A Story…With A Happy Ending
Once upon a time….two falls ago or so….I was driving in to work when an idea hit me.
A crazy idea.
I shared an office at the time, so I spilled it on my office partner when I got to work. It was to build a children’s book about pharmacy as a senior student project. I opened up by asking her how she explains to her daughter what a pharmacist is, and she said that she really didn’t have any great tools to teach her daughter what mommy did at work all day.
Fast forward to tonight; we launched that cray idea into the world. It’s called Pharmacy and Me. We had most of the 9 authors and illustrators there (all seniors and all from Butler University) to autograph copies of their work. Totally. Sold. Out the first run…a wonderful problem to have!
One of my colleagues while I was on the way to the party asked me when the movie adapted from the book was coming out. We’re still negotiating the movie rights…(and if you’re in film, give me a call. Our people can talk with your people).
I asked the students what they gained from working on this project. Other than it was a LOT more work than they initially realized, and that being published and having their names at amazon.com was pretty cool, they thought one of the toughest challenges was working with others not like them. Working through others, when they could not do the work themselves, and staying on time and task, while being scattered all over the world during the past year.
Earlier in the week, we received the books for the launch party tonight in our office, and a co-worker had her copy on her desk on Tuesday. A couple of pharmacy residents popped in to the space, admired the book, and one remarked that she never got to produce and publish a book when she was in pharmacy school.
Hey, chica, neither. Did. I.
This is the point at my disjointed story where we arrive at my philosophy on teaching, which is this: I feel it is my personal duty and obligation as an educator to get to my students opportunities I never had as a student. That is the energy that pushes me forward–to try new and different things, because new and different is always in style in the working world. Students can witness my own personal dare to take on risk, and potentially failure, and in turn, I hope that it rubs off on them. That is my main secret genius plot with projects I take on related to teaching. This time? I think it may have worked.
As we departed from the autographing soiree this evening, I reminded the pharmacy student authors not to forget Dr. Albert when they became rich and famous! And, who was the last customer of the evening? None other than my former office mate and her daughter and son. Apparently, the daughter required that mom pick the book up TONIGHT.
My former office mate emailed after they got home to tell me that the book was a hit. Her daughter read it twice–in the car on the way home and then again before bed. She apparently asked a lot of good questions about being a pharmacist, and she now has a better understanding of what her mom does at work all day.
I can think of nothing better in teaching than this.