Monday, January 18, 2010

A Test And Life

I took my state certification exam for the nursing assistant program on Saturday. I am thankful it is over because I was getting pretty tired of studying. The fact that the boys had finals last week and I had this made for an emotionally draining week overall. Following are my observations from the test day:

1. I felt a sense of pride at having completed the CNA program. The test was the final loose end to complete. Whenever one finishes a project or course of study, there is that sense of satisfaction at having seen it through to the end.

2. There were many folks taking the test a good 10-15 years older than I am so that made me feel as though I am not the only one out there scrambling to get a foot in the door by studying for a short-term certificate.

3. One of my fellow classmates told me that her friend with a master's in psych. has been out of work for some time as a marriage and family therapist. I asked her what the friend has been doing and she said nothing. So again, I felt good that I took the needed steps to make myself more marketable with the current economy. It also made me realize that I'm not the only person out there with an advanced/specialized degree encountering trouble finding full-time employment.

4. This same classmate brought up another woman from our class. She asked me if I knew that she and her family, totaling nine people, all live together in a two-bedroom apartment. I knew this woman had remarried and her three children joined the four of her new husband but I had thought they lived in a home. I replied, "How can they do it?" and my classmate said, "They make it work." Hearing this story made me realize that there are others out there making sacrifices. The reason this even came up was that I made a comment about how lovely this woman's daughter is, a recent high school grad. The mom and her daughter took the CNA course together and now the daughter is enrolled in a nursing program. So despite her having shared a very small residence with her large family, she turned out from all indications to be well adjusted and productive.

5. A mini drama unfolded as we were all admitted into the large testing room. A poor young woman rushed in late clutching her car insurance card. She explained that she had just lost her driver's license, which she was going to use as a picture ID - she did not have any other photo ID. It was explained to her that without a current photo ID she could not be admitted to take the test but would have to do so next month. It was sad to see this young woman crying as she was almost physically forced from the area - she wouldn't stop pleading or explaining. As I saw her I thought how terrible the situation must seem for her at the moment. But that life would go on and that she will reapply for the test and simply have to retake it in February. I certainly felt her despair but was able to look past it and see that in the grand scheme of things, yes, it is a setback but not as terrible a one that really could be.

6. There were one or two questions I did not have a clue how to answer on the test and a couple that I didn't think were well written - I thought all of the answers were incorrect! Of course, I did my best to select what I felt was the best response. Bottom line - sometimes I won't know the right answer, sometimes all the available responses will look wrong but I still have to pick one. And after doing so it is best to not dwell on what was picked and to believe that it was correct and the outcome will be all good!

7. In the parking lot while circling for a space , a college student backed into the front side of my van as she pulled out. This was totally her error (she didn't see me) and except for a slightly bent hubcap, I didn't see or believe there to be any damage so I let it go. Filling out a report would have made me miss the test, although looking back it probably should have been done. I did take down the terrified girl's information. In the past, I've let occurrences like this go. It just made me reflect on the reality that sometimes it is not us, nothing we've done or not done - it is something that happens because of someone else and there really wasn't anything that could have been done about it.

Today I am grateful for:

1. Liveable winter weather
2. The trees I saw covered with a dusting of snow that looked like they had been dipped in powder sugar
3. The white and blue lights on some trees left over from holiday displays, still lit in some office complexes - they are so pretty in a wintry way
4. Toasted English muffins spread with butter and orange marmalade
5. The spotless bathroom at the very clean rest stop I went to this morning


  1. Congratulations on taking the test. Wow, that's over. When will you get the results?

  2. I am trying not to worry about the results because I am confident I passed (but you never know...) The results can take up to three weeks to be sent out but generally are received in 10-15 days.

  3. Dear WITM,
    I stumbled upon your blog last week and caught a glimpse of the very difficult life you've had to endure. I thought about you all weekend and tried to understand why you have had to lose so much.

    I can say that you are amazing to still be standing considering the circumstances, and that you have given me hope that I may be able to travel through the loss that is ahead of me in the coming months with as much determination and will as you have done.

    You've touched this person deeply.

  4. Anonymous - I am humbled by your kind words. Thank you. I wish you strength and hope in the future. You will make it!

  5. Amazing post! I totally love your site. I'm sure I'd visit here more often. Anyway, feel free to drop by my site as well. It's about valentines day gift ideas for him. Catch you there sometime.

  6. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You did it!! It's over!! The results will probably be anti-climatic compared to what you had to do to get to the testing itself. I could feel your sense of relief as I read!

    On my end, my taxes are filed and will be deposited into my account on the 29th. It's the earliest I have ever gotten them done. I was only expecting to get about $20 back because I could no longer claim head of household now that my daughter graduated. But I was pleasantly surprised and have gotten a decent return. Enough to put a little bit of a cushion in the bank again for emergencies. That will be such a relief and give me some sense of security.
    I found it funny that Turbotax recommended that I file as single rather than widowed that I would get the best return that way. I thought it would be the other way around. However it worked out well so I am pleased.
    I hope everyone is having a good week. The weather here is warming back into the 70's finally. I can feel my feet again!

  7. Well done! I am extremely proud of you!


  8. Aymen - Thanks for visiting. I checked out your site and it is very creative and inspiring. I got loads of ideas that I can use way beyond Valentine's Day.

    Kelly - Appreciate your congrats and am so glad you'll be receiving some funds that can provide peace of mind and a little cushion for you. I can SO relate with you about that. I hope you use a bit of that money for a nice dinner or some decent groceries or some kind of treat for yourself. Here the weather is sunny and warmer too! Thank goodness!

    Boo - I also appreciate your vote of confidence!

  9. Seriously? You spam a blog about grief? How low can you go?

  10. Kelly - That is why I left this up and didn't delete it!

  11. I did one better, I followed the link straight to their website and left one heck of a nastygram! I wish there was a way to report them via this blog.