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All posts by catorrez

As a person that loves the outdoors I find it easier to work outside when writing. It is an outlet, an escape from the concrete walls that take up so much of my time spent awake. Backpacking, mountain biking, running, you name it. Being active outside is so inspirational for me.

How can we grade something that can not be given a number score?

To show that student‘s are learning the required material provided by the administrators the teachers are asked to post grades. Yes posting grades can be used to show improvement and understanding  of the given material but it does not account for many other factors. Letter grades can show that the student can regurgitate the material but how can we show that they are truly learning it.  The type of learning that lasts a lifetime. Fact of the matter is we can not. We can not guarantee that the students will retain the material that they learned even a semester ago. This can pose a problem when Untitledstudents pass one class to get into another but when push comes to shove they have forgotten the basics and now struggle to maintain a grade for the higher level class.

 Another problem is that the teacher can give the student material and tell them how to do it and they are  lost by how the material is shown to them. If a teacher uses a technique that is more of a show me what you learned rather than a tell me what you learned then the given scale can start to become flawed.

How can we give the student a letter grade? This is not an easy task to do if the teacher was originally given strict guidelines of how the assignment should be done but the student responds to a different proof of learning.

 When I was looking back at my past assignments I noticed all the mistakes and I was surprised. I was not surprised at the mistakes I had made, I was surprised by the lack of mistakes in my current assignments. This was proof of improvement. I realized how much I have learned and started to think about grades even more. If I gave myself a grade from the first week of class it would have been completely different than the grade I believe I deserve now.

In one of my past classes we discussed how grades can be seen as unfair if one student is a good test taker but doesn’t do the work in class and another does the work but doesn’t shine through on tests.

I believe a lot of times grading scales can have many flaws that are never given attention. During my COMP 250 Section 3 class when we discussed what grades would be appropriate to be included on CANVAS I was caught off guard. Yes we could be graded on attendance, participation and time on task assignments but it would seem that those would be a yes or no, 100 or 0 point assignment. Could those really be graded to show that the students are learning?  I believe that our blogs are proof that we are learning! Although, what administrator is going to take time to read the hundreds of students blogs to see that we are truly learning? Because of this I believe that the attendance, participation and time on task is a good way to grade but it does still seem very flawed.

Questions with Sister Helen Prejean

For the questions and responses I would like to note that I have written them up in my own words.

Question: Is a life sentence with no parole  more humane than the death penalty?

Answer: No, it is not humane in any way. Life in prison is a hard hard life. Yes we have to do what we have to do to stay safe. But it is not humane.

Question: Was Gender a barrier for you in your fight for Sonnier?
Answer:  Not so much a gender thing more so that it wasn’t seen as appropriate. A feeling of walking on another persons turf with the men in the ministry.

Question: What has been your lowest point since the murder trials?
Answer: Not reaching out to LeBlancs family. (Since then Sister Helen Prejean has reached out to the families.)

Side quote from Sister Helen Prejean  : Increase your knowledge to increase your passion.

Dead Man Walking discussion continued.

Time of the trial

After being present in the trials and getting to know  Elmo Patrick Sonnier better, Sister Helen Prejean said she felt bad for the parents and families of Bourque and LeBlanc.  She empathized with Sonnier and that meant she couldn’t face the parents of the deceased because she was afraid that they would be infuriated with her. She thought this mainly because she was Sonniers adviser.

Unplanned Sister Helen Prejean ran into Bouroques parents and were furious at her, just like she had assumed. But when she ran into LeBlanc’s parents they said that they were surprised that she didn’t visit them.  They told her that they felt under pressure since the Sonnier was on death row. That was when it hit her. Forgiveness. LeBlanc’s family taught her that Forgiveness means the saving of your own life. The love in us and integrity inside us can win over the disgust and hatred inside us.

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(Restraint chair with viewing windows)

As Sister Helen Prejean talked to LeBlanc’s family she learned that they need to talk. She brought up the question, why do people stay away when bad things happen? It’s because they don’t know how to comfort those effected, how to talk to them without making it difficult.

 

 

When discussing the making of the film Dead Man Walking I found it interesting that during the movie they were going through the protocol of death row with detail.

To make it clear how Sister Helen Prejean saw Sonnier she said that when she talked to Pat he was healthy, remorseful, and he was coherent. She did not see why they must kill him. Take his life away. Who has the right to do that? She said Pat was not like people who are dying in the hospital. The people who you could see them slipping away.

When Sister Helen Prejean used this comparison I was holding my breath. I took a few minutes to view things through her eyes. 

 

The hour of execution.

Sonnier said he didn’t want Sister Helen Prejean to watch him be electrocuted. She said to Sonnier that he had to look her in the eyes before he was killed. She said this so that he could feel like he still had dignity.

Something I found very interesting was when I heard that the Guard said that some of these people on death row are little boys in grown men’s bodies.

On April 5, 1984 Sister Helen Prejeans mission began. She spends her time educating citizens about the death penalty and also by advising more death row prisoners.

Durango Community Members at Sister Helen Prejeans book discussion

Dead Man Walking: Meet the Author


Sister Helen Prejean moved to help at St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans. She worked at Hope House from 1984 – 1986. While in New Orleans she was the spiritual Adviser for an inmate named Elmo Patrick Sonnier. Sonnier, Pat as she calls him,  was on death row.

Sister Prejean Discusses her journey.

Sister Prejean made note that people get less time for saying that the other person is guilty or responsible. From being told this how are we to determine who is the worse criminal? She brought up the question, can giving the death penalty heal the family’s hearts? Can it heal the torn family? Even if it is a legal justice is the death penalty right?

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(Waiting to hear the sentencing of the murders)

When first listening to the discussion I had no idea how Sister Helen Prejean was so connected to Patrick Sonnier. I also did not know what Sonniers crime was.

As Sister Helen Prejean talked more I learned that Sonnier and his brother, Eddie James Sonnier, ran into  Loretta Ann Bourque and David LeBlanc at lovers’ lane.  The brothers had guns with them when they approached Bourque and LeBlanc, they pretend to be Police Officers to obtain the twos identities. Patrick said that the two were trespassing and if Bourque had sex with Eddie then he would not tell on the two.  Boruque refused and in the end the brothers killed both Bourque and LeBlanc. 

At this time I started to feel so uncomfortable. My emotions were starting to get to me and to continue to listen to the discussion was very difficult.

 

Language: A Reader for Writers still connected to Exercise Science Physiology?

For my final three chosen  Language: A Reader for Writers. articles I read OMG, ETC. , Doubts About Doublespeak and The Church of Please and Thank You.     

OMG, ETC. by Robert Lane Greene. (P.118-126) discussed how acronyms have become very common in today’s society. I found it very interesting how many people think of text talk, such as ‘OMG’ only as a teenagers’ way of speaking. Greene talks about how in the work force acronyms are found in every profession. In  Exercise Science Physiology  we use acronyms for our own convince. Physical therapists might use acronyms like EKG, ACL and MMT. This can make it difficult for patients that do not know what the acronyms stand for unless they are carefully explained.

When I first read this article I thought of how many acronyms are used. I still believe that acronyms in the medical field need to be used and explained carefully.  As well as the use of acronyms without explanation can cause communication failure and confusion to the patient.  Improper use of abbreviations may cause a person to sound unprofessional. Although I do believe that the use of acronyms is very helpful in the medical field.

Doubts About Doublespeak.  by William Lutz. (P.198-203) talks about four ways that doublespeak is used in today’s society.

  • Euphemism: A phrase that is used to avoid the reality that may be hard to deal with.
  • Jargon: A language created for specific professions that are used to communicate within that specific group quickly.
  • Gobbledygook or bureaucratese: The over use of multiple words to overwhelm the person being addressed.
  • Inflated Language: A way to make something seem more complex than it actually is (Stretching the truth).

Lutz states that Doublespeak alters our perception of reality(p.202).  I believe that this is true, Doublespeak is just a way to sugarcoat a situation because we do not know how to handle it properly. 

My first though about double speak in the medical field stays unchanged. When using doublespeak in the medical field patients may feel cheated of the input on their condition. Doublespeak should be avoided so that communication is very clear between patient and therapist.

Double speak
(Double Speak in the office)

The Church of Please and Thank You.  by Julie Traves (P.281-288) talks about how English is being used worldwide. Traves used statistics to say that majority of the population of the world knows English as a foreign language. Traves also quotes that many French speakers say that they need to know how to speak English.  A problem that has risen with English being taught everywhere is that it is changing the culture where it is being taught.  Teachers say that they have to teach the language and use English culture to explain what the meaning is.  This is where the student may decide to or unknowingly take up the culture that is being used as an example when only the words were supposed to be communicated. 

After reading this article I found that my first impression on what the article was about was completely off. Now I am more informed about how the teaching of the English language is effecting other cultures even if it is unintentional. I would like to note that ‘Please and Thank You‘ is part of my English-speaking culture. In the field of Exercise Science Physiology when trying to explain what is happening to a patient I will need to take into account their culture and find a way to clearly communicate what is going on. This should be handled carefully so that they do not feel pressured to change but to be knowledgeable of every option they have before them.

 

 

Hindrances to Research

 

During my COMP250 class we discussed what can be a hindrance to research when working on a project. After going around the room and conducting our own research about the topic we came up with nine hindrances to research.

  • Too much information that we want to include.
  • Questions that start to lead to further questions.
  • Not knowing where to start your research.
  • Having language barriers.
  • Using fear as avoidance of being responsible.
  • Not knowing how to narrow your research.
  • Willingness to adapt your research when it is needed.
  • Willingness to be wrong.
  • A sense of knowing that what you write about now can be accurate but later it may not be as relevant or even wrong.

mind

I have found in many of my research papers I have ended them with questions that I still had. I would go back to a paper that I wrote years ago and found that my view-point has completely changed. I now know that if I want to excel in writing I need to focus of these hindrances.  I am a stubborn person so it may not be easy but I believe that being aware of these hindrances will truly help me in my writing and research.

Language book chapters important for Exercise Science Physiology?

As I stated in my previous blog post I am a student who is studying Exercise Science Physiology (ES Physiology). I have chosen eight sections out of various chapters from the book  Language: A Reader for Writers. by Gita DasBender to study how they may impact my major and career choice as a Physical Therapist.

What is Words as Weaponsby Susan Benesch.(P.245-252) all about? As I read I learned that the examples for different levels of how words can be used as weapons seemed drastic.  The levels ranged from words that can be lost in translation to words that can cause confrontations between cultures resulting in fatalities.  This was different from what i thought would be brought up in the section. I believed it would touch on how to grab a persons attention using a cuss word.

After reading Words as Weapons I believe that when talking to an audience of various backgrounds the writer should be careful and knowledgeable about the words they use and if they can be offensive to the audience. If the word or phrase can be taken as offensive then the writer should be prepared to defend their writing. In ES Physiology you need to use words as ‘weapons’ to get a patient to do something or not to do something for the betterment of their health but never with the intention to be offensive or hurtful.

In Writing for an Audienceby Linda S. Flower.(P.74-78) she talked about three things that are crucial for writing for an audience. The writer should know who their audience is, what they want the audience to do and to prepare for an unwanted reaction. More specifically assuming what the audience knows about the given subject. What the audience should know so they can understand the subject. As well as how what is said may affect them and their view possibly causing conflict.

As a ES Physiology major this goes hand in hand with knowing your patient. When treating someone with a foot injury you wont give them a wrist brace. By knowing the patient it will help me direct a write-up/ therapy plan for their specific wants and needs.

(Body language photo)

I initially assumed that the section Body Language.  by Arika Okrent.(P.18-26) was about how a persons facial expressions, posture, and energy are Body language. As I read I found that the chapter touched on how hand moments in different cultures is used to show a meaning of what is being spoken. Okrent said that gestures should be viewed as ‘a compliment to language’. 

I still believe body language is a very important component of the ES Physiology field study. It should be used to fill holes that may occur in basic spoken communication.

Words are wind. by Adam Pulford. (P.52-57) basically agreed with my guess about the article meaning of actions speak louder than words. I did not expect this section to say that words can be influenced by different time periods. I found it interesting that the example of books and movies creating their own language to adapt to the need for a made up character or race specific to their needs.

I believe that when observing patients of the ES Physiology field their actions speak louder than their words. This will help when specific alterations to their treatment is needed.  Including the need to come up with new therapy treatments that do not exist yet.

When I read the title I won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why. by Kyle Wiens. (P.102-104) I believed the reason for using correct grammar was to build credibility. This assumption was confirmed to be true when I read the chapter section. I also learned a view that if a person is careless about their use of grammar who’s to say that they will not be careless in other aspects of their job field. 

I still believe that in ES Physiology the proper use of grammar is key to build credibility. With credibility more opportunity’s to move up in the work field will arise.

 

Language Chapter Sections: ES Physiology Comparison

As a student who is studying Exercise Science Physiology (ES Physiology) I found it hard to choose chapter sections from the book  Language: A Reader for Writers. by Gita DasBender that could impact my major. I am going to school so that I can later become a physical therapist, because I have chosen this profession I will be working more hands on as well as writing reports/schedule plans to myself and to the patient.

Physical Therapy (Photo from Fort Lewis College: ES Physiology major)

  • Words as Weapons.  Susan Benesch.(P.245-252) In ES Physiology sometimes you need to use words as ‘weapons’ to get a patient to do something or not to do something for the betterment of their health.
  •  Writing for an AudienceLinda S. Flower.(P.74-78) As a ES Physiology major or Physical Therapist when treating someone with a critical spinal injury you will need to address things differently than someone recovering from a sprained ankle. This helps direct a write-up/ therapy plan for every patients specific wants and needs.
  • OMG, ETC. Robert Lane Greene. (P.118-126) When trying to gain credibility in the medical field the use of abbreviations needs to be addressed very carefully. The use of abbreviations without explanation may cause failure to communicate and understand.  Improper use of abbreviations may cause a person to sound unprofessional.
  • Doubts About Doublespeak. William Lutz. (P.198-203) When using doublespeak in the medical field patients may feel cheated of the input on their condition. Doublespeak should be avoided so that communication is very clear between patient and therapist.
  •  Body Language.   Arika Okrent.(P.18-26) Body language is a very important component of ES Physiology field study. If your patient is struggling through therapy the therapist should have an reassuring body language helping encourage the continuation of treatment.
  • Words are wind. Adam Pulford. (P.52-57) When observing people who are being treated in the ES Physiology field the patient’s actions speak louder than their words. This will help when alterations to the treatment are needed.
  • The Church of Please and Thank You.  Julie Traves. (P.281-288) Out of respect and encouragement the use of Please and Thank You is seen throughout ES Physiology. Instead of sounding forceful to a patient the use of ‘ please’ gives the patient a feeling of options making them more comfortable.  Thank You is used as a common courtesy.
  •  I won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.  Kyle Wiens. (P.102-104) When trying to build credibility in the field of ES Physiology the proper use of grammar is key.   If you have more credibility more than likely more opportunity’s to move up in the field will arise.

Inquiry used in Exercise Science Physiology

During my COMP 250 class we discussed what the word inquiry means. After discussing our thoughts and opinions on our given word we came up with one definition for inquiry. Once decided we noticed that we had non verbally decided to make it a short and sweet definition.

Inquiry (noun): The process of obtaining knowledge through a question(s) and/or observation(s) that is relevant to the discourse. 

(Physiology of Human Body)

I have chosen Exercise Science Physiology as my major. A  question  that I have encountered is what may I inquire for my major and what can it be used for?

I must inquire information to help me figure out the scientific questions that are posed to me and to help be prepared for any questions that may come up when helping patients.

I may need to inquire

  • The structure of the human body 
  • Patients past history
  • Chemical reactions in the body 
  • How to safely treat a patient with an injury

 

 

‘So What? The Writer’s Argument’ My Opinion.

When reading ‘So What? The Writer’s Argument‘ by Kurt Schick and Laura Schubert I was able to decide if I like this book or not right away. This book was an easy read, unlike a typical class text-book that seems to drag on. This book was clearly written for the students.  The book was solely focusing on the college students of all academic levels making it easy to connect to.

In the text I found that most times if not every time, included thoughts by the author in between the examples given. Thoughts that typically a student would announce when reading the text. An example of this being when the writer used a hypothetical question. This question/ situation was not a typical everyday action as it was first stated.  The author made a quick note stating that it indeed was not an everyday situation and continued with their point. When this occurred I found it humorous and made me want to continue to read. The examples of how to write/ read were very multimodal, keeping the writing from seeming to drag on. Some elements used that appealed to me the most were visual, spatial, and linguistic. By far my favorite part of this book is that at the beginning of each chapter a ‘chapter checklist‘ is provided.

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(Book used in COMP 250 class)

 

For my COMP 250. class I was assigned a specific amount of time in order to complete the book by. I found that having this set amount of time made me focus on finding what I found most important in every chapter. Although I believe that reading the book so quickly deprived me or actually retaining, learning and understanding the material that was provided.

(Link to Book used in class)    http://global.oup.com/ushe/product/so-what-9780199949076;jsessionid=862878E16F233605097AAE20462F9D61?cc=us&lang=en&

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