Difficult conversations

Traveling chalkboard at Wright State inspires reflection and discussions about dying

For the past several weeks, a large interactive exhibit has rolled around Wright State University’s Dayton Campus, making several stops in the Student Union and the new lounge in Allyn Hall. The large four-sided chalkboard on wheels encouraged students to answer the question: What do you want to do before you die?

The idea for the exercise came from a TED Talk for students in Communicating through Chronic Illness and End of Life, a special topic in communication course at Wright State.

Marie Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, said the project is a great way to discuss end-of-life care with her students.

“The course is an opportunity for us to explore the difficult conversation in and of itself about death and dying,” said Thompson.

“Before I die, I would like to be a good mom,’” said Cora Grant, a senior social work major who is pregnant. “I want to be a good mom and a good partner for somebody so that’s what I wrote.”

This was the third year Thompson’s class has organized the traveling wall on campus. Thompson says the response has been overwhelming and she plans to continue teaching this course and expanding the conversation.

Comments are closed.