School Prep Preview: technology

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In my last post I mentioned that I’ve taken the plunge into the world of tablets…after talking with several friends who have gone through or are currently still in nursing school, I’ve been convinced that an iPad will be a helpful tool for me.

One of the biggest perks is that there all all kinds of note-taking apps out there, allowing one to upload Power Points or .pdfs to the app and then edit them during class. Rather than carrying around a binder full of papers, I can have  all my class notes on one portable device. Many of the apps, including the one I’ve been experimenting with (Notability), also have a feature where I can record the lectures. When I go back to listen to the lecture, it will sync with the slides I was taking notes on that that point in the lecture. Pretty neat.

The scary piece is that I’ve decided to not buy print textbooks unless they’re unavailable in e-book format. I will have a commute of about a half hour if I bike, nearly an hour if I take public transit (I’ll have to transfer at least once). The thought of lugging books to and from school sounds like a perfect nightmare. I’ve been there, done that. As someone who’s petite, I always think that normal size backpacks that will fit normal size amounts of stuff will work for me…but inevitably, I end up with back pain.

So, no more big text books. I’m nervous about this–in general, I still haven’t fully committed to the e-book…there’s something viscerally different about being able to flip through pages. I’ve been slowly warming up to the idea, though, and now, I’m actually pretty excited to see how it all works out.

The other big “technology” decision I made was to convert my desk to a standing desk. I had been using a Pilates ball as my desk chair for a while, but because I’m so short, it really prevented me from being at the desk unless I really wanted to sit. Now that I’ve raised the table legs (I have one of those IKEA Galant desks) and added the desk shelf to bring my laptop to eye level, I can comfortably stand. I also have a bar chair if I do want to sit. So far it’s working out well…we’ll see how I feel about it when I have a billion papers to type.

Friday is orientation…aka the day I purchase all sorts of fun gadgets: pen light, hemostat, thermometer…I already have a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Mostly, I’m thrilled to finally meet my cohort. These are the people I will practically be living with for the next three and a half years. I suspect some life-long friendships are going to emerge from this group of students.

I. Can’t. Wait.

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