I’m back to work and my new story is…THAT’S LIFE! Life happens and we have to go with it. Yes, ride the wave, what ever the size, no matter how high!
This beautiful plant was JUST delivered to me from a thoughtful and supportive parent at my school.
Being back at school NEVER felt so good. I have a new title, Coordinator of Media Resources & Research, and some crazy, random thoughts that include: Oh no, I hope no one looks closely at my eyelashes and eyebrows. They’re awfully sparse. Do I have the sick look? Will people treat me differently? When you feel different about yourself, you are in the minority. Which is why I hope we teach our young people how to have compassion for others. Please understand, the students have not seen me since before my surgery or chemotherapy, so I was nervous as to how I looked. I know it sounds trivial but these are real feelings. The short answer of my first days back… the young people (and my colleagues) are very gracious and while they all knew about my summer surgery and chemotherapy, they greeted me like I never left. YES!
Here’s the lead up to the big day:
1st stop: Very early on Friday morning, my family and I dropped my son off at boarding school and stayed the day, helping him set up his dorm room. That was tons of fun.
Over the weekend, the Susan G Komen special that was supposed to air on CBS2 here in NYC, was preempted by the US Open. My journey through breast cancer is now rescheduled for Friday, September 16, at 7:00pm (est). To be honest, I was never comfortable with the segment airing the weekend of 9/11, since the ten year anniversary deserved our full attention. The new day is more appropriate. I actually used the 2010 Susan G Komen Race as an opportunity to launch a discussion and to teach my students how wildly unpredictable life can be from one year to the next. One solution…I had them write time capsule entries predicting how their year will unfold, which we will revisit in June. I also shared with them how last year around this time I was busily preparing for the Komen Race, not knowing that one year later I would be going for treatments of chemotherapy.
Lesson learned: life has unexpected twists and turns.
On Sunday, I caught an adorable young man reading and he happens to be good friends with my daughter, Christina, who had an awesome soccer game on Sunday.
Yesterday was my first full day of teaching my broadcast journalism class. Initially I thought I would be exhausted but in fact I was energized. If you recall, last May I was saying goodbye to my students and colleagues, not knowing if I would be returning to teach in the fall. Now, the fall school year has started and I am back to teaching and LOVING it. I also love my new position as Coordinator of Media Resources & Research.
The lesson I taught was based on a TED video, Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story. I show this video every year because Adichie effectively and eloquently drives home the point that stereotypes are formed when we don’t look beyond ‘one side’ of a story. Needless to say, the students loved it and we had a great discussion afterward.
Based on what you know about the work of journalists, why would it be important for them to watch this video? Why or why not? What happens when we do not listen to multiple stories? Outside of the field of journalism, how can this mindset be of help to us? Closing: I've been wearing scarves all summer to cover my baldness, and in this video, Chimamanda also wears a scarf. But clearly we wear them for different reasons. Discussing culture, illness, style, stereotypes and preconceived notions, just from two people wearing scarves is pretty extraordinary for students to engage in.