Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cultural Competence

Today’s post is a What I Ate Wednesday edition!

Other than that happiness though, I’ll be honest and say that today was a pretty rough day for me.  It started off when I woke up fifteen minutes before my alarm clock and I wasn’t hungry at all.  I hate when this happens and it always starts my day off on the wrong foot.  I loved being hungry when I wake up because breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day.  If I wake up and I feel that twinge in my tummy it starts me considering all the goodness I could make to eat.  When I wake up and I’m still full from the night before I just feel lethargic, heavy, and slow.  Sometimes I have to even make myself eat something just to get my metabolism going but I certainly don’t want to eat when I’m not hungry so this is never a good sign for how the day is going to play out.

Once I was fully packed and ready to bust out the door, I reminded myself that I really should have something, despite my lack of hunger, so I made a peanut butter sandwich and marched on over the 1.5 miles to school.  Sadly the peanut butter to bread ratio was off so it wasn’t all that satisfying.


I thankfully weaved in-between rain clouds so I arrived dry and headed to Communications class where we talked about cultural competence.  This is basically being a responsible human being on the most fundamental level.  We may be incredibly genetically similar but on the outside, everyone is different.  We have different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures to which we belong.  We identify with various groups and find comfort in participating in certain practices.  We classify ourselves as of a particular ethnicity or race and being a culturally competent genetic counselor simply means making sure to take these differences into account while treating everyone with respect and dignity. 

We spoke for a long time about what culture meant and what ethnicity was or the definition of race.  We also spoke about particulars for certain groups like the lack of eye contact in Muslim culture or their lack of hand-shaking especially between females and their male doctors.  We then broke up into small groups and took on cases to think about. My group talked about counseling a lesbian couple who have conceived using a sperm donor.  Honestly, for me, it would probably be an easy session.  I don’t feel as though I hold any prejudices or anything against the GLBT community at all.  I think it’s great when ANY committed couple is pregnant with the best intentions at heart.  I thought the other group’s situation was a bit harder: counseling a pregnant prisoner.  In this situation we all agreed that there would be a certain level of nerves associated and we were having trouble trying to think of what kind of small talk you could make in order to build rapport.  I am utterly unfamiliar with incarcerated culture so I think that would be a more challenging session for me.

After class we headed back to the student room and for the first time this morning, my tummy growled so I obliged it with an apple and Nutella.


Yummy and crunchy and sweet.  Just what I wanted.  I did some reading before heading to seminar, armed with a samurai sudoku and a NYTimes crossword to keep me awake during the talk.  It halfway worked for about 80% of the time.  I honestly can never make it through a full session.  Ooops.

Post-seminar pre-genetics class I was hungry again so I nuked my eggplant coconut curry and topped it with honey roasted peanuts.


Tessa over at Amazing Asset spoke today about using food to not only nourish your body but also to nourish your soul and boy, this dish did that for me.  I love how thick, creamy, heavy, and stick-to-your-ribs it is.  It’s delicious.

Genetics class was awfully hard to get through and I found my mind wandering hither, thither, and yon.  I might have also dosed off a bit.  Just sayin’…  At three thirty, I embarked on my walk home and I swear it had dropped 30 million degrees since this morning.  I was chilled to the bone on the way so I kicked it into high gear and booked it back to the apartment.  I keep the place pretty toasty so I love walking in after a cold walk because I automatically warm up.  I hung around for a bit and pre-fueled for my run with a banana.  This time I made up a tbsp of chocolate PB2 and combined it with some real peanut butter.  The result?  Awesomeness.  All the greatness of the real peanut butter taste but with some lower-calorie peanut flour bulk.  =D


Shortly after I finished, I headed out for my appointment and when I returned I hopped on the treadmill for my second maintenance run of the week.  I ended up doing 3.75 miles in 35 minutes.  For the most part I ran between 6.0-6.5 mph but in the last 9 minutes I did some 60 second intervals of 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0mph running.  By the time I got off, stretched, and went home I was ready to snag a shower and Skype date with Jack. 

We did dinner together over the internet.  He made pasta with shrimp and sauce and I made two tuna melts, one with mozzarella cheese and one with goat cheese, plus a side of buttered corn with Old Bay Seasoning on top.


It was scrumptious.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I had buttered corn and it really hit the spot.  Also, yay goat cheese, how I have missed you lately!  If you haven’t discovered goat cheese, you should, soon, now even.  Trust me.


Finally, this lovely bowl of ice cream and peanut butter/butterscotch chips came after two hours of studying metabolic disorders.  It was much needed and well deserved.  And now, friends, I am heading to bed.  I slept awfully last night so I’m looking for some catch up ZZZZzzz’s.  See you tomorrow!

Questions: Do you consider yourself to be respectful of other cultures? What is your favorite way to have corn?


  1. NUTELLA!!!!! :D gosh that reminds me.. I have to get some!!!
    I love my plain ol' grilled corn! Oooohh actually corn fritters are good too!! Wait and popcorn!

  2. Mmm corn...does corn bread count? haha, I do love a plain old cooked corn with butter and salt.. grilled is great too, and corn chowder!


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