Coming into Story Medicine, I was ecstatic. My advisor had suggested the course after I mentioned my interest in doing a co-op at the Ronald McDonald House. She thought it would be good for me to work with children who are ill in preparation for such a job, and so I could add something relevant to my résumé. I loved the idea, and was excited to take a writing course. I went in with high expectations, and they were all exceeded.
I loved our writing assignments. I loved that we were writing fiction, letting our imaginations run wild. I looked forward to reading Writing Magic each week, and I impressed myself with the short stories I produced. Getting feedback from my classmates on the discussion board was great, since I could hear how they interpreted the story and see what they noticed that maybe I had not intended. Reading my classmates’ stories was an added bonus. We had such creative, phenomenal writers in our class, and I enjoyed reading through the discussion board every other week. Focusing on the 5 Qualities of Good Writing made me very conscious of how and what I was putting on the paper, improving my writing tremendously. However, our time at CHOP was what really made the class incredible.
Thank you to my classmates for writing amazing scripts, forming connections with the patients, and making me excited for group-work.
Before Story Medicine, I had never been to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). After meeting on the first day of class and hearing what we would be doing at the hospital, I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t particularly like performing, so I was skeptical about how much I would enjoy the class. But when we visited CHOP during the second class, all my worries faded away. My first few steps into the hospital told me I was going to love every second of our time there. Obviously, hospitals are not fun places to be, especially for children. Yet, CHOP is not a normal hospital. They seem to do everything that they can to make the children feel comfortable in what would normally be a scary place. The atrium is whimsical and inviting, and something is always happening there, drawing people in. CHOP employees do their jobs with smiles on their faces, ready to help in whatever way possible. And the patients are true superstars; the illnesses that they are dealing with are hard for me to fathom, yet they come down to the lobby with enthusiasm, excited to watch the show and do crafts despite the challenges they are facing.
I fell so in love with CHOP that I applied for a co-op position there, working in the Child Life Department. If I don’t get that position, I plan to try to volunteer there when I am back on campus taking classes next spring. So, as my Story Medicine experience comes to a close, I only have a few more things to say. First, thank you to Nomi for making it all happen, for pushing us to be our best in order to make the children smile. Second, thank you to my classmates for writing amazing scripts, forming connections with the patients, and making me excited for group-work. And, finally, thank you to CHOP, for doing what it does for sick children and for letting us help. I feel truly blessed to have been able to be a part of Story Medicine – Spring ’17.