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). Continue reading “From What I’ve Learned”

Is Helping People Harmful?

In class, we’ve discussed medical voluntourism and how it effects others in foreign countries. Usually when people hear about such programs, they assume that traveling abroad and providing medical assistance/supplies to areas that lack resources is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see people willing to take time out of their schedule and go somewhere to help build up a community. However, they might do so in a manner where they come across as being insensitive. In group discussions, it seemed to me that we were only dissecting and critiquing the cons of medical voluntourism. This led me to question, if medical voluntourism is such a controversial and socially detrimental situation, why are there still service trips that travel abroad? There has to be some sort of silver lining to this, right? I did some research to try and find organizations that follow the philanthropist ideal and to hopefully restore my faith in humanity. Continue reading “Is Helping People Harmful?”

My Medical Voluntourism “Dilemma”

In class, we discussed different aspects of medical voluntourism and how certain elements can be detrimental towards low-income countries. Recently, I attended a GOLD workshop revolving around planning service trips and I made a “both/and” connection. It’s great to see young people eager to help communities in need; however, such organizations lack the sensitivity needed to actually make a positive difference in a foreign nation. Continue reading “My Medical Voluntourism “Dilemma””

Mutato Nomine, De Te Fabula Narratur

For those of you that don’t speak Latin (myself included), the title of my blog post reads “With the name changed, the story applies to you.” In class, we’ve read stories that had a tendency of revolving around the topics of racism, medicine, and literature (which is understandable given the course’s title).  Out of the six books and multiple online articles we’ve read this semester, I made a ‘both/and’ connection between Zulus by Percival Everett and Zone One by Colson Whitehead. Even though I’m not a fan of the doomsday genre of literature per se, I’ve realized that they’re inspiring nonetheless. The endings of both books leaves the reader to believe that the main characters follow through with the “forbidden thought” (suicide) like Professor McCoy explained to us. Continue reading “Mutato Nomine, De Te Fabula Narratur”

My Opinion about Zone One

Before we even started to read Zone One by Colson Whitehead, I had a negatively biased opinion about the book. Personally, I’m not a fan of the zombie apocalyptic genre, so I assumed that I wouldn’t enjoy reading this. All I know about the living dead is that their main goal in “life” is to satisfy their hunger by eating brains or flesh. When I first started to read the book, I honestly hated it and it wasn’t because of the zombies (shocking)! Fortunately like the other books we’ve read in class, I’ve learned to appreciate the literature for the message it was trying to evoke. Continue reading “My Opinion about Zone One”

Racial Tampering in America

***Please be mindful and considerate of this post. It’s from personal experience and is a sensitive subject for me. I think it’s important to acknowledge racial tampering and distancing within a community, but I’m not here to receive pity from my experience with colorism (that’s a different conversation for another time). Thank you. Continue reading “Racial Tampering in America”

Justifying the Times

For the past few weeks, I’ve been contemplating if I should write a blog post about consent. I didn’t want to come across as disrespectful. As a forewarning, I don’t want to seem insensitive to anyone who has experienced abuse by discussing controversial current events and making my own interpretations/connections to the past. In no way am I trying intentionally to single anyone out, but I would like to explain the “both/and” connection I made about how people use the time period to justify their actions and excuse their immoral behavior.

Before I even make my “both/and” connection, I’d like for you to guess which statement came from a recently exposed situation and which statement came from a past event.

  1. “Things were simple then. Informed consent was unheard of. No one asked me what I was doing. It was a wonderful time.”
  2. “I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”

Continue reading “Justifying the Times”

A Political Take on Medical Voluntourism

As we’ve discussed in class, Racism, Medicine, and Literature are all interconnected and are incorporated in other fields of study beyond their boundaries. I’m a Political Science major and right now I’m taking a course on International Relations/Politics. So far in this course, we’ve learned how theorists view interactions between different states (term used for countries) across the globe and how these interactions impact others around them. I guess I’ve experience a ‘both/and’ situation between these two courses, especially when discussing medical volunteering pros and cons. In the International Politics, we’re reading The Essentials of International Relations by Karen A. Mingst and Ivan M. Arreguin-Toft. We’re focusing heavily on theories and the structure of the international system and how interactions with other states impact them for better or worse. The ‘both/and’ connection I made was about how these main theories (Realism, Liberalism, Radicalism, Constructivism, and Feminism) play a role in medical voluntarism. Before I explain how the theories apply to this controversial situation, I’ll define the meaning of each theory so you have background context of International Relations. Continue reading “A Political Take on Medical Voluntourism”

Personal Connection between Medical Terms and Race

Being enrolled in this Top Lit: Lit, Medicine, and Racism, I have learned that topics like race and medicine play a role in other aspects of society. I am also enrolled in a Civil Rights course for my Writing Seminar requirement as a freshman, so there have definitely been connections I’ve made between the two classes. What really inspired me to write this blog post is a word that we’ve discussed in this class that I just read in my Civil Rights class. In an excerpt by James Forman titled The Making of Black Revolutionaries, he interviewed Sam Block, a SNCC worker from the Mississippi Delta (**side note: please look up the book I’ve Got the Light of Freedom by Charles M. Payne if you’re interested in making more of a connection with the literature portion of this course). Forman wrote about Peacock’s experience of a town curfew in Clarksdale, Mississippi, which was one of the more dangerous parts of the South because of how outdated their ideologies were. Peacock recounts, “The meeting lasted until after midnight and this was past the curfew hours. All the Black people in Clarksdale had to be off the streets by twelve o’clock every night and we wondering if there would be trouble. The curfew system in Clarksdale seemed to me the most obnoxious insult to Black people I had ever encountered, something out of the slavery days. I was becoming inoculated against the horrors we had to suffer in the United States, yet new forms of insult and degradation could still leave me staggering” (Forman, Sam Block, The Making of Black Revolutionaries, 288). Can you guess where I made my connection?

Continue reading “Personal Connection between Medical Terms and Race”

Can’t Catch A Break

From what I’ve learned these past few weeks in class is that Black people were never given a break from societal injustices aimed at them for hundreds of years. In the primary school systems, we were taught briefly about American Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement to get a general understanding of our history as a nation. However, no one really questioned other fields, like Biology and Literature, and how they are related to what we’ve learned in History class. Who knew that there are books published around the topics of medical enslavement and unauthorized experimentation. As the weeks go by, I’m sure that I’ll continue to be shocked and disgusted by what events occurred in the past, but for now, I can only hope that the torture finally ends in death. Continue reading “Can’t Catch A Break”