Monday, September 13, 2004

Believe in Baltimore:

Today I had my first "Nursing in Underserved Baltimore Communities" class. It is taught by an extremely passionate woman who, it appears, has spent her entire professional life working in East and West (read: worst parts of) Baltimore and encouraging others to do so. She introduced us to the "Believe" campaign which was created by Mayor O'Malley to encourage Baltimoreans to have faith in their city and get off drugs. It almost seems easier to quit heroin than it would be to believe in Baltimore: the city is in the top 10 for most dangerous, least healthy, highest AIDS-related deaths per annum, lowest urban house prices, least public transportation etc. Thirty years ago 2 million people lived here and today only 600,000 remain. My daily "walk of doom" drives all of these points home (literally).

So what can I do? Not much. For starters, though, I am going to work in an after-school program at a local community center working on a sex ed program, doing some screening and vaccinations and helping kids get into college. I'm excited for this opportunity (which is not final yet but fingers crossed) in order to get to know my community better, work with children and make some money. As a "community outreach worker", I'm funded by the Feds and will make some fun money which is very exciting.

In other news, pathophysiolgy is driving me mad. I took one biology course in college (and passed with a B-, oy), one microbiology course at a community college (year NYC Tech!) and my anatomy and physiology in Chicago. None of these courses prepared me for this course and I am far behind. Many of my peers seem to have a great deal more knowledge than I and nod knowingly in response to various bits of information about acid-base balances and kyperkalecemia (to much potassium, dummy!). Lots of prep work needed. I'm halfway caught up .

In other news, I apologize for this bizarre template - what does the graphic mean? Why these colors? What is that number? I don't know! However, it is the only template that will display comments and will show up correctly on my aging laptop. If anyone's a whiz at HTML and can send me a better one please do but until then it's the abstract snowflake and meaningless number for you.


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