Today was officially the last start of the week for our time here at the VSA program. Class began with signing individual VSA Thank You cards to Sal Gonzalez, our special guest speaker last week. Then, as the whole class was finishing up on writing their thank you letters, Monte passed out 2 articles to start reading, "Education and Debate" by Ray Moynihan, Iona Heath, and David Henry and "The Nation" by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels. I only got through the first one, which emphasized on how the pharmaceutical industry was starting to label diseases in their own way in order to promote the use of medicine. There is a term called disease mongering, which widens the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments. Ms. Talley also let us choose a card (with a drug name on it) that we would be assigned to present on the next day. I got the drug, Avandia. The professor later explained that the pharmaceutical industries, like GlaxoSmithKline, often take their pills to recolor and rename them to gain more profit.
She went on to ask the class a series of questions: "How many of you have been prescribed medicine before? Of those who have, how many has searched up the medicine? How long did you research on it for?" My hand had already shot down after the second question came up. After asking, Ms. Talley played a short film called "Selling Sickness" that lasted until it was time for lunch. This film showed patients that had been introduced to commercials for illness, and often times, they went to the doctor's to diagnose themselves and ask the doctor for a prescription of a specific medication. In this instance, a man was feeling depressed, so he requested Paxil. He later regret that decision because in turn, the drug was only worsening his symptoms. Another patient felt the same way, but was unable to get any more Paxil than she was prescribed, so she drove to Mexico to get more of it. She began to feel addicted to the drug, and was unaware of the fact that one of the drug's side effects was addiction. Similar cases were taken to court with the company, and they were pressed charges. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) began to require the pharmaceutical industries to label their drugs with warnings.
When lunch ended, we returned to class to find out that we were going to spend the rest of the time (including study hall) in a computer lab to research on our drug. Zach and Ms. Talley passed out the packets for us to fill out while we were there. The packet was about 5 pages long, so I took up almost the whole time slot before it was time to go back to Hank Ingram. When I had finished, there was about half an hour left, so Zach let everyone go on a 15 minute break, and when we came back, we would start on our surprise for our professor. The class's idea was to make a parody of the song "Baby" by Justin Bieber, have one person sing the verses, one person rap, and the whole class sing when it came to the chorus. It would go something like, "What we learned from, Monte (our professor's first name), Monte, Monte, oh (3x), medicine on our minds, minds" except, we sing it twice. We ran through it once and it was not so bad. I think we will do fine on Wednesday (when we are presenting it to her) and I hope that she will like it.
After study hall ended, everyone went back to Hank Ingram for free time until 5:45 PM, when we would have to meet at our proctor's doors. However, Jenny met us at 5:55 to take us out until 9 and the whole group was able to experience homemade southern typical barbecue and listen to some country music. We had a shuttle drop us off at the same block as the restaurant that we were going to eat at (Puckett's bbq).
We walked around, in and out of a few places to listen to the different kinds of music that the performers were playing (mostly country). The point is, everywhere that we walked, live music played (even at the corners of the blocks, there was a small box that played music). Somewhere around the street, I had a familiar song that my jazz band had played, but on the saxophone by one person and it was "Take 5" which sounded really good outdoors.
|Bumped into Elvis while walking around Broadway Street!|
We started to walk towards our restaurant around 7:30 PM, and even with reservations already made, there was a whole crowd inside. While we were waiting for seats to become available, I saw a guy pass through with a guitar, and I knew that there were going to be performers at Puckett's Bbq, so I asked him if he was going to be playing tonight (and he said yes!). The waiters were really nice and kind, refilling Gwennie's lemonade (that we all shared) without us asking, for 5 times in a row. The food was just as great and fantastic! I ordered a Puckett's Bbq with the shredded chicken (and coleslaw and sweet potato fries) with a half vanilla and chocolate milkshake. We swapped some of our dishes, shared, and stayed until 8:30. We watched the performers play for half an hour and there were 3 of them, one who is a regular, Lacy Green, and they were all truly amazing.
After finishing up, we still saved some room for ice cream, so we went to Mike's Ice Cream place and waited for the shuttle to come pick us up from there. The night ended pretty well, I stayed in the 3rd floor's lobby spending time with one of the proctors, Megan, and floor mates. Megan was making friendship bracelets and I was finishing up on one, so I decided to join her circle of sofa chairs around a desk to watch. We conversed about her year in college, then my other summer plans that I had before the trip, which led to us finding out that I will be the Vice President of a club that she was President of (Interact). We talked so much that our time actually ran straight into 10:59, so I only had one more minute outside of my room until I had to go to sleep. I am excited for tomorrow, the last time that we will ever have a SOFT night, and since it is a plus, I will be making masks for the masquerade dance on Thursday night!
|A great view of the lights connecting one building to another down the path.|