Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Busy Day.

This afternoon I am over in Norwich where I am do a training for the Norwich city social workers, it will be a two hour PowerPoint presentation. Then in the evening I am teaching a class at Albertus Magnus College down in New Haven. The professor turns the class over to me for the evening and I love teaching the class and the best part is not having to grade the papers.

From past classes that I taught the students for him the students wrote in their journals,
When it was announced that we would have a guest speaker for our next class I originally thought nothing of it. I’ve had a good experience with guest speakers in the TCPCG [Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates] program so far and I was excited to hear what the guest lecturer would say. When I walked into class on Wednesday I remember seeing the back of a tall woman standing in front of our class, thinking she was our guest, and proceeded to sit down and open up my computer. About 5 minutes later the guest came forward and she said that we were going to start the lecture. Once the guest lecturer starting talking and I began to look at her a bit more in detail, I realized something very interesting - our guest speaker was a transsexual.

Now being an educated grad student I was fully aware of was exactly a transsexual was and that the transsexual community is growing every day, however, as far as I know, this was my first time meeting one. The weird thing however was that it didn’t seem like I was meeting a transsexual, but rather just another women - a guest lecturer. Once you get past the deep voice and the 6’2” figure, there was nothing weird or different here, just another woman. When the lecture started I was expecting to learn all about life as a transsexual, and while she did touch on this a little, she was focused more on the big picture. The picture being that there are thousands of transsexuals and people dreaming of being a different gender all around us, and often times they either go unnoticed or are looked as weirdly or differently. I think the message she was trying to tell us is that although on the outside we may look a little strange, it is really who they are on the inside that matters.

++++++++++++++

Diana __________’s presentation on the science behind the term “transgender” as well as the transgender community was thought provoking, informative, and interesting. I have many family members who are also members of the LGBT community, so topics such as gender identity have always captivated my attention. I have watched numerous documentaries on individuals who identity as transgender and the science behind this phenomenon. I have also had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of transgender biology, psychology, and culture through my interactions with a myriad of students at Hall High School. It was fascinating to learn that sections of a transgender person’s brain often possess gender characteristics that are different from the individual’s physical gender markers. I was also elated to discover that doctors can halt puberty in a transgender person’s body at a young age and help them experience an easier physical transition to their true gender. Such developments make me hopeful for the future. Ideally, treatments such as these will become more widely available to any transgender person who wishes to transition. However, I think the most important takeaway from Diana’s presentation was that people are just people, even if they were born in the wrong body and feel the need to make a change. Everyone should display empathy and compassion for their fellow human beings.
In the past I have done many panel type classes where we do an introduction about ourselves and then answer questions, I have found it more rewarding to teach the class than panel discussions (the only panels that I am on are at UConn School of Medicine for the 2nd year med students) and I have been moving away from the panels toward teaching the class. On Thursday I am teaching a class at CCSU as a guest lecturer for a social work class.

I did a workshop at the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) conference a couple of years ago and you can see it here.

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