This year I learned that not enjoying something was OK. I had always been hard on myself for not enjoying myself while studying certain things, or hanging out with certain people, but throughout the year I came to terms with this. I realized that everyone has a different idea of what they want to do in life, and what they value in it, so it’s ok to not enjoy the same things as others.
Many of us have seen the common instagram post of someone holding an African child in their arms, informing the world of their service trip to a developing nation. While these pictures don’t directly harm anyone, they can affect others perceptions of what a service trip/volunteering is. By framing these trips as a fun expedition to another land rather than a precise and calculated usage of time, knowledge, and resources, social media and advertising companies can make service trips highly appealing to those who can afford them, creating an influx of individuals who have the resources to pay a costly airfare and program cost, but who often lack any real world skills or knowledge that the receiving nation so desperately needs. Because of the commonality of such individuals, receiving nations may have altered perceptions of volunteers, and be less open to accepting help from individuals with actual expertise.
My question to you all: How can volunteers account for the pre-existing (and rather apparent) power/class imbalance present between a volunteer and who they are aiding? In other words, volunteers often come from high SES and privilege, but they often interact with those of a much much lower SES and privilege. How can someone communicate with who they are aiding in a way that displays empathy and understanding when they have never really faced a similar situation?
This semester, I was tossed around by Orgo. Im mainly talking about orgo because it’s basically been half my life while i’ve been here.
I did really bad in AP Chem in high school, so I was a little nervous about the class.
Getting a decent score on the first test, I was bummed to see my below average performance on the second. The test made me push orgo out of my life for a few weeks, and I lost much of my academic confidence. Before the third test I cranked for 3 days continuously 18 hours a day, and I managed to pull through and get an A.
In my letter to myself, I congratulated myself for getting an A in Organic chemistry. While this outcome is not yet a certainty, I smiled at my past self’s confidence, and realized;that confidence is what got me into Michigan, and that confidence is what would let me succeed.
If I can keep a positive and confident mindset through college, the rest will come naturally. If I learn to use failure as a motivator, I can surely accomplish my goals.
President Obama’s JAMA article provided facts and statistics that showed a significant decline in the number of uninsured individuals in the U.S. This provides evidence that the ACA is serving its purpose. What surprised me the most about the JAMA article was President Obama’s stance on the need for profit checking in relation to drug costs. Many medications that people with rare conditions need are new innovations, and extremely expensive. This is especially true when these new medications have met the FDA’s requirements for exclusivity, and cannot be produced in a generic form. In the article, President Obama supports the creation of legislation that would increase the transparency of manufacturing costs. I believe this legislation is necessary, and will ensure that Pharmaceutical companies are kept in check, so profit does not become greed.
Personally, I am quite worried about Trump’s promise to repeal the ACA if he is elected into office. Passing the ACA was a tedious and lengthy task, and if the ACA is repealed we will lose much of the progress we have made in health care reform as a country.
In regards to changes I would like to see in the future, I strongly believe we need a publicly funded/socialized healthcare system as a developed nation. I am certain this will not occur in the near future due to hyper partisanship, but I believe healthcare should be a basic human right, especially in a developed nation like ours.
Second, I would like to see a more reasonable balance between legislation that incentivizes innovation through increased profits, and legislation that keeps medical costs low for the protection of the consumer. “Big pharma” is slowly but surely becoming blatantly profit hungry even when this endangers the lives of others. This has happened many times in the past and continues to happen today.
The Turing CEO increased the price of a Daraprim, used to treat toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 a pill to $750 overnight at the end of last year.
The Mylan CEO has slowly raised the retail cost of two Epi-pens from $100 in 2007 to over $600 today. The kicker? All Mylan executives have pocketed multimillion dollar salary increases, and the estimated production cost of the 2 pen unit is about $8.
Stronger legislation is needed to keep these companies like these in line.