This is the first post of reflections on the holistic therapies class I took that ended yesterday. I'll try to post several posts, since I know one post can't possibly cover all I need to write about that course. I also didn't take notes, since that was hard to do, so I really want to get these things down now.
One of the most wonderful parts of the course was the environment. The professors were so kind and really wanted to make the course meaningful to everyone. It was a nursing course, but they made the rest of us welcome too.
The students were excellent as well. There was so much knowledge and personal experience. We had several different backgrounds and religions represented. No separation of church and school here; the whole person was respected. My disability wasn't an issue for anyone either, and my perspective was valued. I still feel amazed at the supportive environment in the college I attend, but it was even greater in this course. I didn't get the response of "we're sick of hearing about blindness stuff" ever. If I mentioned something, it was respected, just as other students' experiences with kids, relatives or clients were respected and valued.
I have started to self-disclose my RSD/CRPS to professors now, just so they're aware of why I might look like I'm fatigued or in pain. Some of you may remember my fear of doing that. But in this class, it wasn't a big deal. I only told the professors, and they were great about it. If therapies were particularly promising relating to RSD, they mentioned it to me, without making a big deal of it. When we did healing touch, my leg served as an example of blocked energy (no kidding!). When the class did massage, it was understood that whoever worked with me would stay away from the left foot. And when we did movement stuff like Tai Chi or yoga movements, it wasn't a big deal that I couldn't do some of it.
As far as blindness, my classmates were great about describing films. My professors used me as a demonstration patient so I could learn the techniques before practicing on a partner. And they graded everyone's assignments electronically, so that was no big deal.
The environment was great for more reasons than the disability stuff though. It was great because of the willingness to let studentss be where they were in accepting therapies. The professors were understanding that some of the thereapies we learned about were just too weird for some of us. They didn't push us, but did make the explanations clear and easy to understand.
I wish I could recreate that environment for each of my classes, and even let you all experience this class. Even when I didn't like some assignments (writing goals for myself and creating a therapies provider list for example), I enjoyed the learning that went on.