Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ground Floor

I was originally scheduled to teach English 101, the first half of the required freshman-composition course, again next fall. Yesterday, though, I got permission to teach 102 -- the second half, emphasizing research -- instead, and to do it as a course in Narrative & Medicine. I'm hoping to attract students planning to go into healthcare, as well as anyone interested in medicine from a layperson's perspective.

I'm really delighted about this. It will give me the chance to teach a lot of texts I've been eager to teach, and will also improve my work schedule considerably. Instead of teaching my writing workshop from 2:30-3:45, followed immediately by 101 from 4:00-5:15 (in a different building!), I'll now be teaching 102 from 5:30-6:45, which will give me a chance to have office hours, catch my breath, and maybe get some work done between the two classes. Yay! My current classes are back to back, and while that's doable -- I've done it before, and will undoubtedly have to do it again -- I prefer to have more space between them if possible.

I woke up at 6:00 this morning and started making notes for the 102 syllabus, which is some kind of record. I think the assignments will be fun; I hope the students agree!

My UNSOM colleague Marin and I are always talking about ways to introduce Narrative Medicine earlier in the curriculum. This is about as early as you can get!


  1. When I was in college, one of the essays we were asked to read was one by Lewis Thomas in the New England Journal of Medicine. I LOVED the essay, and went to the library and searched every NEJM issue for more of his work. I would have loved your class (and still would!)

  2. Anonymous7:13 AM

    Congratulations, Susan! Will you share your reading list when you put it together?



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