SPRING BREAK!

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So I haven’t posted in a while, but I felt like this was finally a break that I could make it happen. It’s such a relief to not have to be up and ready and doing things for school. Studying for tests, eating terribly, stressing myself out: that all gets put on hold this week (except I’m constantly thinking about what I need to get done before Monday, including a group presentation *UGH*).

But since I’m at this sort of midway point of the semester, I think it would be a great time to reflect. This semester is BY FAR better than last semester, even with shitty Monday’s. It’s more fun! I feel like what I’m learning is actually sticking. It’s flying by without all the stress I was under last semester. It’s NICE.

I still hate law and management 2, but I’m so determined to pass those classes so I don’t have to retake them (EW!). And we were teased with the idea that the PROGRAM is almost halfway over, which is a GREAT feeling. I feel like I’m managing okay still, but again, we’re not even at mid-terms/finals stress situations! I could be singing a different tune in a couple weeks/months.

I have to admit something too, I think I want to focus on embalming. It’s so fascinating and I’m getting better, faster than I thought I would. From the start of this program, I kept thinking I was going to be a funeral director and I was going to work services, and that was it. I thought about doing the embalming apprenticeship and getting the license as a backup, but now that I’ve done it, I think that’s where I want my focus to be. Maybe I’ll do both, I don’t know, but I didn’t realize how much I’d be into it.

Since I’m taking this time to reflect, I’d also like to jot down this: 1 year ago, my grandma came home from the hospital to die. I have the “timehop” app that shows statues from the last couple years, and yesterday’s was the reminder of the 36 hours I spent awake, checking on her, worrying about her, taking her to the hospital and trying to figure out why I couldn’t wake her up. I was remembering that night like it happened last night. She was wailing all night, yelling in her sleep and calling for my aunt (who’s a nurse). I would come down and say,”grandma, what do you need?!” and she’d look at me like,”What?! Why are you waking me up?” and then go right back to doing it. I never fell asleep that night. I ended up writing to my mom almost every hour on Facebook about what was going on. I waited till 7am before I really tried to wake her up, because that was when she was supposed to take her medicine. I couldn’t get her to wake up, she would startle and roll her eyes and fall right back asleep. Her breath was gargly and shallow. As soon as my mom woke up and saw all the messages, she immediately called me and told me she was coming over and to call 911…

The paramedics were so nice. I remember trying to answer their questions and I remember him saying,”you’re taking great care of your grandma” and I burst into tears. I was worried I was going to be seen as negligent or something. She was in my care and now she’s not waking up. We got to the hospital and sat around for hours. The doctors asked a lot of questions, and I remember the ER nurse and doctor that came around were very judgmental and raised eyebrows at the medication we were giving her (by doctor’s orders).

I tried to stay optimistic, we joked and thought,”oh, she’s fine. She’ll be out in no time”, but then the next morning when my mom and I went to the hospital, we were told the doctor wanted to talk to us. She brought us out of the room and that’s when she told us,”this is it. There is nothing else we can do”. My heart sank. I was so confused. She told us that the cancer had spread. The fluid build up in her lungs were part of the cancer. It was in her bones, lungs, liver, everywhere. The pain was too much, and nothing was going to make it better.

We talked to a social worker who set us up with at home hospice. We took her home that day. We watched a Kings game when she got home and I remember her asking (in confusion) about going back to the doctor’s or the hospital, and I held her hand and told her,”no grandma, you never have to go back there ever again”, and I saw the relief on her face. She understood what that meant. Over the next 2 days, she slowly left us. On March 26th, 2015 at 11pm, I held her hand and watched her take her last breath.

I have grown so much in this last year. I will continue to grief my loss, but I’ve also grown stronger and I’m more grateful for the time I got to spend with her in the final years of her life. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

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Monday’s, am I right?!

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“I don’t like Monday’s, but unfortunately they come around eventually” – Lorelai Gilmore

When people hate Monday’s, it’s usually because it’s the start of an 8 hour day to a full 5 day week, after probably the most relaxing weekend they’ve had in a while, and HOW DARE something interject that! I hate Monday’s for 3 hours. Actually 2 hours and 50 mins if we’re going off the course description’s allotted time.

I had no idea that when I started this program that something called “funeral service management” would become the bane of my existence. The first semester of it is literally learning the basics of accounting as if I were trying to become a CPA. The second semester of it is all about group projects and it’s slowly killing me.

I thought I hated last semester (mainly because of the online companion site that glitched left and right and made me want to rip my hair out), but this semester has turned what sounds like learning managerial techniques into making a completely fake company in a very serious manner.

It’s not that we have to make a fake company, I’m all for making shit up, but the serious tone to this whole thing is blowing my mind. We’re “renting” space, meaning we’re calling places and making sure it’s available and making it like we’re actually purchasing this place and working from it. We have to assign jobs to everyone using our real legit resumes, which feels really weird for some reason. There’s a bunch more to it, but the basic point is that it’s overwhelming.

The class is about half my cohort and half of the people who failed it in the summer or previous semester and they’re retaking it. It only meeting once, every other week is killing me too. I’m all for independent studying and having things in my control, but this semester so far feels so completely out of my control that I’m literally going in every other Monday saying, “fuck it” the whole time.

The second time taking the class kids feel on top of everything and it sort of feels like they’re trying to leave us in the dust too, they don’t want to fail and they don’t care how they do it. Even if it means doing all of our work and tacking our names onto it and turning it in. That scares me with 1) the amount of kids retaking making me feel like I might have to retake this class and 2) if I have to retake it, I don’t even know what I did the first time around!

I’m doing the work. I really am. But it’s one of those things that no matter what I do, I feel behind and out of the loop and completely helpless. We presented group projects today and it made me so mad how ill-prepared I was. I feel like the bare minimum (AT BEST) was done. Friends of mine told me that it was fine and we did well, but I know me, and I know that wasn’t done right. We got placed into new groups today for another group project and I am determined to knock this one out.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Monday’s that I’m not in management, I’m in Law 1. This class sounded ominous before I even entered the program. I have no basis on this subject (besides watching a LOT of Law and Order: SVU), so this class terrified me. So far, I’ve done better than expected on the first exam we had (that apparently a LOT of people didn’t even pass), but I have a feeling this won’t be a regular occurrence.

Part of my complaint is the teaching we’re receiving, but I’m not about to bash someone on the internet, it’s petty. I will complain about one thing though. I worked so hard on the 5 case briefs we had due before our exam, did them like we did them in class the week before. When I turned them in, we took the exam, and then the lecture portion of the class started off with a “how to do a case brief” tutorial…? Shouldn’t this have been done the first week? So of course, all of my case briefs were incorrect, so there goes a bunch of points. I have the tools to make them correct for this next week, but come on?! Really?! I get docked points because I wasn’t shown how to do it properly the first time?! I find that absurd.

The rest of my week is awesome. I have an anatomy/pathology 2 class that I dig. The teacher’s awesome, super informative and nice. Teaches rather slowly (almost mind numbingly sometimes), but understandable and his test and quizzes are better than last semester. My embalming lecture and thanatology class is instructed by the same teacher, and I love the way he teaches. The lab is with 2 other teacher’s who are awesome and extremely knowledgeable, which makes being in there even better.

The rest of my week coasts, but man…that Monday is such a MONDAY!