Tonight I have my last meeting with my first group of students for the UBC Interprofessional Health Mentors Program. When I first began working with them, this day, 14 months in the future, seemed a long way off. It really blew by quickly!
I had the best time working with my students. I believe I learned just as much as they did from our conversations. It was really interesting to share my story about my health journey with people who don't know me and then listen to their observations. It's given me a whole new perspective.
Anyway, back in January, one of the parts of the syllabus we covered was my life story. I didn't think giving an oral history of my life was going to be terribly engaging for them or for me, so I decided to do a trunk show of some of the things that are significant to me. I took my Paralympic Torch, my medal from the Rick Hansen Relay, my Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a whole bunch of my art. My students were very taken with the ROD journals I'd made, so I embarked on a secret project to make one for each of them. They are approximately 4 inches tall x 3 1/4 inches wide. I decided to make the cover sort of like a torn bandage and then added a wool felt red cross to the front cover.
Inside the pages are a collection of various interesting papers and I've added ephemera reflective of their professions-Doctor, Nurse, OT and Dentist. It was fun looking for images and bits of text that were appropriate and I hope they will love the personalization. Since I collect vintage medical ephemera, it wasn't too hard finding things in my collection to use.
Here they are all wrapped and ready for giving tonight. It's going to be weird not seeing them on a monthly basis anymore. I am working with a new group already (there was a 3 month overlap) but I will miss my first group, for sure. I can't wait to watch them unwrap their gifts!
There's a quote by Nelson Henderson, that really sums up what this experience has been like for me:
The true meaning of life is to plant trees
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.