On March 25, 2010, I was privileged to speak in Ms. Marian Greiman's Human Development class at Garner-Hayfield High School. My niece Jordan Blank helped host my time there, as it is a class she is taking. Jordan and I observe in our vlog (which she made before heading to track practice!) how it is possible to be related to someone and still not know things that are important to understanding the dynamics of that person's life.
The students were very attentive and asked thoughtful questions. I hope they now feel more comfortable learning about disabilities that shape the human condition. More than that, I hope they become more willing to meet and interact with people whose bodies happened to have formed differently than theirs.
Highlights of the day in quotes:
"And I learned some new things too."
"It seemed like everyone in class listened the whole time. You held their attention, even some that I know, for them, it isn't always easy to do."
"Thank you for saying what you did about not believing God did this to you. That has made all the difference to me. My brother has cancer, and I've been having a hard time. And you just helped me with that so much. I just want to thank you."
I hope to keep the dialogue going - to keep sharing about things that aren't always easy to talk about. Life gets exponentially easier when you realize you don't have to figure things out on your own.
Thank you, class. Thank you, Mrs. Greiman. Thank you, Jordan! (And, thank you, Krista, for your help too.)