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I House

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Every Wednesday on the second floor of Ridgeway, Ihouse happens. Students from countries all over the world present about thier cultures and lives. This past Wednesday Brazil presented. Some facts to share:

The Negotiator


Over the past couple of weeks, I have been able to attempt to learn Mandarin, haggle with the best of them, see many markets (ancient and night markets), eat traditional Hangzhou food, and just take in the culture around me.  Mandarin, as many of you have probably heard, is a very difficult language to learn.  Why you may ask?  Because the basic form of Mandarin is made up of four different tones.  Now, of course where I am living, in Hangzhou, it is made up of seven different tones.  Seven people, SEVEN!  You know how you can pretty much figure out what people are saying when they are speaking broken English, well they cannot figure out what I say hardly ever!  Even if I feel like I said it exactly how my teacher told me to say it!  It is so frustrating sometimes.  I have come to the conclusion that sometimes, the people are just playing dumb because they don’t want to deal with the American…or they don’t want me to bargain with them.  However, my foolproof way of getting around this problem is to simply type the price I want into the calculator and let the haggling begin!! 

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Clinical in China

Last week, we started clinicals in the hospital. It has been very interesting to see the differences between the health care systems in the United States and in China. Here in China, nurses have a lot more responsibilities than they do in the United States. There are no techs or nursing aides to help out. Instead, families are expected to help out, but nurses are ultimately responsible for their care. Also, they do not have any physical therapists to work with the patients, so all of these activities are the responsibility of the nurses. A lot of the designs on the units such as how the walls are decorated or what resources are available are the creation of nurse managers. Some examples of this are two way windows in the endoscopy center so clean instruments can be transferred between the cleaning room and the treatment rooms, educational walls for patients to view, and a wall decorated to welcome the patients to the unit. Also, nurses in China typically have at least eight to ten patients at a time to care for. There are also several similarities that I have noticed between the two countries. Both strategically place patients so those that have the highest acuity or risk are placed closest to the nursing station while those who are more independent and stable are placed further away. A lot of the nurses have mentioned to us how they have adopted techniques used in the United States such as knocking on patients’ doors before entering and doing more frequent pain assessments. Also, a lot of the units here in China are implementing the usage of English either by having daily quotes in English, doing reports in English and Chinese, or having other English immersion activities. Currently, nursing is growing in China. We got to visit one of the newest areas in the hospital we are staying at, which is a specialty area. Inside, they have wound/incontinence/stoma care, diabetes education, pain management, and PICC placement/management. These nurses all have specialized training for their domains, and they are so new that the certification comes from the hospital because the nation has not developed one yet. One of the most interesting parts of this area for me was the cabinet of food that showed portion sizes for patients with Diabetes. This was unique for me because it had models of traditional food found in China such as lotus root, rice buns, and pomegranates as typical foods a person might consume. I am used to seeing Western foods in this type of display, so it was different to see what other cultures considered to be staples. Besides school, we have done a lot of walking around and shopping. We recently went to the silk market where we found scarves for as little as 10 RMB, which is the equivalent of $1.63 USD. We also have gone to the night market and several streets filled with shops. Here in China, it is acceptable to barter for prices at most places, which we have begun to learn to do. A lot of vendors refuse our offers because they know we are American, but some have worked with us. Next week, we are headed to Songyang, Beijing, and Xian so we can see more of the country and different parts of the culture.

After-College Bound, or "How much money am I throwing your way?"

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Over the weekend, I had a chance to visit Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN with UE's Honors Program. As a creative writing senior knee-deep in graduate school applications to an MFA program, it was nice to physically visit at least one of the schools I'm applying to—and, subsequently, to take a break from the ridiculous world of personal statements, teaching statements, writing samples, GRE scores, and the back catalogue of everything I've done ever since freshman year of college (oddly a lot more than I could have imagined).

Dressing Business Professional Today!


Today I have a very important meeting at my internship, which is why I am dressed in full business professional.  I am very excited to be attending this meeting because I will be presenting a proposal for funding for a new project the company would like to start.  After spending the past week or so researching and drafting the proposal, my supervisor had me present it directly to the company's CEO and president.  He throughly enjoyed my presentation and then asked me to attend this meeting as well where we will request the funding.  Let's hope it goes well! :) 

Health, Language, and Life: A Complete Immersion


Last week was my first time on the units of the hospital in Hangzhou. We divided our time between the operating room, endoscopy, same day surgery, and the eye hospital. It was fascinating to tour the units and observe the patients and the nurses. I appreciated being able to ask the nurses questions regarding their care and their units. I learned that patients are required to have family members at their bedside during the duration of their hospital stay. This ensures that the patient’s needs are met. While touring the units, I have found that the roles of nurses in China and the United States are very similar. They both carry the same responsibilities of administering medications, educating, and providing treatments. The nurses in China, however, do most of the primary care on their own and heavily rely on the family members to care for their loved-ones. The emergency room was also a fascinating experience. From a foreigner’s perspective the department appeared disorganized. But as the nurse explained each of the department’s sections, I began to understand the layout and organization of the unit.

Harlaxton Trip Planning: With the School or Solo?

LlanfairFor a lot of UE students, planning for Harlaxton is an exciting and stressful process. Budgets, plane tickets, packing, it all gets a little overwhelming especially as the semester workload at home is picking up. Luckily, for all you UE students interested in the Harlaxton experience there are approximately 150 voices on this side of the pond who love to share their advice. In Skyping friends on campus from my manor house (they insist we call it that, I still prefer “castle”) at Harlaxton, I’m finding that the question that comes up most is “Which school trips should we go on?” The short answer to that question is you have to do what works for you, however I’m going to use this blog to give you future Harlaxton Lions a few pros and cons to traveling with the school.


Bush Twins Come to UE

IMG 7425Feeling blessed to attend a university that hosted Jenna Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush tonight! The doors were open to all who wanted to hear about their incredible humanitarian work. The campus was buzzing all day awaiting their arrival! 

Three Textbook Tips

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Textbooks are a hefty expense in college, and not included conveniently into the rest of the dues and fees assessed in your tuition bill.  With the hope of saving money here are three things I have learned to lessen textbook bills the last two years:

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Finally Some Sunshine!


Such a beautiful day as I was walking to class this morning! It has been a long and dreary type of week in Evansville, so seeing the sun out today was wonderful after all of the rain and cloudy days.

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