Primary Research Blog

The form of primary research that I conducted was through the use of an interview. Dawn Cowhy, a twenty year veteran in the field of nursing, is a former educator of mine. She taught the Health Science Professions course at Lapeer County Ed-Tech, which focused on human anatomy and physiology, as well as medical terminology, and for second year students, a self-study which allowed us to pick whatever field of medicine and learn about it over the course of the entire year. Mrs. Cowhy has been a teacher at Lapeer’s Ed-Tech center for nearly seven years, and has worked at various hospitals, and obtained her nursing degree from Hope College, one of Michigan’s top nursing colleges today.

The interview conducted was via email, being that she is all the way in Lapeer county, and I was in Detroit. The questions I asked her were, “Do you feel like kids have any basic medical knowledge once they reach your first year course?” (11th Grade). I then proceeded to ask her, “Do you also feel that there needs to be more basic medical education, which includes training in CPR and self-exams, administered throughout middle and high schools?” She responded by saying that “When student’s first arrive, they have very minimal, if any, medical education or background. That is why I am so lenient my first year because they are just beginning to learn medicine. However, I do think that schools should focus more effort into providing some sort of class to teach kids CPR and or how to self-examine themselves, being that both could potentially save lives.”

Mrs. Cowhy is a very busy educator, and I understood that she doesn’t have a lot of time for interview-type questions as she manages three classes, two high school age courses and an adult-ed course, all of which have a different curriculum. Her second year students each have their own curriculum independently, like phlebotomy and EKG, to my personal study, oncology. I feel as if she gave a decent amount of insight, and being able to experience her class first hand really did show me that students aren’t equipped with much facilitated knowledge of any medical practices. (Outside basic medical care, like bandages and hygiene.)

Being that the research topic I am dealing with has two parts to it, I believe that it will actually allow me to argue that both go hand in hand. The topics include a lack of medical education in schools, which lead to my causative effect of thinking that certain treatments work, when if the person had any type of medical education at all they’d learn that these are ineffective. People can be easily persuaded into believing things that they believe are true, because someone can post something and say “According to the University of Cambridge, medical marijuana has proven to be 100% effective for curing cancer.” While many people believe that argument because they included a fancy university’s name in the “study,” people who lack basic medical knowledge don’t understand that this is not the case and they don’t understand that all cancer is NOT the same.

I believe that with the right information, and the use of my primary research, that I can construct a valid and very interesting topic that will coincide with each other, allowing me to make a very strong rebuttal against these prejudiced ideas associated with the medical knowledge that people believe they posses, but in fact they don’t.

Annotated Bibliography: Three Sources

Cowhy, Dawn. “An Outlook into Medical Education.” E-mail interview. 9 Mar. 2015.

This first source was a source that I had mentioned in my research proposal; using a professional in the field of medicine, who is also a medical educator, to give some insight into the principles being taught in high school that coincide with basic medical knowledge. Mrs. Cowhy, a twenty year veteran as an RN, and the Health Science Professions educator at Lapeer County Ed-Tech was a past teacher of mine in the HSP course. The Ed-Tech center caters to many different technical professions, from welding to automotive, but her course was far more academic than any other course offered. It gave insight into the field of medicine, through the studies of anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, general healthcare, and basic certifications that are implemented into the world of medicine today. (EKG Tech, Phlebotomy, etc.) In this interview the general purpose was to see if kids coming into the course, their Junior year of high school, had any basic medical knowledge, and if they did, what was it. This also included the ideas of knowing preventative measures from certain types of diseases, such as skin, breast, and testicular cancer. Through my interview, I can conclude that the school system hasn’t done such a great job at educating kids on basic medical care. Mrs. Cowhy concluded that these students had very little, if any type of medical background, and did not know how to conduct any form of self-exam, nor did they understand the risks associated with certain diseases. Why does this matter? Well medical education like knowing basic medical practices, such as the self-exam, isn’t taught to these kids, and that is scary considering it could lead to untreated and potentially deadly cancers. During the course of the interview, there was no formal mention of marijuana as a cure for cancer, because I wanted to stay within her scope of practice.

Callaghan, Russell C., Peter Allebeck, and Anna Sidorchuk. “Marijuana Use and Risk of Lung Cancer: A 40-year Cohort Study.” Cancer Causes & Control 24.10 (2013): 1811-820. Print.

In this study, the implementation of marijuana into every day life is looked at on an epidemiological scale. The study conducted was to see the incidence and prevalence of marijuana smoking to the relative number of lung cancer associated with recreational use. There were many different factors involved, like age, but the incidence was highlighting the adolescent ages, because of the heavy use associated with these years. The study was conducted for a forty year period, and found that heavy cannabis smoking led to a very high risk associated with lung cancer. This article will be included into my paper, because the common misconception that cancer is cured by the use of cannabis, and that cannabis does not cause cancer, when in fact the use of cannabis regularly has a very high prevalence of lung cancer over individuals who don’t smoke at all. The study also found that many cannabis smokers are also active tobacco smokers, which would increase their risk two-fold, highlighting that the use of cannabis and tobacco smoking is a concoction for cancer to manifest itself into the lungs. The use of this article can tie into the idea that there is not enough medical education in schools leading people to believe false testimonies, because many people formulate the idea that cannabis cures, and that cannabinoids kill cancer cells. When, in fact, if they had some type of medical education that they would realize that cannabis cannot simply hijack a cancer cell, and kill it. These ideas are formulated through believing false testimonials that say that people were cured with cannabis or cannabis oil, and the lack of medical education makes it easy to believe these sort of testimonies.

Burns, E. “Cancer Prevention and Control: Where Are the Kids?” Journal of Cancer Education29.2 (2013): 209-10. Print.

(Finally something on the exact topic that I’m looking for!) This journal article was written with the intention to show that the cancer prevention workforce isn’t implementing kids into the group. Cancer prevalence is high in children, and yet the prevention education isn’t prevalent in the lives of many children. The article talks about how adolescents, due to an underdeveloped brain, are most susceptible to making lifestyle choices that could potentially cause them to have high incidences of cancer throughout their lives. These choices include, but aren’t particular to smoking and tanning bed use, both of which many adolescents and young adults participate in. This article describes the idea that cancer prevention is very much needed, be it that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer sometime in their lifetime, and yet some of these choices that could lead to high incidences of cancer could be attributed to habits formed as a young adult, such as the use of smoking and tanning beds. This article can tie into my paper because the idea of schools lacking proper medical education can lead to kids not practicing preventative measures, which can possibly lead to higher incidences of a  cancer diagnosis.

Annotated Bibliography: Two Sources

Dermatol, J. “Targeting Children through School-based Education and Policy Strategies: Comprehensive Cancer Control Activities in Melanoma Prevention.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Nov. 2011. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

In this first source, the general intent was to educate children on sun safety; being that the leading cause of skin cancer at an older age is due to exposure to high intensity UV rays at a young age. This particular study took place in Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida, some of our hottest states to help these kids get an idea for how to stay safe in the blistering heat.

Not only is this source credible, it is backed by the government with a “.gov” URL ending, and it is published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is an instance where cancer education in our schools is only a practicality due to geographic location, and I’m wondering why education on the basic preventative measures, and screening procedures isn’t more implemented. (For instance, as boys get older, there should be a medical professional to tell them how to screen for testicular cancer. We have sexual education classes, but not a class to help people look for warning signs for a potentially deadly disease? Testicular cancer has the highest instance in young adult men, with 7% of all diagnosis’ happening at this age.)

“Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®).” National Cancer Institute. National Cancer Institute, 6 Nov. 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

This article highlights the effects of cannabis used in the treatment of cancer. There seems to be a lot of speculation onto the treatment of cancer with the use of cannabinoids, but this article outlines the effects of using cannabis as the primary source of treatment.

This is also another government regulated page with the URL ending in “.gov” meaning that actual professionals wrote this piece, making it a very credible source as well. I hope to find another piece that outlines some common misconceptions of using cannabis as a treatment, and linking them to a lack of education in cancer as a whole. (Like jumping to a conclusion that these cannabinoids are a cure-all type thing that can treat anyone with cancer.) However, I know form being involved in this discourse that each cancer diagnosis is different than the next. What makes cancer so unique is that the DNA composition varies from the next case, hindering the ability to treat each case as we would treat the flu, with one vaccine and moving on. This is what makes this kind of treatment so profound as many individuals believe that inhaling these cannabinoids can cure many cancers, which is highly unlikely. I know I have to be open minded, but my time spent in the actual field of medicine has swayed my opinion a bit towards the fact that the use of cannabis to treat cancer is a long shot as the sole proprietor in the treatment of the cancer itself.

Mid-Term Reflection

A few months into the winter semester here at Wayne State, I have realized that I am capable of completing and doing more things than I ever imagined. Like, for instance, I can successfully sparknote an entire book and get 14/15 on an essay for a history class. I can also scrounge up enough quarters in my car to purchase an entire meal at Panera Bread as well! With all of these great accomplishments, there are others that aren’t so spectacular, but important nonetheless.

Over the course of my time in English 1020, I have come to realize that there are a lot of similarities between English 1010 and English 1020; much like I’m assuming that there will be a lot of similarities between the next English course and this current one. However, just because there are the same primary goals, such as reading and writing, there is a lot of development being done as we are all finding out who we really are as writers. There are profound differences between some of the literature pieces that I have composed from English 1010 and English 1020, and most of these differences show that I have grown into a more scholarly, and more articulate writer.

I could make this whole response sound like I’m the next Homer, or Tolkien, but in reality I’m Justin Jacob. A writer who puts his own little quirks into his pieces, who enjoys playing with the normal confinements of literature to try and make his pieces stand out. I have become to recognize myself as a scholarly, yet unique writer, appealing to broad audiences that pertain to the pieces that I have been writing about. However, there are a few exceptions to who I like to write to.

Okay, so following this idea that I like to put my own sort of twist into my writing, I do not like to write for really standardized audiences who just want the prompt fulfilled to the “T”. Like when I was writing a lab report in my Biology 1510 class, that was hell. “Because we added compound x to the solution, the compounds reacted, therefore changing common misconceptions that were present in our hypothesis.” Sounds so amazing right? No, there is no space for my own personality to shine through this type of writing, and because of that, the paper is just very bland, missing what makes a paper so fun to read. That’s why you don’t see everyday people walking around with a lab report on amino acids, and the use of thin-layer chromatography in finding which solutions are more soluble.

I guess you could say that I like to be more free, without the boundaries of strict guidelines to be followed in my writing prompts. In this class, all the writing prompts have had a rubric to follow, and a general premise of what needs to be in the papers themselves. However, because of the brilliance that ensues the English department, room for personality is present in every piece that can be written. During the first prompt, the whole goal was to reflect on who we are as a writer, and what genre do we write in ourselves. Yeah, basically it was reflecting on how we are as writers, much like this response. The awesome thing is, is that it allowed for us to show you how we are as writers, and what makes our writing stand out. It definitely tackled three of the four learning outcomes that are touched upon in this course. Writing, reading, and reflecting all played a big part in recognizing who we are as writers.

The next prompt, which was to analyze rhetorical strategies used in a piece written by a scholarly individual, still left room for us to show who we really are as writers too. Reading the pieces, picking out strategies used, then telling the audience about them, and getting able to reflect ourselves on whether or not it was a successful rhetorical strategy used to persuade us, the readers, was another way that we could definitely show how we are as writers through our work. In all honesty, I really hope most of my English courses are as free and open about writing as this one is, because I like being able to express who I am as a writer, and show everyone how I have developed a kind of confidence in my writing styles.

So yeah, over the course of this semester, not only have I been able to come up with $10.05 in all quarters using every single one in my car (and one nickel), I have also developed into a more scholarly writer, and a more proficient one at that.

A Response To: The Concept of a Discourse Community – Swales

Already having encountered the term “discourse community,” or simply “discourse,” in English 1010 actually helped me generate a sort of pre-English 1020 understanding of what a discourse community and discourse are created from. My basic understanding of what a discourse community is, is that of which a group of people, all coagulate to create a subject or idea that they all attribute to and that they are actually able to be apart of due to them having some sort of expertise or experience within that field. It was thrown around loosely in the beginning stages of English 1010, however, we ended up reading many articles that pertained to discourse communities and how to identify them, be apart of them, and understand them. It came to no surprise that we would be tackling what a discourse is in English 1020, so lets hope that while getting through this gargantuan piece of mumbo-jumbo will be less tedious than previously thought…

As I started to read this mess of many different concepts that coincide with what a discourse is, I realized that I actually do have some-sort of understanding when it comes to defining a discourse. As the piece states, “the idea of a discourse community is not well defined as yet, but like many imperfectly defined terms, it is suggestive, the center of a set of ideas rather than the sign of a settled notion.” Basically, this Herzberg English fanatic is loosely saying that a discourse is nothing but a mere idea that there is a social group that people are apart of that pertains to a certain idea that is within the confinements of what a discourse is pertaining to.

Yeah, a whole lot of fun stuff that seems really interesting…

The next thing that Swales identifies as being an issue within the idea of a discourse, is drawing a line between speech communities and discourse communities. A speech community is a community of sharing knowledge of rules for the conduct and interpretation of speech.

So this is where things get a little fuzzy for me, in Brian William’s fashion, I was sure that I could have belonged to a discourse many times, but then this idea of a speech community has me feeling a bit misconstrued with the ideas of a speech community and a discourse. I was sure that I have been apart of something that I was not… (That’s the Brian William’s grey-spaceness inside me when referring to a discourse or speech community.)

The six concepts of a discourse however, help me better understand what a discourse is.

  1. A discourse community has a broadly agreed set of common public goals.
  2. A discourse community has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members.
  3. A discourse community uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback.
  4. A discourse community utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims.
  5. In addition to owning genres, a discourse community has acquired some specific lexis.
  6. A discourse community has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise.

So as that may seem to be a ton of information to describe and identify what a discourse is, Swales goes into depth about all six of those ideas and what they mean and how they contribute to what a discourse is.

In the end, I guess you could say that there was a lot of information to process. Well, not just say there is a lot, there is actually a lot of scholarly based material that is included in this text, and most of it is just the same academia style of defining a concept that is required when learning how to be apart of a scholarly being, like a discourse community.

The process that it took to read this piece, unlike the other pieces we’ve read, was different. I wasn’t reading and enjoying it this time. The other articles we’ve read have been much more vast, and had quirks and little funny tid-bits of information that kept me interested in what I was reading. This time, I’m not going to lie, once I got to page 476 I was just about done with the piece. I had been just briefly skimming looking for key ideas within the text in order to formulate an idea of what Swales was saying. I had already come to the table with some sort of idea of what a discourse was, and I think that I had actually done a decent job when it came to being able to identify and define what it actually means.

Swales= possibly the worst article we’ve had to read yet… Now it’s time to do something that doesn’t require me to scratch my head and try to cope with what I’m reading, like watching Netflix.

A Response To: What Were You Thinking?

During my middle school and high school English endeavors, there have been many instances where the prompt for a certain paper and or project would be to write a reflective writing piece over something that happened in my short eighteen year history. Most of the time, the jumbled messes that I would compose revolved around a specific instance that correlated to whatever subject was being taught in the class. “One time where I had shown leadership was… and it showed that I was capable of leading an entire group… If I could have done something different I would have…” You get the gist of what type of reflective writing was done in my short time in the public school system. It was bland, and left a very choreographed, unoriginal taste in the readers mouth. It seemed that the rubric was the outline of the entire paper, with each paragraph starting off with a particular bullet point that was to be met on the rubric. It wasn’t real reflective writing, one filled with my own stone-cold thoughts on how I actually thought the event went. However, once I began to reach university-level courses, I was able to reflect not only life events, but my also pieces that I had composed.

The reflective process took an upward swing once I had reached college-level English, with each reflective piece taking bits and pieces from previous pieces, and letting me really open up to how I felt and thought that the piece either achieved or fell short of what was to be accomplished. In Giles’ article, the infrastructure of how to compose a reflective cover-letter type of reflective intro to a paper really shows the reader how to truly achieve the idea of “reflective writing.” However, just because Giles first iterates reflective writing in the format of a cover letter, doesn’t mean that one is limited to just writing pieces that give a brief, yet concise outlook on the piece that the writer composed. The habitual nature of reflective writing coincides with the principle that once one gets more familiar with the processes included in reflective writing, the composition skills of that individual will get better. The idea of self-reflection has a method of communication, not only with the reader, but the writer as well, because writing a paper can be challenging, but once one outlines the successes, failures, and everything in-between, the writer can look at that piece with a much broader appeal. The iteration of self-reflection may not always be included in higher-level college courses (per my English 1010 professor), but being able to truly express ideas, thoughts, emotions, successes, failures, stresses, forms, mediums, anything that pertains to the writing, lets the writer develop their ability to become a more successful and generally better writer in the end.

A Response to: Backpacks vs. Briefcases

Within the walls of Almont High School, conformity and alikeness were common attributes that nearly all of the high school students shared. It was almost taboo to be different. Those who practiced being unique were often thought of as lesser individuals, whether it be by social ranking, or just the fact they weren’t the typical American Eagle/Hollister/H&M clad students that typically clustered the hallways. Then, along comes college where uniqueness is embraced, and transfixed upon in so many different ways that it is almost looked down upon to be indifferent.

I’d attribute this to just growing up, as we become much more accepting and tolerant of others, but I must say that there is still a level of prejudice and also initial judgement placed fourth when we meet new people and experience all that college has to offer. The article gives the example of initially making an assumption about a college professor. Not only are we making a judgement when we meet him/her, we also do a little background research on the college student’s favorite professor-related gossip site, ratemyprofessor. How does this transpose into Backpacks vs. Briefcases? Rhetorical analysis is a part of every day life. We may be looking at that professor and notice their name-brand or off-brand sense of style. What type of clothing they wear, what kind of accessories they wear, and then let that determine what type of person they are. If they’ve got Clarks USA boots on, or Meijer boots, that is taken in and judged. If they’ve got a coach tote bag, or a tote bag from target, that is also judged. Rhetorical analysis is constantly around us, whether we agree that it is a good or bad thing, it has become so integrated into our lives that it is nearly impossible to live without.

Let me tell you, this article was something that is definitely worth sharing, in and out of class. The insight into rhetorical context and setting is simply some of the most non-formal yet key approaches to the way that something as complicated as rhetoric should be taught as. The ideas implemented in the piece really give a better appeal into the idea of rhetorical analysis, and I know that not only am I becoming more familiar with the idea of rhetorical ideas. Before reading this article, if you would’ve said “what is the rhetorical situation here,” the answer would’ve been a shoulder shrug or a lost dumbfounded look on my face. However, when we look deeper into the ideas that follow rhetorical content, it is becoming astronomically more apparent that rhetorical analysis, situation, and context is much more common than I had originally imagined. And it is within Backpacks and Briefcases that I have truly found the sole ideas that surround all things rhetorically related.

Response to: The Wayne Writer (1/20)

Whenever we read any type of text, whether it be a textbook, a newspaper article, an email, or even a Facebook post, we actually are subconsciously recognizing the genre. In the Wayne Writer, pages 48-50 the importance of genres in scenes is expressed through many examples that can be used. It is imperative that we realize what genre we are reading as it is the basis for how we are actually reading the article, such as the way we read a textbook, compared to the way we read a blog post on wordpress.

From reading these texts we can start to analyze the genres, which allow us to get a better understanding of the scene, which helps us determine patterns in the literature, like linguistic and rhetorical presented in the material. It helps us identify the content and the structures of the material, which gives the reader a better understanding of what the author is presenting in the material. Genre analysis is essential in truly understanding what the material is about, and I find that if you not only understand the context, but the piece as a whole, you are getting a much more concise idea of what the author is conveying.

Response to Shitty First Drafts:

Composing a great piece of literature is no easy task. The amount of time spent put into one’s work can be exhausting, but the hardest part, beginning to write. In “Shitty First Drafts” the author emphasizes on the ways some authors begin the daunting task of beginning to write their piece of literature. He follows with some advice that is pertinent to nearly every successful, triumphant author.

And that key to success, just keep writing.

Compose those drafts, sit down and really just write and ramble on about whatever it is that your inner-writing voice tells you. Make the first draft long, and unbearably terrible; even shitty, you might say. This is something that not only good writers do, but something that everyone, with good or bad literary skills, has to do. It is DIRE that draft after draft are composed in order to formulate a good piece of writing, as writing many drafts helps you discover what truly are excellent parts in one’s writing, and what are, well shitty.

Not only do I have to go through the grueling task of starting my piece, I also go through many, MANY drafts in order to get a better understanding of what I’m truly writing about. Each time the piece comes together, word by word, stanza by stanza, and before I can even realize what I’ve done, I only have to put the last piece of the puzzle together. By the end, I look back, and see what masterpiece I have created. Eloquently written paragraphs after paragraphs, all formulated through the art of drafting.

Not only do I find that it is near impossible to write a good piece of writing without drafting, it is near impossible to throw together a perfect piece in a little amount of time. I was pleased with the fact that we are going to be devoted to drafting, as my inner-cognitive self likes to really be able to compose a good piece of literature through the art of writing the same material over and over, whilst adding and deleting information, to really create a paper that is fluid, and well-written.

“Shitty First Drafts” may seem like it is asking a lot to compose one’s piece over and over again, but in the end, it is absolutely necessary if success in composition is what you’re looking for.