Verismo is an operatic style inspired by a prominent trend in Italian literature from the end of the nineteenth to the beginning of the twentieth centuries. It is distinguished by a realistic depiction of rural or urban poverty, as well as a vibrant regional culture and an introduction to the region’s typical songs and dances. Singing verismo opera has created certain challenges for vocalists in the past, particularly in terms of stamina and career longevity. The manner in which performance art is presented has evolved throughout time. Classical music is no exception, since it evolves as different composers express themselves via various styles. Verismo is a distinct musical style that portrays everyday social events. It communicates with the audience via everyday circumstances. This study will examine Verismo in connection to classical music and using examples from different composers.
In most situations, studying Verismo Opera is an essential component of classical singers’ vocal music education. My exegesis not only explains the history of verismo, but also music ethics study of Italian Verismo Opera. I’m particularly interested in the different body movements required for singing different types of music. During my research on Verismo Opera, I listened to recordings of several singers and wrote brief analyses of their voices, focusing on how they evolved bel canto to sing verismo. For my repertoire, I’ve concentrated on bel canto and verismo pieces, and I’m certain that I can safely apply the methods thanks to my bel canto training. To show my understanding, I use three distinct arias (one bel canto and two verismo) as case studies to analyze and explain the arguments I wish to express.
Verismo: History and Controversy.
Verismo (‘realism’) is typically described as a late-nineteenth-century European art trend. Since at least the 1870s, the Italian word verismo has been associated with a vogue for materialism in low-life settings, most prominently in the work of Sicilian writers Giovanni Verga and Luigi Capuana. The French naturalism influenced Verismo literature, which had a direct impact on opera in Italy towards the close of the 19th century. Verismo became connected with a new style of Italian operatic music in the 1890s, and the word has stuck.
Operatic verismo has histrionic, sometimes violent stories with people taken from everyday life. Soloists’ impassioned declamations, as well as emotive harmonies and melodies, are used as musical methods to convey this. Pietro Mascagni’s one-act opera Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry, 1890) is often regarded as the earliest example of verismo opera. It is based on a terrible narrative of adultery and murder among Sicilian farmers. The opera earned first place in a competition organized by Edoardo Sonzogno, a Milanese music publisher, in 1889. Two years later, Ruggiero Leoncavallo released Pagliacci (The Clowns, 1892), a narrative with comparable components to Cavalleria Rusticana, but set in a company of actors, so the act of violence became the central theme.
Both operas were groundbreaking in terms of direct melodic and orchestral effects, as well as stunning dramatic shocks, and they left a lasting influence across the world, notably in Germany. Both operas have been presented frequently in a so-called Cav/Pag double-bill. After Mascagni and Leoncavallo, the Italian Giacomo Puccini became one of the most well-known composers of verismo operas. Some of his works, like as Tosca and La bohème, are characterized by the verismo style. Both represent a blissful desire for love and a devastating real encounter that eventually leads to death. Not all of Puccini’s operas, although, are in the verismo style. Some academics have suggested that the word verismo is debatable in and of itself. In a letter to Giulio Ricordi dated November 20, 1880, Verdi protested against verismo, claiming that it was an intentional advancement of music harmony technic at the cost of natural and plain melodies. “[Verismo] has destructed it all, such as the melodramma, where there is a lots of effects, stunning scenes, choruses, and dance moves entwined with song, all constructed to knock the senses; but [now] the old melody can no longer be found, only harmony,” wrote philosopher Antonio Velardita three years later.
Nonetheless, verismo opera has been presented often throughout time and has always been popular with audiences due to its direct emotional relationship and real-life storylines. The late-nineteenth-century operatic style of verismo was characterised by a significantly more declamatory manner of singing than bel canto. Advocates of verismo vocal music frequently disregarded legato in favor of focusing on the emotional parts of the song, resulting in chaotic and sometimes hazardous singing. While this was exhilarating at the time, the vibrato tended to become rowdy and unstable, and many performers ended up shouting as a result of adding more timbre to their voices and not particularly preserving it with their body. On the one hand, the outcomes might be thrilling in the theater by emphasizing the emotionalism of their deeply felt interpretations. However, such a heavy style of singing was not meant for vocal longevity, and several vocalists of the time had rather brief careers. These issues become a big source of worry for performers. While my investigation was not extensive, it seems that there is a dearth of literature to assist vocalists in learning proper singing methods.
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919), and Pietro Mascagni (1863–1945) are three important verismo composers. This section provides a quick overview of these composers and their contributions to verismo.
Pietro Mascagni’s father was a baker, and he was born in Livorno. He enrolled at Milan Conservatory in 1883 as a pupil of Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886), the composer of the opera La Gioconda. Mascagni was forced to leave the Conservatory two years later after failing to finish his allocated work, and he subsequently departed Milan without completing his studies. Mascagni began his career as a double bassist in the stage and as a conductor of travelling operettas. He and his pregnant wife Lina moved to Cerignola, Puglia, in 1886, where Mascagni taught music. Mascagni was the first Italian verismo composer to attain popularity, despite a rocky start. For a competition organized by Sonzogno in 1888-9, he wrote the one-act opera Cavalleria Rusticana. L’amico Fritz (1891), his next opera, is set in Alsace. The piece is less passionate and more innocent than Cavalleria Rusticana, surprising some who anticipated it to be. Iris (1898), set in Japan, and Il piccolo Marat (1921), set during the French Revolution, are two more somewhat popular operas. Mascagni also created holy and secular choral pieces, songs, and orchestral and chamber music compositions, the most of which were never released. His fame was built completely on Cavalleria Rusticana, and none of his subsequent operas made much of an effect. Mascagni replaced Toscanini as music director of La Scala in Milan in 1929, and his last opera, Nerone, debuted there in 1935 but has since been seldom performed. On the 50th anniversary of Cavalleria Rusticana’s initial performance in Rome, Mascagni conducted it at La Scala in 1940. Unfortunately, he was linked to Mussolini’s Fascist dictatorship and died in an undisclosed hotel in Rome soon after Mussolini’s authority fell in 1945.
Ruggero Leoncavallo was born in Naples to a rich family. At the age of nine, he enrolled at his hometown’s Conservatory, where he trained for 10 years. Later, he traveled to the University of Bologna with the intention of writing an Italian Renaissance trilogy, a response to Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which he never finished. In 1888, he travelled to Paris to meet Victor Maurel, the baritone who played Iago and Falstaf in Verdi’s operas, and who was intrigued enough to convince Ricordi to publish Leoncavallo’s music. He returned to Milan shortly after marrying the singer Berthe Rambaud. Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, which he created in 1890, drew Leoncavallo’s attention to the verismo opera. Leoncavallo rapidly created Pagliacci to his libretto, eager to prove himself. The premiere in Milan in 1892 was a huge success, and Pagliacci was presented with Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1893. The two operas were highly successful, and they are affectionately known as “Cav and Pag.”
Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, around 12 miles from Pisa, in the year 1858. Both organists and choirmasters at Lucca Cathedral, his great-grandfather was a member of the Bologna Accademia Filarmonica, and his grandpa, Domenic, produced an opera that Paisiello admired. Giacomo was the youngest of seven children, and when his father passed away in 1863, his likewise music-loving mother, Albina, was resolved to carry on the family’s musical history by becoming a church organist. Puccini learnt to sing and play the organ from an uncle, then attended the city’s music school (the Istituto Musicale Pacini, where his father had been a director), completed in 1880, and created Messa di Gloria, a mass. He then moved to the Milan Conservatory, where he studied under Ponchielli and others, as well as sharing a chamber with Mascagni.
Verismo Singing Incarnation
Unlike bel canto operas, verismo operas’ singing and dance are concerned with life-like and quasi-real depictions of the raw emotion that the performers are singing. As previously said, the words and plot are fluid; there is no repeat, and the vocalist seems to be presenting the story. Despite the fact that the singer is always responding to the shifting emotionality of the words, he or she must nonetheless sing properly. If the performer is too moved by the emotion, it is all too simple for him or her to yell or shout, which is bad for the voice. As a result, in my experience singing, the body and muscular involvement must be properly educated to adapt to the much more direct and perhaps strong vocal line. Because the orchestra is larger, in addition to the deep emotions, the singer must concentrate on conveying the voice and the lyrics. Much more than singing bel canto, this involves a lot of physiological counterbalances. Declaiming the text at pitch is highly useful to obtain the proper forward placement and projection, keeping the sound more front than nasal and lifting the soft palate/tensor muscles, and training this helps their brain perceive the appropriate sound. To balance the forward sound – the genuine embodiment of chiaroscuro- light/dark- in the voice sound – this location necessitates considerably greater bodily involvement.
Don Pasquale’s ‘Quel Guardo Il Cavaliere’ Case Study.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Don Pasquale was Donizetti’s final humorous opera to continue in a regular rotation. It was composed in 1843 for Paris and became an immediate hit. In the same year, it was spotted in London, and in 1845, it was seen in New Orleans.
Opera Synopsis: Because Pasquale (bass) disapproves of his present heir, Ernesto (tenor), falling in love with Norina (soprano), a young widow, he plans to disinherit Ernesto. Dr. Malatesta (baritone) covertly supports Ernesto and Norina. He advises Pasquale to marry his “sister Sofronia,” who is really Norina. Norina is persuaded by Malatesta to marry Don Pasquale in order to be closer to Ernesto. The marriage document is produced by ‘a Notary’ (Malatesta’s relative), who gives his wife half of Pasquale’s riches. Pasquale quickly comes to regret his choice, as Sofronia’s demeanor changes dramatically and she spends Pasquale’s money at an alarming pace. Pasquale contacts Malatesta when she subtly suggests a date with another guy. Malatesta invites him to go to the garden and capture her and her boyfriend. When Ernesto is waiting for Norina, he sings a serenade, and the two of them perform a beautiful duet. Pasquale, enraged, seizes them and is convinced by Malatesta to dissolve the marriage, which Pasquale gladly accepts. When the truth is revealed, he is so delighted to be free that he forgives them all and offers Norina and Ernesto his blessing. Act I Scene II has the aria “Quel guardo cavaliere.” Norina is reading a sentimental book as the curtain rises. She tosses it away to demonstrate her flirty and vivacious personality to the audience. Because this aria has so many diverse portions, I always practice using a metronome to ensure that the beat is constant.
The intricacy of the lyrics, particularly the quantity of double consonants, is one of the challenges I face with this aria. Because I feel that singing intricate lyrics may easily strain my jaw, I focus on keeping my chin relaxed when singing. While singing, tap the chin with the index finger to relax the chin; else, the jaw muscle will get stronger over time. I’ve concentrated on my beauty and constancy of tone as a bel canto aria, and I’m looking for possibilities to sing messa di voce. In the cabaletta, I concentrate on the coloratura’s tuning and correctness. Because there are so many long notes in the passaggio section, I have to be careful to maintain my neck open and the air going forward at all times. From the outset of the aria, every note should be vibrating: the ‘rolled’r in the aria aids in airflow and maintains the vibrato fluid and uniform. The breath should constantly be flowing, not retained, since this creates muscular strain and carbon dioxide build-up in the body. Singing with a weeping sensation (laryngeal tilt) helps to stabilize all notes, especially the high notes in the passaggio, and it also allows me to concentrate on getting the pitch right. When changing pitches, I maintain the same level of muscular involvement, without pushing or moving my tongue or any other portion of the vocal tract. I concentrate on conveying the emotional journey and become alive and receptive to the text when I’ve practiced in these bodily demands.
I Pagliacci’s ‘Stridono Lassù’ Case Study.
After the popularity of Mascagni’s one-act Cavalleria Rusticana, Leoncavallo composed I Pagliacci with a Prologue and two acts. Leoncavallo rose to prominence with the premiere of I Pagliacci in Milan in 1892. Opera Synopsis: In a Calabrian hamlet, a singing and acting ensemble performs. The wife of colonel Canio (tenor), Nedda (soprano), has a hidden romance with villager Silvio (baritone). Tonio (baritone) declares his love for Nedda as well, but is rebuffed, thus he carries a grudge. Tonio receives word from Silvio that he intends to flee with Nedda, and he notifies Canio. Silvio has vanished by the time Canio arrives. Canio threatens Nedda with revealing the lover’s identity, but she remains silent. Canio takes the stage to keep his rage in control as the stage is set to open. The play’s narrative parallels what is occurring in real life. Nedda portrays a young lady who is going to elope with a local kid until her husband finds her. Canio has mixed reality with theatrical acting at this moment. He loses control and grabs a knife from his pocket to murder Nedda. Silvio saves the day, but he gets stabbed in the process. Canio is surrounded by the villages. He places the dagger on the stage and remains there for a little time. Then he addresses the crowd, saying, “Comedy is done (La commedia e finita).” The drama inside the drama of the second act is a notable characteristic of the opera. The play’s narrative is so identical to what transpires between the hero and heroine in real life that the hero forgets he’s in a play. His hatred erupted into catastrophe.
From the beginning of Act I, Nedda is concerned about what would happen if Canio discovers she has betrayed him, expecting the repercussions to be disastrous. When she sees birds spinning in the sky, though, she thinks of her mother, who used to be able to forecast good luck and understand bird song. She admires birds for their ability to soar freely in the sky and wishes for her and her lover’s love to be as free as a bird, thus she starts to sing the aria ‘Stridono lassù.’ Her fear and desire for a new love are expressed in this aria. The first notes, like a bird in flight, serve as a prologue to the ten bars, and the sixteenth notes, like a bird in flight, also convey Nedda’s pleasant attitude at the time.
The quick singing of numerous high notes on the passaggio is the most difficult aspect of this composition for me. These high notes swiftly rise the larynx, which might make my voice seem thin since the lower harmonics are filtered off. As a consequence, my throat feels exhausted and the timbre is lost. My high notes tend to turn flat if I force the high notes, do not maintain the soft palate high, or do not have enough air to sustain the singing. As a result, I lower my mouth and maintain my neck open at all times, and I use my appoggio to prevent the diaphragm from folding upwards by pulling outwardly on the intercostal muscles. I also need to maintain my soft palate up and my mid-tongue flopping forward. To practice making air flow through these high notes, I use a ‘rolled’ r instead of the text. When singing the words, the ‘rolled’r in the lyrics reminds me to keep the air moving. Chest resonance, according to my instructor Margaret Medlyn, successfully brings the low harmonics into the whole voice tone. Head resonance, on the other hand, is characterized by high harmonics. Not only may using both chest and head resonance assist to prevent a harsh sound, but it can also aid to generate a more harmonic and balanced tone. The crucial thing to remember is that singers need a lot of air to move about when singing. When I practice these physical requirements, I must consider the emotional trip. Because I get caught up in the emotion, I have to anchor my core muscles down in my body and utilize my ribs to preserve the low resonances and declaiming sound in my voice. At the same time, I’m thinking about legato and tuning, which are both bel canto characteristics.
I have set forth the essential principles of the verismo singing methodology and examined the incarnation and implementation of those approaches within the boundaries of my exegesis. In doing so for the verismo movement, I have underlined the critical importance of bel canto technique, specifically greater embodiment and physical engagement. I looked at some of the most notable verismo composers, as well as some of the most successful verismo performers. My explanations of my learning approach for the representative arias have assisted me in articulating and distinguishing what I have done in the past without analyzing my practice habits. Based on my research, I believe that in order to perform verismo opera properly, a singer must have good and complete instruction in bel canto methods. Additionally, the performer must be equipped to involve their body more to complement the elevated and overt expressive singing necessary, as well as the text’s declamato quality. My study not only aids in my grasp of the concepts of verismo, but also in the application of the singing methods I acquired in vocal training to my repertoire, and this approach will play a significant part in my future career. My study, I suppose, will serve as a resource and guide for young singers.
Abbate, Carolyn and Parker, Roger. A History of Opera; The Last Four Hundred Years, New York: Penguin Group, 2012.
Apel, Willi. Harvard Dictionary of Music. 2d ed., rev. and enl. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, n.d.
Ashbrook, William, and Powers, Harold, Puccini’s Turandot the End of the Great Tradition. S.l.], 2014. Web.
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“Bellini.” In Opera: The Great Composers and their Masterworks, by Joyce Bourne. Octopus Publishing Group, 2008. http://helicon.vuw.ac.nz/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/e ntry/opgopera/bellini/0?institutionId=5378
Bellingham, Jane. “Verismo.” The Oxford Companion to Music (2011): The Oxford Companion to Music. Web.
Bourne, Joyce. “Madama Butterfly.” In A Dictionary of Opera Characters. : Oxford University Press, 2008. https://www-oxfordreference- com.helicon.vuw.ac.nz/view/10.1093/acref/9780199548194.001.0001/acref- 9780199548194-e-1157.
Bourne, Joyce. “Pasquale, Don.” In A Dictionary of Opera Characters.: Oxford University Press, 2008. https://www-oxfordreference- com.helicon.vuw.ac.nz/view/10.1093/acref/9780199548194.001.0001/acref- 9780199548194-e-1463.
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Riggs, Geoffrey S., The Assoluta Voice in Opera 1797 – 1847, London: McFarland, 2003.
Rutherford, Susan, The Prima Donna and Opera 1815-1930, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
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Timberlake, Craig. “Verismo Voices.” Journal of Singing – the Oficial Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing 53, no. 1 (09, 1996): 33-35. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1399506?accountid=14782.
Toft, Robert, Bel Canto: A Performer’s Guide, USA: Oxford University Press, 2012.
A Nursing Reflective Essay On End Of Life Care In A Cancer Patient Writing Sample
Identification of the problem
Mr. Edward, a 42-year-old parent and business owner, observed a significant increase of the testicles. At first, he decided to disregard it, mistaking it for a football injury, and then, subsequently, because he was ashamed to share it with a doctor. After months, he was admitted to the urgent care unit because he was experiencing breathlessness far beyond usual, and had a continuous pain at his back. The symptoms mentioned above have been revealed to be induced by discomfort transmitted from para-aortic lymph node metastases, and also lung metastases. He had a poor prognosis, as a result, his relatives were called to be available as he got the news and to offer support. In a private room, the doctor presented the prognosis to Mr. Edward and his relatives, along with a fellow nursing assistant and myself inside there. Mr. Edward and his relatives, obviously, were saddened.
This situation has left an indelible impression on me. I was understandably nervous before the occurrence, because it was the first time I had seen a situation where the patient and family had to hear such bad news. I was caught off guard by the intensity of my own feelings when I saw Mr. Edward and his wife’s emotions towards the information. It was tough to keep a straight face and refrain from crying. These emotions vanished quickly, superseded by a determination to enhance Mr. Edward’s end-of-life care in every way I could and I tried to help the patient as well as the family members as much as I could. I was motivated to reflect on this scenario in order to improve practice and learning in the healthcare context.
Learning points from the incident
Since this was my first time dealing with a situation like this, I played the role of observer. Nevertheless, it was an amazing training environment in which I was able to improve my communication and interaction skills by observing. On reflection, I guess I could have kept my emotions in check, though I was not ready for Mr. and Mrs. Edward’s response to the revelation on an emotional level. The doctor was the driving force behind the operation, with assistance from another nursing assistant, who both had extensive palliative care knowledge. During prior discussions, it was obvious that they had already earned Mr. Edward’s trust. A fundamental aspect in developing strong partnerships between medical personnel, patients, and caregivers has been recognized as trust, which has facilitated more efficient, transparent, and genuine communication (Pfeifer and Head, 2018).
Connecting with patients on a professional and a personal level is critical in end-of-life care. As a requirement for a medical provider to be regarded as trustworthy, there must be uniformity in both verbal and nonverbal communication. Non-verbal communication has been found to be more effective compared to verbal communication, with attentiveness and gestures being two of the most important traits of non-verbal communication. In other cases, touching has also been suggested as a crucial factor for nurses to consider. Seeing the other nursing assistant utilize hands to console Mrs. Edward, helped the entire family feel relaxed in the room, disintegrating the ‘boundary’ between both the medical practitioners and the patient/family. The doctor mostly communicated through words, which could indicate communication gaps between men and women, with males favoring verbal ways of communication, whereas females prefer nonverbal methods. I noticed that the family tended to consider the nursing assistant as a comforter and someone who could be reached more easily than the doctor, and that this attitude remained unchanged throughout Mr. Edward’s care.
It is also vital to realize the value of effective communication among members of the multifunctional end-of-life care team. For instance, it can be difficult if team members have different perspectives on care. Implementing strategies to facilitate successful inter-personal communication among interdisciplinary teams and other healthcare professionals is one of the core requirements of the NICE guidelines for end-of-life care (NICE, 2019). I used to have to join forces with other care workers throughout Mr. Edward’s end-of-life care, and there were instances when I had to consider the perspectives of other team members in order to interact with them effectively. Staff meetings helped to create a platform where concerns could be addressed and solutions established.
Reactions to receiving unpleasant news in end-of-life care
When giving bad news to a patient, medical professionals may have to deal with a variety of emotions, involving denial and collaboration, as well as emotional outbursts like rage, embarrassment, and regret (Brouwer et al., 2021). Denial is a strategy used by people who are unable to accept that they have a serious illness as a way of coping, however, as their health declines; they will frequently come to terms with the truth. Caregivers and family may encourage the patient to continue to deny his or her illness in order to postpone the need to confront and address tough matters. Most of the time, cooperation between medical practitioners and families/caregivers to keep information hidden from the patient is considered as a way of keeping the patient safe. However, having an open and honest conversation with the patient can play a role in determining their degree of knowledge and awareness, in addition to assuring them of their condition and assisting them in accepting the truth.
When patients, their families, and caregivers are told something they do not want to hear, they often express strong feelings and emotions. Anger aimed at the medical expert who delivered the bad news can often be misdirected, so it is critical to identify and treat the source of the rage. Patients may feel guilty and as if they are being reprimanded for something, they have committed. Similarly, the afflicted may accuse others of their illness. Whereas healthcare professionals are unable to eliminate thoughts of blame and guilt, ensuring that the patient is able to express his or her feelings and addressing relevant topics can help individuals come to grips with their feelings. Mr. Edward’s first response to the information was one of self-blame and regret, as he despised himself for not getting medical care earlier, and he felt bad about causing so much suffering to his relatives. He seemed to embrace his terrible diagnosis and asked a series of questions that showed he was well aware of his condition.
Cultural and spiritual values can affect a person’s perspective on illness, and patients’ and their relatives’ or caregivers’ fears may need to be dealt with either when the bad news is presented or later throughout end-of-life care when someone is on the verge of passing away. As a result, spiritual care is extremely important in end-of-life care. However, because neither Mr. Edward nor his family was quite pious, this was not a significant issue during the episode or in his later treatment.
End-of-life care ethical and legal issues
There are several ethical and legal problems to consider while providing end-of-life care, encompassing death and the capacity to refuse or withdraw life-supporting treatment. One of the most significant aspects of this scenario is the patient’s right to know about their illness. According to research, the majority of cancer victims want to know their condition and how their illness will proceed. This might be difficult for professionals and medics who want to take care of patients and give a positive attitude even if the prognosis is bleak. For example, Mr. Edward needed to ask more questions than he could about his care and prognosis, and the nurse as well as the doctor shared quite so much details with him as they possibly.
End-of-life care is a sensitive matter; however, I feel that if each patient is treated as a unique individual and his or her needs and goals are given close attention, you may achieve a great result. Successful nursing practice emphasizes communication and strong interpersonal relationships once more. When dealing with patients who are approaching the end of their lives, I must be able to communicate well and be capable of providing exceptional service at all times. I must maintain my abilities and expertise up-to-date. I was supposed to take command of circumstances and be capable of communicating and coping with what was thrown at me throughout my placement. To become a nurse practitioner, you must be capable of standing on your own two feet, and this will be crucial in my journey.
This scenario taught me an important lesson, and in the future, I will be very prepared to deal with a similar problem. Critical thinking in nursing is an essential part of successful responsibility and high-quality healthcare services. I have realized how important it is to plan, such as selecting a suitable location for breaking the news and ensuring that the room’s seats are correctly positioned. If it was acceptable, I would pay more attention to the significance of non-verbal approaches, especially touching, instead of depending exclusively on verbal communication. In addition, I have become more aware of ethical problems accompanying negative information in end-of-life care and wherever possible, be honest and transparent with the patient and their family.
Brouwer, M., Maeckelberghe, E., Van Der Heide, A., Hein, I. and Verhagen, E., 2021. Breaking bad news: what parents would like you to know. [online] Available at: <https://adc.bmj.com/content/106/3/276> [Accessed 22 February 2022].
NICE, 2019. Overview | End of life care for adults: service delivery | Guidance | NICE. [online] Nice.org.uk. Available at: <https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng142> [Accessed 22 February 2022].
Pfeifer, M. and Head, B., 2018. Which Critical Communication Skills Are Essential for Interdisciplinary End-of-Life Discussions?. [online] Journal of Ethics | American Medical Association. Available at: <https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/which-critical-communication-skills-are-essential-interdisciplinary-end-life-discussions/2018-08> [Accessed 22 February 2022].
A Reflection Of Learning Difficulties, Disabilities, And Differences Sample College Essay
The information provided in modules one and two increased my knowledge and understanding of learning disabilities, difficulties, and differences, which I struggled to differentiate amongst for a long time. Analyzing the knowledge from the three subgroups influenced my thinking by expanding my previous analysis and correcting the assumptions I had gathered over time regarding what each category meant. I learnt about the differences and the similarities among the three categories that confuse most individuals (Myklebust, 1968). One of the ways module one affected my thinking was that it made me understand every group. Additionally, I understood the needs of every category. I learnt that learning disabilities are long-term disorders in a student’s life that primarily do not respond too well to interventions because they permanently shape a student’s life (Myklebust, 968). Otherwise, learning difficulties constituted the aspects influencing the common understanding of things. At the same time, the learning differences form unique ways and rates of learning that make up every student.
In module two, I went through references that described first-hand experiences of people living with a disability. I understood the various characteristics of several learning disabilities. For example, I learnt that dyscalculia is a learning disability where a student has difficulties dealing with any form of math, whether it is calculating the time, the money they have, or generally any numbers (Haberstroh et al., 2019). I also learnt that persons living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or in other words, ADHD, have problems focusing; at the same time, they are mostly distracted by almost everything (As/is, 2015). Listening to the experiences of the people who gave out the difficulties they go through living with disabilities made me understand and want to learn more to become more sensitive to the needs of people living with disabilities around me (Osmosis, 2017).
The first student, whom I shall refer to as Alex, struggles with reading and understanding, although his visual comprehension in areas such as dancing is easy for him. He is a sixteen-year old male who struggled with making friends (Krull et al., 2018) for some time before he found out that dancing worked for him, and he ventured into it. Alex also has problems with mathematics, which is like a whole new language that he does not comprehend (McKenzie, 2017). He has taken up some way of helping himself with jogging his memory through an arrowsmith. It helps him with speech math, which further boosts his confidence. I think Alex’s case of not being able to make friends the first time was not a reflection of his condition but of a stage, he overcame later on.
I will refer to my second student as Mike. He is a student who gets bored quickly, and when he does, he tends to call out people about everything. He speaks out his mind whenever he has the chance to. According to Mike, his concentration span is deficient, and he gets easily distracted by small things such as YouTube videos. His relationships with other people are not affected by his condition (Kaltura).
Additionally, Mike only has trouble understanding a particular language but not all. This is because, according to him, he is mainly bored by things that consume a lot of time, such as him memorizing a language (Australia, 2017). Mike’s only problem is that he is an extrovert who is outgoing, and there is nothing wrong with him.
As I will call him, Ben is a fourteen-year-old male who understands some units in learning but not others. His rate of grasping and comprehending various subjects is different from that of his peers in the classroom. He understands language, for example, slower than his classmates. He needs time to learn at his pace, which has been difficult for him since teachers thought it was his way of learning that was the problem (Kaltura). Nevertheless, Ben’s condition has did not affect his forming friendships or relationships with other people. He further partakes in a learning plan which he has implemented to help him cope. In my opinion, Ben’s self-diagnosis was wrong, and it may have affected him.
After my analysis, I have concluded that the first case of Alex is that of dyscalculia disability. Mathematics is the hardest for him, just as in the example of the lady in the film diagnosed with the same. Mike’s case is a learning difference (Mutlu, 2019). He has a unique way of learning that is different from others. Lastly, Ben has a learning difficulty. One example is when he cannot understand classes, typically like his fellows.
To begin with, as I noted in the case of Ben, his teachers thought there was a problem with his learning, whereas the problem was in their teaching of him. People with a learning difficulty, for instance, undergo the challenge of others thinking they are not good enough to understand something (Gilmore, 2009). Such as, in Ben’s scenario, the teachers thought he could not handle a particular area of study. I believe people such as Ben should be given a chance to speak up to understand. I would also suggest a fair growth environment for all persons whether at work or school.
For people with learning disabilities, just as in my case of Alex, he has struggled with math problems, and that may be something he lives with. It would be essential to show patience and give them time to work out the numbers, however long it may take (Mutlu, 2019). I also admire that Alex is an example to others with a disability like his. He started a plan to try and exercise his memory to try and understand numbers which is a positive reflection in society. People with learning disabilities should be allowed to express themselves, their fears, and their dreams, as well as what they go through every day they live with the disability.
In my analysis of Mike, I noted that he has an outgoing personality which makes him call out people now and then. This may be interpreted by other people the wrong way, just as in Mike’s case, where his teachers thought he was rude every time he spoke. It shows the challenges that a person with a learning difference may have to go through every day. I believe people should not be quick to judge others based on their appearance and behaviour without looking at what could be the cause (Krull et al., 2018). Just because people like Mike cannot concentrate for a long time should not mean we should disregard them. I advocate for people giving those with learning differences a chance to explain what they go through while trying to live everyday life. This could help more people that there are people who exhibit differences in learning from the rest of the population of people.
Therefore, people should be more understanding of the needs of other human beings. People with learning disabilities, differences or difficulties should be encouraged to explain their ordeals so that we may all learn how to appreciate the diversity around us.
Dyslexia – SPELD Foundation Literacy Services. (2014). Understanding learning difficulties: A practical guide. South Perth: Dyslexia – SPELD Foundation Literacy Services
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Gilmore, L., & Boulton-Lewis, G. (2009). ‘Just try harder and you will shine’: A study of 20 lazy children. Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools, 19(2), 95-103.
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Mutlu, Y. (2019). Math Anxiety in Students with and without Math Learning Difficulties. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 11(5), 471-475.
Krull, J., Wilbert, J., & Hennemann, T. (2018). Does social exclusion by classmates lead to behaviour problems and learning difficulties or vice versa? A cross-lagged panel analysis. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 33(2), 235-253.
Haberstroh, S., & Schulte-Körne, G. (2019). The diagnosis and treatment of dyscalculia. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 116(7), 107.
As/Is. (2015, July, 20). What it feels like to have ADHD [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIcGRffuMLg
Osmosis. (2017, March, 8). Learning disability – definition, diagnosis, treatment, pathology [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKCNqHEzLwQ
McKenzie, K. (2017, April, 7). Lost in numbers/ a dyscalculia documentary [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-OMTViHwV0