Saturday, May 14, 2011

Graduated thoughts

I think I say this every year: It's been a crazy year.

I finished my bachelor's degree this week.* Just completed the last of six classes I've needed - for the past 19 years!

This last one was by far the hardest, because it was a five-hour class in five of the busiest weeks of the kids' school year, which, as you may recall, is also my work year. We've been walking over mountains of laundry, dust, and papers that have been stacking up and driving me crazy.

So today's the day I am trying to figure out what's what.

I've thought a lot about working and education and motherhood over the last two years since I found myself in such uncharted territory. A lot of it I still can't put into words, but maybe some day.

Mostly the last year reminded me - in yet another way - that God is good, and that contentment can be found in the most unusual circumstances if we will make a conscious effort to pursue it.

And I have seen the value of tradeoffs. For a year, I gave up the luxury of blogging and having closets clean (we won't even talk about sleep or minimum standards of wholesome nutrition). There were some mornings of sock-hunting insanity when I doubted the wisdom of this tradeoff, but now that it's over, I see that the closets waited for me. =)

Anyway, I am alive, my family is alive and doing quite well in spite of mismatched socks, and I am just waiting on my diploma to come in the mail, since, well, there was too much going on and I opted not to walk the stage this time. Hopefully I will be writing a little more this summer. I've missed you all!

*(For those of you who care, there are three different options for entry into practice as a registered nurse. There are a few "diploma" or hospital-based programs still out there, which was the most common way to become a nurse in my grandmother's generation. I started with an associate's degree, which is how over half of RNs are educated today. For the past 40 years or so, several nursing groups have been trying to make the bachelor's degree the basic requirement, and the workforce now has about equal numbers of associate's and bachelor's degree-educated RNs. Nurse practitioners must have a master's in nursing, and will soon be required to have a doctorate. Here is more info.)


Brenda said...

Well congratulations!!!! Some of us walk around in mismatched socks and we weren't even finishing school! :)

And hey, here's the really positive way to say it, "You finished in UNDER 20 years!" :)

rachel joy said...

So very nice to hear from you again! We're stepping over laundry piles and papers and can rarely find a matched sock and I don't even have a bachelor's degree to show for it! Well done, Mama! And Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Bachelor's degree. Check!

Woohoo!! That is exciting news. I'm sure your family is so happy and proud.

Thanks for the little info about nursing degrees/programs.

Rachel Anne said...

Kath, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I cannot even imagine what it has taken to get it done - I know it has been a hellacious semester/year/2years.....but you're DONE!!

Can I just say that you are such an inspiration to me - and to moms everywhere - that you've found the grit and determination to do something really hard and demanding, while still being a mom and wife and serving others. Your kids are so blessed to have your example to follow through life.

I hope you can take some time for YOU this summer. Play in the dirt, design a new flower bed, paint something. Have lunch with your sister :)?

I love you and wish you congratulations!!

Emily said...

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!! Soooooo happy to see you come up on my google reader!!!!!!
xoxoxoxo and CONGRATSSS on graduating!!,
blog niece :-)

Sara at Miller Moments: said...

Congratulations! You've worked so hard - and now a degree to show for it! So happy for your family - and selfishly, happy for me - would LOVE to read more from you this summer! :)

Maureen said...

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! You are a SuperMOM!

I too am treading uncharted waters. I began working at my kid's Elementary school as a Teacher's Aide in the EELP program. A program for preschoolers with unique needs. I love it! However, it has been quite an adjustment, I don't need to tell you about the adjustments LOL. So nice to hear from you.

Susanne said...

Congratulations Katherine! I applaud you. And if it makes you feel better around here kids walk in mismatched socks. On purpose! Go figure. Your family would fit right in! :v)

Sarah said...

CONGRATS! SO exciting!! Blessings to you & your fam.

Selfishly, I hope you start blogging more often... I need your wisdom!

Mama Duck said...

Oooh yay! very good job on completing your studies.
I am so glad to see you blogging again! :)

Debbie said...

Great job Katherine. Congratulations! Don't worry about the socks. It is an accomplishment to get mine to change into clean ones. So mismatched would be an improvement over dirty. Anyways, glad to see you back here. Look forward to more posts hopefully. Have missed you.

Hope said...

Congratulations!! I have really enjoyed your blog through the years. This year I transitioned all of my children from home schooling into public school....Your blog has ministered to me so much. I too am an RN contemplating working on my Bachelor's degree....which program did you choose--a local one or one online???? Guess what? I am a dipoloma nurse:) I have been a birth assistant/doula for the past 14 years and hoped to pursue becoming a cost so much money!! Oh well, maybe, we'll see what God has in store! So good to hear from you.....AND YOU KNOW WHAT? At least the mismatched socks were clean!!! LOL:) Hope to hear from you again this summer. Many blessings.....Hope

Katherine@Raising Five said...


I did an online program at the University of Texas at Arlington. It's always in the top 5 nursing schools in TX and the top 75 or so in the US. I did both in-seat and online classes there, and I can tell you, they are the same - sorry, no diploma mill. UTA's online program is a very cool because that lets you complete all your prerequisites and nursing classes for a flat fee. It's the most reasonable tuition I've seen anywhere. I have been very pleased. Hope this helps!

Here's the info:


Academic partnership (online program):

mholgate said...

Katherine, as usual, you inspire me! Congratulations on your diploma!

I don't know if I have mentioned it, but I have three years of college under my belt. I've applied to take some CC courses this fall. At the very least, I want to be able to be a Paraeducator in the school system once my youngest goes to school. I'm interested in student advising at one of the local colleges, but I'll have to see what's required for that field. There's two colleges in Walla Walla. Walla Walla University, and Whitman. (Both private)

Anyway, I've started the process. We'll see what happens. I'm still praying about it because I would also LOVE to become a Doula. It's rather scary not knowing what you want to be when you grow up!

Sorry, I probably should have just e-mailed you all this! It's getting long!

Congratulations again and I hope to see more of your inspiring posts this summer. :)


Peapod Four said...

Congratulations!! :)

Cassandra said...

I didn't walk for my associates last semester. I have had a semester off and used it to sub at my kids school a lot. I go back full timeline august with 3 semesters of class room work then 1 of student teaching and then I will have my bachelors done. I wishihad had my associates done before I had kids but that's hindsight. Doing all four years with kids and all will prove the most challenging thing I've ever done.

Emily said...

Congratulations on your degree. Last week I was "Googling" 'raising a large family' and came across your blog. In the last week I have neglected laundry, not scrubbed the floors and generally just barely scraped by, BUT I have read Every. SINGLE. POST. on the ENTIRE blog. I loved it. YOu have a beautiful family.