I was expecting summer semester to be a real drag, due to the most difficult classes in the BSN course being in 7th semester.  Community Health, Mental Health, OB.  With the 5-week Neuroscience Trends class thrown on as the cherry on top.  SURPRISE.  It flew by, but not in an enjoyable roller coaster sort of way.  I find it ironic that Mental Health has contributed to the decline of my own mental health.

However, clinicals this semester have been truly rewarding, so I suppose I should be grateful in that aspect.  From teaching health education classes at the Y to working at Mercy’s Help Center to observing a C-section IN the operating room… my perspective on life has definitely shifted.  Nursing is all about community and support, y’all.  =)

In between classes, seminars, clinicals, and studying, I’ve actually had time to read a few more books!  Two of which I’d like to recommend to those of you who are avid readers who want to expand your to-read lists on Goodreads.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
(Sy Montgomery, published 2015)
In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
(Anne Fadiman, published 1997)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia’s parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award, Anne Fadiman’s compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest. The current edition, published for the book’s fifteenth anniversary, includes a new afterword by the author that provides updates on the major characters along with reflections on how they have changed Fadiman’s life and attitudes.

Aside from reading, I figured out how to mod Sims 4 into a more enjoyable game.  I HIGHLY recommend MC Command Center, if nothing else.  Sims 4 does not have story progression enabled for the neighborhoods, but you can set autonomy and progression with MC Command Center, which makes the neighborhoods a bit more exciting and interactive.  I also added a few more mods before crashing the game, which is my sole goal when it comes to modding.  Mod till it crashes.  Good times.

In other gaming ventures, I finally tried out Bioshock Remastered and was 101% unimpressed.  It’s shinier, but only marginally.  The only reason I have the remastered versions is because I owned all 3 previously.  After finishing Bioshock Remastered, I was like, well, ok, and moved onto Bioshock 2 Remastered.  I heard that it was buggy, but was not prepared for the massive amount of bugginess I encountered.  I’ve been crashing every 30 minutes despite using all the fixes I had up my sleeve.  Not cool.  Would not recommend to anyone.  On Steam, the original Bioshock 1&2 come with the remastered versions.  Don’t even bother downloading them.  *apathetic shrug*

No other updates, Mercy College owns me right now.  See ya.

– J


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