The last time I've written about me is April 30. That is a darn long time ago and a lot has happened since then. Facebook is so ubiquitous in my life, I assume everyone knows everything, but realistically no full stories are told on FB--it's pretty much just the highlight reel, right?
So many of you have been with me for so long--7 years--you've seen my life transform in some drastic ways. One of those major transitions has been career-wise. For the past 18 months, I taught pharmacy technicians and running the externship program (a vocational internship) for a campus of a well-known chain of vocational schools (I started as a adjunct three years ago). My department was overseen by the Allied Health Program Director (the umbrella for the pharmacy tech, medical assistant and medical billing & coding programs). Since the M.A. portion is far and away the largest program, and has a separate accreditation which requires someone with an M.A. credentials, the program director (PD) has always come from that background.
My former boss was a reluctant and interim administrator and, in the interests of making the position easier to fill and do, I was asked a couple of months ago to take over the role of PD for Pharm Tech and MBC, and the MA program would stand alone. I said yes and I really enjoyed the job for three weeks--which is the length of time I had it before they powers-that-be came back to me and shared an idea for bringing everything back under the Allied Health umbrella, having me run it, and having my former boss be my assistant.
I didn't respond immediately as the position meant leaving the classroom, but after thinking hard and negotiating salary (women: men don't take the opening offer and neither should you), I knew yes was the right answer. I'm not even going to humblebrag this one: I got promoted twice in one month 'cause I rock my job. Women need to start owning their awesome like men do and I've decided to lead by example.
I LOVE everything about my new job.
I get to counsel students and since I've always had a soft spot for the underdog, getting to meet and hopefully help lots of underdogs is amazing. Some I will be able to save and some I won't, but what a cool thing to spend your time trying to do!
I get to lead a team of 12 and so far everyone seems happy with how they are being led.
I get to bring my ideas and the ideas of others to fruition.
I get to put my master's degree in Instructional Leadership to great use by learning the language of data analysis and doing things like evaluating year-over-year trends and then drilling down for answers as to why.
I get to develop talent.
I took this position two weeks before an internal audit and I worked six days a week, 12 hours a day to dig out from a considerable mess, but I did it and was part of a very impressive result campus-wide. I got to establish myself as a person that expects results, not excuses, and that was helpful.
Several people have remarked that my eyes sparkle when I talk about this new position and that can never be a bad thing.
Still working on the Jenny situation--frantically, on occassion. She was just in the hospital for a week getting an endocronological workup. Next step getting sorted still.
I am writing a lot about eating disorders (links at bottom of the post)
Danger Boy and Social Butterfly are just about ready to go back to school. Time flies. DB will be a senior and SB hopes to study at University of New South Wales in the spring.
My nephew, Travis, is living with us. This falls under the never say never category. He's gotten older and wiser (he is 8 days younger than DB) and is ready for some Jenn-style tough love to set him on his way. It's a good thing and I'm really happy we are in this place.
Grownup Girl and Grownup Guy took a memorable Alaskan cruise and are now ready to focus on starting a family. Can't. Wait!
So looking forward to a trip this coming weekend to see MVP and Mandy and her parents and attend this concert at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Colorado. The concert was a birthday gift and we're going on our 27th wedding anniversary weekend. How cool is that?
A five-part series for the Dr. Greene site (I am glad I saw his TED talk--cool info I'm sharing with my kiddos about waiting to cut the umbilical cord. Also, DB is impressed with me for being affiliated with someone who did a TED talk).
Brian Cuban and I co-wrote this piece; his is a strong voice for speaking out about eating disorders affecting not just men, but women. I very much appreciate his willingness to engage in dialogue about causation of eating disorders and am pleased to do advocacy work with him.
In her July 12, 2014 column, syndicated advice columnist “Ask Amy”, Amy gave advice to a teen who was worried both about her father having anorexia and her own increasing unhealthy thoughts about her weight. (Ask Amy: Daughter worries about dad’s unhealthy eating), Frequently, when a young person “Asks Amy”, or another columnist, for advice on a complicated medical topic, he/she is encouraged to seek further counsel and disclose the concern to a trusted adult. Instead, the response to this letter left the teen with no more information than when she wrote in (other than advice to protect the family’s pets from the food restriction which is a symptom of the father’s illness) and a directive to share her concerns with her parents then move on.
It is appropriate for any advice columnist to consult an expert when faced with a question that is outside his/her scope of knowledge, as this question seems to have been for Amy. Most people, not just advice columnists, assume they know what causes eating disorders. The research in the field of eating disorders is ever changing and has exploded in the past decade with the advent of new technologies such as functional MRIs and conventional wisdom has been turned on its head. It is unlikely that any layperson would be able to offer solid advice in this situation. This is not the first time an eating disorder related question has been posed to Amy. In a June 18th column, “Parents Undermine Eating Disorder Recovery” Amy did in fact reach out to someone with specialized knowledge in in the Eating Disorder field as part of her answer. Why not this time before giving dismissive, and frankly ridiculous input about the effect on the pets.
If this daughter is correct, her father has anorexia, a biological, brain-based mental illness with a mortality rate in the neighborhood of 20%. Eating disorders in themselves, have the highest mortality rate of any psychological illness. Not something in which advice should be given dismissively or without a specialized background. Sadly, eating disorders are often accompanied by anosonogsia, a medical term which means the sufferer doesn’t recognize that he/she is ill. Additionally, these illnesses have a strong genetic and psychosocial interface, so both her genetics and a childhood spent in an environment of disordered eating and other symptoms of anorexia increase her risk of developing an eating disorder exponentially.
In order to prevent giving out medical advice which is off the mark or potentially damaging to the point of terminal, standard practice for any advice columnist should be to consult an expert and disclose who they contacted. If no expert is available, they should just shut up.
Eating Disorder Activist and survivor
Author: Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Jennifer Denise Ouellette
Mothers Against Eating Disorders
UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment Program Parent Advisory Committee