(Karolyn is posting this entry on behalf of the author Hridaya, keeponbreathing)
So Monday I went back in to the class where I’d attempted to teach using the strategy of insistence last week and called myself out in front of my students. I reflected aloud about the very thing I wrote about above and then said what I felt I really wanted to share, which was how I got so insistent in the first place. I shared a bit of my personal journey and some of the residents I worked with during my AmeriCorps time who died because of poor health care and inadequate resources. And a funny thing happened… they started to share their stories of cultural difference and inequity in a spontaneous and beautiful way where one built off of the next and the very student who said she felt marginalized last class was active and vocal and it was so touching. The energy completely shifted. I couldn’t have scripted a better experience. Students stopped me after class to thank me for being real and one wrote me the following “Thank you for sharing your story and experiences in our most recent class. It is a very powerful experience to hear a professor share his or her own stories outside of the more typical and rigid academic format. I was particularly affected by your ability to say ‘and that wasn’t what I wanted to say. What I really wanted to say was…’ Thanks.” I’m feeling like my courage invited their courage and my genuineness invited their genuineness. Wow. What a journey!