We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this special public service announcement! This is National EMS Week – no, not First Responders Week, or Public Servant Hero week – EMS. Emergency Medical Services – the invisible arm of the first-responder-triad.
I don’t want to go all soap-boxy on you, but my Marine is a paramedic so this hits close to home. Seeing his life first-hand has really opened my eyes to what a short end of the stick this profession gets. Police and Fire are hailed as heroes, glorified, and respected (as they should be – don’t get me wrong on that point!). Kids want to be them when they grow up. Hell, I wanted to be a firefighter all through elementary school! Medics and EMTs? Well, they’re just ambulance drivers, right?
Tip: don’t ever, ever call a medic an ambulance driver. Even though countless man-hours (and formerly healthy backs) are wasted on BS 911 calls and the lowest forms of humanity treating them like a taxi service (sometimes literally – as in “I need to get to the other side of town and don’t have cash for a taxi… Ouch, my side hurts!”). Even though they barely make minimum wage. The incredible amount of medical knowledge stockpiled in his brain blows me away. The fact that someone who, when the system works as it should, literally holds life or death in his hands, often while running on 24 hours with no sleep, and only rates about $10 an hour… well, I should stop ranting while the day is young.
The point is, if you are lucky enough to know a paramedic, EMT, or other emergency medicine professional, give them an extra dose of love and respect this week. And if you don’t, please yield to the side of the road when you see them coming and save your 911 calls for honest emergencies.
Hello my friends.
I am working on what may, potentially, with an extra dash of optimism, be my final dissertation draft. My road trip last week, combined with this final round of edits, is to blame for my lack of any real content around here aside from my one-pic-a-day (almost) project. This too shall pass. But I’m taking a short break at the moment to walk away, take a breath, and frankly, vent to you.
I’ve been working on this Ph.D. in some form or another for eight years. I’m on my 5th topic (topics 1-4 died unnatural deaths, each in new and interesting ways; in the most spectacular case, my data source was a company that went bankrupt and was sold, with the new owners disallowing my use of their newly acquired data. I was 150 pages and 3 1/2 chapters in). And even with that aside, I’ve just now realized, or at least articulated, one of the biggest roadblocks in this whole process.
(a) I don’t actually think I’m ranked among these fine authors in talent; I’m referring to writing style. Laconic v. Verbose. He and I embody the extreme ends.
(b) Yes, I know I’m not Hemingway here with you.
I do what I can to cultivate a conversational atmosphere around here. But in my academic and professional work, I believe that less is more, and that research-based writing should be complete, concise, and clear. His edits, while not inaccurate, are not me. Why use more words when fewer could convey the same information? Sigh. With each click on Word’s “Accept Change” button, I feel like someone is softly rubbing velcro against my brain. Ah well, I suppose I’ll have a higher page count to brag about someday. To no one. Because really, who does that?
I’ll be in touch, provided the velcro doesn’t do too much damage. Meanwhile, I leave you with Hemingway’s 6 Word Story as a tribute to my favorite author and his terse talent:
“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
Note: If you have, oh, an entire day to spare, click through on the photo or just visit ThisIsNotPorn.net. They have curated a serious treasure trove of fantastic candid photos of nearly any celebrity you could dream of.