In order to meet an exam accommodations for a special needs student, I had to provide a soft copy of a course exam on a USB flash key. The student would view the exam on the laptop and magnify the image. No problem. However, this required me to hunt through a drawer of office supplies in order to see if I brought any flash keys with me when I made the move to Qatar. After searching for several minutes, I uncovered a mini flash key in a tangle of rubber bands. (I don’t know why I brought rubber bands with me from the US.)
As I plugged the flash key into my laptop, I became curious about the files stored on the device. What would be the contents of this electronic time capsule? Turns out, there was a student-created video on the key (which I didn’t watch because it was laggy) and the PDFs to the Wellness Projects and pages for Wellness Journal. Both were materials that I created at my first university employer in order to support the university initiative of the Wellness Wheel.
Funny that these materials have found their way back into my life as I have recently self-diagnosed myself with a case of low-grade depression after dealing with the pandemic, social-distancing, and rounds lockdown for the past year.
I remember in the early days of my adjunct teaching career being quite the go-getter. I would leap upon any university opportunity that came near me. Even though by training I was a Lang and Lit or TESOL instructor (I have a dual Master’s Degree), I liked the challenge of developing teaching or program materials for different instructional contexts. So, the idea of the Wellness Wheel and the theme of holistic wellness fascinated me. What crazy classroom material could I develop? Turns out, I believe I developed some very sensible materials for a freshmen orientation course.
The Wellness Projects are a list of projects that a freshmen student could select from in order to improve a facet of their wellness: intellectual, spiritual, emotional, environmental, social, occupational, or physical. The projects simply requires students to complete a task and write a short reflection paragraph. Pretty basic, but I think there is an elegance to each of the projects.
The Wellness Journals require students to complete a week of entries about a wellness area of their choosing. The journals require a bit more investment on the part of the student, but this additional routine of mindfulness integrates the area of wellness into the students life. Wellness journaling seems the sensible next step after completing a small project.
Sometimes my teaching whims and material experiments, don’t age well. However, I am still quite pleased and proud of the concept and layout of the Wellness Projects and Journals. Recently, I have been experimenting with self-publishing books, so I might consider creating a print copy of the journal entries. Who knows? Still, it was nice to have something gratifying glint through the dull haze of this past year.
Feel free to test out the projects or journals if you feel inclined. Enjoy!