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Q&A | Nursing School Qs, plus shoes, a planner, and the abandoned house

First up, a few questions that have rolled in here and there about nursing school. I lost track of some of the names of questioners though; my apologies!

Nursing School Questions

How do you practice injections? On each other?

Nope! We have spongy squares that are designed specifically for injection practice. They’re covered with a skin-like material, and the lab techs can just rinse them out after use so that the next group can use them as well.

syringe label.

Just sharing a picture of the syringe label, in case any of you are needle-phobic!

So far we’ve learned how to do intradermal, subcutaneous, and intramuscular injections; IVs are still to come! 

Do you think your life as an educator prepared you for continuing your education as an adult? (I think of getting my rn sometimes)-Sarah

Yes, I think in a lot of ways it has. For instance, my math skills aren’t at all rusty, and that’s helping me with my med math assignments.

algebra papers.

ah, algebra.


I also think there’s a sense in which living a teaching life has kept me in the swing of learning. I’ve been teaching in one form or another (piano teaching first, and then homeschooling) since I was 14. My brain has been busy! 

But honestly, I think my greatest educational advantage at this point is just age. I know myself and my learning style, and I have a lot of life experience that I can tie my learning to.

Also, when it comes to the softer skills that school requires, such as priority-setting, I think life experience really helps.

weekly plans.

One other thing that helps: I am really invested in my subject matter.

I’ve been googling diseases and body processes and reading medical memoirs/listening to medical podcasts for fun for a while now. I am fascinated by this material, and that makes learning way easier. 

What is your schedule like? Days? Nights? How many days per week?

This varies massively. There are 140 students in my cohort, and we all attend lectures together in a big room. Those are usually 2 days a week, but sometimes more, sometimes less.

We are divided into four groups for exams, so we take them in shifts, in a room with a bunch of computers.

And then there are a lot of lab groups!

Kristen in scrubs.

Labs are when we have to wear our uniforms.

Some have their labs during the day, and some have them at night (that’s me! Boo!).

And once we start clinicals, some will have those during the week, and some will have them on weekend (that’s me! Boo!).

I’m hoping to get into a daytime, weekday group next semester. We shall see.

In addition to lectures, exams, and labs, there are also open lab times available each week. I sign up for one of those at least once a week, sometimes more.

During those sessions, we get an hour in the nursing lab to practice skills that we will be tested on at the end of October.

These are things like:

  • vital signs
  • a head-to-toe assessment
  • injections
  • various oxygen masks (nasal cannula, non-rebreather bag, a Venturi mask, etc.)
  • sterile techniques (such as creating a sterile field, or the process of putting on and removing sterile gloves)

And of course, there’s lots of work to do at home, like:

  • assigned readings
  • assigned quizzes
  • lab videos to watch
  • lab homework
  • any self-directed studying that’s necessary (like prepping for exams, making flashcards, etc.)

How about an abandoned house update?

Mostly it’s still in the process of being demo-ed! It was in such bad shape, it really needed to be gutted, so there’s a lot of work to do before it can start looking better.

My brother is a very busy guy, so it’s slow going. But hey, even in its current gutted shape, this house is still a lot better than when it was crammed full of dusty stuff. 🙂

instagram screenshot.

My sister-in-law posts some updates on Instagram, so go follow her (@treasure_haus) to stay up to the minute with the abandoned house.

(In case you’re new, here’s a post about the abandoned house, which has provided a lot of the things I used to furnish my rental house.)

Can you talk about your shoes?? I have wide feet and love the look of that toe box!


Sure! They’re made by Altra and they’re designed with an extra-wide toe box. The idea is to make a shoe that is a bit more foot-shaped than most athletic shoes.

new pair of walking shoes.

This is very appealing to me because my feet are really wide in the toe area!

I have the Women’s Provision 7, and so far I do really like them.

walking shoes.

These aren’t cheap shoes, but since I generally put about 100 miles a month on my shoes, largely on wooded trails, I don’t mind paying for a good pair.

As of the writing of this post, the Provision 7s are on sale for $112 direct from Altra, and also the two orange-colored options are slightly less on Amazon.

(Some of the colors are almost $140 on Amazon, though!)

Where did you buy the weekly planning calendar ??


This one is by 3-2-1-Done, and I love it.

It’s so, so basic, which is perfect for me. I’ve mentioned before that my brain envisions days in an upside-down way compared to most people, so planners with the hours mapped out don’t work for me.

321 Done planner

(In my head, the mornings are at the bottom of the page and the evenings are at the top.)

I draw an extra line across the middle of the page, and then I use the area above the line for a daily plan, and the area below the line for a little to-do list.

weekly plans.

aforementioned planning

One other thing I like: this is just an undated pad of paper, which means that if there’s a week when I don’t make a plan, it’s not like I wasted anything.

In contrast, with a dated planner notebook, if you skip a week, that part of the planner is basically wasted.

Blue Sky Planners

(before anyone says, “Why don’t you just use a free digital calendar? Those don’t produce any trash!”…man, I tried to make those work for me but my brain manages better when I have it all out on paper. This planner is $15, it lasts me for a long time, and it’s just paper, which is recyclable. I refuse to feel guilty about it.)

Got any input? Further questions? Leave a comment!

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Thursday 12th of October 2023

My doctoral research (social work) involved learning about adult learning, and what you are saying here goes right along with that. I think it is a fascinating topic!

Emily Fields

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

I noticed your shoes the second you posted them! I’ve been gifted 3 pairs of Lem’s wide-toe-box shoes over the last 2 christmases and they are *amazing.* Before I found them I was starting to be worried that I wouldn’t be able to wear shoes for the rest of my life, my shoe situation was getting so desperate. Shoes that didn’t give toe room triggered my sciatica and plantar facsciitis within an hour of wear and I suffered for a week after every time I made a poor shoe choice. Lem’s have been a huge relief for me. I’m glad you found shoes that work for you too!


Monday 9th of October 2023

Calendaring/planning for me has morphed with retirement. For the last several work years I used a bullet journal so I could merge professional and personal schedules along with tasks and a to do list. I also kept an online calendar so I could access it easily and share common or need-to-know schedules/appointments with my husband (and, visa versa).

Now, I start with the online calendar and save it in a weekly format as a PDF. I then open the PDF and add to it. I color code my schedule and put boxes around the time periods. I also have several questions at the top to answer each week: What do I need to do for me? What do I need to do in our home? What do I need to do for/with others? There’s also a “Want To’s and a Have To’s for the big priorities of the week. Once that’s done, I print it off and now have a paper version to add and subtract from during the week. I put my tasks on there and sometimes add a comment about something that happened that day. I’ll also briefly note at the top of each day what the weather is predicted to be. That has been most helpful in planning a variety of things.

It actually doesn’t take me that long. I copy and paste from the previous week’s calendar. By going through it that way and then working with it, I have a much better handle on my week, even though it sounds a bit like overkill.


Monday 9th of October 2023

"I tried to make those work for me but my brain manages better when I have it all out on paper. This planner is $15, it lasts me for a long time, and it’s just paper, which is recyclable. I refuse to feel guilty about it.)"

the best answer of the article. Thank you ..but why do we have to make this statement about so many things. ??? yea for you


Monday 9th of October 2023

Well, in this case, it's because in the past, people have asked me this question...wondering why I don't just use google calendar, since it's free and it wastes no paper.

But I will happily keep paying $15 for a pad of paper that keeps my life organized!

Katy in Africa

Monday 9th of October 2023

I'm with you in the physical calendar! And I too love an undated one. My current planner one of my kids found at a thrift store and I love it!

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