Month: April 2017

#UDtravelingscarf2017

Editor’s note: This March, scarves are connecting about 100 University of Dayton women across campus. Each woman will spend a day with the scarf before meeting  another woman and sharing the scarf with her. After this exchange, each woman will reflect on her experience with with the scarf. This post is the eleventh of the series.

scarves

I donned the scarf on the very last day of its travels. It was a Thursday, one of two days per week that I accompany students to Nova Behavioral Health for music therapy sessions with women who are addicted to heroin. When the women entered the treatment room, a few of them complimented me on the scarf. I was tempted to reveal its significance, but I did not want to pull the focus away from the two students who were leading the session.

After a musical check-in, the students introduced song discussion. We listened together to a recording of “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker, and the Nova residents talked about how the lyrics and musical accompaniment conjured their own life stories. We have engaged in song discussion many times at Nova. Yet, on this Thursday, there was something qualitatively distinctive about the women’s involvement. They were more forthcoming, more genuine, and more supportive of one another. They dove without hesitation into a sea of difficult emotions—feelings of shame, guilt, and anger related to their addictions. The anger was directed inwardly (as it often is), but on this particular day, it was also directed outwardly in a healthy way. For the first time in my recollection, these addicts spoke about being victims of a broken system—a system in which pharmaceutical companies, doctors, nurses, and even family members and friends endorse the use of prescription opiates to combat physical and psychological pain. Four of the eight women in the session stated their belief that their legal use of opiates had led directly to their intravenous use of heroin. Sadly, recent research supports their claims.

I am not one to give in to superstition— in fact, I embrace Humanism and rally vehemently against super naturalism— but I will admit to having had a fleeting thought that perhaps the scarf had accumulated a certain kind of energy from “the sisterhood,” which lent strength, courage, and wisdom to the air.

– Susan Gardstrom

#UDtravelingscarf2017

Editor’s note: This March, scarves are connecting about 100 University of Dayton women across campus. Each woman will spend a day with the scarf before meeting  another woman and sharing the scarf with her. After this exchange, each woman will reflect on her experience with with the scarf. This post is the tenth of the series.

scarves

My time with the scarf made me aware of my relationships with other women. The lovely young girl who had the scarf before me made a quick exchange and we parted ways. I found myself wanting to know more about her. Wishing we had taken more time to talk about why we had chosen to participate, what we expected, and whether or not her experience had been what she had hoped.  I thought too late about how great it would be to invite all of the incredible women in my life to get together to see the scarf and share the experience with me.

Lamenting the lack of connection, I began to notice the women around me.  Watched them hustling to work and class and home; some carrying bags and packages, others with children in tow.  I thought of the feelings they carried with them: power, enthusiasm, fortitude, passion, willpower, pain, suffering, loneliness, responsibility. Many of them tucking those feelings neatly into their bags to keep them out of the way. Some more visible – as if the feelings were flung over their shoulders like a scarf, visible, perhaps begging notice or perhaps so normal that they simply hang there like part of the daily outfit.  After all, it is nothing new to a woman to carry so much and think so little of it.  Now, I am thinking of it…and of them.

-Meredith L.T. Montgomery

#UDtravelingscarf2017

Editor’s note: This March, scarves are connecting about 100 University of Dayton women across campus. Each woman will spend a day with the scarf before meeting  another woman and sharing the scarf with her. After this exchange, each woman will reflect on her experience with with the scarf. This post is the ninth of the series.

The day I wore the scarf was March 8, which also happened to be International Women’s Day and Day Without Women strike.

KWarrenOn this day, I had two great opportunities. As part of Leadership UD I was afforded the opportunity to listen to Deans Kevin Kelly (School of Education and Health Sciences) and Andy Strauss (School of Law) as they shared thoughts about the role of the Dean and future developments. Being staff, rather than faculty, this experience allowed me to better understand operations of academia and the pressures that are present for the deans.

Later in the evening, I met with the students I will be travelling with to Zambia this summer as part of UD’s Center for Social Concern. We had the chance to talk with participants who went on the trip last year. It was great to share that fellowship and know that we will have a further connection with them once we complete our trip to Zambia.

In the course we are taking to ready the students for such an immersion, we have talked about cultural difference, white privilege and white savior complex. It is powerful information and so very humbling.

While wearing the scarf, I could not help but wonder what the scarf had seen with the other women who wore it prior to me. I smelled the scarf and took in all the fragrances. I felt the texture of the scarf and wondered if the people before me had done the same. I took in the beautiful pattern and colors. The scarf is so beautiful in fact, five people complimented me.

While wearing the scarf, I was very cognizant of what being a woman means. Women bring so much to the workplace, to our families and to the community. Women have a huge impact– how we support each other and build each other up in my department of athletics. It is important for us to have representation at all levels of our life, whether it be in our work, government or home.

When I made my first exchange, I got to meet with Yvonne Sun, a professor in Biology. It was so refreshing to have a conversation with her and learn about an area in which I was not that familiar.

-Krystal Warren

#UDtravelingscarf2017

Editor’s note: This March, scarves are connecting about 100 University of Dayton women across campus. Each woman will spend a day with the scarf before meeting  another woman and sharing the scarf with her. After this exchange, each woman will reflect on her experience with with the scarf. This post is the eighth of the series.

scarvesAs a nurse I have the privilege of being inspired every day, every single day, as I watch the healing unfold within the four walls of my exercise room. As nurses, we celebrate the triumphs and victories, like the last day of chemo or the return to exercise after surgery. We fiercely rally during the really tough moments, all while moving our bodies and connecting mind, body and soul. I am beyond grateful. My patients have allowed me into their lives and have forever changed mine.

On the day I wore my scarf, I saw a visibly shaken man in the hallway of our hospital. He was wet and lost because he had just dropped off his wife at the door for a breast biopsy after a long drive. I introduced myself and asked if it would be alright for me to walk him to the right location. He agreed.

As we walked, he shared her name and that they have been happily married for 32 years. I could see his tension and fear melting a bit as we reached our location and I assured him that his ‘newlywed’ was in good hands. I never had a chance to meet her and I have no idea the outcome of her biopsy, but my thoughts and heart went to them often throughout that 12 hour shift. I thought of the beautiful scarf I was wearing – the women who have come before and the women to come after – transferring all positivity, peace, and strength to that couple as they travel on their journey. It is amazing to me what the power of unity, grace, and love can accomplish. As a daughter, wife, mother, teacher and nurse I celebrate and rejoice in one of my favorite quotes: Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them.

-Christine Broomhall

#UDtravelingscarf2017

Editor’s note: This March, scarves are connecting about 100 University of Dayton women across campus. Each woman will spend a day with the scarf before meeting  another woman and sharing the scarf with her. After this exchange, each woman will reflect on her experience with with the scarf. This post is the seventh of the series.

scarves

I love how the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf provides an opportunity to make new connections to great women on campus. Working evenings at the library as I complete my Ph.D. coursework leaves little time to meet new colleagues. When I met up with Suzanne to obtain the scarf from her, we realized quickly that we actually knew each other already from a Pilates class we are both taking this semester. We discovered shared interests in international travel and culture, which led to talking about an upcoming intercultural event. We also shared a mutual love for our fur babies, which led to talking the opening of a cat café where patrons can mingle with rescue cats while enjoying their favorite latte.  We learned we live in the same neighborhood, which led to discussing our upcoming summer porch parties and holiday festivities. Our conversation was a fun break from the daily grind.

The next day, I put on my best red dress and boots (I was wearing the scarf on International Women’s Day after all) along with the scarf and my favorite Italian leather jacket.  As I was walking to work, I was surprised to see Suzanne. Our paths crossed as I was heading off to work and she was heading home.  I was struck in that moment at how the scarf had made someone who could have easily remained invisible visible to me. I wondered how many times I may have already walked by Suzanne on my way to work and how many more we would have passed in silence had we not participated in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf.  Although we were connected in so many ways, it took the exchanging of the scarf to bring these connections to our attention. Suzanne and I may have met for the first time at the Hangar, but we were never truly strangers as our meeting clearly demonstrated.

-Rachel Barnett