Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a 9th grade class where kids were studying Romeo and Juliet. I enjoy Shakespeare a lot and while Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite drama, it is very cool to be in a classroom with a bunch of kids (13 to 15 year olds) who are experiencing Shakespeare maybe for the first time. Just seeing the process of learning going on, while kids try to discern the complicated language, intricate plot line, and subtle twists was an amazing experience. What is even better, is being in the hallway as kids pass by and hear them talk about things like cars, and dates and who they saw with who was refreshing. I really enjoyed myself and I look forward to doing it again someday.

Oh by the way Macbeth is my favorite Shakespearean drama. I realize Hamlet is likely more popular, but Macbeth was the Shakespeare play I understood and the first one I saw acted out on stage and to this day I would rather go see Macbeth than any other Shakespearian plays comedy or tragedy. I do not favor Shakespeare’s comedies but if I had to pick one I would say The Tempest is likely my favorite. Once again it was the first I felt I understood. I will grant the reader that I am not well educated in nuances of Shakespeare’s work so yesterday was a bit of a learning activity for me as well.

Spending time with the High school kids yesterday got me to thinking about resources available for diabetic education. Now when I was diagnosed, this is the way it worked. You stayed in the hospital until you had been there for a Tuesday and a Thursday afternoon. It did not matter if Tuesday was your first day and you were sick as a dog or if you had been there since the prior Wednesday you had to complete two classes in order to get out. Class 1, Tuesday, was the exchange diet and class 2, Thursday was what happens if you do not follow the exchange diet.

Class 2 was full of graphic pictures both of food, and very ill people. You learned to use insulin or the pills on the hospital floor so that was not covered in class. The class was taught by nuns who were specially trained in making you wish you had never been made a diabetic. I think one of the sisters considered it her life work to scare the heck out of all diabetics regardless of age or position. I also think she pressed forward until at least one person and hopeful two ran out of the Thursday afternoon class in disgust. All I knew was it was not going to get to me. By 1974 I could scare her easier than she could scare me so in my class of 5 she was already down to four.

The exchange class was a little different. It was mostly pictures of food with lines through them. I remember a string of no’s. No bread, no cereal, no candy, no juice unless you are low, no ice cream, no, no, no, no , no. I remember very little about exchanges. But for two hours I am sure she must have covered it all at some point. I loved the 10 minute break when we came back to a glass of ice and tall tab. We were told this was one of two drinks we might enjoy. So we were asked to down a big one.

Heck I’d been drinking tab for so long it tasted ok to me. The older guy next to me almost threw up. He turned green and since my blood sugar had not yet settled I was still pretty thirsty and when he sat his down in disgust I asked for it and he gladly handed it over. Heck it tasted like a little piece of heaven to me. I recall that nun saying that I need not be a hog. One bottle was enough for anyone, obviously she had no idea what a blood sugar of 400 felt like. Truthfully I could have drunk all those bottles of tab in the classroom.

Oh and by the way we were told that RC cola was better for us. A fact I already knew full well, but that she seemed delighted to pass along as the tip of the day. The green guy sitting next to me asked what RC tasted like and I told him tab without the bitterness. He was dejected. He needed a regular coke and pronto. Oh I also told him about the wonders of Fresca the grapefruit like drink. Yum I said, hahahahahaha, poor man. Carbonated grapefruit he asked? No thanks was all he said.

So I wondered about the state of diabetic education today and I called my CDE and she suggested I try out the Joslin site. I looked it up and it is not half bad. Here is the link:

So I took some very short classes, and so far no nun had come out and hit me or called me names, so I think that is a big plus for the Joslin site. Though not knowing when you might get berated or yelled at was part of the lure of the Thursday class anyway. So I sort of miss that.

The Joslin classes are pretty basic I think more geared to children but definitely informative. They are self-paced, and I know I got a couple of answers wrong. Which makes it sort of fun to try to beat. Can I get 100% even if some the answers are for trick questions? Like I said I got a few wrong, but I learned from the software so the overall experience is pretty good.

Maybe you will want to try it out and see if you can get them all correct? No I am not telling which ones I got wrong. After all, the nuns do not like talking in class. Hey pass the saccharine tab, my blood sugar is up and I need 48 bottles. LOL



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Tags: Diabetes, Education, Joslin, TUDiabetes, blog, online

Comment by Trudy on March 28, 2014 at 7:55am

Hi Rick. Education is fascinating to me, in part because my mother, husband and others in my family are/were educators. I don't seem to have much talent in that direction, except that I used to train dogs. It's always been my opinion that the greatest feature of TuDiabetes is how educational it really is. And hey, next time teach Chaucer, it's more fun!

Ice cream--yes, yes, yes, yes. I lost ten pounds with my New Year's operation. My doctor suggesting drinking Glucerna to help gain them back, but the ingredients don't agree with me. I told him I was going on an ice cream diet to gain, he laughed but sort of said, Go ahead. I did just that and it's been fun, most of the weight is back, and I'll never ever give up my coffee ice cream!

Comment by LadyBetes (Erin) on April 5, 2014 at 8:10pm
Thanks for sharing, Rick. I'm going there now to see if I can get 100%!! :)


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