With an eye toward their month-long Global Studies trip to Vietnam in the spring, the 8th grade attended a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Stephen Bezruchka on Tuesday. Dr. Bezruchka, a veteran global health advocate and long-time emergency department physician, is now a senior lecturer at the University of Washington and frequent speaker.
Dr. Bezruchka began by discussing health as a concept: What exactly does it mean to be healthy? Students offered opinions and thoughts throughout the talk, as Dr. Bezruchka shifted the discussion from what makes healthy people to what makes healthy countries, comparing the U.S. to other nations around the world, offering some sobering statistics and food for thought, including:
Despite spending more on health care than all of the rest of the world combined, health outcomes in the United States are not at the top of the global list.
Measures of happiness have also declined in the U.S. in the last several decades, for women particularly.
Smoking rates in Japan are currently the world's highest—and yet Japan also has the world's highest life expectancy.
As they continue to prepare for their Vietnam trip, this talk gave the 8th grade new ways to think about the world and consider both the impact of culture and the pitfalls of taking information out of context, offering much to consider.
On Thursday, November 16, Evergreen hosted two visitors from Cambodia. Sarin and Sokhun are administrators at a school near Siem Riep, and they were very interested in seeing schools here, observing American teaching methods, and having the opportunity to interact with students. They visited our kindergarten classes and the BIG Lab during their time at Evergreen. They are in Seattle as guests of Amazing Grace Spiritual Center, which funded and built their school in Cambodia. (Click the headline to see more photos.)