A Chinese student with a thick accent came up to me on Monday while I studied for a quiz and asked me to talk to him. I found this rather odd. I hoped he wasn't going to flirt with me, like other guys do when they ask that kind of question. But it turned out that he just needed people to engage in a conversation with him so he could get better at the English language. Eventually we got on the topic of food and he commented on how well done my minute rice that I had in my portable tuber ware looked. I still don't think I got through to him about how cooking rice from Wal-Mart was no big deal, but that got me thinking about the topic of my next blog post: food.
I enjoyed this topic. Arizona must possess some good cooks, because their pictures of the resulting food amazed me. It's one thing for someone to take a picture of some pasta. But the picture I looked at was exquisite (any type of prepared noodle dish deserves fancy words). It looked delicious. The texture of the pasta looked super thin, so you know the dish was slurp able. Another article featured a thanksgiving-themed photo of what looked like one tasty cube of meatloaf. You could see the green and orange bits of spices in the ground meat (or was it dressing? I don't know. It just looked good). And gravy poured over a fluffy blob of mashed potatoes definitely added some major points to The Arizona Republic's weekly grade.
Sure: the site got back some negative views from me over the period I’ve studied its articles and format. But I’m glad I chose this topic. When it comes to this online newspaper’s strengths, the photos rank pretty high in quality. It’s as though Arizona gets right up there and in your (or any object) face for the best pictures. Arizona doesn’t play when it comes to watering your taste buds with a single image.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel journalist Meg Kissinger came to our class Wednesday to talk more about our last multimedia assignment. Teams would interview patients and professionals on problems found within the health care system. Reporters would also ask the same people what they would fix about health care. The occupation of the person my group has is a nurse, but Kissinger didn't give us his or her name or contact information yet. Today students need blog posts based on the background information of the occupation our interviewee has.
The task was a little bit difficult. I had no idea what I was doing because I wasn't given a website to start from or anything. But I noticed a lot of people blogged about Aurora Health Care. And from the site, it sounds as though nurses possess more of a personal connection with the patient than any other employee in hospitals. Aurora provides a service where nurses go over other people’s houses and take care of them from there. It’s usually that way if the patient has a serious issue, so I completely respect this service. I know a few of my relatives who hospitals provided nurses for them. It wasn't metal health issues, but all of the specific individuals had diabetes, which would be considered a major health issue. I also remember in a class where we talked about how the stronger a relationship is between a patient and a caretaker (e.g., nurse, doctor), the more likely it is that the patient will feel more relaxed and at home. Nurses succeed in making a closer connection through communication and informing or helping patients every step of the way.
I might not know that much about the medical field just yet, but it sounds like nurses aren’t that different from doctors when it comes to caring for the individual. Both of the occupations and their efforts create qualitative relationships and make the patient feel they matter. So I look forward to this opportunity. I’ve never really went deep into learning about nurses until now. And because they’ve cared so much for my own family members in the past, this only makes me more excited.
That's right, people. Today we are getting serious. I wasn't sure if I needed a Monday blog post on my website, but due to the complaint we received from our professor Wednesday, I decided, eh; what the heck. So here I was; thinking all weekend about what I could write about. And on Monday, posts from other students poured into the Facebook page and made me irritated; shoot, I didn’t even have a topic yet.
What caught my eye was that most of these posts were on mental health problems. Mental health is the next topic our class will be focusing on when we come back from Thanksgiving Break. Our upcoming project requires us to ask a professional about his or her occupation and health care problems. The class actually has a post due tomorrow on the assigned field we picked (my partner and I have ‘nurse’), but that isn’t due until Wednesday. We're talking about today.
So a post on mental health in Milwaukee is due tomorrow; why not do it on another state, ideally Arizona? I searched The Arizona Republic's page. It wasn’t that difficult to find the “Health” section. Just go to azcentral.com and look at the first row of categories at the top. The only problem was I had to explore through the subcategories. I knew mental health isn't under “Diet and Nutrition.” That didn’t make any sense. And I had no idea what “Boomers” was (translation; Baby Boomer). “Exercises have nothing to do with what goes on in your mind or anything. And “Recreation”sounds like sports stuff. It’s disappointing that the site continues with giving me all these links, but when I look for something in particular, it’s nowhere to be found.
I also typed in mental health, and the first thing that came up was some movie. It’s sad that a film review came up first before any real articles about mental health. I don’t like being negative. But The Arizona Republic needs more of a focus on mental health problems. People already get irritated from a lack of information provided from the page. Maybe I missed the specific area. And maybe people just don’t look for mental health information on an online newspaper.
A lot of thought was put into this week’s blog post. I wanted something that would complement The Arizona Republic, but I ran into some difficulty thinking of a topic. I then remembered a while back that my dad visited Milwaukee for a couple of weeks last month, and we ended up seeing “Alex Cross” together. Movies and entertainment it was.
Difficulty came along in finding a tab that stated or implied entertainment. Out of all the labels they had, entertainment was just not found. It was located under “Things to do.” No one thinks of going to that category for the latest news on how a celebrity is doing or what rating a movie received. At least create a tab for entertainment and distinguish it.
But I liked that the movies section didn't duplicate articles like the last time I studied the website. There is still a showing of three columns; the outline still looked crazy. But I wasn't as overwhelmed. One reason would be from the lack of excess and repetitive information. Another would be the formatting within the columns. Daniel Craig (“Skyfall”)'s picture matched up perfectly in width with the Reviews, Features and Hot Lists categories. And no uneven rows appeared throughout it, including the other two rows. The editors didn’t highlight the top news story’s title in a darker and bolder blue and move it to the bottom of the center box. Instead it topped over the summary of the article and other movie-related articles because it presented itself as bigger in size and a darker blue than other subtitles. But the photos in the vertical column below the movies category looked weird and could’ve been formatted a little bit better. I then clicked on the sets of photos provided. The front page photos included pictures from June 2012. The 2012 MTV Movie Awards event; really? C'mon, now. The online newspaper should update their photos for each month. You can't tell me you haven't gotten enough shots to substitute old ones that happened five months ago.
The “Alex Cross” movie earned two stars from The Arizona Republic movie review. The feeling is mutual with the page for not updating itself with new visuals. But I'm glad that they don't repeat their content as they do as on their main page, and that they appear more organized because they fit just enough description into titles where you understand what's going on and the heading doesn't run into the next column.