Memories of Awe Episode 8

Liz had begun to see awe in her everyday life as suggested by Professor McKown. She found it surprising by how much more attentive she had become. The awe experiences helped her appreciate the wonders of life. She just wished that others could open themselves up to awe.

LJ: I’m excited to hear about your next memory of awe.

KMcK:  Isn’t it a wonderful day, weather wise? When I came to my office today I recalled another really nice day. Shorts had replaced pants as the uniform of the day. When I entered class, I shocked by the sight of Ashley. Her legs were nothing more than sticks and her skin tone was orange. Something had to be terribly wrong with her!

LJ: I’ve had a friend like that. She had an eating disorder. Was that the case with Ashley?

KMcK: I wasn’t sure. Ashley was very outgoing and cheerful. I never had any clue that something was going wrong with her.

LJ: What did you do?

KMcK:  As I taught class, I kept trying to recall what I was allowed and not allowed to do in a case like this. I couldn’t recall the many training sessions and policy memos. What I decided to do was to ask Ashley to see me after class.

When we were in my office, I told Ashley I wanted to call her mother. She consented. After a brief phone conversation with her mother, we immediately left for the hospital. After just a quick look at Ashley, the doctors began treatment immediately.

LJI hope you didn’t get in trouble. What is the rest of the story?

KMcK:  I got a letter from her mother several weeks later. After Ashley was stabilized, she entered a rehab center. Her mother said that if I hadn’t intervened Ashley might have died.

I’m sure I violated a number of University policies in my handling of Ashley situation by commenting on her appearance. But one thing I do know is that saving a life is more important than an administrative policy.

LJDid Ashley get better?

KMcK:  She did. When she returned she looked great. Her personality was still the same, but she no longer let others judge her. She has a healthcare career and volunteers at a rehab center, working with young girls who are going through what she has gone through.

LJ: Now every nice day you have another memory of awe. I want to ask you something. When we first met, you said you wanted these stories to focus on your students. I totally understand that now, but you have played a role in all of these memories of awe. Could we spend one session exploring what you see as your role?

KMcK: I’ll do that as long as the focus remains on the students.

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“I called him compliance challenged.” – (A former Dean of Professor McKown’s college)

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