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Five Cats in Mourning

The best times with Mom happened where I had moved to about a two hour southward drive away from my hometown. We shared my new life in the country, and took naps in the neat sunroom my husband had built onto his house for me.

Most of Mom’s life was about sadness, and when she lost Dad, her sadness grew immensely. I had hoped taking walks and the spending time in the sunroom would cheer her.

In between visits from Mom, I had inherited a brood of orphaned kittens. I nursed them back to health, and naturally they were quite attached to me. When I went hiking, they lined up behind me and trekked through the cornfields, and through the woods behind our acreage never leaving me out of their sight.

During her next visit, Mom seemed to bond with the black and white cat whom I had named Pierre. His markings made him look like a garcon. He had a little pencil mustache, and very charming social graces.

When I saw how much they liked each other, I got the idea that if Mom could have a pet roaming around the house, that it could possibly alleviate some of her grieving.

Mom always told me that I was like an old, wise soul dwelling in a youthful body. This is how I became her confidante beginning in early childhood. Listening to my advice, she took Pierre home with her that day.

Soon after, my competitive sister one-upped my gesture by bringing Mom a pregnant cat. This one was black and white, too.

Quickly growing to full size, a mob of black and white cats roamed their turf. Mom’s house became filled with the playful sounds of five cats thundering in a heard on hardwood floors. Yes, of course, this became a distraction from her grief. How could it not?

At night, they all piled into bed, nestling comfortably around Mom’s full figured body. An anecdote she relayed about this nighttime ritual became an oasis in the desert of sadness.

She described a new behavior when the cats had grown old enough to be territorial. I laughed till I cried envisioning her less than peaceful bedtime of cats hissing and swatting all around her. They finally worked out the nocturnal disputes, with only an occasional lapse of the delineated territories.

Next visit, it was my turn to go to Mom’s house, which I hated because the competitive sister loved to wreak havoc whenever she had the opportunity. She only lived next door to Mom, which was too close for me.

Strangely enough, while I was there, I got a premonition that Mom would be going to wherever Dad went. She had found forgiveness for Dad, and seemed to get some of her earthly relationships straightened around. She spoke happily about these uplifting events. On the same visit, she got obsessed about finding a house key for me.

I had never had a house key before, and I couldn’t understand why she was fussing about this. By the time she riffled through enough drawers, I began to get an uneasy feeling. Precognition set in and I got the definite impression that we both could see foreboding times in our future. Neither of us came out and talked about it, though.

We spent the last part of the afternoon sitting on her couch, listening to Tommy Dorsey and the Glen Miller Band – holding hands. I left for home before dark.

After that visit, I was barely home for a day and a half when I got the phone call from my brother. Holding back tears, and sounding angry, he told me about Mom’s stroke.

I joined my four siblings at the hospital, and saw Mom alive for the last time. I thought I saw recognition in her eyes when she gestured to her mouth as if thirsty when she saw me.

We waited for her doctor to return from out of town. Should we try a surgery to remove the clot in her brain? My thinking remained in the same state of premonition that had come upon me two days before. I knew the doctor wouldn’t make it back in time. My two sisters drove back and forth to the hospital to find him, and they were mad at me for not going along.

I just wanted to be in Mom’s house, and be around her lovely colors, and things, and that’s where I stayed. When I first unlocked the door, I could see the cats sulking around. They no longer tromped the hardwood floors. I just left them alone, and wandered through the house, saving up memories at the same time.

I went into Mom’s little bath off her bedroom where we used to put on our makeup together. I was gazing in the mirror and comparing how I looked like Mom except for having Dad’s turn down eyes when I glimpsed a shadowy, quick movement.

In the background from the mirror view, I saw one of the cats jump onto Mom’s white bedspread. Then came another, and one more, till all five were gathered there. They formed into their nighttime sleeping positions, leaving white bedspread showing through in the middle. The white space illustrated the form of Mom’s full figure in the negative space between them.

I knew then, it was time to go to the hospital to say goodbye.

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Ethical Questions that Arise During Chemistry Tutoring

Teaching in an ethical fashion is a subject that I didn’t fully consider during my early career. There were ethics to be followed as a scientist, to be sure: don’t falsify data, don’t change facts to meet theories, record everything that you do in an accurate fashion, and so forth. However, when it comes to private tutoring of chemistry students, there is a fine line that sometimes get smudged, and it can have terrible effects on your reputation as an educator as well as (if you’re anything like me) your self-respect. Let me explain.

Students who pay for private tutoring are usually doing so because they are desperate for help. Either they really need a good grade from the course (this happens a lot with “pre-med” students), or they’re failing miserably and are looking for someone to lift them back up. I think that hiring a private tutor is a wonderful move by a student; it signifies that they are taking a more aggressive position in their learning, and now have a closer vested interest in succeeding in the course: they’re devoting more time and money to the problem. However, as a private tutor in chemistry, it is vital that you are as helpful as you can be, but that the help that you offer always leads the student to a better understanding of the material.

As the popularity of “online” tests / quizzes / homework increases, I (as a tutor) get multiple requests from my students to help them with these online assignments. In my mind, the correct way to proceed is to get together with the student and a computer, have the student logon and view the problems, and then watch them try to work the questions and correct their mistakes / offer explanations as things proceed. I think all educators would agree that there is nothing ethically wrong with that approach.

Internet-based tests have not been the only advance, however; we now have online video conferencing, and virtual “whiteboards”, not to mention phone calls routed over the Internet (VoIP). The popularity of these technologies is rapidly increasing, and quickly being adopted by tech-savvy students. If a student calls you over VoIP and shows you the questions online by sharing their network connection with you, and asks you to help them through the questions, is that an ethical violation? I would still say that as long as the student is making a fair attempt, and my advice comes afterwards and leads them to a greater understanding, then we are still in safe territory.

What about if access to the online practice exams / homework problems isn’t password protected, and anyone can view them and print them out? What if a student you are tutoring asks you to print out that weeks homework, complete it, and bring it to a tutoring session and talk them through how you did it? Is that an ethical violation?

What about if a student asks you to login to a system using their ID#, and print out the homework, so you can go over it together in person later on (“I don’t have a laptop / printer, can you do it for me?”)

What about if a student asks you to login to a system and complete an online practice test for them, so they can review it later? An ungraded test, one that doesn’t impact their score. Violation?

These are the types of questions that private tutors must begin to ask themselves in this age of increasing technology. The situation is complicated by the fact that you are being paid for your services. In my opinion, you need to be stern and upfront with your students. State your limits as to what you will and will not do, and what is acceptable to you and what is not; what level of contact (email, phone) is acceptable in-between paid tutoring sessions, and your general stance on what you view the student-tutor relationship to be. By drawing the line in the sand at this early stage (preferably at first contact with the new student), you prevent yourself from gradually falling down a slippery slope. You don’t find yourself making justifications or compromises.

Teachers have, I believe, an ethical obligation not only to themselves, and their students, but to the community. It doesn’t matter what your morals are in your private life or in your free time. When you are with a student, you need to be the consummate professional, or you bring down the entire profession.

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Eat a Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables for Health and Weight Loss

Eat a rainbow of nutritious, colorful fruits and vegetables to achieve your optimal weight and boost your health. Every colorful food contains its own nutritious gifts. In this article we’ll explore the many reasons to eat red, yellow, white, green, blue, and purple foods. We’ll also discuss several foods to leave alone. After reading this article you’ll be ready to load your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables knowing you’re doing great things for your health.

Red foods like strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes, and cherries are abundant in protein. Protein is essential for health and weight loss. It builds muscle so the body can burn more calories and remain healthy and nourished at the same time. Losing weight without protein and proper nourishment can lead to a sickly look and low energy. Red foods are delicious in combination with the following colorful treats.

Yellow foods like bananas, grapefruit, lemons, and corn generate energy and power. These vibrant foods strengthen the memory and make it easier to concentrate. They also increase the body’s ability to digest food and assimilate nutrients from the food you eat. Now that nutritious yellow foods are abundant on your plate, you can explore the rest of the food rainbow.

White foods like garlic and onions are rich in phytochemicals. The phytochemicals in pungent and hardy white foods have an antibiotic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal quality. Because of this unique characteristic they help to protect the body from illness. But it doesn’t stop there.

Green foods like kale, broccoli, spinach, and asparagus promote overall well being. They contain a powerful combination of nutrients and help to sustain your energy throughout the day. Green foods decrease cravings for unhealthy foods and help to promote your optimal health.

Blue and purple foods like blueberries, eggplant, red cabbage, purple grapes, and plums are a rich source of vitamins and fiber. Blue and purple foods strengthen and protect the heart and help to prevent high blood pressure. Blue and purple foods are also abundant in Vitamins C and folic acid. There is an abundance of healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables to choose from, but what you choose not to eat is just as important as what you eat.

In addition to eating a variety of colors when munching on healthy fruits and veggies, you’ll achieve the best results by avoiding unhealthy foods. Proceed with caution when eating beige foods, processed foods, or foods that are high in sugar. Eat your food as close to whole as possible, and avoid overcooking your fruits and vegetables.

Now that you know the powerful healthy punch colorful foods pack, you’ll savor red strawberries, sunny bananas, pungent onions, and leafy kale with confidence knowing each one is a unique piece of your nutrition and healthy weight.

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Easy Ways to Insure Your Computer

The insurance sector is wide spread and covers almost everything: property, automobiles, life, health, crops, pets, animals, travel and more. It is necessary to insure your computer also. If you have not already done it, you may repent it, in case computer gets damaged and becomes unusable. You will have to buy a new computer or will have to pay heavily for repairs. It is better you insure computer. These are the steps required to get the computer covered under insurance:

Whenever you purchase any electronic gadget, you should find out about its warranty. Usually, the warranty claims are entertained under warranty till a particular date as the product is insured. To be sure that you can make a claim during the warranty period, keep all the relevant documents like bills, receipts or warranty cards secure with you.

Many companies will ask you to produce these documents, if anything goes wrong during the warranty period, and you make a claim. Although, the company may have records on their files, these documents help you as a proof of your purchases and support your claim.

There is another alternative way also to insure your computer. You can include your computer with the other items in your home insurance policy cover. You should make it certain that computer is also covered under this policy. If the coverage is not sufficient, then increase the insurance coverage amount so that the computer is also covered. Indirectly, it requires you to obtain a personal property insurance cover, which sufficiently secures all your items in case of any mishap.

If you use your computer somewhere like in a school hostel, it is better to go for an exclusive insurance policy for your computer. You should also include the other computer accessories like scanner and printer in the insurance cover. Also ensure that the accessories are covered.

It is possible to insure your laptop also. You can find out how and where it can be insured. Check and confirm, if it can be included in your home owner’s insurance policy. The insurance companies provide insurance policy for hand carried or portable items like cell phones, cameras, PDA’s, notebooks, etc. You need to make an enquiry and get a proper insurance cover for your laptop.

If you can calculate the amount to be paid for getting a particular policy cover, it is a great idea. This can help you to limit your search and have a fair estimation and you can compare the offers. In fact, you can search various insurance providers’ sites to find their rates offered. It is a wise thing to insure all your important belongings. Insuring the costly portable items is necessary to avoid any loss.

If you insure your computer, you are free of worries from any loss due to any human error or an accident.

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Diabetes Diagnosed by a Dentist?

Apparently dentists may be able to discover more than just cavities at your next visit. A recent study conducted by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine revealed that there are two dental conditions that can be seen at a dentist visit that may have the ability to diagnose diabetes or even prediabetes.

Many people are unaware of this, but diabetes can directly affect your oral health. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes are generally more at risk for having dental issues due to the lack of control over their blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause interference with the white blood cell’s ability to fight off bacterial infections that take place in your mouth.

Having diabetes that is not under control can also cause decreased saliva flow and as a result, people can have dry mouth. Having a dry mouth can further lead to tooth decay which can lead to loosing teeth. It also can cause soreness and ulcers in the mouth. Diabetes sufferers are also at a higher risk of developing varying levels of gum disease and those with diabetes do not heal as quickly or as well after oral surgery or other dental procedures.

Diabetes affects a large number of people and the issue it becoming a bigger problem as time goes on. More and more people are becoming diagnosed with diabetes and if dentists have the ability to detect diabetes or prediabetes early, it can help people maintain control of their diabetes before more damage is done. If caught early enough, diabetes can actually be reversed. Columbia University researchers discovered that it may seem unconventional, but the disease can indeed be identified while in the dental chair.

Participants of this study included about 600 adults. Those who were non-Hispanic and white were at least 40 years of age and those who were Hispanic or non-white were at least 30 years of age. All participants went to a Northern Manhattan dental clinic. Nearly 530 of the participants were found to have at least one of the risk factors for diabetes based on self-reports. Risk factors include family history of diabetes, being overweight, and having high cholesterol. None of the participants however had ever been diagnosed with having diabetes.

All participants had a periodontal exam along with a test for hemoglobin A1C. This is a blood test which is used in order to both diagnose and monitor diabetes. The results of such testing show the average blood sugar level for each participant within the last 2 or 3 months. Participants were also asked to return and take a fasting test for plasma glucose which will reveal whether or not the participant has diabetes or even prediabetes.

Researchers discovered that there were two oral factors which were rather effective and accurate in revealing which participants had diabetes or prediabetes which hadn’t been diagnosed. One factor was the amount of teeth each participant was missing and the other factor was the depth of periodontal pockets. Periodontal pockets are depressions found within the gums which cause bacteria to build up in these areas. Researchers also found the results of the test for hemoglobin A1C to be valuable in determining whether or not participants had undiagnosed diabetes.

Dr. Evanthia Lalla from the College of Dental Medicine and lead author of the study, noted that the findings reveal a possible new approach which can easily be conducted during dental visits. Being able to identify undiagnosed diseases at the dentist’s office could actually be rather convenient since nearly 70% of all adults throughout the United States visit the dentist annually.

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