Category Archives: 2018 Blog 4

Do Mothers These Days Have a Choice Between Work and Family?

As I am writing this, I am 36 weeks pregnant. Aside from being an expectant mother, during the school year I am a part-time employee and a full-time student. With such a busy schedule, I never invested in buying a television so in order to keep up with current events I subscribe to the New York Times. Scrolling along the site I came across an article that read, “Why Mothers’ Choices About Work and Family Often Feel Like No Choice at All”, written by journalist Clair Cain Miller who is known to write articles on gender and families.

The column discusses the debate between republicans and democractic views on families and family policies. The one thing they can agree upon, Clair says, “Is that parents should have choices”. In a country where there is no such thing as paid family leave, the cost of daycare is expensive, the cost of living continues to rise, work hours are long, where most jobs are not understanding of family circumstances, many women feel like they have little to no choice at all when it comes to having to choose between work and family.
That was exactly how I felt. That I didn’t have a choice.
My due date is coming soon and I inquired about maternity leave at my job. According to my job’s policy I had to work a certain amount of hours in order to qualify to have paid maternity leave. Unfortunately, I received an email from HR stating that I did not meet the requirements to qualify for paid maternity leave, thus I must take unpaid personal leave. By taking personal leave my job there was not guaranteed.

I was already stressed about the fact that I wasn’t going to have paid maternity leave, but to be told that my position at my job was not guaranteed while I was gone bothered me even more so.

Even then, my partner and I cannot survive on a single income, especially with the cost of having a baby in the mix. As much as I want to spend time with my baby and bond with her as a new mom, I can’t afford to be away from work for very long. According to an article written by The Guardian, 1 in 4 women tend to go back to work in just 10 days after giving birth, even though they are advised by their doctors to allow 6 weeks for their bodies to recover not only physically but mentally as well from giving birth. Much like me they either don’t qualify for maternity, their place of employment doesn’t offer maternity leave or they cannot afford to be on a single income for 6 to 12 weeks. It is even harder for women who are single mothers.

Women play a huge role in the workforce and at home. We take on a lot more work and responsibility in comparison to the men in our lives. Having healthy children is also important to a growing economy and its future. A majority of developed countries offer paid medical leave and family leave, sadly the U.S. does not. Hopefully, in the upcoming election 2020 that will come to change.

Trump Media

In the news today with the internet there is a huge amount of fake media that surfaces around the internet media world. There is a huge nesscessity to be able to establish credibility with your sources of information.

In this article I found the media source did not have credibility and was giving false information to his audience. The article talked about the recent school shooting that had the United States public opinion talking about gun control. There were many different opinions the surfaced in this conversation. In this article the author stated that Trump had made a statement that he was going to stop all school shootings by banning all schools. This authors statement was false from what president Trump’s actually response statement was to the recent school shooting and gun control conversation. The author made no point to establish credibility and made a very irrational comment that logically makes no sense. I believe he should have did his research on what President Trump’s actually response was to the situation and not just making irrational statment that was false. The article creates attention because of the statement but loses the audiences favor because of the false information.

Fake News Strategy From the Top

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There has always been the existence of inaccurate and biased reporting. We can go back to biblical times, and even Pope Francis recently said that in the Old Testament was the first of “fake news”. However, today it seems like there’s been a complete breakdown in the news and media industry, including new media such as blogs, and the floodgates have opened on “fake news”, to the point where it’s becoming harder to know which information is completely real or merely partially real.

Despite the staggering amount of inaccurate and biased reporting occurring these days, nothing could be more terrifying than when the highest office in the country is the one creating the misinformation. On January 21, 2017, then-White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, stood in front of the media and challenged them that they had wrongly reported the audience numbers for President Trump’s inauguration. Spicer stated, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”

maxresdefaultSpicer lied right in the faces of journalists and essentially the world, saying that the in-person and broadcast audience numbers were the highest of all time. We all knew then, and we still know now, that the Trump administration’s assertions were flat-out wrong, on both counts. The data didn’t back up their claim.

In addition to the horror of our government boldly lying to the public, particularly on such an insignificant matter, the more troubling fact is that this government refuses to admit when they are caught in a lie. In my opinion, they seem to have a policy of “lie and deny”.

I have to admit that as much as I detest this strategy, it’s almost brilliant in some crazy way. Think about it, no matter your position on a subject you can win any debate if you just say you don’t agree with the opposition’s information and continue to repeat that. When presented with facts, challenge from where the information came. Also, create fake reporting to support your misinformation. With these tools, you will never lose an argument again.



A student at Northern Arizona University lost a point for using mankind in his essay.
While I completely agree that we should never encourage sexism or racism, boycotting words such as ‘mankind’ and ‘man-made’ and punishing college students who use such words in their essays by taking points off their grades is ridiculous and is taking away time and attention from other pressing issues. As a woman who is an advocate for women’s rights and encourages equality for everyone, I just feel like this is too much and distasteful. This is taking gendered language too far. At the time when this word was invented it was probably geared towards a gender-neutral meaning. As a college student we all understand the importance of every point in our assignments, quizzes, and tests. Imagine getting docked for a word, even if that word has MAN in it; instead of “human” or “people”
We cannot expect all students to completely change things they’re used to all of a sudden.  Even if such words are to be banned forever, students need time to get used to the change. “Docking points” is unacceptable.  Sorry Northern Arizona University, that’s not the right way to correct “sexist” language.

Taking control of your own medical future

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Ever wanted to take more control the next time you go in for surgery?

It’s not something many people think about, but I recently read an article in the Atlantic (link here) where Larry Smarr, a man suffering from Crohn’s disease, brought a full 3-d model of his insides (which he dubbed “Transparent Larry”) with him to the operating table in order to help assist his surgeon for the 5 hour operation to remove a portion of his colon.

How did he do this? Well, he happens to head the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, or Calit2, and has used a supercomputer to monitor his health and peer at his organs. Larry spent years taking precise measurements of every input (food) and output (you guessed it…) from his body, to help discover the initial signs of Crohn’s disease years before it would have been detectable from standard medical procedures.

His doctor who operated on him in 2016, Sonia Ramamoorthy, found the bizarre information supplied by her patient to be not only incredibly useful, but potentially groundbreaking as a possible next step in medical technology. “As a result, he arguably knows more about his own inner workings than anyone else ever has. His goal, as he puts it, is for each of us to become ‘the CEO of our own body.’ […] Inside Transparent Larry, Ramamoorthy got a jump on the surgery a week early. She could see which portion of the colon would have to be removed, where it was located, and how it was shaped. […] The virtual images were so helpful, she said later, that she wishes she could have them every time she operates: ‘It was wonderful. It was like the difference between driving around before and after Google Maps.’”

I was floored to think this type of 3-d data might someday be available not only to someone like Larry, but to the general populace. The current norm in surgical operations are to use a robotic equipment armed with multiple camera arms to help explore a patient’s insides during the procedure. But in Larry’s case, Ramamoorthy was able to shave nearly an hour off the procedure and could consult every facet of his insides over a week in advance to help familiarize the team who would be operating on him.

“Turning a two-dimensional MRI into three dimensions is not that hard, Larry told the audience at his lecture. The remaining challenge is to get more doctors to be like Ramamoorthy, and to get more engineers working in concert with them.”

NHL Players Absent from 2018 Olympics

Every four years the entire world gets an opportunity to experience the winter Olympics. The biggest stage for international winter sports competition. This year was an exciting display of sport. In women’s ice hockey the United States snapped a 20 year gold medal streak of the Canadians. The women’s gold medal game was decided by a shootout. Can you say “close game”?

However, in the case of men’s ice hockey a major shake up of the available talent pool diluted the talent pool for each and every country. This year the NHL commissioner and an “overwhelming majority” of club owners decided to bar NHL players from participating in men’s Olympic ice hockey. The reason? Money.

You can read up on the commissioner of the NHL’s reasoning  here.

Allow me to provide a passionate explanation why the NHL owners and commissioner’s decision to keep NHL players out of the Olympics is a bad idea for the sport of hockey.

Today, the surge of interest in sports that do not get a healthy amount of media coverage has been diluted when it comes to men’s Olympic ice hockey.

“I think the realities of Olympic participation are more apparent to our Board now and I think it just leads to less enthusiasm about the disruption,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles in January. “Quite frankly we don’t see what the benefit is from the game standpoint or the League standpoint with respect to Olympic participation.”

What a shifty way to cryptically say the NHL doesn’t see a financial benefit.

As an avid hockey (not just the NHL) fan I am severely disappointed. The most elite hockey players facing off against one another representing their country. It goes beyond the teams you play for that pay you money. It is an honor not taken lightly by any Olympic athlete. Now, simply because they are in face the very best in the world NHL players have been stripped of their chance to represent their country. I can remember exactly where I was in 2010 when the United States Men’s team lost in overtime to Canada. That Gold Medal game was an absolute nail biter until the very end. Again, in 2014 the demise of the American men’s ice hockey was dealt by the hands of the Canadian’s. However, this time the USA fell apart in the preceding games and failed to even earn a medal. The Olympics have represented the purest and most competitive level spanning centuries and for now, men’s Olympic ice hockey has been stripped of it’s elite competition.

So how is the United State’s team doing this year? Well, the men’s team comprised of young college and minor league players were facing off against the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk, both ex-NHL players that have won the Stanley Cup multiple times in a qualifying. Datsyuk and Kovalchuk are playing in the KHL the second most elite professional ice hockey league in the world. Many other countries have players from ohe professional leagues around Europe. Says a lot about the NHL doesn’t it? If the KHL, and other second-tier leagues, are willing to interrupt their schedule for the Olympics, why can’t they?

Gary Bettmen, the commissioner of the NHL claims that the funds given to them by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) would be taking away from growing the sport of hockey at the grass rootes level. Out of all my years playing and watching hockey I have never heard of so much drama revolving around money in the sport until this cycle of the winter Olympics. I’ve also never heard Bettmen talking about growing the sport at the “grass roots” level. Only the TV contracts and new expansion teams.

The future is quite bleak for NHL players competing in the next Olympics as well. With the addition to the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle’s application for an NHL team it seems that the only thing the NHL board, the commissioner of the NHL and the team owners is the bottom line.

Savings on a College Budget?


I’m totally going to rant out for a moment about a blog post I read on how to save money.

First off let me warn you, I’m paying my way through college, while working a fulltime job that barely makes ends meet. So I’m sure you can imagine it’s difficult for me to look at saving money the same way as someone who can live off of 51 percent of their income. Currently a growing savings account to me is a fanciful land where fairies and dragons roam lush forests filled with rainbow waterfalls, Reality is… However, I still thought I should read the blog post and see what I could learn about saving some extra money. Here’s a snapshot from the blog: “Throughout the year, I lived on an average of 51 percent my income ($28,000), saved 31 percent ($17,000), and spent the other 18 percent on travel ($10,000). I proved that I could live on less, save more, and do more of what I loved, and learned so many other lessons throughout the process.” The author goes on to share some suggestions like cutting out spending money on nonessentials such as her $100 plus a month habit of buying coffee. Are you kidding me? That’s when I realized my monthly savings is the equivalent to someone’s bad coffee problem and I couldn’t relate to what I was reading. The author leaves out the possibility that her audience might not have the same financial means as she does. The post would have been more effective had she considered a wider audience. I, like the author of the post I disagree with are biased. Having your own perspective is an inevitable aspect of online communities and it’s not a bad thing, we just have to recognize this factor.

Link to post:




Overwhelming Inconsistency

When browsing the internet, I often come across things I agree with and thing that I disagree with. Rarely do I run into any sort of argument that truly baffles me, and it finally happened.

I was looking up recent topics that are currently pretty contentious and I came across a video clip from Fox News regarding the fad known as “the tide pod challenge”. This video clip was of a segment titled “Tomi Lahren’s Final Thoughts” where Tomi Lahren talks about certain issues that are occurring in the United States. As mentioned before, Lahren seems as though she is talking about this “tide pod challenge” but later turns around and starts talking about much more, and in far too little detail.

Lahren’s tactics for explaining why this fad occurs is not filled with any sort of supportive evidence or greater analysis, she basically just says “this is why” and uses large labels. She bashes her own generation for having bad ideas after praising it. She labels the tide pod challenge as a political and parenting issue but says nothing about how or why. Lahren primarily uses contrast between modern day society and parenting methods and more “traditional” methods.

Lahren’s biases show through very clearly and even uses it as a point of attraction for viewers who agree. She has an obvious bias for more traditional thinking and ideas. At the end, Lahren says “The Left, which dictates popular culture, brainwashes young people into believing they live in a world where 64 gender options are up for selection. Everything is free. Beyonce is a God Queen, and eating detergent is funny.” which just brings up completely irrelevant information for the sake of making her non-factual argument, seem more valid in the eyes of those who agree with her views because it is juxtaposed with other contentious topics. These references to other topics shows that she has a very strong bias and is more interested in getting people on her side than sharing news with viewers.

Overall, Tomi Lahren’s inconsistency with topics, lack of supportive evidence or any deeper analysis, and focus on gaining fans over reporting news, makes it tough for me to see why anyone would listen to her for real news.

One of my final thoughs: I don’t even know if she actually thinks these things, she could be an act to please a crowd for all I know. Either way, she is interesting to observe.




As a dental assistant, I recently turned to Google to see what I could find out about something a patient asked me about in the office.  She said she had heard from a girlfriend of hers that she could use activated charcoal as a less expensive and highly effective way to whiten her teeth at home, by brushing with it.  She wanted to know if this was true.  This wasn’t the first time I’d heard of this so I thought I’d look into it.  We advised her that brushing with it likely is too abrasive to her enamel, but didn’t have much else to say about it except to research it before trying it out.

The very first thing Google gave me was a blog post titled, How to Whiten Teeth with Charcoal, written by “Katie- Wellness Mama”, not Dr. Katie, D.D.S. which certainly would have been a more dependable source.  Out of pure amusement, I read the blog, and then oh my gosh, there’s a video, too!  I’ll admit, it was mildly entertaining watching a stranger brush her teeth with black, chunky charcoal in her home bathroom…

As much as I wanted to dislike and rag on Katie, I did appreciate that she did not claim to have all the facts, she literally just told people how to brush their teeth with charcoal, and even showed us.  And she did state, on more than one instance in the post, that she is not a medical or dental professional, but she did consult her dentist friend and mentioned that people should check with their dentist before trying to whiten with activated charcoal.  She also provided links to healthcare sites about the use of activated charcoal for food and other poisoning.  While she seemed more like a salesperson for activated charcoal, she clearly did her research and gave some good background information and explanation of why she thinks it is effective, in many situations.  However, it is still my opinion that this is a totally useless post clogging up the internet,  making it even more difficult for me to find the reputable sources of information I am searching for.

Nowadays, any person can blog about any old thing on the internet, whether it’s putting a particular spin on the facts, spreading rumors, or telling outright lies.  We also have the ability to share and spread misinformation.  It’s getting rather tricky to filter through what’s legit and what’s not.  And to make things even more challenging, there are all these algorithms and ways of limiting your search results to things that are popular or things that the internet deems useful to you based on previous searches, popular searches, and that of your social networks.  This is the age of misinformation and useless information.

Sorry Wellness Mama.

Lawmakers ban feeding the homeless

Since when is it a crime to help another person in need out?

People have been getting charged with misdemeanors for sharing food out in public. I understand that the spreading of Hepatitis is a problem, but there are other ways to go about the situation. The lawmakers should be putting their efforts into educating the public to helping in the proper way and how to cleanly hand out food.

Lawmakers are going straight to not allowing people to provide for those who can’t afford it, which isn’t helping those who have been getting Hepatitis because they are taking their meal away all together and additionally punishing those who are out in the world trying to do good and help others. It logically doesn’t make sense. They are concerned about a mess being left behind when there are bigger worries at stake. Solving the problem of having starving people and spreading education should be priority to marking people’s records.

Some of these cities are taking it even further to banning sitting or sleeping in public spaces. I don’t see incarcerating someone for sitting in public doing anyone any good or preventing Hepatitis A. Anybody should be allowed to sit out in public as a part of their rights. These areas are known for common areas for people to collectively be in. Some people don’t have options and if they are cold or starving or emotionally drained in need for human contact they should have the option to be out in public areas.