Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wash, Cook, Clean and Iron

Rachel Lucas writes about her current experiences going through school as a mature student.

[A tip of the hat to Kevin at The Smallest Minority.]

The blog post is excellent, but the comments complete it. Many commenters have joined in to give their accounts of going through school. Reading the comments is a journey of hope. I am so impressed by all those who have gone back to school to earn their degrees while working full-time jobs. My (free for early renewal of my NRA membership) hat is well and truly off to you all.

Of course, I had it tough. I walked uphill both ways to school, barefoot through the snow. Not really, but I did want to comment on one of the many good things that was drilled into me growing up.

I will always be eternally grateful to my parents for their insistence that before I left home, I should be able to wash, cook, clean and iron. I could do other things as well, but that was my mother's way of lumping them all in together in one easy to remember phrase.

Before I went to university I spent a year training as an X-ray Technician. It seemed like a good idea at the time and even though I only did it for a year, I have no regrets about the time spent. The reason that I mention this is that the school I was attending had a schedule of mornings in the classrooms and then the afternoons in the hospital X-ray department. The students were required to abide by the department dress code and so as an eighteen year old, I was required to wear dress pants, dress shirt and tie every day and the obligatory white coat. (Those who get to just wear scrubs are very lucky!) Having left home to stay at the school's student accommodations, this meant washing and ironing these items on a very regular basis. I can assure you that white coats get dirty really quickly and so I learned to wash and iron them as well.

Cooking is a very iffy thing with me. Most cooking does not interest me that much. I've tried different things, but mostly I just enjoy cooking chili or grilling things. Fortunately, being able to cook rice and pasta and make basic meat sauces and grill portions of dead animal will keep even a hungry student alive and well. Again, many thanks to my parents for insisting that I needed to learn that stuff before I left home.

Lastly, the cleaning side of things was very useful. As a student, I kept my space clean and tidy and I don't recall ever having anyone complain about me leaving a mess or not doing my washing up. For extra cleaning practice, the hospital had an arrangement whereby the regular cleaning crews would wash the floors and dust the stuff around the walls, but all X-ray equipment was to be cleaned by the X-ray department staff. For department staff, think students!

I quickly got used to spending quiet times in the department grabbing a bunch of paper towel and antiseptic cleaner and cleaning the equipment. It was actually kind of relaxing and it got you out from under the watchful eye of the other technicians. What took a little more getting used to was cleaning up after patient accidents. I'll refrain this time from describing any of the details, but I assure you that I'll come back and spill (no pun intended) the straight poop (pun intended this time).

No comments: