So this came up while I was showering. Washing my hair, actually. It felt damn good to be thinking this. I said to myself, “Julie, you are not crazy. You are just too damn smart. And you gotta talk on people’s level. Those women who ran the nursing school were nurses, not writers. You forgot, you idiot. That’s what got you kicked out.”
Not that nurses aren’t smart. But they took blood pressure and taught young girls to extract numbers from machines. We spent hours at this task. Lots and lots of number-type stuff. We learned to obtain statistics from people’s bodies, and take measurements, all sorts of measurements, and to correct what was wrong in a patient’s surroundings.
So if a patient was crooked in a bed, we learned to make a patient straight. That was a huge part of LPN school.
And so, I, Julie Greene, got kicked out of of LPN school because they “found out” I had a history of mental illness. These nursie boss people decided rather arbitrarily (I do know, as fact, that what they did was illegal) that I was on “too much medication” and “too doped up” to be in their school.
Is four 300 mg pills a day of Lithium too much Lithium? I think my last Lithium level that was drawn was 1.0, back in the summer. This was what was considered ideal back then, ladies, not overmedicating. Is 100 mgs a day of Thorazine overmedicating? Back then, they were giving 1800 to folks with mania, and often maintained people on much higher doses than 100 of the drug. Clearly, this boss lady (never mind her name) at the nursing school thought 100 was a high-sounding number, so any “100” of anything was “a high dose.”
So, I was in this room arguing with these ladies, and I guess I made a huge fatal mistake. I, Julie Greene, not realizing that I was a future memoirist MFA, made some metaphor. Yes, some abstract meaning about mental illness being like…and I was off on this thing that they, who could only speak and understand and see the world in terms of the concrete, blasted off the face of the planet. Oh yes, they said Julie Greene was talking crazy.
I wish I could recall the brilliant metaphor I came up with, but folks, we’re talking 1984 before half of you were born and my memory isn’t remembering it right now. The boss ladies at the nursing school, well, if they remember now, they probably still don’t “get” the meaning of the metaphor, though, heck, all I was doing was doing what I do best, thinking up yet another brilliant writing idea. Problem was, I said it out loud in front of the wrong people. People who nabbed me.
It was yet to be written down.
Future writers, don’t say your brilliant writing ideas in front of people who don’t “get” metaphor. Don’t say them in emergency rooms or you will end up with a security guard slapped in the doorway. Don’t say them to your shrink or you might be called psychotic. Don’t tell your nutritionist, who probably only “gets” food and portions.
When you get a writing idea, like I just did in just now in the shower, write the damn thing down. Keep writing. Don’t stop till you’re done.
I don’t mean to knock LPN’s because I have known brilliant LPN’s. The LPN degree has evolved since I was in school and in some states has been swallowed up by the associates degree…but then again, I’m not really sure. Some use the LPN degree as a stepping stone, some go on to alternative medicine, many go on to specialties, many quit. Many work tirelessly all their lives. Many earn a very good paycheck. Many don’t. Some can’t find a job. I guess a lot depends on where you live.
And yes, many are extremely intelligent. Many do indeed save lives every day. As a whole, they are far more intelligent than the nurses that kicked me out that day, the ladies that did not understand that 26-year-old future writer.
Well, I stand here before you, after my shower, not exactly dressed properly for going out yet. I say “stand” because I have written this entire entry not seated in a chair, that is, while standing up bent over, thinking I wasn’t going to spend as long as I did with you this morning.
It goes to show you something about writing and memory and meaning and having life really be okay. Julie Greene, you are not crazy. You are just too damn smart.