Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A tale of two manuals

I'll be taking a CPR course on Saturday. I have to renew my CPR certification every year, for school. When I started the RT Program, I had to take a CPR and First Aid course. The Manual for the First Aid and CPR course, that I took at the beginning of this year, is 186 pages. The manual for the CPR course, I'm taking on Saturday, is 16 pages.

Prior to picking up the CPR course manual, I was going to read through the CPR material in the First Aid and CPR course manual. I am so glad that I picked up the CPR course manual. Figuring out what to read in a 16 page manual (uh, everything) is a lot simpler than trying to figure out what to read in a 186 page manual.

Top 21 Respiratory Therapy blogs of 2008

Rick Frea over at the Respiratory Therapy Cave posted a Top 21 Respiratory Therapy blogs of 2008 list a couple days ago. Check it out.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The next time you visit, don't study so much

"The next time you visit, don't study so much. You should only spend 30 minutes a day studying or just spend one day a week studying."

Advice from my 10 year old nephew, after I spent a week with my sister and her family. Sigh.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tim Hortons

Trauma Junkie over at Surviving RT School asked me the following question: "I've never heard of Tim Hortons. Is that like Starbucks?"

No, Tim Hortons is not like Starbucks. Don't talk shit like that if you're ever up here in Canada. You're gonna get hurt real bad, if you say something like that up here, unless of course you're in a Starbucks. If you're in a Starbucks the sniveling weasels who frequent such a place, will think that you are "bad ass". You will become a legend. They will speak of you often, always in a whisper, when they think it's safe. They will wonder if you're still alive and what ever happened to your body.

The difference between Tim Hortons and Starbucks (in no particular order):
  1. Line ups. There always seems to be a line up at Tim Hortons. Do you regularly see 20-30 people standing in line at Starbucks? In Canada, people go to Starbucks when the line up is too long at Tim Hortons. When they do this, they feel ashamed and hope that none of their friends see them. They also feel dirty. They feel dirty because they are.
  2. No stupid questions. If you go to a Tim Hortons and say "large-double-double" at the counter, they give you your coffee just the way you like it. They put in the cream. They put in the sugar. They stir it up real good. They give you your coffee. They don't ask you any stupid questions. What's the deal with Starbucks and their stupid names for coffee cup sizes anyway?
  3. They actually make your coffee for you. Starbucks pours black coffee into a cup and makes you go to some stupid little counter, where some stupid idiot's always in your way, so that you can put the milk and sugar in yourself.
  4. The rules. There are rules when you're waiting in line at Tim Hortons. If you break the rules, you're going to get hurt by the other people in the line. There will be no witnesses and the security camera is defective. The ambulance will find you in a Starbucks parking lot, at the other end of the city.
  5. The people. People who go to Tim Hortons aren't sniveling weasels. They don't ask for a half-caf-triple-mocca-frappa-whatever, unless they're a regular and making fun of Starbucks.
  6. Pretentions. The pretentious people who work at Starbucks think that they're something special. I guess that's where people with advanced degrees in Philosophy end up working. If you work at Tim Hortons, your job is to make coffee, lots of it and to keep the line moving. If you're a Tim Hortons employee and start to think that you're something special, you get shipped off to the Tim Hortons in Kandahar. People in the line up at the Kandahar Tim Hortons have automatic weapons. If you get uppity at the Tim Hortons in Kandahar, there will be no witnesses, the security camera is defective and you were an enemy combatant.
  7. Cardboard insulator thingys. Tim Hortons doesn't have those stupid little cardboard insulator thingys, that you put a coffee cup into, to protect your hands from the hot coffee cup. Those things are for sniveling weasels. You can find them at Starbucks.
  8. Ice Cap. Tim Hortons has a cold coffee drink that doesn't taste like shit. Everyone calls it an Ice Cap. I think that it was once called an Iced Capasomethingorother but I'm not sure.
  9. Starbucks sucks.
  10. Tim Hortons doesn't suck.

A soldier in front of the Kandahar Tim Hortons, holding a box of donuts, three ice caps and a large-double-double:

The magic number: 800

When I'm studying a lot and not sleeping as much as I should, I'm drinking about 4 extra large cups of Tim Hortons coffee. Today I was wondering how much caffeine is in 4 extra large cups of coffee. The answer: 800 mg (

That's cool. The next time someone tells me that I'm drinking too much coffee, I can tell them that 4 cups of Tim Hortons coffee is only 800 mg of caffeine. 800 mg is just fine. I only start acting funny when I take in about 1200 mg (6 extra large cups of Timmy's). For some reason my tummy hurts too.

Flu Maps

I've been thinking that I should get a Flu shot. I usually get one but haven't gotten around to it yet. I used to get them at work. Now I'm unemployed. They had a couple of days at school when they were giving them out. The line was too long on the first day and I mixed up the date for the second day. There's a clinic fairly close by that's been giving them out in the evenings but I've been too busy watching TV, playing video games, "studying" and trying to avoid my Christmas shopping.

Has the Flu season started yet? Are there lots of dirty Flu infected people in my part of Canada? Is there a map someplace that shows how and were the Flu is spreading? Yes there is.

Canadian Flu Map

American Flu Map (The map's at the bottom of the page)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting a head start

I just picked up the textbook for a History course, that I'll be taking next semester. I started reading the text yesterday and, to my surprise, it's a relaxing and enjoyable read. I can probably finish reading the book in a few days and enjoy doing it. I'm hoping that reading the textbook in advance will make next semester a bit less painful.

Study tip rant

This is my study tip rant.

  1. Getting enough sleep is a part of studying. If you're tired, you have a hard time learning and an even harder time remembering. If you're tired when you're writing a test, you're going to make some stupid mistakes.
  2. Don't study in front of the TV, even if it is turned off. That thing is just too much of a temptation.
  3. Not studying is an important part of studying. You have to take breaks. If you find yourself reading something, and then not remembering what you just read, it's time for a break.
  4. Good lighting. Bright lights in your study area make a world of difference, especially in the Winter.
  5. Ignore the complainers. They're complaining because they aren't doing very well and looking for an excuse. The complainers use phrases like: "It's the professor's fault", "How can they expect us to...", "We shouldn't have to learn this because...", "It's not fair.", "It's not my fault.", "In the real world...".
  6. Ignore the people who claim that they don't study much. They're getting crap marks, lying or are a lot smarter than you. If you need to do a lot of studying then do a lot of studying.
  7. Don't "study for a test". Learn the material that you will be tested on instead. Understand the "what, why and how come" associated with the material that you're learning. If something doesn't make any sense, figure it out. If you memorize things that you don't really understand, you're probably doomed.
  8. Don't waste time studying things that you don't have to. If you already understand something stop studying it and learn something that you need to know. There's loads of stuff that you're supposed to learn. Learn those things well and ignore the rest. If you only have to read a few pages in a chapter of a text book, don't read the whole chapter.
  9. Don't study to pass. If you have a bad day, get sick or run into some other problems you could fail one or more courses. If you're only "just passing" you most likely don't understand what your supposed to be learning.
  10. Avoid "pretend studying" at all costs. A lot of my classmates go to the library sit together at a big table, open their books, and then don't study. They just sit around and chat about this and that and then pretend that they've been studying for hours in the library.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shiny new books

I bought the textbooks I'll need for second semeter. They're shiny.


I wrote my last exam today. First semester is over.

These are my notebooks for first semester:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

29.825% and 28.3

29.825%, that's what I need on my final Applied Science exam in order to pass the course. That's my last exam for this semester. Strange. I find it hard to study, if I'm not motivated by fear and anxiety...

I'm almost done with first semester and it feels REALLY GOOD.

I hate 28.3. 28.3 is a number that I thought I could never forget. When I wrote my lab station exam, a couple of weeks ago, I forgot about 28.3. If I ever forget 28.3 again, I'm going to go on a rampage. I'll get $28.30 worth of pennies and throw them at the front door of a police station, one at a time, until someone stops me! If you ever hear about some crazy Canadian guy who got arrested for throwing pennies at a police station, you know will know why...

1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L
1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L 1 cubic foot = 28.3L

One more exam to write this semester

My Infection Control exam, on Friday, didn't go as well as I would have liked. There were lots of questions related to the cleaning up of biohazards, which I didn't seem to know much about. Some of the questions didn't even make sense to me. I'm not in any danger of failing Infection Control, so I honestly don't care about my mark on the exam.

My last exam, for the semester, is on Monday. I'm actually studying for that one now.

I went to the college bookstore on Friday and almost bought all of the textbooks for next semester. I decided to wait. I know I would have been flipping through those books, instead of studying for my last exam, this weekend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just two more exams

I only have to write two more final exams for this semester. The previously written exams, all seem to have gone well. I have an exam at noon today, which I'm studying for now, and an exam on Monday. Faculty will release all of our marks on Monday, after all of our exams have been written.

I'm really looking forward to the Holidays...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Tower of Power

I have to write two Anatomy and Physiology final exams tomorrow. Sleeping tonight does not seem like a viable option. It's time for the "Tower of Power".

Friday, December 05, 2008

Stressful 10 minutes

I did a scenario based lab competency exam today. I can't believe how stressful that was. It was only 10 minutes, and it was easy, but the importance of passing that exam was stressing me out.

If you fail a lab competency exam you cannot continue in the program. If you fail, you get one chance to do it again. If you fail a second time, you're finished. You only get 2 "second chances" in the program.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thing that aren't as funny as they sound

I added a couple more to the list:

Vitreous Humor
Aqueos Humor
Humoral Immunity

Saturday, November 29, 2008

10 days for studying

The lectures for all of this semester's courses are now over. I write my first final exam on December 9th. Between now and then, all I have to do is study and go to a 10 minute lab competency exam. The fact that I have so much time to study, for finals, still amazes me. How can I not do well on my finals, if I have 10 days to study?

My lab station exam on Friday went well. I spent a lot of time twiddling my thumbs. I also spent a lot of time trying to remember how many liters are in a cubic foot, which is 28.3.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sweet, sweet apathy

I have a new study policy. When I stop caring, I stop studying. Maybe I'll actually care about my lab station exam in the morning. I'm tired and I don't care anymore, so it's time to stare at the back of my eyelids for a few hours. My exam is at 9:30AM. I'm setting my alarm clock for 4:30AM.

Using "intuition" works better than I thought

In a previous post I mentioned how I felt unprepared for a General A&P test and that I was using "intuition" to choose some question answers. That test worked out better than expected. I got a 92% on that one. WTF? I don't understand.

Over and over and over again

I'm getting tired of studying for my General Therapeutics course. I seem to be studying the same stuff over and over and over again. I'm getting tired of studying and being tested on the same material repeatedly. Tomorrow I have a General Therapeutics lab station exam. During the exam I will spend two minutes at a lab station, and answer questions related to the station, and then I move on to the next station. There are 28 stations. A lot of people are a bit stressed over the lab station exam because they aren't really sure what to expect. I just want to get it over with.

I also have a scenario based lab competency exam next week and then a final exam the week after that. I just want that course to be done. I haven't learned anything new in that course, for a couple of weeks, and it's boring me to tears.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Great Disapointment

I finally bought myself a shiny new Littmann Master Classic II stethoscope. I've been wanting to get one for months, even though I won't need a stethoscope until January. I opened the box, figured out the not backwards way of putting the ear thingys in my ears, and then listened to my heart and lungs for about 20 minutes. Then I got bored with it and put it back in the box.

Holy crap. 20 minutes. That's all of the entertainment value that comes with a stethoscope. That sucks. I'm terribly disappointed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Basic ECG Interpretation

I was recently learning about basic ECG interpretation. It's really cool stuff but it took me a while to wrap my head around. We're just learning the fundamentals so we're only paying attention to "lead II". That whole topic always seemed so esoteric to me. Now it kind of makes sense and I'm looking forward to taking a Cardio Diagnostic course in third semester. That course is supposed to be brutal.

Sleepy test writing

We took up our last Cardiovascular A&P test today. It looks like I made a few mistakes because I was fuzzy headed when I wrote that one. I actually answered some questions incorrectly even though I knew the correct answer :-(

I wrote a General A&P test yesterday. That one probably didn't go very well either. I was using my "intuition" (AKA almost guessing) on more than a couple of questions. I was also sleep deprived and not well prepared. No mystery, if I get a crap mark on that one...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Less than 3 weeks until Final Exams

I spend most of my time struggling to get caught up. When I have a test or exam coming up, I drop everything and study for that test or exam. If I have an assignment due, I drop everything and work on that. Unfortunately, when I drop everything there's still new stuff coming down the pipe that I'm responsible for learning. When I'm studying for a test/exam or working on an assignment I'm falling further behind.

Final Exams are coming up. Up until yesterday, I was a bit freaked out at the prospect of final exams. How am I supposed to prepare for final exams, when faculty keeps on dumping new stuff into my lap that I'm supposed to learn? The answer to that question is a sensible one. As Final Exams approach, faculty is running out of material that they're supposed to teach us. All of the material for a couple of my courses has already been taught. All of the other courses should be wrapped up by the end of next week, which will give me a whole week to do nothing but get ready for final exams.

Pseudo cramming doesn't work so well (big surprise)

Lesson learned: Last minute studying (pseudo cramming) doesn't work as well as I thought.

Pseudo Cramming: Last minute studying, that includes an honest attempt to actually learn and retain what is learned. Better than real cramming but not as good as real studying.

In a previous post I mentioned how I felt about a Cardiovascular A&P test, that I had recently written. I thought I did fairly well. I didn't. My mark on that test, is the lowest test mark I've gotten so far. My mark for that test is 70%, unless their was an error in the marking. We'll be taking up the test tomorrow, so I might find a few errors in the marking but I'm not too optimistic about that possibility.

The Respiratory A&P test, that I thought I did well on (Dodged a Bullet Post), didn't work out as well as I thought either. That test was my lowest mark in that course to date. It was 12% lower than my next lowest test/exam mark for that course.

Odd. I honestly believed that I did really well on those tests even though I didn't. I did a lot of last minute studying for those tests and am pretty sure that is at the root of those not so stellar marks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I freaking hate pagers

This post, over at the RT Cave, about pagers reminded me about a job I used to have. That job made me feel pretty important. I was "a somebody" when I had that job. How important was I? I was so important, that on some days, I had to wear 5 pagers and carry a cell phone. Beat that! You know you're important when you have to wear 5 pagers at the same time.

I was working at an insurance company, doing IT support. They issued me a personal pager that was for getting a hold of me when I wasn't at my desk (Pager #1). I also usually carried both of the "Sev 2 pagers" when I was at work (Pager #2&3). Problems were categorized by severity, ranging from Sev 1 to Sev 4. Sev 1 was the most serious and Sev 4 was the least serious. If there was a Sev 2 or Sev 1 problem, I got paged. One of the Sev 2 pagers was for the North office tower and the other was for the South office tower. We also had a change management system. If a change request was submitted and it was assigned to my group and I was carrying the change request pager, I got paged (Pager #4). If I was on call after hours, I also had the after hours pager on my belt (pager #5). I also had a cell phone, which I usually left on my desk unless I left the building.

I freaking hate pagers. Apparently I will probably have to wear a pager when I'm working as an RT. I wish someone would have told me that sooner :-(

Things that aren't as funny as they sound

Vitreous Humor
Aqueos Humor

See what happens, when you take three Anatomy and Physiology courses at the same time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bloody Thursday update

The test on Thursday went well. No more tests until next week! I have an online quiz, on blood clotting, that can be done on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesdy and then I have a General A&P test on Wednesday. I started studying for the General A&P test yesterday.

Respiratory A&P is starting to get complicated. We're also being introduced to ECGs in Cardiovascular A&P, which will take me a while to wrap my head around. As ususal, I'm horribly behind in most of my courses and am plannng to spend most of the weekend catching up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bloody Thursday

Today, which is Thursday, I'm writing a bloody test. The test is for my Cardiovascular A&P course and is only covering the not so limited topic of the blood. Apparently the blood does a whole lot more than just go round and round, in the body, and participate in gas exchange. My test is at 8PM. I got up at 3AM to finish off my studying :-(

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dodged a bullet.

I wasn't the only one freaked out by the test this morning. Lots of people thought that they didn't study enough.

A lot of the test questions were based on things I already knew, and understood, before I started studying yesterday. A surprising amount of test questions were based on stuff that I studied during the hour just before the test.

I didn't have enough time to study everything yesterday, and early this morning, so I focused on what I thought were the most important and fundamental concepts in the material to be studied. Lucky for me, that's the material I was being tested on this morning. I was a bit stumped by a question that involved the Equal Pressure Point, but was fairly comfortable with my answers to everything else.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh crap!

I have a Respiratory A&P test tomorrow. For some reason I thought that I has already made myself familiar with the material that will be on the test. I was wrong. I'm pretty much going to learn it all tonight.

Getting my ass kicked on the test tomorrow, is very likely. I'm a bit stressed by the situation but am comforted by some things that I'm trying to view as a bit of a silver lining in this cloud:

  • The test is only worth 10% of my final mark.
  • The material is actually pretty interesting and I enjoy learning it.
  • It's mostly concepts, ideas and relationships which I'm pretty good at learning.
  • I have to learn the material for the final exam, in a few weeks, so learning it tonight will be a good thing.
  • Respiratory A&P is my best course.
  • If I get a zero on the test, my mark drops to an 85%. I'm not getting a zero, so my overall mark in the course is going to be pretty decent no matter what happens tomorrow. If I was just scraping by I would be losing my mind.
  • I now know how to trick my brain into learning unreasonable amounts of things in an unreasonable amount of time. There's a chance that I might actually do well tomorrow, if I can just get my insolent little brain to STFU AND STUDY!

Stupid, stupid brain. I hate you!

Yesterday at about 8PM my brain started to rebel. It just couldn't learn anything effectively anymore.

  • Me: You have a test tomorrow and you have to study for it.
  • My brain: Not wanna.
  • Me: Come on. We've got plenty of time. We'll take it slow and easy.
  • My brain: To much study, make me bored. Wanna TV.
  • Me: How about getting some sleep instead.
  • My brain: Sleep not good. Me too stressed. We have to study but I not wanna. Not study now. Need beak. Not wanna sleep. Won't be able to sleep. Sleep not leave time for study. (I know this doesn't make much sense. My brain really does baffle me sometimes.)
  • Me: Let's take a 45 minute nap and then study.
  • My brain: Me sleepy. OK. Just 45 minutes.

About 45 minutes later...

  • Me: That was a really good sleep wasn't it?
  • My brain: Me still sleepy. Want make more sleepy time.
  • Me: OK. Another 45 minutes.

About 45 minutes later...

  • Me: OK. Now we can study.
  • My brain: Me like sleepy time. Make more sleepy time?
  • Me: OK, but we have to get up at 4AM.
  • My brain: Sleepy.
  • Me: STFU!

Shortly after 4AM...

  • Me: I can't believe how tired I am.
  • My brain: More sleepy. More sleepy. Want more sleepy time!
  • Me: STFU! We'll take a shower and drink some coffee and everything will be fine.
  • My brain: Can't sleep in shower. Coffee stop me from make sleepy time.
  • Me: That's the plan dummy.

After a coffee and a shower...

  • Me: OK. Let's study.
  • My brain: Let's Internet instead. Internet more fun than study.
  • Me: OK. We'll check email, do a blog posting and then study.
  • My brain: Me like blog. Make me feel special.
  • Me: I hate you! STFU!
  • My brain: What you so angry for? Not my fault not study and spend so much time sleeping.
  • Me: STFU.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Always sick on test days

Big surprise. The student, with the big mouth, who is always disruptive during lectures was sick and couldn't write a test today. The same thing happened with several of her mid terms exams and the first few tests of the semester. She has a job in a hospital, so somebody is sure to write her a note. Everybody has to wait for her to write her test(s), before faculty will release our marks to us.

Not my favourite person. I hope I don't see her in January and I'm not the only one.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Too relaxed?

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I wasn't quite so stressed out about school anymore. An odd thing happened to the new relaxed me, yesterday. I got up at 6AM, just like every other school day. I felt tired as hell but thought that I would get over it the way that I usually do, with coffee. Three coffees and 7 hours later, I was sitting in class and really felt like crap. I was so tired, I felt sick. I hadn't been sleeping any less than usual, so why did I feel so freaking tired? I think it was the lack of stress. Was I so stressed out that I had a bunch of extra energy? Is the new relaxed me going to require ridiculous amounts of sleep? Was all of that stress, the secret of my success?

5 tests

Another batch of tests is coming up. I have to write four of them next week and the fifth one, the week after. 3 of the tests will be cumulative, meaning that they can test all material since the beginning of the semester. The timing of the tests, so close to final exams, is no accident. Studying for these tests will give me a good start for the studying that needs to be done for final exams.

I had a revelation the other day. I can't study for 12 hours a day. Trying to do that is pretty stupid and a waste of time. When I plan to do ridiculous amounts of studying, in an individual day, my brain usually rebels and refuses to cooperate. I've decided that my study time needs to allow for goofing off. I will do a lot of studying. I will also watch TV, hang out with friends, drink beer, play video games and get plenty of sleep. If I don't goof off enough, my brain will rebel and refuse to cooperate when I'm trying to study.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A bit more relaxed

Now that I have all my mid term marks, I'm a bit more relaxed and confident. I'm actually doing quite well and really shouldn't be getting stressed out about my school work. My lowest course mark, after mid terms, is 80.25% and my highest mark is 95.60%. There's only about 4 weeks left in this semester and I'm in pretty good shape. I have tests in every course starting next week. A few weeks after that and I'm writing my final exams.

I always did find my courses fairly interesting, now they're getting really interesting. I wish I could focus on all of the new stuff that I'm learning now, instead of preparing for my tests and the impending final exams :-(

It looks like quite a few students won't make it through to the next semester. Some of them never had a chance. Some of them still don't understand what they signed up for and have this odd notion that faculty should make things easier, so that "it's more fair". Some of them are outright slackers and should be kicked to the curb. Some of them just had a bad semester and that's too bad.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I might stop studying all together

In a previous post I wrote about my decision to stop studying for an exam, so that I could get more sleep. Last Wednesday I found out my mark for that exam. It was 98%. I think if I stop studying altogether, and sleep about 16 hours a day, I should get really good marks all the time. Too bad I've been having trouble sleeing lately...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Carrot on a stick

There hasn't been a lot of new material thrown at us SRTs recently, because we've been writing exams for a week and a half. Maybe this weekend, I'll actually get caught up. Getting completely caught up on the material, I'm supposed to learn, is starting to look like a carrot on a stick to me. A good thing to strive for, but pretty unobtainable.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I hate the brain

Guess what I'm studying now? I hate brain anatomy and physiology. It's just to damn disorganized and hard to visualize. I kind of suspect that as an RT, I won't actually need a detailed knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology. If I ever have to poke around in someones brain, things have gone horribly wrong and probably won't end well...

Finished Exams

I finished my midterm exams last Wednesday and they seem to have gone well. I should have all of my marks by Monday. The marks I have so far, are pretty good. A couple of courses are giving a lot of people trouble and quite a few people are scared that they failed the exams for those courses. Those are the two courses that weed people out of first year. The attrition between first year and second year of my program is about 25%.

I'm a bit baffled by the people in my class, who don't realize how much they need to study. As the semester has gone on, I've adapted and improved my studying to accommodate the learning that's required by the program. A lot of other people just seem to use the same bad study habits over and over and then hope for the best. They're not doing so well and seem to spend a lot of time complaining about how "unfair" things are. Expecting you to learn and apply what you have learned is not unfair, it is required! I used to constructively argue with "the complainers" and give them some advice on how to be more successful. They've bought into the "it's not fair" mindset and won't listen to anyone who doesn't support it. Now when people complain I keep my mouth shut and start reading something or just wander off someplace. It really is unfortunate because they're all pretty intelligent, decent and sensible people. They just have blinders on and don't know it.

I did a job shadow with the staff at a local hospital's RT department a couple weeks ago. It was a really good experience. I watched the cardioversion of an atrial flutter, a tracheotomy being performed and the bronchoscopic biopsy of a vocal chord tumour. The hospital that I went to, seems to be the best one for job shadows. The people who go to that hospital always come back with good stories. One of the people who went there last week, actually got to bag a patient.

It's a Saturday morning. I got up at 6AM, made some coffee and started studying. That's nothing to brag about, that's just what needs to be done. I'm now studying material that was covered in a lecture on October 15th...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm never doing that again

After deciding not to cram for my Cardio A&P exam last night, and getting a good nights sleep, I wrote the exam. I am never ever pulling an all nighter, to study for an exam, ever again. I finished the exam really early and found it pretty easy. It had a few questions that required some thinking, which I wouldn't have been able to do very well if I had pulled an all nighter.

Lesson learned: Sleep more, study less.

I'm half way done my exams. I have an infection control exam tomorrow and then a couple more exams next week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dangerous study experiment: To sleep or to cram? That is the question.

I have to write a Cardiovascular A&P Midterm at 8AM tomorrow morning. I don't feel like I've done enough studying. I've spent quite a few hours, studying for this midterm over the last few days, but I just don't feel like I've done enough studying. The temptation, and plan until about 15 minutes ago, was to cram all night.

In the past, when I've done an all night cram for an exam, I've wondered if I would have been better off by just closing the books and getting a good nights sleep. Studying your ass off and then writing an exam when you're physically and mentally exhausted sucks and I just don't feel like putting myself through that kind of crap again. I'm going to try it! I'm going to bed. Maybe things will work out and maybe they won't...

Either way, I'll at least have something to post about tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Posting Holiday

I might not be posting for a while. I'm studying for midterm exams.

I did a really good Job shadow with an RT department on Thursday, so that's probably what my next post will be about.

My first midterm is on Tuesday October 14th. My last midterm is on Wednesday October 22nd.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bad paper pushing

I have to submit all of my immunization records to the school's Health Services department, so that they can make sure that I have met all of my immunization requirements.

For the second time, they are telling me that my immunization requirements are incomplete. The last time they told me that, I told them to look at the documentation in my paper file.

When they looked in my file, they found documentation confirming that all of my immunization requirements have been met.

This kind of stuff ticks me off.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tests and Marks and other stuff

The A&P test I wrote on Wednesday was a lot easier than people were expecting. I really won't know how well my new hybrid lecture/study note strategy will work for me, until I use that strategy to prepare for some more challenging tests. If I'm not mistaken, the next batch of tests will be midterm exams. Those will start on October 14th, which is the day after Canadian Thanksgiving.

I have a group assignment in my General A&P course that's due in a couple of weeks. The assignment has a few components and they will all be posted on an online discussion forum. Everyone in the class is expected to participate in discussions related to the posted assignments of others. I was a bit miffed today when my group mates told me that they had decided that we were going to have the bulk of the assignment finished and posted by tomorrow night. I really was planning on working on some other things that seem to be a hell of a lot more important. I'm glad that I kept my mouth shut, about the self imposed arbitrary deadline, because the assignment is mostly finished and I don't really have to worry much about it anymore. That was a first for me. I'm the slacker in the group, who had to be bullied into getting my ass into gear!

Today I also finished the first draft of an assignment that I have to hand in tomorrow. It's just a one page summary of a journal article but it sure did feel like quite the chore, when I wrote it up early this afternoon. I was a bit stressed because I had to get it done, so that I could work on my part of the group project that I mentioned earlier. I haven't spent any time today, trying to get caught up on my reading and studying.

The test marks for the course that everyone was worried about, were posted today. A lot of people didn't really do very well. I got a 75% and I think that's one of the better marks in the class. In my program, a pass is 65%, so 75% isn't really something to be proud of. A few people who usually talk about their marks fairly freely, "didn't want to talk about it". The people in my class are fairly studious, and are accustomed to doing well academically, so they aren't too pleased about getting low marks for anything.

286 people applied to get into my program. The program only has 36 first year seats.

For a few days, I was actually only about a week behind in my school work. Now I'm almost 2 weeks behind again and I'm kind of OK with that fact. WTF?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More of my study strategies

I'm currently trying to figure out how to study smarter. Studying harder will only get me so far. For various reasons you can only spend so many hours a day studying. I'm already studying as hard as I'm willing to study. Now I need to make my studying more efficient and effective.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I have given up on study notes. For me they just take too much time to prepare and waste valuable time that could be spent actually studying. I'm now studying for another General A&P Test that I have to write tomorrow. I've discovered that if I use my lecture notes as a guideline for studying, and make annotations to those notes while studying, I end up with what I'm going to call hybrid notes. Hybrid notes are just lecture notes that are annotated while I'm studying. I'm not wasting any time by rewriting lecture notes or summarizing information from textbooks, I'm just adding to my existing lecture notes as I study those and my textbook(s).

I'm studying while I'm creating hybrid notes. I'm not preparing hybrid notes so that I can then study them. The hybrid notes are a byproduct of my studying. When I'm finished with the creation of my hybrid notes, I'm finished studying. In the future, I can use the hybrid notes to quickly review everything that I've studied. The hybrid notes should come in handy when I'm studying for mid term exams, final exams, composite exams and the dreaded registry exam of January 2011.

Using the above, also seems to be a hell of a lot less stressful and may result in me actually going to bed earl tonight.

Monday, September 29, 2008

So many blogs, so little time

I used to read a lot of blogs. Now I can only read two or three of them a day. I've been spending ridiculous amounts of time studying. If I haven't read or commented on your blog, it's because I'm too busy not because I've lost interest.

Later this evening I'm going to achieve a major milestone. In only a few more hours, I will only be 1 week behind in my school work. :-(

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fifth Test

I wrote my fifth test today. Now I know what kind of tests to expect from each course and instruct0r. Writing the first test for a course is always a bit stressful for me because I don't know what to expect.

This morning I decided to not make study notes any more. I spend too much time making study notes and not enough time studying. I have lecture notes, homework questions and textbooks to study from. I don't need to waste my time making study notes. I don't find that the process of making study notes, actually helps me to learn anything.

Note: In previous posts I made references to some quizzes. Officially, they're called quizzes but for all intents and purposes they're tests. If it's worth 10-12% of a course mark, I'm calling it a test from now on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First real quiz today

I wrote my first real quiz today. It was worth 10% of the course mark. I wrote a quiz last week, for General A&P, and it was pretty easy.

Today's quiz, for my Applied Science course, was multiple choice and included a bunch of calculations. The quiz made me realize something. Writing down formulas and providing a pretty and "correct" solution is a waste of time. The name of the game is to do the math, without writing anything down if possible, and selecting the correct answer. Showing first principles, the formulas used, and identifying all species isn't required and will just slow you down.
  1. Understand the question
  2. Figure out the correct answer to the question.
  3. Select the correct answer(s) from the available answers.
  4. Repeat.

NOTE: Only write things down, if they assist with the timeley completion of steps 1 and or 2.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Things I wish I could remember

Below are 9 numbers that I have to memorize for a test next week. I'm about to give up on those and start studying stuff that I can actually remember. I have 3 more tests to write next week, that don't require the memorization of things that my brain refuses to remember.

Trying to remember those numbers is like trying to remember chemistry nomenclature. I can remember facts, formulas, concepts, conversion factors and densities without any problems... I suspect that I have a big gaping hole in the part of my brain that people are supposed to use to memorize stuff like this.

Did I get dropped on my head too many times when I was a kid? Did I eat a bunch of lead paint when I was a kid. WTF?

Critical Pressure of Oxygen: 715.87 psig
Critical Temperature of Oxygen: -118.4 C
Boiling Point of Oxygen: -183 C
Melting Point of Oxygen: -216.6

Critical Temperature of Carbon Dioxide: 31.0 C
Boiling Point of Carbon Dioxide: -78.4 C
Melting Point of Carbon Dioxide: -78.4 C

Boiling Point of Nitrogen: -195.4 C
Melting Point of Nitrogen: -209.86 C

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Refrigerate after opening

I've transformed myself into a studying machine. The whiny complainy part of my brain, that thinks I have too much studying to do, is curled up into a little ball and sobbing quietly in the back left hand corner of my brain.

Last Friday I had my first General Therapeutics lab and almost knocked over a type E Oxygen cylinder. I kind of tripped over the damn thing. The lab instructor saw me do it and asked if I was OK. At that point I had both hands on the cylinder and was trying not to have a stroke. I told her that I was more concerned about the cylinder. Her response was, "Good RT". She seemed to think that my reaction was kind of funny. Note to self: I there are small Oxygen cylinders in the room, try not to knock them over.

I was hungry last night and had a craving for spaghetti. I cooked up some pasta and went to the fridge to get the sauce, that I had opened and used a few days earlier. The sauce wasn't there. WTF? Did I imagine the last time I ate spaghetti? Oh crap. I put it back in the cupboard after I opened and used some of it. It looked pretty good. It didn't smell or taste funny. Hmm. What could go wrong if I had some? I noticed the "Refrigerate after opening" warning and then promptly dumped the stuff down the kitchen sink.

Pasta with Ranch salad dressing, actually tastes pretty good...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Blog Title Change

I'm changing the title of my blog a bit. I'm going to change it from "RT Scribe: Notes of a Respiratory Therapy Student" to "RT Scribe: Notes of a Student Respiratory Therapist".

Student Respiratory Therapist is the legally protected title for Respiratory Therapy Students up here, so it's the more correct term. Everyone at school calls us SRTs. I think I might even be able to put SRT at the end of my name, if I felt like it.

Study strategies

I wasn't really being too smart about how and what I was studying, so I found myself a bit behind in my studies by the middle of last week. Most of my falling behind was due to poor study habits and strategies.

I was actually trying to study in my living room! That didn't work out so well. The temptation to turn on the TV was too great to resist and I found myself taking frequent breaks, from studying, to watch "a little bit of TV". I now have a dedicated study space, formerly known as my dining room table, which I use for my studying.

I was reading stuff in my textbooks that wasn't required. If I'm supposed to read a chapter in a textbook, for a course, I now refer to what's in the course outline and in my lecture notes to make sure that I know what has to be read. If it doesn't have to be read, I try not to read it. Sometimes you can avoid reading several pages in a chapter if you know what can be safely ignored. It's better to focus on what you need to learn and learn it well. Unfortunately, there's lots of interesting stuff to be ignored...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Already fallen behind

It's only the second week and I've already fallen behind. I'll get into the details about what went wrong, on the weekend. I have to prepare for my first General Therapeutics lab tomorrow, so I don't have time to go into the details.

My scrubs arrived today. I will be wearing them at school tomorrow. I actually look pretty good in my nifty new red scrubs :-)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Correction (108)

Oops. I misread something. has 108 Dilbert Animated Shorts and I'm watching them all. After I'm done, I might start studying A&P again.

Hmmm. I wonder if there are any new TV shows on tonight.

21 has 21 Dilbert Animated Shorts and I'm watching them all. After I'm done, I might start studying A&P again.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Last school day of first week

My reading list for last night, was a bit too optomistic. I still have to do a bunch of reading to catch up. I was only able to get throught the material for Respiratory A&P. I felt the need to read slowly and study the diagrams, so that I was actually comprehending what Iwas reading. For my General A&P course, I still need to read chapter 1&2 of Marieb and Module 1&2 of the course module package. For my Cardio A&P course I still need to read chapter 18 of Marieb and Chapter 5 of Des Jardins.

I had my first Infection Control and Safety class today. Wash your hands. Wash your hands well.. Wash your hands often.

I went to a BBQ this afternoon and met a few of the second year students. I also had a couple of interesting conversations with a few faculty members. I was feeling pretty anti social, so I was ot of there pretty quick.

Apparently we only have 4 students in our class that came straight from high school. They're known as the Highschoolers. Most of the students in my class seem to be in their mid twenties, with a few in their thirties and possibly a couple in their early fourties.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lots of reading today

I actually got a decent amount of sleep last night, so the material covered in the Cardio A&P lecture today made sense. Sleep is good. Sleep makes me less stupid. Being less stupid is a good thing.

Today is only the third day of school and I'm already starting to feel like I'm falling behind. Today I'm trying to catch up on my reading.
  • For my Respiratory A&P course, I need to read pgs. 831-838 of Marieb, pgs. 7-23 of Des Jardins and pgs. 174-180 of Egan's.
  • For my General A&P course, I need to read chapter 1&2 of Marieb and Module 1&2 of the course module package that the school self published.
  • For my Cardio A&P course I need to read chapter 18 of Marieb and Chapter 5 of Des Jardins.
Today I overheard my Cardio A&P Professor mention something about previous students "having breakdowns". I'm not exactly sure what she meant by that and I've decided that I don't really want to know.

Second day thoughts

Yesterday was my second day of RT School. This is some stuff I was thinking about this morning:
  • Everything except my Ethics course is taught by an RT.
  • My ethics teacher doesn't seem prepared for teaching his course. He's not very familiar with current events and stuff that's been making the news for a few years. He was telling us how we should be reading the newspaper, so that we know what's going on in the world...
  • In Respiratory A&P we were learning about the nasal cavity. Clinical relevance was discussed and made everyone very interested in the topic. An Endotracheal tube was discussed and passed around. I think we were also shown a nebulizer doing it's thing. That class was really short.
  • I am not carrying all my freaking books to school again. That was really stupid. I had this delusional fantasy about studying in the library after I was done with my classes. After my Genera A&P class, I just wanted to go home and sleep.
  • I have to start sleeping like a normal person. I could do my job on 5 hours of sleep. I can't be a very good student on 5 hours of sleep. Studying while tired is a waste of time for me because I can't retain anything that I've read.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First day of school

Today was the first day of RT school.

I have homework and it's not from any of my RT related courses. I have homework for my Workplace Ethics course, which is an elective. I've been exempted from one of the three electives that I have to take. At this point, I think that I will stick with the Workplace Ethics course and use it as one of the two electives that I still need to take.

In my Respiratory A&P course, the professor went on and on about how cool it was to be an RT. That was a good thing as far as I was concerned. He also mentioned some things that are in the good to know category.
  • RTs can go straight into Critical Care (ICU or Emerg) at the start of their career. A lot of other medical professionals only do that after getting some experience and additional training under their belt.
  • 15 countries accept Canadian RTs. The fact that Canadian RTs are trained to the higher standard of RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist), makes Canadian RTs more of a none quantity in other countries. If you're an RT from Canada, you're an RRT.
  • If you are into the cram and forget study method, you are screwed. You must learn and retain what you have learned.

The General Therapeutics course is being taught by the program coordinator. Most of the class was spent doing program orientation stuff. At the end of the class, we went down to the lab and were given our lab safety training. We will be using pressurized oxygen in the lab, so we have to be aware of some of the potential dangers associated with oxygen cylinders and compressed oxygen. Can make big boom and also make little fire very big and hot... Why is that lab right beside the cafeteria's kitchen?

There won't be a General Therapeutics lab this week, so we're expected to go to a BBQ that the second year RT Students have arranged. About 12 of the second year students came into class and mentioned the BBQ and said hi.

I didn't have an Applied Science class today but the program coordinator told us that she will also be teaching that course because the person who was going to teach that course can't anymore. The Monday morning class will now start at 9AM instead of 8AM. Yaaaay.

The professor who is in charge of the clinical placements and job shadowing came in and talked to us during the General Therapeutics class. The job shadowing for this semester is part of an actual course that will have assignments and homework. I will do job shadowing twice this semester. Everything except the job shadowing will be done online. The assignments are designed to make students more aware of what the RT profession is all about. One of the assignments involves making a poster for RT Week.

I found out that my scrubs haven't been ordered yet. Apparently, you can't just fill out an order form and expect them to order scrubs for you! I was supposed to take my copy of the order form to the book store and pay for them! I payed for my scrubs and bought a lab coat. I can wear the lab coat until my scrubs arrive.

I picked a locker that was close to the library. I wish that faculty would stop telling us how hard the program is. Some of us are becoming afeared...

Monday, September 01, 2008

One more sleep

One more sleep until I start Respiratory Therapy School. My first class tomorrow, at 8AM, is an elective course called Ethics In The Workplace. I'm trying to get an exemption from that elective. Until I know for sure that I'm granted an exemption, I'll be attending the class. I should find out tomorrow if I have been granted an exemption.

My other two classes tomorrow are Respiratory A&P and General Therapeutics.

If I don't get an exemption from that 8AM Ethics course, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will have 6 hours of classes and will be my longest days. My current timetable has 22 hours of classes on it. If I get the exemption, my timetable will have 19 hours of classes on it.

Day before school starts

School starts tomorrow.

That is all :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things I did today

  1. Got my Student Card. My Student Card picture doesn't look too bad.
  2. Applied to get an exemption for a Liberal Studies elective.
  3. Got a College Bus Pass, that cost me less than $200 dollars. It's good for Sep., Oct., Nov., and Dec. My picture on the Bus Pass makes me look like an escaped mental patient, who's out for revenge. The only person who's ever going to be seeing that picture, is the bus driver.
  4. Bought some things for my nephews. I'll be visiting them before school starts and must come bearing gifts.
  5. Ran to the bus stop, as fast as I could for about 100m, so that I wouldn't miss it. That just sort of happened without me thinking about it and it didn't result in me feeling like crap. I think I'm almost not sick now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Orientation Day: Maybe I am sick

Both my ears now seem to be all cleared up. The left one was bothering me today, so I used the magic ear drops and it's fine now. Thanks to 'RT Student In Chicago' for telling me about the magic ear drops. I've been so focused on my ears being clogged up, that I seem not to have noticed how sick I am.

I went to the College’s Orientation Day this morning and had to sit outside for the first half hour because I was all light headed and sweaty. It was 13C (55.4F) and I was outside, in a tshirt, sweating like a madman for at least 25 minutes! For a while there, I thought that I might end up being “that guy” who passed out during the welcome to college speech. The welcome to college speech was all that I missed this morning.

When I went back inside, everyone was directed on how to get to the program information session for their respective programs. The RT Program information session was good. There was a lot of useful information and very little blah blah blah. We were also fitted for and ordered our scrubs. It looks like I’ll be wearing XL sized scrubs. I was surprised by how well they fit and how comfy they were.

I was given a Student Information Manual that has a lot of useful information in it. I was pleased to see that it went into a lot of detail about the clinical rotation sites. We will be doing our clinicals at one of 9 hospitals. Our preference for sites will be taken into account, but a lottery system will come into play if certain sites are preferred by too many students.

These are some other things that I learned during the orientation for my program:

  • We will be job shadowing RTs during the first three semesters. This will be done at sites close to the college.
  • In the fourth semester we will be doing “High Fidelity Clinical Simulations”. Apparently the simulations are fairly intense and stress people out. There was talk of people crying.
  • We're not allowed to take any pictures or video without permission :-(
  • In addition to our regular exams, we will also be writing composite exams at the end of first, second and third years. Each exam will be cumulative and can be used to test us on any of the material from previous semesters. If you fail a composite, you can’t continue on with the program.
  • During our clinical rotations, in third year, we will have to come back to the college a couple times for 3 days of additional training.
  • I won’t need a stethoscope until second semester. Damn it. All I want is a reason to buy a stethoscope. Is that too much to ask for?

After the orientation I was supposed to go to a barbecue. I didn’t go because I didn’t want to be “that guy” who passed out at the barbecue.

I didn’t get my student card this afternoon because I didn’t want to be “that guy” who passed out while in line to get his student card.

I didn’t go on a tour of the college because I didn’t want to be “that guy” who passed out during the college tour.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What I learned today

The pharmacy in my neighbourhood actually has an ear care section. I honestly never noticed all of those ear care products before. It's right beside the eye care section. The ear care section has a few products that claim to be able to do something about ear wax build-up. My ear is a lot less clogged up, than it was yesterday, but it's still not all cleared up yet.

I went to the pharmacy today and picked up something called Murine Ear Drops and started using it. The package says to use it "twice daily for up to 4 days if needed", so I'm going to use it for up to 4 days and see how things go. I've used it once so far and I think it's improved things a bit more.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Q-tips. I've been meaning to by Q-tips for a long time. I always forget. I don't really need them for anything but I really think I should have some. I've been planning on buying Q-tips for over a year.

On Tuesday night, while in bed trying to sleep, I noticed something odd about my right ear. If my right ear was face down on my pillow, it would feel all clogged up. If I turned my head around the other way, so that my right ear was face up, that clogged up sensation would go away.

Funny thing about Q-tips. I don't really need them for anything but if they're lying around, I use them to clean my ears. Maybe if I got some Q-tips and cleaned out my right ear, that ear wouldn't get clogged the next time I went to bed. I'll get some Q-tips and clean out my ears. What could go wrong? On Wednesday morning I finally bought some Q-tips.

Nasty. There's something really disgusting about ear wax, especially when you remove globs of the stuff from your own ears. After a few minutes, and about 20 Q-tips later, both of my ears seemed fairly clean. I couldn't believe that I hadn't cleaned out my ears for over a year! I also noticed at that time that my right ear felt really clogged up. I figured that the clogged up feeling would go away after a few minutes, but it didn't. My ears were all cleaned up but my right ear was clogged up even worse than before. I could barely hear out of my right ear now and it was starting to hurt a bit. WTF did I do? How could I make things worse? Did I compact some of that nasty ear wax into my ear and make a minor problem into a big one?

I tried doing the Valsalva Maneuver many times and also figured out how to use an eye drop container to irrigate my ear. My ear was simply not getting any better. It was clogged up and it felt like it was going to stay that way for ever. I decided to leave things alone for a while and just hope that my ear would get better on it's own. When I got up this morning, my ear was still horribly clogged up. Crap. I think I might have to see a doctor about this.

Up hear in the land of universal health care we have a bit of a problem. A lot of people don't have a Family Doctor. Most Family Doctors aren't accepting new patients. There's a big problem with their not being enough Family Doctors here. Since I don't have a Family Doctor and this ear thing was starting to freak me out, I decided to go to a walk in clinic.

As I was waiting at the bus stop I started to think about how much it would suck to go to the walk in clinic. The city I live in has a fairly serious shortage of Family Doctors and the walk in clinic is probably where everybody like me goes for Doctoring. As I was pondering the prospect of sitting around, in a waiting room, with a bunch of sick people , I decided that maybe I could take care of this on my own. Perhaps I was being a little girl about this little ear thing. I wasn't sure what I could do but I knew that the answer was on one of the shelves in the pharmacy across the street from the bus stop.

On the way to the pharmacy, I decided that some Sudafed might do the trick. When I used to go skydiving, and my ears got clogged up, Sudafed always seemed to help. I started taking Sudafed at about 10 AM today and slept most of the day away. At about 3:22PM I started doing the Valsalva Maneuver again and irrigating my ear and it happened. Something shifted and I heard the glorious popping sound and gurgling noise that goes along the clearing of ones clogged ear.

Mature Student Orientation

I went to a Mature Student Orientation at school last night. Nothing terribly exciting happened.

The "real" Orientation Day is on Monday.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The great paper sale of 2008

OK. This may be the lamest post ever. I'm all excited because I bought 1200 sheets of paper. It was on sale. $0.47 for a pack of 200 sheets. I almost bought some at the local pharmacy for almost $3.00 a pack!

There was a limit of 6 per customer, so I bought 6. With taxes, that only cost me $2.82. I might go back for more tomorrow.

Get out of my head!

All weekend, I've been thinking about the stuff I need to get done at work next week. That's never been much of a problem, until now. Now it's a problem because I don't have that job anymore! I'm unemployed! Why am I thinking about a job that I don't have anymore?

I quit you! Why do I still think about you! Leave me alone! I hate you! Get out of my head! LOL...

Work is for weenies. Na na na na na.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

End of an era

Yesterday was my last day at work and possibly my last day as a so called IT Professional. It was a bit of an odd day. I mostly cleaned up my desk, read blogs and answered a few questions about this or that.

Someone mentioned to me that it was the end of an era. Everyone who was in the IT Department, when I started, in April 2000 is now gone. I was the last to leave.

Friday, August 15, 2008

OK, now I'm excited

I will be unemployed in 31 minutes!

Last day

This is my last day at work. I thought I would be a bit more excited. Maybe something exciting will happen in the next 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Second last day

Yesterday was my second last day at work. The phrase for the day was, "I do not care". I was saying that a lot yesterday and almost everyone thought it was pretty funny.

I went out with all of my friends, at work, for lunch. The guy who recently got a job someplace else, joined us. Lunch sucked. The service was horrible and the food was crap. In the end, I didn't even get what I ordered because my order was given to someone else. After an hour and a half two people had to leave before the food was served. That was the second worst restaurant experience in my life. There were about 15 tables in the restaurant and only our table was getting shit service. The tip on a $60 bill? 25cents. I've never done that before, but I was pissed!

About 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave work, I ran into an "Oh my god" problem. Something was seriously messed up and it had to be fixed. WTF? Why am I always the one left holding the bag, when things go to shit? Where the hell are the other two guys, who can work on this? I have to catch a train. If I miss my train, I have to wait over 4 hours for the next one. Why am I the only one still in the office, who can look at this? F this! I banged out an email essentially saying, "I can't work on this. This is a serious problem. This is what's wrong. Good luck figuring it out." and went home.

Glenna over at G's spot has been writing recently about "going above and beyond" and then getting screwed over because of it. Glenna, you are not alone.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I went to the doctor yesterday. I got my second dose of Hepatitis B vaccine. My blood tests show that I have immunity for Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (Chicken Pox). I still have to get one more dose of Hepatitis B vaccine in 5 months and then a blood test to prove immunity. Two more needle sticks to go...


My Timetable was available on the Student Portal yesterday. A few things about my timetable:
  • 9 hours of Anatomy and Physiology every week! I have 3 A&P courses in first semester (regular A&P, cardiovascular A&P and pulmonary A&P). Is the human body really that complicated? (Air goes in. Air goes out. Blood goes round and round. What else does an RT need to know?)
  • My earliest classes are at 8AM. I was kind of hoping 9AM. Waking up at 7AM, like a civilized human being!
  • My elective is an ethics course. Do not lie, cheat or steal. If you lie cheat or steal, you will be punished.
  • If I get an exemption for my ethics elective, my first class on Tuesday will be at 10AM. I don't lie cheat or steal, so I don't need to be taught about that! Sleeping in, until 9AM on Tuesdays!
  • My first class on Friday is at 10AM. Sleeping in, until 9AM on Fridays!
  • I finish classes on Monday at 11AM. Very Happy to see that. I have some stuff I want to do, in another city, late Monday afternoon.
  • My General Therapeutics course has a theory and a lab component.
  • The General Therapeutics lab is for 2 hours on Friday. I'm pretty sure that I only have to wear scrubs in the lab, which would mean that I only have to wear scrubs once a week on Friday.
  • There seems to be a job shadowing component in the first semester. That appears on my timetable for 4 hours on Thursday. I don't think that it's for 4 hours every Thursday, because I only get 24 credit hours for it. I'm guessing that it will be for 4 hours for 6 weeks.
  • Without the job shadowing stuff, I have 22 hours of class and lab.
  • My latest classes are finished at 3PM.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why I'm looking forward to RT School

Freadom over at Respiratory Therapy Cave recently wrote A list of what I like about being an RT, which got me to thinking about why I am looking forward starting RT School.

10 Reasons I'm looking forward to RT School:

  1. I can sleep in every day. I won't have to get up at 4:30AM on work days anymore.

  2. I don't have to pick up, drop off and pay for dry cleaning any more. No more wearing dress pants, for me.

  3. I can be unemployed. It's OK to be unemployed when you're a full time student.

  4. I don't have to shine my shoes on a regular basis.

  5. I get to buy a stethoscope.

  6. I can spend a few years learning some interesting things.

  7. I can stop worrying about looking for another IT job.

  8. I can start using the, "I can't because I have to study" excuse.

  9. I can get to school in less than 10 minutes. It now takes me hours to get to work. I'm not kidding, or exagerating, it takes me over 2 hours to get to work.

  10. When I'm finished, I'll be a Respiratory Therapist.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You know you hate your job when...'re all happy when you realize that you can be 3 hours late for work on Monday. I have to get my second Hepatitis B shot tomorrow and find out if my blood tests confirm that I have immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella and the Chicken Pox.

For those who haven't had the pleasure, a Hepatitis B Vaccination requires three injections over a period of six months...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

First semester text books

This is the stack of required text books for the first semester of my Respiratory Therapy Program.

Maybe Monday

When I was at work on Friday, I heard that the Ass clown was talking about me on Thursday. He was trying to figure out if the 8th could be my last day instead of the 15th. He told someone that he would talk to me first thing in the morning about that. I waited all day and he never talked to me. Maybe Monday will be my last day.

1, 2 or 3 more days until I'm unemployed. My last day will be on Monday, Wednesday or maybe Friday next week...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ass clown

4 more days until I am unemployed. I wish I was a bit more excited. The idea of going to work tomorrow has filled me with dread.

After reading one of EE's posts on Backboards and Bandaids, I now have a new nickname for my boss: Ass clown.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

7 ate 9

Stupid song. Make the stupid song get out of my head! Dontchya hate it when a stupd song gets stuck in your brain?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Not what I wanted

My new most favorite TV show is on a Canadian TV channel called CLT (Canadian Learning Television). The TV show is called Situation Critical and it's about the trauma center at Sunybrook Hospital in Toronto. It follows patients and medical professionals as they are dealing with various sorts of traumatic injuries. I've seen about 3 or 4 eisodes so far and I'm quite impressed with how the show has been done. At first I was kind of shocked to see how graphic the program was. I'm actually quite interested in seeing all of the blood and gore, but I'm kind of surprised that it's being shown on a mass market education channel at 9PM on a Sunday night.

Most of the show focuses on the Trauma Doctors when they're treating patients but they do frequently acknowledge the other people who are a part of the trauma team. They did a good segment on the RNs who are a part of the Trauma Team, in a recent episode. As I've been watching the show, I've been trying to identify the RTs that are working in the trauma room and was hoping that they would mention RTs in one of the episodes.

They mentioned an RT in last nights episode, but not in the way that I was hoping for. A 50 year old women was brought in after being ejected from a car during a car accident. She was conscious and was bleeding a lot from a nasty head laceration. She was in a lot of pain and heard one of the Doctors give an order to draw up some Fentanyl. As soon as the Fentanyl was mentioned the patient said something like, "Yes, please, Fentanyl...". The person closest to the patients head found the patients reaction kind of funny and asked her how she knew that word and was told that, "I'm an RT". Everyone stops for a few seconds and the Trauma Surgeon asks her where she works. She works at Mt. Sinai. At that point the narrator dramatically states that, "The patient has just identified herself as a Respiratory Therapist from...Mt. Sinai" and then goes on to refer to her as one of the trauma teams colleagues.

The RT was actually pretty lucky. Other than the head laceration, she had a concussion which seems to have resulted in some minor problems with her memory. A few weeks after the accident, she was talking about how she could find herself sitting at a traffic light and not knowing where she was going.

Crap. That's not what I wanted, when I wanted RTs to be mentioned on that TV show.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Current Student

On Friday I received a big envelope from the college. The envelope contained a student Orientation Guide, Student Enrollment Form and instructions for picking an elective. The Student Enrollment Form shows a status of Enrolled for all of my courses and lists the choices that I have for my elective. All of the instructions in the orientation guide, and on the sheet that explains how to choose my elective, tell me to go to the "Current Student" section of the college web site.

Current Student! Yippee! I feel kind of lame for mentioning it, but I now feel like more of an RT Student than I did on Thursday. When can I start calling myself an RT Student? Now? After the orientation day? When I get my student card? On the first day of classes?

Not interested

I went for a long walk during my lunch, at work, on Friday. I like books and I like wandering around and hanging out in book stores, so I found myself in a bookstore during my walk. Mostly out of habit, I walked over to the computer section and was kind of surprised by something. I had no interest in any of the books. None. I didn't even bother picking up any of the books to take a closer look. I'm starting to have trouble remembering why I was so interested in IT. That's a good thing. I'm really not interested in IT anymore and I'm glad.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A fog of self importance

What's wrong with people #1:

A fog of self importance. That's the best way to describe what's wrong with so many people at work. A lot of people, at work, walk around thinking that they are terribly important. They're so preoccupied with their over inflated sense of self worth that they can't actually see what's going on around them.

6 work days to go.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yesterday I picked up the last of the books that I'll need for the first semester or Respiratory Therapy School. I only had to pick up one text book and a couple of course note packages. I've already purchased all of the other required texts.

Unfortunately, I didn't have an excuse to buy a stethoscope yet. It wasn't on the book list and I haven't yet seen any indication that it's required for first semester.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

When the boss is away...

I only have three more weeks to go at work! My boss will be gone all of next week!

These last few weeks sure are dragging on. Yesterday one of my coworkers had his last day. He was so glad that he was leaving. I was glad he was leaving too. He's a really decent guy and shouldn't have to put up with the BS that my boss has been dishing out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Approaching unemployment

In a little less than 4 weeks, I'm going to be unemployed. Since I'm going pack to school, I like to job that I'm going to be "gainfully unemployed". Starting on August 16th, I'll be spending money and not earning any. The thought of that has been making me kind of anxious. I've spent most of my adult life working hard and saving money for retirement. The plan was to retire early.

Saving money for retirement and staying out of debt has been so important to me for so long, that I'm having some trouble coming to terms with the fact that I'm going to be unemployed and spending my retirement savings on an education for a new career.

11 more workdays until school starts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Motivationally Challenged

I have a couple of projects at work that I could tackle today, but I won't. I just don't feel like doing a whole hell of a lot. I used to have a good work ethic. I'm going to spend most of my day, at work today, not working and not feeling guilty about it. I'm not lazy. I'm motivationally challenged...

Fortunately, I have a new blog to read today: The Happenings of Heidi

A couple updates about work:

  • The guy whose resume was discovered on Workopolis is going on a couple of good courses next week and is going to be going on to a conference in Las Vegas. If he's smart, he's still looking for a job.
  • The guy who handed in his resignation last week is spending the day cleaning out his filing cabinet and training the new guy, who started yesterday. The new guy is essentially a middle manager who will live between my coworkers and my idiot boss.
  • The boss is doing performance appraisals this week and everyone seems to be getting good ones. Maybe my boss is worried about more people quitting...

Home Ownership Anniversary

On July 16th, I was a home owner for a whole year! Yipee! I wish I could stop thinking about painting and retiling the damn place. I really can't afford it. I'm only going to be working for a few more weeks and I really wasn't able to save as much money as I wanted.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I am not a criminal

I'm not a criminal and now I can prove it. I have a Police Record Check Report saying that, "Based on the NAME(S) and DATE OF BIRTH provided, a check of the CPIC Identification Data Bank reveals NO RECORD for this individual." I also have nifty little "I am not a criminal" wallet card that I'm supposed to carry around with me.

Workopolis posting

One of my coworkers has his resume posted on Workopolis. It looks like the HR department, at work, has stumbled across his resume and has mentioned it to my boss. All of a sudden, my boss isn't treating my coworker like crap and is promising him a bunch of training and interesting projects to work on.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I quit

I tendered my resignation this morning. My boss sent me an email from the golf course, reminding me that he wanted my resignation letter. I replied with, "It's on your desk.". My last day is August 15th.

Today is a good day. I have literally wanted to quit this job for years.

Monday, July 14, 2008

5, 6 or 7?

I'm not sure how many more weeks I'll be working. Is this the first of 5, 6 or 7 more weeks before I'm unemployed? I need to make all the money I can, before school starts, but I really am looking forward to being unemployed and "just going to school".

Friday, July 11, 2008


One of the people I work with resigned today. He starts his new job in 3 weeks. He used me as a reference. My old boss is the head hunter, who got him the job.

On Wednesday my boss told me that he wanted me to officially resign from my position, before I started school full time. I was a full time student in 2006. My old boss never wanted me to resign when I became a full time student; he wanted me to work on a casual part time basis. I don't think my new boss likes me :-)

Sharp pointy things

Yesterday I got started on all my vaccinations against nasty stuff and bloodwork to prove immunity to nasty stuff. I had to drink beer all afternoon, to get over the trauma of it all. They kept on stabbing me with sharp pointy things and making me bleed. Bastards.

Beware of people wearing lab coats. They like to stick people with sharp pointy things. They also want your blood for some reason...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Second interview

The guy who "lost it" last Friday, with my boss, might be getting a job offer very soon. He went to a second interview with a potential employer today and I am told that things went very well. I hope he gets the job. He really doesn't deserve the crap that our boss is dishing out to him.

8 weeks to go...

Friday, June 27, 2008

It wasn't me.

I'm not terribly fond of my current boss. Actually, I think he is one of the most dimwitted people that I have ever had the displeasure to work with.

I once went to a 1 hour meeting with him and it took 5 hours! He didn't listen. I kept on repeating myself because he didn't seem to be listening. He kept on talking about the same stuff over and over. 4.5 hours into the meeting, he asked me about why I seemed to be angry! One of the people I work with discovered that you just have to stand up, mumble something about having to go somewhere and then just walk out. It works like a charm. I owe the guy who told me about that little meeting termination strategy, many beers.

I'm going to be finished this job in a little over two months. Everyone I work with was wondering when I was finally going to flip out and lose it on my boss. Yesterday someone beat me to it. I'm told that the guy who lost it actually used phrases like, "Go ahead fire me! Do it! Do it now!", "Let's go over and talk to HR right now and see what they think!"

I only have 66 days to go. A part of me wants to go to war with my boss, but I find myself wondering what that would accomplish. I'm going to be out of this job in a little over 2 months. I have a bit to lose (2 months of pay) and almost nothing to gain.

It wasn't me. It was the other guy. Nobody was expecting that.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How low can it go?

Morale at work is at an all time low and getting worse. Is there a limit to how demoralized an incompetent Manager's staff can get? The morale of my coworkers seems to be getting lower and lower without any bottom in sight. I don't really take work too seriously these days, because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'll walk out of the tunnel at the end of August.

I feel pretty bad for the people I will leave behind. My boss is a truly stupid man. I'm not trying to be insulting, he really is lacking in intelligence. He often leaves his staff dumbfounded by the depths of his stupidity. You can talk with the guy for an hour and be assured that everything you said was ignored and or not understood because he just wasn't listening or didn't know what you were talking about. A 10 minute discussion can turn into an hour long meeting, where he just babbles on about things that he doesn't understand. He seems to have built a career on bullshit and it sure does stink.

The scenic route

I've spent the last few weeks exploring hiking trails in my neighbourhood. If I walk to school from my place, and decide to take the scenic route, I can get half way their by going through hiking trails.

This is the scenic route to school.

This is Jimmy the frog. I met him while taking the scenic route this morning. He may look small, but he's a bad ass. I outweigh Jimmy by at least 215lbs and he isn't scared of me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Damn it

Damn it, I just called the number. I don't know why. I just couldn't help myself. It had a recorded message. I got bored with it after about 30 seconds. Give the number a call and Fred will tell you everything you need to know. Let me know how it works out...

Stupid Sign

I took a picture of this sign a few weeks ago, with my camera phone, and forgot about it. I don't believe it and I won't call.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Soon to be poor student

I've been taking a closer look at my finances. I may not actually have enough money saved up to be an unemployed student. I might actually have to get a part time job when I'm in school :-( I might be able to be unemployed for the first semester, but probably have to get some kind of a job during second semester. I will most definitely be looking for a summer job. I was sort of considering the possibility of taking some courses in the summer, next year, but that's not looking to likely at the moment.

I'm actually thinking about updating my resume. That's pretty damn depressing. I haven't felt the need to do that for a few years.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pre program requirements

The college sent me some paper work on Monday. The paper work is mostly for a criminal record check and immunization requirements. There was also mention of a CPR and First Aid course requirement, which I have already met.

The application for my criminal record check is in the mail and should be processed within four weeks. I was expecting the criminal record check to involve a trip to a police station. All I had to do was fill in a form and mail it in.

I'm now working on completing the immunization requirements. I have to get vaccinated for a couple of things and get blood work to confirm that I have immunity for a few other things. The Hepatitis B vaccination looks like it will be a bit of a hassle. The Hep B vaccination involves 3 shots and then a blood test to confirm immunity.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Breathing Through School recently wrote about scrubs and I started wondering about the scrubs that I would have to wear, when I start my clinicals in the summer of 2011. Yestrday I found out that I have to wear red scrubs, when I'm doing my clinicals. I guess I have to wear red so that I'm easy to identify in a crowd. "He did it! The guy in the red scrubs! Get him!"

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

No turning back now

I guess there's no turning back now. I've paid my student fees for the 2008/2009 school year.

My begging for money efforts, at the bank, have been successfull.

Hello Mrs. Banker. How are you doing? I'm going to quit my job and go back to school. Can I borrow some money? Gee thanks. Where do I sign?

One of the benefits of always paying your bills on time and not carrying a balance on any of your credit cards: A kick ass credit rating.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Proof that I'm irreplaceable at work

After hours tech support guy called my cell phone a few hours ago. I was feeling a bit snarky, so I didn't answer the phone. If he's bugging me after hours about work stuff, and it's important, he'll leave a message. If it's not important or he can actually figure it out on his own, he should hang up the phone and try to figure it out on his own! Better yet, if it's not important he shouldn't even freaking call me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The IT people at work really should be able to do things for themselves! He called back a few minutes later and left a voice mail. The Internet connection for a branch office was down and he didn't know how to contact the Internet Service Provider for that office. He knew who the Internet Service Provider was, but didn't know how to contact their tech support. I didn't know either, so I actually looked it up in our list of support contacts. Everyone in my IT department knows about that list of support contacts! After hours tech support guy has a copy of those contacts on his Blackberry. Sheesh.

My apologies for the gratuitous use of exclamation marks!

Student Line of Credit

After getting my student fees invoice yesterday, I decided to go to the bank and apply for a student line of credit. A student line of credit is different from a regular line of credit in that you only have to pay interest, while you are a full time student. With a student line of credit, you don't actually have to pay back any borrowed money until six months after finishing school. I already have a line of credit that I could use for school, but I would have to pay back principle in addition to interest if I used it.

The person at the bank had a hell of a time trying to put my application into the computer. At one point she actually said, "you don't fit into any of the boxes". Apparently most people who apply for a student line of credit still live with their parents, have their parents cosign, don't have a mortgage, haven't been working for 12 years and don't have any retirement savings...

I used to think that I would borrow some money from my retirement savings plan to pay for school. Now I'm thinking that borrowing money from the bank is a better way to go. I already borrowed money from my retirement savings plan for the down payment on my condo.