Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poverty in NM-stream of thought

Today for part of our course on poverty and health at school, I visited a "soup kitchen" called Project Share.

Project Share serves hot meals to the 87106 community. The project also distributes food boxes to families in need, provides free clothing and books to people, and offers people help in finding work.

I know very little about social problems, so it was very interesting to go and serve food to people. As an initial impression, some people seemed to be in very dire straits, and some people seemed like people simply down on their luck or caught in a tight economy. Some people seemed like they could be okay, and it was unclear why they were there. People have all kinds of needs. Some people who came to Project Share may even have been filling a social need, I'm not sure.

So far in medical school I've gotten more exposure to poverty than I did working say, in Los Alamos. I enjoyed volunteering at Project Share, except for the cleaning part, after we served people food. It wasn't hard, but seeing and smelling the bucket of water and chlorine, cold with wet rags inside, brought back unpleasant school cafeterias for me.

I have heard it said that there are not starving people in the US the way there are in other countries, and I am sure that is more or less true, but there are definitely hungry people here. I wonder how everyone came to fall through our social network and ended up homeless, jobless, and hungry.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Have you ever failed your first anatomy exam and several quizzes, then as icing on the cake been advised to "study more" in peer evaluations? Maybe it made you feel like crap, because actually, anatomy is quite new to you, and actually, you had been studying and not pissing the night away (thank you very much for your insightful comments, my quiz scores had failed to phase me). After you stopped with your crying and moaning, maybe you felt angry and wanted to kick something. You don't have to. Just go see the movie Wanted. Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy not only kick lots of ass, curve bullets, and defy the laws of gravity and logic with their car stunts, but James McAvoy also whines throughout the movie. You'll feel so much better letting professionals get all the emotional sewage out of you, and the neighborhood cats, children, and MS1s will remain unharmed.