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.

Advanced Directives Work

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.

Julie

Caregiving 101

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.

College 102 – Helping skills for faculty, staff, advisors, and licensed counselors

On Thursday evening, August 18, 2017 I attended a presentation by Katie Trulley, Cindy Kothbauer, and Drew Brabant entitled “Inside Track” at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College encouraging all faculty and staff to engage in helping students in their discernment processes of pursuing and completing their degrees along with experiencing personal fulfillment. Continue reading

Improving Course Success without Adding Content

As an instructor, I often feel that the end of a semester is both the most joyous and most disappointing time of the semester. I am able to reflect upon the positive achievements of those who have successfully completed my  course, but my mind tends to gravitate towards the students who were not successful. I find myself constantly thinking about what I could have done differently in the course and the measures I could implement that could positively impact student success. I have now concluded that it is not as much about changing the resources I am using to teach as much as how I am supporting students who are at risk of not being successful.

Continue reading

Mindfulness: the doorway to balancing life, occupation, and purpose

“Mindfuless is the practice of aiming your attention, moment to moment, in the direction of your purpose – that which defines you, sustains you, and gives your life meaning, direction, and fulfillment.   It is called mindfulness because you have to keep your purpose in mind as you watch your attention. Then, whenever you notice that your aim has drifted off, you calmly realign it.” (Frank Andrews) Continue reading

I Respect You, but first, Myself.

 

Stop by the iRespect table and take the iRespect Pledge between 11- 1 p.m. in the Commons from March 7-10, 2016. Join in on the movement to show your commitment to nurturing an inclusive NWTC.

My mind harkens back to Rodney Dangerfield who was an American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter and comedian known for the catchphrase “I don’t get no respect!”

Continue reading

Summer 1:1 with all students

This summer (and last) I taught (fulltime) Intro to Biochemistry which is mainly taken by students in Nursing pre-program.  Most have not taken College 101 and I have been wanting to incorporate more mentoring and College 101 topics in this introductory course.  I cannot recall a semester when I am not asked to take late assignments or to rearrange an assessment for work- related reasons.  Each semester some students are very surprised by the amount of studying required for our class or the rigor involved.

Try as I have for many years to impart some of these truths, I decided about two years ago to meet with all students 1:1 so they could have an instructor who invites them to share and lets them know we are  willing to help them find answers to questions about NWTC.

I have noticed more interaction among the students after these meetings and I am sure that some meetings also save some students time and effort when they decide to clarify for themselves how to 'do school'.  
I find Starfish to be very helpful too, but not all students know how to use it.  
Sometimes it is easy to think students know where the library/ assessment center/ BATHROOM is located, but I find each summer that not all students have been here before or feel comfortable exploring on their own.   Many transfer students from universities have commented that they love the small classes and personal attention they receive at NWTC.

Everyone has Worth

It is graduation 2016, and we reflect on the significance of this culminating event.  This year, I am reminded of the gifts of knowing, learning, and becoming.  I am reminded of our College values.  Following is something I sent to recent program graduates:

Dear 2016 graduates,

We have spent tremendous time in one another’s company over the past number of years, in courses ranging from Accounting 1 to Payroll, Tax, and Managerial Accounting, and covering topics from basic debits and credits to complex statistical regression analysis.  You have mastered the technical and employability skills so necessary for your success in this field.  Yet, my wishes for you extend far beyond the campus and employment settings.

Do you recall when we discussed the difference between cost and price?  But how about worth?  This is not another accounting lesson, but a parallel to your lives and futures.  It is about one of our most important NWTC values:  Everyone has worth.  Know that each of you is inherently valuable and uniquely significant:  Linda’s good nature, Martha’s tenacity, Becky’s positive, quiet leadership, Sergio’s witty antics, Tanya’s no-nonsense style, Tracy’s gentle spirit, Patrick’s offbeat quirkiness, Nancy’s patience and care, and Jen’s beautiful smile and kind heart.

Transcending academics, maybe the most important knowing is knowing who you are; knowing your identity.  And maybe the most important learning is learning to honor your own merit in the choices you make and people with whom you surround yourselves.  And maybe your most important job is to discover your own humanity; your ability to love and be loved, in respecting others’ humanity.

I hope you value yourselves enough to intuitively protect your humanity and guard your consciousness.  I hope you respect yourselves enough to allow close to you only those who genuinely regard your self-worth and emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.  And, I hope you are able to embrace the divine worth of yourselves and others in all that you do.

I know I have had the complete privilege of teaching your classes, but I have also learned so much from you.  Thank you for lifting me up this past year and for making my job so very rewarding.

Take good care, and look after yourselves . . . you’re worth it!