Trax and Temple

traxI had another wonderful encounter on the train (we call it the TRAX) yesterday coming home from campus. I happened to sit by a nursing student. I taught her in Health Promotion a couple of semesters ago. She told me about how overwhelming the summer schedule is for her. Sixteen credit hours, 5 classes and tons of homework. She has 3 children and her husband is out of town. It struck me how much we all don’t know about each other. Currently I teach 8 clinical students who I see twice a week. I’m in the dark about what they do when they are not in my class. I give them assignments and assume they have plenty of time to complete them. But they are getting assignments in other classes too and they are very busy. College can be so stressful. I imagine students don’t know what I’m up to when not in class with them. My point here is… hmmm…we just can’t judge each other. We don’t know each others’ “whole story.” Our perspective is narrow and limited. We have windows of opportunity to love and respect each other and we should take advantage of that, and release judgment. We can learn so much from each other.
temple grandinThis morning after tai chi I was tired and watched a movie, Temple Grandin. It was no coincidence that it was about how a woman with autism perceived the world, and how we really cannot judge someone with a disability – they see the world differently. They are different, not less. We all have unique ways of being in the world. We should honor and encourage each other. I cried watching it because it allowed me to remember that although my daughter has a mental illness, she is different, not less. We are all doing our best with what we’ve been given.
Anyway, it’s interesting how my experience on a train and then watching a movie can be connected and promote my learning. I can learn so much if only I pay attention.

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