Category: McCoy 101 Fall 2017

From What I’ve Learned

Throughout this semester, I can say without a doubt that my writing style and sense of critical thinking has significantly improved. Prior to this course, I thought that I was a terrible writer and that I would never break free of my grammatical rut. Luckily, this course provided positive feedback, both online through blog posts and in the classroom in group discussions, that allowed me to realize that progress is an obtainable goal. Not only have I grown as a writer, I feel like I’ve become more aware of how institutions, especially the medical field, in today’s society have come to be. Even though there are some people in who are too blinded by America’s dark history, I’m glad that I was a part of a conversation with others who were willing to acknowledge our past. As Colson Whitehead mentioned in Zone One about the “American Phoenix,” I can only hope that one day, we too as a nation, can raise up from the ashes and reestablish ourselves in a united manner (Whitehead, 61). Read more

Is Race Something to be Ignored?

In another class of mine, we started to discuss the idea of race and if identifying one’s race was important when naming an accomplishment of an individual (i.e. “He was a black Nobel Prize winner). One girl in my class automatically said that she felt that it was 100% necessary and I was a little shocked to hear this. I felt that one’s race shouldn’t be considered because everyone is equally intellectually capable of performing the same feats. I honestly believed that creating a title for someone that included their race was disrespectful and an effort to overshadow their accomplishments. However, after hearing her reasoning, I started to contradict my initial thoughts. Read more

Time Management Is Hard

Over the semester, the inflow of new posts on here have not exactly been consistent. In the first weeks of class, I never pictured myself as one of the many frantically posting to reach the required amount. And yet, here I am. I am not going to plant the blame on the assignment itself. If anything, I think the blog posts were a great way to get out opinions and thoughts that we didn’t have room for in the classroom. Many of the posts I have read have been very intriguing and actually inspired me to write more myself.  Read more

Everybody Wants to Be a Hero

throughout all of the novels we have read over the semester, there is very few aspect to tread a connection through all of them. We have gone to a variety of different time periods, different types of narration, and different realms of realism.There is a “hero complex” within the desires of every main character we have read.

In Zulus, Alice Achitophel wants to be the one to bring a new life into a serialized world. In Home, Frank Money wants to save his sister to make up for his wrongdoings in war. Blake sees a community of diseased outcasts as a possibility for medical intervention rather than a new way of life in Clay’s Ark. Finally, Mike Spitz sees himself as “an angel of death”, saving the skels and stalkers in the city from an eternity of wandering. Read more

Reflecting: A Semester Of Growth

Throughout this semester, I was challenged in a number of ways that provoked personal growth as both a student and as a human. The Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education played a large role in promoting that personal growth. First, this course above all required critical thinking through evaluating held assumptions on things such as medical voluntourism and consent among African-Americans and medical treatment. I was challenged to come up with my own views on the topic of medical voluntourism, and dive deep enough in the topic to come up with my own solution to some of the problems found in it. Second, communication was another huge part of this course. Having group discussions in nearly every class meeting was helpful in so many ways. Engaging in discussion on books, articles and other topics helped me understand the information more clearly and develop a sense of understanding that I was able to implement in future class discussions. Group discussions also inspired several of my blog posts this semester, as ideas would bounce of members in groups that maybe gave different insight on a topic. Lastly, this class was largely based on collaboration, particularly when it came to our final collaborative course statement. Geneseo’s learning outcome for collaboration states “To engage others in developing collaborative solutions; to experiment, take risks, and learn from mistakes; to enable, encourage, and recognize contributions to collaborative efforts by all group members; to manage and share work fairly and respectfully; to envision, promote, consider, and respond to diverse viewpoints.” And when I look at what the final project was, it was all of that. We developed solutions as a group to problems outlined in the course, and we encourage and recognized group members discussions both presently and in the forms filled out at the end of each class. As you can see, there are many ways in which Geneseo’s learning outcomes were heavily found in this course. Through the practice of these GLOBE outcomes, I will be able to take what I have learned this semester and apply it in future classes and in my career. I learned so much about what it means to work as a group to accomplish a task, and how important it is to draw conclusions based on valuable information. Both of these things are necessary skills that will come in handy next semester, as well as years from now when in my work environment.

Quality vs. Quantity

Jumping back to Emma’s post, she questions why is it so hard for society to believe the stories of victims of abuse. I related to how Emma felt as she read Zulus and how she questioned the legitimacy of Alice’s pregnancy. It could have been the science side of me but I also had a hard time understanding the certainty of Alice’s thoughts, to the point where I forgot the violent cause of her first pregnancy. Only after I reflected upon my own reading of Zulus (as prompted by Emma’s post), did I realize my mind horrifically blocked out Alice’s trauma. Unfortunately, I also realized that it is not the only moment in which I have done so. Read more

The Importance of Collaborating, “U-Knight-ed” as One

Professor McCoy sent out an email about an opportunity to earn extra credit by going to an event on Wednesday, November 29th, and then reflecting on our experience. Our school hosted Christopher Soto, aka Loma, a poet and activist, to address the issues of “incarceration, undocumented status, and non-binary identities” through his poetry reading as part of the Geneseo’s Cultivating Community. Read more

You Are Not So Smart, A Podcast That Challenged My Way of my Thinking

When we listened to the You Are Not So Smart Podcast this semester, it was very eye opening and a new topic I had never thought about. It challenged my very way of thinking. The episode we listened to talked about the “backfire effect” which is essentially how people react to information that is initially found to be true, but is then found to be false. I learned that people will accept information that aligns with their beliefs a lot quicker than they will believe information that goes against their beliefs. I began thinking of one of my close friends, who does exactly this, particularly involving politics, and it made me wonder. Why is it that he clings to his beliefs despite when one of those beliefs is proven to be wrong? I learned in during the podcast that around 15% of negative info causes people to fear that they are wrong about their candidate, and begins to have people hold onto their opinions like it is their own flesh and blood. This quote from the article gives an explanation as to why people will cling to their beliefs, and I found myself relating to it. I began to reflect upon how I will hold onto some of my beliefs because I am afraid that I was wrong, and nobody wants to be wrong. 

I can see this problem relating to the “white-savior industrial complex” we talked about during our many discussions on medical voluntourism. We talked about how groups will go into these third world communities with the mindset that they are going to fix all of their problems. In my opinion, one can very easily figure out that they most certainly will not be able to magically solve these problems. However,  people who go in to these countries to provide assistance can experience the backfire effect after realizing that they are not able to save these people. But, they will cling to that belief and try even harder to accomplish their unreachable goals driven by the fear of failure and being wrong.

Second-line and Sanctus

Dr. McCoy offered an extra credit opportunity to the class about a month ago. This entitled us to meet Steve Prince, an artist from New Orleans who creates charcoal art depicting a blend of his African American experiences with historical attributes of discrimination. When I went to meet Steve Prince during his presentation of all of his famous works and his explanations, I remembered one specific piece–“Second Line.”

As I was flipping through Fortunes Bones by Marilyn Nelson I found an image that looked pretty similar to “Second Line”, it had the same name “Second line” (28). It was a photograph taken by Leo Touchet. On the next page (29), the poem Sanctus there. It represents “Second-line” in the fact that it has to do with a funeral but yet the people in the image are dancing and singing “Call us home, Lord, call us home. Call us home, Lord, set us free.”

(In a way, this connects to my previous Blog Post “7000 bodies deepbecause the people who seem like they are celebrating are actually in pain because of their loss of a close friend or relative. )

In Steve Prince’s portrait, “Single-line” the people also have umbrellas in their hands, instead of dancing, they’re playing the trumpet. According Prince it had to do with their faith in Christianity and trumpets happen to be biblical in the book of Revelations. I remember Steve saying that no matter how sad black people are, they will find a way to celebrate and reveal their happiness, rather than pain because the person is now assumed to be in Heaven.

This similarity is important and relates to the class because of the name of the course “Race & Medicine.” Although we mean medicine in a literal sense, now that we’ve completed the semester I view this class as medication for those who don’t know enough about Race. There is one race and that is the human race, but during this generation for some, race is still a black and white thing. We as humans are still segregated in our own ways whether it be politically, economically, status wise or racially.

The opportunity to meet Steve Prince was like a test to see how much the medication helped me as a student in Dr. McCoy’s “Race and Medicine” class. It was a chance to understand race from a deeper and literal perspective, rather than imagining what happened to African Americans through books that we read in class.

Second-line, Second-line and Sanctus all helped me understand the idea that what we define race as, is actually a cultural aspect to humanity.

We all suffer. We all bleed. We are all human.

Finding My Voice In This Course

Throughout this semester, we have read a number of books that contained material that was very powerful to read. Some of the material was difficult to handle, but doing so started with thinking critically, one of Geneseo’s Learning Outcomes. In Toni Morrison’s Home, Frank struggled in his search for himself through dealing with his experiences war and how they affected him after returning home. Much like Frank, I can relate to finding my way in this course after reading several texts throughout the semester.

After completing the final collaborative statement today in class, I began thinking about how much we did as a class to prepare for this assignment. Reading about accounts of medical mistreatment in Medical Apartheid, as well as articles on medical voluntourism just to give a few examples, contributed to us finding our voice in this class and being able to contribute that voice in group discussion. Diving into different books throughout the semester encouraged us to investigate outside of class, and follow up what we had learned by posting here on the blog. In order to complete our final collective statement, everyone needed to draw valid conclusions from evidence found within texts such as Medical Apartheid. Much like how Frank needed to find his identity in his own hometown, we needed to take a look at several different works of literature to come up with a statement that talks about our journey in this course through thoughtful information and solutions.