Checking Off the List

Leaves gathered - check
35 minutes on the treadmill - check
Try out the punching bag - check
Shower - check
Sore a bit? - check
Time for leftovers, Green Lantern, and (most importantly) some cuddle time with my babe

Help Us Find the Person Who Shot Three Sea Otters

In early September 2013, members of our Sea Otter Research and Conservation team recovered three sea otters that had been shot to death near Asilomar Beach, in Pacific Grove. State and federal authorities are actively investigating the fatal shootings, and now they need your help finding the perpetrator.

We and other sea otter conservation groups are offering a $21,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the crime.

Southern sea otters are slowly recovering after being driven nearly to extinction by fur traders in the 19th century. Today, they’re protected under federal law by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Killing a California (or southern) sea otter is a crime punishable by federal and state fines, and possible jail time.

If you have any information about the shootings, contact Special Agent Souphanya of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 650-876-9078. Anonymous reports can also be made by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contact line at 703-358-1949, or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife CalTIP line at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP.

Reward contributions have been provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Sea Otter, the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, The U.C. Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center and private individuals.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is providing a portion of the reward money from the California Sea Otter Fund, which is financed by voluntary contributions from state taxpayers. The fund helps support sea otter research and conservation, including the investigation of sea otter deaths and the enforcement of laws protecting sea otters. When filling out your California income tax form 540, look for line 410, labeled California Sea Otter Fund, under Contributions.

Learn more about the California Sea Otter Fund.

First Check Off and First Exam

This past week, I had my vital signs check off on Tuesday in my HA lab. I passed!!! Go me, lol! I was super nervous, even though I had no reason to be because this check off was a pass only - I’d do the check off until I passed it - so, there was no pressure of it being a pass or fail, but that message never got to my heart. I had a bad case of tachycardia, and tried to calm myself down, but couldn’t. I knew it would happen. I felt calm and ready, but for whatever reason, my heart always beats so fast when I get anxious or have an evaluation. That’s just me, and it only lasts for about a minute, if that. I just happened to occur while my pulse was being taken. 

Anyway, lectures and labs were good this week. Nothing too crazy happened. I was only out in the community on Thursday because Friday (today) I was at the CON of my CNC sim lab, and that was a lot of fun. 

Now, it’s Friday night, and I’ve been having a mental battle with myself between sitting down and focusing on studying for my first exam on Monday (for essentials) or watching TV to numb my brain and not think about the fact that I have my exam on Monday. Obviously, I know that studying is better, but I’m great at procrastination ;) In all seriousness though, I’ve already done a lot of studying, and I’m about 3/4 done with all of my note cards to study off of. So, I’m in a good place with my studying to be able to take the evening off and let my mind shut down a bit. 

I’ll most likely stay up a little late tonight to finish my flash cards, and then spend all day tomorrow studying them, and meet with my friends to study too. On Sunday, I’m working for a short 3 hour shift at 7am, and then at 2pm I have a baby shower to go to, and I’ll only stay for about an hour or so and get back to studying. 

It never gets easier; you just get stronger.

Thanks to you, things have been going swimmingly for the Sea Otter Tax Fund! Donations on state income tax forms in 2013 total  $307,544. By exceeding the minimum of $273,025, the fund comes back for 2014, providing critical funding to help save sea otters. Check the box on your CA Tax Return—a donation of as little as $5 goes a long way!

Learn more about the tax checkoff

Learn how we’re helping save sea otters

(Jane Smith Photo)

Head-to-Toe Assessment Check Off

I didn’t stress too much over this check off. It involved memorizing about three pages of information about how to do a complete review of systems for a head-to-toe assessment: general appearance, EENT, respiratory, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and abdomen. I managed to memorize the pages word for word, and I felt really prepared. While waiting outside the door to go in, I got super nervous, but I still knew that I had the material down and would be okay. Once in the room, I went first before my lab partner/best friend. So, I’m going through the assessment with no problems, and then I’m stopped just before I would have gotten to the second page of the check off if I were reading it. My lab partner had to reposition herself so my instructor could see everything from a side-view. My train of though was thrown off a bit, but I regained composure and continued like it was no big deal. I finish the assessment thinking that I did a great job and remembered everything word for word. HOWEVER, my instructor is like “you have two minutes left, think of what you missed because it’s pretty big.” And I’m like OH DANG! So, I start going through the whole thing again in my head, and then I realize – I completely skipped over the whole musculoskeletal system! Thank god my instructor lets her student go back and assess or say something that they have missed because I probably would have failed if I didn’t remember that I forgot a whole system.

What matters is that I passed! However, I literally could not believe that I had done that. My lab partner and I ran through the whole thing 4 times before going up, and I had it down perfectly. Then, I got into the room and nerves got the best of me, and I forgot an entire system. I remembered everything eventually, but it just goes to show that not everything will go your way no matter how much preparation you’ve done.

It never gets easier; you just get stronger. 

Paper – The Other White Stuff

You’ve heard the slogans:

“Got Milk?”

“Beef - it’s what’s for dinner”

“The incredible edible egg”

“Pork - the other white meat”

And now it seems we are headed toward our own memorable catch phrase within the paper industry.  Support is growing toward developing commodity check off program to help promote the positive aspects of paper.  The research is clear:  when people understand that our products come from renewable resources, are made with high levels of renewable energy and are recyclable – their perception improves.

If approved, nearly $25 million per year in funds will come from paper manufacturers and distributors annually producing or importing 100,000 short tons or more of paper and paper-based packaging. 

For more information about this program visit  See who’s in (Sappi is) and learn more about what the program aims to do. 

Got any good ideas for a catch phrase?