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Week 1 nsg = nursing

8am's a little early to be watching a dick bath on a large projector screen, but one cannot be shy in nursing.

In the afternoon, everyone will give Tiresias, old rubber man with wrinkled dugs and two options for genitalia, a full bed bath. Also, turn him without breaking his leg off and change his bed with him in it, hospital corners and all. Perform oral care, taking extra care with dentures.

We also take one another's pulse, blood pressure, and respiration, and the vitals of the incredible, programmable, $160k, wifi-enabled, anatomically-functioning man-doll hooked up to a monitor in the mock ICU.

In another room, we practice restraining one another, to a wheelchair or hospital bed.
But every one of us is Houndini.

And this happens--twice.
"Ms. Chao, do you remember me?"
Oh no, here it comes.
"I was in your Engl 1A. It was a really long time ago."

One knows one taught community college too long (and hasn't stayed away long enough) when one goes back t…
Recent posts

DNA

DNA, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, blueprint molecules for everything that makes you you. Race/ethnicity isn't a biological thing present in your DNA, however.

There's a lot we don't know about the estimated 20,000 or so genes present on our 23 chromosomes and the simple and complex traits they govern. We do know that genes coding for superficial traits such as skin, hair, and eye color, are just that--superficial. Scientists argue that race (e.g. African, Asian) is a social construct because there aren't genes only present in Africans or only present in Asians and not present in other "races," and there aren't genes present in all members of a particular "race," either. Two people from the same perceived race can be as genetically different as two people from different races.

So there's something insidious about these ancestry sites that analyze your DNA and tell you what percentage you are of which ancestry. What these sites are calling Irish, Eu…

How to Buy Your College Textbooks Cheap

1. Before the semester begins, find out required text(s) for a course (from the bookstore), and email the instructor to confirm whether an older edition would be acceptable. The difference between editions can be well over $100. Also doublecheck if online access (such as through Pearson) is required--usually online access includes the etext, and publishers might offer an additional looseleaf copy at a low price.

2. Check Amazon for the cheapest used copy of the text (including older editions, if the instructor allows use of older editions). Looseleaf copies can't be resold online, but are usually significantly cheaper. You might also consider renting. But before buying from Amazon--

3. Just in case, Google the title of the text and "pdf" or "free ebook" to check if it's available online. www.gutenberg.org offers over 54,000 free ebooks, for example.

4. If no free copies are available,  try www.addall.com, which searches over 40 used book sites, including Am…

Needle Phobia

As a kid, I was convinced that glass thermometers, like needles, hurt. I lost my shit when the doctor busted out with a big honking needle.

I've only fainted once, in college, after a blood draw. It wasn't my fault, though, because I'd looked away, and when I looked back, the nurse was wiping up a puddle of bright red blood she'd spilled all over my medical form.

20% of the general population experience a fear of needles, according to Healthline.com. Needle phobia is a thing. It comes with its own terminology:

Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles

Trypanophobia: a fear of injections

Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

This fear actually makes sense in terms of evolution. Heavy-handed symbolism aside, if, like Aurora on her sixteenth birthday, one sees a sharp, pointy thing and thinks, MUST TOUCH, one might not live to pass on one's genes.

I have no problem popping the blueberry-like, bulbous body of a large black…

Some Tips from Orientation

No canvas shoes; blood and urine will spill.
No jewelry besides flat wedding bands, unless you like the image of mashing diamonds in the microbial-habitat equivalent of raw hamburger meat. Protruding jewelry might snag elderly patient skin. No facial piercings; nurses will rat you out in a heartbeat.
Do not violate HIPAA.
Do not engage in criminal activities. Even when you’re not a nurse, you’re still a nurse. They’ll make you go through hell to get your license back, if you ever get it back.
Get CPR-certified, vaccinated, background-checked and drug-screened.
There may be times when you’re willing to pay $80 for a hotel room just so you can get a few hours’ sleep.
ATI, ATI, ATI.
Keep textbooks handy in your car.
Spend time with your family this summer--they won't see you for two years.
If reading poetry under the conference table can get you through orientation, it will probably get you through the RN program.

"All Is Present," For Pos Moua

All Is Present
For Pos Moua
Let us celebrate             the gardener and his blooms                         the blushing, the spiked, those spawning young, let us celebrate             the first tree, axis mundi no borders, ever-turning leaves, boughs craning towards, away from, vining around center—                         the weight of the world in two cupped palms. Let us celebrate the gardener immortal garden incarnate boulder, soil, soul, light, jeweled buds, mystic roots             bless the earth, drink rain                         bind carbon into sweetness.   Mythical companions, Kunlun Mountain domes of jasper and jade deaths and births, secrets and freedom, Peach Blossom Village, fruits of fire.  At the Jade Pool, fish dance and nip, flirt with silver bells. Sunlit waves crash in hidden caverns.              A single boat paused against embroidered, ten-colored horizon. Tao Yuanming deemed it impossible to find the way back, rediscover those fragrant woods. Yet, remembering, we celebrate           …

What's in a Uniform?

While uniforms may perpetuate stereotypes and differences in social status, they also remind us that underneath the fabric, we aren't all that different--those few alleles coding for skin tone and hair color/texture are nothing in the grand scheme of the human genome. In fact, we have far greater differences internally (blood type, e.g.) than externally (hair, skin).

Uniforms were a large part of my formative years, from kindergarten aprons and hats, sailor outfits in music school, hideous military-style khaki in junior high, to shirt, tie and pants/skirt in senior high. We even had uniform hair--I was one of the last generations of Taiwanese girls with 3-cm-under-the-earlobe regulation haircuts (boys had shaven heads). Sure, our faces looked different, but with other variables controlled (no makeup or piercings, socks and shoes regulated), we also appeared the same.

The uniforms were our identity. If one wore the dirt green shirt and black skirt of Taipei First Girls, people wond…