SJ City College’s Pushy Nurse Ratched

After an absence, I had to take time out to blog once again. The impetus? A local color story by San Jose Mercury News columnist Patty Fisher published on Friday, January 16, Fisher: Student cut through the smoke.

Students returning to San Jose City College for spring classes will notice a couple of changes: cleaner air and a bunch of new “No Smoking” signs.

For those changes, they can thank fellow student Teresa Van Devere, an ex-smoker who got sick of breathing secondhand smoke and pushed the administration to ban all smoking on campus.

Fisher’s article exposes Van Devere’s motivation:

There’s no denying Van Devere is a pushy person.

“I’ve always been a fighter,” she said. “I’m very comfortable being disagreeable.”

Even if she hadn’t been born a fighter, her tough childhood would have strengthened her backbone. Homeless most of her life, in and out of foster care as a teenager, she learned that the only way to get what she needed was to demand it.

So, the premise is that just because a formerly homeless, foster-care raised woman decides she wants what she wants when she wants it, everyone else must comply? Mach snell!

Who is Teresa Van Devere to dictate to me or you how we live our lives?

When her daughter was 4 months old, Van Devere enrolled in a nursing program [emphasis mine] at San Jose City College. Unfortunately, she often found herself engulfed in clouds of smoke.

Even scarier is the idea of the future Ms. Van Devere as Nurse Ratched. San Jose City College is apparently in the business of producing pushy, autocratic nurses whose personal preferences dictate the behavior of their patients and the population in general.

So she sent letters and photos to college officials and, with encouragement from a couple of her professors, took her campaign for a smoke-free campus to the Academic Senate, the Associated Students and eventually to the district’s top brass. Finally the new policy, which goes into effect Jan. 31, was approved.

Students at San Jose City College, please remember to thank Nurse Ratched for the healthy lifestyle she has imposed upon you. Take your meds. Don’t ask questions. Don’t question your masters, the decision makers.

The campus smoking policy is not the only change Van Devere has engineered in the past three years. It all began when she got pregnant at 25. She was homeless, hadn’t finished high school and had a two-pack-a-day habit. She was determined to take charge of her life.

“First thing I did was quit smoking,” she said. “My thinking was that if I was going to keep my child, I had to live right by her and give up habits that were not beneficial to her.”

She moved into a shelter for pregnant women. Counselors there helped her complete her GED and get a driver’s license. When her daughter was 4 months old, Van Devere enrolled in a nursing program at San Jose City College. Unfortunately, she often found herself engulfed in clouds of smoke.

“Everyone would walk outside after class and light up,” she said. “I realized how much the secondhand smoke was affecting me.

What qualifies Van Devere to make your health decisions for you? According to Patty Fisher, Van Devere is qualified because she belongs to two pre-approved liberal victim groups: formerly homeless and single mother. She has lived on the street and in shelters. Therefore, she knows more about life than you, especially if you grew up in an intact home (be it apartment, house, or trailer), stayed in high school (even though you despised it), used birth control or kept your legs closed, graduated, got a job or went to college, and made a career and life for yourself. Now you, who strove to make reasonably intelligent and mature decisions about your life, are to be told how to behave by someone who herself made poor life decisions.

Professors David Yancey and Peter D’Eliscu encouraged her uphill effort to declare the entire campus smoke-free.

“She came into my political science class and was really excited about this,” Yancey told me. “I showed her the political pathway she needed to follow.”

While helping Van Devere work her way through the college bureaucracy, Yancey was impressed with the young woman’s determination and her obvious passion for advocacy.

“She’s a real fireball,” he said. “A lot of people have these ideas, but every now and then you get someone like Teresa who comes along and has the energy and the effort to pull it off.”

This is proof of how low Political Science education has sunk over the years. Political Science no longer seeks to educate students on the history and civics of the United States. Political Science no longer tries to instill in students the nation’s founders’ ideas of freedom and liberty, ideas that drove them to rebel and throw off the rule of the King’s taxes and regulations. Political Science is now focused on training liberal partisan activists, pre-programmed to attain power and force their policies on the rest of the population.

“Hi! I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

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4 Comments

Filed under Assault on Individual Freedom, Author: Patty Fisher, political science, San Jose City College, San Jose Mercury News

4 responses to “SJ City College’s Pushy Nurse Ratched

  1. Thank you for the compliment!!! Sounds like I hit a sore spot… let me know how I can help you overcome your obvious arrogance! It must have taken some time to try and sound witty and insightful!
    May I offer a suggestion? Research facts prior to making comments imbecile!
    Let me know if you need any further comments from the Peanut Gallery, I will be happy to oblige…
    XOXO
    love,
    Nurse Ratched A.K.A Teresa Van Devere

  2. No, you would not have to worry about my ability to be professional; despite your careless tongue and ignorant rants.. I am in the business of caring for people and their health and over all well-being. There is no assault taken on a person’s individual rights. No one has stripped any one from his or her right to smoke.
    Your thought process is thwarted when it comes to “rights” no one has the right to harm another individual and in some cases even themselves.
    Is it really such a negative imposition to suggest that we redirect activities that is proven to be harmful? Tell me, since your so clever in your ideas, what about the people who have allergies to smoke, what about their rights? Should we divide public arenas into lanes for smokers and non-smokers? We all share the air or has someone claimed that as their own personal property? Tell me where is the designated area for people who choose not smoke? Tell me sir, have you taken care of a person who has emphysemas living their life attached to oxygen machine? Do you know what it is to not be able to exhale? Have you stood helpless among a person with asthma, trying to breathe like a fish out of water? Have you seen what its like for child, an infant, using every part of their belly just to try and force air into their tiny lungs – gasping and not even capable of crying? Have you sat day after day trying to manage the pain and provide comfort to a person dying of cancer the pain so intense and the look in their eyes says, “please take my life, end my suffering”. All the while caring for these people – and you see something that would reduce their pain, increase their comfort level and their quality of life. Would you do it? What then, if anything, do you stand for?
    Who is the master, the decisions maker? You? Me? What about the people who lack voice or fear retaliation for standing for what they believe in. No, people don’t question anything anymore. We are so conditioned to “follow” the rules. We are so conditioned with this idea of “that is just the way things are”. Try my perspective… While you hide behind your computer and think of ways to try and sound intelligent, I am in the world trying to make a difference and DESPITE my hardships I still find ways and I make time for others needs, before my own. What do you do? What is it you sacrifice for the better of people?
    In addition, does choosing to work as a teenager make me less credible? Do I also lack credibility for choosing not to abort my child or can only saints and virgins stand up for the good of man and issues they believe in? You, dear sir sounds like an ass! I cannot fully grasp that a person would pay you for what you do. What good are you?
    Sir, if it was not for political science and people standing for individual freedom and rights you would not be in you’re position today to even say such crap! Cherish your right to freedom of speech! Your words make me think you may stand to benefit greatly from a “refresher” course. May I suggest Mr. Yancey?
    Let me tell you my motivation. People like you… lazy, dead weight on society, arrogant, ignorant, all self-righteous and most importantly, ALL TALK!!! It is exhausting trying to get others involved in more then Brittany Spear’s countless emotional breakdowns or Paris Hilton’s new BFF!!!
    There are important issues in the world, but more importantly in our own backyards. Perhaps you might consider, instead of talking or imposing what you think to be thoughtful and witty, actually being a participant in society that is not wasteful and has purpose.
    When you age, when you find yourself in a skilled nursing facility or hospital, do you want the nurse that cares about your health and quality of life? Do you want the nurse that is your voice – THAT HAS A VOICE that cares for you after you suffer stroke or dementia and you lose the ability to speak or you forget to feed your self. What about your rights? What if I did not care about your rights and I saw another person abusing you or taking advantage of you and you could nothing. Would you then want me to speak up? Would I then have credibility to care? Do I qualify to challenge the Nurse that leaves you bedridden, no food, pain medication etc.
    I know everyone has a purpose. But if I had to choose between you or an antagonist, I choose the antagonist – the people that fight for “good” and “justice”.

    The people who are passionate and unfraid to not only talk the talk but walk the walk…. .

    • retractablehornsandtail

      Tell me where is the designated area for people who choose not smoke?

      If you had advocated for designated smoking areas away from doors and high traffic corridors, I would have applauded your efforts. But, the result of your effort was a total ban of smoking on campus. That is an impingement on individual rights.

      Tell me sir, have you taken care of a person who has emphysemas living their life attached to oxygen machine? Do you know what it is to not be able to exhale?

      Yes, in fact, I have cared for someone with emphysema, someone with liver cancer, someone with breast cancer and someone ravaged for years by Parkinson’s Disease. While the emphysema and the liver cancer might be attributable to these individuals’ passion for cigarettes and alcohol, the etiology of breast cancer and Parkinson’s are not readily attributable to any act of man. Should women with certain genes be forbidden to reproduce because they would be sowing the seeds of their daughters’ own destruction? What should we regulate or forbid to prevent the slow and painful decline of a Parkinson’s patient? You cannot control every act of every human on the planet. You cannot control nature. If it would make you feel better about yourself to try, be my guest. But, DO NOT take away my liberty or tell me what I can or cannot do to myself in the pursuit of happiness.

      In addition, does choosing to work as a teenager make me less credible? Do I also lack credibility for choosing not to abort my child or can only saints and virgins stand up for the good of man and issues they believe in?

      Working as a teenager is a noble thing. Nobler still, is choosing to have your baby. A big heart-felt thanks to you for not choosing abortion. But, lots of other people do the same things… without some Old Media columnist lauding them as somehow more heroic for their fate than the rest.

      What do you do? What is it you sacrifice for the better of people?….
      You, dear sir sounds like an ass! I cannot fully grasp that a person would pay you for what you do. What good are you?…. People like you… lazy, dead weight on society, arrogant, ignorant, all self-righteous and most importantly, ALL TALK!!!

      The point is: You don’t know what I do. You don’t who I am. You don’t know anything about me. You don’t even know my gender (how do you know that I’m a Sir and not a Madam?). You just know words in cyberspace. But, if ad hominem venting and hanging me in effigy for your frustrations with our dumbed-down society make you feel better, feel free to exercise your free speech rights at my blog any time.

      What about the people who lack voice or fear retaliation for standing for what they believe in?

      Why do you think I blog anonymously? I cannot speak freely. I work in a profession where any dissent from the party line can be a career-ender, where free speech and freedom of thought are theoretical concepts worthy of academic study but are not to be practiced.

      But if I had to choose between you or an antagonist, I choose the antagonist.

      I’m not an antagonist? Then, how did I get you so riled up?

      We probably have more in common than you realize….

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