:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

donderdag 24 november 2005

Well, I finally had my linguistics presentation today, and it went great! I couldn't have asked for more. I wasn't even nervous, probably because I had so much good stuff to present. For those who don't know, I had to do a half-hour presentation on Williams' Syndrome, a mental disorder where the IQ is low but the language skills are still exceptionally good. I fought for that presentation because we suspect that my mom's cousin Laura has the disorder, and I thought that by learning more about it, maybe I could come to a more definitive yes or no.

So I had the usual PowerPoint presentation, with a lot of facts about Williams plus a couple of pictures of children with the disorder, and then I also gave a lot of examples, like a 15-year-old WS patient's description of an elephant, a WS child's lexicon of animals compared to that of a Down's Syndrome child, and (the one that made everyone laugh) a WS boy who didn't utter a single word until he was three, then burst out with a frustrated, "Jesus Christ, this doesn't work!" (in reference to a fan).

Then I played the phone conversation that Dad taped with Laura and, while it played, scrolled through a Word transcript that I'd typed up, so people would be able to understand it more easily. Then I showed a slide with a sample of her handwriting (a letter she sent us), showing the contrast between her command of speech (which the teacher described as, "Really, this could be a conversation between me and my 'normal' mother!") and the (typical) poor fine motor control of WS patients. Everyone was really interested in her spelling, such as her writing 'when' for 'went', but Sergey (the teacher) thought - as I did - that was perfectly logical, "because that's what she knows, the phonology." And everybody stayed 'mentally awake' the whole time, as far as I could tell, which was great, since we've definitely had a couple of 'put-you-to-sleep' presentations (*cough*Bart*cough*).

Anyway, after class, Sergey had no criticism whatsoever - he called it "extremely good" and "really excellent" and said I'd done everything he could have thought of for me to do. According to him, it would have been an A based on the content, but since I "showed so much personal creativity" and went above and beyond what was required, I got an A+. (That distinction is negligible in the States, but it's significant here.) He even asked for me to put the .mp3 file and transcript on Workspace (the website UCU uses for assignment hand-in and such) so that he could use them in the future. And when I asked him, he also said that he obviously wasn't trained to make a diagnosis, but based on what he saw, he felt she did indeed have Williams. So getting that 'second opinion' was nice, too.

So, bottom line: Woohoo!!! :)

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