Monday, October 27, 2008

Well, I've managed so far. . .

. . . To stay away from discussing politics.

Yeah, I know. Its weird for me to post more than once a week lately, but I found some interesting stuff.

So, the reason I've avoided this topic so far is that I know no matter where I stand, there will always be someone who supports a different candidate. Also, people whose opinions I value support Obama and make fun of those who support McCain. That made me hesitate to share my political view as well. And the old saying that advises against discussing politics and religion. Well I've already discussed religion on this blog, so why not go politics?

Just so you know, I'm very opinionated when it comes to politics.

First of all- VOTE! I don't care who you vote for! Just vote! Those of you who don't really have no right to sit there and critisize the government for it's shortcomings when you yourself didn't go out and participate in the voting process.

Second- Check your facts! Don't go around beleiving whatever your favorite news anchor tells you about a candidate. Make sure you find where they got their information and do a little research!

Third- Don't let the Media decide for you! If you see a video on youtube, or on facebook or something, look up the things they say and make sure you understand where they're coming from. At least check Google or Wikipedia. Because while they're not always the most reliable sources, at least it means you've attempted to find out more. Try to find a non-biased site that reviews claims from both parties and evaluates their accuracy by citing speeches and voting records. For example- This is a very informative site.

Fourth- For the youngguns out there- make sure you know why you're voting for your candidate. Don't let the reason be because your parents have voted that way all your life, or that all of your friends are voting for that candidate, so you should as well. NO! Look at the issues that are most important to you and research what your candidate plans on doing about them. See how your views, opinions and concerns match up against your candidate's views, opinions, and concerns! Who knows, you might change your mind about who you want to vote for!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yeah, Acting's My Fallback

So around here, there is a program called the Standardized Patient Program. This is where actors are used to simulate a patient-physician interaction. The actor plays the part of a patient with a certain chief complaint and list of symptoms. A medical student taking their OSCE exams comes in and gets as much information as he or she thinks they need from the patient in order to make a diagnosis.

The actor is provided with a checklist of items the young medical student should have covered through the exam. These items include questions the medical student should have asked or behavior the medical student should show.

So Thursday, I had my first job with the SPP. I was playing a patient with shortness of breath in the Internal Medicine OSCEs.

Now, I'm not allowed to disclose any specifics about the case or the patient I play in it just in case there are medical students out there looking for cheat sheets. But what I can do is tell you that this is a fun job.

The training for it is fun, and you learn all sorts of things. The acting part is fun because you get to pretend to be someone else (and sometimes hand out clues) to help a medical student pass their exam.

I get a packet of information during training which includes the page the student will get with your name, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and any other basic stats they should know. Another page gives me the information I need to study about the character I'm playing like medical history, family medical history, review of symptoms, the medications being taken, the family life, amount of children, job of spouse, and age that the character is. Finally, I get a checklist with all of the items the medical student should cover. I review that to make sure I keep an eye out for everything during the exam, and when their exam is over, I go over it with them and give them any information they left out if it's important to the case. I also make sure they know what mistakes they made or what questions they might've left out, and just generally let them know how they did.

All of the students Thursday did wonderful! And I think I did a pretty good job conveying the information without handing it to them on a silver platter. I heard from one of them that a standardized patient at a different station had really let them have it for leaving out a certain question! That surprised me greatly! Our job is not to critisize, it's to help! And I hope that the person who berated the medical student for forgetting to ask about whatever it was comes to see that that's not what we're there for.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Google Reader Trends

Top Read:

In reference to the picture above: If you are wondering why Ramona is on there twice, it's because she's just that awesome!!! ;)

Also- I haven't figured out how to stop double following people on blogger and google reader, but that's only because I haven't bothered trying.

Most Starred:












Same reason why Bongi is on this one twice. He's just that amazing!!! ;)

I also can't understand why Killing Batteries isn't higher on both lists. That guy is cool.

I wish google told you which blogs were your favories, because these lists would be in a totally different order.

I really use Starring as a way to bookmark posts I want to read again, not only those I really like, but also those which I just want to check out later rather than reading them at that moment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


My story starts early last Thursday. Well, not really early, but early on in Philosophy class. And this is just a small subsection of a big story I have to tell you that spans over a whole week, but only covers three of those days. It'll make sense later.

So, you may have heard, if you follow me on Twitter, that I am not particularly fond of my Philosophy class. The teacher is not very nice, the constant questions are confusing and the whole "which philosopher generated which theory" thing absolutely confounds me. I have no clue who said any of the things I hear in class. I have no textbook, only a novel with occasional side notes crediting quotes and theories to their philosophers in a small paragraph or even one line sentence.

Oh yeah, and it also reminds me of that one day I threw up in class, but we won't go there today.

No, today we are taking a trip that many a student has taken before. The trip down the familiar "This teacher has a personal vendetta against me!" road.

Let's begin, shall we?

So yeah, as I was saying. Last Thursday. I was in Philosophy class as you may or may not have already guessed, and the teacher was introducing the subject of discussion. In my constant stupor of thought that possesses me the moment I enter the room, I was confused before he finished his first sentence.

What do confused students do? Naturally, they raise their hands to ask a question or make a comment in an often futile attempt to become un-confused.

So I raised my hand.

Usually, when this happens, I get positive feedback from teachers. I get a kind answer and a patient explanation of whatever confusing thing I am asking about. Sometimes the response is humorous and says "don't worry, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me either" and sometimes it says "don't worry, you'll get it in a while" or maybe even "that was a really thoughtful question, I'm glad you asked!!".

What I got this time, word for word started with "Put your hand down!! I haven't asked any questions yet!!"

That surprised me, but I went on to answer that I didn't want to answer any questions, and that I had a question of my own.

The teacher faces the class and laughingly tells them something to the effect of "this girl is so funny! I haven't even opened the discussion and she's already anxious to participate! She is just so excited about this class, it kills me! It's so funny because she loves this class so much!"

He was laughing, and I wasn't. He was trying to dismiss me as just another one of those students who is vying for their daily amount of "participation" extra credit. I wasn't one of those students.

Now for a little sidenote. Those of you who know me know that I have a hard time lying. And sometimes, I am even blunt or brutally honest about what is on my mind. Trust me, this is one of those times that bluntness was needed.

I quickly corrected him, telling him "Oh, no, no, no, no, no. No. I hate this class. I'm just confused"

The rest of the class laughed. I did not. (Neither did the teacher if you are curious)

I thought then that he might've been mad at me.

I might be right.

Last Tuesday, the teacher condemned a student for wearing a Boston Red Sox hat. The student quickly tried to make up for this by insiting that he didn't like the Red Sox, and was only wearing the hat for the colors. The team he is really a fan of is the New York Yankees. Really.

Did that work? No. Apparently, the teacher is a fan of the White Sox. He then goes on to warn against claiming support for either the Red Sox or the Yankees. He says that either team is ridiculous and that, while we have a free pass today because of our ignorance, he will not be so lenient in the future.

Of course, he was playing around. The other students were laughing, I was laughing, and even the teacher thought that he was hilarious. I don't know enough about baseball to be a fan of any team, so I decided to comment that I was a fan of "all baseball teams".

I started it out with "I'm a fan of the Yankees and the Red Sox!". I was about to go on to say that I liked ALL the baseball teams! After all, they must be talented to make it into the pros and being that skilled means training, endurance, hard work. . all admirable qualities.

But before I had the chance to tell him anything about my widespread respect for all teams in baseball, he interrupted me.

"You are about to leave this class." and this time, he wasn't kidding. He took my remark as a smart mouth thing to say. This was unfortunate for me.

Thus began the verbal onslaught of threats. "If you want to review with us this class for the test next Tuesday, you need to just shut your mouth." or "If you want to stay in this class with us, you will not mention either the Red Sox or the Yankees again the rest of the period" and then there was the "there is a difference between 'joking around' like we've been doing - ha ha haaa -and being rude to the teacher like you just were"

Needless to say, I was ignored for the rest of the day (which was bad because he wanted everyone to tell him what to review, and I had alot I wanted to review) and everytime I raised my hand, either the subject was quickly changed or he just ignored me until I put it down and he called on someone else.

Thus the whole "personal vendetta" theory.

So today in class, we took a test. I studied very hard for this one, and will be surprised if I get any lower than an 80% on it.

You should've seen the look on his face this afternoon when I looked him straight in the eyes while wearing my dad's New York Yankees cap and left after finishing my test.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Conference Weekend!

Alright, so I have a secret. Well, it's not a secret. But I think I'll remind those of you who might've forgotten:

I'm Mormon!! (A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be more precise)

And, as every Mormon knows, this weekend is General Conference.

That being so, I've already attended two sessions, and my brothers have attended 3. All in all, I've sat through around 4 hours of wonderful talks from wonderful people.

My favorite speaker so far has been Elder D. Todd Christofferson. I love his story about the Moldovan Young Single Adults who went to their YSA Conference (ours is coming up at the end of the month, and I can't wait!!) and took notes to share with the YSA who didn't have an opportunity to attend because they couldn't afford to travel that far. How amazing!

For those of you who have no idea what General Conference is, it's basically a big meeting that is held in Utah, and broadcast through television, internet, and the radio throughout the world to the members of the church. It is translated into 62 languages over the internet, and probably more than that when it is transcribed and published in our church magazine to be sent all around the world.

General Conference takes place twice a year. Once in April, and once in October. There are usually five sessions of conference that are held over a period of two days. Typically, 3 sessions will be held on Saturday, and 2 more the following Sunday. These sessions can last anywhere from 90-120 minutes, and can have anywhere from 6-8 speakers who are usually chosen from the general leadership of the church.

My big brother is actually in Utah right now and has had the opportunity to attend a session live, and will attend another one tommorrow! Attending conference live is quite an opportunity. While tickets are free, they are sometimes hard to come by. The Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah seats 21,000, and was recently completed in April of 2000.

Tommorrow, we will have two more sessions of conference, with more wonderful talks, and more amazing speakers. I can't wait!