College

30 Days of Thanks – Day 6

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Time to pause and regroupI am blessed to have parents and in-laws who are supportive, loving and still “worry” about me, even though I’m middle-aged.   I shared the news of the temporary pause, yet again, of my nursing education journey with them.  While they were upset for me – probably more than I was – they immediately had words of comfort and support for me.

This marks a new chapter in my life, into uncharted waters.  Do I want to continue on the same course, or try something different?  Is this my passion or something that seemed like a good idea at the time?   Am I ready to make another leap?   These questions remain unanswered at the moment.

What I Know

1. I have a passion for reading and writing.  Until this Summer, when I was writing consistently, it was only a hobby.

2. I like to help others.  In the broad sense.   I am the person you turn to when you need tough love, or when tough choices need to be made.

3. I like to work for myself.

The key will be to combine 1, 2, and 3.   Stay tuned.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 5

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Today I am thankful for the many people who came into my life through Nursing school.  We will soon be parting ways, but they will live forever in my heart.

30 Days of Thanks – Days 1 and 2

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30-Days-of-ThanksNovember 1st – I am thankful for an amazing Level IV clinical group.  These are 11 of the most patient-centered, thorough, compassionate people I have ever met.  I am blessed to have done my last ADN school rotation with them and would be happy if any, or all, of them were my, or a loved one’s, nurse.

November 2nd – I am thankful for my Husband and Zeke, Hannah Bean and Charlotte (aka. Charlie), my K9 kids.  They are all keeping me company as I study for my Level IV Final Exam and I am feeling the love.

Etiology of a Book Trailer – “Searching for Moore,” by Julie A. Richman

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Searching for Moore by Julie A. Richman
Cover used with permission by author, Julie A. Richman.

Summer of 2013 has been the Summer of books and reviews, where I rediscovered the joy that leisure reading brought me.   My newest ventures have been writing book reviews and beta reading books for independent authors.  I am still learning how to do both, but writing reviews is definitely my favorite of the two.

Earlier this year, I read and reviewed Searching for Moore by Julie A. Richman (Book 1 in the “Needing Moore” series).    Julie’s book kept me up all night,  deeply invested in Schooner and Mia’s story and I was emotionally drained but my mind kept spinning.   That inspired my best book review to date, as words flew, organically, off my fingers, onto the keys, and onto the screen.  When I hit “publish” on the blog post, the sun was rising and I knew I had to know more about the woman who wrote Searching for Moore.  I had to talk to her.

I “met” Julie on Facebook.   There was the initial awkwardness of the clichéd OMG-when-are-you-releasing-book-2 comment.  Followed by the blubbering on of a fangirl who had too little sleep, too much coffee and not enough Schooner Moore or Mia Silver.  Finally, we started to talk.  Like lifelong friends.   Who had never met before.    The more we talked – about music, college, jobs, life experiences, relationships, etc. – Julie and I found that we had been separated at birth!    Synchronous would be the best way to describe our connection.

Our friendship brought three other women into my life.  All fans of Searching for Moore who had similar reactions to the story.   As, we began “hanging out” together on Facebook, the bond became stronger.    Sure we talked about our favorite parts of the book, but we talked about ourselves.  If someone had a bad day, there were four other women to help her through it.  If we needed a laugh or bawdy comment, we were there.

Together.

Together, we decided to create the following book trailer.   Kristen was our computer guru, taking all the pieces and creating something that represented all of us, even after the infamous crash of “Video Version 1” (shudder).   Cleida brought us Mia and Schooner and had the uncanny eye to spot the right photos of them.   Samantha was our cheerleader, keeping everyone in good spirits.  I suggested “If I Should Fall Behind,” by Bruce Springsteen as the accompanying song and critiqued the final product.     We accomplished this in about two days and presented it to Julie, on Sunday, just past midnight.

As we waited, impatiently, for Julie to view the video, so many thoughts went through our heads.  “What if Julie doesn’t like it?”  “What if the fans don’t like it?” “What if it’s not good enough?”  “What if it doesn’t capture the essence of Schooner and Mia?”  These were the longest three minutes of the entire process!

Julie loved it!

She immediately posted it on her Facebook page.  It was received warmly by other fans, who then shared it with their friends and family.    Now, I share it with you.   Please share, reblog, buy the book and fall in love with Schooner and Mia.   (Book 2, “Moore to Lose,” will be released in September 2013.)    Amazon     Barnes and Noble

After reading Searching for Moore please visit Julie’s author website for additional scenes, written in the point of view of other characters, and find her on Facebook.

Here is our labor of love for Searching for Moore  .

Grace Under Pressure – One of the Benefits of Sororities

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As a lifelong “Sorority Girl” and advisor for 13 years, I am often asked about the benefits of sororities.  The public is quick to embrace the image of Sorority Women as entitled or shallow, but fails to realize that most of our leaders, both women and men, have a Greek letter affiliations.   For many of us, our first contact with many of the complex issues we face, and will face, in our professional lives were experienced in our college Chapters.

I learned how to manage my time and balance my classes, job, sorority commitments and personal life, whether I wanted to, or not.   My Sorority taught me how to maximize my time, because time was a limited commodity.  I also practiced talking to difficult people, or people I would not normally approach, on a regular basis.    This skill, learned through Rush/Recruitment, has helped me throughout my life.  Each time I have accepted a new job or promotion, I had to market myself, time and time again – just like I did, during Rush.

Creed of Chi Omega Women's Fraternity
Creed of Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity

I was disgusted when I read the article criticizing Kelsey Williams, a professional NBA, fit, beautiful cheerleader by a female sports “blogger.”  The “blogger” did not criticize Ms. Williams’ ability to perform her job, instead she chose to ridicule Ms. Williams’ appearance.   Then, the blog post went viral, exposing Ms. Williams to the ugliness found on Social Media.  The “blogger” has since been fired, and rightfully so.  Sadly, Ms. Williams’ had to publicly defend herself, against this unprovoked attack.   Her tweet about the incident “To be womanly always, discouraged never,” is a quote from the Chi Omega Symphony – a document I am intimately familiar with, as I have recited it for the better part of 24 years.  I am also a Chi Omega, like Ms. Williams.

I was upset when I heard that a woman was ripping another woman for her APPEARANCE, rather than her job performance.  When a fellow Alumna Sister pointed out to me, that Ms. Williams was a fellow NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) and Chi Omega Sister, it became “personal” for me.   No one rips into one of my Sisters, without provocation, especially when the person is not woman enough to look her target in the eye, as she does it.     Using Social Media to shame and ridicule others is called cyber-bullying.  I call it cowardice of the highest order.

However, this situation has a silver lining.   Sorority women of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations have rallied around Ms. Williams, in support.   She was interviewed by “Good Morning America,” about the incident and was able to demonstrate her own personal strength and grace.     Her actions speak to the positive aspects of sororities more than any movie or television show.   I am proud to support her, and other Greek women, who understand the benefits of Sisterhood have nothing to do with cute t-shirts, dating and social functions, and EVERYTHING to do with learning how to become the best version of yourself – an empowered woman.

Kelsey Williams Interview on “Good Morning America”

Much Needed Time Off

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Once again, I volunteered at the May 2013 RN Pinning Ceremony.  These are the students I started RN school with, until my life changed and I had to leave school.  I may only be one semester behind them, graduating in December, but it feels like a lifetime.

The RN Pinning Ceremony is a tradition in most Nursing schools.  For students who have already been through a college graduation, at a large school, like me, the Pinning Ceremony is infinitely more special than the graduation ceremony.  Students are pinned, with an RN pin, by their last clinical instructor.  The entire faculty and staff of the Nursing School typically attend, so it is very intimate and personal for the students.  Each graduate takes the “Nightingale Pledge,” based on the Hippocratic Oath and in honor of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

I look forward to my Pinning Ceremony, but for the next few days, I will celebrate those who reached this goal before I did.  They will be outstanding, caring nurses who will provide holistic patient care.

To Be Womanly Always, Discouraged Never

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As a Chi Omega, I could not have been prouder of how graciously Kelsey handled herself. She exemplifies our Symphony, beautifully and is a fantastic role model for women everywhere.

Let There Be Light

Live it. Love it. Be it.I will forever be indebted to my sorority, Chi Omega, for the amazing college experience I had. The friendships I made during my four years at American University are ever-lasting … and I wouldn’t be who I am today without Chi O.

In the 12 years since my graduation, I’m always thrilled to discover that a stranger, a new friend, someone’s second cousin … is a Chi O, a fellow sister.

Which is why today, I’m sharing this article.

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