The Write on Fight on Monthly Project 

An Introduction:

In my 15 years of teaching high school English I have charged my students with a lot of writing assignments: analytical five-paragraph essays, personal narratives, fictional short stories, original poems, research projects.

Now I’m flipping the script.

For the next six months I’m assigning myself a different monthly writing project.

The project works like this — each month I will choose one topic, learn as much as I can on the topic and present my education in a series of posts.

My reasoning — These are unprecedented times. We are living in the most knowledgeable time in human history. Our technology has graciously provided us access to every fact and definition that has ever existed.

We have smart phone, smart home, smart cars and yet our “knowledge” is often shallow — we know a little bit about a lot of things.

I’ve been equally seduced by modernity.

I’m guilty of googling, reading the top article, passing off my “knowledge” and feeling smart.

I’m tired of surface learning.

I want to test myself. I want to see if I have the discipline to spend an entire month intellectually focused on one subject.

So my six month goal is to genuinely learn as much as I can about six different subjects.

Here are the first three month-long projects:

The January Project: Chronic Illness

The February Project: Romantic Love

The March Project: Parental Love

Since reciprocity pumps the heart of education, I hope we will both find these projects interesting, engaging and applicable. I hope my education will spark your own curiosity.

Be well,

Jay

The January Project: Chronic Illness

Preface:

According to the National Council of Health 50% of all Americans have at least one chronic illness. That’s about 161 million Americans. That’s about 20 million more then the entire population of Russia. 

100 million Americans have two chronic illnesses.

30 million are living with 5 or more chronic illnesses.

What is a chronic illness?

According to the by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, a chronic illness is defined as a:

  1. A chronic illness is one lasting 3 months or more.
  2. Chronic illness generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear
Image 1: Data courtesy of the U.S. National of Health Statistics

Why am I interested in chronic illness?

Because I have two.

I was diagnosed with cerebellar atrophy in 2013. And then sarcoidosis in 2015.

Because in 2018, millions of people will be diagnosed with a chronic illness. And millions of people will be as confused and frustrated and ashamed and scared as I was, and on some days still am.

Because the goal of The January Project: Chronic Illness  is to deepen my understanding of chronic illnesses so that my understanding may offer comfort and clarity to anyone afflicted with a chronic illness or to those who know someone struggling with a chronic illness.

And because reciprocity pumps the heart of education.

January 5th- Post #1 :  Overcoming the stigma and shame of chronic illness

Image 2: Data courtesy of The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *