Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rocket Ship to the Moon

My son woke me up on Monday morning. "Rocket ships to the moon...Getcher rocketship to the moon here."

Aside: my son often wakes me up saying strange things. F'rinstance: when he was three he walked into my bedroom in the middle of the night and started talking about how microbats use echolocation to find their prey because their eyes are too tiny to see. What?

So I got up and I picked out a rocket ship amidst a fairly good selection. I chose the most colorful one because I was bleary-eyed and I felt it was a day that called for something festive.

See, my last big project for nursing school was due the next day and it was a monster of a project: It was, of course, a group project because all projects in nursing school require you to coordinate with at least one if not 7 other people all of whom live more than 30 miles from you and have some sort of unworkable combination of jobs and/ or kids. The three of us did most of the work over the phone and via email. It was one of those projects wherein various incarnations of the written bits are peppering the computer's desktop and they've been given names like "projectbest.doc" and "projectfinal.doc" and "projectfinalA.doc" and "projectfinalnoreally.doc" and so I can't really tell what the most updated version is and it's mixed in with the other docs and ppts and pdfs and I'm getting calls on the cell phone from other groups whilst on the landline with my posse, "What do you think she means by literature review?" and I can't answer because there's two phones and six people and 30 documents and the kids won't go to sleep and are mixing soap and baking soda together in the kitchen thanks to the whole gak experiment and now let's see what happens when we mix this messy substance with that other messy substance cuckoo, cuckoo.

So, I carried the rocket ship with me all day and every time I just couldn't take it I made little rocket ship whooshy sounds and headed to the moon and, I have to say, it helped because here I am. I am not exploded from stress. I have Thanskgiving pie action going on in the kitchen. There are toasty nuts cooling. There is caramel (oh, yes, there is!) in the fridge. There is vanilla custard. There's a graham cracker crust. No. settle down. These are components of two different pies: Banana cream (special request from my favorite niece) and chocolate caramal almond tart (organize those first three words in any way you'd like, but "tart" is the last name.

What was the point? Oh, yeah. So, the project to end all projects was an analysis of three research papers on an issue of interest. But, wait, there's more! We had to put it onto a poster to present it. So it was a three-dimensional paper. Somehow we got the thing together over the phone. Miss J. had purchased the poster and stayed up really late laying it out and nothing was fitting and we had pared it down as much as it would pare.

I showed up to class the next day just a tiny bit early and there's Miss J. and the poster and there were words leaking off the poster and onto the table and the edges of the paper were curling up at the sides and I think I gasped and the instructor walked in and I think Miss J.'s hand went up to her mouth because of the captain's platter of my gasp and the instructor walking in and I felt terrible. We couldn't really say anything because the instructions said that we had to work on ALL ASPECTS OF THE PROJECT AS A GROUP (and, yes, it was all caps). So Miss J. and I are taping up the curly bits and the instructor (sigh, I have to tell you she was my L and D instructor - not the biggest fan of me and you can refer to older posts on that one) says, "Not really in the lean and mean category is it?" In walk other groups with these gigantic posters. Turns out Target is not the place to buy those tri-fold demonstration posters and poor Miss J. had to work all night to fit everything onto this little board.

So we go first and the instructor sits down and scooties the desk up to the edge of the table that holds our research poster and she squwinches up her eyes and we get some comments and questions and maybe I was the only one trying not to cry because, well, this statement should have had a reference and we didn't synthesize the three studies at the end and can't anyone remember the literacy rate in Turkey? And then we get a 97 and we're breathing again. Phew. it's over.

I said goodbye to most of my clients this week. I was surprised at how hard it was. I'm so tired and I feel like I've done what I can in the time I can and now what and I've been ready to move on. All three of them said something along the lines of, "Maybe you can call," or "Maybe we'll run into each other," and I felt like I was the one breaking up a relationship and gave some awkward "Um, yes. Perhaps I'll see you around town," and left and tried not to look back because I didn't want to see their sad goodbye faces and I know I won't see them around because, well, it's over. That's how it is. I'm all professional in my weepiness and all, see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ack Molly! I totally hear ya on the group projects. They are constant. We have a huge one due in a couple of weeks and it is always the same... ha.