Linguistic Taboos

Posted under: education, philosophy, school.
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Wicked Pissah ShirtSkye came home on Friday very upset about reactions she received from some of the staff members at her middle school regarding a t-shirt she’d been wearing which simply said “Wicked Pissah,” a common phrase in New England, which means really awesome or really crappy. Her teacher thought the word “pissah” might not be considered appropriate for school and sent her to the office. The lady in the office reprimanded Skye for wearing a shirt with this phrase, considering “piss” to be a “bad” word. She said it would be a distraction, as well as offensive to others. She ordered Skye to either turn her shirt inside-out, zip up her sweatshirt, or change to a shirt provided by the school. Skye was unable to work the zipper on her sweatshirt, so she turned her shirt inside out. The office administrator told Skye to come back afterward to make sure that she’d fixed it.

Skye later told me that Harry Styles, member of the English-Irish pop boy band One Direction, turned 19 that same day, February 1. Teenage fans at her school celebrated by drawing whiskers and black noses on their faces to represent Harry and his fondness for cats. I found it interesting that none of these kids were reprimanded or asked to remove their face paint, even though Skye mentioned how much of a distraction it was in her classes and that several of the teachers seemed annoyed by it. However, not one classmate complained about or was distracted by Skye’s shirt, nor did any teacher (except the one who sent her to the office) comment negatively about her shirt. One, in fact, thought it was quite humorous. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (6) Feb 03 2013

What I Learned in Nursing School

Posted under: education, health, nursing, philosophy, school.
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I made it! Today I graduate from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. It is time to begin vigorously studying for the NCLEX and to find a job. There are so many things that have interested me. Now that I have finished my clinicals I am most drawn toward mental health and neurology.

One of the biggest challenges with nursing is connecting everything together. It’s difficult not to get caught up in the minutiae and consequently missing out on the big picture or other significant details. Throughout nursing school we have been assured that with time and experience, we will move from being task-oriented and routine-focused to seeing everything as an interconnected, fluid process, and being able to anticipate and manage rapidly changing non-routine events. I feel that I’ve gained extensive knowledge and learned valuable skills throughout my lectures and labs. However, until interacting with actual patients in a real clinical environment, I could not fully understand, appreciate, and apply all those concepts. My clinicals significantly increased my understanding and have hopefully prepared me for the complexities of nursing practice. I have included some excerpts from my journals of my various clinicals throughout the nursing program:
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Comments (6) May 06 2012

Open Heart Surgery

Posted under: school.
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Me in my operating room attire

Me in my operating room attire

As part of my med-surg clinical this semester I had the opportunity to watch a surgery in the operating room. This OR (operating room) observation day replaces my regular clinical that week. Today was my OR day. I was thrilled when I learned that I would be observing open heart surgery–more specifically, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). It seemed appropriate, as I am a nursing unit secretary in the cardiology unit and we are often sending patients down for this procedure. I was excited to witness this complicated and invasive operation.

In a CABG, arteries or veins from elsewhere in the patient’s body are used to graft to the coronary arteries to bypass atherosclerotic narrowings and improve the blood supply to the coronary circulation supplying the myocardium (heart muscle). I watched the PA (physician assistant) cut open the patient’s legs and use a scope to locate and harvest the veins that would be used for grafting. Meanwhile, the cardiothoracic surgeon made an incision in the patient’s chest, cut apart his sternum (breast bone) with a saw, and proceeded to dissect the internal mammary artery from the chest wall to use as a bypass conduit. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (5) Mar 30 2011

A New Direction

Posted under: school.
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I wasn’t accepted into the nursing program at USM. The number of nursing applicants is increasing substantially everywhere. The academic advisor of nursing at USM informed me that the program is highly competitive; they only accepted 90 applicants for this year. Many were already matriculated, which gave them an edge. She said that the applicants who had already taken many of the courses required in the nursing program also had an advantage. Finally, my 4.0 GPA from last semester probably did not bring up my GPA from Ricks College (now BYU Idaho) quite enough. I’ll always regret that I was so lackadaisical back then. I expect to have a 4.0 again for this past semester, which will boost my GPA for the future.

The news disappointed me, of course. But as it prompted me to consider different options, I saw it as an opportunity to pursue a career in science and research. This is something with which I’ve always been fascinated. Sure, I could see myself as a nurse, making good money and having job opportunities everywhere; however I don’t think I would be truly happy. I could be passionate about science and research, and that is ultimately more fulfilling.

I will probably pursue an undergraduate degree in biology. I am interested in toxicology and pathology (possibly with a forensics focus), marine biology, oceanography, and geology. Brent has been incredibly supportive. I appreciate his love and encouragement, and I know he just wants me to be happy. He is especially excited about marine biology. However, he warned me that if I go into pathology and work in a morgue he will NOT come visit me for lunch. :-)

OK, so I need to narrow it down a bit, but I’m excited to go after my dream.

Comments (0) May 10 2009

All American Children Are Above Average Act

Posted under: philosophy, politics, psychology, school.
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Liberal education is a vanishing ideal in the contemporary West. The aim of liberal education is to produce people who go on learning after their formal education has ceased; who think, ask questions, and know how to find answers when they need them. People who are better informed and more reflective are more likely to be considerate than those who are – and who are allowed to remain – ignorant, narrow-minded, selfish, and uncivil in the profound sense that characterizes so much human experience now.

Since the No Child Left Behind Act has been instituted, it has been counterproductive. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires public schools to administer a state-wide standardized test annually to all students, holding them accountable and withholding federal funding if they fail to meet requirements. I am infuriated and bewildered by this law.NCLB: A+

Many opponents of NCLB, including teachers and parents, do not like the idea of the testing that is provided in NCLB. They claim that “standardized testing, which is the heart of NCLB accountability, is deeply flawed and biased for many reasons, and that stricter teacher qualifications have exacerbated the nationwide teacher shortage, not provided a stronger teaching force.”

Deborah White

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Comments (6) Mar 19 2009


Posted under: school.
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I had my final exams this week.  My final for anatomy and physiology was online.  The professor posted a specified set of dates on which the exam would be available to take.  Yesterday morning I reviewed my textbook a while and then logged in to take my test.  I was horrified to discover the deadline to take the exam was THE DAY BEFORE!  How did I have the wrong dates in my head?  This is a class I must complete before I can get on the wait list for the nursing program.  Needless to say I was a little panicky. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2) Dec 19 2008


Posted under: school.
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Algebra begins with an unknown.
To solve the problem, work must be shown.
Parentheses are added to make problems look harder,
but you can still do it, because you are much smarter!

The next day you learn coefficients and terms.
You get confused, and say you’ll have to adjourn.
When you get back, you have a new mission:
properties of numbers, using addition!

Exponents and factors are the new step,
but all of a sudden you came down with strep!
The day you return, you feel like trying
properties of something called multiplying!

Dispersing of candy is done very proud;
little do they know, one was missed in the crowd.
The distributive property was explained very well.
By the blank looks on faces, you could certainly tell!

Equations of numbers were taught left and right,
finding the unknown, which was clean out of sight!
Adding the opposite, or something diverse–
every second that passed, the problem got worse!

Much anguish we just could not avoid,
because the amount of homework really got us annoyed!
Solving more equations, ended the frivolity.
No matter what, there was inequality!

Combining like terms, and variables on each side,
searching absolute values, we looked far and wide.
Positive, negative, then drawing a graph!
By the end of the year, I’ll have had enough math!

~Keri A. Hanson, Learning Algebra

I’ve been dedicating a full day to each of my classes (on the days I’m not working).  I don’t look forward to the day I have to do my Algebra.  Dosage calculations is a breeze, English literature is enjoyable, psychology is interesting; and anatomy and physiology is fascinating.

Algebra, well…let’s just say I’ll be glad when it’s over.  Brent was wicked excited about my taking algebra (he actually enjoys math and is very good at it).  He likes to help me when I’m stuck, which is nice.  As for me, I don’t like putting such an obscene amount of time and effort into something so uninteresting and frustrating.  I thought math was supposed to be rational and straight-forward.  So what’s with imaginary and irrational numbers? Next semester I’m taking statistics.  Now there’s a math class for which I am actually excited!

Comments (6) Dec 04 2008