My Interpretation

Written by Kourtney Lesperance, WLLC 2015-2016

Reading this really freaked me out, to be quite honest. I always thought that pregnancy, my (future) pregnancy to be specific, would be such a straightforward, fluid process. Once I got pregnant everything else would just come after, I never thought about things that could happen in between that time. To me it seemed like a step by step process that would just automatically proceed to the next step successfully.

I have always looked forward to having a baby of my own, not that I would any time soon, but I am just excited for when my time comes. After reading this essay, the image of pregnancy in my mind changed from a smooth, joyful process to an extremely unpredictable one. It got me thinking about how just because a person can get pregnant, doesn’t always mean that they will end up having a perfectly healthy child. Similarly, in life, nothing is ever guaranteed. Everything in life is uncertain. You should never take anything for granted because you never know when you might lose it. If it sounds like I’m stretching this simple story about a mother losing her child into this profound life lesson, well, I probably am, but it doesn’t change how I interpreted her story.

I really think the moral of this tragic story is that when something great happens in life, you should be thankful for it as much as possible and never take it for granted. Life is so unpredictable, so we should appreciate every single thing about it.

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Do-yoU Pubic Good?

Written By Delaney Dickinson, WLLC 2015-2016

For my second blog post of this quarter, I decided to focus on the idea of “public goods”. I read Re-thinking the Definition of “Public Goods” and Public Good at DU. I found both articles very interesting but also very different. I found that I was far more interested in the Public Good at DU article over the Re-thinking the Definition of “Public Goods”article because I found it far more comprehendible and relatable. The Re-thinking the Definition of “Public Goods”article was an economic review blog so it was filled with a lot of large terms related to the economy that I did not understand. It was very hard for me to read through and understand. But, the Public Good at DU article was awesome to read. I find it so cool that DU makes such an effort to do good for the public around the campus and in Denver.

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In May of 2003, the annual Provost Conference decided to focus on how the university permits public good and what that should look like at DU. They came up with “five tasks necessary for the university to achieve its vision of becoming a great private university dedicated to the public good: (1) clarify the institutional vision; (2) reform budgeting and establish new funding sources; (3) create a mechanism to coordinate and sustain individual and unit-level initiatives; (4) expand tenure, promotion, and merit raise criteria to recognize public good work; and (5) develop an institutional culture of collaboration” (Public Good at Du, 88). These five tasks were then, and still continue to be, the “themes and goals for the integration of public good work at DU” (Public Good at Du, 88).

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This social and community wellness quarter entirely supports what came out of these 5 public good tasks that DU set. We, as a class, are taking what we have learned and are helping others by engaging in the outside community by working with local organizations. The act of sharing what we know with the community outside of DU represents strong community and social wellness along with multicultural wellness and emotional wellness. We are all doing and engaging in some what different projects, but essentially we are working towards the same thing; creating valuable change in hope of supporting the public good in the best way that we can. This realization for me of how much DU cares for the public good has just reinforced that this is the right place for me even more.

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Smoothies and Spain

Written by Cassidy Knipp, WLLC 2015-2016

Wow. My freshman year is almost over, and I have no idea what has even happened. It all went by so quickly; I feel like I had zero time to actually process what happened. Summer is coming up, and of course I am super excited, but at the same time, I am a little scared of being home alone and not having any of my great friends from DU constantly surrounding me. The alone time will be nice, but how alone is too alone. I am not “looking for someone or something that [I] feel [I] need in order to feel secure or happy” (Brenner), but I am also not totally opposed to meeting some awesome new friends this summer either.

A lot of personal growth comes from learning (Ann), and this summer I will be learning a new skill—how to make smoothies. I am really looking forward to this aspect of my summer. I will also be traveling to Spain this summer for a month and staying with a host family. This will be such an amazing experience for me and I am so excited to see how much my Spanish will improve. Different cultures can teach us a lot too. Here in America, we are very much career and individually focused; whereas, in other cultures there is a “sense of community and strong family values” (Mental Health).

Being home will be a really nice time to catch up with family too, and perhaps “communication with family members may improve” (Miranda). This year has been crazy, and I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life will be like. I am so grateful for the experiences I have had this year.


Citations

Ann, Dorris. “What Is Personal Growth & Development?” Subscribe to Self Esteem. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

Brenner, Abigail. “The Importance of Being Alone.” Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr.2016.

“Mental Health: Ethnic Minority Carers’ Experiences.” What Different Cultures Can Teach Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

Miranda, Andrea. “The Importance Of Family Bonding Time.” CBS Houston. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

 

 

 

Healing After Trauma

Written by Allison Grossberg, WLLC 2015-2016

In the article entitled, “No Time to Grieve: Losing My Life’s Love and Regaining My Own Strength” author Maria Brann discussed how miscarriages are talked about and dealt with by doctors, patients, and society in general. She begins by explaining that,

“Unfortunately, some health care providers often do not know how to communicate with patients who are experiencing loss or other traumatic events (Gillotti, Thompson, & McNeilis, 2002).”

Dealing with any type of emotional trauma is difficult, and some individuals may be more skilled in helping a patient to cope with their pain and loss. However, I also think it’s really important, as Brann also highlights that the patient take an active role in communicating their needs and assisting their health care providers to give them the individualized care that they need.

Brann further emphasizes this idea by explaining that both,

“Health care providers and patients share responsibility for communicating effectively with one another, which is paramount, and exceptionally difficult, when coping during traumatic events.”

Once the patient caretaker relationships are developed to a point where the patient feels that they are being cared for in an appropriate manner, then the second step is to be able to freely grieve the loss of a child at home, and within society. However, Brann points out that, “the overwhelming silence society has placed on this topic…keeps many individuals from knowing, understanding, sharing, and being comforted during such a tragic event.”

It is clear then, that as a society we need to take on a similar responsibility to that of many health care providers, to more effectively assist those dealing with trauma to grieve and heal in appropriate and healthy ways. After all, “as noted by Ross and Geist (1997), “a loss, no matter when it occurs, deserves to be acknowledged” (p. 181),” not just by the woman whose loss it is, but by all.

 

 

 

Wellness LLC Blog Post: Public Good Through a Student Eyes at DU

Written by Danielle Nebel, WLLC 2015-2016

As a student at the University of Denver one main theme that the school prides itself on is projects, events, and activities that serve the public good. This idea is stressed in the course reading A Case Study of Institutional Visioning, Public Good, and the Renewal of Democracy: The Theory and Practice of Public Good Work at the University of Denver by Fretz, Cutforth, Nicotera, and Thompson. Serving the public good is so important to DU that even a public good vision statement was added to the school to encourage students to get involved on campus and in the community as well as being integrated in classes.

As a student in the Wellness LLC I have had the opportunity to partake in serving the public good through my service project this quarter with the DU Career Services. According to the course readings the “campus community generally agrees that public good is a broad spectrum of activities that include, but are not limited to, service-learning, community-based research, public scholarship, community building, policy development, advocacy, and volunteerism” which I am doing in this class to make a positive and lasting impact on the community (Fretz, Cutforth, Nicotera, and Thompson). By encouraging students to take an active role in the community it provides them with new skills that can be applied to experiences that can “result in our students becoming not only educated people but also creative individuals who are open to experience, and possess a sense of responsibility for solving problems and taking ownerships of projects in the community” (Fretz, Cutforth, Nicotera, and Thompson).

I think that this LLC project also contains the class concepts of a community based service learning and community based advocacy project that shows students are taking action and serving the public good that DU encourages in this article. As a participant in the project I am creating relationships with a community partner and advocating opportunities while providing information to students that relate to career services. Even though my project is not finished yet I have received hands on experience working in the community and can already tell that it is going to provide helpful information in regards to future careers for graduating seniors at DU.

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What are Public Goods?

Written by Alina Naismith, WLLC 2015-2016

Within the comprehensive article Re-thinking the Definition of “Public goods”, Sekera gives a statement suggesting that public goods are “socially constructed according to what is perceived as a public need” instead of having a universal definition. This definition challenges the upheld concept that the public good revolves around “inherent characteristics of non-excludability and non-rivalry”.

At first glance at this article, I realized I had an extremely basic concept of public goods in mind: an event or activity that aids the community. However, after reading through, I understand that it is much more complex in the sense that there are specific properties given, which are non-excludability (meaning it is impossible to exclude individuals from consumption) and non-rival (goods are intangible).

When searching for examples this concept outside of Sekera’s article, I came to realize that public goods are actually not always “goods”: it could include clean air, national defense, street lights, lighthouses, or even a fireworks show. Within recent wellness classes, we have learned about volunteerism, communication, conflict, and how to effectively create a service project with our particular organization that will be “sustainable” and “beneficial” to certain groups of people.

My group’s project at Fisher, which at this point is a gardening and yoga “mindfulness” program, directly connects to the set qualities of the public good. I am immensely excited to implement this idea within the classrooms of Fisher, because I know it will benefit the children as well as teachers at the early learning center. And that’s what is most important in the public good – helping those around you and making their lives safer, happier, and more enriching overall.

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Loss

Written by Brenna Flynn, WLLC 2015-2016

I’ve always been quite fond of children. This quarter, the Wellness LLC class went to a presentation about motherhood and child loss. Needless to say, the presentation along with the blog post that went along with it terrified me. I want to have children, and although I’m young, I’m thinking about the future. The future comes with thoughts of marriage bearing children. As I read through the blog post titled “Welcoming the Rain(bow)” I felt a great deal of sympathy towards the mother, but also feared getting pregnant at any point in time because of the possibility of miscarriage or infantile loss.

The author states that the grieving process for her son Milo was a long one, and “preparing to give birth [again] was quite the task emotionally.” I’m someone who finds loss extremely difficult to deal with. Personally, if I lost a child in my first pregnancy, I would never want to conceive again. In a certain way, it would ruin everything I am trying to establish in my life. I’m currently getting my degree so I can get a good job in order to help support a family. Not being able to have a family because of childhood loss would sadden me in the ultimate way because my overarching life goal is to have a family and care for my children.

To me, the pain of losing a child would be something that would absolutely destroy me. As Maria Brann states, “the communication surrounding the loss, or impending loss, of a child can effect the psychological and physical well-being of those involved” (21). This is absolutely true for most people. I know I would fall into a state of depression, anger, and hatred towards the world.

I thought this author was extremely brave in sharing her story because I know I would react much differently if put in the same situation. Also, what she did after losing her child was quite astounding. She is now trying to help women who have also experienced child loss. Given the same opportunity, I would not be able to do so. Hearing the stories of children that could have been would bring me back to thoughts of my own child who could have lived. Overall, this presentation truly made me think about how I would handle myself in certain circumstances. It made me think that certain people can handle traumatic experiences quite differently than I would, and that these people have something special within them that allows them to push through any sort of pain they may be harboring within them.