Friday, February 24, 2006

So here's the deal: I tend to get pretty freaked out when it comes to change and/or uncertainty in my life. And right now, there's a lot of both going on. Which makes me pretty much a nut case. I thought I had a pretty decent handle on things until this week. See, we had this job fair at school on Tuesday, and that's when I realized just how many options I actually have. I was offered an internship on the spot. Freaked me out. I didn't agree to anything, but just the thought that I'm entering a profession that is in such demand that people will offer jobs to people who haven't even graduated yet after speaking with them for 4's a bit overwhelming. I think it was like an unexpected reality check. Yeah, I know I'm graduating soon, and I know I'm gonna be finding a job and a place to live and all that good stuff, but up until now it's all been kind of "out there," you know? But the reality is slowly starting to set in. So, after pretty much having a nervous breakdown the other day (my gratitude and apologies to Ryan, who bore the brunt of it and probably thinks I am completely off my rocker by now), I think I have figured out a large part of my problem. I'm petrified of making decisions about life because I am scared to death that I will make the "wrong" decision, which will certainly lead to horrible consequences. The thought of that stresses me out even more, leading to a vicious cycle of stressing and freaking out. Not healthy. What happened to my attitude of embracing uncertainty because of my unwavering faith that God will lead me in the direction I am supposed to go? At one point I had fully entrusted God with the direction of my life, but somewhere along the way, I have tried to take matters back into my own hands. Shame on me. I know that God can see a much bigger picture than I can, and that if I just trust him, he will take care of things. God, I'm sorry for trying to take the control away from you. I know that you have a plan for me. I trust you. Please take control of my life again and give me confidence to know that no matter what happens, you will always be there.

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." ~Proverbs 19:21

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ok. The moment you've all been waiting for. I have the gecko article!! I understand that the vast majority will probably not find this article nearly as entertaining as I did, but, well, it's my blog, so deal. :) Here it is:

Geckos' hairy feet inspire search for a super adhesive
by Kenneth Aaron, Albany Times Union

TROY, N.Y. - This may be the most gripping story you'll read this week.

It's about geckos, how their feet stick to just about everything, and how Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is trying to make a gecko foot of its own.

Or, at least, the microscopic structures that make those feet so tenacious.

A gecko's feet are covered with millions of tiny hairs known as setae, and each one of those is split even further at the tip, into surfaces called spatulas. When those come into contact with almost anything, a molecular attraction known as van der Waal's forces is instantly formed.

The strength of that attraction isn't so great on its own. But when the effect is multiplied over millions of hairs, it's pretty strong.

Strong enough that 1 million of them could hold up a 45-pound child, according to Kellar Autumn, a biologist at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore.

The whole concept of aping Mother Nature attracted Pulickel Ajayan, an RPI engineering professor. He is an expert on carbon nanotubes, which are remarkably strong, tiny structures that may find a home in a number of products, such as microelectronics or medical devices or even tennis rackets.

"I have been interested in this idea of creating hairy surfaces on a nanoscale," said Ajayan.

When Ajayan and a colleague from the University of Akron, Ali Dhinojwala, teamed up to form a hair-like array of carbon nanotubes, they discovered that they could not only get grip, but get grip 200 times more than a gecko would get with its own setae.

Ajayan won't have a pair of wall-climbing gloves of his own any time soon. The tubes are formed using techniques similar to those used in making microchips, and so far, the researchers haven't been able to make enough of the nanotubes to demonstrate the concept outside of a laboratory environment.

If they're successful, Ajayan and Dhinojwala envision using the reusable adhesive for applications such as aerospace and holding electronic components in assemblies. In the vacuum of outer space, for example, suction doesn't work, but the setae would.

Why is this so enteraining to me? This is someone's life work, and I'm laughing at it. Maybe I just like the fact that they get to use the words "spatulas" and "nanotubes" in everyday conversation. Or maybe I'm jealous of the fact that someone actually had the opportunity to say, "I have been interested in this idea of creating hairy surfaces on a nanoscale," and was taken entirely seriously. Either way, it brightened my day. Hopefully it brightened yours, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today I encountered a newspaper article which brought joy to the very depths of my soul. It was about a couple of scientists who are attempting to mimick the adhesive quality of gecko feet. I enjoyed this article to such a great extent that I ripped it out of the paper with the sole intent of bringing it home and posting it on my blog so that others could share in my happiness. Unfortunately, I left it on Roommate Phil's kitchen table. But he has promised to keep it safe for me, so hopefully sometime in the near future I will be able to share the joy of sticky amphibian apendages with you all. Patience, my darlings...

Work was very boring tonight, as far as actual work goes. We only had 4 people come in to eat. The rest were to-go orders. But aside from the fact that every minute that passed seem to take 3 hours, I had a pretty enjoyable time. I worked with two of our newest employees whom I haven't had the opprotunity to work with before, Melanie and Justen. It was fun. Melanie is from Belgium. She is a military wife who has only been in Texas for 4 months, and is counting down the days until August 2007 when she can return to her country. But she has an awesome accent. Justen is from Abilene, most recently, but has also lived in Arlington and about 10 other cities in the Metroplex area. He has a pretty decent hick accent, but is now dead set on learning French from Melanie. He's terrible. It's awesome. They both have really great senses of humor, so even though this was the first night the 3 of us had met, we spent a good majority of the night giving each other a hard time. It was the first time I've had what could almost be called "fun" at work in a long time. It even made me slightly sad that I only have 2 weeks left there. But only for a second...

I also brought some tulips back to life tonight. Well, ok, they weren't exactly dead yet, but they were pretty darn close. No one believed they could be revived, but I was determined. So with a little direction from Melanie, who apparently is pretty knowlegeable about these things, I trimmed their stems, put them in ice water with a penny in the bottom, and put them in the walk-in refrigerator. An hour and a half later, behold! Tulips who have found a new reason to live! I was pretty happy. As my reward, I took one home. It is now making me happy in a vase on my desk. It's very pretty to look at. Too bad it smells horridly...Oh well.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

"When in doubt, wash your hands and eat green leafy vegetables."

"When assessing patients it's important to remember things like the ABC's or Death, Really Sick, Sort of Sick, and Gonna Be OK No Matter What I Do."

I just watched this review video that's supposed to be preparing me for the NCLEX. The lady sometimes has a British accent and sometimes doesn't. And she says funny things like the above quotes. Too bad I only watched the portions dealing with the easy stuff like client safety...probably not the wisest of decisions on my part considering tomorrow morning I have to take a pretty major test that could determine whether or not I get to leave Abilene for my preceptorship. But my mind is just not in a place where I'm absorbing a whole lot right now. I think I need sleep. At this point my best bet is probably getting a good night's sleep and praying that at least a fraction of all the information that has been thrown at me these past 2 years has been absorbed.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm pooped. I think I need a break from life. I wish...

This semester/year has turned out to be the year of reconnecting with people from my past. It's fun. Sarah and I started hanging out more, I caught up with Cody over Christmas break, Jenni emailed me out of the blue, yesterday I spent the entire afternoon/evening with Megan, who I haven't really hung out with since high school, and of course there's the whole starting over with Ryan thing. It's such a blast! It's funny how God has moved people in and out of my life in the most unexpected ways.

So far, aside from being exhausting, this semester has been fabulous. I am actually interested in the things we are learning about in school, which makes studying a lot easier; I am 22 days away from leaving Fairway Oaks, which is exciting because it will be one less stress in my life, but I am slightly sad about because we just got a bunch of fun new people; things with Ryan are going really well; I have fabulous friends who I love spending time with, and I'm starting to become better friends with some really awesome people; I am 3 months away from being done with school FOREVER!! God is good.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Have you ever had so much to do that it overwhelmed you to the point where you just sat and thought about how much you had to do instead of actually doing it? Yeah, that's me right now. But I'm about to get up and actually do stuff. I promise...

Yesterday, while I was at Wal-Mart with Phyllis, a large can of soup attempted to make a break for it by jumping out of our cart. Luckily, my pinky toe caught on to the plan and intercepted it, quickly alerting the rest of me. Unfortuately, my toe was forced to suffer for its services, and is now slightly swollen and sporting the most lovely shade of blue. Awesome.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I have an official last day of work: March 2. I'm getting pretty ready to be done with Fairway. It's been a good to me these past...almost 3 years (holy cow!), but I must say I am ready to move on with my life.

On Wednesday in clinicals I got to watch open heart surgery. It was fascinating. So far, the vast majority of people with whom I have shared this information have been repulsed. I just don't get it. How can witnessing the internal workings of the complex machine that is the human body not be viewed as nothing short of miraculous? I know, I do have a slightly twisted view on things as a nursing major, but I found it to be the most enjoyable clinical experience I have had thus far.

Prayers for my Granddad would be much appreciated. He had to be care-flighted to the hospital in Austin yesterday after passing out in the bathroom yesterday morning. They think he had a seizure, possibly as a result of a bump on the head on Monday. They are running more tests today to rule out anything worse, and if all goes well he may get to go home later today. So please pray for good test results for him, peace of mind for him and the rest of the family, and safety for my parents who drove down to Austin this morning to be with him.