Saturday, December 15, 2012

Remains of the Day, Selcuk

I walk on dust and ashes
Of men honored long before
I stand on ruptured temple grounds
That were and are no more
I follow shafts of plumbing
Trading trails and haunts of old
Mull on tales of babes, and elders--
Strains on progress--sewered out
Beneath each step on silt-veiled mound
Beneath the loam I tread
Call once-conceited carvers
With a deep and utter dread
“Our kingdoms are no longer
Yours is but a blink
Only that which Christ is shaping
Will never topple nor sink”

The TSI Rap by Jen Hunt

I’ve been writing papers for half of my life
And writing one more would bring me too much strife
So instead of ‘gurgitating another list
Tonight I am adding a rapping twist
Please strap your seat belts, hold the frowns--
Now presenting…Jen’s Assessment Low-Down!
Say you’ve got a client who’s freakin’ out
With lots of fears to iron out
He’s feeling numb, irate and troubled
And the height he jumps when scared has doubled
Maybe he returned from a tour in Iraq
And hasn’t been normal since he came back
You think “What to do! Could it be??
This dude right here has P-T-S-D??”
Well, don’t you spaz or get your Hanes in a dither
You’ve been around the block from there to hither,
So cut your Web-browsing, breathe deep, go over
And git out your handy dandy Psycho-M folder,
Simply pull the sheet ‘bout two thirds through 
Under “P” for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Tests and You.
Cause to figure out if it the diagnostic shoe fits
You might have to call on your CN728 wits.
Now PTSD isn’t so rare
Many sufferers exist out there
Guys or gals, be they black, tan, or white

Are struggling with this invisible plight
Some, though no Bear Grylls, have lived Man vs. Wild--
Others, like, Harry Potter, were harmed as a child--
Some are stuck reenacting the Life of Pi
Repeating, “It’s just this tiger on a raft-- and I!”
It could be from rape, it could be from battery,
It could be from war, quakes, accidents--it don’t matter-y,
Around ten percent of us, before we die
Will eat from this traumatic-pie.
Thank God there’s a measure of this madness
A test quite good (though it may lack rad-ness)
Published in the state of gators and Disney
A John Briere tool called the Trauma Symptom Invent’ry
With a hundred-plus Q’s, 20 minutes from start to finish 
This self-administered ditty won’t strain the skittish
Likert-type scaled (from “never” to “often”),
It covers the six months right up ‘til you saw ‘em
Standardized for folks from 18 to high eighties
Hey, you can use this one ‘til your clients push daisies!
Validity’s fine, with age and gender grading,
Its T-score design provides ample clinical scales for rating.
Let’s see….
There’s a scale for irritation, impaired self-reference, irksome thinking,
Anxious arousal, depression, severe somatic inklings,
Two scales for sex concerns and one for insecure attachment,
A scale for if they want to rip their head and smash it           
(Alternatively, for those who might blush,
There’s a version that simply skips the sex-stuff).    
Basically, the TSI assesses amount and types of distress-
Your client has encountered (whether recent or long-repressed).
The test correlates well with other trauma gauges,
Just be careful when using it for minority races.
Its reliability mean is fine at .86,
But in terms of adding info others don’t, it’s mixed.
It requires a “level B,” but takes just 20 minutes to score, 
‘Course there’s always grading software, if you hate the chore.
The first TSI came out in ’95
But in 2011 the whole thing was revised.
Why with sleeker scales, validity and wider norm samples
Orders might soon pour right up to ol’ Briere’s ankles!
I guess I should have called this rap the “TSI-2”
Though it’s too late now to change it, ‘cause I’m almost through.
But wait! All this can be yours for a low, low $350
Which includes an unlimited use CD-ROM—can you say nifty?
In conclusion, my dear Psychometric lasses-- and lad,
I will stop before this sounds like some “Seen On TV” ad.
Just please know, if one day you should find these facts relevant
I hope it’s not because you were trampled by an elephant.

Written for a presentation for CN728 Psychometrics and Assessment, Lakeland College, (Fall 2012) by Jen Hunt, a.k.a. Sources: R. Piedmont. Test Review: The Trauma Symptom Inventory. Retrieved from and L. Seligman, L. and L. Reichenberg. (2007). Selecting Effective Treatments: A Comprehensive, Systematic Guide to Treating Mental Disorders, 3rd edition, San Francisco, John Wiley & Sons.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Like a fly on a computer screen

by Jen Hunt, from the archives

At birth we arrive in the midst of the scene, like a fly on a computer screen, not knowing how we got there or what went on before. It takes years to uncover the history leading up to our arrival. Like amateur archeologists we dig through layers of silt that go yards, even miles, beneath us, where silt has been accumulating for centuries. We look for bones and pottery shards which verify our independent slant on reality. Sometimes we like what we find. Sometimes we don't. But the digging is imperative.
A grandfather and grandmother, divorced when you were two, will seem to you at first like separate trees planted in different forests in eternity past. But then... a portrait here... a yellowed marriage certificate there... and conceptions shift. Suddenly your eyes move down those separate trees to find (no!) a single burled and knotted trunk. So you discover again or maybe for the first time we are born into a world of aging, hurtful people, who's quarter of phone time is nearly spent who sense they won't be able to say it all before the line dies.
A buttermilk marriage sat souring for thirty-five years before being spit out. Two generations behind me a fortress gate thundered shut while I sat laughing on a pony-ride lap. Silt muffled, then buried, the thunder. I arrived on the site thinking all is well, all is well.
Until I was handed a shovel.

Friday, August 24, 2012

You’re Invited to a “stained patio” jam

We’ve finished our deck; the staining’s done
So what the heck---let’s have some fun!
You’ve endured power washer and sander din
Now it’s time for a toast to the deck nightmare’s “fin’”

snacks, drinks and yard games, music and more
Is our way of hailing the end of that chore.
(If you’re really curious, perhaps we’ll disclose
The spots squirrels chewed in corn-on-cob rows.)
Stop by if you’re able; stay if you can
For our simple and low-pressure “Stained Patio Jam”

Date: TODAY! Friday, August 24th (apologies for the late notice)
Time: 6:27–ish until the bugs get the upper hand
Place: The Hunts’ backyard (duh!)
840 Basel Street

Just bring yourself. No need to RSVP.
Just an informal chance to hang out
before school year craziness begins