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Aug 23

New beginnings

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OK, OK….I admit it. I have been a little bloggin’ lazy this summer. I cannot believe it’s the 23rd of August, and I haven’t talked with you since Canada Day. My bad.

This is the time of year where my true Geekdom shows. I start to wish for new shoes and a new backpack, and wander the aisles at Staples looking longingly at school supplies (don’t you love the smell of new erasers and isn’t it fun sharpening new pencils?). OK, I realize I just lost anyone under the age of 35 (FYI pencils are those pointy yellow things with “HB” on the side that people used to write with). I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the start of the new school year–the crunch of yellow leaves underfoot, the cool edge to the breeze, the need for cozy sweaters in the mornings and evenings… but most of all, I love the new beginnings. New challenges to face, new puzzles to unravel, new people to meet that are dreaming of better futures–it’s like a clean blackboard (I guess I should get with the new century)…it’s like a clean whiteboard just waiting for new ideas to jump onto its surface. I have had a chance to chat with a few students this summer, nursing students entering the third year of the their program but starting at a brand new place–the University (I teach in the third year of a wonderful collaborative nursing program). They are excited, nervous, wide-eyed and eager to “get on with it”! Me too!

I remember every September of each of my tenures as a student, and I always felt the same way–I wondered what new things I would learn, and who I would be at semester’s end. A few months ago I was cleaning out an old filing cabinet and I found a journal I had kept from my first year of nursing school at the Foothills Hospital. I sat down on the floor and read the words that were definitely in my handwriting, but it was hard to believe that the thoughts were mine. I was so nervous, so terrified of making an error, and I was worried about a particular classmate who didn’t appear to like me…really?  I read to the end of the journal (which was only one clinical rotation), and even over those few weeks I could see the growing knowledge behind my clinical work, the slowly building confidence to speak up in post-conference (anyone who knows me now would never believe that I found it difficult to speak up in a group!)  That’s the wonderful thing about a good education, you don’t just learn stuff. In a very real sense, you become someone else–particularly as you develop in one of the practice professions like nursing. At each step, you become someone who is relied on more, who has greater responsibility and accountability, and a greater ability to “imagine” what it will be like to join the profession, and BE a registered nurse. To each nursing student reading this, whatever year you are entering–enjoy the journey, and savor each new beginning. Jot down some of your thoughts as you go along, and tuck them away in a safe place–one day you will look back and marvel at who you were, and who you have become. Best wishes for a most successful year!

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