So Far

 houston 030I’ve been catching up on the social scene in my neck of the woods.   I am slowly stepping out.  When, I lived in New York, I had retreated from things I used to do for fun.  I used to go to the museum with my friends, go out to eat or stay at their house and eat their food, go out to events/concerts.  I still kept up with the concerts because I love Music, particularly African music but a lot of other things had fallen through the cracks because life got in the way. 

 In the past two weeks, I’ve been learning more about this city that I live in  and trying to see if there is anything here beyond school that will make me put down my second nail. (think analogy of building a house).  This search led me to the Menil and also to a Japanese festival.

The Japanese festival was a lot of fun.  Many lovers of Japanese culture displayed aspects of Japanese music, food, dance etc.  Of course, with Anime being rather huge in the United States,there were many native Texans dressed as Anime characters which was quite interesting to see, when one considers that many view Texans as being ultra conservative. Houstonians love to have a good time and they will create that good time in this urban jungle.  Yes, I used the phrase urban jungle.  If you are a lover of nature, be ready to be depressed for a couple of weeks before you snap out of it.  

This event took place at the Herman Memorial Park which I fell in love with instantly.  Oh my goodness! I think being in that park with the water falls and the bodies of water (man-made) but clean not murky or brown was like nirvana. A weight was lifted off my shoulders.  

But, I really enjoyed the Japanese festival.  It was a lot of fun seeing people embrace a culture that really isn’t theirs; it was great seeing people of Japanese origins being willing to share that part of who they are.  🙂

My second fun outing experience was to the Menil Museum.  I had heard so much about the Menil Museum from many Houstonians that I just had to go check it out. My first lesson when I got there was to realize that people actually do dress up to go to the museum. As an aside,’i wonder if people dress up to go to the zoo.  They had cocktails and served food- (goat meat, another meat, and more meat with some korean dumpling).  The food tasted really good but I had to  separate the dumplings from the goat meat and just had the dumplings and the vegetables.  So delicious.

Since I am not an Arts aficionado, I lost that mojo many years ago, I was now looking at Art just as a lay person and enjoying it without the extra knowledge.   I really enjoyed viewing the selection of pieces from Greece, different parts of Africa, India etc.  It was like stepping back in time to my world history class in high school. Many of the objects looked familiar.  That part was fun.  

The main attraction was the ‘mystery of the ordinary’ which was made up of art works from private collections. My favorite pieces were the ‘acrobat’s ideas’, le double secret (the double secret), la clairvoyance,  la magic noire.

The acrobats ideas just spoke to me of the multiple juggling of realities that many women have to go through often on a daily basis.

 Ie double secret – spoke to me of the dual personalities that many women often have.  We show different faces dependent on who we are speaking with and what the environment is like. You can be an extrovert in one setting and be a complete introvert in another.

La clairvoyance spoke to me of seeing further.  Some might  see just an egg which could be cracked open and fried but someone who is visionary, sees the potential within that egg.  This person sees the future; this person sees a big bird that can fly to the sky.  Some can view the painter in this picture as a holy being, i.e God  but others who aren’t spiritual might view the painter as a guide,a parent,  a  person who wants the best for that little egg.  

La magic noire was simply a woman standing by the sea but the question really is this, is she human or isn’t she?  

I believe good art makes one think and question.  Those spoke to me but there were many pieces that I really did not understand.  I hope to go back before June 1st.  Did I forget to add this?  You do not have to pay a fee to visit the museum.  It is completely free.  You know how I love my free stuff!  🙂  It is open till June 1st. 

That’s it for now…. I hope to take my books and head out to a park in my neck of the woods,  this weekend.  Maybe, I will find another place that might make me put down my third nail.  







One Down

Yesterday evening was the crowning of several months of team work in an interprofessional team.  My interprofessional team was made up of students from  Pharmacy , Public Health (ME), Speech Language Pathology, Dental hygienists, Social workers, Occupational therapy and Physical therapy. Except for me, the rest of the team were clinicians in training,so they’ve  been trained to look at problems, to communicate in a particular way and to find solutions in certain areas.

The question became, “what will happen when all these different fields in health care are asked to solve an administration problem?”  At first, I felt sorry for my team members, because the question that we were trying to solve was a Public Health problem (Management facet of the field) and at first I couldn’t really see how others will use their ‘field lens’ to address the problem and proffer solutions.Thankfully, we were all able to look at the problem from different field lenses and we were  able to provide recommendations to the organization that we were working with.

What did I learn from working with a team made up of clinicians from different fields?

a)  Unlike, many immigrants who started their journey into the world of health care on the clinician side either as CNAs, CMAs, PCAs, HHAs, sitters, etc, I never worked in those capacities.  The closest I came to working on the clinical side of health care was my extremely short stint as a Dental Hygienist after my undergraduate program. It was interesting watching how clinicians think, how they communicate, how they work with a team, what their biases are, how it could affect a team, where they look when they are trying to solve a problem. I am an aspiring global Public Health practitioner and I might end up working with clinicians to solve problems,and so it was an eye-opening experience.

b) The way a non clinician views a problem is different from the way a clinician  might view the same problem. No side is better or  more right than the other.

c)Often people come into a group/team with their biases about others and if that bias, isn’t checked early enough, it could create a problem later on.

d) Everyone has a role in a team and regardless of whatever your role is ensure that, you bring your strengths into the work. Ask your questions, beg for clarifications, bring up your suggestions even if no one listens.

e) Competitions can be a lot of fun.  I actually enjoyed the final event.  The process to the finale was tiring and often very stressful.  Unlike my team members, this was my first semester in this city and  I was dealing with life issues, school issues and then grrr issues.  I was stressed out but I am glad that I saw the process through. I intend participating in other competitions, as I go through my program.  This was an interesting experience and I learnt a lot. No, we didn’t win.

On another note, I am still waiting for a part of my plan to come into fruition.  It is Month Four…….come on now…:-(