Monday, January 27, 2020
A critical analysis of my clinical practice and reflection Introduction This assignment will discuss the development of my professional skills, learning opportunities, and activities that have developed and benefited my learning experiences. I will use reflection and referrer back to written work in my portfolio this will link the theory to practice and will show a continuous improvement in the knowledge and understanding that I have gained in previous placements, according to Beskine (2009) practice from clinical placements are fundamental in allowing students to put the theory learned at university into practice under the supervision of an experienced mentor. As registered nurse I must be able to justify any action or decision made, this can be seen throughout my portfolio as I have tried to justify any action or decision I have made through evidence based knowledge and research findings, according to Richards and Edward (2003) who have stated that public trust and confidence in the profession is dependant on its practitioners being seen to exercise their accountability to ensure that the interests of the patient is respected. The Quality Assurance Agency (1997) has defined a portfolio as a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and achievements when planning for their personal educational and career development. As a registered nurse my goals will be to further my life long learning and gain as many skills as possible to enable me to carry out my practice safely and with competence. The evidence of this shall be shown through the ongoing development of my portfolio, which will identify opportunities for growth in my personal and professional life. According to Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) 2004, It is necessary to show motivation and commitment through the development and planning of your own learning. There will also be discussion on the clinical skills laboratories (CLS). Main Body The Students rational for choosing the topic of; compression bandaging for leg ulcers; was the shock, when she realised that the estimated cost to the NHS in managing leg ulcers is Ã £300-600 million a year. (Simon et al 2004) In the UK alone, it has been estimated that between 80,000 and 100,000 people will have had a leg ulcer at one time or another, with some remaining unhealed for more than 10 years. (Walker Adderly 2007). Managing leg ulcers also places a considerable drain on health resources, with district nursing spending between 25-50% of their time treating patients with leg ulcers (Casey 1999), according to Briggs and Closs (2003), a large part of the nurses workload especially in the community is taken up with this task, as people get older they are at increased risk of developing arterial and venous incompetence, which is the underlying cause of leg ulceration, improved life expectancy means the number of people with ulcers is likely to rise (Franks and Moffatt, 2007). The student noticed this more on her final 14 week management placement with the community nurses; half of her time spent with the nurses was taken up with changing compression bandages. Reflecting back, the student looked at her logs from first year [Appendix 1] and noticed that the treatment of leg ulcers has not changed dramatically in these past three years, but the students perception knowledge and understanding of this condition has. Reflection provides a framework upon which individuals can modify both perception and behaviour based upon experience (Dewey, 1933; SchÃ ¶n, 1983). It is also considered to be a central part of developing expertise (Sternberg, 1999). When the student first went to a community placement in 2nd year, she along with her mentor attended a patient with leg ulcers, [Appendice2] she assisted the nurse when she washed the patients leg, using tap water, the leg was dried and a mixture of 50%50 w/w cream; (Ointment containing 50% w/w Liquid Paraffin BP and 50% w/w White Soft Paraffin), was applied below the knee of the leg, then watched as the district nurse, applied a modified form of compression bandaging. The student and her classmates had practiced this procedure in CLS labs, week three, Care of the patient with chronic wounds; the labs are designed to ensure flexibility of use in providing an environment where clinical skills learning can be facilitated to support a diversity of clinical learning experiences and environments. Every year the NHS pays out about Ã £400 million in settlement of clinical negligence claims.Ã It is increasingly recognised that up to as much as 70 -80% of medical error could be attributed to poor technical skills; those most at risk of committing errors are inexperienced practitioners. Creating simulated scenarios allows us to practice our skills and make mistakes in a safe environment (Engle 2008). The nurse explained that there where different causes for the ulcers and also different dressings and compression therapies. The student also looked up the pathophysiology, and the psychological effects of the condition, linking theory to practice, reading journals and articles the student got an overview of the disease, failing venous valves lead to blood pooling in the veins. This is confirmed by the use of a Doppler ultrasound, which tests the flow of blood in the leg. Cells and fluid, from the blood leak into the surrounding tissue, causing oedema. Red blood cells, leak into the tissue and break down, resulting in brown staining of the skin known as, haemosiderin. Further tissue damage occurs when white blood cells clump together to cause inflammatory reactions. Congestion in the veins results in reduced blood flow. Tissues do not receive adequate nutrition and the skin becomes dry, flaky and itchy. Lipodermatosclerosis can also occur, caused by fibrosis of the fatty tissue, maki ng the leg hard and woody to touch, this makes the skin fragile and scratching or trauma may lead to ulceration of the leg and a chronic wound that could take weeks or months sometimes years to heal (Stud 2009). According to (RCN 2006), (SIGN 26, 1998) compression bandage therapy is the gold standard treatment for venous leg ulcers. The bandage types are classified depending on the degree of sub bandage pressure they exert on the limb, the highest pressure is up to 40mmHg at the ankle (resting pressure), gradually reducing to about 17mmHg just below the knee Anderson (2008). Achieving this healing depends mostly on the patients willingness to accept clinically effective care; many of the patients feel that they cannot carry on with the treatment as the compression bandaging is uncomfortable. The graduated compression starts with the highest pressure at the ankle, this squeezes the lower leg as the calf muscle changes shape on movement, but the muscle movement is constrained by the compression bandage with the effect of increasing the squeeze on the veins in the legs, as the muscle movement is concentrated inward and if the vein is relatively intact it will more likely close with the extra pressure from the compression (Anderson 2008). This movement may prevent the backflow of blood as the calf muscle is strong and the speed of the venous blood is increased it could mean that the white blood cells are less likely to clump together thus reducing inflammation in the blood vessel (Oduncu et al 2004). Using compression this way, will increase flow, reduce venous reflux and ankle oedema, therefore improving the microcirculation and encourage the healing process (Board and Harlow 2002). As the flow improves nutrients reaching the skin again will improve the sensitivity and dryness of the skin. The compression therapy is not a cure it may be a lifelong process where the patient has to be properly supported. The patients psychological wellbeing is also monitored, (Jones et al 2008), studies carried out show that patients with chronic leg ulcers suffer from depression and feel socially isolated, they restrict their social lives because of the exudates and odour leaking through the bandages. In many cases the ulcer will heal with relative ease once the oedema is under control approximately 12 weeks (Moffat et al 1992). Larger ulcers may take months or years to heal, (Palfreyman et al 2007) effective treatment should help reduce the symptoms and quality of life for the patients, this is why a holistic approach is needed to ensure the patients psychological needs are also met; this in turn may encourage compliance on the patients part. The student is now in her final placement which is back in the community, she has her own case load of four patients. One of these patients has a leg ulcer, she wears compression stockings, while this is not a chronic ulcer great care still has to be taken, as the recurrence rate of venous ulcers is high, hosiery helps to reduce the risk and prolongs the time in a healed state (Bradley 2001). The student also went out with the district nurse who is mentoring her, she allowed her, under her direct supervision to wash and apply the dressings to one of her clients who has a chronic leg ulcer, it is recognised that students must be given opportunities to participate in various clinical skills, the NMC (2006) requires mentors to be able to support student nurses develop nursing competencies, while being professionally accountable for the student, and also provide support and assessment while on placement. Prior to undertaking the wound dressing, the student had to demonstrate an appreciation of the theoretical and practical aspects underpinning the procedure of compression bandaging to the mentor. This was done by the student reading journals on wound care, looking up articles on the internet, and then discussing them with her mentor. The clients consent was given, this allowed the student to carry out the procedure. The student read the last entry in the care plan to see what dressings where used previously. Then she gathered all the equipment that she would need, Towels, cream, water, a dressing depending on how bad the leg would depend on what dressing was used. The bandaging comes in kit form and is priced according to size from Ã £5.65 to Ã £10.58 (Scottish drug tariff 2007). Reading the care plan the student knew that this patient has had a chronic venous leg ulcer, for about 6 weeks, the measurements were taken at every dressing change to see if the ankle circumference has changed due to the reduction of oedema. The leg was stripped down, it was very wet and smelly, the dirty dressing then went into the bag provided and disposed of in the bin. The leg was washed with Epaderm Cream, this is very effective in moisturising the leg it counteracts the loss of essential oils from the skin. As the student knew that her mentor was going to ask her to perform the task, she looked up her reflective diaries in her portfolio and read back on them to see how she carried out the procedure then, and how she felt about carrying them out. According to Redfern and Hull (1997), portfolios offer an important contribution in the form of a step-by-step method that reflects practice. The student had written an account of her past experience in the first year log, as she had not used a model of reflection it was difficult to remember how she felt carrying out the procedure, she did describe the task well enough but the feeling and evaluation would have been useful, how did she feel about the task, was the wound really odorous, was the patient satisfied with the outcome, would she have carried out the procedure the same way, coming back to the present task the action plan would have been very handy. Gibbs model for reflection (1988), the student has applied this model to most of her work throughout the three years of placements, but at the beginning of her training she did not, she now realises that using models of reflection in essays and practice portfolios gives written evidence that shows critical thinking, and relates theory to practice. Using the six stages of Gibbs reflective model, description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, action plan, by using this model the student can analyse her learning experience, and present this as evidence against NMC standards. The student also looked out and read tissue viability journals and wound supplements and searched the internet for wound care information. Current governmental policies have called for all professional groups to work within a framework of evidence-based practice (EBP) which is underpinned by continuing professional development. The essence of all this is to ensure that all health care professionals operate within a framework of clinical governance that assures clinical competence and provision of quality health care. (Basford and Slevin, 2003). Once the leg was washed and dried a hydrocolloid dressing was applied, this helps absorb some of the exudates, the student then applied the wool padding using a simple spiral technique with a 50% overlap, this helps to protect bony prominences and pads the ankle out. The third step is a light conforming bandage, the foot is flexed to 90 degrees and the bandage is applied from the toes to the knees also using a simple spiral technique with a 50% overlap. The forth step is applying the cohesive bandage, the student made sure the mentor was happy with what was done so far before carrying on she also asked the patient if he was alright, then keeping the foot flexed to a 90 degree angle the bandage was applied with a 50% overlap and a 50% stretch, ensuring the heel was completely covered. The student felt cautious about carrying out the final stage of this procedure because of the implication, for instance if the dressing was too tight it may cause trauma to the leg, but the mentor supervised all the way through the procedure, when the bandaging was finished the student felt that she had carried the task to the best of her ability, there was a feeling of satisfaction the bandage looked neat and secure the patient offered no complaints. When the student had asked his consent he told her that he would say immediately if he felt uncomfortable, because of the exudates the bandage would only be on for two days not a week as is the usual time in between dressing. The patient will be holistically re-assessed each week and his progress recorded, the student filled in the patients care plan and her mentor countersigned, as a student nurse preparing to register with the NMC you have both a legal and professional duty of care. This should be demonstarted in your ability to keep a record and full account of any assessment and care that you have planned for or provided (NMC 2004). The student didnt think she could have done any better, she was pleased that he mentor allowed her to carry out this procedure, a little weary about the 50% overlap and stretching the bandage, but was confident in her practice, the task went smoothly. The student will continue to reflect and study leg ulcers and compression bandaging to further her knowledge. The mentor observed the student performing the task, under direct supervision, she assessed that the student was working to the correct and appropriate standard for her level of training, this will be recorded in the students assessment practice record and signed. While in practice mentors are assessing students against the NMC standards of proficiency, they are not only assessing their practical skills, but their knowledge levels and attitudes which underpin their practice (Richards and Edwards 2003). Conclusion In this assignment I have disscused the learning opportunities and the activities that have helped develope my professional development in the area of compression bandaging for the care of leg ulcers. I have shown that reflection and reference to previous work and teaching materials have developed my skills, confidence, knowledge and intuition in the care of managing leg ulcers and applying the appropriate dressings and therefore linking my theory to practice. I have shown the ability to justify reasoning for any actions or decisions which I make through evidence based practice, knowledge and research findings. For my professional development and future practice I will continue to futher my life-long learning and gain as many skillls as possible to enable me to carry out my practice safely and with competence. The evidence of this shall be shown through the ongoing development of my portfolio which will identify opportunities for growth in my personal and professional life.
Sunday, January 19, 2020
I have worked in a private organization called as Computer Maintenance Agency (CMA) as a junior customer engineer for a period of one year. CMA is linked with a government organization called as National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC). NRSC is popularly known as wing of Indian space research organization. CMA mainly works with network maintenance and system administration by signing an annual contract with NRSC. The CMA organization consists of director, customer support manager, team leaders and engineers. For every two years, NRSC invites the tenders for annual contract maintenance services for their system administrations and network maintenances. My organization, CMA actively participates in the tenders and prepares a low quotation for getting the tender contract. The director is mainly responsible for taking the decisions on the tenders and organizes the company policies in a systematic manner. The customer support manager is the one who helps the director in estimating a suitable quotation for the tenders and informs the director about the tender handling process. The customer support manager responsibilities include customer satisfaction, recruiting and training the employees, implementing the organization strategic policies, resolving problems and monitoring the objectives of tenders. The team leaders under the customer support manager work with the clients of different zones, typically three zones (zone1, zone 2 and zone 3). The zone 1 is known as NRSC Data Center, the zone 2 is known as NRSC Data Processing and the zone 3 is known as NRSC Software Division. The team leader of a particular zone consists of a set of engineers who were divided as senior customer engineers and junior customer engineers. The team leader job duties include reporting the technical issues to the customer support manager, leading and motivating the engineers, tracking the daily work performance and providing the feedback to the customer support manager. The engineers under a team leader works on issues like system administration, network issues, troubleshootingÃ problems, and hardware and software issues. The engineers will have a direct contact with the clients through web application. The whole organization performance and progress depends upon the efficiency of the engineers. Failure in the performance of the engineers may lead to the organization loss. The main internal problems in CMA include the organization budget issues, system performance, lack of communication between the senior customer engineers and the junior customer engineers, and mostly time management issues.
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Dante was waiting for me when I got home. I normally liked having the company, but after being with Seth, Dante's presence now made me feel uncomfortable and confused. He didn't seem to notice right away, though, and instead was immediately caught up by Maddie's condo packet. Ã¢â¬Å"What's this?Ã¢â¬ he asked, leafing through some pages. Ã¢â¬Å"Maddie's been playing real estate agent for me.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Wow. I didn't think you were serious about that.Ã¢â¬ I leaned back on the couch, weary from dancing, sex, and the emotional miasma I seemed to be swimming through lately. Bringing up Maddie didn't make me feel so great. Ã¢â¬Å"I didn't think I was either. I mentioned it offhand, and she kind of went crazy.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Alki Beach, huh? Some of these are pretty nice.Ã¢â¬ He held up one print-out. Ã¢â¬Å"Brand-new condo, still being built. You can weigh in on the colors and trim.Ã¢â¬ I shrugged. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know. I don't have time to go shopping right now.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"One of the power spots on your list is near Alki. You could swing by.Ã¢â¬ I gave him a puzzled look. Ã¢â¬Å"Since when are you interested in me moving?Ã¢â¬ He sat down opposite me, still looking through the listings. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, if you buy locally, I can rest easy that you're sticking around. Besides, get a bigger place, and we could try some cohabitation.Ã¢â¬ That caught me off-guard. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You gave me a key. I might as well live here anyway.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You're going to freeload off me for some more space, huh?Ã¢â¬ I teased. He sighed, looking pained. Ã¢â¬Å"Man, you really do think the worst. I'd pay you rent.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"With what?Ã¢â¬ I asked incredulously. Ã¢â¬Å"Business has been good. I think things are on the upswing.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"No offense, baby, but your business doesn't seem like the type that can maintain that kind of momentum. I think this has been a fluke.Ã¢â¬ I spoke too soon and felt bad when I realized I'd hurt him. Ã¢â¬Å"But we can play it by ear if you want to move in. Maybe your reputation's spreading, and business will keep booming.Ã¢â¬ He seemed a little mollified after that, yet as I spoke the words, I found I wasn't overly thrilled at the prospect of us living together. I still had Seth on the brain. Obsessing on him was foolish, I knew. This fling of ours could only last a few more days at most. I shouldn't be mooning over him when I'd just be going back to Dante anyway. Dante wanted to know how my beach investigation had gone, and I welcomed the change in subject. I gave him a brief rundown of my non-progress. Ã¢â¬Å"You want me to look with you?Ã¢â¬ he asked. Ã¢â¬Å"I've finally got some time tomorrow.Ã¢â¬ I hesitated. The truth was, just before we'd parted, Seth had said he'd look with me and that he'd bring Kayla. The afterglow could be very persuasive. Still, I'd had to do a lot of convincing that she'd be safe, and honestly, I hoped I was right. Ã¢â¬Å"I roped some other people into it,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"We should be fine.Ã¢â¬ I feared he'd question me further, particularly about whether I had a psychic to go with me or not. Mercifully, he let it go. I honestly didn't think he wanted to wander beaches and was grateful for the reprieve. When we went to bed later, there was no way I could put his arduous advances off any longer, not without raising suspicion. I'd made a good recovery and no longer had my back excuse. YetÃ¢â¬ ¦something was nagging at me. Dante himself had been the one to first joke about whether I could get pregnant in my pseudo-human state. I still didn't know if that was possible, and even if it was, would it matter if I returned to my immortal state in a few days? I had no clue how any of this would work, but Seth and I hadn't used protection. And suddenly, I realized that if there were any chance in the world that I could get pregnant-if Nyx's vision might really come true-I didn't want to chance a paternity dispute. So, I turned on the charm for Dante and went down on him again, something he didn't really seem to mind. He tried to get me off in return, but it was to no avail. After being with Seth, I had zero desire of my own and found I couldn't come. And so, for the first time with Dante, I faked it. I was a pretty good faker. He never suspected. He slept late the next morning, so I slipped out early without waking him. Seth and I were meeting over at a restaurant in Bellevue, hopefully far enough away from anyone we knew to see us. While walking to my car, I felt someone fall into step beside me. Ã¢â¬Å"So, I hear you're spreading stories about me,Ã¢â¬ Cedric said amiably. Startled, I glanced over at him, unease spreading through me. Cedric was my suspect du jour, and I'd already seen one demon's reaction to my theories. Of course, he didn't look particularly destructive at the moment, and there was also the fact that I had yet to tell anyone my latest theories about him implicating Nanette. Ã¢â¬Å"What do you mean?Ã¢â¬ I asked. Ã¢â¬Å"Kristin said you said that I told Nanette how you thought she might have summoned Jerome.Ã¢â¬ He paused as though trying to make sense of that. Ã¢â¬Å"For the record, I didn't.Ã¢â¬ I nearly stopped walking. Ã¢â¬Å"Then who did?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Hell if I know. Just figured you should know I wasn't responsible for what happened to you.Ã¢â¬ He offered no more, no condolences or queries to my health. I honestly couldn't expect that from a demon. The fact that he'd bothered to come talk to me was a rarity enough-and naturally, he could be lying. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, I don't know who else could have told her, then. Or why. I only told a handful of people.Ã¢â¬ The more I thought about it, the more I realized he had to be lying. I'd only told my friends. He maintained his perfectly bland face. Ã¢â¬Å"Like I said, I don't know.Ã¢â¬ We reached my car, and I paused, leaning against it. Ã¢â¬Å"You came all the way here to tell me this?Ã¢â¬ Not that it would have been an arduous journey for him. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't flatter yourself,Ã¢â¬ he said with a smile. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm here to chat with your demonesses. Hell's pretty much ruled out Jerome coming back. There'll be someone official here in days to settle the matter.Ã¢â¬ I tried to ignore the chill that sent down my spine and parse the rest of his words. Cedric was cozying up to Grace and Mei. Not a surprise. Whoever came here to assign a new archdemon would question those two the most. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, thank you,Ã¢â¬ I said. I didn't really know what else to say in that matter, so I switched to something else that had been on my mind. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey, I haven't heard much about your cult lately.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah, they've been pretty quiet. Maybe you helped after all.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Well, I don't think I did much.Ã¢â¬ I was also starting to suspect the cult had nothing left to do. Now that their Ã¢â¬Å"AngelÃ¢â¬ had used them as an effective distraction during Jerome's summoning, they were no longer needed. I clicked my door open, and another curious thought struck me. Ã¢â¬Å"How's it going with Tawny?Ã¢â¬ Cedric grimaced. Ã¢â¬Å"WellÃ¢â¬ ¦we went out a couple of times.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"And?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"My private life is no concern of yours.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Fair enough.Ã¢â¬ I started to get in. Ã¢â¬Å"But if you must knowÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ I paused and arched an eyebrow. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Her conversation isÃ¢â¬ ¦lacking a little,Ã¢â¬ he admitted. I couldn't help it. I laughed. Ã¢â¬Å"Are you seriously surprised by that?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Beauty's skin deep, I knowÃ¢â¬ ¦I guess I'd just hoped for a little more depth.Ã¢â¬ I chose not to comment on what he considered beautiful. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't take this the wrong way, but I figured you wouldn't really want more than cheap sex.Ã¢â¬ He cut me a look. Ã¢â¬Å"Because I'm a demon?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Don't look at me like that. Being romantic isn't really in your job description.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"True, true. But at the very least, I'd like to have a little understanding with my cheap sex. Someone who had some vague inkling of what I endure on a daily basis.Ã¢â¬ He was still being gruff and demonlike, but there was a faint whisper of something surprisingly human under there. I started to tell him that I didn't think that was very likely. Then, I thought of Kristin, Kristin who watched him with doe eyes and fretted over his well-being. Ã¢â¬Å"Someone who sort of gets your job and has an appreciation for its absurdity? Someone who's interested in helping you when you're stressed, in connecting with you and understanding things to an extent where you don't even have to say them anymore? Is that what you're looking for?Ã¢â¬ He snorted. Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah, like that'll happen.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know. Maybe there's someone out there like that.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You may not have been human for a long time, but you still cling to their delusions. That's fairy-tale stuff. You can't have that. I can't have that. See you later.Ã¢â¬ He vanished, uncaring of any mortals who might see him. I stared vacantly at where he'd been, wondering if what he said was true. Was he missing a good match right in front of him? Or was Kristin deluding herself with her crush on him? And was I deluding myself with my feelings for Seth? Was I really feeling connected to him or was it all just lust? There was no use fretting about any of it now. Cedric didn't seem to want to kill me at the moment, so that was the best I could get. I drove over to Bellevue, just in time for the morning commute out of the city to be winding down. Bellevue was a suburb, a city in its own right, and the restaurant we'd chosen was in Bellevue's old downtown, one that had eventually been supplanted when a mall rearranged the city's trendy areas. The place was a quiet little bistro, tucked between a jewelry store and a bakery. Seth and Kayla were already there. She sat in a booster seat beside him, examining a stuffed unicorn while he leafed through a menu. Seeing both of them sent ripples of warmth and happiness through me. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey guys,Ã¢â¬ I said, sliding in across from them. Kayla gave me a shy smile, and Seth positively lit up. His hair was as messy as usual, and his T-shirt today advertised Trix, a cereal I'd forgotten even existed. Ã¢â¬Å"Thanks for doing this,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"I really appreciate it.Ã¢â¬ Seth's smile grew, though I saw the tiniest bit of apprehension in his eyes. Ã¢â¬Å"Just so long as you're sure it'sÃ¢â¬ ¦you knowÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ He glanced over at Kayla, who was groping for her glass. Seth hastily intervened to help her before she could knock it over. Ã¢â¬Å"It'll be easy,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe even boring. We'll just walk around and look for something resembling white stone or rock.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"And Kayla can help?Ã¢â¬ I turned toward the little girl. She glanced between both of us, her blue eyes wide and eerily knowing. Ã¢â¬Å"I think so. Again, at this point, she just senses stuff without really understanding why. If we get anywhere near Jerome, I think she'll show some sort of reaction, even if she doesn't know what it is.Ã¢â¬ At least I hoped so. After that, we didn't mention our mission for the rest of the meal. We made small talk instead and fawned over Kayla, but it was almost something we did on autopilot, something we weren't even paying attention to. Really, Seth and I were consumed by each other. It was more than just lust too, though I certainly hoped he'd noticed my low-cut top today. I found myself just aglow from his presence. I loved being close to him, feeling the joy that spread within me. It was like falling in love again. It was that connection and understanding that Cedric had said was a fairy tale. And even when we finished up and went and scoped out our first beach, that electricity and warmth continued flowing between us. Kayla walked between us for a while, with each of us holding one of her hands. She struggled a little with the sand but seemed infinitely fascinated by the sights around her: the waves, the seagulls, other children. The rain had faded away today, and we had sunshine taunting us with the hope that spring had truly arrived. We found no white rocks, however, and Kayla had no out-of-the-ordinary reactions like she'd had with me in the past, or even with Dante. When we got to our second beach, she began slowing down, and I realized this wasn't going to be the aggressive day of hunting I'd hoped for. After a while, Seth picked her up and carried her. She managed to stay awake until we finished our search but promptly fell asleep in the car. I knew we'd have to call it a day, but we stopped off at a little caf?Ã ¦ on the way home that served great desserts. We settled into a corner booth, Seth and me sitting side by side while I held Kayla on my lap. We decided to simply split a piece of cheesecake, and naturally, I required coffee. Kayla still leaned drowsily against me, but she'd valiantly woken up as though sensing the approach of sugar. I brushed her hair back from her face. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey,Ã¢â¬ I said gently. Ã¢â¬Å"Did you see anything magic today?Ã¢â¬ That was how she'd referred to me in the past. She shook her head and reached up to touch my cheek in a mirror of my own gesture. Ã¢â¬Å"When will you be magic again?Ã¢â¬ she asked. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know,Ã¢â¬ I told her. Ã¢â¬Å"Soon.Ã¢â¬ Seth's leg against mine was starting to stir up some illicit feelings, something I felt a little ashamed of with Kayla there. I was further startled when I glanced up at him and saw not lust in his eyes, but rather, something soft and tender. Ã¢â¬Å"What?Ã¢â¬ I asked. Ã¢â¬Å"Why are you looking at me like that?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Because of you,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"Just the way you interact with herÃ¢â¬ ¦it's remarkable.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Because I can get her to talk?Ã¢â¬ He shook his head. Ã¢â¬Å"Nah. More than that. I've seen it with the other girls. You have a knack with kids. You'd make a great mother.Ã¢â¬ Maddie had made the same offhand comment. I don't think Seth had ever really and truly grasped how much I'd pined for children. His words filled me with both elation and sorrow. For an instant, I considered telling him about Nyx's dream and the bizarre pregnancy theory. Those things were too fragile and too precious to me, however, and the cheesecake's serendipitous arrival saved me from further deliberation. The cheesecake was lemon raspberry, a bit adventurous for Kayla, perhaps, but she ate it without hesitation. Seth gave up on his share before us, and she and I finished it down to the last bite. Ã¢â¬Å"Perfect,Ã¢â¬ he mused. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll return her to Terry and Andrea, just in time for her the sugar rush to kick in. They'll never let her go out again.Ã¢â¬ He frowned. Ã¢â¬Å"Will you need her again? I think she has some kind of play-date thing tomorrow.Ã¢â¬ I sighed, and reality dimmed my golden moment. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know. I'm running out of close places. I'll have to head up north next, up around Edmonds, though Dante pointed out that Jerome could be farther out-out on the Olympic Peninsula or something. The summoners would want to keep him close, but Ã¢â¬Ëclose' could mean ten miles or a hundred.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You're not going to be able to go out to the coast in an easy day trip,Ã¢â¬ observed Seth. Under the table, his hand rested on mine out of sympathy. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm sorry.Ã¢â¬ I squeezed his hand in return. Ã¢â¬Å"It'll be as it'll be, I guess.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I still want to help if I can.Ã¢â¬ I offered him a rueful smile. Ã¢â¬Å"You want to help me get back to being a succubus?Ã¢â¬ His return smile was equally bittersweet. Ã¢â¬Å"There's no way any of this can end well, Georgina. SometimesÃ¢â¬ ¦sometimes we have to choose the lesser of evils and simply enjoy our sweet moments while we can.Ã¢â¬ Like this one. And through some shared instinct, we both fell silent, savoring this brief interlude, this dream we'd gotten ourselves ensnared in. For now, it was enough to just sit together like this. His hand moved idly on my leg, offering comfort and loveÃ¢â¬ ¦at least for a little while. Before long, the sweet affection turned into something with a bit more desire. I met his eyes, and while it wasn't the same animal intensity that had thrown me against the wall last night, there was still a longing in his eyes that told me how much he wanted me, to be closer to me. My body responded to it, and then we both glanced over at Kayla, who had fallen asleep again. We laughed, realizing the absurdity of our current situation. Ã¢â¬Å"I should get her back,Ã¢â¬ said Seth. Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah,Ã¢â¬ I said, sad at the thought of parting but certainly not aroused enough to make out while his niece was around. He drove me back to my car in Bellevue. Our parting kiss was gentle and light, almost hesitant. It seemed typical of this entire affair, like it was hardly real and would blow away at any moment. Ã¢â¬Å"Anything you need, Thetis,Ã¢â¬ he breathed into my ear. Ã¢â¬Å"Anything you need, I'll do it. You know I will.Ã¢â¬ A flower of agony and euphoria burst open in my chest. He hadn't called me Thetis, his old pet name for me, since the day we broke up. Ã¢â¬Å"I know,Ã¢â¬ I murmured into his shirt. Ã¢â¬Å"I know.Ã¢â¬ I returned to Queen Anne not long after that, getting a nice spot right in front of my building. My head was swimming with Seth and Kayla and Jerome and a hundred other things. I was so distracted that when I stepped into my apartment, I nearly walked right past Grace sitting on my couch. Of course, considering she was the first demon all week who hadn't attacked me the instant I cleared the door, my reaction to her subtlety was understandable. Ã¢â¬Å"Grace?Ã¢â¬ I asked curiously, as though maybe it wasn't her. She was leafing through a copy of Seattle Metropolitan magazine, their issue on Seattle's best brunches. When she glanced up at me, there was a tiredness in her eyes that even demonic perfection couldn't hide. Seeing her alone was almost as strange as her being here at all. I'd grown so used to her and Mei being a unit that their forced separation lately seemed almost as tragic as Jerome's summoning. Ã¢â¬Å"There you are,Ã¢â¬ she said. Ã¢â¬Å"I almost left.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Sorry,Ã¢â¬ I said. I meant it. I seemed to be on her and Mei's good side lately and wanted to keep it that way. Demons didn't like waiting, and without that innate connection of an archdemon, she couldn't instantly find me across time and space. Grace gave a half-hearted shrug. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't mind. It's rather pleasant having a few moments' respite from all the politics and bickering.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I can imagine.Ã¢â¬ I frowned. Ã¢â¬Å"No, wait. I don't think I can.Ã¢â¬ I swear, I thought for a second she might laugh, but she kept that same stone face she excelled at. Ã¢â¬Å"It'll all be over soon, which is why I came to see you. Mei and I have been talking to all of the other lesser immortals today. The day after tomorrow, a corporate demon named Ephraim will be making his final decision on who will replace Jerome.Ã¢â¬ A cold lump settled into my stomach. Ã¢â¬Å"So soon?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Hell doesn't like to waste time and resources.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I guess not.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Ephraim's already in the area and may come speak to you as he attempts to assess the situation. He'll want to know about your job, how things ran under Jerome, etc.Ã¢â¬ With each word, my spirits sank further and further. My window to find Jerome was shriveling up. We were going to get a new archdemon anytime now. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't be afraid to speak the truth,Ã¢â¬ she advised. Ã¢â¬Å"I know that's often a concern among lesser immortals, for fear of causing offense.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Something like that,Ã¢â¬ I muttered, thinking of Nanette. Ã¢â¬Å"Clearly, you don't want to actively anger Ephraim, but he has no affiliations with anyone currently involved in the dispute here. He won't punish you for stating your opinion.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'm guessing he might not listen to it either.Ã¢â¬ There it was. A tiny quirky of her lips, gone so quickly that I wasn't even sure I saw it. She rose from the sofa and absentmindedly tugged on her blazer. It was deep, deep red, paired with sleek black trousers and patent leather heels. Underneath the collar of her coat, I caught a glimpse of that same chunky necklace she'd worn at the meeting. I recalled Mei's sleeker one and couldn't resist my next words. Ã¢â¬Å"This may sound weirdÃ¢â¬ ¦but I can't help but notice you and Mei are dressing differently lately.Ã¢â¬ As soon as I said that, I hoped she wouldn't get mad at me essentially calling her and Mei copycats. Fortunately, she remained as blas?Ã ¦ as usual. Ã¢â¬Å"In these times, it's wise to distinguish yourself. None of our jobs are secure right now.Ã¢â¬ I did a double-take. In all of this madness, it had never occurred to me that Grace and Mei might have something to fear. But of course they did. When Hell did re-orgs, they tended to tweak the larger structure. They could very well decide to transfer Grace and Mei and institute a whole new set of demonic leaders here. I didn't like that idea any better than losing Jerome. I wanted things to stay the same. And studying that fatigue I'd seen on Grace's face, I realized I wasn't the only one with a lot to worry about. Ã¢â¬Å"WellÃ¢â¬ ¦for what it's worth, I think you're doing a great job. You've had to do so much clean-up and damage control, and then with all these demonsÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ I shook my head. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know. They'd be stupid not to recognize that.Ã¢â¬ The strangest look came over Grace's face. I would have almost called it surprise, but her careful, icy composure made it hard to say for sure. Ã¢â¬Å"Thank you, Georgina.Ã¢â¬ Her voice was stiff, like dealing with compliments made her uncomfortable. Ã¢â¬Å"I hope you'll share your feelings with Ephraim, should he speak with you.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Sure,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"No problem.Ã¢â¬ After a quick glance at my kitchen clock, she turned back to me and gave a smart nod. Ã¢â¬Å"I have to meet with the others. I'll speak with you again soon.Ã¢â¬ She vanished, but I could offer no farewell in return. I had just seen something. Something that changed everything. I stood frozen. This whole time, for the last week, something had been percolating in my head. I'd noted Grace and Mei's dedication to their job, how they were always there to help when chaos broke out. I'd noted also how they'd been forced to split up a lot lately with the new workload, and as Grace had said, they would now probably be scrutinized individually. And why wouldn't they be? If someone was going to scout for a new demon to run Seattle, why not look at the ones who were already running it? Ã¢â¬Å"Oh my God,Ã¢â¬ I breathed. But there was more to it than that. It wasn't just that Grace or Mei had the perfect motive to get Jerome summoned. I had more than motive before me. I had proof. Sprinting to my bedroom, I searched frantically for the photo of Mary's medallion, certain it would be gone. Nope. It was still there, knocked off my nightstand to the floor. I picked it up. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh my God .Ã¢â¬ There it was. When Grace had turned her head, I'd caught a fuller glimpse of the chunky necklace and its network of brown and black stones. The answer had been right in front of me. At the Cellar meeting, I'd noticed a piece of the necklace's stonework shaped like a crescent moon. I hadn't recognized it as anything more than ornamentation, but now, comparing the photo to what I'd just seen on Grace, the truth was obvious. Grace had part of the seal. It was the left side of the medallion, separated in an irregular way to give it that fanciful crescent shape. But I'd seen the fine etchings of the symbols when she tilted her head. They were the same. It was the seal. The picture fell from my hands, and I ran back to the living room, grappling for my cell phone. My hands shook, and I could barely dial. Of course, for a second, I wasn't sure who I was dialing. Hugh, I decided. I had to tell him and the rest of my friends that- Ã¢â¬Å"Drop it.Ã¢â¬ A strong hand covered my mouth and jerked me backward. My back hit somebody, a tall man with a rock-solid chest. His other hand reached out and wrapped around my wrist, making the links of my watch dig in painfully. Ã¢â¬Å"Drop it,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"I know what you saw. I saw it too. But you can't tell anyone. Not yet.Ã¢â¬ I could barely hear through the pounding of my heart in my ears, but it didn't matter. I knew this voice, knew it intimately. It had haunted my dreams-or rather, my nightmares-for the last six months. It was a sign of how truly out of it I'd been after Nanette attacked me that I hadn't recognized his voice that day. I dropped the phone. He released his grip on my wrist, and a moment later, the hand on my mouth moved away as well. Miraculously, I didn't start screaming. Slowly, slowly, I turned around, knowing exactly what I'd find. Blue-green eyes, just like the sea I'd grown up around. Ã¢â¬Å"Roman.Ã¢â¬
Friday, January 3, 2020
During pages 8-10 Arthur Miller uses Linda and WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s interactions to display LindaÃ¢â¬â¢s misguided attempts at restoring Willy to mental stability. Throughout the rest of the play MillerÃ¢â¬â¢s permissive characterisation of Linda catalyses the deterioration of WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s psyche and relationships. Miller presents Linda as WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s enabler; she is seen as not only allowing but socialising Willy into a self-destructive way of being. Miller incorporates the symbolism of the flute into the stage directions to symbolise WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s hamartia, a tragic flaw that leads to a characterÃ¢â¬â¢s downfall. Although Willy Loman does not fit the criteria of the tragic hero, Arthur Miller wanted to show the fate of one of the many ordinary people who are rejected by aÃ¢â¬ ¦show more contentÃ¢â¬ ¦Miller brings light to LindaÃ¢â¬â¢s refusal to acknowledge WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s failings when Willy asserts, Ã¢â¬Å"No, no, itÃ¢â¬â¢s me, itÃ¢â¬â¢s meÃ¢â¬ LindaÃ¢â¬â¢s immediate response is, Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe it was your glassesÃ¢â¬ . Linda is shown as providing Willy with a chance to revoke his moments of self doubt. This dialogue is also an example of MillerÃ¢â¬â¢s use of the repetition of modal words to present to the audience the collusive attitude adopted by Linda when interacting with Willy: Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe it was the steering againÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe it was your glassesÃ¢â¬ . The playwright is presenting an overtl y dishonest relationship; Linda is excusing WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s inadequacies with obvious untruths. By apportioning the blame not to Willy but to his glasses and the faulty steering Linda is maintaining the illusion of WillyÃ¢â¬â¢s infallibility. Later in the play, the audience sees Willy transfer this tendency to deny fault, instilled by Linda, into his business meeting. Miller shows this when Howard asks, Ã¢â¬Å"You didnt crack up again did you?Ã¢â¬ with Willy replying Ã¢â¬Å"No no of course notÃ¢â¬ . The audience sees HowardÃ¢â¬â¢s loss of respect for Willy when Howard declares, Ã¢â¬Å"Barely interestedÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢ve got to see some people, kid.Ã¢â¬ The use of the word Ã¢â¬Å"kidÃ¢â¬ shows the audience Willy has lost any appreciation Howard had for him; he has been reduced to the status of a child. MillerÃ¢â¬â¢s integration of superlatives into LindaÃ¢â¬â¢s dialogue with Willy, Ã¢â¬Å"YouÃ¢â¬â¢re so accommodatingÃ¢â¬ shows the audience that Linda feels the need to constantly reassure Willy. We see