Library Technology May Keep the Library More Popular and Useful

 

I still have my library card from my most recent stopping grounds: Philadelphia in the eastern United States.  It was also my hometown.  Other people in Pennsylvania (the state where Philadelphia is located) can obtain one with an ID or Driver’s License.

But the real aim of this article is not to advertise use of the library, but demonstrate a high-tech library service.  With your computer, you can search through databases, which provide remote access to a computer system, so you can supplement traditional print material with a high-tech edge.  And if you like a hard copy, print it!  LOL

Better yet, most (if not all) content be can be accessed at home through your library card by entering the data, namely, your library account number and the PIN.  Different jurisdictional levels, whether states, counties, and municipalities within may have different access protocols, but count your blessings in terms of what you can research and not what you can’t.  (Phil 4:11-13 ESV)

One of my favorites is the Gale Group’s ebooks, a company that covers many topics. Science, history, art, politics, religion, you name it.  Even fake news.  LOL

There are many other resources you can delve into.  So, what if you like physical books though?  No worries, your library will always be there for you, and if you need information that may be tricky to learn, the librarian is right to the rescue!

Whether you prefer physical books (which are still around, mind you) or electronic sources, the library is always on your side.

Ready to explore?

Why Doctors Often Are Off-Target

The medical profession, a very noble one indeed, still has its substantial limitations.  While I am not a doctor myself (so don’t take this too seriously), I can mention how doctors often fail.

  1. They know more about your body than actually knowing your body.
    Whatever symptoms you give them, they can only diagnose, treat (and sometimes, cure) a given ailment, as well as give advice, based on what they know.  While empathy is a great quality for a doctor to hold, what makes a doctor what s/he is includes his education and  training in a given specialty through many grueling schooling and training years (4 years of college, containing a pre-medical sequence, another 4 of medical school, a year of internship, and a residency based on his/her specialty).  No wonder physician assistants and nurse practitioners are doing more and more activity formerly reserved
  2. Doctors, especially surgeons, must strongly keep in mind the Hippocratic oath, which binds doctors to “do no harm.”  This means, they must know what they are doing, because if they do not perform the right moves, they may cause injury, or even death.  While some surgeries are becoming much and much easier (e.g., eye surgeries), others, like heart transplants, are no joke.  While all surgeries are intended to help the patient, they sometimes often turn adverse.  And like a typical illness or injury, a surgery, despite being a treatment, must be recovered from.  So your original issue, surgically addressed, is now a matter of surgical recovery, not the original condition.  And surgeries, inevitably, are treated by one’s body, the same as an actual injury (after all, both lead to scars).  In a nutshell, surgery can be viewed as a cousin of a true injury, but with a positive intent.
  3. The medical and legal professions meet on a horrendous frequency, i.e., when one is injured or dies from medical malpractice.  In fact, some doctors are lawyers as well!   And this is where things get really ugly.  (Insurance often ties in, by the way.)
  4. Gone are the days of the low-key, innocent prescription choices by doctors.  Nowadays, it’s flamboyantly spread throughout TV commercials and magazines.  After all, isn’t a prescription, let alone a combination of such, a doctor’s decision?  Now consumers are equally privy to medications that a doctor could prescribe.  Even worse, “families” of drugs are noticeable, some of which have gone over-the-counter, others protected from such.  For example, for acid reflex, there’s Prilosec, Zantac, Prevacid, etc.  Diabetics have many options for their treatment, especially insulin.  A medication family called statins are intended to treat high cholesterol; among such drugs are Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, etc.  And men (especially over, say, 40) have the wish of a better sex life with Viagra (over 2 decades old now!), Levitra, and Cialis.

Alas, doctors are here to stay, whether you like it or not.  And God made certain minds that study different things.  Medicine is only one of them.  And when a person needs a doctor or hospital stay, pray for them!  After all, Luke, the writer of his gospel and Acts, was one.

What Makes Textbook Reading “For Fun” Fail?

A textbook is not merely a book with lots of facts.  Textbooks are teaching tools to guide a course.  For a given course, the instructor will choose a text, and thus require them for their class.  Typically, once the course is over, students either keep them (e.g., for reference) or sell them.  They are not usually read merely “for fun,” for they are not “light reading” and they are indeed designed to be read in order according to the professor’s sequence of topics (which seldom, if ever, covers the entire text.)

Until recently, I have (usually) had the quirky “pleasure” of reading them, but without an instructor.  I could typically understand them as written, but for anyone to get the full meaning of the text, you’ll need a professor.  Typically they are sold or discarded after finishing a course.  And even if you buy a used textbook recently, you’ll likely get the same buyer’s remorse I have gotten.  On Amazon, both students and non-students have made both positive and negative confessions about textbooks, but the students have the advantage of the instruction.  To be modest, I usually keep silent on Amazon reviews nowadays.

According to a recently discarded textbook on Animal Physiology, it was stated that if information is all around is, why is the text and course needed?  The direct answer is organization, in order to make sense of the information of a given course that also contains relevant bridges to other fields (e.g., physics and chemistry principles in a biological text).

So, what must the instructor do?   S/he will further explain the content in the text (since, again, the text alone may be tough and tedious), focuses on the most relevant topics, and guides you through the course.  You will learn much more efficiently with a professor than without.  And prerequisites, when applicable, form a foundation for other courses after then.

So no matter how tough you try to read them, textbooks aren’t novels and shouldn’t be treated as such!

The Collegiate Colander

(I communicated with an anonymous brother in Christ, to help for the bulk of the article).

K-12 education, whether in elementary, middle, or high school, chiefly focuses on the 3 R’s.:  reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic.  Everything else is supplementary and could be done without.

Well, the same applies to college.  About half your degree is “general education” courses, which gives some broad benefits even though it is not your major.  And even the other half, the major, isn’t designed to be amazingly indelible.  It is typically expected to be a more specialized foundation for a career, but alumni tend not to remember a substantial amount of what was taught in college.  Worse, some people can’t find jobs relevant to their degree.

A strictly thorough and specialized knowledge of an academic subject is much more expected in graduate school.  For undergraduates, it is enough to know things more broadly, even in the major.  But if you want to zero on in a subject, go for a master’s and/or PhD.

But seriously, what is my issue here?  In a word, money.  Receiving grants and loans will facilitate education, but as time goes on, and you are forgetting more and more of the material you have learned as you pay back your loans.  Fortunately, your resume is building, so that can help with the loan cost, not to mention that it the resume will gradually mean more your degree.

But again, consider the K-12 level.  They are learning facts, many of which we have forgotten since then.  If they go to public school, people pay for it through tax revenue (including yourself!).  If it’s a private school, parents pay.  Problem solved.

Aside from money, there is another issue, on specialization.  Not even college can get you on target in a deep knowledge of a scholarly topic.  It basically becomes a means to an end.  Yet if you pursue a much deeper knowledge, graduate programs may be knocking on your door.

In any case, you should always discern what God what he wants you to be.  Whether it is college, trade school, or just a plain job, God can use you in His kingdom in whatever kind of work.  I am seeking a Biology degree and I feel that is my calling.   But will it win me a job?  We’ll see.  But for now, I’ll just get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year of 2020.  One step at a time.

Finally, because I believe God is totally sovereign, He may be “weeding out” course areas not useful or relevant.

Amen.

The Carpenter-Supplier Metaphor

An anonymous scientist I know from my church made an interesting comparison concerning doctors and medical scientists like himself. Medical doctors get their prescriptions thanks to medical scientists (especially ones in the pharmaceutical industry). Similarly, this “brother in Christ” compared the doctor to a carpenter and the Big Pharma industry (who employs him) for supplies.

And there can be many ramifications of this metaphor. Examples:

-Waiters and waitresses serve food, chefs and cooks make it.

-Printed materials like books, newspapers, and magazines, must have the appropriate crew (including editors, reporters, journalists, authors, those recruited for research, and of course desktop publishing and the printing press operators). In this case, YOU are the “doctor.”

-Radio and TV programs are observed (and hopefully enjoyed) thanks to DJ’s, journalists, announcers, cameramen, stations, networks, etc. And these viewers and listeners are, again their own doctors.

There are scores of examples, but the basic connection is that doctors and carpenters, like any occupation, cannot provide their goods and services without third party supply of necessary components.

The ultimate comparison, though, is when Jesus was among us, He was more than a carpenter, and far more than a doctor (and even more than his divine title of “Great Physician”), but He does more. He saves souls! And all temporal careers are welcome, for true believers glorify Him. In His Gospels, much is reported about physical miracles that albeit had a primarily spiritual message of salvation. And it all culminated in the cross, dying and then resurrecting.

Alleluia!

Beautiful Maturity

After having a grueling 20-something career ending in March 2018, my 30s are far better. Alas, there may be more responsibilities, among them keeping your your health, wealth, and if applicable, family in stride.

We will focus on beauty today. In my 20s, I thought anti-aging products were a hoax. Apparently, 30-plus women want to compete with their sexy 20s counterparts. Well, my 31 year old head was buzz cut. And while I have fine lines on the top, so be it.

While inner beauty should lead over outer beauty, middle-aged and senior women can look just as wonderful as 20s people, no matter how wrinkled or gray they might be, because it fits their age. Whether you are a baby, a kid, a tween, a teen, or in any adult decade, whether 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or even over 100, you can be beautiful for your age. That being said, this is your OWN age, not representative of another (e.g., 50 but looking 30).

And if inner beauty is more important, why do I write this blog post? Well, first your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19-20) Moreover, the older you get, the harder life gets. So if you have a combination of both, you will be personally, loving neighbor and self, as well as God, the One who gave you life — the Great Commandment!

To conclude, in my 20s, I thought I couldn’t speak for my thirties. Well, here I am — doing so now! Seniors obviously can’t be “young and beautiful,” but definitely beautiful. (The question is what dominates — inner or outer!)

And for all my brothers and sisters in Christ, this life is a minute fraction of what the awesome life have in our heavenly eternity. But let’s not get too speculative, otherwise we wouldn’t be any earthly good!

Episode 92: Faith in the Marketplace – John Venhuizen, president of Ace Hardware

You may have heard that businesses like Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby (among others) were founded by Christians, but believe it or not, Ace Hardware is run by one as well.  And Ace Hardware has never had moral controversies!

If you get a chance, listen to this roughly 40-minute podcast for details.

Source: Episode 92: Faith in the Marketplace – John Venhuizen, president of Ace Hardware