Monday, January 23, 2012

Group Work Might Be The Death of Me

Week two of nursing school has come and gone, and the title of this post summarizes the prevailing thought in my head for the week.  If you are a kinesthetic and social learner, than nursing school as I'm experiencing it just might be your perfect fit.  Since I am neither, it is a challenge.  It's not an academic challenge, it's a deeply personal one.

I am spending four to five hours a day working in small groups, with tons of interaction.  It's draining for my introverted self, and by Friday afternoon, I am finding myself completely exhausted.  (Let me add here that I really enjoy the people in the group that I am working with, and I am making friends.  I appreciate these people, and my exhaustion doesn't reflect on them, it's completely a reflection of my personality and learning styles.)  When Friday arrived, I was so happy to get on a bus, and finally arrive at home.  When I got on the bus, all I could think was "If I don't ever see another human, I'd be okay with that right now."  I didn't turn on music or television when I got home, the way I normally would.  I sat in the quiet, sinking onto the edge of my bed.  Slowly, as I made some dinner, sat in the quiet, did a bit of laundry, and tackled some organizational stuff that needed to be done, the exhaustion abated, and I started feeling human again.

The kinesthetic learning that I mentioned is challenging for me as well.  I was excited when our clinical instructor told us that we would spend an hour that afternoon reviewing everything we'd learned thus far.  "Finally," I thought, "I'll make some succinct notes, and gain some clarity."  Nope.  The review involved taping a term to each of our backs, and having us ask questions to discover what the term taped to us was.  Then we stuck the terms to the walls all around the room, and took yarn, stringing the terms together, demonstrating their intensely interconnected state, and resulting in a mission impossible sort of maze of yarn to navigate on our way back to our seats.  It was a helpful visual in terms of illustrating the interconnectedness of the terms.  It was completely unhelpful in terms of abating the confusion over the meaning of many of the terms.  Looking back, I can't help but laugh.  Clearly I'm going to have to figure out some independent study strategies, since it would seem thus far that nursing school is not geared to highly auditory learners like me!

And so, in week two I find myself challenged again by my word for 2012.  Still.  It's hard to be still when every moment of the day is noisy and filled with conversation and people.  I'm finding it challenging to still have energy at the end of the day to interact with my close friends and family.  The people who feed my soul.  And so, I am quietly considering my commitments, and my habits, finding ways to embrace stillness.  Finding ways to be still even when I'm working at home.  And I'm actively seeking coping strategies to make the constant group interaction a more fulfilling and less draining component of my week.


terri said...

maybe you're supposed to focus on the adverb form of "still" as in "up to and including the present or the time mentioned; even now (or then)." as in "even though my life is chaotic and seems to be geared towards someone else with different gifts and learning style, i'll still keep at it with all of my heart." and "still" can still be gotten, even in the chaos and noise and upheaval. you can still be your truest self despite these circumstances. still.

Lisa said...

mmm... yes! I think this is also true. I like the adverb form of still as well (it's part of why still was a good word for me). Going to have to ponder this a bit more! Thanks, Terri!