The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Becoming Ms. Knitingale

But first, some yarn porn:

I love this stuff--Araucania Nature Wool in colorway 07. It doesn't look really great on my monitor, but the actual yarn is shades of teal and really, really lovely. I got five skeins of it yesterday at Spin Knitters of Bothell, whom I can already feel sucking me into the vortex of spinning my own yarn. Not sure yet what these particular five skeins are going to be....but I can feel a cardigan tugging at me.

ANYWAY, back to the story. I started prerequisites for a nursing program when I was around 24, and was working in a nursing home as a nurse's assistant. I loved it, loved the whole career path ahead of me. But I ran out of money, and also confidence. I changed direction, taking a job as a teacher's assistant for non-profit childcare program. I enjoyed it, and eventually found an employer who paid for me to go back to school and become degreed in Early Childhood Education. By the time I was 30, I was chosen to create and become the director for a corporate childcare program, within the biotech sector. It was sort of dizzying--you want me to be in charge? Really?? Within a few years, I had the program licensed for 72 children, was respected in the field, and managed 17 people. Let me tell you: if you have a choice between managing 17 people, and slamming your hand repeatedly in the car door, pick the car door. The whining, the squabbling, the crying--and that wasn't even the children!

After 7.5 years, the company opted to outsource the daycare--after first making me research and prepare presentations on the various outsourcing options. Nothing like doing the legwork to end your own job. But it was okay. I mean, it wasn't at first, but it got that way. After a year of trying to find my way back to a satisfying childcare job, I realized I was failing because I wasn't satisfied in that field.

I was lucky--I had stock options. Not a ton, but enough that I was able to pay up front for training to become a medical assistant at night, while I worked for a cancer institute by day. It was great, I loved it, but ultimately wanted more. More money, more challenges, more options.

That's the quick and dirty version, but that's about it. Now I'm taking classes and trying hard to see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. I changed schools recently because the one I was going to decided to choose nursing students via lottery--yeah, that's who I want taking care of me when I'm sick: the chick who happened to get her name drawn out of a barrel instead of the one with actual medical experience and love of the profession. The head of the nursing program says the decision was made because they wanted to "level the playing field" and make sure everyone had an equal chance. Well....yeah. I mean, God forbid the smart, dedicated ones have an edge over those who just want the money and job security. Why, people might actually get good, compassionate care!

Is it just me, or is the world getting dumber?


  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger Kate_knits_a_bit said…

    Studying while the rest of your life is happening is hard, but it is so worth it to get into a job that you look forward to (nearly!) every day. Good luck!


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