Category Archives: Introduction

Who I Am

I identify myself with Polish culture. I was born in America, but I would consider my values to come from more of a Polish background than an American background. My father was born in Poland, and my mother’s parents were born in Poland. My closest community is the group of people that live in my house, the polish community in Worcester, my nursing classmates, and the friends I dance with on the Worcester State dance company, and the catholic community. My culture influences that standards I’ve set for my present day and my future, it influences my thinking and what I expect of myself and of other people. It has influenced by decision to go to college and be a successful woman with a career with the ability to one day support a family. Without my culture, I’m absolutely wouldn’t be who I am today and I wouldn’t approach life and situations in the same way.

The three values I find to be most important are integrity, dedication, and loyalty. These values have been instilled in me from the beginning of my childhood, and I feel that I exemplify these three values well. Honesty is important in building relationships and a reputation for yourself, dedication is necessary to make anything desirable and fruitful a part of your life, and loyalty is what makes any close relationship special. These values were very important and key when it came to my family emigrating from Poland and coming to America and establishing a life here. I also have certain values because of my religion, and the fact that religion and culture are very intertwined in my life and my family makes us a very tight knit group of Polish Roman Catholics with very firm values. Sometimes we seem judgmental, and some of us are, but I recognize that it’s important to accept other cultures and cultural values

My ethical standpoint is parallel to the “Golden Rule”; or treating others how you would like to be treated. It’s important to be mindful of other people and not cause any harm to others, either intentionally or passively. I think it is important to make choices based on what is best for the largest amount of people- while at the same time, its important to watch out for yourself and protect your family and loved ones. It is important to defend justice and protect others when they are not in the position to advocate for themselves. I think there is something to be said about a balanced life- a balance between being selfless and selfish, both caring for others and also putting the your own needs first when its appropriate. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a student nurse is that you need to put yourself in the best possible position to be able to help other people. Its not healthy to be selfless at all times- selfishness is a survival skill. Someone told me “you have to worry about yourself before you can worry about other people”, otherwise, it’ll be fruitless, maybe even self-destructive. I believe an ethical person is level headed and is able to take many standpoints into consideration, finding peace in the way they treat others and themselves.

I chose the bottom three pictures because I am Polish and I am Catholic, and both of those identifiers have played a huge role in shaping my lifestyle. Also, I chose a picture of Pope John Paul the Second because my family really appreciates everything he stood for. Needless to say, we were biased because he was also Polish and Catholic.

PJP2 cross polish eagle



Best Friends

I am a female, and I identify myself as a female. I like being a ‘girl’ and never thought of myself as anything different. My identity is made up by many things: the way I dress, the way I act, and the goals I set for myself. One day I want to be a wife and mother and have a family of my own to take care of. I want to be a nurse to help others and earn a living to support my family. I think my goals do absolutely conform with and follow the ‘ethics of care’ that women are prone to fulfill by their very nature. In caring for my family and caring for others through my career in nursing, I absolute conform to the ethics of care, and I feel content with that.

My best friend is Paulina. Paulina just recently moved to San Francisco and I haven’t seen her since August, but we still find ways of staying close and keeping in touch. I think that me and Paulina have a very special bond that is ways if indescribable. We have been through so much together- I’ve known her since I was 7 years old. We lost touch for about five years when I moved to Long Island and she stayed behind in Brooklyn, but we got in touch through Myspace, back in 2007. Since then, we’ve have each other’s backs and supported one another through some of the worst times in our lives thus far. Her Father committed suicide in 2011, and that was a really hard time for her, and for me, as not only did I loose a close person in my life, but I lost Paulina in a sense that she would never be the same again. It’s difficult to think of our friendship sometimes before 2011, just because that was such a defining moment, we use it as a reference point in time. Sometimes I think maybe I suppress the memories we have together before the suicide so that I can move past that friendship that was taken away from me and maintain a friendship with Paulina in the way she is today. I think the essential elements of a friendship are as follows: honesty, support, and happiness. Paulina is one of the most stubborn people I know, and it drives me mad. She has crazy ideas that in my opinion, are stupid. The thing that makes this okay, is that I tell her. When she told me she wanted to move to San Francisco, the complete other side of the country I told her that it think it’s a ridiculous idea, stupid- for lack of a better word. I concluded by telling her that I support her one way or another, and will be here to welcome her home if and when the time comes. She’s been there since June, and still hasn’t exactly found her nook, but her coming back to New York isn’t something that we talk about. She knows that I don’t like the fact she is out there for many reasons, and I know she doesn’t want to entertain the idea of coming back home. It is understood that we don’t talk about this. However, she knows that if she were to need anything, want to talk about anything, just cry about life, etc- I would be there for her without thinking twice.

I think one of the most important things about friendship is having the ability to be happy for someone else, regardless of your own jealousies, downfalls, and current position in life. I have one friend, Bethany, and she just got a promise ring from her boyfriend. I had been in a terrible relationship for about three years that has left me a little bit bitter about the whole idea of trusting relationships. But this is my friend, and something really exciting is happening for her. Telling her I was happy for her, and sincerely meaning it, was really important- you can’t just harp on your own problems, because if these people are in your life, their problems are also your problems, just as their happiness should also be your happiness.

I think you can have as many best friends as you want. I think it’s a heavy term to just through around, but if you’re truly close with someone, maybe you don’t need to put a ‘best friend’ label on it, and its just an understanding. I don’t think any two friendships are alike, especially ‘best’ friendships. I think every connection you make is special and important, and to compare it to others would just belittle and minimize the potential of the connection between two people.

This is a picture of me and Paulina at the Coast of California


Introduction Part 3

The funny thing about fun is that it’s different for everyone. Some people think video games are fun, other people think reading is fun, and some people just don’t do anything and call it ‘fun’. I don’t feel like I have much time for fun, school pretty much takes over. I go to New York a lot, to visit my friends and family, and I always consider that a fun time. I dance twice a week for a few hours in the dance company at Worcester State, and I am choreographing two dances for the showcase in December. I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my cousins, and watching really good movies- like Oscar winning movies. Just recently I went to go see Captain Phillips with my cousin Julia, I recommend it. I also really appreciate nature. I don’t go camping or hiking or snowboarding or skiing, or anything like that. But the beauty of nature is just so mesmerizing to me. I really enjoy going to the beach and appreciating what God gave us on this earth.

I am a nursing major, and I will be graduating (God willing) with my bachelors degree in the Science of Nursing in May of 2014. I originally had a minor in Spanish, but decided against that. There are many reasons as to why I wanted to be a nurse. One of the main reasons I wanted to be a nurse is because of my grandpa. He was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2008 and spent a while in the hospital. Up until that time I wanted to be a pharmacist or a lawyer and he always told me I was going to be a nurse because they were good people. I laughed it off, saying I’d never be able to take care of someone like that. He passed away in April of 2009. That was my junior year of high school and it was time to start really thinking about my future and colleges. Over the next few months I felt really lost in my life and spent a lot of time praying and asking God for guidance. Before I knew it, I was accepted into the nursing program here at WSU. It wasn’t a definitive moment and it wasn’t a decision I made, I was simply going through the motions. I am so very thankful that I reached out to a higher power because through that and the guidance from my grandpa, I started nursing school. There isn’t a day that goes by that a doubt that I made the right decision (well, the decisions were made for me, rather) and there isn’t a second I toy with switching majors- this was what I was meant to do.

I’ll share another aspect of my life that reinforced my desire to be a nurse. My cousin was pregnant with twin boys and was sent to the hospital because of an incompetent cervix at 24 weeks- she was in danger of going into labor, and for lack of a better phrase, loosing her children. I wasn’t really present for her because I was 18 at the time and she was in New York. The boys ended up being born at 25 weeks and just had their 2nd birthday. The story she tells me always brings me to tears. She talks about when she woke up and she was bleeding, called in the nurse, and was in the OR within a matter of minuets to have these children. She says, “I was so scared- these were my kids, but I knew the nurses were taking care of me, I knew that I was there top priority”. And sometimes when I think about it, it really is so crazy how if something really hits the fan- there is like 30 people in the room waiting to help in any way they can. If there is a code blue or something goes wrong- there are people lining up to save someone’s life. Its really inspiring, and I want to be that strength for someone.

In order for me to attain my goals, I really just have to manage my time and my money. I need money to do everything- go to school, put gad in my car, eat, etc. Time management also plays into this because I have to figure out when I can work, when I can study, when I can spend time with my family. I don’t think that me achieving my goals has a negative impact on anyone directly. I recognize that I don’t spend as much time with my family and friends as I would like to, primarily because of time constraints and because a lot of my family is in New York. While I don’t think I cause anyone pain of suffering, I do recognize that my family does sacrifice in order to pay my tuition so that I can be a nurse and start my career at a young age, and for that I am so thankful because they are not obligated to contribute to my future in that way at all. My family always helps me out by feeding me, throwing me gas money, offering emotional support, etc. My happiness is directly related to the genuine happiness of everyone close to my heart- if they are happy, I can find a way to be happy.

The similarity between all three of our lessons so far, is that they are all based on goodness and happiness, and how one is in relation to the other. Aristotle spoke of virtues, and how to achieve happiness we need to use virtues in moderation. Kant stressed morality and how we should always make the moral decision, no matter what. I specifically remember that Kant did not allow for a gray area- it was black or white, right or wrong. Mills went towards the utilitarian approach and wrote that we much make decisions based on what is right for the greater good of society and that the greater good of society is what is most important. Aristotle focused on virtuous activities and their effect on our happiness, while Mills wrote about the happiness of others and the greater population. Mills wrote about always doing the moral and right thing, regardless of who is affected because it is simply the right thing to do.

I chose the following pictures because dancing and the beach make me happy.

pacific ocean

colorful pointes


I chose the picture of the stethoscope because it is my goal to be a nurse and work for the best interest of my patients in all aspects of life- medical, physical, emotional, and social.

stethoscope heart



kindness assingment 3 lesson 2

Honesty, integrity, dignity, respect, trustworthiness and kindness are the morals I find most important. I think most, if not all of the morals we live by are directly influenced by the people that raised us- for most of us, our parents. My parents were divorced when I was five years old, and separated since I was three. With that being said, I recognize that I’ve been raised by my entire family- aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, neighbors, family friends, all of whom I hold very close to my heart and very thankful that they have been able to make me the person I am today. Of course we can all be challenged by our own morals when exposed to something that may sway us from what we find most important. In this society some of those things may be popularity, money, material objects, etc. However, I feel that when we analyze what would make us most happy in the long run, the ‘little things’ that end up being the ‘big things’ in the end, its easier to stick to our morals and values. When we think about what really makes us happy at the end of it all, its makes sense to make sacrifices to stick to our morals and do the ‘good thing’.

My number one obligation in life is to be a good person, and I’m still trying to explore what that means in depth. What one person may characterize as ‘good’ could be described by another person as foolish or stupid. My duties are to graduate college, find a fulfilling job in nursing, get married, start a family, and spend the rest of my life teaching my children to be good people. A part of me want to save the world- but I’m not sure how that would even be fathomable. Sometimes I think this world could be saved just by doing a little bit of good here and there- spreading this goodness and being kind.

‘Good’ to me is kindness. Good is putting the good of others before the good of yourself (in moderation of course), and being selfless. Good is recognizing that you are a member of something bigger, a human race, and not everything is about you. You are just one in a world of many- and many people doing many good things can make one big difference.

In the last two lessons we touched upon the views of Aristotle and Kant about happiness and principles. I believe that in order to be an all-around sound person, you need to take both of these viewpoints into consideration. We need to use moderation and find balance in our lives in relation to the virtues to find happiness, and we need principles to guide our actions. I believe that both Aristotle and Kant took their viewpoints to the extreme- and neither of these extremes could be reasonably applicable in todays society.

 “Be kind and share your happiness with other people”

Many people say that happiness is contagious. Think about the last time someone greeted you with a smile, wasn’t it almost reflex to smile back? Unless we are innately bitter, it’s hard to ward off someone’s happiness.  Happiness harbors kindness. A bitter person is more than likely less prone to preforming acts of kindness than a happy person. I think that in order to spread goodness and the good feelings among society, we need to share these good things with other people so that the society as a whole can aim towards a movement in which there is widespread respect, acceptance, dignity, and compassion.

Who I Am


My name is Cecilia Natkaniec. I am the daughter or Peter and Joanna, and I a first generation American with a strong family background in Poland. I live in Worcester, but I’m originally from the New York area. I am a nursing student, and hope to find a fulfilling career in helping people and meeting the needs of the population seeking health care. These are all facts about me, things people know about me. All of these facts answer what I am- not really who I am. I’ve spend a lot of time thinking about who I am, and why I’m here, and what the purpose of everything is. Sometimes it sounds depressing, as if I was depressed in asking these questions- “What is the point?”, “Why am I here?”, and “What is my purpose?”- the irony is that I have no depressed feelings when asking myself these things, I just really want to know!

I think qualities are a great way to describe who I am. I would like to consider myself a hard working individual, a type A personality, a ‘go-getter’(however, what other people think of me, I am not so sure).  I value a strong connection with friends and family. I pride myself on being trustworthy, honest, and loyal. I think it’s important to be a reliable individual, and be there for someone when they need you. I consider myself very positive and ‘happy’.

good qualities: positive, happy, giving, caring, loving, on-time, dedicated, loyal

bad qualities: ‘always in a rush’, easily stressed out, worrisome, perhaps a little too concerned with appearances, read too much into things, and I appreciate materialistic things a more than I care to admit

I think sometimes qualities can be good and bad. For example- I’m always concerned about other people. This has to be a good thing right, caring for other people? But what if I am so concerned about other people, that I can’t attend to my own life and my own problems- food for thought, I guess.

My immediate goals are to finish college with a Bachelors Degree in the Science of Nursing, and to be employed as a nurse within the next year. My goals in life are to have a family of my own and take care of the family I have now- my parents, grandparents, cousins, etc. Happiness, to flourish and have maintain a state of well-being is very important to me. The best way I can describe true happiness is “a heart warming feeling”. A pair of shoes, a new iPhone, nor an ice cream cone, can make my heart feel warm. Success, becoming a nurse, and knowing I had finished four years of college without getting eaten alive- that’s going to make me feel accomplished, and that’s heart warming. Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and other milestones with your family- that’s heart warming. Getting married and having a family with the person you love- that is probably going to be the most indescribable feeling in the world. Those things are the only way I can describe ‘happiness’.

“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” – Ayn Rand


The picture directly above shows a very sincere act of kindness, which is a virtue that I think is very important, a virtue that I hope I have. To me, kindness is sharing your happiness with others.

The quote by John Lennon was a fantastic summation of Aristotle’s views on life.