In college, I made extra income tutoring. I was really good at it; I could look at a student’s face and see if they “got” it or not and approach it from a different direction or use a metaphor to help them see.
In graduate school, I began teaching classes. And this was a whole other ball game as there were scores of people with different levels of confusion or comprehension on their face.
If I teach those whose brains are most suited to chemistry, I’ll leave the rest of the class behind. If I teach those who are most confused, I’ll bore the others. I settled on aiming at the middle, in hopes of not frustrating the ones who got it easily too much while offering copious office hours and review sessions for those struggling.
Making videos for YouTube is a whole other world. I don’t get to see anyone’s faces! I’ve no idea if I’m explaining well enough or oversimplifying. And it’s tricky because I really do want to reach *all* diabetics with the news about how to reverse it.
And it’s a heck of a lot more important than introducing someone to the periodic chart or explaining what a mole is.
Besides wanting to reach diabetics of all educational levels, there’s also people’s emotional reactions to diabetes, which vary wildly. For some, a diagnosis is shocking and the impetus for immediate change. For others, it’s just not a big deal, diabetes is so widespread, it’s just another Thursday or whatever.
And some are like me, sick for many decades trying to take care of themselves as best they can, yet gradually deteriorating until they’re so disabled and in so much pain that the fact that diabetes is going to kill them begins to be a welcome thought.
Of course, I want to reach *those* people, to offer them hope and a way back to life. But honestly, I’d much rather reach people before that, before they’ve been trapped for years in despair of ever feeling better again.
My quandary is that I have no idea how. When I think of myself back in graduate school, very much a know-it-all, in the research library looking for answers to this brand new diagnosis, would I have listened to me?
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