The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Code Talker

Because the universe has a sense of humor, and a sick one at that (c'mon, take a close look at ostriches. How can the universe NOT have a sense of humor?), the school I am attending changed their nursing school application deadline, giving me one fewer quarters in which to obtain, of all things, a license to be a certified nurses assistant (CNA). I was a CNA years ago when my tummy was still flat and my boobs not so intimately acquainted with my belt loops; however, I have not had such a license in many years so the state requires that I retest. And that I further must take the training again, even though the training I had to be a medical assistant was significantly longer and more involved. Sigh. Which sums up my feelings on the issue, if you understand the word "sigh" to mean "all persons involved in setting and changing and changing and changing yet again the requirements to apply to nursing school are in fact bastard coated bastards with bastard filling (to borrow shamelessly from Scrubs)". So I contacted the head of the nursing program and, after much polite conversation (translation: I became a few degrees short of completely hysterical and tried hard not to shriek in an unattractive fashion) she agreed that the committee would be instructed to regard my application as if I had the licence, with the proviso that, if accepted, I must obtain the license before school starts or forfeit my place in the school. No problem. Things were looking up.

Then, today, I went to the advisor to make sure I had all my theoretical ducks in a reasonably straight theoretical row....only to have her point out helpfully that "just because the committee CAN give you a provisional acceptance, doesn't mean they will. Frankly, the lack of a license is a perfect reason to cut you and it's possible that your application could even be pulled and discarded before reaching the committee because of that lack." (You can refer back to that "bastard coated bastards" thing again at this point, if you'd would save me having to type it in again). It seems that "things are looking up" is code in the universe for "really, I'd love to have a good ass kicking right now. You know, if you can arrange it." Life, in fact, seems to be full of such codes. For instance:

Mr K's snoring, while to me nothing more than the sound of an out of balance band saw with a badger in the casing, is apparently code to one Eddiecat, to whom it means "Please come sit diagonally on Mommy's chest with your butt in her ear and knead eagerly until her breast is more or less shredded."

"I am in a huge hurry", when spoken by me, sounds to the universe exactly like "I would really like to drive all the way to the store and THEN realize that I forgot my purse....and if the person ahead of me at the grocery store when I return could be paying for their groceries with 1200 coupons (70% of which have expired), that would be even better."

"I'll just speed up long enough to get past this bicyclist" falls on the ears of the local police as "stop whatever you're doing and go out to where Ms. K is driving because her day will not be complete unless she spots you behind her and nearly pees herself. Follow her for a mile or two if you have the time."

Codes, people. It's all codes. Fortunately, I have decided to utilize my own code to decipher the ever-so-helpful words of the school counselor. I will take them to mean something along the lines of "you really need to absolutely bombard the school with all the info you can and not give up until they accept that their program will not be complete without you." So, I'll be applying anyway, with a copy of the e-mail from the nursing school head who said I could apply without the license clipped firmly to the front and a nice note that only you and I will know translates to "you're all evil and I hope you get scabies and any pet you have pees on your carpet until it is saturated. Unless you let me in, in which case I wish you only joy." As we all know, it's not wise to mess with us knitters.

The next chapter of this story, however, is that I could take the necessary classes for CNA licensure at the college for about $1000 and it would take 12 weeks...or I could take it at a small school in Everett (about 15 miles north of me) for around $600 and it would take 4 weeks. If there is any code involved here, it is not much more than "don't be an ass", so I headed up to Everett today to register for the April class (I won't have it in time for application no matter what, but I can show them the receipt to prove that I'm taking it). I was sort of expecting that it would be a little building in more or less the shape of a school with some sort of parking and lawn. What it actually turned out to be is a storefront in a crappy part of town, next door to a Korean restaurant whose owner stands in his parking lot and glares so that it is understood that you are absolutely NOT allowed to park there if you don't want noodles.

The other side, though.....the neighbor on the other side....well. It's a store that sells...shall we call them "marital aids"? Yes, that kind of store. I can learn all about medical terminology and fur-lined handcuffs, all in one trip. See, again that code. I said "I need a less expensive, less time-consuming way to get this training out of the way"; the universe heard "Is there any way to get one-stop shopping for CNA training and oversized, cartoon-colored genitalia in easy clean rubber?" Fortunately, the school wants only my license. They could care less where I train for it, as long as I pass the state board which I could already do with the training I got to be an MA. They'd probably also prefer that I not get arrested for prostitution while training, I'll be sure not to wear thigh high boots or anything.

On the bright side, the universe did decide to throw me a bone by leading me to a lovely yarn store just a few miles and a whole world away from the school. I went in and fondled to my heart's content (okay to do in the yarn store; probably a bad idea in the store next door to the school). It helped to soothe my soul....although, has anyone else seen this yarn called "Stuff" that's made of rayon and nylon and silk and sells for $92 a skein? I'm still not sure what that's code for, other than it sure as hell doesn't match any of the codes on my wallet.

Lastly, "I'm going to sit at the table and work on my blog on the laptop" is cat code for "Please come help me by sticking your wet nose ALL OVER the screen." And I can prove it:


  • At 4:31 PM, Blogger beckie said…

    Its okay, Flo! People can be such pains in the arses!

  • At 11:13 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Gee Florence do they really want nurses in your State , they certainly make it darned hard. That photo reminds me of when I started home-educating Holly ( she was eight). We had our cat Tommy ( original name huh? ) . I had a small blackboard as an aid and he climb on the table and turn around and arounf thus wiping the chalk off with his tail ..much to Holly's amusement.After he'd ruined my work he'd settle in the text book of the day for a nap ..cats !!

  • At 3:04 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Oh, I really hate it when 'johnny law' is cruising on my ass, goes back to those wild teenage years, I'm guessing it never goes away...that YIKESHOLYSHIT feeling.
    Hoops and hoops and more hoops, oh look! another 12000 hoops to jump through. I know.
    "Stuff" unbelievable.

    wordverification: cvezxmoi

  • At 5:31 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    you can do it, we're all behind you, and beside you and hanging our floppy bits over you, just incase you still don't get it, we're here for you with our pointy sticks at the ready!

  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger monica said…

    I think it is the weirdest thing that they require a CNA license for nursing school. Glad I graduated 20+ years ago there was enough red tape back then.

  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    Cops...I know most of the locals but I don't like it when a State Trooper gets behind me, which makes me start driving like an 80 year old and a target for getting pulled...because I look like I'm "3 sheets in the wind"~~ Jeez, how many more hoops are they going to make you jump through?

    You still crack me up!

  • At 8:51 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…



  • At 6:48 PM, Blogger Kali said…

    Amazing. I thought my universe was sparsely populated with intelligent life and there you are!

    I'd offer sympathy for the cosmic mind shift with the wholly inapproprate sense of humor, but they might decide to act on it and we'd both be sorry.

    Your coping skills appear to be VERY well developed. Good thing, huh?
    p.s. - the socks are AWESOME!


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