Everything happens for a reason

Month: February 2019

Blog 8

The Future of Science…Is Art?

Jonah Lehrer’s argument that we need to connect the scientific and artistic worlds is a topic that I fully stand behing. Lehrer does a great job identifying why we should consider this shift and providing examples of what has been done in thepast. His suggestions for steps that need to be taken are persuasive yet, are not too aggresive. The fact that Lehrer stands up for both science and art in this essay makes it much more enjoyable to read and goes hand in hand with his point that we need to be accepting of art and science perspectives. The overall argument is clear and pushes the reader to form their own opinions. It was personally much easier for me to find what my own opinion on this topic is while reading this essay rather than reading the essay by Yo-Yo Ma.



A junction between two nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter.


A secondary effect or byproduct that arises from but does not causally influence a process.

Holistic perspective:

A perspective in which many different factors are taken into account to generate a picture of the culture as a whole

Blog 7

Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education by Yo-Yo Ma

My personal annotation goals are being reached step by step. I have started to expand my thinking by asking more questions about the text but I know that I can continue to work on building my connections to my personal life.

“Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education” was originally published on the online news and blog site, World-Post, in January 2014. It was written by cellist and songwriter, Yoy-Yo Ma. Ma’s greatest achievements include winning seventeen Grammys, recipient of many awards, and graduate of the Julliard School and Harvard University.

I found this reading, more than others, to really stretch my own personal thinking. Initially, I thought I would completely agree with Ma’s point that art needs to be incorporated into life to make it overall a more empathetic place. However, many of the annotations I wrote challenged that original belief. I started to think about how students who don’t enjoy the arts would respond to these demands. My purpose for reading this essay is to challenge my own personal ideas of how and why art should be incorporated into education and life.

The scope of this essay is to look at how incorporating art into our lives creates connections. Through education and globalization, art can create understanding and encourages a new way of thinking aside from strictly scientific ways.

Lewd: Crude and offensive in a sexual way

Lascivious: Feeling or revealing an overt and often offensive sexual desire

Bandwidth: The energy or mental capacity required to deal with a situation


Blog 6

Shitty First Drafts

In Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts”, I noticed that a lot of the steps she took were things that I fear doing in my own writing. It is extremely difficult for me to delete words that I have generated even if I know that they are not beneficial to my argument. The process of writing whatever comes to mind down is a process that I wish to be able to achieve. I believe that her point of getting words down on the page is a very important step to creating a well written final draft. I was surprised by how many writers all have this same exact problem. The first draft of any writing seems to be a universally difficult task.

Revision Plan 

My goal is to connect my body paragraphs to my thesis in a more organized and coherent manner. I want to clearly state what I will be discussing through my essay and how each point connects to my thesis.

Some steps that I will take to reach this goal are..

  • Create a more narrow thesis relating to the cultural and societal aspects of dealing with a medical metaphor.
  • Focus on 3 or 4 main examples of cultural and social effects.
  • Connect a personal experience to my thesis
  • Use quotes that relate to culture and society rather than broad quotes related to metaphor in general.

My biggest challenge in achieving this goal is to focus on staying specific and not opening up the discussion to a broad place surrounding only metaphor. In this essay it is very easy to resort back to defining what a metaphor is or explaining how Geary, Khullar, and Erard use metaphor differently. Staying on task to explain my view of metaphors in the medical field will be something to really strive for.

If this becomes a challenge for me I will use different resources to stay away from being too broad. The first thing I will do is personally go through my paper to make sure that the quotes and examples I used relate to the social and cultural aspect of metaphors. If I come across this issue another resource I can use is asking a peer or student at SASC to read over my paper and explain to me in their own words what they believe my thesis and paragraphs are really focused on.

Blog 5

Global vs Local Edits

When shifting my thinking of editing from local edits (spelling, punctuation, etc) to global edits (overall idea, organization, clarity, etc) I noticed my edits becoming much more meaningful. I felt as though the feedback I was providing my peers with could really be used to enhance the structure of their essay rather than the superficial appearance.

Editing spelling so early on in the revision process could be seen as a complete waste of time. More likely than not the sentences or even entire paragraphs that make up an initial free draft will be drastically different than the sentences and paragraphs in the formal final draft. While these local or nitpicky edits are important for a published piece of work to be free of errors, at this step in the process they unnecessary to point out.

Emphasis on the global edits is what should be focused on in peer review in the early stages of the writing process. Pointing out where ideas are confusing or how certain paragraphs or evidence (quotes) do not relate to the overall thesis is much more important and necessary. In the peer review completed for this class, our peers need to know how to create a coherent essay that makes sense to the general audience. Building the structure of a house is much more important than the decorations we choose to put in that house similarly to how the concepts discussed in an essay can be more important than fixing a misspelled word here and there.

Blog 4

Introductory Paragraph 

Whether you are a male or a female, an introvert or an extrovert, a republican or democrat, each and every person has their own individualized experience that has let them to where they are in the world today and the view they have. The social and educational background of each human being on earth is completely unique. Beliefs, morals, and the way we chose to conduct ourselves in situations all stem from our completely personal life experiences. Background creates perception and a different view on the world from person to person. A professional in the healthcare field may perceive a statement in one way whereas a patient with cancer being treated by the previously mentioned professional can perceive the exact same statement in a completely opposite way. Since the doctor has not been through chemo or had the burden of struggling with cancer, she is unaware of exactly what is going through the mind of a cancer patient. Saying things like “you are a fighter” or “cancer is war” can spark a very negative response from the patient even though they metaphors created by the doctor create a somewhat accurate representation of what cancer is like.



Intro Draft 2:

Word choice is said to be a very deliberate process. The words we us in everyday conversations may not seem to be as though out or intentional as written text, but it still holds the same, if not more, power to influence. Words on a page are carefully thought out and can easily be altered to please the public but it is much harder to take back words after they have been released to a large audience. In the hospital full of people with diverse background, knowledge, and personalities, it is important to be aware of the word choice being used in each unique situation. While one patient may respond well to cancer being viewed as a battle, it may sicken another patient even more deeply than the cancer they are faced with. As a doctor, nurse, or even janitor in a hospital surrounded by this abundance of diversity, it can seem overwhelming to speak without offending someone each and every time you open your mouth to generate a conversation. Being aware of your patients cultural and social background can enhance your relationships with patients and help you better understand that words have a strong influence on how people perceive what you say.

Blog 3

Khullars ‘The Trouble With Medicine’s Metaphors’ Summary 

In Dhruv Khullars article titled The Trouble With Medicine’s Metaphors, the use of military language connected to illness is explored. Examples of studies including social and physical warmth, the Macbeth Effect, and treating cancer as an enemy are used to provide the reader with more information on why there may be issues with relating illness to a negative connotation. In the closing paragraphs of the articles the idea that each individual patients background and beliefs are the main sources of understanding what could be a  “good” and “bad” use of a medical metaphor. Each patient may have a different reaction to hearing “cancer is a battle”, and it is important for the healthcare provider to understand what that boundary is.

I believe that Khullar is correct in many of his points. It is imperative as a healthcare provider to understand how their words may influence emotional responses from patients. The power of a metaphor in medicine stems much deeper than a political metaphor or even a sports-related metaphor will for most. In my personal experience, I have witness individuals who are completely proud to claim that their cancer has been a battle that they were able to overcome. While at the same time, I know people with extreme illnesses who would rather see their illness as something minor in their life that they just happen to be living with. I strongly agree with Khullars emphasis on the fact that a metaphor can be seen in positive and negative ways solely depending on who the metaphor is being told to.

James Geary: “Metaphor matters because it creates expectations.”: Metaphor is a very personal experience and when Geary says that metaphor creates expectations, I think he is referring to the fact that each person’s personal background related to a metaphor will in turn end with very different interpretations of a metaphor.

Michael Erard: “Once we lose a metaphor into the world, it will be blocked by other ways of thinking that change its meaning or disrupt its interpretation.”: According to Erard, this uncertainty is a very dangerous thing for metaphor creators to be aware of because the different possibilities could completely skew the initial intentions.

Dhruv Khullar: “But when the purpose of treatment is no recovering from a cold, but living with cancer, should the military metaphor be retired?”: This quote overall speaks to me because I believe it encompasses the thoughts on how easily metaphors can be interpreted in different ways, such as the willingness of patients to accept a cold versus cancer being related to a battle.

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