The last few weeks have been hard for me professionally. I have been up to my eyeballs, literally, in paperwork. The next round of applications for one of the programs that I advise were due December 15. We’re kicking it old school, so the apps are still paper files that need to be manually processed. By moi. So, I’ve been a little cranky lately. And jealous of friends who are already on vacation. And, whiny. I hate whiners. Those paper files are standing between me and my Christmas vacation. I have been trying to knock them out so I can have December 24th and 25th completely distraction-free. Then, it’s off to the motherland on December 27th!

Every day that I process admissions applications, I have an internal battle with myself. Two-thirds of the applicants will not be admitted to the program. That’s hard because I am sure that many of them would make fabulous nurses. As a feeler, it’s hard to know that in three weeks some of these candidates will get a rejection letter. That I also get to process.

Then, there are the apps that are messy, incomplete, or just flat out wrong. And I think to myself, “What?! This is an academic program. Best foot forward people! No white-out, no scribbles! What kind of nurse are you going to be if you can’t even fill out the application right?” Internal battles.

I think my age is showing, but that’s another post altogether.

I took my current position because I wanted to stop commuting three hours a day, to be back at MSU, and I secretly wanted to work with nurses. Nurses will always have soft spot in my heart. Nurses saved our family. They lovingly cared for L during his treatment. They taught us how to care for him at home and they cared for us. So, even though my current professional position was a professional downgrade, on many, many levels it has been a huge personal upgrade.

But, processing applications and number crunching haven’t felt like much of an upgrade lately.

And then, ten minutes ago, I got a text message from one of my students. My favorite student. She told me that she has been offered an interview with one of the most prestigious children’s hospitals in the country. It is a summer internship experience that I pushed her to apply for. There is something about her. She is an incredibly diligent person with a kind heart and a strong mind. She is a great decision maker. She will make an excellent nurse. And, she would be an awesome pediatric nurse.

In mere seconds, I go from wallowing in my wine because I still have two full days of work ahead of me and 25 apps to process, to beaming with pride for and with one of my students.

Dear student,

I am so proud of you! You are going to rock that interview and no matter what happens, to even be asked to interview at that facility is a huge, huge accomplishment. Thank you for taking the time out of your vacation to send me that text. I am so grateful to you. I am grateful for you. You made my day.

My week.

My month.

Definite upgrade.

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