Article From The Norwich Times

I am thrilled to share with you an article that ran in the summer issue of the Norwich Times.  Below is an excerpt.

Elder Profile: Susie Hastings
Village Green Publishing, LLC/Norwich Times

Susie Hastings with her dog Bella

“Vibrant. Alert. Fully present. Zingy. These are words that leap to mind when you meet Susie Hastings. Without loud speech or dramatic gestures, she commands attention and interest. And she gives attention and interest to someone speaking to her, that serious attention that makes you feel your words and even your thoughts are being absorbed. How does she do it?

Susie wasn’t always a cheerful center of focus. She does not consider that she was a shy child, but she spent many years being completely unwilling to speak in any kind of public gathering. “The fear of speaking was controlling my life,” she says. “Even at Bible study, I wouldn’t speak aloud, and these were my friends!” The cause of this lockdown was a trauma in high school. Susie had gone to boarding school as a sophomore – “everyone else already knew each other, and I felt like a ship out of water” – and was extremely homesick. In fact, she was the most homesick girl that the assistant headmaster at Northfield School for girls had seen in her 26 years of tenure. Answering a question in class, she gave a wrong answer, and everybody laughed. That the teacher was one of her favorites only heightened her mortification. Though many people have found themselves momentarily discomfited in this way, for Susie the embarrassment made a perfect storm with her loneliness and homesickness that was enough to silence her for the rest of high school.

A similar experience in college reinforced the habit of silence. Susie told her professors that questions made her freeze and go blank. They accommodated her, and her solid written work proved her skills and knowledge so that she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.”


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Susan Hastings


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