Talks on Talks on Talks
One of the best things about going to Vanderbilt is the abundance of talks and panels that are happening on campus every day on an endless lists of topics. There is always a lecture to be attended if you just look for it. Yesterday, I tagged along with my friend Shilpa to a panel put on by the Vanderbilt medical school’s chapter of Best Buddies. They’re celebrating Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Week with a variety of events this week, and we went to the panel on healthcare for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Shilpa has been involved in Vanderbilt’s Best Buddies chapter for a while now, and next year when she attends med school at Vanderbilt, she plans on getting involved with the medical school’s chapter. I took a class on developmental disabilities with Shilpa last semester just because I thought it sounded interesting, and Shilpa does a lot of volunteer work with that population. It was a really interesting class that raised a lot of important points about healthcare and life in general for people with disabilities. While I don’t plan on doing anything with what I learned in the class in a professional sense, I did develop an interest in learning more about individuals with disabilities, so I was pretty excited to go to the panel.
The panel was held in the medical school, and we just walked right in, grabbed some pizza and a seat, and proceeded to sit there, totally engrossed in what the panelists were discussing, for a solid hour. The best thing about all of these talks on campus is that they are open to everyone–from undergraduates to professors to graduate students to everyone in between. No one stared at us because we didn’t belong (even though I was not looking my best, let me tell you) and just seemed really glad that we were there. I’ve had this experience with many lectures I have attended–professors and other adults on campus are just really excited to see undergraduate students attending things just to learn for the sake of learning.