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  • In the world of sociological training, I have noticed through the years, that students; are afraid to branch out and articulate ideas in the classroom or in their written work. Instead we have the notion that an absolute fact is the way to teach a skill and just leave the student with static information to rely on.

    The late Dr. Robert MacIver (1942) in a book entitled "Social Causation" indicates, that from a statistical number, or fact comes a real reason for that statistic. I was thinking about this because I had a Wayne State University student, and her supervising pharmacist, give a presentation on "Why Medicine Matters" to a number of senior citizens at a senior citizens apartment building.

    The student surprised me becaused she was able to relate real information about the ideas behind taking medication, and what it meant to the seniors in the long run. In a lettter I wrote to her Professor, I indicat that her sense of community, allowed her to look beyond simple facts and give a real life reason for taking your medication at a certain age. I applauded her because it seemmed that she learned compassion, empaty and other skills needed to be a great pharmaceutical professional.

    A product from a community college, she learned the art of turning simple facts ,into a real rationale for living day to day on medicine that controls serious illness. Like Dr. MacIver, her presentation just did not show that the sun comes up and goes down every day. For every fact there is someting behind it. An idea to explore real life reasons as to why the fact was proposed in the first place, so life makes sense after all. Unfortunately many sociology instructors like to teach what a concept is, without the realism behind it. In my courses in community college and elsewhere, I find, that compassion, empathy and understanding, are more importtant then simple recitations of facts.