Scrapbooking The Lessons I Learned at Wheelock

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Wheelock College is a one of a kind place that provides opportunities for every student to reach his or her highest potential. My very rough medical history actually paved my path to the caring and empathy-filled careers people typically go into after Wheelock.

Jamie Buchanan's ScrapbookIn fact, my first question for the advising team before immersing myself into college was, “how does someone like me who is unable to retain memories, learn?” I remember Julia Mears (Assistant Director of Academic Assistance) first looked at me puzzled, then assured me: “we can do this.” The Wheelock Office of Disabilities team comes to know you for you and not for your disabilities. Both Julia and Paul Hastings (Associate Dean of Student Success) helped me to excel in extraordinary ways.

Once I had a schedule suited around my likes and dislikes, I began to discover my favorite professors and learned to love topics I had never known anything about. At Wheelock, even if you think you might not like a course, there’s a chance you will come to love it. I was horrified when I first found out that I had to take a course about Grief and Loss because I am afraid of death. However, the course had everything to do with life and living.

Jamie Buchanan's ScrapbookThere are a few professors that completely shaped my learning experience: Amy Philips, Deborah Beck, Paul Thayer, Diane Levin, Maya Honda, Marjorie Hall, Marcia Folsom, and Grace Kim, just to name a few. It’s quite obvious that the faculty is invested and devoted solely to your growth and, if you make the effort, will help you every step of the way so you excel.

I would have to say the best learning experience I ever had was doing an independent study with Marjorie Hall and Amy Phillips. I had become so interested in the topic of visual arts and resilience that these two professors had instructed me to first create a project that illustrated my life (through The 20 Questions of Resilience) and then work hands-on with six children, doing an art project to bolster their resilience, recording their artistic development. Through this experience, I learned more about my family’s history, the levels of art development—very  different from child development levels—and how children deal with adversity.

Jamie Buchanan's ScrapbookWheelock College taught me that you can be anyone that you want to be and that you can make anything out of your learning experiences in order to lead the life you want to live. Amy Phillips’ amazing course Art for Children in addition to Diane Levin’s course on the Meaning and Development of Play have both prepped me for working in a setting with children who have sensory processing disorder by helping the children to create art in a playful manner.

Deborah Beck’s course The Resilient Spirit enabled me to understand my own cancer journey better and further allowed me to create a workbook that can be used as a tool for building confidence in young girls. I have sold 30 copies to date!

What I have learned is that your learning experience is so much larger than the classroom at Wheelock, because you can take the knowledge you’ve gained wherever you decide to go. Wheelock has really taught me, hands-on, that the world is my oyster, and I am ready to inspire a world of good for children and families.

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  1. Dear Jamie, What a wonderful scrapbook entry this is! I am so glad that your Wheelock journey turned out to be so great. Thank you for mentioning me, and I have saved the beautiful letter you wrote to me. Thank you for this wonderful message. Warmly, Marcia

  2. As a fellow scrapbooker, I loved seeing how you documented your time at Wheelock. Thank you so much for sharing! I think it’s wonderful that you were able to create such meaningful relationships with your professors and the staff here. Best of luck in all the amazing things you will do in this world.

  3. Jamie, Thank you for the reflections on your time here. We are proud of you and of what you accomplished at Wheelock. Your scrapbook looks beautiful! (No surprise there.) I look forward to seeing what you will do next!

  4. Jamie, Thank you for writing this essay about your special Wheelock experiences. Your ability to apply what you learned in the play course, as you mention here, continues to amaze me! Everyday, I look at the swing construction you made for the course, that you generously left with me, with appreciation of your unique accomplishments in the course. And I totally agree with Paul Hastings, “I look forward to seeing [and hearing about] what you do next.” Warm best wishes.