I love school. I always have. I loved elementary school. Middle school. High school. And, I loved loved loved college. One of my favorite things about college was the start of a new quarter. Fresh notebooks, filled with clean pages. New pens with bright ink, ready to put their nose to the grind. Blank lines that would soon be filled with a vast amount of new information.
Everything had been happening so fast. I was an attentive listener. I did a lot of nodding. I followed every direction. But, in a world where everything suddenly felt so foreign, I realized I still really didn’t know anything. But, the thing was, I really wanted to know it. I wanted to know everything. I was ready to learn. It was like I was a student, and my new class was Intro to Cancer.
During those hours of my first chemo, I was safe and secure, sitting in the bulky recliner, watching the medication drip through my IV. With an entire medical staff roaming through the halls, I knew that, from a medical standpoint, I had nothing to worry about. If I had any questions, I would just ask. It occurred to me that I would be going home soon. And, guess what? I couldn’t take the medical staff with me. I needed information. I asked my nurse if she would please tell me everything that I needed to know about what to do next. She sat down. I got out my notebook. She started talking. I started writing. As my hand scrawled across the page, I started to feel a little less lost. She was suddenly my teacher, and I was her conscientious student. And, one thing I really knew in this world was that I loved being a student. I knew how to be a student. I was taking notes. It was an unexpected place of comfort in the midst of all of this madness.
Armed with my copious notes, I was prepared to go home. I was ready to put this information into practical use. I have heard that these days students take notes on their lap tops. I cannot imagine! They are missing that calming and reassuring pen-to-paper experience. I would never trade that in for anything.