Author: Sarah Baird

Reflection on the Problems with Medical Volunteerism

Over the past two classes “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” has been an underlying topic of group discussions. From participating in group discussion I have come to realize how complicated medical volunteerism is, and how difficult and elaborate one has to be when attempting to solve some of the problems associated with it. One problem of medical voluntourism that I realized from today’s class discussion was that volunteer opportunities seem to be directed abroad rather than within the United States. Read more

The Unintentional Backfire Effect

From Avery’s blog post “Persuasion vs. Awareness” I share similar feelings regarding what impact a single person can have vs. an entire group on someone’s beliefs. I believe that Avery’s statement, “The sad truth is that they may forget it within the next twenty-four hours” reveals how hard people sometimes need to work in order to affect someone. I believe the collective statement that we are working on in class has the potential to change people’s opinions about what Geneseo’s study abroad programs are about. Although the statement may have the potential to change a study abroad students view on what the program is about, I fear that it could possibly result in the backfire effect if the person presenting the material does not know how to properly present it to a student seeking to volunteer abroad. Read more

Defining Vocabulary or a Deeper Understanding

After Wednesday’s class activity, I couldn’t help but wonder why Professor McCoy had the class share the definition of words we didn’t know. Although you should look up words you don’t know the definition to, I doubt that Professor McCoy’s exercise was to teach us that. I believe that the purpose of the exercise was to indirectly discuss different elements of Zone One by Colson Whitehead without directly addressing specific parts of the novel. Read more

What Did I Consent To?

After signing several consent forms while I laid in a hospital bed two weekends ago, I immediately thought of previous class discussions surrounding consent. The first form to sign was the HIPAA law form. I signed this form confidently, knowing what the HIPAA laws entailed. However, the following forms I signed I did not sign confidently because I had no idea what they were for. Some people may question why I signed the following forms if I did not know what they were for, and looking back at my experience I wish I would have asked. However, while I was laying in a hospital bed suffering from the symptoms of dehydration and a viral infection, I was in no mindset to ask what I was agreeing to. At that point in my life I would have consented to almost anything to stop the undesirable symptoms that circulated through my body. Read more

Personal Desires vs. Consent

In today’s class discussion, ‌the topic of consent was almost completely overlooked while discussing “Present 8” in Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler. I understand that the topic of consent may be difficult to talk about in relation to everyday life and situations where it is not given, however, in Clay’s Ark, I believe it is important to discuss especially as more people become exposed to the extraterrestrial organism. I believe that almost every character in the novel so far has failed to gain consent from another character. Read more

Jumping from Past to Present

As mentioned in class yesterday, Clay’s Ark by Octavia Butler switches between chapters of the past and the present. After reading parts two and three, I believe that the reason for the shift in time is for the reader to gain information on Eli, as the Maslin family gains information about the extraterrestrial organism. Unlike Toni Morrison’s Home, I am not confused by the changes in time by Clay’s Ark, and enjoy anticipating what the next chapter will reveal. Read more

Yelling for Help

While reading Chapter A of Zulus by Percival Everett, I questioned why Alice Achitophel didn’t yell for help when the dirty man was violating her, yet did yell for help in Chapter N when the hungry man was attacking her. I was curious to why Alice allows the first man to act on her, when she knows the ramifications of being pregnant. After my initial reading of Chapter A, I believed that Alice was too weak to yell for help and feared that if she did yell for help and was found, all the blame would be placed on her for not becoming sterilized. However, after reading Chapter N, my initial thoughts on why Alice Achitophel did not call for help changed. Read more