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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Vocabulary!

Tonight, I spent some time working on Wagner's Dich Teure Halle as well as Allm├Ącht'ge Jungfrau from the same opera. Later, I was planning my outing for tomorrow, trying to get the best bike route to my destinations while half-watching the FOOD Network show Chopped.  As the first contestant was about to be chopped, Ted Allen wondered aloud whose plate was under the cloche.  From the usage, I knew that he was talking about the cover over the plate, but I looked up the word  anyway.  To my delight, I found two more uses for this word. It is also a woman's bell-shaped hat or a bell jar used to protect plants from freezing.

I have been laughing at myself about being so excited about my new vocabulary word.  The two German arias yielded a few words with which I was unfamiliar, but figuring out the German didn't give me nearly the pleasure that hearing a word I have never seen, heard, or used and understanding the meaning from the context of its usage. Some of my co-workers are adrenaline junkies, but learning a new word or a new tidbit of useful information is almost as good to me as chocolate.  

My sister has clown characters AJ and Sassafrass.  If she needs another character, I have a perfect picture in my head for Chloe Cloche.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Blogs and more blogs...

When I was in Vienna, it occurred to me to write a blog.  Before I started writing this blog, I wasn't really interested in being a habitual blog reader.  Now, things are different.  I like reading blogs about money, theology, and blogs where people share their lives with their friends and the rest of the world. Today, I found a couple of posts that are worth sharing.The first is from the dumb little man and is about beliefs that keep people limited. I limit myself by believing that I'm not good enough to accomplish the things I want to do.  The next is one that one of my nurse friends posted on facebook.  The blog is written by a Filipino nurse.  The part about wearing a cap and all white as well as a few other things aren't reflective of American nursing, but the sentiments are those that we all feel sometimes.

At work this week, I had a clash with a doctor regarding a patient. The doctor is much more educated than I am, but she is also much younger than I am.  In front of a room full of people, she condescendingly criticized my decision to call a rapid response.  By far, it isn't the first time someone has treated me badly and been wrong in their criticism (The patient ended up going to ICU two hours later), but it is what fuels the fire of my discontent. In this instance, the work I did added value to the workplace and to the patient's life by intervening quickly.  The hospital has a better reputation when right actions are taken, and the patient's wife was grateful.  She came back to report that although he is still in ICU, he is doing much better.  When I go back to work Monday morning, that won't make much difference. Last week will have just been another week, and last week's successes won't matter any more.  If there had been as serious a failure, it wouldn't be so easily forgotten.  It is so much easier to be mediocre than it is to stand out of the pack.  I would like to believe that better is achievable, but so far, that excellence has been completely elusive to me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

St.Stephens and the Woman Praying

I have this photo at least three places on my computer.  It is the most inspirational of all my Vienna photos.  I have spent way too much time thinking about this place, this woman, and her prayers.  This photo was taken in a spontaneous moment that could not be staged, nor can it be re-created. Thoughts of God reaching out to humanity in art and light are pervasive, and they run the gamut from deep wonder to the ethereal. This photo embodies the surreal experience of God meeting humanity. Although, St. Stephens is a special place for me, I am grateful that wherever I am, I can experience God (so can you).