Sunday, March 20, 2011

Someone else's hero

Penn Presbyterian is a teaching hospital, which means that on weekends, nursing students from area schools get to practice what they learn in the classroom.  I had one student nurse on Saturday and a team of two on Sunday.  They all made me smile. 

It turned out that I had a personal link to their supervisor so I got VIP treatment.  In the seventies and eighties, my Mom had gone to college and taught as school librarian/media specialist at a rural school in  a farming community in Cumberland County NJ that had may be 100 books when she started.  She established the library as a real part  of curriculum for that elementary school and brought in computers (the first were Commodore 64s).  An addition was added to the school and it included a dedicated library where each class had some time each week with my Mom, who supplemented their course work or added books that answered their questions.  The nursing student's supervisor was one of those students - now with a PhD and lots of responsibility for a nursing educational program.  And, he credits my Mom with (direct quote) "making me what I am today" by opening his mind to broader ideas and possibilities than following the expected career of becoming a farmer, to which he is totally unsuited.  It would have been a waste of an inquiring, caring mind.

So, it was a week of identifying heroes (more properly heroines) with my son writing a  sweet tribute about me and my encountering someone whose life had been deeply touched and improved through my Mother's dedication to being a librarian who made a real difference that ripples still through many others' lives.

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