Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear supposed literary genius William Faulkner,
WTF?! Because of your reputation as one of the great writers of the day, I decided to pick up a copy of "The Sound and the Fury" thinking it was a book I should know. I started the book several days ago and have managed to read a whopping 19 pages (technically 16 since the Norton's Critical Edition begins your story on page 3). Please note that I am of about average or slightly higher than average intelligence. I'm not slow, but I'm not tipping the scales on the genius side either (as you probably noted from my atrocious grammar). That being said, I don't get your art. Who is telling the story? I've counted three different first person accounts so far. What's with the italics? You don't use them in any way I've ever understood. What's the plot? So far it has yet to be determined. There is a new character in ever sentence, it seems, but you haven't really introduced them. There is no timeline. I can piece enough information together to understand that you are jumping back and forth around some event (that you haven't yet disclosed). Sometimes you are writing before this supposed event and sometimes you write after it. You don't let me know when you are switching either, you just assume I've come along with you. I guess I will give you the benefit of the doubt because you are William Faulkner for God's sake, but I hope that you will resolve some of these issues as the story unfolds...if there is one to unfold. Thanks for reminding me that I should have paid better attention in school.

your mom

Friday, February 15, 2008


The scope of my last semester's study of Dental Hygiene (the course not the program as a whole) covers the topic of Ethics and Jurisprudence. In 4 weeks of textbook reading, website searches and classroom discussions I have discovered that I'm not sure I like the business of dentistry. Those who are employed in the field of dentistry are expected by the dental profession and by the public at large who receive dental "services" to uphold a code of ethics. This is all well and good. I have read and found great wisdom in the code of ethics for my profession and will have no problem adhering to what seems to be a reasonable set of principles that will guide and govern my practice. This code, however, seems only to exist in a dream world. I have left class every Friday feeling like my contribution to the health of the community bubble has been savagely crushed by fear of litigation and of dentists who are businessmen, not public servants-or at least individuals who are concerned with the overall welfare of their patients. Codes of ethics have been replaced by what insurance companies will pay for and by how much malpractice insurance you have. Yet we are still expected to uphold the code. I am not interested in working for a dentist who has no problem sending a patient away because he can't pay for a procedure that he needs (because thats super ethical right there). Nor am I interested in spending the first few years being afraid that I'm going to be sued because a guy with gingivitis bled while I cleaned his teeth. Here's where hypocrisy fits in. I wanted to be a hygienist because I was attracted to a stable and ample paycheck and and environment that allows me to spend time with my family. Oh yeah, and I want to make sure people are healthy too. Having almost finished school I still like the idea of having a nice paycheck, but now realize just how important my role is in keeping people healthy and preventing disease. I also have just realized how scared I am to find a job and to find one where I don't have to choose between my personal values/ethical code that I have taken on and ultimately selling out (working for a businessman) for a paycheck. I guess I'd have to decide if the paycheck is worth it. I could work for an inner city clinic, though that has it's own red tape issues probably just as frustrating as the ones I've just described. Though I have to say, I'm tired of being poor. I don't need to be rich by any means-but I also don't want to have to borrow from the family or throw hundreds of dollars on a credit card that I will spend 3 years paying off because my oil pan needs to be replaced....oi. Such weighty thoughts for a Friday evening. I'm going to ignore them now and watch American Gladiators.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Thank You, Captain Obvious

Kudos again to Yahoo! news for excellence in finding useless information. It appears that the National Institute of Health has funded a study on scratching and its effect on the portions of the brain. "They scratched 13 healthy people with a soft brush on the lower leg on and off in 30-second intervals for a total of five minutes."
The results: "'It's possible that scratching may suppress the emotional components of itch and bring about relief,' Yosipovitch said." Well, that's a load off now isn't it? I get pretty emotional about my itching. I like how he worded his results-scratching may supress itching. Researchers noted that "the study is limited because people were not scratching in response to an actual itch." I guess they can't just sit around waiting for people to get an itch. Maybe the subjects could watch The Seven Year Itch with some sensors on their heads or something so they can think about itching.
At the end of the article, almost as an aside (much like it is here), they let readers know how the study might actually be useful: "...understanding what goes on in the brain may lend clues about how to treat people tormented by chronic itch, including people with eczema and many kidney dialysis patients." If knowledge is power, I wonder what countries I can take over with this information.