Monday, July 18, 2011

You may ask yourself

Today is my last day as an acute care nurse.  I will be doing one shift  a month, to keep my skills up, but that hardly counts.  According to the job transfer letter I got from HR, my new job title is "systems analyst/programmer."  It's a bit surprising to find myself employed as a computer programmer.  I'm having a "how did I get here" moment.

The time is not right for the thoughts and feelings about nursing post.  The thoughts and feelings are still too raw and I had a horrible experience of almost getting hit in the head with a used maxi pad, which it may or may not be a HIPAA violation to tell you about.  But you are all invited to share my experiences in the exciting new field of nursing informatics!  At least I will not be in danger from flying maxi pads.

Meanwhile, we are preparing to send Brigid off to college.  She had the good fortune to be accepted at every school she applied to and after much agonizing she chose VCU.  I was a little disappointed, yet also relieved, since VCU is cheaper and closer than any of her other schools.  Still, I can't help regretting that she rejected the Art Institute of Chicago, and a chance to live in NYC by going to Pratt.  Even Savannah, where she could have gone to Savannah College of Art, is more glamorous than Richmond. Anyway, VCU is the best public art school in the country and ranked 4th overall, so we can't complain. I have never dealt with a large public university before, but so far it is going OK.  Well, it is a bit of a bore that they routinely accept more students than they have dorms for.  We experienced some consternation after getting a cold email from the housing office, saying that Brigid was waitlisted for a dorm room, that housing was not guaranteed, and that we might want to look into off-campus housing.

It has always been my experience that first year students are required to live on campus, unless they are living with their parents.  There are no such nurturing rules at VCU, where they're like: "Wait, you mean we're supposed to HOUSE these kids too?"   Part of the problem is the stupid, arsing Virginia public university computer system whose programs will not run on my mac, preventing us from applying for a dorm room in a timely manner.  I tried using the computers at the public library, but their security system would lot allow the VCU dorm application to run.  Finally someone at VCU entered Brigid's housing application for us over the phone, but by then we were past the deadline for a guaranteed space in the dorms.

We learned of Brigid's potential homelessness on July 14th and on the 17th had put down a security deposit on a historic row house located a stone's throw from the Art Foundation building, which she will share with three other girls.  The house, it turns out, is cheaper than a dorm, and since there's a grocery store nearby, we can get away with purchasing the cheapest meal plan, or even no meal plan at all.  Plus, we are spared the hell of move in day, when thousands of parents and students descend on downtown Richmond and clog the roads with their cars, and push mini refrigerators around on trolleys.

That accomplished, we leave tomorrow for Buffalo, to see Ian and other relatives.  Since I am working twelve hours--11:00-23:30 (oy)--Jon must do the packing unsupervised which I know from past experience, has led to travel mayhem. I've assigned the girls to watch over him:  NO spray cheese for the car trip, he can NOT pack his special chair, try to DISCOURAGE the prayer rug, PLEASE do the laundry, make sure SOMEONE mows the lawn.  We're not getting a proper vacation this summer.  Any amusing plans I make are immediately ruined by TWO KIDS IN COLLEGE.


  1. That's great news about Brigid getting into all of her schools. Fabulous that she had choices. And, even though you're disappointed that she won't be in Chicago or NY, as you mentioned, VCU is a terrific art school. Although, it sounds like their housing department is the opposite of terrific.

    Have a safe trip.

  2. You are SO funny, describing the packing. And the nurse experience sounds horrific.
    Good luck to your daughter. I'm glad you found housing--how stressful to worry about that.