User talk:Crtew/USI professor delivers 'Last Lecture'

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Original notes[edit]

First set[edit]

From: User:JustinRLaw

  • Amie McKibban: 1st prof. to give “One Last Lecture” series at University of Southern Indiana (USI).
  • “What did I want to be my last words to my students?”
  • McKibban won’t be talking about her expertise, academic jargon, classroom lecture, or her cats.
  • Will be talking about how singular actions cannot change the world, nothing goes as planned, and things are never as they seem.

1.Singular actions cannot change the world “On becoming an activist.”

  • Grew up w/four siblings, two parents.
  • She is a triplet, two brothers – not identical.
  • Was known as the one w/the “bleeding heart” (as early as 5).
  • Family vacation to beach, found live starfish  afraid if put back in the ocean the bigger fish would eat it. Took it to her hotel room and made it a bed in the dresser, it died.
  • 1997, younger sister came to see her.
  • Asked her to go for ice cream, told McKibban she was gay.
  • McKibban said, “That’s okay.”
  • Went home and cried for her sister b/c she was afraid for her.
  • Sister moved to Lawrence, Kansas for college and when they visited each other she would tell McKibban stories of how she was treated at college, asking “Why do I have to be gay?”
  • McKibban made the conscious decision to become an ally. People treated McKibban poorly as a result and she fell largely silent when she saw people being mistreated.
  • 2005, moved back to Wichita to finish her Ph.D. at Wichita State University.
  • Today she is an active ally.
  • “Being an ally is a process, I will be rejected…resistance is necessary for change.”

2.Nothing goes as planned  “On becoming a professor.”

  • Often said her brothers got the brains and she got the stuff left over.
  • 1995, McKibban graduated from high school.
  • Went to community college.
  • Went to Wichita State for social work and quickly realized she was too emotional for it.
  • Tutored a girl in Psychology 101, a class she had done very well in and had enjoyed.
  • Decided to be a teacher, secondary education and special education at Emporia State.
  • Invited to go to grad. School at Emporia
  • Taught undergrad classes.
  • Her plan changed (not planned) to become a college professor.
  • She didn’t make it the first time, test scores were too low.
  • Reapplied to schools all over the country but was rejected again.
  • Applied for a one year teaching position at the University of Southern Indiana and got it. Rekindled her desire to be a professor.
  • Applied to grad schools for a third time and was accepted to Texas Tech, but later transferred back to Wichita State to finish.
  • Graduated in 2009.
  • Moved back to USI and has been her since.
  • Obtaining a Ph.D. takes self-discipline, sacrifice and perseverance.
  • Uncertainty and doubt is necessary.
  • “Doing for others will prove to be a life well lived.”

3.Things are never as they seem  “On being a woman.”

  • Three large, “noncancerous” tumors on her uterus.
  • Caused problems, acute bleeding.
  • Dec. 2012, suffered mild anemia, meds worked to help it.
  • Summer 2013, tumors (uterine fibroids) became “painfully large.”
  • Oct. 2013, lost 40% of her blood volume in four days, resulting in blood transfusion.
  • Doctor told McKibban she had two surgery options: hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or myomectomy (removal of tumors). She chose the myomectomy.
  • Between June and December, she was largely by herself recovering. She cried a lot.
  • 2006, double blind study on a medication that could shrink uterine fibroids by 75%.
  • “Methopristone” is the medication, was nicknamed “the abortion pill.”
  • Prolife advocates caused enough of an uproar about its use in the aiding in abortions that studies for its other potential uses were terminated.
  • Vulnerability contains power.
  • “The words and labels we use can have consequences beyond our wildest imagination,” McKibban said.
  • “We have a choice to see them as they are, complicated, and sometimes difficult.”
  • What really defines people goes beyond simple classifications.

Second set[edit]

From: User:Rachristia1 Notes from Last Lecture by Amie McKibban

“I hope this will be a tradition at USI.

“I thought for a long time about what I wanted to make my last lecture about. I didn’t want to talk about anything you could learn in a textbook…I decided I wanted to talk about the experiences and reflections I’ve made during my life.

“I decided to base my lecture on three main points: singular actions cannot change the word, life never goes as you plan, and things are never what they seem.

“One: A singular action cannot change the world.

“I had a completely normal childhood in every aspect…expect that I was a triplet…Growing up, I was known as a softie. I had a bleeding heart. Or as my dad liked to say, I was overly emotional…

“In 1997, I was in college and visiting home over the summer. My younger sister stopped by and asked me if I would take a ride with her to get some ice cream…while we were driving in the car, she suddenly stopped and told me, ‘Amie, I’m gay.’ I remember sitting there and saying, ‘It’s okay.’

“I remember after she dropped me off, I cried. They weren’t tears of happiness. They weren’t tears of anger. They weren’t even tears of sadness. They were tears of fear. Even though I didn’t really know about the gay community, I knew enough about society that I was scared for my sister.

“During college, we would ride home together. And it was on these rides home that she would tell me the stories. Stories about how she was being harassed at her college, being called names, having obscene photos taped to her dorm door.

“She would turn to me and ask me, ‘Why do I have to be gay? Why do they have to treat me like this?’ And I would have to look at her and tell her I didn’t know.

“That’s when I decided to become an ally.

“I remember going with her to a concert later on, and seeing protesters sounding outside. You all know them as the Westburrow Baptist Church. It made me so angry. Even now, just talking about it is making me shake. I wanted to go up to them and scream at them, ‘God doesn’t hate my sister – God hates you!’

“But my sister told me to just ignore them and continue walking. So that’s what we did. We walked on and ignored them.

“Over the next few years, I fell into a kind of passive silence. I would put gay pride stickers on my nametag at conferences, but I wasn’t taking an active role as an ally. I thought maybe if I ignored it, it would go away.

“In 2005, I went back to Wichita State to finish up my Ph.D and it was there that I met an incredible group of people who came to change my mind about everything I thought I knew. They made me realize I needed to become more of an activist than an ally.

“So what have I learned from all this. I’ve learned that being an ally is a process...And that silence is always interpreted as acceptance…Singular actions will not change the world, but I can promise you that they will change someone’s life.

“Two: Nothing in life goes according to plan.”

Here, McKibban talks about being a triplet. She talks about how when she was growing up, her brothers always did better than her in school, and so she never thought she was smart.


“In 1995, I graduated high school. I’m not really sure how, but I graduated. I just blew it off. I didn’t like school and I didn’t want to be there.”

From there, she went to a local community college in her hometown because “it was expected that you went to college, it was in my hometown, and this way, I didn’t have to take the SAT or ACT test.”

She eventually transferred to Wichita State where she decided to major in social work because she thought that would be a good place for her “bleeding heart.” However, she soon learned social work wasn’t for her, because she tended to internalize too much.

A girl came to her one day and asked if Amie could tutor her in psychology, one of the few classes Amie enjoyed.

“It was then that I realized I could make money for teaching people what I already knew – how easy!”

This is when she decided she wanted to be a high school teacher. She transferred to another school and it was here she met two special professors who challenged her in a way no other teachers had. “They didn’t allow me to use the excuse of ‘I’m not smart.’ And my GPA skyrocketed.”

She was soon published in an undergrad journal.

Then she was asked by her professors to go into graduate school. “I had never thought about going into graduate school or getting my masters. It wasn’t part of my original plan of going to high school, going to college, getting married, having children, and then staying at home. But I didn’t want to let me professors, my mentors, down, so I applied and I got in.”

During grad school, she did research in psychology. It was also here that she truly discovered her love of teaching. She also decided she wanted to be a college professor.

She applied to 15 different schools across the country for their Ph.D programs, and wasn’t accepted into any of them. She got a job and applied again. She lost her job. One of her old professors then contacted her and told her there was a one-year teaching position open at USI. She applied and got it, and taught at USI in 2004.

She applied for a third time, and she was accepted at Texas Tech University. She worked on her doctorate there for a while, but due to family circumstances, she decided it would be best to go home. So she applied to Wichita State, which she had turned down not too long ago and attended to get her bachelors. She got in, and finished her doctorate there.

“After that, I applied to 15 different positions. But this was in 2009 and during the recession. So many of the programs I applied to were cut due to a lack of funds. Accept for USI. To be honest, I didn’t want to go there. It wasn’t in my plan.”

But she did, and has been working as a professor at USI since 2009.

“What I learned: it takes self-sacrifice to earn your Ph.D…I learned that standardized tests are just another word for accepted social closed-mindedness. And if you want to make opportunities for others, you have to make them for yourself first.

“Three: Things are never what they seem.”

McKibban found out she had three large growths on her uterine, known as uterine fibers. Many women develop these benign tumors, but they typically don’t develop into anything life threatening. Hers did, however because her uterine was “extraordinary.”

During the summer of 2013, the tumors became painfully large, and her uterine was the size of a five to six month pregnant woman.

In October, she lost 40 percent of her blood volume in four days.

“It became clear surgery was going to be necessary.”

She had the surgery in December, and is currently at 70 percent recovery.

She found out over the summer of 2013 there had been a pill in research that shrank the size of uterine fibers by up to 70 perce.t One of the ingredients it contained was the indrigent to the “abortion pill.” For this reason, pro-life organizations stopped the research in 2006, and made the drug of unavailable.

“So what has this taught me? It shows rhetoric can become so extreme, they end up missing the bigger picture…

“One pill met its demise because the words and labels we use have real consequences…Labels make it easier to categorize the world around us, but in the process can lead to misunderstandings.”

Review of revision 2413815 [Not ready][edit]

Remarks by reviewer[edit]

This reads very strangely. It says her lecture had three parts, and names them, so naturally the reader expects to find thereafter descriptions of these three parts. But what actually occurs thereafter is two medium-sized paragraphs only about the first part, followed by a terse single sentence that one can deduce is about the third part. I say deduce because the reader, having not had a single word about the second part, nor even advance warning that the first part would be covered much more than the other two, likely has to do a double-take to realize that terse sentence that just went by was about the third part. By the premise of the series, the second and third parts were important enough to say if it was her last chance to say something, and yet there's really nothing here to explain why, having said there were three parts and even named them, they'd get this extremely uneven coverage.

This article presents the lecture as newsworthy. I was mildly concerned, when first approaching the article, about the relevance element of newsworthiness, which calls for the focus to be of interest to more than a few hundred people; my plan was to go ahead and source-check it, then revisit relevance at the end of the review. I hoped it would then feel safely relevant because, having read it through, one would see sufficient interest for readers in an account of what the speaker considered worth saying if it were their last chance to speak. This, however, implies that justifying newsworthiness relies on the article as a whole feeling satisfyingly informative; and the unexpectedly uneven coverage interferes with this needed sense of informativeness.

I've not attempted to source-check this; the uneven coverage is very distracting and I'd encourage the reporter(s) to apply some combination of better balance and better explanation/warning of imbalance. --Pi zero (talk) 15:40, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Review of revision 2415715 [Not ready][edit]

Review of revision 2419109 [Not ready][edit]