Tutor profile: Amanda H.
Write a review of the poem "Success is Counted Sweetest" by Emily Dickinson.
The overarching theme of this Emily Dickinson poem is that success is of more value and is more distinguishable to those who don’t have it. In a more modern vernacular, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” is congruent with the sentiment of this poem. The first stanza lays out the basic point of the poem in two short sentences, each two lines long. The poem starts, “Success is counted sweetest / By those who ne’er succeed.” Here, she uses the word “counted” to indicate that the value placed on success is higher for those without it. On the flipped side of the coin, this means that those with, ascribe lesser value. This is akin to the Law of Diminishing Returns, where only so much of a thing, in this case, success, will yield greater and greater levels of output (happiness and satisfaction) and then at a certain point, satisfaction returns level out. There is a decrease in returns on investment. A person can only be so satisfied. She continues, “To contemplate a nectar / requires sorest need.” The successful don’t need any more success. They’ve got plenty already, thanks. Why worry? Those with the “sorest need,” though, think about what they are without heavily. The need is “sore,” so not only are they think about it, they are deeply hurt by the deficit. The word nectar seems allude to “nectar of the gods,” ambrosia, the sweet drink of the gods that imparted health and immortality. This further shows the high status given to success and perhaps is a comparison of the successful as being like gods themselves, privileged, not necessarily by virtue, but by lineage. Further, the successful would most likely be the richest of any society that has probably always had the best access to health care. The next two stanzas tell a story expounding on the ideas presented in the first stanza. They are each comprised of four lines, but each stanza is one complete sentence with the last stanza continuing the story the first introduces. The second stanza continues, “Not one of all the purple Host/ Who took the Flag today / Can tell the definition / So clear of Victory.” This stanza tells a story about a battle, of which one of the armies won (“took the flag”). It can be interpreted as a battle between armies and not individuals through the words, “Not one of all the.” Purple is a traditional color of royalty, again possibly the connection of inherited privilege implied in the first stanza, first god, and now royalty. “Host” could imply that the battle took place and was won on the royal home-front, land owned by the royalty of the region. Since the poem has been constructed as a dichotomy of have and have-nots, it could be that the losers of the battle were the unsuccessful ne-er do wells described earlier. Was this a revolution of a group clearly unmatched to their rival? What is the definition of victory? The definition of victory is the claim to whatever stakes the war was over and possibly not having to feel like the dead and wounded gave their lives and bodies for no purpose. Dickinson capitalizes the words Host, Flag, and Victory, to bring attention to, perhaps ironically, the reverence we place on ownership, country and being victorious in battle. Hosts usually are welcoming and giving, not claiming things as their own. And sure, one side wins the war, but what have they lost in the interim? Is there really victory? The third stanza continues the story, “As he defeated—dying-- / On whose forbidden ear / The distant strains of triumph / Burst agonized and clear!” The “defeated” are agonized, “dying.” The loss literally cost them their life. The irony is that despite the raucous noise of the victors, a win means less to them than to the people “straining,” “agonized” at the sounds of their win. The rhythm of the poem has a meter that follows an ABAB pattern. The poem rhymes the second and fourth lines of each stanza as well. Both make it easier to read despite the serious subject matter. This poem utilizes alliteration several times: success, sweetest and succeed, defeated and dying, host and who. It makes these words standout and emphasizes their meaning. My attraction to this poem is highly personal. When I first attended college at eighteen, almost half my life ago, life got in the way of my education. When I left college the first time, I was so ashamed of myself. I gave up my plans of medical school, so defeated. It was one of my “sorest,” most pervasive needs for nine years straight, until I came back. To me, success was both attaining that degree (piece of paper), being able to say I did it, but also having access to all of the information I wanted at my fingertips. I am a knowledge collector, just like a collector of antiques excited at a rare find. I idolized people with degrees. I felt beneath them. I have seen so many people who've squandered their education, went for the easy A, ticked off that they were made to take that humanities class. They didn’t value it and here I spent so much time away from it that I felt it was beyond me. It tears me up when I hear a college educated adult unable to explain to their kids what’s so important about geometry, biology, chemistry, etc. I don’t understand not being curious, not wanting to know something beyond what you “have to.” I saw these people with great paying jobs they punched in and out of, because of their degrees, while I stayed behind. In my eyes, they had won a war. Watching them, what I valued about an education changed. It was no longer about collections of information I used to bolster my own ego, but to its utility, not just a job I went to. I wanted to be useful to people, make my work matter. That was success. My definition became honed through reflection. I am thrilled to be starting the medical school application process and if I get interviews I am going to be sitting in front of my interviewer with the biggest grin on my face. “I’m just happy to be here!” Success. Maybe I’d add another stanza of my own to match. But Those who pondered, pensive / Drew their own Line in the sand / And transcend’d the violet Victors, next / from God's leased Promised Land.
Define obsessions and compulsions and provide an example of each.
An obsession is an intrusive unwanted thought, image or impulse that disturbs a person, one that they don’t want, but one they cannot seem to rid themselves of. In fact, attempting to resist or suppress the obsession often backfires and seems to increase the occurrence of the obsession. Another quality is that the person is aware that the thought or the image comes from themselves. Obsessions can cause anxiety, leave a person feeling slightly uncomfortable, to feeling crazy, out of control, or fearful. Obsessions can vary widely depending on the person, but do not consist of things like addiction, worry about everyday events (bills, kids), even if it is excessive worry or meta worry, paraphilias (sexual recurrent fantasies or desires), rumination or general preoccupation with things, people or events. Common themes are repeated thoughts of violence, sex, sacrilegious thoughts, and contamination. An example of an obsession is someone who may have repeated visions of themselves stabbing random strangers. A compulsion is a behavior that is often done in response to an obsession, in order to decrease the anxiety that the obsession causes. In this way, compulsions are negatively reinforced. For example, someone with a contamination obsession might have a compulsion to repeatedly wash their hands. However, the anxiety relief that a compulsion gives to a patient is very short lived, so compulsions are repeated to a non-productive level. Singular hand washing can help someone be clean. Repeated hand-washing can cause raw hands. Someone who has a compulsion will often understand what they are doing is not logical, and the person above sees their raw hands, but they feel as if they have to, that they have no control but to do it . Someone with OCD may spend a significant portion of their day engaging in their compulsions, making them very disruptive. Behaviors in this case are not only physical acts, but mental ones as well. Internal counting, silent praying, or any mental act that a person feels that they must do to alleviate the stress of an intrusive thought, counts as a compulsion. Compulsions don’t even have to make much sense regarding the obsessional stress they are trying to lessen and can have a somewhat superstitious feel to them.
Briefly describe the autoimmune response in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the body to create an over-abundance of antibodies, specifically called auto-antibodies or antinuclear antibodies that seek out the body’s own proteins. Of note, these antibodies are reactive to the body’s own DNA, which are normally inside the cell and inaccessible as an antigen able to be expressed by antigen presenting cells, represented on T cells, B cells or soluble antibodies. These auto-antibodies have the potential to affect bodily function or damage tissues
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