The Moment I Realized I Had to Give Back by Teaching

The Moment I Realized I Had to Give Back by Teaching

Deborah McPhee (DePaul University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8488-9.ch009
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The author provides insight into surviving a traumatic, life-altering experience and returning to school to finish attaining a degree later in life. Completing the process of gaining a higher education can be more than simply rewarding, for a survivor, for someone older than the average student, or for someone simply searching for their place in life. The journey can help people recover, overcome obstacles and fears, and not only put their lives back together, but improve their quality of life. Finding the right school and a mentoring program, one that helps guide a student through a higher education, can be more than a scholastic achievement; it can be a part of the process of rebuilding a life and moving on. In fact, it can be transforming and inspiring. This chapter examines the process and offers insight and advice on the importance of reaching goals, despite any obstacles.
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This chapter chronicles the life of an adult student who turned the experience of being a victim of a violent crime into a positive driving force that pushed her to educate, help, and mentor women about preventing domestic abuse and sexual assault. In this chapter, the author narrates what happens when a husband hires a contract killer and the victim escapes. She then describes how she turned that horrifying experience into growth. She now uses that growth to teach others struggling with diversity from all walks of life. The frightening fact is, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men, or roughly 20-30% of all adult Americans, will be physically assaulted by an intimate romantic partner in their lifetime (NCADV, 2018). This story is sadly all too common. You will walk through the author’s journey as she moves from victim to survivor to educator in the aftermath of a crime.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Victimhood: Succumbing to the after-effects of a traumatic event.

Competency: Beyond learning or academic testing, the ability to successfully achieve or implement abilities or theories in action.

Mentorship Program: A one on one teaching program where an expert in your field helps to guide you with advice and insight.

Talk Therapy: Any therapy that uses psychology, talking, and no drugs.

Traumatic Event: Any type of damaging, seriously frightening, physically harmful, or life-altering event that has a negative impact.

Transcendence: Becoming a new and better person, incorporating all experiences to learn and become stronger.

Thriving: Getting beyond just surviving, starting to live again.

Silence: Enduring an attack, abuse, or a trauma internally by keeping it to yourself and simply trying to bury it.

Survivorhood: Admitting to yourself you have escaped and endured a traumatic experience.

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