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Tutor profile: Amanda H.

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Amanda H.
Health sciences librarian
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Questions

Subject: Shakespeare

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Question:

Does Hamlet really go crazy?

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Amanda H.
Answer:

This is a question that is often debated by scholars and theatre directors the world over. The short answer is: it depends. The long answer is: it depends on the inclusion of one very special line. If you look at the interaction between Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern in Act 2, scene 2, Hamlet reveals that maybe his madness is put-on with this line: "I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw" (2.2.351). In other words, Hamlet says that under certain circumstances is his mad, but under other circumstances he is perfectly lucid. He can see clearly the deception that is playing out with the other characters (particularly the deception of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern serving as Queen Gertrude's spies). Some theatre directors will choose to eliminate this line in order to demonstrate that Hamlet indeed does fall victim to his own madness. Whenever you see a production of Hamlet, keep an ear out for this crucial line.

Subject: Library and Information Science

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Question:

I need help finding articles on how nurses meet the health literacy needs of their patients in rural North Carolina, and I can't find anything.

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Amanda H.
Answer:

This is a very specific question! Sometimes our questions can lead to being too specific, or narrow, to yield the results we want. I would recommend looking at your search to see what might be tweaked in order to help you find results that are "close enough" for you to be able to extrapolate from. First, let's build the search using the PICO method: population/problem/phenomenon, intervention, comparison, outcome. There are also the optional fields of time and setting that we can use, too. P = population = nurses P = phenomenon = health literacy I = intervention = (none) C = comparison = (none) O = outcome = (none) T = time = (none) S = setting = rural North Carolina I have identified three concepts: nurses, health literacy, and rural North Carolina. Now, if I get very few results, I might ask myself whether it matters that the information is in rural North Carolina, or if it could be in any rural area. Then, I start thinking of my keywords, which I will group together with parentheses (), and which will be separated with the word OR to tell the database that I want all of the words in those parentheses. Finally, I will use AND between my three groups of parentheses to tell the database to narrow down and combine exactly these three topics. My search will look like this: (nurses OR nursing personnel) AND (health literacy) AND (rural areas OR underserved populations) Then, I will take that search string and put it into a database, like PubMed, to see what my results will be.

Subject: Literature

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Question:

What is the significance of the symbols in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight?

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Amanda H.
Answer:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written during a time when the Christian church was still asserting itself as dominate in England, including Wales where some pagan traditions were still prevalent. The poem demonstrates a marriage of Christian ideals and pagan traditions through wonderful symbolism: the Green Knight represents the "wild" pagan traditions. He is nature: green, carrying a holly branch, riding a horse, seemingly immortal. The poem begins during Christmastime, and King Arthur's knights are celebrating the holiday season. Sir Gawain represents Christianity: mild-mannered, humble, respectful. Scholars often look to this poem as a way to describe how early English Christians viewed the traditions of their pagan neighbors, as well as a way to explain some of the overlap between the traditions and celebrations of pagans and these Christians.

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