Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Heels & Wheels Club

I made it though Anatomy & Physiology class at Folsom Lake College this spring due to the wonderful friendships forged with my study group and the support of a teacher who rewarded our efforts with understanding, compassion and a decent amount of extra credit.

Community college is for everyone who has the desire to learn, no matter what else might be happening in your life. Case in point: Two women in my class had babies in the middle of midterms. While learning about the structural and anatomical miracles that make up the human body, a baby boy and a baby girl were born to Biology 430 students Trudy and Adena in the middle of the Bone and Nervous System chapters. What could be more miraculous than that? A third baby, a girl, is due to be born in July to a wonderful mom who was part of our study group. They don’t know this yet but I’ve aptly named our little group the Heels & Wheels club. Heels for the shoes some of them wore, and wheels for the backpacks we lugged around campus like a group of stewardesses stuck between La Guardia and LAX.

Tracy is a brilliant woman who will be a wonderful nurse to the patients she will care for one day. She took this incredibly intense class while carrying her second child. Once her baby is born in July, we are going to carry her through the rest of the prerequisites because we know how capable she is of accomplishing her goals. Karoline is the consummate 'fashionista' of our group. She wore Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and animal prints on days when I showed up in the same old tee shirts, jeans & crocks. She basically revealed to the world what a fashion dolt I really am. She is more lovely on the inside than outside (if that were even possible) and I know whatever career path she chooses, she will forever be the exhorting & calming “Lily” of her profession. Jennifer is a kindred spirit. I marvel at her ability to maintain a 100% average, raise her daughters, maintain a marathoner’s physique’ while completely absorbing the technical aspects of muscle physiology and neural pathways. I would try to approach her action potential, but my synapses don’t snap that far, nor could I hope to reach the mile high pedestal she sits on, ah.. but I digress in a sea of envy.

Perhaps the sweetest ladies in our Heels and Wheels club were the younger ones. Jhanvi lived and worked at the library and never have I known a more conscientious student and study partner. Her sweetness and brains were like a Venti Quad Extra Hot White Mocha with whip cream on a rainy day. She was always snapping me into action with a cell phone call and a shout out to get myself to the library to study with her. Andrea bailed me out of a homework crisis before a big test, by running home before class (a sacrifice I shall not forget); my only regret is that I missed her insightful presentation on the subject of Rabies. We were in chemistry together last summer and she often had to put up with my lame jokes and terrible complaining. She, Karoline and I shared a common bond with our lab cat (named, “Smelly Cat”) and they endured my terrible singing and equally distasteful methods of memorizing muscle groups. While I was the “Lab Mom”, they were ‘my girls’. I claimed them all because I grew so fond of the hours we spent studying the integral systems of the human anatomy and their interrelationships to one another. I shall never forget the neumonic of the muscles of the lower leg nor the one we were handed by our teacher for the cranial nerves. Laboratory practical examinations were that much more bearable because of our tremendous insights into memorization. Blue humor goes along way to help alleviate anxieties about the cranial nerves and whatever foramen they might be running through.

The Heels & Wheels club consists of a cross section of women I would gladly work side by side with in the nursing profession or anywhere else for that matter. I hope I can convince them to hang out with me next fall. It’s going to be a long summer without them.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at or on the web at

1 comment:

Tom said...

Smelly Cat?!? After all those other names that you could've chosen. You went with 'Smelly Cat'.

That almost sounds like a good name for a song, 'Smelly Cat'.