Author: Melissa

PUC (Originally Posted: July 6, 2011)


So here I am.  In Brazil to learn some Portuguese…only the first step in what will surely require more time with the language and more time in Brazil (how convenient!).  I took a placement test today…HA!  Written and Oral.  I got through part 1 and half of part 2.  I took reading comprehension in Port this summer and it definitely helped me get through-but considering I don’t know any vocabulary and my grammar skills are at a negative 2, I did not have high hopes.  Turns out-neither did the oral proctor:

proctor:  “something in Portuguese”

me:  “no se” except it should have been “não sei”

proctor:   “something in Portuguese…Brasil?”

me [postulating]:  “Is this my first time in Brazil?  Yes.”

proctor [nodding her head]:  “Americana?”

me:  “Si (espanol)…uh, sim (portuguese)”

proctor [writing on her paper]:  “OK”

me:  “level 1?”

proctor [raising shoulders]:  “Sim”

…and there you have it!  Classes start tomorrow!


… to Scientific Storytelling.  This is a collection of my professional, academic, and photographic work.  I collect stories about illness, culture, ancestry, and difference.  After over 10 years of scientific and public health experience with universities and the government, I switched gears and began to link those concepts with ideas of history and anthropology, throw in the practice of reciprocity and public engagement and found myself on the other side of the world.  I think using social, geographical, and political debates (often internal) about race and health can help in the development of a shared language for growing global research agendas, policy development, patient diagnosis, and health care provision. Most importantly, I think that when all the people who contribute to the big story, tell their individual story and then share it with each other, a new understanding is inevitable. This space is not just about the journey of my narrators and how it can be applied to big problems, but my own story of living this experience and contributing to how science and self are inseparable.