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So this week I was looking at the prompts and there were a couple of prompts I could use… and a couple that made me realize that I am one of the few, lone daddy-bloggers among MANY mommy-bloggers. Anyway, I chose to post on the topic A LIE YOU TOLD because I did tell a lie somewhat recently and it’s been both bothering and biting me in the bum since,

I mean the lie was not a bad one, it was more a lie that just came out and instead of correcting the deception I went with it.

And I feel crummy about it.

You see, I am in Nursing school. The school I was attending was a really bad one, but I did not find this out until only 6 months left of the program. I know I talked about it once in a previous post but what happened was, with only 4 days left until my final the school decided some work I was doing was not “good enough” and kicked me out of the program. What is meant by this is that, by their own words, they told me that my work “wasn’t wrong” but they expected better from me. What? Well if I am a student and the work is not wrong, I am sure there is always room for improvement but if it’s not wrong then it should be correct – especially since I had a 79 average in the class so I obviously knew the material.

Well, enough of my rant about that, so back to the lie. With a 79 average I knew I was going to pass and my fellow coworkers knew it as well so they would always ask me about it. After I was kicked out I told my coworker friends what happened. But the coworkers I wasn’t as close with, for some reason a lie would just come out.

One person I told them that the school kept making me takes some of my older classes over so I wasn’t done. And, technically this was not a lie. They did make me take some of my older classes over and I wasn’t done yet but that wasn’t why I wasn’t done at that time. Another person I told I just needed to take the national exam but wanted to make sure I would pass it.

I feel bad about not being honest as I feel the truth ALWAYS comes out, but I was very embarrassed that I was kicked out of a program I worked so hard to get in and was kicked out of with only 4 days left.

I am in a new school now and I know I will graduate and be a REALLY great nurse, but it has taken me over 6 months to try and regain my confidence back.

Have you ever lied about something you were embarrassed about to someone?

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If you have been reading my posts, you know about my problems with the college I was attending. After everything, I wanted to jump right on board and get back into school and classes so I can finish as quickly as possible. The reason I didn’t was because of my wife. Not in a negative way mind you, in a positive way.

When you are single, you do what you want, when you want, how you want. You don’t think about anyone else. But when you are in a serious relationship, such as a marriage, you need to talk things over with anyone which your decision may affect. It would affect my wife, mostly financially, so I had to talk to her about everything and come to a mutual decision about our next move.

We were on the same page for about 95% of everything. Neither of us want me to attend my old school. It stressed me out, was completely unfair, and didn’t do what we were paying them to do… teach. Their answer for everything was “look in the book”. Well, gee thanks. I never thought of looking there! That is why I was paying around 2 grand a semester, part-time, for you to tell me to look in a book.

Anyway, my wife found a school where I can finish everything online, as long as I had completed 50% or more of my clinical studies. The only issue we both had about this school was that it was on the expensive side. Now I paid directly for all my schooling and didn’t have a student loan until my final year where I took out a very small loan to finish school and not worry about the finances.

I looked into every avenue. In NY, you were allow to could sit in on the LPN test if you have completed 3 semesters of Nursing school, except 3 years ago they did away with that and you need to take an LPN course… which is over $12,000 over a year! So that left that out.

The reason we didn’t apply to the new school immediately was because of the expense. It was a bit pricey so we had to think that all through. Also, my wife has issues because when I am in school, I am stressed out. I never feel like I am learning as much as I need to especially for the tests. But after some more talking about it and some input from both her parents and my sister, we decided that I should go for it. Lucky I did apply when I did because as of 10-31-11, if you haven’t applied for the program you need to be an LPN or paramedic to apply now. No more students with 50% or more of clinical completed! I applied on September 3rd and was accepted before the deadline.

So now that I am in a new school, I am feeling a bit nervous. What if I don’t make it – again! I know this is what I want to do and I plan on continuing on once I get there, but what if I am just not smart or accomplished enough to pass this? What do I do next? I know I will not know until I try, but it still a little nerve wracking. To be so close, yet so far… now I know what it means by that song!

All I can think is how much I would disappoint my wife and mayself but not being able to pass a simple class and become the person I want to be. To not be able to provide the life for my family as I feel I should is a bit humiliating. But all I can do now is give it my best shot, work hard and in theory all will be ok.

Wish me luck!

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This week’s writer’s workshop was a bit easier.

I received my list in my email and decided that I could easily write about my in-laws and they, uh, unique way of life, but I didn’t want to become disowned by them as I have no idea if they read this or not.

The WHERE I’M FROM didn’t interest me because I am not interested in doing a mad-lib for a post.

My Favorite family recipe? Well, I don’t cook and since my mom has passed, there isn’t any way for me to know the recipes.

And the Top Ten Fall Fashions, well, that makes me VERY away that I am the only male in this workshop. But I don’t mind because I love it!

So this is what happened to me.

I was in nursing school… until recently. I will go back and finish but this is what happened to me, from my perspective.


I worked hard and was doing well in my class. All I had to do was take my final and I was going to be a graduate nurse! I was so excited and I studied my dupa off. I even took 3 days off from work so I could study and pass!

With only 7 days until my final… they burst my bubble! They informed me that some paperwork in my clinical was not “good enough” and needed to be redone! It wasn’t wrong, just wasn’t as good as they expected. So I redid the paperwork!

With only 6 days until my final, I worked on this paperwork, did the best I could. I emailed the teachers to receive some help which they did not return the email or call me at the numbers I provided. So, although they offered me help, and told me to contact them and they would assist me with all this, none was provided. I should have known because Farmingdale College is known to take your money and then not teach. They just tell you to look it up in the book! If I found it in the book I wouldn’t be asking you!

Anyway, two days later I handed in my papers and told them of the predicament and the issues I faced getting the information and figured that was that (especially when a couple of months earlier she told me since I was good on everything she would not fail me on paperwork)

Well, 2 days later they asked for me to meet them the following day about the paperwork and my life just seemed to unravel, the last 4 years anyway.

They advised me that the work wasn’t “wrong” but it was not what they expected of me. That I did all patient care excellent and top notch, that I knew what I was doing and why it was being done and had great relations with my patients. That I performed all patient care safely and gave meds out correctly and appropriately and knew what they were for, that my nurses notes were excellent and directed blah blah blah, but I had trouble putting that information down on paper. (What? But my written nurse’s notes were excellent? Isn’t that a contradiction?) They also told me I should rethink my choice in nursing and that they didn’t feel “comfortable” passing me because of this basically fake paperwork that is not even used in real-life nursing.

So with only 4 days until I graduated, they failed me on my clinical paper, even though there were 5 papers due & 15 clinical days of patient care that I exceeded at. So basically, 2 papers, not even the full papers, only 1 part out of 3 on 2 papers failed me.

I appealed the decision, but going into the meeting I knew by they abrasiveness that I was walking into a close-minded lion’s den. I talked to any professor I could about it, but basically they said “Tough Nuggy” and then my nursing school career at that school ended… with only 1 class to take for me to be a Nurse.

I was so close to graduating and it didn’t happen. All the plans my wife and I had for when I graduated are now on hold. Now I am embarrassed because all my friends and co-workers were pulling for me to finish. They ask me when I will graduate and I have no idea what to tell them. I am ashamed about this even though I know I would have passed if they allowed me to take my final.

I know it will happen. I know that this failure was a failure on the teaching, or lack thereof, of my professors at Farmingdale State College. I know I will finish and be proud and be a GREAT nurse and help people like I want to. I just have to find out how I will do it!

Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes there will be obstacles to overcome, it won’t be that you failed but how you overcame the obstacle that teaches you more.


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So, this week on the writer’s workshop I chose to write about being 18 and graduated High School, well, for me I was 17, but same difference!

Lately I have been thinking a little bit about that time and what I would do over, but this post is about what my dreams were when I was 18. At 18 I was a simpleton. What I wanted was nothing extravagant.

I remember that day still. I remember how nervous I was in my cap and gown and sitting with my friends. There were about 8 of us who were supposed to graduate back in 1988. My best friend was a year behind us but wanted to finish with us so he doubled up classes and graduated in 1988 instead of 1989. Unfortunately, out of the 8 of us only 3 of us graduated.

I remember how excited and proud my mother was of me, finishing High School. I never thought I would get there. I remember wanted to do something epic and we could not think of a single thing to do. All the parties were starting at night. We decorated my dad’s car and drove around hanging with our friends at the Wellwood docks and going to Jones Beach.

After all the hoopla, which was not that much hoopla, I had NO idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to take a year off from school, so I did. I was always a workaholic and worked CRAZY hours as a manager of a company called Computer Care doing the computer work. That was my first computer job. It was ok, but eventually I left it and did normal teenager jobs.

I only took the year off and went to college, slowly and at night. I actually did pretty well seeing as my HS career was a joke. I was going for Computer Information and hanging out with my friends a LOT. I was only going part time and then went full time. I made TONS of friends at college and that destroyed my 3.5 GPA because I was too focused on friends and not on school.

I remember wanted to backpack across Europe, but that never happened.

I know I wanted, and expected, to meet the woman of my dreams and maybe be married by 25… that also didn’t happen until 15 years later.

I expected to have a decent career in the computer industry which did happen until I realized I wanted to be in the healthcare field and started working towards that.

I know I wanted to move out of New York, which almost happened. I did move off Long Island up to downstate New York. It was my dry run to see if I could move to a new area by myself and make a life for myself. It worked but before I could get into stage 2 and move out of New York, Mom died and I was needed at home for my dad.

I remember wanting to be rich and famous and that never happened, thank god. I don’t think I could handle fame plus I would have become a different person and I sort of like the person I am today.

The things I wanted at 18 were good for the time, and I didn’t accomplish most of what I wanted. But now my dreams are different. My dreams all have my wife in them and, in about 6 weeks or so, our baby boy or girl.

The great things about dreams are that they continue to evolve. Sometimes we accomplish them and sometimes they just become a little different. Maybe I will never be able to backpack across Europe, but maybe my children will. I know I will move out of New York and I know I will accomplish my dream because my desire for it is so strong.

Here’s to hoping you accomplish all your dreams!

 

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We all have dreams we want to accomplish. I have had many dreams over the years but never followed through with any of them. It took me MANY many years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and when I finally figured it out… I went after that dream. It took me SOOO long to pursue and then… with only 4 days left – it was shattered.

I started going to college back in 1989-1990. I was going for computers and I was neither ready for college nor focused on a true goal. I never finished because I was offered a job doing what I was going for and took it. Why finish school when I was working at what I wanted to do? I did go back from time to time with intentions to complete school but that never happened. The classes I did take I did not apply myself to and failed or withdrew. Either way I had a REALLY bad GPA.

When I figured out what I wanted to do, I applied and went for it. I did something that was actually new to me… study! To gain admittance into the nursing program I had to take a national test. The highest grade you could achieve on the entrance exam was 150… I earned 138! (I would have earned a 140 but I misread a math question and my cursor was on the right answer but the computer turned off due to out of time before I clicked on the answerL ).

I took my prerequisite classes, but I took them slowly because I was afraid of failing and it had been a VERY long time since I had been in school and I NEVER studied. I passed ALL the classes. It was down to my final class and, although I studied, I did not study enough and failed. My thinking has always been that if you really want something… go for it! Give it your best and if you fail, learn from it and do better the next time. So that is what I did.

My school is really big on making its students feel very VERY small in every instance. Not only did I have to wait an entire year to retake the class, I had to write a letter to the dean stating why I felt I failed, and what habits I was going to change in order to pass! Really? A letter? I was surprised they didn’t want me to have my parents sign it! But I wrote it and was allowed back in! J (Probably had to do with them messing up so badly that out of 120+ students over 60 of them were advised to withdraw or they failed out… in 1 semester!)

Well I retook the class and I did ALL the work. I worked hard and was doing MUCH better. All I had to do was take my final and I was going to be a graduate nurse! I was so excited and I studied my dupa off. I even took 3 days off from work so I could study and pass!

With only 7 days until my final… they burst my bubble! They informed me that some paperwork in my clinical was not “good enough” and needed to be redone! It wasn’t wrong, just wasn’t as good as they expected. So I redid the paperwork!

With only 6 days until my final, I worked on this paperwork, did the best I could. I emailed the teachers to receive some help which they did not return the email or call me at the numbers I provided. So, although they offered me help none was provided. Two days later I handed in my papers and told them of the predicament and the issues I faced getting the information and figured that was that (especially when a couple of months earlier she told me since I was good on everything she would not fail me on paperwork)

Well, 2 days later they asked for me to meet them the following day about the paperwork and my life just seemed to unravel, the last 4 years anyway.

They advised me that the work wasn’t “wrong” but it was not what they expected of me. That I did all patient care excellent and top notch, that I knew what I was doing and why it was being done and had great relations with my patients. That I performed all patient care safely and gave meds out correctly and appropriately and knew what they were for, that my nurses notes were excellent and directed blah blah blah, but I had trouble putting that information down on paper. (what? But my written nurse’s notes were excellent? Isn’t that a contradiction?) They also told me I should rethink my choice in nursing and that they didn’t feel “comfortable” passing me because of this basically fake paperwork that is not even used in real-life nursing.

So with only 4 days until I graduated, they failed me on my clinical paper, even though there were 5 papers due & 15 clinical days of patient care that I exceeded at. So basically 2 papers, not even the full papers, only 1 part out of 3 on 2 papers failed me.

Right now I think it was very unjust and unfair, but there is a part of me that thinks I am just passing blame and not taking responsibility for my failure. I know last time when I failed, I never questioned it because when I thought about it, I knew there were areas I could have been more organized in my studying and should have taken time off from work to study… but I didn’t. This time, I did all the work they asked of me and did the best I could. When I asked for help and it was given, I thought I was doing what was asked of me. Apparently I didn’t understand what they wanted so when I asked for the help that last time, their failure to come through I think is what sunk me.

I was so close to graduating and it didn’t happen. All the plans my wife and I had for when I graduated are now on hold. Now we are looking into any options which I may have that can get me to achieve my dream and reach my goal for me and my family. Now I am embarrassed because all my friends and co-workers were pulling for me to finish. They ask me when I will graduate and I have no idea what to tell them. I am ashamed about this even though I know I would have passed if they allowed me to take my final.

I know it will happen. I know that this failure was not a failure on my part but a failure in the teaching, or lack thereof, of my professors at Farmingdale State College. I know I will finish and be proud and be a GREAT nurse and help people like I want to. I just have to find out how I will do it!

Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes there will be obstacles to overcome, it won’t be that you failed but how you overcame the obstacles that teaches you more.

Thanks for reading.

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High School. The final frontier… until college.

I have actually thought about this topic a lot. There is SOOO much I would do over if I could. I think we all think about this from time to time. High school was usually one of two possible times in your life. 1) the WORST time of your life or 2) The best time of your life. For me it was the former.

When you are a tween/teenager everything seems like the worst thing or the best thing. Basically, we are all dorky bipolar idiots! When something bad happens you said “I’,m never going to get over this EVER!!!” and when something good happens it was “The best day ever!!!”

In high school I was…

-Quiet (at least until the last half of my senior year)

– A lazy under-achiever (that is I passed my classes but never opened a book so I would receive B’s and C’s)

– Well-known but not popular (mainly because I didn’t go out of my way for anything but was always willing to help people.)

– Never participated in anything (I did not go to a single school dance, function or prom)

– Very insecure about myself and my body (I had some acne but nothing TOO crazy and never considered myself “in shape” but apparently I was according to my HS friends on facebook!)

– I was the quiet, nerdy, smart guy who underachieved and became more of a jock in senior year when I joined track and cross country.

These are all things I would do over. I was never bullied in the sense of having to be afraid this kid or that kid was going to beat me up, but I was a MAJOR pacifist and always walked away instead of standing up for myself. I only had one actual fight in high school and that was while I was a freshmen and the guy was a senior. I was sort of short then, about 5’4ish and he was the same height. He hit me in the face with an umbrella and I called him a jerk and that was enough that he was going to “beat me up after class”.

I was slightly nervous but nothing like I expected and then at the end of class he got right in my face and told me to get away from him. I kept walking and told him to move. He didn’t and then punched me square in the face. I blinked and looked at him and said “if that is the hardest you can hit you are in a LOT of trouble!” He walked away and I walked away and that was that.

The best thing about that is about 5 or 6 years later I was met up with some friends to play roller hockey and he was there. He saw me and skated right up to me. I had yet to put on my skates so he was about 4 or 5 inches taller than his normal height, but, well, I guess he stopped growing by senior year and I he had to look up to me without my blades on. He had this cocky attitude until I stood up and towered over him and then his attitude changed. I guess he figured he would get me on the court so as we were playing he came FLYING up to me to check me. Now, I started playing roller hockey AFTER I was already good at ice hockey so I just steadied myself and he flew off his blades and landed square on his shoulders and helmet and knocked the wind out of himself. I helped him up and asked him if he was ok and from that moment forward he would go out of his way to act like my best friend when he saw me. It was definitely a sweet victory… albeit years later but better later than never.

When it came to school I was super lazy and if I could do it all over again I would apply myself a lot more. I do believe that by creating your study habits in elementary and high school helps you with everything in life. It took me a while to actually learn how to study when I went back to school. Now I am much better at it but I think I would have gone through Nursing school faster and better if I didn’t have to learn how to study since I never did it in high school.

I had a small, close-knit group of friends throughout high school and I thought that was enough. It was and I have many great memories of them. I even blogged about one of them who is still my best friend till this day. But when I went to college for computers I did not study because I was active in SOO many things. I was on the Campus Activity Board, the radio station, the newspaper, student government and I ran track and cross country. So, needless to say I did not do well, but I had a great social life. That happened because I was more outgoing the last half of senior year HS and when I started college I decided to do everything different and be who I wished I was in HS. So in college I had a very large group of friends and we hung out and talked ALL the time.

Thinking back now, it was not the worst time of my life, but it definitely could have been better. Lately, I really wish I had applied myself more to classes but even if I did, I wouldn’t have known what I wanted to be when I grew up. That question I could not really answer until I was almost 38 years old!

What were YOU like in high school? I was the quiet, shy guy that everyone was friendly with but not necessarily friends with outside of school.

 

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Every Monday I sit in class and look forward to receiving the MamaKat’s writing prompts deliver into my mailbox. Every Monday I am sit and learn a little bit about some Nursing aspect that I am supposed to know but won’t really learn until I enter the world of nursing and actually do it.

Some weeks I know what I am going to write and some weeks I cannot think of anything for the prompts am overworked between work, school, life and do not have the time. This week was NOT one of those times. The moment I saw the prompts I knew exactly which one I was going to do and what it was going to be about.

This week’s prompt is about my best friend for life.

We were ALWAYS there for each other. Always had each other’s back and always understood each other… especially in the times of most embarrassing and all.

Mark I became friends sometime around 5 or 6 years old. He lived a block away and lived on a VERY busy street. He could not ride his bicycle on his road otherwise he would have become a mark-pancake so he would bring his bicycle to what he called the “back road” and I called my block. I was shy since there was no one my age to hang out with on my street. Mark said “hi” to me one day and although I was shy, if someone initiated conversation, I took that as friendship and would just talk and talk. It was because of him I was determined to learn how to ride a two-wheeler bicycle.

About a week or so later I taught myself how to ride a two-wheeler and Mark and I were inseparable. We would ride all over. When one of us was punished, chances were very high that we both were because we were probably together doing something or going somewhere we were told not to go.

We grew up and went through elementary, middle and high school together. Mark was 3 months younger which actually made him a year behind me in school.

Mark and I were very identical in some ways and opposites in others. I embarrassed easy and cared what people thought of me. Mark was fearless, didn’t care what people thought and lived his life that if you don’t like me… tough. I always admired his inner strength and his take no BS attitude.

Mark also had a wise mouth which got him into trouble from time to time. From the time I was born until now I have only been in 3 fist fights in my whole life, two of them were because someone jumped into a fight Mark was having so I jumped in to protect Mark. That is how things have been from the beginning, always being there for each other… no matter what.

We would get into arguments over stupid things when we were younger and be screaming at each other saying we hate each other. Even yelling saying “well what time and I coming over to sleep over tonight!” and he would yell “8 o’clock asshole” and I would yell “OK you jerk” and our friends would be dumbfounded like, they just almost got into a fight but they are STILL sleeping over? Mark and I NEVER got into a real fight nor would we ever and we always have an understanding that no one else in the world understood.

In our teens we would ride our bicycles all over Long Island discovering new places and seeing how far we could ride. My mother freaked when I was 24 and she found out that at 12 Mark and I were bored so we rode our bicycles from Lindenhurst to Stony brook which was about 30 miles… each way.

I joined the Volunteer fire department a few months after he did and out badge numbers and gear lockers were side by side.

Mark was there for me when I broke up with the girl I thought was “the one” and knew not to ask me anything, just knew I would talk about it in due time with him. And I did.

I was there the night he needed to get home to help his dad in a very difficult time that a teenager shouldn’t have to. But I didn’t ask why or what was wrong just said “Ok, lets go”.

Mark and his girlfriend Tina (now his wife) would break up and get back together every other week. Tina always liked me but there was a time she really did not and that was because I would never let Mark sit at home when he was upset about breaking up. I would come over and if they were broken up I would take him out and we would get into SOME sort of trouble… because getting into trouble is what we call having fun! Nothing too major, just good respectful trouble.

I was there the day after his daughter was born.

He was there for me when my mom passed away.

His brother was his best man at his wedding but he told me that he wanted me to be best man but his mom demanded he have Billy and I told him I understood.

He was the best man at my wedding because… well he WAS the best man at my wedding and I am closer to him than I am to my own brother.

We were there when we invented “bike chases” and “car chases”

He was there with the “Hey knock it off” man.

Mark doubled up his junior year of High School to graduate with all of us that hung out, but only Mark and myself were the ones who graduated.

 

And there was a large area I have left out… Mark and his family I know saved my life.

Growing up my dad was, is an alcoholic. He hasn’t had anything to drink in over 20 years, but back then he drank… a LOT! Nothing crazy and not a mean drunk, he was the opposite. My dad was EVERY ones friend when he drank, but he and my mother would fight CONSTANTLY. Then he would leave and mom would need to yell so she would yell at me and my brother about toys, about school work, about anything.

My parents were NEVER abusive, but home life was very difficult. And that’s how mark and his family saved my life.

I spent MOST of my teens at Mark’s house. His mom would treat me just like one of her kids. She would smack me in the head if I was out of line and say she I did well when I did. I grew up learning to ALWAYS respect your elders. I always call anyone older than me Mister or misses… but not his family. His mom was Mamma Miller and his Dad was DUUUDE! His cousins would introduce me as their cousin Jim.

I didn’t know it then, but I do now. I am the person I am today because of Mark. Mark was always a little rude and crude, always VERY direct but his heart is always in the right place. Both of us always had the same morals. We both have a high code of honor. He knows I would do anything for him and his family no matter what, especially for what he and his family did for me. They allowed me to be a part of their family when I needed it the most.

Mark and I are still best friends to this day. We do not get to see each other much but he knows if he ever needs me any time day or night, all he needs to do is call and I am there for him. I haven’t seen him in a few months because work, life and school take up ALL my time, but I talk about him often to my friends and always very highly. I tell them his is more than my best friend… he is more of a brother to me than my own actual brother.

Having a lifelong friend like that is something I hope my kids learn all about when they are… well born and then grow up. And I hope Mark and I are the example which makes my kids realizes how important it is to have relationships like that.

Thank you Mark for being my brother in every way imaginable!

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