September 12, 2012
Oriental-medicine

Former Student Schools Teacher on Oriental Medicine

Have you ever been so tired of homework and reading and tests that you wished that you could make your teacher suffer just a little? That thought occurred to me as I was stretched out on a table with a former student sticking a number of needles into various parts of my body.

Student Turned Healer

Now this may seem like a scene from a cheesy horror film, but it was in fact nothing of the sort. I could barely feel the needles, and the former student was Deborah Kelley, acupuncturist and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. I was there to see if she could help with my allergies, which have been an intermittent source of annoyance for a number of years.

During the initial consultation I was answering a number of questions about my health, including subjects that I would never discuss with anyone but a health professional. She patiently explained to me some of how traditional Chinese medicine could help me with my allergies and my concerns about diet.

As I looked at this poised, articulate woman who was asking so many questions and taking copious notes, my mind wandered back a few years to a bright young student who used to sit at the front of my class. Instead of a white coat, she used to wear wigs and black outfits, resembling what I might characterize as a Goth if I knew what one was. I remember her being enthusiastic and insightful in her work, and she used to give me a hard time about my coffee addiction.

From Art Student to Oriental Medicine

Deborah became an art student at Front Range and Lydia Brokaw was one of her favorite instructors. She ended up getting her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Metro before pursuing graduate work in Oriental Medicine, as well as certifications in a number of healing therapies such as acupuncture and yoga. She even put her artistic talents to work in illustrating a book and some articles on acupuncture.

Teachers Respecting Students

Now I found myself in her office at Awakening Balance in Arvada, surrounded by soft music and the chirping of birds, seeking help for my allergies. It struck me how important it is to respect my students, not just for the people that they are, but for the people they will become.

Fortunate to be Part of a Student’s Journey

I cannot begin to describe the incredible pride I have in seeing how Deborah turned out. It is my sincere hope that my classes contributed to her success. I think of the contributions that my students will be making in their chosen fields and how fortunate I am to be part of their journeys. And about the assignments, I know they can be annoying and at times torturous, but I really do it for my students’ own good.

It’s for Your My Own Good

As I left Deborah’s office, I was given a complicated food journal to keep meticulously, some slightly unpleasant tasting tea, and instructions not to eat some foods that I really enjoy. Working with those instructions has been annoying, but I know it’s for my own good. I guess Deborah got her revenge for all of those assignments, and for that, I’m very thankful. And the tea doesn’t really taste that bad.

 

About the author:

Mike Coste worked at Front Range Community College for more than 20 years. He taught Philosophy and Humanities, and was especially interested in the use of technology in education. Previously he held a number of administrative positions at the college, including Student Affairs Coordinator, Instructional Dean and Library Director. He also served as the President of Faculty Senate and as a department chair.