Friday, August 18, 2006

Language and Trauma, Series 1

Patient #: 4662
Name: Jennifer McPherson
Age: 28
Occupation: full-time community college student

Condition: This was the first question she had answered, after 143 questions were asked while she remained virtually catatonic (i.e., not uttering a single word) for a full three days after she had fallen and tumbled down a staircase in her parent's home. She has since fully recovered, and she has graduated from college with an associate's degree in accounting.

Question: What is the biggest emergency there could be?

Answer: "When cars are so heavy, and they land in cracks, and then it starts to break. And then bam! there's a hole. In my opinion, the biggest emergency is when a car is so heavy it makes a big hole in the road. I have two reasons for thinking that this is the biggest emergency there could be.

"The first reason why I think this is because there shouldn't be a hole in the road. Different cars could fall into it. And the hole is going to be in the shape of a car. And people could get hurt, too. Also, diggers can't go into the hole. I believe the wheels of the digger could only go on each side of the hole, like they're fences.

"The second reason why I think this is the biggest emergency is because they will need to fix the road and repair the pipes. The car might have broken some pipes when he was falling into the hole. In my view, he might have smashed into a pipe with somebody else in the car, and also with somebody in the pipe because someone was fixing the pipe when the car smashed in.

"In conclusion, I think this big emergency is a good thing because then the emergency truck and the ambulence comes to help the people and bring them to the doctor's, because that's what an emergency is!"


apples said...

I'm not even gonna pretend I understood half of this...

flic said...

Saying something is always a good step toward understanding something. So I'm glad you said something.

becky said...

I wonder what was worse for her, her college-life or her home-life?

Canopenner said...

Im guessing she hit her head pretty hard.

Also being a college student I dont think is an occupation.

Is it?

flic said...

Good observation Becky!

Both of Jennifer's lives played a significant role in her collapse because these two aspects of her overall life were not integrated with each other enough -- and because of some specific details from her home life that may be discerned by the observant reader when reading into the details of her verbalized essay.

flic said...

Yes, she did hit her head pretty hard. Hard enough to cause a 2.3mm fissure on the upper left cranium area.

And remember, when you're a college student and you're given forms to fill out that ask you for your occupation, you don't say "unemployed", you say, "student".

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