Thursday, March 22 I handed in my retirement letter. I’ve been teaching almost twenty years in the Peralta Community College District in the San Francisco Bay Area, California; I have been so fortunate and learned so much from my students. They have gone through my various incarnations with me as I have gone through theirs with them. We have learned much from each other.
Reading the Medical Humanities essays that I assigned my English composition class, I am reminded of the traumas so many of us have experienced and the resilience of the human spirit in moving forward. I’m privileged to read these stories of triumph, from a child surviving war to a young woman dealing with the shock of a beloved brother’s sudden death. What my students’ essays over the last two years reveal is that PTSD may be more prevalent in our society than we realize.
When I start to feel sad about the fact that come fall semester, I won’t be reading these types of community college student essays, I am made happy by the thought of the many more people I will encounter and connect with. It’s time to broaden my reach and more deeply devote myself to my message of healing. I am excited about the prospect of teaching a writing as healing class in the Sacramento area, close to where I live, and doing public speaking about PTSD Awareness by sharing my pyloric stenosis story.
I’ll also have more time to devote to my blog. Thank you for hanging in there and moving forward with me as I leap into my future. In less than a month, I’ll be teaching a workshop at The Examined Life Conference at the Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, and on June 27th, National PTSD Awareness Day, I hope to be doing a presentation. Please let me know if you have any ideas for places I might contact.