Communication

Sakshi has brought up an awesome point in her blog post. The whole concept of people saying “I don’t see color” is pointless. The only thing that is happening is people are avoiding the issue all together. We can all pretend that racism doesn’t exist but what good will that do? It won’t fix the issue at hand – it will just keep happening. Talking about an issue is what’s going to fix it.

I am a supplemental instructor for organic chemistry and recently I was learning the most effective ways of teaching or tutoring students. One of the worst things you can possibly do as a tutor is giving the students an answer to a practice question. It is important to talk through the question and help them reach the answer on their own. One of my favorite lines to use when someone asks me a question that I know they should be able to answer using basic knowledge of the material is “I don’t know, you tell me.” It might be annoying at first and students hate it but it makes them tell me their thought process. As we go through the thought process, we adjust it so that they could solve a similar problem in the future. So my point is avoiding talking about an issue or just saying its bad is like giving a student the answer without explaining it. They get absolutely nothing from it.

Communication is very important when it comes to analyzing and fixing a problem. Earlier this semester we read in Medical Apartheid about doctors who only communicated with like-minded people and prevented African American doctors to work in hospitals. “Until three or four decades ago, these researchers were speaking only to their like-minded peers – other whites, usually male and rarely of the lower classes.” (Washington, 10)  They also prevented communication with the world and only other doctors were able to understand the recordings. “The medical jargon in which such research papers are couched is often impenetrable even to well-educated nonmedical people.” (Washington, 12) This causes a sense of skepticism within the African American community. Doctors were no longer trusted which hurt African American health in general. There was also no one who was able to be a voice of reason for these doctors. Doctors are very intelligent but even they make poor decisions as Avery talked about in her post.

I believe communication could fix majority of the problems. The key is to be open minded and listen to the perspective of others. Every person has developed their standing on an issue based on facts and experiences they have encountered in their lives. Hearing out ideas of others could lead to middle ground solution to a problem at hand. Also talking over issues with children would build a solid foundation for dealing with major issues in their future.

A New York City Infection

For all intents and purposes, I am a New York City girl. Although I grew up in Westchester, I have been going in and out of the city about twice a week since the time I was sixteen. I was fourteen when my parents let me go on the train by myself, I was sixteen when I got my heavily used metro card and I was eighteen when I got my first summer internship in the city; going through the hustle and bustle of the NYC five days a week from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM. So for some odd reason, I feel some sort of comfort as we are reading Zone One like I have the upper hand advantage on this one.

It is true that I have never been infected by a disease that turned me into a zombie, but I very well could be. The line that altered me to this fate the most was, “Just another day at the office when she gets bit by some New York whacko while loading up on spring mix at the corner deli’s Salad Lounge. Full of plague but unaware” (p.18) . This line made me giggle as we were reading aloud in class because it was a scene that was almost all too familiar in the scariest sense possible.

When you are in the city something chances, it is almost like the rules change; your expectations change. The ways that you interact with someone in the suburbs is totally different from the way you interact with that same person in the city. If someone were to bite you in the suburbs, you would have stopped what you are doing, told the manager, called the police, probably told the town paper and altered everyone that you know about this problem. In the city however it goes like this; someone bites you, you stop, you roll your eyes, maybe curse at them, and then continue on with your day. I cannot even fault the woman who was infected because it is the way that I, as well as almost every other New Yorker, would have handled this situation. This book works so well because it is so true to its setting. It is the way that New Yorkers would have interacted and while it might shock some who don’t know NYC, it is a complete and total representation of life in the city.

Helium: Not Just for Party Balloons

Many of us associate helium with party balloons and helium tanks that you can buy at Walmart for $30. However, helium has many additional uses, is the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere, and has scientists worried. If helium is the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere, next to hydrogen, then why are scientists worried? Continue reading “Helium: Not Just for Party Balloons”

Staring into the Abyss – Why Tragedy Brings out the Worst in Us

It’s easy to be a saint in paradise – Avery Brooks

It is truly disturbing that crisis and tragedy often give rise to the uglier, more animalistic side of human nature. For every tale of heroism in the face of adversity it seems there are countless more stories of selfishness, savagery, and wickedness. Continue reading “Staring into the Abyss – Why Tragedy Brings out the Worst in Us”

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”

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. Continue reading “What Did I Consent To?”

First Hand Exposure To Racism in Medicine

(This post is a continuation of my last two and is related to my father’s experience with racism in medicine)

After finishing Fortune’s Bones, I Facetimed my father to explain what we learned the black community had suffered through in the name of medicine and how Fortune’s story in particular bothered me. At first, I spoke in detail about Medical Apartheid and how it depicted the many disturbing processes used to obtained cadavers and skeletons from non-consenting black individuals for medical/dental students like himself. One example I gave him was how “hospitals habitually delivered black bodies directly from the wards to the autopsy tables without asking anyone’s consent” and how a similar practice still survives “in policies that continue to appropriate the bodies of “friendless paupers” such as the homeless—a disproportionate number of whom are black—for medical purposes.” (Washington p118.) I tied this to Fortune’s story and how it connected with me on a personal level and made me concerned that our skull might not have just simply been donated. He totally understood and was visibly disturbed by what I had to tell him, too. He said he although he was bothered to learn all of this, that “unfortunately (he) did witness racism while in school but not on any level just described.” Hearing this made me both concerned and interested in what he had to say so I asked him if he could further explain those experiences.

Continue reading “First Hand Exposure To Racism in Medicine”

New life in the midst of devastation

Children bringing hope into a dying world is a recurring theme throughout the novels we have studied. In the latest book, Zone One, the world is recovering from a devastating pandemic and children are rarely seen. So, when the Tromanhauser Triplets were released from the ICU, a sense of promise and hope swept through the camp. Continue reading “New life in the midst of devastation”