Overview of Course
75% of us experience some significant adversity by age 20 such as loss of a parent through death or divorce, bullying, alcoholism or substance abuse in the home, mental illness in a parent or sibling, growing up with domestic violence or neglect, having a parent in jail, or emotional, physical or sexual abuse. In this class, the author of Supernormal takes students into the secret world of “family heroes,” or those to soar to unexpected heights after childhood adversity. Together, we will get to know everyday superheroes, or those who have made a life out of dodging bullets and leaping over buildings even as they hide in plain sight as doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, activists, parents and students. Students will learn how chronic stress can place even the strongest among us at risk for physical and mental health problems in adulthood, and they will find out how and why some individuals fare well. Throughout the course, risk and resilience are viewed as developmental, cumulative variables that come from many sources. Students will be asked to identify supernormals around the globe and to understand their stories in the context of their cultures and in the context of what we have learned.
**Please note that this course contains content relating to trauma and may be upsetting for some; feel free to speak with the instructor about this before or during the course.