It’s been so long, all my populous wordpress readers!

 So, what have I been doing with all my time, you ask? I’ve started orientation for my summer nurse externship. Get this, they have the initial orientation day to the company of the hospital I’m working at, and then they have a 1 week, 8 hour per day training/orientation thingamabobber for the rest of this week. Plus, free catered food. And this is all paid training, mind you. I know, people usually get paid to be trained, but you don’t understand how great this is! I’m saved from my daytime boredom by brimming over with new knowledge about wound care and patient safety, as well as talking with some UVA nursing folks I don’t normally talk with. I’m happy as a clam.

 My night life has been a little bit of a different story. Been singing lonely in my bedroom, as well as bashfully in front of some folks at these open mics I’ve been attending. I had an interesting first experience at a bar last week, and made my first 50-year-old friend by the name of Arthur, an IT somethingorother by day and drummer at any odd hour. We talked about music, England, philosophy, science, Christianity, God, animals, the nature of humans. I never expected to meet quite an interesting individual.. I guess from all the movies and things I hear, I expect loud random shouting, drunken folks saying rude and inappropriate things to innocent little girls like I. But not so, this was quite a kind and supportive bar, as evidenced by their loud and effusive cheering for me after I played. Other than the putrid smell of smoke stained on my clothes, I was a happy camper. It was a combination of Arthur and my own father that opened some insight into my tiny brain. Arthur and I talked about altruism, defining the line between wrong, good, and excessive.

For example, if you kill someone, is that considered wrong? What about passing by a person who is about to die and could use your help yet you avoid it? What about a person far away, 400 miles away, who is dying and you can do something to help them but you don’t? What about an alien planet about to be super-nova’d into nothingness and we could potentially have the power and technology to save them? Where does altruism stop? It was my good friend Arthur who concluded that humans, like animals, only tend to protect those within the same community. This logic is also the reason why wars occur– because the “enemy” is the group of people outside of our own community. We don’t feel a need to protect a foreign, distant group. My dad took it a step further by saying, people measure their own boundaries. Even if a person 400 miles away or on another alien planet wouldn’t be considered a part of our community, a person defines his or her own boundary as to help others. My dad gave the example of Abraham Lincoln, who felt the need, as president, to give equality to the slaves. Lincoln’s boundary was way farther than just his local area.. maybe that’s why he became president and was so amazing. Wow, such insight! Ya know, thinking about it, maybe that’s why Christ is so incredible. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit– it’s a message for everybody, not just the Jews. And that’s the way Christians ought to be, eh? I mean, that’s what makes us crazy. Most people wouldn’t help someone who lived down the street from them, but we want to love everyone. Man, if we could show the love of God like that, how amazing, eh?

This week at the local bar, or rather, tonight, there was a smaller crowd. Still got to play my heart out, and was still fun, but just to a smaller group of people. Ok, I promise to end soon since I realize this is getting really long.

So I had two conversations that inspired me again. I talked to my newfound friend Alan, waiting his turn to belt out his tunes, and my 20-something-seeming-year-old friend was actually a 30-something-year-old. He has a wife and three kids. He proceeded to tell me he thought his friend of 10 years was gay but wasn’t sure, and then that a lot of his friends are drug addicts, and that he’s tried many times to talk to them but nothing seems to change.

“Tough love is the best,” he said with conviction. “Their parents gave them too much space. You know your parents love you if they love you with tough love.”

I had to sit and think about that for a minute. Two weeks ago, I definitely could say my parents were being tough on me. At the time I wasn’t sure if I felt like it was love, but it was real tough. And after my friend Alan said those words, I realize that my parents love me enough that I’m not a drug addict today. That they care, and they say no and give me restrictions because they just want what’s good for me.

And lastly, had a conversation with my friend Tad. Never looked at it this way, but he explained he was studying to get his Ph.D. and become a professor of history.

“It’s not really for the love of teaching that I’m doing this,” shaking his head, rolling his eyes. “It’s those few that come to actually listen and learn. I figure there will always be at least a few of those kinds of people in the class, and I come for them. I come everyday for them.”

Ah, so interesting. So basically, I’m going to thank my parents and tell them I love them for not letting me become a druggie, I’m going to jam some more so I can get some louder cheers, I’m going to be open to more conversations, and I’m going to sleep right NOW so I can wake up at 6:30am to train some more to become a nurse! Yippeeyay!