Friday, April 15, 2011

The Diversity Conference

I participated in a diversity conference today at LCCC. I had offered my services to Dr. Jameson should she need someone to help represent the mentally ill. Originally the panel was set but at the last minuted (about two weeks ago) someone dropped out. It was a great panel. I was on a panel with a man who had clinical depression, the college counselor and a young lady who had two brothers that were mentally ill. All three of us got a bit teary-eyed at one point or another on different subjects. The people I was honored to sit with were a testament to strength, determination and the will to survive not only physically but mentally and emotionally. I think we helped some people understand that we really aren't very different from "normal" people. We just have a disease to deal with every day.

Before the panel I met a remarkable professor. He is a Professor Emeritus from LCCC and a retired English professor. We talked about the profession and I told him I had aspirations of teaching college English. He told me he had only two pieces of advice: Fall in love with the sound of your voice and read poetry aloud every day; even if it is to yourself.

I also had an incredible hour or so long discussion with a history adjunct. We started out by talking about Virginia Woolf and somehow danced through history, literature, family, mental illness, aspirations, Cedar Crest, LCCC, and back again. Makin' connections. That's what today's agenda seemed to develop into.

There are still many things that I have a lot of trouble with but I think I really like my life right now.

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