Online Education: An Explanation and a Rant

 

MOOC stands for Massive Online Open Courses.
MOOCs are currently free and taught by instructors at top universities. There is no grade associated with taking the class.
Online education is an extremely important area. I am currently taking the courses necessary to advance from an LPN license to an RN license via online courses through Excelsior College in Albany, New York. I would not be able to do this otherwise, because I’d have to go to school all day and work all night.
Which brings up a beef that I have with the way most nursing programs are run.
Nursing programs overall seem to stuck be in the dark ages. Most of the classes I attended to get my LPN license could have been taken online, but the school didn’t have the funds to pay online instructors. They were lecture classes. The teacher read right out of the textbook.
I was able to obtain my LPN license because there was a part-time school option. The school in my area does not offer a part-time option to obtain the RN license. One would have to go to school full time, which I simply couldn’t do. I don’t have the option to work part time. I do not have a spouse or parents to support me while I go to school. One should not be expected to have such.
As well, I can understand requiring that clinicals be done on a day or evening shift rather than a night shift, because nights tend to be an oddball shift. I should know, I’ve worked night shift for a great part of my working life, and I prefer it.
This one is the fault of the hospitals, not of the college. The hospitals do not offer a day or evening option for clinicals, which I very much think they need to do. Not everyone does well on day shift. Some people, like me, work night shift, and an evening shift clinical would be much less difficult to adapt to.
Medical school is another area that needs to advance out of the dark ages. My brother is an EMS captain in Tucson. He works closely with the staff at the area hospitals. He says that interns are still treated as the “resident’s bitches,” and the hours they work during their clinicals are horrible, i.e. 36 hours at a time without a break.
It seems to me that nursing school and med school remain shitty experiences because the people who came before had shitty experiences, so they want to insure that those following in their footsteps will suffer too. It’s a poor attitude, and it’s time to work to make these experiences positive ones for students. I think people graduating from a more flexible program where they were treated in a humane fashion would be better doctors/nurses.
I realize that people have to have their skills down pat before they can be certified. I’m not saying that nursing and med school programs should be lax about requiring excellence in the necessary areas. I’m only saying they should treat the students with common decency rather than continuing with harsh, outmoded practices.
~The Cheese~
 
Cross-Posted to:

My Body Belongs To Me: A Children’s Book

Ms. Starishevsky wrote and self-published this book in 2009 but it has most recently been picked up by a traditional publisher. As we approach April which is Child Abuse Prevention Month, she is available for blog interviews. Her topic is “10 Tips on How Parents and Educators Can Recognize and Prevent Child Sexual Abuse“.

In her own words:

My hope is to increase the number of schools that are teaching this important information to children ages 3-8.

Click on the image above to visit her Facebook page about the book and send her a comment if you are interested in learning more, buying books now before it goes traditional, and/or to set up a blog interview about this important topic.

An Open Letter Regarding the Young Women’s Conference 2014

Dear Ms. Shriver and Ms. Witherspoon:

I saw a report on my southern California evening news about the conference you held today to empower young women; let me say that I believe it is important to inform girls and to encourage them to do well in school, participate in internship opportunities,  and so on.

However,  while this wonderful event included students from a number of schools across the region, it was held at The Brentwood School. I am sure it is a fairly convenient location for those of you who live in that area, but I am curious whether you plan to travel to areas where students may not have the level of economic or social advantage that the young ladies who participated today are privy to. The children, for example, in the public middle and high schools near my home in San Bernardino County do not get to hear such messages from successful women such as the two of you or such as the other guest speakers on the program.

Our children are not without inspiration or hope but would benefit from similar programs. Further, if they could be given support related to information on how they might avail themselves of internships and the other opportunities that were suggested today, they too might begin to explore greater opportunities in the future.

Such information should not be reserved for those of means only.

Thank you, and I welcome your thoughts.

Yours sincerely,

AR Neal

Response to a Jackass

Jackass-e1357316562286

Not this jackass. He’s just a cute little fella looking for a carrot or sugar cube.

“SUCK IT UP, drop the donut, and go for a walk.  If you don’t want to put in the effort to be healthy and attractive, you have no right to complain and play the victim about society’s “standards of beauty”.” –An asshole on Tumblr

I honestly do not give a flying fuck in hell whether people find me attractive. I also do not find it compulsory to reveal my dietary and exercise habits to anyone, but here, for the sake of argument, I will.

My vital stats:

I will be 49 years old on February 15.

5 feet 6.5 inches tall

310 pounds

Non-normative physical conditions:

Endometriosis (diagnosed age 30)

Fibromyalgia (diagnosed at age 25)

Hypothyroidism (diagnosed at age 16)

Hypertension (diagnosed at age 45)

Mitral valve prolapse (diagnosed at age 44)

Sciatica (diagnosed at age 37)

Non-normative psychological conditions:

bipolar disorder (diagnosed age 38)

borderline personality disorder (diagnosed age 43)

obsessive-compulsive disorder (diagnosed age 43)

Eating disorder: Bulimia, started at age 12

Yo-yo dieting from age 18 to age 45

What is my diet like currently? I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the diets of several people I know, who range in size. Do I keep a food journal? Fuck to the no. I’ve done that shit before. It irritates me and I stop doing it after a week. I’m old enough that when shit doesn’t work I don’t do it any more. I refuse to drive myself batshit with this sort of thing. I know what I eat and what physical activity I get.

I try to get at least a serving of fruit or vegetables every day. I’d like to say I get five a day, but I probably don’t do that every day.  I do eat a lot more fruits and vegetables and a lot less meat and processed foods than I used to.

I eat a lot less fast food than I used to. I refuse to lie and say I never ever ever go through the drive through because I’m oh so pure and perfect. I have a chaotic life and a bizarre schedule. Sometimes I do go through the drive through. At the beginning of last year I was probably doing so a couple times a week. Come the end of the year, it was down to a couple times a month.

I eat less sweets than I used to, but I work night shift and they tend to sing a siren song in the wee hours. I will never be a puritan who eats no sweets ever because I’m sooo sweet that I just don’t need them. Actually, I’m kind of a bitter asshole, so I do need a little something to sweeten me up! Because of my hypertension I have to avoid excess amounts of caffeine, so I reach for a little candy now and then. Not gonna lie. I am more mindful of it than I used to be, but I’m not going to shame myself for having a god damn mini candy bar or two!

My diet is actually a lot better overall than it was when I was younger and thinner. Yes, age does affect the metabolism.

As for exercise and overall health habits:

My job entails walking–a LOT of walking. I work in a large building. I literally walk at least three miles every night that I work. I work four nights a week.

For focused exercise, I work out in a therapy pool. I swim, walk, jog, and work with weights. I can also do exercises involving activities such as jumping, which I can’t do on land with my nearly fifty year old knees and messed up back.

I do not smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs.

My biggest health risk is probably chronic sleep deprivation.

So, to postulate an answer to the chode who made the above statement.

I am not an athlete, but I am physically active.

I do put an effort into maintaining and bettering my health, you fucking jackass. I go to the doctor to have my thyroid levels checked three times a year. I monitor my own blood pressure. I avoid alcohol and drugs. I exercise. I eat a reasonably healthy though not perfect diet. I do not consume entire pizzas, cakes, pies, buckets of fried chicken, or any other excessive amount of food in one sitting. And yet, here I am, fat and all.

I am not playing the victim (another tired argument that hateful asshats like to throw around.) In fact, the day I decided to stop hating and berating myself is the day I stopped playing the victim.

Once again, I do not give a flying shit whether you or any other dudebro or privileged Number 12 who believes its her right to insult people for not having the Vogue standard body type considers me attractive. I’m not trying to win any fucking beauty or popularity contest. However, my right to be treated with common decency is not contingent upon you finding me fuckable.

The belief that people who are not deemed attractive are deserving of scorn and derision is what I am protesting. This kind of thinking is poisonous and cannot be allowed to go unchecked. People’s lives are destroyed by this variety of hate. Some commit suicide, others hide themselves away, fearing the derision that awaits them should they try to venture into society.

People are being denied proper health care due to this kind of thinking because doctors want to blame fat on everything, which is lazy medicine. People of all sizes are hurt by this faulty logic, because by assuming that all thin people are healthy, potentially dangerous conditions that they may be experiencing are missed as well.

I am not begging you to tell me that I’m pretty. I am demanding that the bullying and stereotyping cease.

~Cie~

Mad as hell and not taking any more abuse

real women real bodies

Beware the Purpose of Outcry: A Brief Duck Dynasty Diatribe

So there was an outcry for the patriarch of Duck Dynasty after he was essentially accused of vilifying members of the LGBT community. The outcry was based on two separate motivations: religion and money.

Members of various faith communities indicated that he was speaking from Biblical foundations and should not be fired for that. I submit that some of those who gave voice were also investors or others who stand to lose money with the demise of the program (have you seen how much DD merch is in Walmart?!?).

I admit that I have not followed every detail of the story but it wasn’t until I caught an update from this morning’s “Good Morning America” that I heard more of the story.

Evidently said DD patriarch also had some insight into the lives of American Black folk too. Allegedly the African Americans in his area of Louisiana were happy before civil rights as they worked cotton and so forth. This was based on what he saw working in some of those same fields.

What he saw.

Did he ever have a conversation with any people of color who, based on the numbers of such individuals who marched, sat in at lunch counters, and were beaten, hosed, and burned out and who might have had a slightly different perspective?

This part of the story certainly did not get as much press as the portion that has been identified with conservative gay bashing.

Know that it should have.

I must say that I do not react to both comments with the same level of vehemence. The first causes me upset because it again raises the specter of Biblical application. Yes, there are passages that state it is an abomination for a man to be with a man (Leviticus 18:22) and a woman to be with a woman (Romans 1:26) in a sexual manner. However, no one has yet been able to answer my question about how Christians are to live out their faith with members of their communities who are LGBTQ and are also Christian or are seeking a Christian faith. Further, had the DD patriarch called out same sex adultery, would there have been such a reaction, such a polarization of the so-called left and right?

The second of his comments makes me sad and angry because of its ignorance. If he had said something like “The Black people I worked with said they were happy before all this civil rights business” is very different than saying the Black people he worked with looked happy because they sang as they worked and didn’t complain. Singing and silence were how we stayed alive! Seemingly happy workers were not harassed or killed. Maybe such treatment didn’t happen in his neighborhood; it happened in many other neighborhoods, but hey, I wasn’t there in his neighborhood and can’t tell you.

I would like to say that it will be nice when this blows over bit it won’t be. Bigotry, hatred, and separation will still be a major issue in the world. We must continue to call it out, not to cause more division but to bring it to light and to hopefully educate one another outside such a public forum.

Tough Times For Schools

THE TEXT IS FROM THE NEWS SOURCE

Published on Aug 1, 2013

Stream Fox 17 newscasts LIVE starting with TN Mornings at 5 am and News at 9 pm.NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro, Wilson, Dickson, Giles and Trousdale County Schools are all back in session. Students are storming the hallways at Hillwood High School. It’s an early start that most are still getting used to.Down the road at H.G. Hill Middle School, students showing up in the masses prepared to take on the day.As students settle in and work out minor problems, Metro School administrators are hard at work handling the bigger issues.Students starting the school year with one teacher could end up with another. That’s because 65 teachers are considered under-performing teachers and could be fired in the coming weeks.Dr. Register won’t be cutting all the teaching jobs in question, but did say he plans to re-assign some teachers and give additional training to those that need it. The potential cuts affect mostly middle and high school teachers, and make up less than 1% of employees. According to recent TCAP scores, Metro students are doing better in math, but not making much progress in reading. So, this year, Metro Schools will be putting more of an emphasis on reading and language arts.Follow us on Twitter @wztv_fox17 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates.