Sunday, December 22, 2019

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all. I can identify with that Christmas tree shown above because although I'm worn out and a bit scraggly, I'm still vertical. I spent a good number of holidays working in the hospital and like my colleagues above always found something to be joyful about even in the most dire of circumstances. There is always a silver lining, especially at Christmas.

Before my brain freeze set in, I came up with this a few years back. My readership was no where near what it is now, so if you need a chuckle, here's the link:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Nursing Diploma Schools Were Providers With a Price

Diploma schools provided "free" textbooks
It was the crack of dawn on the very first day of a new class and we were seated at our hard wooden chair/desk hybrids. Those  old hardwood seating devices had a writing surface that resembled a bent canoe paddle that followed a serpentine course until it was right in front of you. This clever design averted a hasty exit because you had to swing out laterally before standing up. Scanty student seats like this were scorned by those unfortunate enough to be left-handed as there was no upper extremity support while writing.

Miss Bruiser, my favorite instructor was doing her gestapo waltz around the classroom depositing a brand new text book smack dab in the middle of the business end of the canoe paddle desk. We all knew what was coming next and dutifully treated our new books as if they were a hot branding iron. Like all "gifts" from the school, books came with a harsh admonishment. Everything from uniforms to housing had a price and I'm not referring to dollar signs.

"Before you students put your grubby little lunch hooks on these brand new textbooks, I have a little paper for you to read and sign," Miss Bruiser bellowed as she dolded out the pungent scented mimeographed documents. We were conditioned just like Pavlov's dogs to the scent of mimeograph ink. That unique smell spelled trouble in the form of a test, written admonishment, or stern warning from a rigid authoritarian instructor or senior nurse.

Here is what the nursing school party line was on handling our sacred nursing textbooks. Hold the book  with it's back resting on the surface of your desk; let the front cover down, then the other, holding the leaves in one hand while you open a few leaves at the back, then a few at the front, and so on, alternately opening back and front, gently pressing open the sections until you reach the center of the book. Do this several times for the best result. Open the volume violently or carelessly in any one place and you will break the back and cause a start in the leaves. Never, ever force the back of a book.

I let loose with a muted chuckle before endorsing the mimeographed missive and paid a heavy price; I had to "volunteer" as a patient while the sophomores practiced their phlebotomy skills on my prominent veins.