The countdown is on until everyone goes back to school. This is a new experience for me, since though I’ve attended college for a year, I’ve never been ‘back to school’. While I am looking forward to choir practice and the physiology class I am taking, there is a lot less freedom during the day, especially in comparison to homeschooling. So, I’m trying to make sure I squeeze every little bit of summer out I can.
I have been working as a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) at a nursing home nearby. I was in training for a month where I watched the other CNAs do their job. They can also complete everything much faster than I can, and they make it look easy. At first I was struggling to complete all my work in the time frame, but after a month on my own I am finally beginning to keep up. I’ve gotten better at working under stress, and prioritizing what needs to be done first.
It is very hard work physically, and my body had to adjust to walking, bending, and lifting so much. At first my legs would ache terribly in the last hours of the eight hour shift, but now they have adjusted and can handle it without complaint. I also had to learn how to lift with my legs after I strained my back, and started working on strengthening my (very wimpy) arms. It is definitely helping, and this week a resident I was assisting said, “You’re stronger than you look” and I have stopped pulling muscles.
As a bonus for my future as a nurse, I am becoming familiar with medical terms and medications. I get to experience working with many kinds of people, both needy and independent, some very easy to work with and others who are not. I also am around a lot of nurses who have many tips and stories to share that are helping me learn about the many different types of nursing. Hopefully, this can help me narrow down the areas I am (and am not) cut out for.
Now that I am getting better at the skills, I really like being at the nursing home. I work with the same group of people all the time, and I enjoy getting to know them. I know when I work in a field where patients come and go I will miss that aspect. With the exception of the afternoon nap time, there is rarely a dull moment. I have had quite a few very interesting experiences in my short time working there. The residents often remind me of my little brothers, since they often say very funny and unique things, and they keep me laughing. I also get to wear scrubs, which make me feel a bit like a nurse already. Landon says when he sees me wearing them, I look like ‘someone important’.
The teenagers of our local homeschool group have a casual ballroom dancing night about twice a month, and Landon, Maria and I have gone a couple times this summer. I used to go dancing with friends almost every week two or three years ago, but then I became busy and stopped for a while. Now I’m remembering how much fun it is. I’m quite rusty, but when you dance with a guy who knows what he is doing, it tends to work out as long you can keep the rhythm and hang on tight when he spins you!
Unlike a few years ago, Landon is tall enough to be able to turn me without bumping my head on his arm. He really enjoys learning new moves, and has even been watching internet tutorials to learn steps to teach me. He is beginning to know several types of dancing quite well, and is a good leader. (The man controls which steps you do in the dance, for example, when the lady turns and how fast, so being a strong leader is really important so the girl knows what to do.) Our favorite type of dancing so far is swing, and we are working on a few dramatic and tricky steps.
-also an activity hosted by our homeschool group. It has been going on for three years, but I am enjoying it most this year. Sports have never been my forte, and the first year the only way I touched a ball was if it landed on top of me. I learned in my college human growth and development class that crawling as a baby is important for depth perception. Since I never did crawl, I use this fact as a scapegoat for my seeming inability to tell where a flying ball is in space. However, there were a couple of volleyball games at the new student activities at college last fall, and among a group of non-players I was actually -dare I say it- a little bit good at it. So even though I am still picked nearly last when selecting teams, I know that a little bit of practice goes a long way. Also, I have been more consistently hitting balls this year. No telling which direction they will go, but at least I’m hitting them.
I taught ballet classes twice a week last year, and worked on and passed my second teachers exam. I am aiming to take another this October. Then I will be able to teach Cecchetti (a style and syllabus of ballet) Grade III, which is one of the first levels to begin some advanced steps and turns. I am taking classes this summer in preparation, and will also be practice teaching a few. I am enjoying that a lot, since though I taught classes twice a week last year, by spring I was missing taking classes as well.
One of my favorite things to do in the evenings I don’t work. Daniel, Dominic, and Claire usually accompany me, with the two little ones in the stroller and Daniel on his bike. We stroll around the neighborhood, soaking up the last of the sun rays. After the bitter cold winter we had, I don’t want to let one bit of time outside get away!