Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I've often heard the older generation lamenting the fact that nowadays there is no privacy because people have no qualms about talking about everything on their cellphones when they're in public. today while riding public transportation i learned quite a lot about the frum woman behind me

her name is Perel

she lives in Boro Park

she works for a non-profit organization

she has a staff of three and doesn't really love her boss so much

she's working on a big project for before Purim where she plans to send home some material with the kids

one of her really good friends just got divorced and went through a really tough time with an overprotective, abusive husband (I'm not making this up, i heard her telling her friend that she needs to "detox from victim mode, because you're husband was a horrible abusive person")

i gleaned all this information from various phone calls she made to colleagues and friends. but the best was when she called her friend Yehudis who'd just had a baby. the call went something like this:

"hi, it's Perel, is Yehudis around? (pause) oh sure, thank you! (laughs) Yehudis, hiiiii!!! how's your baby??? how are you feeeelinggggggg?? hello was that your babysitter, she's hysterical!! what? That was your husband?? that TOTALLY sounded like a woman!!"

at this point i couldn't control myself anymore and i actually burst out laughing. she must have heard me because she lowered her voice a little bit and moved back a seat.

in fact, sister2 told me that when she called me (my conversation was very quick and to the point, and my voice was very quiet) she heard a woman talking very loudly.

seriously, what has this world come to!?!? (head shake) adults these days....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

over shabbos something came up that got me thinking.

we were discussing the parsha at the table, and my cousin was re-enacting how Chushim ben Dan knocked off Eisav's head with a stick and it rolled into Mearat Hamachpaila. that was when someone commented how some of the parshiot are bloodbaths. sister2 pointed out that the stories from Navi can be even more gruesome, as the Jewish kings were constantly fighting battles for land.
"they always got stabbed in the same spot" she commented "right below the fifth rib"

"well that's the spot that closest to the heart" my dad said. he looked at me "right, Miss Nursing Student?" (whenever we discuss anything anatomy or medical related, my parents look to me for confirmation. definitely keeps me on my toes!)

so i explained about the PMI for listening to the apical pulse being in the fifth intercostal space at the mid-clavicular line. but then i recalled how sometimes it takes me a good minute or two to find the right spot to listen to the heart. i wonder how warriors in battle were able to find it in an instant. maybe they had soldiers who were designated to run ahead and grab the enemies, hold them down and feel under their armor for the ribs, count to the fifth, and mark it with a Sharpie, so the advancing army would know exactly where to shoot.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

this winter, is going to be electrifying.


Ive found in the past weeks that I'm extremely static-y. i walk across a carpet, and touch the doorknob and it sparks. when i open my car door, i feel a slight singe when my fingers come in contact with the metal. and my hair stands straight up every time i touch it.

i can spray as much Static-Guard as i want, but it doesn't really help. and i can't stand the way it smells. i feel like one of these days I'm going to spontaneously combust.

so if you see me, don't hug me please. just wave hi. and if you need to pass me something, just toss it to me. because if you do touch me, you're in for a shocking experience.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the late nights spent studying...

the mornings i woke up a lot earlier than i wanted to...

the hours spent studying in the library...

the afternoons spent on chairs and the floor of the skills lab...

coming home from clinicals with the smell of nursing home and hospital in my clothing and my hair... all became worth it when i sat down in my professor's office yesterday and she looked up at me and said "congratulations, you passed!"

another semester of nursing school under my belt...and I'm a little bit closer to my goal.

the countless coffee cups and scattered textbooks give silent testimony to all that I've been doing. now i can clean my room up, and put the books back on the shelf. now i can hang up my stethoscope and put my uniform in the back of the closet. now i can read all the books i haven't been able to finish, because i didn't have those long hours to just sit and read. now, i have vacation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

there's a frum female singer out there who is generally well-liked in my house by myself and sister1. some of her songs have made it to the list of regularly sung songs, along with some JEP songs, Journeys songs (we've finally learned all the correct lyrics, my parents still have a field day with the fact that we used to sing about "religious doorbells" instead of "religious dogma" we were like 8 and 9 at the time) and a few Shwekey tunes.

but i was singing a particular song one day, when i suddenly realized what i was singing and felt the need to explore the lyrics further:

is the way to happiness the path to success
can i be satisfied if I'm something less
than the doctor, the lawyer they hoped i would be
so what if I'm happy just to be me

each day every hour, on me they depend
to be mother a sister, plus a wife and a friend
i have a profession, though no PHD
but today i am happy just to be me

i don't need a license, don't need a degree
for I'm in the business of a woman you see
my life's full of meaning and my home's full of life
i don't need all that money to be doing all right
there's not much vacation, get no time to rest
my house is my office, and my kitchen's my desk
i work for Hashem, yes the Torah's my trade
maybe I'm overworked but I'm not underpaid

i spent at least twenty minutes trying to write out how i thought about this songs, but no matter how i put it, i sounded nasty or just plain stupid. so i'm going to leave the comments to the people who do it best (my readers) and the opinion-giving to those who do it best (my relatives) because i know that you'll either leave your opinion here or tell it to me the next time i see you :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i have a classmate named Jamie who is a secular Jew, but knows more about Judaism than i would have expected from her. although her opinions and views of the Orthodox community are sometimes slightly skewed, it's always fun to hear what she knows

we were talking about FrumClassmate's chassan (FrumClassmate recently got engaged)
Jamie: what's his name?
FrumClassmate: (hesitates) Mordy
Brittany: Mordy? what kind of name is that?
Jamie: it's short for Mordechai
(turns to FrumClassmate) what's he doing? is he still in yeshiva?

On Jewish names:
Jamie: i have a Jewish name! it's Rochel Tzivia. my husband can't pronounce it, so he calls me Rokkel Sylvia-he's not Jewish so he's not so good at the "ch" sound-and i tell him 'honey, it's Tzivia, not Sylvia"
Brittany: cool, what's my Hebrew name?
Jamie: you don't have one because you're not Jewish
Brittany: so did you get your Hebrew name at your bar mitzvah?
Jamie: ha! boys have bar mitzvahs and girls have bat mitzvahs, but i got it when i was born

On the laws of modesty:
FrumClassmate: tomorrow Ora is coming to study with us
Brittany: is Ora Orthodox too?
FrumClassmate: sort of
Brittany: but she wears pants, are you allowed to wear pants too?
Jamie: no pants aren't modest. i wear pants because I'm Reform

On restaurants:
FrumClassmate: I'm starving
Me: if we finish early, you can go grab some food for lunch
FrumClassmate: yea, i wish, but i have a gown to fit into (i will be closely monitoring Frum Classmate for signs of morphing into a Brido-Sapien)
Jamie: hey yea, you can go to Purple Bear
Me: Purple Pear, and where did you hear about that?
Jamie: i heard the Orthodox girls in my Monday class talking about it

On kosher:
Jamie pulls out a hero sandwich and starts to eat
Lisa: oh man I'm starving, I'll trade you half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich for half of your sub
(yes, at twenty and twenty six people are still trading lunch)
Jamie looks up at me: you want some? oh wait it's not kosher, I'm sorry
(people often feel the need to apologize for eating non-kosher food in front of me)
she rummages in her bag and comes out with a protein bar: see it's got the circle with the U in it, that means the rabbi blessed it so you're allowed to eat it right?

Monday, December 14, 2009

things to remember for my final

1. patients can be in negative nitrogen balance when they are severely bleeding or have large burns
2. an extra hour of sleep the night before the final is more beneficial than an extra hour of cramming
3. care not documented is care not done
4. wearing a bright colored shirt helps me stay positive and focused
5. recommended daily allowance of fiber is 21-38 grams
6. the first answer, is usually the correct one. if i change an answer, i'll probably end up regretting it
7. any action that is nurse-initiated is an independent one
8. there's only so much i can study, and after that, i have to just take a deep breath and do my best

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shabbos Chanuka.

definitely a highlight in my family. yet another gathering of relatives to look forward to.

although this year, the numbers will be significantly decreased. alas, the Far Away Aunt will not be in town with her brood like she was last year. we'll all miss her very much. although i won't miss her as much as everyone else, because I'll be going there on hiatus in January :) in addition, Uncle2 might not be coming, as last heard, a number of his kids were sick, but we're hoping that will change so they can join in the festivities. indeed brother2 is hoping so. because without the Far Away cousins, and the Three Wisecracking Musketeers in yeshiva, Cousin Scooter will be the only boy cousin, and if he doesn't come, poor brother2 will have to spend an entire weekend with three sisters and a school of squeaking female cousins.

I'm hoping for a shabbos free from plays and choirs. since sister2 was little, it's become somewhat of a tradition to perform a skit of some sort. unfortunately, it's also become a tradition that there are too many directors and petulant actors, fighting, and at least three people quitting, and everyone ending in tears, before all the adults are sheparded into the playroom and instructed to sit on the floor and watch. the worst play was entitled The Three Rotten Eggs, or something like that. but hopefully after Pesach's play, which was really watching some cousins play house and "pretend" (was it only in jest?) to throw fake crockery at each other, while managing to to wreck the basement, while those on the floor alternated between chuckling and casting sideways horrified glances at my grandfather to see his reaction, there won't be anymore plays.

Of course any meal wouldn't be complete without Aunt3's mojitos, and if sister1 remembers her Cocktails for Dummies, some more interesting drinks. i hope she remembers, as I'm getting a little bored of mint flavored rum, even if my aunt does have cool martini glasses.

but above all, it's a time we're all looking forward to (maybe Aunt3 less then everyone, as she's hosting most of the crowd this year), to get together and spend time with each other, and strengthen the bond of family that ties us together.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lost: one ipod

first generation nano
about three and half inches tall
black face, silver back, badly scratched
answers to the name Jordan
last seen about two weeks ago

i have no clue where my ipod is and it's driving me crazy. i like to think that i don't lose things; i merely misplace them. I've had bracelets that I've "lost" dozens of times, only to have them show up, or remember where I've left them. this doesn't cause me to be careless with my possessions, but i haven't the slightest clue as to where my ipod could be. I've checked my bottomless green bag millions of times, thoroughly searched my car and my dad's car, and searched sister1's bedroom from top to bottom. i spoke to everyone who's homes and cars I've been in in the past two weeks, and it hasn't shown up. i can't fall asleep, can't wind down at the end of the day, and can't study without it. I've had my ipod since eleventh grade, and i feel like i'm missing a friend.