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Learner Making Progress on Memoir Despite Illness

Apr 30, 2022
Baha'i texts on a bookshelf

Course: Writing Biographies and Histories: Recording Stories of People and Places (2021)
Faculty Mentor:
Janet Fleming Rose

Editor’s Note: This was Pauline Vaas’s first Wilmette Institute course. What follows are comments she posted in the Integrative Forum of the course on Writing Biographies and Histories, three months after the course ended.

“I am very grateful to my writing mentor, Ms. Rose, for putting me in touch with another mother of a disabled child, who also published a book about raising a disabled child. The author, who is the mother of a disabled child and a Bahá’í, had her book published by George Ronald Publisher. Although I am far from finished with my writing project, I have managed to write approximately seventy pages in book format.

Having a mentor reading my writing has kept me on track, enabling me to make much more rapid progress than I would have otherwise. Ms. Rose has made some excellent suggestions for the format of the finished book (God willing, I will be able to finish it). It has also helped me learn about the publication process, including helping me find publishers interested in topics related to persons with disabilities, and in writing by disabled persons. I regret that I have not been able to take advantage of all of the materials available for the course, or participate as much as I should have. However, my circumstances have been a little bit unusual, as I am still going through treatment for stage 4 cancer, as is my new friend, the other author I spoke of.”



Pauline Vaas (Seffner, Florida)

I am a retired environmental scientist and mother of a child with severe and profound intellectual disability. I declared my belief in Bahá'u'lláh in 1998, and have been working ever since to grow spiritually to live up to the high standards required for this station.

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