In class Wednesday, MK Czerwiec shared with us her story: how she came to be a nurse, a visual artist, and a writer. She went on to introduce us to her new book, Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, that will be released on March 15, by Penn State University Press.
It was necessary, in order to understand the significance of her book, for us to spend time learning about the AIDS epidemic. MK Czerwiec spoke about the science of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the disease called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) sharing her expertise as a nurse. She also talked about the book wearing her hat as an artist and writer. Together, MK and I explained the history of the epidemic to help shed light on why it took so many years for the US government to provide funding for research to stop the spread of the epidemic.
Here are some questions you may want to consider for this post. (As always, you are welcome to pose your own questions, and arrive at answers to those.)
What story or anecdote did you hear in any part of the class, (from any source), that had a big impact on you? What made the story impactful? How did it change your understanding of HIV/AIDS and how it has impacted people’s lives?
What about the history of the 1980’s in this country surprised you? Have you looked further into this, either by doing research or by talking with someone who remembers that time period. Explain.
Do you think what happened in the 1980’s (that is to say, an epidemic or other health crisis that political leaders intentionally ignored), could happen again in the US?
Discuss how religion played a role in this crisis and how religion impacts policy-making today in the US.
The importance of narrative (of telling a story using art forms) was again an important topic in this class. What makes this sequential art form unique?
MK Czerwiec talked about human identity, and how all of us at one time or another need help, and are likely to become a patient. Discuss this from your personal point of view. In doing so, make a connection to something that our guest talked about.
If you do a good job answering one of the above questions, we would also like to know what qualities you found inspiring about MK Czerwic’s work.
MK Czerwiec website: www.comicnurse.com
If you would like to know more about any aspect of HIV/AIDS, here is an unusually good source: http://www.avert.org/professionals/history-hiv-aids/overview
This post opened on Thursday night at 9 pm. Because it went up late, it will remain open until Monday morning at 10 am. Please remember to NOT repeat or paste in the questions. Just type in the # before you begin to place your writing.