Just call me Super-Grader

In my frenzy of studying for the dreaded, now-completed RD exam (Thank you, Jesus!), I put off half-a-dozen-hundred “lesser” things.

But now that the exam is over (and I’ve passed! Man, I just can’t get over my excitement–at least, not yet!) Anyway, now that I’m done with the exam, I need to get those other things done.

Top on my list of things to get done immediately if not sooner? Grading papers. As of yesterday evening, I had 40 lab reports and 40 lab quizzes still to grade. Now, I’ve got 7 lab reports and 25 lab quizzes left to grade.

Which means I’ve graded 33 lab reports and 15 quizzes in a little more than 24 hours (and still managed to teach a lab, eat something ;-), read a bit, and get SOME sleep.) Yep, you can just call me Super-Grader!

Thankful Thursday: Three Days

Today, I’m thankful…

That I have just three more days before my RD exam

For those of you unfamiliar with the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian, I’ll give you a quick summary. First, a RD-hopeful must complete a qualified Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). I completed mine in December of 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Second, a RD-hopeful must complete a qualified internship including at least 900 hours of supervised practice. I completed my internship at UNL just this last July. The final step in becoming a Registered Dietitian, then, is passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians (or RD exam). This is our version of med school’s “boards”.

The RD exam is a computer-based test that will test my knowledge in five critical domains of dietetics:

  1. Food and Nutrition Science
  2. Nutrition Care Process
  3. Counseling, Communication, Education, and Research
  4. Foodservice Management
  5. General Management

The potential scope of this exam is perhaps best illustrated by the list of references the board recommends potential RD’s review prior to sitting for their exam. The list is twenty-two books long. I own just five of those titles, but that alone is over 3000 pages of information. The texts I own that are analogous to the other suggested references are just as long. So imagine a test that could cover up to 13,000 pages worth of information. Of course, the test won’t be that long. I’ll have a minimum of 125 questions and the test will take somewhere around four hours. But still, I have no way of knowing what information might show up on my exam. Which means I need to review it all (Hah!)

Needless to say, this is slightly stressful.

So today I’m thankful that in three days the stress will be over. The results are scored immediately, so I will know Sunday evening whether I’m an RD.

And, presuming that I pass, I’ll be ready to accrue some CME (Continuing Medical Education) at FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo–the American Dietetic Association’s National Meeting) next weekend.

Simple Sunday: Skipping

Simple Sunday icon

~Thankful for (almost) guilt-free skipping today. With one week to go before my RD Exam (and 60 lab reports to grade), I knew I needed to get down to business. So I skipped the Sunday school prayer hour, choosing instead to spend some time in the Word at home. And I skipped the Precinct meeting of the Republican party (Mom and Dad will have to catch me up later.) And I skipped Life Chain (Probably the second time I’ve missed it since it began.) And I’m currently skipping a movie night at church.

I don’t feel bad at all. I spent some hard-core time with my MNT text–and am feeling much more prepared for my exam.

I’d never even thought of skipping. I don’t skip things. Especially not church things. Or political things. I go. to. everything.

But yesterday, my Dad told me that I had “permission” to not attend the precinct meeting–and it suddenly hit me. I don’t HAVE to attend everything. Not right now, when I’ve got too much on my plate already. I don’t have to attend things just because they show up in the church bulletin or in my mailbox.

Thankful for the realization–and thankful for all the work I managed to get done on my quiet day while everyone else was attending the stuff I skipped.

Visit Davene at Life on Sylvan Drive for more Simple Sunday posts.

On a week’s orientation

If you think of education as trying to fill a brain with information as you would fill a cup with water, this week has been like filling a cup from a fire hydrant.

Several hundreds of gallons of information have been flung in my general direction, but of that, pitifully little has been retained. Some is not retained because it never actually reached my cup–it flew right by on either side. Other information reached my cup, but was thrown so forcefully that it splashed right out. Still other information was lost when my cup overflowed.

So the result of my intense orientation is a mish-mash of information, divorced from the context that makes it useful. Have I learned anything this week? Yes. What did I learn? I don’t know. Whatever I have learned has been pitifully small compared to what I was expected to learn.

For now I have two simple goals: 1) Be at the right place at the right time and 2) Be willing to try to learn while I’m there. No doubt my goals will become more focused as I spend a bit more time in specific places. But for now, I’ll be there and I’ll try. That’s about all I can do.

The perfect study break

Finals generally mean hardcore studying, sitting at my desk poring over a combination of computerized and printed material. They mean spending hours at a stretch on schoolwork, as opposed to my usual 30-45 minute bursts.

But the brain (and the bottom) grows dull with prolonged sitting, and study breaks are in order.

My favorite study break?


Unlike studying, cleaning involves getting up and moving around. Unlike studying, cleaning gives instantly visible results. And best of all–I don’t generally get sucked into cleaning and rendered useless by it (as I would by other common study avoiding activities such as Facebook, web-surfing, blog reading, computer game playing, novel reading, and the like.

So, thanks to a Food Chemistry test tomorrow, my dresser and desk surfaces are decluttered, organized, and dusted. And thanks to the research manuscript from a couple of weeks ago, my bathtub got a thorough scrubbing.

It feels nice to know, that even if I didn’t study well enough to get a good grade on my final, at least I’ll come home to a clean(er) house!

Making it through alive

I know my top ten list was less than helpful. It left the question: “How?” completely unsaid.

So here’s the answer to the question “How do I not die?”

The grace of God. The grace of God. The grace of God. The grace of God. The grace of God. The grace of God. The grace of God. The grace of God.

Take my last week.

Monday I opened (6:30am), took a “break” for classes, and closed (9:00pm). Tuesday I opened again, then left for classes (which went til 8pm). Wednesday began my longest day yet–33 hours. I woke up at 6, did some work around the house. Then class, then lunch with dad, then 8 hours of work. Then meet with some classmates to work on a class project. Then go home and write my manuscript. I wrote straight through, with a break to bathe and a break to wake myself up (scrubbing a bathtub with undiluted vinegar is a good wake-up!) Manuscript done, I printed it off and took off to class. When classes ended at 3:00–I was done.

I went home, ate some Rice-a-roni my roommate made the night before and left for me, crawled into bed, read two pages of a Hardy Boys novel, wrote in one crossword puzzle answer, and fell asleep. I slept 17 hours without break. I’m guessing that’s my longest time spent without going to the bathroom. I had a bloody nose sometime in the night–so I’ll have to do laundry after I get done with work this evening–but I’m done with one leg at least.

Yep. The grace of God. That’s what does it.

Checking In

Just checking in to say–Sorry I’ve been scarce. It’s probably not over quite yet.

Weekend was wonderful. I enjoyed having a weekend off–the first since fall break, I think. I enjoyed spending time with the family–getting more exercise than I have all semester while doing Dance Praise and chilling at Martha-ma-buh’s.

By the grace of God, I’ve got my proposal done. Now I just have a project presentation, a manuscript, a talk on Omnivore’s Dilemma, and a couple of tests. Oh, and I have to catch up on 11 hours of work over the next four days. So, if you don’t see me for a while–or only hear from me briefly–that’s why.

My last day on the job is December 13 (Santa Lucia Day!)–and then maybe I’ll have a few more hours for you (if I’m not frantically trying to cram in some extra dietetics hours.)

All I can say is, that thing about knowledge being inversely correlated with perception of knowledge better be right–’cause otherwise I’m in big trouble. There sure seems to be an awful lot about nutrition that I don’t know yet.