While the course I presently teach, Thinking Critically and Creatively, will no longer be offered as a general studies course after this semester, spring of 2018 – I do hope all courses will include the elements of critical thinking and creative thinking. I have written essays on the importance of critical thinking as being fundamental to learning, understanding, and application of one’s knowledge base. It is equally important to become a creative thinker in order to develop a life philosophy that truly reflects who you are, a thinking framework that you can rely on to guide you through difficult and challenging problems.
After the 39th and final radiation treatment for prostate cancer on February 26th, I met with the oncologist, and he was very pleased with my progress thus far in having been compliant with the treatment demands, requests, and procedures. I will meet with the oncologist in one month, and then to return every 3 months for a blood test and PSA results — hopefully, the number will be reduced to normal between 2 to 4 or even a 0. He said it would take 3 to 6 months to obtain a true reading of the PSA results. I am very positive about the outcome. I have been very blessed with very few, if any side effects. Continue reading
It has been 4 weeks since the beginning of my ethics class. Thus, I thought it would be appropriate to play “Pin the Tail” on the ethics donkey – that is to solicit feedback from the students about the course. Rather than go blindfolded through the remainder of the 12 weeks, I asked the students to respond to three open ended questions: 1. Continue doing; 2. Consider adding; and 3. Consider changing and modifying. Having collated their responses, I responded to them (my responses in bold print); and we will review their data and my responses as the first activity of the next class. Continue reading
“When you drink from the spring, remember the source” – Confucius
What are the philosophical sources for the concept of choices which determine who and what I will become? How often we forget as educators to consider the etymology of the word – thus we do an injustice to the scope of the learner’s knowledge, understanding, and application to life’s challenges and choices. Continue reading
Always remember: Don’t allow personal attacks AND don’t personalize remarks. This can be very challenging as everyone’s first response to “personalize” the situation. A key tool in any learning environment is successful and respectful interaction with learners (and the work / team environment too!!!). When communicating (verbally, in writing, or face to face) and corresponding with learners (colleagues) about “heated moments” It is prudent to ‘depersonalize’ the communication /correspondence by not using “you” and “I” but referencing the “issue” and the “course of action or resolution”.
For example if a student email states “You gave me a 69% on the last quiz and I don’t think it was fairly graded.” A response might look something like this: “Thank you for the email inquiry regarding performance on the LP 6 quiz. In review of the quiz, questions 4, 5 and 9 were not thoroughly / accurately addressed. Content focusing on the specific types of elder abuse; who are the most common perpetrators, and the four requirements for reporting elder abuse would have greatly improved performance on the quiz.”
It takes conscious thought and effort to develop this communication philosophy but take it from me ….. it most often does defuse the “heated moment” and directs attention to the issue at hand.
Do You Have a Plan For the Future?
Have you given any thought to your wishes regarding….
- What health care services you would choose to receive if you became incapacitated?
- What life-support means to you?
- What kind of medical treatment you would want if you were close to death?
- What kind of medical treatment you would want if you were in a coma and not expected to wake up?
- What kind of medical treatment you would want if you sustained permanent, severe brain damage and were not expected to recovery?
- Who would make these decisions for you in the event that you could not?
If you were close to death:
- How comfortable do you want to be?
- How do you want people to treat you?
- What do you want your loved ones to know?
If not, know you are not alone. A 2014 study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that nearly 2/3rd of Americans did not any form of advanced directive. In other words, only 26% of Americans did have advanced directives in place. In addition, it is important to note that at the time of death, only half of us are able to make our own decisions.
An advanced directive is a legal document that states your medical wishes in the event you are unable to express them and includes a living will and power of attorney for healthcare. An alternative advanced directive is the “Five Wishes” document which is legal in a majority of states and can be found at this link: https://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.
Completing and advanced directive is only the first step in getting your affairs in order. Please do take the time to visit this link: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/getting-your-affairs-order. It does an excellent job of helping you “Plan for the Future”.
Truly there is no greater gift a family can receive than that of having your life and death wishes clearly outlined and your personal affairs in order.
This is not about dying, but living the life you wish to live.
“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.” William Hazlitt Continue reading
Chances are you are an informal caregiver. An informal caregiver is a spouse, child, grandchild, friend, or relative who provides assistance with everyday tasks and is not paid for their services. In 2011, informal caregivers provided over 1.3 billion hours of care PER MONTH to persons aged 65 and over. In addition, roughly 50% of these informal caregivers are employed and managing job responsibilities. Can you say challenging? Can you say stressful?
The AARP Foundation has a booklet entitled “Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families” that walks you through a five steps process. Click here to download a copy: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/prepare-to-care-planning-guide/ .
Now is the time to begin to discuss a caregiving plan that evolves around the needs and wishes of the care recipient.
As we begin another semester of learning, understanding, and application – what is your philosophy of learning that scratches the underbelly of your academic journey this semester? Continue reading