The Violin

Photo by D K Bear of Denmark

I am the internship coordinator for the undergraduate “Child and Family Services” majors in our department.  Every semester, the student interns enrolled in my course submit journals, time logs and assignments.  They also respond to a discussion question I post every week in our online classroom.  One week, I posted this prompt:

“You are currently utilizing knowledge from your studies, information you learned while being trained for that position and your own set of skills and personality.  You collected these “unique” skills along life as you grew to this particular point.  Write about one special skill you have unique to you, that helps you find creative ways to do your job.”

A student who was serving her internship at Judith Karmen Hospice wrote this:

“I make weekly visits to an older gentleman who is dying. He has no family in the area, and most of his friends are already dead.  He’s in lot of pain.  One day, I walked into his house and heard him listening to classical music on a small radio.  It happened to be a violin solo that I knew.  I’ve been playing the violin since I was five.  So the next week, I brought my violin with me and asked him if he would like me to play.  He nodded, and I played for him.  I played every week for the next five.  I played him right up to death’s door.  My music helped him deal with his pain, and it accompanied him as he died. So, is that what you mean by your question?”

Well, yes.  That’s what I meant.

This is why I teach, and why I think I usually learn more than my students.



3 thoughts on “The Violin”

  1. Hi, Dorothy – it’s true, and something that will probably never show up on an interview…nor on an application form. I loved your posts about “the things your husband does that drive you crazy.” I could have written the driving one, verbatim!

  2. Welcome to NaBlo! (Made it over here from Blogher.)

    Its amazing how the little things, things that are part of our “home life,” things that seem completely unrelated to our professions, turn out to influence everything we do, and who we are. Sometimes, I wish I could keep “life” and “work” compartmentalized, but I think we are who we are, wherever we are.

    (My mother is an investigator for the CFS where I grew up, and seeing her work has made me appreciate the incredible work that the individuals who work in social services do. Your student sounds like someone who will make a real difference in people’s lives.)

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