Posts Tagged ‘LPN’

I got up early and went down to the Unemployment Service Center in NE Washington.  As you might recall, I have been struggling to get them to pay my benefits.  So far I have not received a dime.  I went on Monday, but apparently I got there too late.

So this morning, I made sure to get there early.  I arrived at 8:30 and was out of there by 10:15.  I met with Ms. Bonham.  She was friendly and took care of my situation and hopefully I will start receiving my unemployment benefits.  Thanks Ms. Bonham!

I thought it would be great to find someone at the Unemployment Office to give my $10 to.  There were some people right outside the office who I suspected had just left.  I approached a woman waiting for the bus.  Nadine, a 32 year-old living in Columbia, MD is originally from Cameroon.  She actually was not at the Unemployment Office, but was waiting for the bus to get to her job as a Home Health Aid.  You might recall that Davitia from Day 14 was also a HHA.

Nadine was all bundled up.  Her head was just barely peaking out of her hooded coat.  She has been in the US for five years and says she is happy here.  Even in the winter.  “I don’t like the heat,” Nadine said.  “I really like the cold.”  I found this ironic given that her homeland of Cameroon probably never gets below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, with the exception of the upper parts of Mount Cameroon.  Want a bit of trivia?  Cameroon’s name is derived from the Portuguese word for prawns or shrimp, Camarões.  Back in the 15th century, the Portuguese landed on the shores of the Wouri River where they found a large supply of prawns and crayfish and named it River of Prawns (Rio dos Camarões).

Anyway, I asked Nadine what she would do with the $10.  She said that she would put it toward her school savings.  Nadine needs to finish about six courses to get her Licensed Practical Nurse certification.  I hope she gets back to school this year and finishes her studies.  Jameela, from Day 7, is an LPN now trying to get her RN.  Maybe she can give you some tips or advice. 

By the way, I am going to start adding some video to the blog…stay tuned!

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First of all, I want to thank everyone for their comments and interest in the Year of Giving.  Monday was the 6th day the blog has been live and I have had almost 300 visitors to the blog and over 550 hits.  Thanks to all who have left comments or sent me personal notes of encouragement.  I urge you to share this site with all of your friends and family members.

Yesterday I was invited by my good friend Chris to go to the Redskins game.  My brother, Ryan, and I were to meet up with Chris and his coworker Anna at the New Carrollton Metro and then drive over to the stadium.

Ryan and I met up at Metro Center and were going to catch the Orange Line out to New Carrollton.  There are 13 stops, so I figured I could try to find someone to receive my $10 today!

Jameela was sitting right next to us, so I thought I would start with her.  I realized I didn’t have $10 on me, so I had to borrow money from Ryan until I could repay him later that night.  Good thing he was there!  Now armed with his $10, I started talking to her.  Jameela, an attractive thirty-something woman originally from Brooklyn, was bundled up in a white snow suit.  I asked her which stop she was getting off at because I wanted to make sure we had some time to talk.  She said she was getting off at Minnesota Avenue, which was about 7 stops away and I figured we had enough time.

She quickly asked me if I was a journalist.  I started to answer “no” and then found myself saying, “Well, kind of I guess.”  I mean I am not a journalist that is trained and gainfully employed in the traditional sense, but I am journaling about my experience which I guess makes me a journalist of some sort.  Unlike some of the other people I have approached, she was not skeptical of my intentions.  She accepted the $10 and revealed a beautiful, big smile.

Jameela is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at a DC long term care facility.  She is working on becoming a Registered Nurse (RN).  I didn’t realize that there was much of a difference, but after doing a quick research on the web I found that there appears to be a variety of additional skills and responsibilities associated with being a RN.  She says she loves working in her field and serving as the eyes and ears for physicians.  Although often stressful work, she says that the benefits of helping others in this profession is personally rewarding.  She mentioned that she did some work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center working with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Working with quadriplegics and those with mental illness due to their service gave her a greater appreciation for her life.

So what is Jameela going to do with my $10?  She said that she was going to add it to her savings that she was using for Christmas gifts for others.  Specifically, she said that she would probably put it toward an iPod nano for her god-daughter.  I noticed that we were at the Stadium Armory stop which meant that Jameela was getting off at the next stop, so I needed to wrap things up.  I asked if there was anything else that she wanted to share and she said that she has started writing three books and nearly finished one of them.  Hopefully one day she can finish them all and get them published.  I wrote the blog address down for her and she tucked it away in a pocket of her winter outfit.  I have asked a company to sponsor some business cards that I could hand out with the blog address on them, but I have not heard back from them yet.

After she got off, my brother and I debriefed how it went.  This was the first time he has been with me when I have given $10 to someone so I wanted to get his input.  Overall, he had some good feedback.  However, one item he pointed out was too funny not to include here.  I mentioned that I liked that she intended to use the money to do something for someone else.  He responded, “Yeah, she seems like a really nice woman…I mean she is going to buy an iPod nano for her gardener!”

God-daughter.  Not gardener I told him. 

Oh, and the Redskins lost.

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