Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Epicaricacy in the news

Well, finally my Google Alerts paid off. Not only did I receive an alert for "epicaricacy," but it was in the sporting news! Let's face it, that has to convince John Simpson that it is becoming a mainstream word:

"Onward to October and the Terrible Ten, let the warm glow of epicaricacy fill your football mind.

Lets do the schadenfreude swing!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

g'mar chatimah tovah

Yom Kippur is the holiest of holidays for Jews. Please read this post I wrote about it on Wordcraft.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


We had a speaker this morning who spoke on "reflection." She went into the etymology, from its Latin roots "reflexio," and said that it comes from a word meaning "bending back" or "a wave motion or energy." She then cited some authors who have written about reflection, including Dewey, Shon, Johns and Socrates. At the end the speaker tearfully reflected upon her own mother's teachings at age 2:

  • Arrive with a flare
  • "Can't" doesn't exist
  • Take a fried along (not misspelled)
  • Ask for a push
  • Swing higher
  • Reach for the clouds
  • Feel the music
  • Use your imagination
  • Laugh/play/learn

Nice advice. But..."tearfully?" Therein lies my problem in nursing. Too many women. Would a major player (man) in medicine or law or business give an address to over 1,000 attendees tearfully? I think not. In reflecting, I think that nursing is where it is because it is run by women. Every so often I say it outloud to my colleagues, and I get grief. But would legislators ask men to lower the standards of their faculty? They do it all the time to nurses. In Florida, for example, the legislators took the Board of Nursing out of regulating nursing education, and the legislators (mostly men and certainly non-nurses) are regulating nursing programs. Do you know what their required faculty qualifications are? 50% need a master's in nursing. That's it. What about the other 50%, you ask? There are no qualifications for them! So, in a Florida nursing program, you could have a faculty member who also flipped hamburgers. What is nursing doing about it? Absolutely nothing. Why? I think it's because we are women. Let me ask you: What if this were medicine? Or if it were a profession that has a larger percentage of men?

I am sorry to be disparaging to my own gender, but we must learn to step up to the plate, like men have. It is embarrassing sometimes.

By the way, do not get sick in Florida!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Computer Savvy

One of my first posts on Wordcraft was about not being "computer savvy", and while I have improved since 2002, I still can have my challenges with computer settings or other technical computer questions. And, yet, I am fairly active on Web sites, from Wordcraft to my LinkedIn to Facebook, and I have a Twitter account where, while I rarely use it, I do tweat every so often. I am at a conference with educators, and I can see that I am way ahead of many of them...even some of the so-called experts. So maybe I am computer savvy. Or does that mean something more technical, while my knowledge is in informatics? I was in two sessions today that discussed informatics, and clearly there is a misunderstanding of that word. Some, indeed, think it is using sites like Ning or Delicious or Connotea or Second Life. Others see informatics, at least in health care, as using electronic medical records (EMRs) or other medical databases.

The dictionary defines informatics as: "the study of information processing; computer science." And yet the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which is calling for the integration of informatics in the curricula of all health care students, defines it as: "Communicate, manage knowledge, and support decision making using information technology." That's a lot different from pure "computer science." Clearly with those disparate definitions, one can see why educators are confused about integrating informatics into their curricula.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Scintillating Discussions

It's interesting how people's feelings sometimes get in the way of having an excellent discussion. This article , by a very conservative columnist, addressed the ongoing Wordcraft question of "what is art." We don't seem to be able to delve into it because feelings get in the way. However, here there are no discussants, so I can reflect for a moment. George Will, in the article cited, says:
Under the last Democratic administration, the NEA said art is ... almost everything. The NEA democratically decreed that "art includes the expressive behaviors of ordinary people," including "dinner-table arrangements." The head of the National Endowment for the Humanities believed, "Today the lives of ordinary American people have assumed a place beside volumes of European classics in the humanities."

According to some, art is in the eyes of the beholder. I surely can see how a floral arrangement could be considered art. It is art to me. Art is present in "ordinary" life. Yet, there is a difference from the gorgeous deep purple gladiola arrangement in my family room, and a Monet. I think the question isn't what is art, but instead the relative significance (?) of art (fair, good, etc.). Yet, that's all subjective, too. Some don't even like Monet, for example.

Here is my favorite. I so love the National Gallery of Art, and I haven't been there for a few years now.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finally...epicaricacy in the news

Well, I've dithered a lot about many different subjects, mostly because there is nothing new on epicaricacy. Indeed, I was about to post tonight that I have begun to question the veracity of the word. Yes, it is cited on Google, but too often only in dictionaries or in comments like, "Did you know that epicaricacy is the English word for Schadenfreude?"

However, I was given a reprieve tonight. Vandit's Web-zine has this post. The incident was a good example (though the writing was a bit stilted), and the author reminded me of the biblical quote about epicaricacy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An insight into racism

All the hullabaloo these days about Obama has made me speculate if it's racist. One doesn't want to jump to conclusions, but I've been wondering. However, the recent joewilsoning during Obama's speech clinched it for me. Today, Clarence Page wrote about racism with Obama. This struck a chord with me:

"For example, my column-writing colleague Maureen Dowd of The New York Times arched many eyebrows with this bit of mind-reading after Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, rudely blurted out "You lie!" during Obama's health-care address to Congress: "Wilson clearly did not like being lectured and even rebuked by the brainy black president presiding over the majestic chamber. ... Wilson's shocking disrespect for the office of the president -- no Democrat ever shouted "liar" at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq -- convinced me: Some people just can't believe a black man is president and will never accept it."

My response: Welcome to my world. Judging by the polls, about 15 percent or so of the country was in shock and even ran to gun shops to stock up, according to news reports, when they heard Obama won the presidential race. Some of them naturally show up at protests like the 9/12 march and buy "I'm with Joe Wilson" T-shirts. I just hope Wilson's new fans are still happy when they have to go dig up their birth certificates and prove their citizenship just to get some health care."

"Welcome to my world," he says. White people are shocked, but Black people get it. I know what he means. I was Christian before I married my husband when I converted to Judaism. Before that, I never much thought about anti-Semitism, and when people complained of it, I thought they were being paranoid. But...welcome to my world now. I see it all the time. Our highest holidays are coming up, Rosh Hoshanah and Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur, particularly, is like Christmas to the Christians. Now, I get it that you might have to take a precious "vacation day" for the holiday because otherwise you are opening up all religious holidays to everyone. But I do sometimes wonder why people don't need "vacation days" at Christmas time. Many workplaces give both Christmas and Christmas eve off. However, what really aggravates me is that often major meetings or other workplace events are planned for Yom Kippur. I remember once a major conference starting on Passover. Can you imagine it starting on Easter? I suspect the Christians just don't get it. But is that an excuse? Similarly, it's no excuse for what's happening now to our presidency.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Once again we have political epicaricacy

Oh, those Republicans are loving it now. Obama can't even get the Democrats on board with healthcare change, much less the Republicans. "If the USPS can't deliver the mail, how can we expect the government to be in charge of healthcare?" Or "They're going to convene death panels to kill the sick, elderly and vulnerable." And so on. This is the epitome of epicaricacy.

Don Wycliff (who used to be on the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune) wrote an op ed today that says it all. My feelings completely. Those who don't trust the federal government to take part in healthcare are disingenuous, and most of them know it (though some of the dullards really don't understand, I think). Here is Don's article; he details all the areas in healthcare where the U.S. government is already involved. you want to cut them all? Go ahead. Do it. You can't have it both ways, people; that's called having your cake and eating it too.

For the dullards who really don't get it, here are some of the federal programs that he specifies:
  • Eliminate Medicare
  • Eliminate Medicaid
  • Eliminate tax deductions for employer payments of health insurance
  • Eliminate all veteran healthcare
  • Eliminate all military hospitals; only treat those on the battlefield to stabilize them
  • Eliminate the Indian Health Service
  • Eliminate the office of the Surgeon General
  • Eliminate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Eliminate the National Institutes of Health
Go for it, U.S. citizens. See where that gets you.