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A Lesson in Medical Humanities

Thank you English 1A Composition students at the College of Alameda for reading and commenting on my blog. It was wonderful to get to know you better through your responses to my posts and our discussions in class. I am looking forward to reading the essays that you wrote in response to a medical humanities topic. And to everyone else reading this post, here’s the assignment fyi:

Directions: Write a personal narrative essay on one of the following topics:

1. What lesson have you learned from a wound or a scar of your own?

2. What has a medical condition that you live with taught you about life?

3. In taking care of someone who was or is ill, what have you learned about yourself?

4. What lesson did you learn from a hospitalization (yours or someone else’s)?

5. What lesson did you learn from a medical procedure performed on you?

6. What health challenge have you overcome?  To what do you attribute your triumph?

7. What has the death of a loved one taught you about yourself and about life?

8. How did an experience with a doctor change your life for better or for worse?

Note: You may include a drawing as part of your essay. If you do, discuss it in the body of the essay.

Recently, a friend asked me to email him the titles of the readings included in the unit that I teach on Medical Humanities. I started to compose it but realized it might be something you all might want to know about, too. Here goes:

1. “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self” by Alice Walker, a beautifully written autobiographical essay about her struggle to accept and love herself in the aftermath of her brother blinding her in one eye as a child when he shot her with a BB gun.

2. My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, a book of profound, personal stories about being a doctor; coping with her own illness, Crohn’s Disease; and healing on all levels.

3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, a book about the joy, love, and peace to be had through living more completely in the present moment.

4. myincision.wordpress.com by me, a blog that chronicles my healing from the negative effects of infant surgery without anesthesia, informs the public about related issues, inspires through words and original artwork, and  creates a community of people interested in transformation.

5. “The Story of Shia” (<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPhIRa-zDmI&feature=related>) narrated by Dr. Wayne Dyer, in which a differently-abled young boy inspires a team of kids playing baseball to be a living example of “God’s perfection”—an expression of our inherent goodness.

6. “Fiesta, 1980” by Junot Diaz, a short story in the book Drown, in which a young boy experiences physical symptoms most likely caused by the emotional distress resulting from family dysfunction.

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