The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A New Winner

I have often thought of myself as the Queen of Ridiculous. After all, I have a scrub top with the Power Puff Girls on it, I have a one-eyed cat named Gracie who licks peanut butter off my finger (and occasionally tries to bite it in the apparent hope that I will bleed still MORE of the delicious stuff), I frequently (and unintentionally) wear my panties inside out and I have a riding lawn mower that I have christened the Exxon Valdez due to its oil spitting tendencies. Ridiculous. But I have been dethroned. I have found the ultimate ruler of all of the Ridiculous, a level of ridiculous so very high that I am forced to turn in my scepter and bow down to my betters. It started like this:

Mr. K and I have been talking about my eventual reapplication to nursing school. (See, you just knew nursing school had to be involved, didn't you? But wait. They've really outshone their previous efforts.) And, in an uncharacteristic fit of something I've heard termed planning ahead (strange concept, but I'm game) I opted to check the website today to make sure that none of the requirements had changed. Not to be paranoid, but I'm fairly certain that the nursing school application committee, when not reading applications, is holed up with a generous supply of vodka, pens, and paper, working on ways to thwart would-be nursing students. I'm pretty sure there's giggling involved.

Anyway, I figured there might be another class added to the prereqs or something, and I have time now to take the class before the application deadline. Clever, no?

No. Because there is a new requirement but it's this: the three recommendation forms I submitted from doctors with whom I've worked closely will no longer be sufficient. I still need three recommendations, but now at least two of them must be from members of the nursing school faculty. Let me repeat that: in order to get into nursing school, I must have letters of recommendation from people who teach classes that I am not allowed to take unless and until I am accepted into nursing school. Clear? Oh, and they have to rate me in specific areas, such as my leadership abilities, my judgement, my skill at creating and supporting cultural diversity (no, even Ms. K could not make this nonsense up--it's all true), and my self-confidence, among other things. The website did not offer any helpful suggestions as to how I might obtain these recommendations from people who do not know me; neither did it offer a place where I might leave my own suggestions regarding this matter. Just as well. It would have involved some anatomical impossibilities.

So, to celebrate what I am coming to think of as Asshole Day, I've come up with a list of appropriate ways to pay homage to this instance of brilliant thinking. For instance:

From now on, I will only see movies that have been reviewed by people who have never seen them.

I will only eat at restaurants that have been recommended to me by people who have not eaten there.

Allergic to dairy products? Then you're just the person I need to help me choose the best ice cream store in the greater Seattle area.

If you're tone deaf, I have a job for you. Please help me choose some music to buy that you think I'd like.

I'll be asking some vegetarian friends to help me choose between barbecued pork recipes, the Seahawks quarterback to recommend a good manicurist, and a friend of mine who doesn't drive to help me choose my next car. If I knew any non-english speakers, I'd hire them to read my school material for me as well. It would all make about as much sense.

You can help, too. I'm looking for someone to select yarn for me. However, you may not actually see the yarns you're selecting from. You may not feel them, or smell them, or handle them in any way. You may see the label, but be warned that there is no way to be certain that what is on the label is even true. Since they all want to get picked, it's possible that some acrylic could sneak in there and claim to be lambswool. Since you can't touch them, how would you know? There are people out there who have seen all the yarns, and have seen my stash, and know exactly what I like and what I'm knitting next. You may not speak with them. If they offer their opinion, it will be discarded. So, what will it be? Unidentified yarn sample number one? The one that claims to be cashmere? The one that sounds as if it might be blue based on the possibly-false label?

No, I'm not bitter and pissy and thoroughly fed up with all this. Thing is, I don't WANT to be pissy. I love what I do. Nothing feeds me like connecting with a person in a meaningful way, like giving someone that small comfort or support or encouragement or understanding or whatever it is that changes their day for a second or a minute or an hour. None of that, however, will sway the minds of people who place more value than anything on the opinions of people who know nothing about me.

I used to joke that I wouldn't be surprised to find the school requiring a swimsuit competition for nursing school admission. I never thought it would get to the point where that actually sounded marginally better.

All right. I'm off my rant. You may return to your knitting.

But, hey. Thanks for listening. I feel better already.


  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    Oh, yikes. This stuff just gets better and better. I'm sorry, I know you're frustrated. But just think of the great chapter this will make in the book you are going to write! :0)

  • At 1:37 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    As Charity says Florence it will make a great chapter or three in your book. Seriously though do they not want anyone applying??
    What is it with all these rules chanmging. Get some vodka Flo it may help understand what they are up to:))

  • At 4:18 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooooooo!!!! My head aches .........please don't let it go Florence do write I want to hear the answer .

  • At 6:46 AM, Blogger Barbara-Kay said…

    At my nursing school the real power source was the departmental secretary. We called her Radar (after Radar O'Reily of Mash fame) behind her back. That kind of power, you see. Her real name was Miss Netty, may she rest in peace. If I wanted to know how to work the system, I'd go to her.

    Now, my school accepted 40 students/year, and planned to flunk out/haze out at least 20. They didn't have the clinical space for more than that. First year can be a hassle. Just don't "take it personal".

    All this and a nursing shortage, too. Sigh.

  • At 12:15 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    These people are nucking futs! I think they need a big fat raspberry, as publicly as possible. And you need a new nursing school. May they wear their underwear inside out. And on the outside of their clothes!

    Y'know, I realize it'd involve something radical, like a move; but we've got this modest little institution down here called OHSU... And unless they've drastically changed in the years since I briefly worked a temp job there, gee, they have--a nursing school. Think you might ever wanna emigrate from WA to OR? Ok, so we have a state income tax, but we don't have sales tax, and it won't cost you hundreds of bucks to register the car! (Plus PDX has lots and lots of knitters and yarn stores. [g])

  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    oh it's priceless Flo, you couldn't make it up.

  • At 2:51 PM, Anonymous marti said…

    and they actually wonder why there is a lack of nurses out there? don't get me started

  • At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Lilly said…

    Dear, dear, Ms.K -
    Not only are you expected to jump through the hoops, but the hoop-holders are busy re-designing the hoops and setting them out on a whole new parcourse. Too bad you have a worthy goal. If it were something small-minded and tawdry the universe would, no doubt about it, fall into line and get busy backing you.
    Hang in there.

  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger Dianne said…

    I'd love to comment regarding this but I'm too busy blowing smoke from my ears..My Mother has been in a health care facility for 7 weeks now..being neglected by people who don't want to be there..and on a daily basis I hear them say..I can make more money at BK..and here you..really want to go into this profession and they make up even more silly criteria that would allow you to head is spinning~~
    Best Wishes Flo..I know you've got the stuff it takes, sad..the higher powers don't see this~


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