to do" - just before we took the test.

In Sociology, we're studying about bureaucracy and complex organizations.

To quote our book, "In popular usage, bureaucracy often has a negative connotation."

I'll pause while you roll on the floor with laughter!

Now I understand why it was probably not the thing to do when I entered the doors of Bohecker College and shouted, "Bring it on!"

Bear in mind, I love my instructors and professors! They are hard-working, caring, empathetic, sensitive, impassioned, creative, under-paid, men and women.

They also get frustrated, stressed out, weary, discouraged, and burned out.

Just like the rest of the world, you, me, our neighbors, family and friends who often feel the same way.

We're tired of hearing about Jon Gosselin stepping out with his 22-year-old girlfriend while ignoring the tears of his wife and eight children. We are fed up with the Florida slayings, the jet crashes, the stock market crashes and the great consumer crash of 2009!

That's why we sometimes enjoy reading about someone who can poke fun at themselves in this dysfunctional, bureaucratic society we live in

I'll poke fun at myself for not recognizing the difference between a 'segment' and a "spiral' inside a bacteria under a microscope for the lab test today. (I still think I saw a segment, but the final answer is a spiral.)

I'll poke fun at myself for thinking I had the right answer to the question of what the magnification is when it says 10X on a microscope. Nope, not 1,000, but 100. I'd love to argue that, but they said it's, 'how the question was worded'. I'm sure my notes say it should be 1,000X.

I'll poke fun at myself for thinking that Streptococcus and Staphylococcus have cell walls. Even if my reasoning is that they are gram-positive. See, I figured that gram-positive WALLS are thick, and gram-negative walls are thin. I must have messed up somewhere between all the negative and positives I bragged about understanding in my last posting.

Anyway, I 'failed' the lab quiz today. I laughed in class, but I cried on the way home. Gotta keep these things in prospective. I made 18 points instead of 25 that will be added to all the other points on September 11, 2009. (The last day of this term. That's 55 days from today, by the way! And, only two days before a planned, highly anticipated, family reunion with my sister and children in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!!!!!!!!!)

"Bring It On" and bureaucracy means:

Don't give me a gas card because I'm not part of a car-pool to Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio, for the next two Saturdays. (You only get the $50 card if you car-pool.) Actually, I wanted to ask the the director of the school about that gas card and the Saturday thing, but a sign on his door said he was gone until next week. I went to see the person listed on the sign, but she sent me back to the director's office saying he hadn't left the building yet. By the time I got back to his office, his "out of town" sign was down, but he wasn't in his office.

Later, someone announced in class that gas cards would be in the office of the person who sent me back to the director's office, "after 1 p.m.". I went BACK to that office after 1 p.m. but there was another sign on her door indicating that she was in a meeting. No, I don't think I'm going to get that gas card, and I'm absolutely sure I won't car-pool in the back seat of a car with at least four other students because (as most of you reading this know), I HAVE REALLY BAD CLAUSTROPHOBIA. No gas cards for claustrophobics or those who won't car-pool in a bureaucratic world

"Bring It On" and bureaucracy also means: Forcing me to attend school on my Sabbath.

Surprisingly, many of you may not know that I'm a baptised member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who celebrate the Seventh-day Sabbath from sundown Friday night until sundown Saturday night. When I signed up at Bohecker College, the indications were that this was a Monday-Friday program. But, like my church, Bohecker is constantly changing the rules. I'm not committing the unpardonable sin because, as a nurse, I've worked many 'Sabbaths", and I'm working as a nurse this Saturday. So, I'm not going any further down this Sabbath path. But, is it right for the school to make it mandatory for graduation?

"Bring It On" and bureaucracy means: Paying for school uniforms (new rule) when the school already charged me $250 for two sets of whites and a lab jacket that I could have purchased for about $50 at JC Penney Outlet.

I'm a little on the fence about his one because I think we're the only nursing class at Bohecker who can wear anything to school including flip-flops, tank-tops, short-shorts and red bras under white shirts. (Okay, the rules say you can't, but instead of enforcing the rules this time, it's easier to change them.) Not that I wear a red bra under my white shirt, though. I splurged on new jeans and Alfred Drummer outfits for school.

I'm still cringing at the absence of pure whites and nurses caps, but I would get laughed out of the classroom if I told anyone. But, perhaps because of the red bras, the school has decided we will wear professional scrubs after August 1. They haven't decided on a color yet, but knowing that information ahead of time would be just too cool for those of us who don't like spending big wads of money at the last minute on something that we shouldn't be paying for in the first place.

"Bring It On" and bureaucracy means: accepting whatever answer the instructor says is the right answer.

For instance, on one test last week there was a two-part question. The second part was "Why?". (Remember those questions? They know you will miss the "why" part.) When I answered the "WHY" PRECEEDED with the word "WHY" in great big letters, I got counted off two-points because I "didn't answer the why". This week there was a "how would you fix it?" second part to a question. In even BIGGER letters than before, I wrote "FIX IT" and gave my answer. Again, I got marked off two-points, and the instructor wrote in the margin, "why?"

I took the paper to her and argued, "You didn't ask for a why. You asked for a fix-it, and I answered that."

Her response, "I wanted to know why you wrote the fix it answer".

As I commented on the elevator to another student when that instructor got on and off, "I'm mad at her. She owes me four points".

This posting may take you all weekend and most of next week to read, but I have one more "Bring It On" and bureaucracy episode to report.

Remember the humongous 10-chapter test? In preparation, I started reading and reviewing the 270 BIG pages, weeks ago. I also went out an paid over $100 for two NCLEX books that our instructor said she was actually taking the test questions from. (There is a difference between the textbook and the NCLEX books, but that information doesn't count in bureaucracy). I read every chapter in the NCLEX books pertaining to this subject, and I read every handout she gave us on the subject of child birthing, and I read all 270 boring, complicated, pages of the textbook. (An area of nursing I'm never, never going to work!)

Yes, all my classmates were complaining and frustrated with this book/test/class experience. It's the lowest form of working bureaucracy because Bohecker has acknowledged that this book may be inappropriate, and plans are to replace it next term. As a side note, this book is so heavy that if I drop it on the floor at home, my husband has to help me pick it up!

In the meantime, when we finally dragged into class with the frustrated expectation of the test heavy on our minds this morning (minutes after the lab test - no time for tears), the instructor announced we were going to play the game of Jeopardy before we took the test.

Bless her heart. (I guess.) Afterward, we realized that had we not "played' this game, few of us would have passed the test no matter how many 'dad-gum' pages we had read. I didn't need to read the textbook for all those hours, nor did I need to spend all that money on NCLEX books, nor was it necessary to read all the handouts to pass this test in the end. But that's a good example of bureaucracy.

Perhaps we have learned more than we'll ever need to know about maternity nursing, but if you know someone who needs a non-certified midwife, direct them to anyone in my class.

Okay. before you get up off the floor, I want to tell you about something I got FREE in the mail today from WalMart. A roll of free toilet paper!!!!! I really can't do without that. I only have enough TP in the garage to last for two years! At last count, we had 96 rolls of (free) TP on the Pantry 309 shelves!

So, after you have that baby that my class is going to help deliver, we'll give you enough TP to toss up into the trees of your front yard to celebrate.

Please have a nice weekend and smile when you think of me getting up at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday to drive (alone) to Akron and report for duty by 7 a.m. After working 12-hours, (7a - 7p) I'll drive two hours back home to Columbus on Saturday night.

Maybe I should sing as I pass my classmates on the highway this Saturday night, "When The Saints Go Marching In ... Let me be in that number" ... (Graduation. Get it?)

Don't get me wrong, I'm preparing for the other 'big march of the universe'! But I'm here right now. Stuck in the rush-hour traffic of human bureaucracy

Take Care on the Journey,

Home: http://dustyangels.blogspot.com/ and http://goldencoupons.blogspot.com
E-Mail: bestnurse@usa.com

1 comment:

Katy said...

Wooo, I'm glad I didn't have my baby with a nursing class looking on! (And practicing on me!)

What ARE your plans for the future, Linda? You could always become an office nurse and learn more about bureaucracy. :)~