Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Everyday People

Side effects of teaching a Technical Communication class develop naturally with most research reports. Earlier this semester, I had my section research the 2008 national US election candidates and quickly got the pulse -- initial enthusiasm for Barack Obama. Students of all ages (it's community college, so quite diverse) projected many positives onto him back in February. Now I've got a stack of final reports to grade. Topic: any public health issue. Here's a sample, a snapshot of the health concerns of everyday people living in Metro Detroit:


Addictions and Comorbidity

ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Anorexia Nervosa

Bacterial Meningitis

BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)


CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine and Integrative Therapies)


Diabetes I and II

GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

High Blood Pressure


PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)



Sickle Cell Diseases

Spontaneous Abortion

Some of these are ancient, a few are recently labelled, and all of them are interesting. Are you down with BDD?

Definitely not everyday people: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem in a scene from Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Cruz plays Bardem's character's "crazy" ex-. Beth's (of A Cup of Coffey) suggestion: anyone interested is invited to see it and write a response post when it comes out -- wide release, September 5, 2008 (my parents' anniversary, coincidentally). Say by the 15th?

Yesterday's Rune: Defense. Today's: Harvest.


JR's Thumbprints said...

Public Health Issues ...
Sorry "Everyday People," but your coverage has been denied.

lulu said...

I have to say, grading that type of paper is possibly my least favorite part of being a teacher; maybe college level kids are better. I am looking forward to a stack of papers comparing The Stranger and A Hero For Our Time.

Kill me now.

the walking man said...

ha ha ha ha Jim, that was great!

Hey uhh Erik don't you wish, now that you are blind with misused technical medical terminology, that you assigned some other general topic to assuage the boredom of reading yet another semester of class papers?

That technical writing thing we do...I hated it almost to distraction. And the professor knew of and accurately reflected my disdain in the grade. ha ha ha

No I didn't go and whine about the grade because I, frankly, didn't care; mygeepeeyaA was sill good. We've both laughed about it since then, neither with any remorse or change of heart.

Good luck surviving the next week of it, then your summer is here.



Sidney said...

I would think dealing with some of those papers might lead me to depression, which is also the item on the list that the current state of the world brings to mind.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm getting emails today from students asking why they got the grades they did. Man I hate it when someone who came about half the time wants to know why they didn't make a better grade. Talk about blind to their own faults.