In this module, we examine whether it is possible and how it is possible to be more than our illness when we are sick. In other words, when we are ill with a disease it is often the case that being sick and attempting to get better becomes all-encompassing and the focus of our lives. We can be overtaken by illness and forget what we once held as significant to our lives. We become identified as our illness, and this identity zaps us of our energies for meeting other demands of life, including learning from our state of illness to help us grow and mature.
Please watch a film of your choice that deals with illness or disease. Apply the concepts and theories from this class, especially the concepts from this module to your film. Although you can choose one of your own, we recommend that you watch one of the following films from the movie list : The Doctor, The Fault in our Stars, My Life, One True Thing, Me Earl and the Dying Girl, Miss You Already, 50/50. At this time, Wit is free online. This activity aligns with module outcomes 1, 2 and 3.
If you decide to view Wit, please consider the following questions as you write your response:
One of the ironic aspects of Vivian’s story is that her attending physician, Dr. Posner, a young man, was once her student. Vivian’s graduate training, that led to her teaching position, focused on the grammatical details and execution of poetry and literature to the expense of the artistic message – the actual humanity expressed by works of literature. Dr. Posner is fascinated by the disease and treatment of cancer, but knows little about how to give genuine care. Please explain the irony of this situation in more detail and depth: how does his behavior toward her, his patient, reflect Vivian’s attitude toward her students when she was a professor? What didn’t Vivian teach or know that Dr. Posner is missing as her physician? In contrast there is the nurse, Susan Monchan. She didn’t receive an education like Dr. Posner, but what life skills or lessons did she possess that he didn’t?