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About Me:

Hey everyone, I am Cathryn. I am going into my 5th year of pharmacy at Butler University. I am also working toward a minor in Science, Technology & Society! In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with friends and writing. I've been working on NaNoWriMo and am hoping to be published at some point in the near future as well. Most of the time you can catch me studying in the library or browsing the Internet. Oh, and did I mention that I got married last summer?

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Archive: November 2011

Parks and Recreation

is my new favorite show on television.

It all started last week when I was on break and, for once, had nothing to do. I noticed on Netflix that I had added Parks and Rec to my queue, and I thought, HEY! Now’s a good a time as any to start watching. I expected it to be funny and entertaining.

What I did not expect was to fall so completely in love with it that my inner dialogue now mimics a mix of Leslie Knope and Andy Dwyer. And Ron Swanson has easily become my new fictional character hero.

Part of what’s so fun about the show is that it takes place in Indiana. There’s a lot of midwestern humor in it, and certain references to Indianapolis that have made me split a hernia laughing (there was a great jab at the Pacers that I won’t repeat because it must be watched).

I love a show where I can’t quite pick my favorite character. I especially enjoy Tom Haverford’s weird sense of pop culture and obsession with high class living, including his ambitions to be a club owner and his iPod deck mounted on a Roomba (called DJ Roomba).

"I call cakes big ol' cookies. I call eggs pre-birds, or future birds. And I call forks ... food rakes."

I know everyone ever is always pressuring their friends to watch this show or that show, but I’m serious this time. Watch Parks and Rec. New episodes start TOMORROW!! (We bought Hulu Plus just to catch up on Season 4, that’s how obsessed we are.)

Lunchtime Confessions

This is my formal apology to everyone in the pharmacy building basement “quiet study lounge.” I am sorry for eating raw carrots and tortilla chips. They were extremely crunchy and, I don’t know if my headphones are enhancing the sound, but I presume they are very loud. But I ate down here because I didn’t want to switch buildings and I have a nice little corner spot and no one will talk to me! HA!

(This has quickly turned into “Recluse Confessions.”)

As payback, I have discovered that Walmart’s Great Value brand salsa was not messing around when it was labeled “hot.” I eat jalapenos for breakfast, so I like spicy things, and I was completely undaunted by Great Value “hot” salsa. Well. It’s pretty freakin’ hot, and now my nose has sprung a leak.

I know you were all very interested in hearing about the status of my nose contents.

In other news, I made an awesome crockpot recipe over the weekend, and I plan on taking some for lunch. I’ve already started predicting what onlookers will think of it as I try to microwave it in C Club. “Looks like a smoothie!” “No! Pureed koala!”

If you couldn’t already tell, I have some major anxiety about eating around people. I guess. No idea why! :D

Vaccine Wars

When I should have been studying, Curtis decided he wanted to watch Frontline’s report on the war on vaccines. As a future healthcare professional, I’m very concerned about the growing opposition to vaccines. While I encourage you to watch the documentary, I’ll give you a break down of what I learned.

The original study published in 1998 was retracted by the journal that published it. To summarize, Dr. Wakefield, a British GI doctor, tried to study a correlation between young children with ulcerative colitis and the effects of administering a vaccine. His study reported that the children experienced developmental problems after receiving vaccines. This sparked a controversy–with the rise of autism and no known cause, many parents were eager to point fingers and find a concrete cause for their child’s autism.

The problem is, Dr. Wakefield was paid off by lawyers hired by the parents of the kids in the study. The parents were ready to sue pharmaceutical companies for the vaccines that they thought caused autism. Dr. Wakefield was paid to show a correlation between vaccines and autism so the lawyers could win their case. The study itself had some outrageously bad science behind it, so The Lancet retracted the publication in 2003.

But the damage had already been done. Measles outbreaks are occurring right here in the states. Despite the reassurance that vaccines are safe, despite the fact that the producers of vaccines were ordered to remove the mercurial content from the adjuvants (which was not shown to cause any large scale side effects, mind you), parents are still afraid to vaccinate their kids.

I’m going to digress for a moment and quickly discuss the difference between the scientific findings of “correlation” and “causation.” A correlation may mean nothing at all. When people say “there is a correlation between vaccines and autism,” this does not mean “vaccines cause autism.” There are many other circumstances that cause autism–possibly genetics, environmental factors, and a number of other things. A correlation can be used in this way to: “When I drive to work, the sun comes up.” These two events are related due to the circumstance that I drive to work in the morning around the time the sun comes up. The sun does not come up AS A RESULT (causation) of my driving to work. That is, if I didn’t drive to work, the sun will not come up.

Moving on. Danish researchers crunched all of the health data they have to find numbers that falsified the idea that autism is caused by vaccines. Turns out, it doesn’t matter if a child is vaccinated or not–the frequency of autism is the same. Opponents still argued, however, and one of their arguments is that the MMR vaccine (preventing against measles, mumps, and rubella) was “too much at once,” leading to marked regression in their children’s behavior and development. Japan decided to ban the MMR vaccine and instead administer those immunities as separate shots. Nothing changed.

The facts are there. No one wants to listen, and unfortunately, I don’t think American could swing mandatory vaccinations because it would be seen as too Orwellian. At any rate, I leave you with this clip from the Frontline special–a public health worker talking with anti-vaccine mothers, whose selfishness for themselves and their children will put other children at risk for infection and, possibly, death.

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Barf, misinformed and blind mothers.

The longest week ever

The week before Thanksgiving break is the longest week ever. You might think finals week is the longest week ever, and that’s fine, but I contend that it is this one. Thanksgiving break is the harbinger of the end of the semester–everything’s downhill once you get back.

It’s the getting to break that’s hard. I, for one, had a presentation last week, another presentation this week, a test, and also a quiz on Friday. Not to mention a 2-hour PDA lecture on Friday starting at 8AM. Oh, cruel world!

Luckily, the presentation went well! At least that’s over. And it’s Thursday, which means in a little over 24 hours, it will not only be the weekend–but also Thanksgiving break!

I’m realizing now that we’re well-past the halfway point of November. I don’t think I can handle it being December yet. I’m not even halfway done with my NaNoWriMo. I’m in biiig trouble!

Shssh. I’m just going to listen to Christmas music. It’ll be okay.

I own this album and, yes, it’s amazing.

The P90X man is totally crazy

He is! I started P90X about for weeks ago (and by “started P90X” I mean “take some DVDs from my mom and use them 3-4 times a week). The guy that hosts it is says goofy things and makes me do yoga poses that break my spine. Then he has the nerve to have a woman on his workout team who can do 15 chin ups. Way to put an unachievable goal in front of me!

But in all seriousness, I actually kind of like P90X. I had never really tried yoga beyond what the WiiFit taught me, and it turns out I really like yoga. Even though Tony Horton tells me to do push ups between poses. No Tony Horton! You can’t make me do it! You’re inside the TV! Sometimes I eat a piece of candy while the P90X people do ridiculous core crunches. And I giggle.

I tried doing the leg/back workout a couple of weeks ago. I hurt for two days straight. Stairs were torture for me afterwards. I felt like James Cann in Misery. Now that I’ve recovered, I’m pretty sure I have the legs of a Super Saiyan.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the yoga mat I have because I’m a nerd.

I've done 0.5% of these poses.

I got it cheap at TJ Maxx! :D

Facebook. No. Just No.

It’s Veterans Day! I’m going to let everyone enjoy Veterans Day in their own ways. Please thank a veteran for their service and remember that our service men and women fight every day for our freedom. Also, I highly recommend reading the caption below the picture in the Wikipedia article about Veterans Day (linked above). Heartbreaking.

Now I’m going to complain about Facebook.

Today, 11-11-11, is going to confuse a lot of people into thinking about other things besides Veterans Day. Because there are four 1’s in the date. It also happens to be my five month wedding anniversary, but I’m more than willing to overlook that for veterans.

Mostly, Skyrim came out today. I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but Facebook has started tracking status updates based on subject–such as Halloween. I assume this is to combat the trendiness of Twitter’s Trending Topics. I made the following update about Veterans Day

Sometimes I love having a tablet.





I may sound like an old dude chastising all the youngins for their quirky obsessions, and I probably am one of those old dudes (on the inside). But you can’t ignore a Federal Holiday, especially one that honors our veterans.

So, Facebook, if you don’t start showing me Veterans Day updates, I’m going to… yell at you somethin’ fierce? I’ll figure something out.

Op: National Novel Writing Month

Operation: NaNoWriMo has been underway for 10 days now. I hit 10.1k words on Sunday and abruptly ceased all writing. It is now Thursday. I should be more concerned than I am.

The last time I successfully did NaNo was in ’08. That was a loooong time ago now, all of the sudden. I should be a little rustier at the whole “write every day FOREVER” regimen that is associated with the event. However, on day 1, I wrote my daily writing quota (1,667 words) in 43 minutes.

I have a spectacular Excel sheet that tracks my progress. When I entered my first word count and time update, it told me I would finish on November 16th. HA!

Despite my hiatus from NaNo, I’ve actually found that this novel is coming out a lot smoother than expected. I have a plot. And sideplots! And said plots are working like a well-oiled machine and not a two-legged dog. (Yes, I will shamelessly post references to Homestar Runner like it’s 2003.)

Therapeutics Presentation! EEP!

I actually really enjoy presenting things in front of people.

Exhibit A: Red Cup Culture. For 3 years, I have willingly placed myself in front of 20-30 freshman (and multiple presentations) to talk about alcohol. Explaining things like liver metabolism and BAC. Not daunted at all by this. I even presented with a group to a BACCHUS Conference last year how RCC works to fellow peer educators from across the country.

Exhibit B: Public speaking 101. I took this class and learned about how to create a presentation, and I did 3 presentations in front of the class. I bored them with things like Tylenol and aspirin overdoses, but I did it nonetheless!

A couple of weeks ago, I did a presentation on PTSD and substance abuse. I stood in front of the class, confident in my topic. Then I couldn’t breathe. And halfway through I lost my train of thought and stood there saying “uhmmm” for about 30 seconds. What happened?!

So tomorrow, we have solo presentations for Therapeutics on a diabetes case. This presentation isn’t done in front of a huge group of people–it’s much worse. We have to present in front of 2-3 professors who sit there and grade us.

I guess the main difference is that in most presentation, your audience will mostly sit and stare at you and take it. Maybe ask a few questions. In Therapeutics, however, they will make you think that everything you’ve ever learned is wrong. That your mere existence on this planet is a horrible mistake that should be corrected.

Maybe not THAT bad, but you will wonder why you picked the therapy you did and doubt yourself on every subsequent decision you make for the next 48 hours after the presentation. Can’t wait.

I’ve reemerged!

I am appalled at my lack of frequent updating. I don’t really have a concrete reason for the giant gaps. I think it is because my life is so uninteresting that I have to let several days creep by in order to let something interesting happen. ;)

I hope everyone had a super Halloween! We had 0 trick or treaters! MORE CANDY FOR ME.

My costume was really cool though. I was a Mandalorian. I bet you didn’t know until just now that there’s a Star Wars specific wiki. You’re welcome!

I bought not one, but TWO bags of candy in preparation for Halloween festivities. I like chocolate, myself, so I bought the Milky Way/Snickers/3 Musketeers combo, and because it was severely lacking in peanut butter, I bought a separate bag of Reese’s to mix in. Although we didn’t have trick or treaters, I took it upon myself to mow through several candy bars to make myself feel better (at least they were fun-sized?).

All in all, Halloween was a bust. What we did manage to accomplish the week before was watching all three Paranormal Activity movies, and The Exorcist. I’m not really a horror movie fan, but I really liked the PA series and The Exorcist. I think I prefer movies that don’t have murderers in them. That just bothers me for some reason.

Okay well! Lighter topics! I’m in the Science Library right now and I just ate food. I feel ostracized when I eat food in libraries because the wrappers are all loud and everyone else is like, “Stupid person eating, ruining my studying and making me hungry!” This may be all in my head, however.