Friday, January 30, 2009

OOoo look I'm blogging

Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa toku iwi
Ko Turumakina te hapu
Ko Te Arawa te waka
Ko Tongariro te maunga
Ko Taupo te moana
Ko Tapeka te wharenui

Kiaora te whanau

I’ve started my introduction to this blog with a description of who I am and where I belong in this world. The above words are an anchor, they represent a tie to my place of belonging. Tuwharetoa is my tribe, a grouping of people to whom I am connected, by blood and land and wairua (spirit). Turumakina is the more immediate whanau, the sub-tribe. Te arawa is the waka which carried my ancestors to Aotearoa many lifetimes ago. Tongariro is the mountain and Taupo the lake which has nurtured us since we began here. Tapeka – the beautiful house that heard my fathers footsteps and keeps the memory of them in its warm heart.

I hope(!) to record my journey through the next 18 months (all going well – lol) as a nursing student, my mihi represents my beginning, and so it seemed a good place to begin this with.

Ive come from spending the afternoon with my lovely new friend H. (ok so her real name is obviously not H, but hey if I’ve learned one thing in the past 18 months its how to change stuff around to maintain confidentiality). Anyhoo, my friend (now ever known as H) inspired me to begin a blog, and I thought it was a jolly good idea. I like the thought of perhaps (hopefully) writing something that others may somehow (again, hopefully) find useful. I also just like writing. I also hope that I can make some connections with other nursing students (and nurses). I want to hear what other people think, and hear about other peoples experiences, I’m on one of those buzzes where you just cant get enough knowing… Its like my brain is starving and I need to cram as much in as I can (but it might just be the vee [caffeine] I had today…).

Heres a rundown of how I got here (nursing). Im in my 30’s, a detail that still shocks me, as I still feel somewhere between 18 and 26 (though on a bad day its more like 65). I have 2 children who are fast approaching their teens, and I have parented them alone since they were born. I have a boyfriend who I’ve been with for a few years who is a fantastic emotional and mental support, but he lives in another town so he contributes very little to the day to day bits. Im Maori and European, brought up in a pakeha environment that had no access to Moaritanga. Ive been a ward of the state/foster child, a 15 year old runaway and a ‘young mum’. I finished learning anything of academic value at high school when I was 14 but kept going to school (mainly to see my boyfriend) until I was 15. I floated around doing stupid stuff for a few years then decided to give study a go when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I did one of those starter courses that cater to ‘non-acedemics’ . It was gentle enough to build up my confidence.

I did the pre-nursing courses one at a time, so it took 18 months to do 3 papers!. But doing them slowly meant I passed. The day I got my acceptance letter into nursing was unforgettable. I started, got overwhelmed, dropped some papers, passed some papers, then decided to move towns. Moved 1000 kilometres away, started at a different institution, got overwhelmed, passed some papers and then dropped out. Did some more papers outside of nursing, passed some papers, then ….. you guessed it … dropped out. Of the 5 institutions I have studied though, over half of my papers have those (un)glorious letters DNC after them….. did not complete, definitely a recurrent theme in my life! I got older, I got a little wiser, my children got more independent and my boyfriends love nurtured me, so I moved towns once again (??) and started all over.

I think every day of that first year I kept the thought of second year in my head. I kept thinking if I can make it to second year, I can make it. It became all I wanted, second year, everything narrowed down to that, and getting there was freakn spectacular! I went around obsessively dropping the fact that I was second year into almost every conversation I had for about a month, (umm ok so I still do it a bit…)

Here I am at the beginning of the second semester of my glorious second year and I’m still pretty stoked.