Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Going Back to School

So, I decided to go back to school. I got my bachelor's degree in psychology and I can't do much with it. I'm not planning on going back to work now but I know that once the boys get older and are in school full time, I'll go back to work part time. I had considered waiting until the boys got older to go back to school, but since it'll take me about 3 years, I thought I might as well get started on the school right now so I can get that done and out of the way.

I'm going back for nursing. I have 3 prereqs to take and a TEAS test and I apply for nursing school in May. If I get accepted, then I'd start fall 2015. It's four semesters, but the program I hope to get into takes summers off, so I would graduate Spring 2017 with my RN.

Greg and I had talked about this a lot over the years, but we never had a real in depth conversation (two toddlers running around makes it difficult to talk sometimes) but one day we were talking at the park while the boys played and decided to just do it. This was the first week in August and I ended up applying to school the day the application was due. I looked into different options, like getting my Master's since they offer one specifically for people who have 4 year degrees in something other than nursing, but financially, it made more sense to go to a community college for my RN. So, I'm going to Aiken Tech in South Carolina. They give people in Augusta (Columbia and Richmond county) in state tuition since we're on the border, so that's nice. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to school.

I'm taking Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology. I'm taking them as hybrid courses, the lecture and everything is online, but each class meets once a week for lab. I purposely didn't say anything on my blog about it because I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I've been out of school for so long, they're very hard classes, and I just wasn't sure I'd be able to manage it all. When I opened up my Microbiology book and nothing I was reading made sense, I considered dropping it. I was so scared that I was too old for this, but add/drop had passed and if I were to drop it, I wouldn't get my money back, so I stuck with it.

I am definitely stretched thin, my house is a pig sty, all our dinners are made in a crock pot, I haven't been to the gym since school started, but I'm doing well in my classes.
I spend a lot of time doing homework. The boys have school 3 days a week from 9:00-1:00. On Mondays, I volunteer at their school, so I usually get home about 11:00. I try and use all that time while they're gone to get school work done.

I stay up after everybody has gone to bed and watch lecture videos, take notes, do practice quizzes, read the text book, etc. I've been drinking a lot more coffee lately.

Greg has really stepped it up. He not only watches the boys when I go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays (1-4:50 and 2-5:50) but he has taken them out several times on the weekends or after he gets home from work to give me more time to do homework. He's been helping out more around the house. One day, he even had cheese, crackers, dip, and wine ready for dinner when I got home.

I'm at my computer a lot. It's hard not to get distracted by Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc. But, I've been doing pretty good about staying on track.

Mmm.....sugar and caffeine. It's what gets me through the day.

I have taken 2 tests and a lab practical so far. I got "A's" on all 3. I'm so excited and so proud of myself. I didn't care in high school or even when I got my bachelor's degree if I got an "A", I was perfectly content with a "b" and there were semesters that I really didn't mind if I had a "c" My priorities were different then (I don't think that's a bad thing) but this time with school it's different. It's really important to me that I do well. Tuition and books are not cheap and the amount of time I'm spending on school that I could be spending on my family really motivates me to make it worth it.

Screen shot of my first test grade. I was so excited!

I can count on one hand how many times I've done schoolwork while the boys were home and awake. I don't like to take away from that time with them and even if I did, it'd be impossible to get anything done with them running around, but I did manage to study for a test one day while they watched an episode of "Oswald"

It paid off, I got a "98" on my first Microbiology test. The class that I looked into dropping and if it hadn't been past add/drop, I would have. I opened the book and started reading the chapter and thought there was no way I was going to understand any of it.
I had to take our van in for a service while the boys were in school one day. I usually don't mind doing that because I bring a drink and fun book or magazine to read, but this time I packed up all my school stuff and did school work the whole time.

The hardest thing has been managing it all, I'm not doing any more than any other mom, it's just the transition from not being in school since 2006 and being strictly stay at home to going back to school with two 4 year olds. It's just taking some getting used to. I'll feel like I'm getting it somewhat under control and then the boys school calls me to pick up Carter because he threw up,  or whenI got strep throat and was completely out for a weekend and really struggled to focus for a few days after getting on the antibiotic. It's just two classes right now, so I know this is nothing compared to nursing school, I'm just still trying to get the hang of it.  I really hope I get in the first time I apply to the nursing program, they get about 750 applicants and last semester they admitted 35 students.

Anyways, I didn't want to say anything until I took a couple tests and made sure I wasn't going to flunk out. But, that's why I've been more behind on my blog than usual. If I'm on my computer, than I am doing school work, but I'm going to try and get my blog caught up this week.

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