I do think it’s a good idea for children to be screened for heart disease. Specifically, those that have heart disease in their family history or are overweight and carry a higher risk than other children. With our high fat and sugar diets today I think it is increasingly important. “Researchers at Queen Mary University of London carried out cholesterol and genetic test on 10,000 children while they were undergoing routine vaccinations between one and two years old. They found almost double the numbers of children had the condition and they estimate that screening could prevent around 600 heart attacks a year in the under 40s if it was rolled out across the country.” (Knapton,2016) If detected at an early age, families can start medications, if needed, and/or adopt a healthier lifestyle with weight management and a healthier diet. Heart disease is really serious and if you have the ability to find out if your children have it or might get it in the future, then I believe it should be done. “Recent studies shows that the seeds of heart disease are sown during childhood. Fatty streaks and artery-clogging plaque build up during childhood and adolescence — and the more heart-disease risk factors a child has, the faster this fat and plaque builds up in the arteries.” (DeNoon, 2008).

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In the past, children’s well-being was always on the forefront of modern medicine through vaccination discovery and improvement. Today, a common ailment of American children is hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol. (Garcia and Moody, 1990) Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Diets high in saturated and trans fats, as well as heredity and obesity contribute to high cholesterol. (Gavin, n.d.) Children 2-years-old are tested only if a parent or close relative has a significant medical history. All children are recommended to have their cholesterol checked between ages 9-11 and again between ages 17-21. (Gavin, n.d.)


I do believe that children should undergo routine screening for heart disease. There is a strong positive correlation between cholesterol levels and atherosclerotic changes in the aorta and coronary arteries. (Garcia and Moody, 1990) These findings provide evidence consistent with the fact that atherosclerosis begins in childhood. (Garcia and Moody, 1990) Lowering cholesterol levels reduces the risk of heart attacks caused by coronary heart disease, therefore, routine screening throughout childhood could eliminate risk and reinforce health-conscious behaviors leading into adulthood rather than introducing these behaviors during adulthood.

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Why are you here?

The elements in my background, experience, and thinking that have led me to going into the doctoral program for general psychology are varied.  One reason for this course of action on my part is due to some roadblocks I have encountered in my professional career.  I currently work as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice.  I have discovered a few annoyances that have prevented me from helping others to the best of my ability.  A specific example is, in working with a particular agency, the agency does not recognize any weight of my assessment of clients’ situations due to my holding a Master’s level degree.  Therefore, by pursuing a Doctorate, the agency would allow my insight and opinion to go further for my clients than it currently does.

The learning model that best describes me right now, considering the scholar-practitioner model, is that of Practitioner-Scholar.  I currently “apply theory and knowledge to real-world problems”, rather than conducting research and presenting new theories (Johnson).

The learning in this program is different than the learning for the master’s program in that at the doctoral level, the research being conducted will be much more in-depth.  For the master’s program, I recall having a multitude of topics to research and write on, and felt that merely the surface was scratched of the work that others did to produce the journal articles referenced in the completed assignments.  For the doctoral program, from what has been read thus far, it appears that the information gathered from others’ work will be deeply investigated, read, and understood on a level that was not previously done.  As Green reflected in Graduate Savvy, the depth of perseverance needed at the graduate level is immense.

What are you trying to become?

In earning my doctorate, I will be able to help my clients at a deeper level than I am currently able to do.  As with the above example, agencies give a heavier weight to the professionals who hold a doctorate, allowing for their expertise to be evaluated and accepted, more so than those with a Master’s level education.  The agency, and many others like it, do not take into consideration the level of real-world experience an individual has, but rather looks at the education level.  Therefore, by earning my doctorate, I will be able to hold the weight that the real-world experience has already provided.  This means, to me, a great deal.  To be able to see my clients’ efforts in improving their lives be recognized by the agency based on my input and interpretation of the information provided by the clients.  This also means that I may potentially be able to help a greater number of people related to the aforementioned agency, which would in turn help the community one person at a time.

How will you make sure that you can accomplish your goal?

To ensure that I can (and will) accomplish my goals, is to constantly remind myself of what motivated me, and pushed me to the next step, earning a PhD.  I have personal motivations, but the biggest push is in my professional career.  Knowing that the sacrifices I make now, are for the benefit of people beyond just myself.  Green points out, in the text Graduate Savvy, that one factor in success is to align coursework with personal or professional interests.  Being that the biggest motivator is my professional interest, I feel that I am in alignment already.  The motivations of earning my previous degrees were more out of a personal desire to accomplish the tasks, to get into the field, and start helping people.  Once in the field, I felt the “this is why I did what I did” moments.  When those moments turned into “I could be doing more for my clients, and it is within my power to do so”, a new, brighter, fiercer fire was lit.  In those times when I start to, as Green stated, “…question your intellectual capacity, reasons for starting a graduate program, and even your sanity” (p. 111), I can remind myself of the fire, the clients, and the reasons for the sacrifices, and help get my motivation back on track.

Another benefit to highlight is that I have an immense group of cheerleaders, supporters, and people who care about me and my well-being.  If times of self-doubt creep in, I know that I can turn to any one of those individuals, express myself, and they will be there to help me get back up, dust off, and keep going.  The extent in which I am prepared to take charge of my learning, to challenge myself, and to handle all of the time commitments required is as far as I have to go, I willingly will go, while also taking into consideration the reality of life, such as health, and unforeseeable incidents.

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Why are you here?

The factors in my background, experiences, and thinking that has led me to decide to pursue a doctoral degree program in behavior analyst are varied. As I studied my master’s degree in Behavior Analysis, I discovered a good critical and analytic skills to evaluate and transform behaviors. My experiences for 8 years in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis give me the encouragement to search and be able to contribute to the high demands of problems of behavior that are affecting children’s and youth with developmental disabilities, high level of stress and frustration in parents and the possible effects in the family nuclear after a child is diagnosed with developmental disabilities or mental health issues motivated me to pursue doctorally program.

The learning model best describes me right now, according to the scholar-practitioner model, is the Practitioner-Scholar. I currently applied established theory, collected data, conduct me professional and ethically and use practical knowledge in daily life situations rather than conducting research, testing new knowledge, or new theories (McClintock, 2004).  The learning process in this program will be different from my master’s degree due in the doctoral program, the conduct of research will be in a deeper level whereas a scholar-practitioner will be exploring and questioning research and develop an analytic, practical and explorative knowledge. In my master’s degree was required created a problem statement and found research that supports the selected problem statement, but I did not experience applied research and experimental techniques and qualitative skills.

What are you trying to become?

In getting my doctored, I will be able through the acquisition of new knowledge help my clients to acquire the most accurate and effective treatment. After my doctored, I want to share my knowledge and experiences with others as a college professor and I will like to contribute more knowledge and techniques in the field of Behavior Analyst. In my field, the Behavior Analyst certification is enough to direct a center, supervise employees and offers training but my mindset is the more prepared you are in knowledge and practice the better professional you become, and I have as a goal become a clinical director of applied behavior analysis therapy center. Become a director of the center provide an opportunity to offers educational conferences about this field to parents, professionals, and communities to identify problems behaviors and techniques to address this problem with the finish goal to benefit the client in his daily life.

How will make sure that you can accomplish your goal?

To guarantee that I can accomplish my goals, it always reminds the purpose of earn the Ph.D. looks the challenges as opportunities to grow and learn, keep the focus on my goals and remember that getting my doctorated not only will be beneficial for me but also for a community that is in need for changes. According to Green, J. in Graduate Savvy is very important to keep a balance and alignment of the coursework and our work be able to be related both and always keep in mind the value of my sacrifice will be a vital key to success. One of the resources that will help me, and I already start used is the workload schedule and the time management plan, these two tools will help me to balance the challenges between a full-time job, family, leadership at my church, and school.

Another important benefit that I recognize is the good and extended support network that I have including God, family, friends, and co-workers. They support with advice, encouraging words and help with chores will be great in moments of doubt or overwhelming. The extent which I prepared to take charge of my learning, challenge myself, and to handle all the time commitments required is to take a step at a time but also think in the future without overwhelming myself.

Review daily updates and dedicated daily time to enter in the course room and work in the assigned work for the week will be the alternative to defeat the challenge of time management. Follow work school load and study plan schedule taking in consideration real-life events that can affect this plan like health or incidents I will choose to continue my commitment because of the benefit of earn this doctored is not only about myself but about others that I get in contact daily.

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referred to as Maunakea is a sacred mountain, a volcano, located on the island of Hawaii (Big Island). Mauna Kea has been getting a lot of attention recently due to a 30 meter TMT telescope which constructions has been approved and was supposed to start but that activity has been blocked by Hawaiian people who are refusing to let another telescope built on their holy mountain. For the past weeks, people have been demonstrating at the base of the mountain and blocking access to it not only to the construction workers but also to the employees of the existing telescopes.

I absolutely consider my experience visiting Mauna Kea sacred. Its peak is 13,796 feet (4,205 m) high and just being at the top feels like being in heaven. The beauty and view is breathtaking (well, the breath is already taken away anyway by the altitude and loss of oxygen). There are many deities living at the summit of Mauna Kea. The most famous is probably Poli’ahu, the beautiful snow, ice, and cold goddess who spreads the snow beauty over the mountain in winter (yes, it does snow at Mauna Kea), she is one of many daughter of the Sky Father Wakea and the Earth Mother Papa. Poli’ahu sometimes has arguments with Pele (who is the volcano goddess and goddess of fire) about who claims Mauna Loa, the Mauna Kea sister mountain.

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I have a real hard time sensationalizing objects and places. Cemeteries included. As a sympathetic and sometimes empathetic, I understand the need to hold onto and set aside objects that work as a representation. Autographed books by a favorite deceased author, or a Rosary blessed by the Pope, I understand different items hold the same reverence to different people. I personally do not hold any material object to such high esteem in fear of disrespecting the deity who governs it.

I’ve been to the battle grounds of Gettysburg and the death site of Wild Bill Hickok. I’ve been in churches and cemeteries. I’ve been in way too many morgues. People are very weird around death, like a person is most easily offended between the time they take their last breath and the time they are laid to rest (Please understand this is a lose example and in no way how I treat people who pass away). Working in emergency medicine for 15 years teaches you that death in general is not sacred. It’s not reserved for special people or special ways. I think God cares more about how we treat the people we have than how we treat the people we lost, but mourning is a much need provision that often blinds us to only see the contrary.

I keep all the autographed books I own next to ones that aren’t. “Baby’s first” items get recycled for up-to-date ones. If I collect anything (coffee mugs and books) it’s to feed an addiction and in no way guarantees I am their last home. God sees me at all times, not just the times I hold special items. No item will open the door wider or let God hear me better. The only thing that helps me feel closer to God is experiencing the love of my kids and knowing its modeled after a fraction of his love for me. Also, if you mess with my kids, I get really offended.

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