04 April 2014

Intensive Care by Echo Heron

There is so much I can say about this novel, but for the sake of time and to entice more readers I will only speak to a few main points I took from it.

One of the first things I would like to point out is that Echo was a mother while also going through nursing school. She raised her child to the best of her ability and did have some "real-life" events that threw her off her guard at points. The fact that she included these life events in her book as well really influenced my perspective of her as a nurse and her as an author. 

It truly is easy to become swept up in the grandeur of medicine and forget about the bad days, hard decisions, and inevitable consequences of others' decisions. Intensive Care is a great reminder of the challenges nurses face. It is also a gleaming example of all that is important about nursing. The compassion Echo shows her clients is incredible! I think every nurse strives to provide the best care for their patients and the stories Echo shares are only a few examples of the ways we can do so.

That being said, I encourage all healthcare providers and families of healthcare providers to read this in order to gain a deeper insight into one woman's perspective of the healthcare industry. It hopefully will gain us nursing students some compassion and nurses a little more respect than frequently experienced.

28 March 2014

Spring Break, Day #7

This morning was the essence of "chillax." For those who may be unaware, the word "chillax" is derived from a combination of the colloquial term "chill", meaning to be calm, and the word relaxing. For example, laying in bed half the morning working on homework, reading, and watching YouTube videos was very chillax.

Once the afternoon hit, I became increasingly lethargic and managed to convince myself that a nap was appropriate. I always struggle with naps, because as much as I enjoy sleeping, the repercussions are always much worse than I care to handle. This time, however, I tried to fool myself into thinking that it was not a true nap if I was reading and just happened to fall asleep doing so. 

On awakening, I prepared myself for Stations of the Cross and a study/hangout session with a friend afterward. Stations of the Cross always has a way of humbling me and refocusing my spiritual compass. It helps me become more aware of the sacrifice Jesus made and reminds me that I am accountable for his suffering every time I sin. As harsh as it may sound, I do not think of it as the stereotypical "Catholic guilt" - instead, I think of it as the most endearing thing a loved one could do. 

With that in mind, I cheerfully joined my friend for what was supposed to be a night of coffee, catching up, and studying. Instead, we decided to try the hot chocolate from Moonstruck Chocolate (DELICIOUS!), study, and grab some dinner at Little Big Burger (veggie burger and truffle fries for me, of course). 

All in all, it was a very pleasant semi-end to my spring break.

27 March 2014

Spring Break, Day #6

Though today was not terribly exciting, it was not bad either. I redecorated my room somewhat and finally made the decision to try out the bottom level of the bunk bed. It looks... promising.

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and yogurt, I took some time preparing for the outdoors - sometimes also considered dressing. The weather did not look like it would change from lightly overcast, so I decided to take the risk and wear a skirt I bought on the shopping trip with my sister. I think I made a good choice.

The first destination of the day was a tea shop just off the corner of 11th and Glisan called The Tea Zone & Camellia Lounge. A friend of mine had recommended it to me a while ago, but I never made the time to try it. Well today was the day I did - and I am so glad! The staff was friendly upon entering and even recommended a drink for me when I could not seem to make up my mind. I took their recommendation for a Heat Wave bubble tea (always a good choice for me) and it was delicious! The place was not only clean, but cosy. I studied there for a bit before moving on with my day.

My next stop was the public library - no surprise there - to drop off a few books and pick up a couple more. I lucked out and found BJ Novak's novel on the shelf which I am very much looking forward to reading. I also picked up a book entitled Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers. It claims to be a guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping. A book I had read previously, Insomnia by Gayle Green, recommended it so I placed a hold on it as soon as I could.

Just down the street from the public library was Target. The convenient location could be dangerous for some people, but I pride myself in having established particular habits that prevent me from spending most of my time (off campus, and second only to the library) and money there. Usually I have a detailed shopping list as well as bags to carry my items home. This time, however, I thought a casual stroll would be fine what with it being nice day and spare time I had. I ended up buying replacement lightbulbs for my lamp, a Maybelline Baby Lips, a soy candle, a bag of Bugles, and a tin of Yan-Yans.

Of course, upon exiting Target it began sprinkling. A quick dash to the streetcar stop secured me a spot under cover from the rain, although it did not protect me from others' titters about the inappropriateness of my outfit for the conditions. I did bring an umbrella, but - silly me - it was tucked under my recent purchases. Fortunately the streetcar came and whisked me back to the safety and warmth of home.

Upon returning, I settled in bed to read and eventually fell asleep. And here I lay, still in bed, typing this while watching a show called Michiko & Hatchin.

26 March 2014

Sea of Hooks by Lindsay Hill

I definitely wish I had spent more time with this novel. I was initially interested in it because of the author who is a long-time poet who spent a decade writing this novel. It was a decade well spent. 

Sea of Hooks is artfully crafted into an abstract tale of a young man who makes sense of life through found objects. The novel looks at the inevitable consequences and remnants of life events and their impact on the lives that they intersect. 

At first I thought the novel cast a pessimistic shadow over the concept of life, but the thoughts hidden in perfectly woven metaphors were rather inspiring. The give hope to even the most hopeless situation. 

Although this novel may not be everyone's cup of tea, I recommend it if an appropriate amount of time can be devoted to it.