summer 2008, half-way

My two summer courses for the nursing program are over, and last night we had the midsummer night festival's meal from Andreas Viestad's Kitchen of Light (poached salmon with horseradish sour cream, cucumber salad, and boiled potatoes), so I guess my summer is on the downswing. What have I been up to?

As you probably guessed, I seem to have passed all my spring 2008 courses (which included Nur360 Maternity, Nur363 Care of the Adult II, and Nur356 Professional Concepts). I don't know absolutely, because I haven't bothered to look at my grades yet, but I didn't get any calls or e-mails along the lines of "We are sorry to inform you..." At the start of the semester, I was quite sure I would get at least A-'s in these courses, but I am quite sure I did not, and I think I just squeaked by in at least Maternity.

Following the end of the semester, I had a couple weeks off in which I went back to the gym and performed on the stair-climber for a couple hours a day. Very boring, but necessary, as my body was not liking 8 hour clinical shifts this past semester.

Then, back into classes. I took Psy101 Intro to Psychology and Soc101 Intro to Sociology this summer. You might be wondering how I got into the nursing courses I've been taking without these, but there is a good reason. Anyhow, I was hoping that, as I had taken upper level psychology courses already as well as upper level nursing courses, the Nursing Department would let me out of at least Psy101, but no luck.

But all's well that ends well. The professor for Psy101 took it pretty easy on us, and part of the final (pictured below) was watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and answering some questions about how it relates to actual psychology practices. I had over 100% going into the final, pictured here...

The Soc101 course was an online course, which involved writing a number of papers and taking part in discussions on the college's ANGEL system. So most of my time so far this summer has been spent staring at a screen that looks like this...

I have to say I really disliked Soc101. Although the first lesson was about how sociology is a positivist science, our textbook, Kendall's Sociology in Our Times, makes it quite clear that the academic practice of sociology is part science and part political activism. In terms of major problems, the textbook (and I guess sociology in general) still use Marx and Freud pretty much uncritically, although in their own fields (economics and psychology), these two are not taken seriously any more.

Similarly, Theodor Adorno's Authortarian Personality is taught uncritically in the textbook, although it has pretty much been totally discredited and Adorno's F-scale has been replaced by other tools amongst personality researchers. If you have trouble going along with my scandalization, just check out the F-scale for yourself. I scored a 2.6, which makes me a liberal airhead, but as you can see if you take it yourself, it really doesn't measure anything except how you conform to Adorno's idea of what makes a Nazi.

The most fun I had was making up the Ivory Triangle of Power encompassing universities-executive/judicial-bureaucracy to parallel the Iron Triangle of Power. All things considered, academia has much more influence on the budget than military contractors...

I could go on about how, for example, Kendall gives a false example of the concept of culture lag in order to make a political point, or how she uses the term "family" in her definition of the term "family," a major logical and scholarly faux pas. But you would be bored by too much of this type of thing, so let me just say:

Dear Nurses and Nursing Students,
I know you don't really care about social sciences, and just want to put them behind you to get onto "real nursing." I respect and understand that. Therefore, just take my warning to heart: Marx and Freud are dead ideas, and when you see them referenced in your nursing textbooks, just ignore them. Take with a large grain of salt anything you read in nursing literature that is not solidly based in biology or life sciences research.
Someone educated outside nursing

There, that's said. Finally, I recently updated the photos in my Flickr photostreams. Now, what's for the rest of the summer?

Well, I joined AACN and the local AACN chapter as a student member, and I intend to start attending education opportunities for the ICU staff at my local hospital. I also need to start reviewing for the NCLEX exam, which is in less than a year. However, I'm going to take it a little easy as well. This specifically involves sitting on my deck, which has great shade and great views of flowers.

The sitting can be done with or without gin, but always preferably with something good to read. I recently came into possession of bottles of both Hendrick's and Bombay Sapphire and will enjoy comparing them. To read, I have the newest volume of the journal Arion, I have to finish The Birth of the Clinic, and I intend to read all the Ian Fleming novels this year (as it's his centennary). And of course there's swimming, and pork ribs and...

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