Daily Archives: November 23, 2014

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The choice of “what to read” in high school has been a topical issue in the recent past. In the last decade, there has been intense discussion among teachers and curriculum developers about replacing classic literature with modern texts. The discussion has been partly generated by the differences between proponents of the classic works and current students who view the classics as too old, boring and irrelevant in the current society. In the article, Eldeib (2014) presents an insightful analysis of the underlying issues and dilemmas when choosing classic or contemporary books for high school reading.

The analysis of issues raised in the article offers an in-depth understanding of the need for change. The purpose of education is to shape an individual into a citizen with the capacity to become self-reliant. This is a complex process that requires a wide range of inputs to achieve. The need for change from classic literatures to modern texts centres on the need to capture 360-degree of education. This implies that what students read should capture both the classical and contemporary aspects of life.

This arises partly because of the difficulties teachers face in teaching classic literatures. The idea is that teachers should not feel like they are dragging students to study the novels. The drive to read should by self-instigated. This calls for a change in the choice of what students read and methods of delivering the content.

Another aspect to consider when choosing between the two texts is the overall purpose of reading. First, reading helps students become better thinkers. Reading forces students to contribute his or her own interpretations and reconstruct the mind of character. It can also broaden students’ imagination and sensitivity towards our environment. However, this can only be achieved by ensuring that materials we read offer the above purposes. Classic literatures have often been hailed as the great books that “come down to us bearing upon them the traces of readings previous to ours, and bringing in their wake the traces they themselves have left on the culture or cultures they have passed through language and customs” (Gupta, 13) The books are written in noble language and teach important lessons about human nature. The language and the lessons they teach can be passed down from generation to generation.

Contemporary texts on the other hand keep us in touch with the current views of the society. There is no problem in changing from classic to contemporary if the objectives of reading are achieved. However, to achieve a comprehensive purpose of reading, it important that teachers find a balance between classic literatures and contemporary texts.

This raises the important aspect of the importance of reading literature. Literature acts as an important source of pleasure to readers and listeners. Students face a lot challenges and stress during their lives. Literature can serve a source of entertainment that also plays an important role in performance improvement. Reading literature also plays an important role in building experience. Students who read literature reap the benefits of expanded knowledge through various experiences and relationship with the characters in the literature. Literature enables them to meet new people, gain new experiences and visit new places. They discover the common values that human share and the challenges that all humans go through. This information plays the fundamental role in expanding their horizons and handling emotional aspects of their lives.

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In addition to the above, literature improves language model for students. Good literature exposes students to correct word use, sentence patterns and structure and good grammar. The students also learn from new vocabularies woven into the stories. This offers the opportunity to sharpen their language skills, becoming better readers as well as writers, which is an important aspect of expression that all students acquire in the course of their studies. A critical review of the beneficial outcomes of reading literature reveals that these benefits are not only confined to students. Reading literature helps all people acquire the capacity to deal with problems and challenges. By finding out the problems of others in the literature and learning lessons on how the problems are handled, one develops the insights into dealing with own problems. From the above discussions, it is recommended that teachers achieve a perfect balance between classic literature and contemporary texts. This is because a drastic shift from classical literature to the modern texts may not work best in the interests of the students and teachers. The benefits and critical lessons of classical literature, especially their noble language and lessons on human nature are likely to be left out. A gradual change is therefore proposed as an effective approach in undertaking this change.

However, there is consensus that reading literature presents a wide range of beneficial outcomes to learners. These include being sources of entrainment, developing literacy and thinking skills, improving language skills and enhancing visual literacy.

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Asthma

A study conducted in the US revealed that Asthma is a key communal health predicament in the over the past three decades. It approximated that over 20 million adult Americans had asthma, as well as roughly 6 million children. Since 1980, the asthmatic cases have doubled and affected so many families all over the world. Redd also approximates the number of people who have died from this fatal disease to be 5,500 persons per year since 1980s, and these rates have continued to increased. The study also indicates that the rates of the death, visits at the emergency department, and hospitalization among the African Americans are three times higher than among the white Americans.

In addition, the expenses of asthma have dramatically increased to over 30 billion dollars in 2013. I have witnessed my younger brother go through a lot of anguish due to Asthma. We used to play and do athletics together until when he was eight years. At this age, he often complained of feelings such as heavy chest and breathing difficulties. This made him frequently take some rest as we were playing. As his chest grew tight, he often started to heave and breathe. This disease has troubled him for a better part of his life as it is incurable. His experience has made me have the interests of researching more on Asthma. Hence, this paper majorly focuses on the symptoms of Asthma, its causes, spread and the treatment.

Asthma: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Cost.

It is evident from several studies and findings that individuals with a history of asthma in their families are extra prone to asthma attacks. Childhood asthma has as well affected millions of young people and their families. A larger percentage of children who get asthmatic do so before they are five years old.

Causes

Asthma is an ailment that affects the functioning of the breathing passages that transmit air to and from an individual’s lungs. The cause is persistent inflammation of the breathing airways. Hence, this makes a person who is asthmatic to be extremely sensitive to a range of trigger. A number of internal and external factors can trigger the inflammation to cause the swelling of passages, and they become filled with mucus. The lungs of the asthmatic individuals are always more sensitive to various triggers which irritate the lungs. These triggers are often tiny protein particles known as the allergens, and they include pollen, animal dander, strong chemicals, dust particles, and moulds. The non-allergic triggers may include or polluted air, smoke, change in weather, or cold air. One can be sensitive to one or more triggers. The muscles that in the breathing airways always contract, leading to further contraction of the passages. This contraction complicates the exhaling process, hence difficulty in breathing out. This exhaling struggle causes the archetypal symptom and signs of asthma (Weiss, Sullivan & Lyttle, 2000).

Symptoms

Major symptoms of those who are asthmatic include wheezing (hissing sound when one is breathing), coughing, chest tightness and breathing difficulties. Most asthmatic individuals experience the above-mentioned symptoms normally early morning and during the night. These asthmatic symptoms may worsen during exercises, when one has a cold, or the individual is highly stressed (Akinbami, Moorman & Liu, 2011).

Treatment

To date, there is no cure for Asthma though the symptoms are controllable with effective management and diagnosis. This may involve following a prompt prescription by the medics and learning how to avoid the triggers that cause the allergic reactions. The physicians prescribe a daily use of the controller medications and should therefore not be taken lightly or ignored. These controller medications consist of inhaled corticosteroids, budesonide, mometasone, ciclesonide, flunisolide, beclomethasone and other.

Costs

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Besides the causes, symptoms, and the treatment of asthma, I learnt that Asthma is very expensive. Financially, the impact of asthma is roughly 60 billion dollars in every single year in the US (Weiss, Sullivan & Lyttle, 2000). This stands for the lost wages, missed school and work, medical costs, and early death that result from asthmatic attacks. Medication for the uninsured and the insured is quite expensive, as a majority of the insured asthmatics in the US was not capable of affording their medication. Though the current patient assistance programs may help in decreasing the financial and social impact of asthma, the outcome is that its medications are costly. Besides the medication costs there is the risk of losing of a job in cases of severe asthma, or having to take care of an asthmatic child.
In the US asthma is the top cause for children to miss school as well as the fourth top reason of a grown-up to miss work. Hence, I learnt that asthma is an expensive incurable disease that requires proper patient attention and that the patient should be consistent in following the doctor’s prescription in order to save future costs and expenses.