Blood Donation as Metaphor

Several years ago I participated in my first Invitational Summer Institute with the Northern Virginia Writing Project. There are many things I still hold on to from that four week experience but the one that struck me yesterday was a model lesson from a high school English teacher. She shared about a unit she does with her students around profiles. They read a bunch of profiles of different people, some famous and some not, published in newspapers or magazines. Then they choose a member of their community, interview them, and write a profile of them. Those profiles are shared at a public event one evening at the end of the unit. It is inspirational and brilliant.

It came to mind yesterday as I was giving blood. I was donating platelets so the process, once the donation actually got started, lasted about an hour. Plenty of time to read and think.

At one point I glanced over at the monitor and noticed my blood type, B+, in the midst of all the information there. I can remember my blood type because I’ve always felt it fits me. Being positive is a goal in my life.

Sitting there, squeezing the little stress ball every few seconds until the monitor told me blood was being returned to my body and I needed to relax for a bit before squeezing again, I thought, “If someone were to write a profile of me they could start it with this.”

I sat there, mentally composing the beginning of that profile. The idea of having B+ blood as a metaphor for my personality and my regular blood donation as a spreading of that positivity to others.

from Howard Lake’s flickr

If you can give blood, please do. There are many reasons people can’t give blood. So if you can, your blood is much needed.


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