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12:18 p.m. - 2014-07-30
So, here's the plan. I think I'm going to set my sights on becoming a nurse anesthetist and getting a doctorate. Yes, I wish I had started working on this 10 years ago, but now is better than never. And after investigating my educational options thoroughly, I think it's do-able.

I graduate in May with an associate's degree in nursing and A and I can both work full-time for a year before she goes to vet tech school for two years, and save some money. So that gives me three years after graduation to get my bachelor's, get ICU experience, and apply to grad programs so I can go for that masters when A finishes.

Most nurse anesthetist programs are about three years, full-time, and not close to where I live, but there is one, run by Yale, that requires 12 months of classroom time at a satellite campus 15 minutes from my house, and 17 months clinical in New Haven, which is about 45 minutes away. Those 17 months will suck, but it's only 17 months. The median base salary for a nurse anesthetist in my state is $163,000. For $163,000 a year, I can put up with 17 months of suck.

After I'm working as a nurse anesthetist, I can get a doctorate in two years, part time, through a program in Bridgeport.

Of course, all of this entails getting accepted into the programs I want to go to, since with two kids that I can't move out of state without the approval of their non-custodial parent, and no trust fund, I don't have a lot of options. However, I have a 4.0 that I intend to maintain and I pretty much always score in the 99th percentile on standardized tests, so my biggest hangup is going to be getting the ICU experience required by the master's program I want to get into. Since ICU nurses are some of the best in the hospital, ICUs generally don't welcome new grads. The dinky little hospital closest to my house, where A works, actually states that "graduate nurses are not eligible" for ANY of the RN jobs currently available. So much for working close to home! So I'm going to try to get a part-time PCA job at St. Mary's, where I did clinical last semester, within the next couple of months if I can, and worm my way into an ICU that way. St. Mary's is bigger, better, more exciting and doesn't ban "graduate nurses" for applying for any job. It's probably a better choice in the long run, since A's hospital is basically a backwards, bureaucratic clusterfuck. Even if I did get hired there, I'd probably hate it.

So, that's the plan for now. Still aiming for Doctors Without Borders, of course; nurse anesthetists were one of the medical professional groups they were recruiting the last time I checked. Still hoping/working on becoming proficient in five languages by the time I'm 40, which can't hurt the ol' resume. I'm waiting for a training so I can do volunteer ESL teaching a few hours a month, which will help too.

Now that I have a plan for work and school, I need to start planning for all the other stuff I want/need to do with my one and only life, like enjoy my kids who are growing up so fast, and our little safe suburban neighorhood children running in and out of each other's yards, bikes everywhere, our little blue house with roses out front, this crazy utopian little life we have that probably won't last very long (because nothing ever does).

I moved my home improvement show to the back yard this week and continued to unearth the back yard from little oak trees and enormous vines, a project that I've been working on since I met Andi I think. Grass now has the upper hand on most of the lawn, but it is still scraggly around the pool and abundant in the path and patio cracks I haven't fixed yet. We've had great grass-growing weather so I decided to re-seed now instead of waiting for fall.

I am sure this is of interest to no one but me, but to me it is an experience. I never wanted to own a house, but I ended up married to someone who owned one and so I figure I out to get the most out of the experience, just like I'd try to get the most out of living in Ethiopia or something. I try to engage in the native customs, you know? And let me tell you, native customes in middle-class Connecticut suburbia are quite fascinating. We have perfectly good new shiny four-burner cook-stoves and air conditioning, yet when it's 100 degrees and 120 percent humidity outside and the dog is hiding under the AC in the living room, everyone goes out to grill shit on these primitive contraptions that belch smoke the temperature of mount Vesuvius. People supposedly consider this fun. Alrighty then.

Back to the grind.



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