Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Dorrin Rosenfeld, July 9, 2021

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:44 - Life before Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: . . . Why did you decide you wanted to join the Peace Corps?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld had completed an undergraduate degree at Amherst College when she applied to the Peace Corps. Since she planned to enroll in medical school, she wanted the opportunity to "serve her country and to see the world" before settling into more strenuous education. Rosenfeld discusses her background and upbringing in a small town in central Pennsylvania.

Keywords: Accepted; Alternative; Amherst College; Applied; Central Pennsylvania; Farming community; Intense; Medical school; No war; Pre-med; Real world; Senior year; Service; Stayed; Study; University

Subjects: Amherst (Mass.); Amherst College; Amish; Christians; Early life; Education; Farmers; High school; Peace Corps (U.S.); Pennsylvania; Rural; United States

GPS: Amherst (MA.)
Map Coordinates: 42.383333, -72.516667
00:02:46 - Application process

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Partial Transcript: So while you were in Amherst--um--finishing college, you applied for the Peace Corps. Did you have any preferences on where you wanted to go?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld explains that since she had not traveled much before applying to the Peace Corps, she was willing to go to any that country that was available to her. Rosenfeld states that she did not have to wait very long for her acceptance letter from Peace Corps.

Keywords: Accepted; Adventure; Application; East Coast; No preference

Subjects: Amherst College; Canada; Parents; Peace Corps (U.S.); Vacations

00:03:32 - Pre-service training

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Partial Transcript: Was there any training in the United States or did you go straight to Belize?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld was trained in country on how to teach chemistry to students. Rosenfeld also needed to adapt to her new environment in order to be successful at her job. The instructional language at her school in Orange Walk was English, owing to the fact that Belize is a former British colony. Many of Rosenfeld's students spoke Spanish at home since immigration from Central and South America to Belize is common. Training consisted of cultural issues and technical issues.

Keywords: Adapt; British colony; Environment

Subjects: Belize; Central America; Chemistry; Culture; Education; English; Immigrants; Learning; Orange Walk District (Belize); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Belize; South America; Spanish; Teaching; Training

GPS: Belize
Map Coordinates: 17.066667, -88.7
GPS: Orange Walk Town (Belize)
Map Coordinates: 18.075, -88.558333
00:07:24 - Housing and class sizes

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Partial Transcript: What was your living like?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld lived with a host family but had separate living accommodations. Rosenfeld's host family made her feel comfortable, talking with her and preparing her meals. Rosenfeld discusses her work at the school. The average class size at her school was around thirty students. When Rosenfeld returned after having been medically evacuated, she had some of her old students once again in her new class.

Keywords: Classes; Comfortable; Evacuated; Host family; Medical evacuation; Return; Talking

Subjects: Children; Classes; Education; Food; Housing; Orange Walk District (Belize); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Belize; Students

GPS: Orange Walk Town (Belize)
Map Coordinates: 18.075, -88.558333
GPS: Belize
Map Coordinates: 17.066667, -88.7
00:08:32 - Accident and treatment

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Partial Transcript: Talk about what happened to you.

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld recounts the accident she had in Belize. Rosenfeld was evacuated to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida and then to a long-term care facility in Boston to be closer to her parents. She was told about the accident, as she did not remember it because she had no short-term memory. Her balance was off so she was "tied to her bed" in the hospital. Evidently, while walking to school, she was hit by a tortilla truck. Rosenfeld was medically evacuated to Miami to treat her injuries. Rosenfeld had to prove to her physicians that she could still handle medical school. Rosenfeld took graduate level courses at Boston College to prove her mind was still capable. Once she was released from the hospital, Rosenfeld returned to her assignment in Belize.

Keywords: Accident; Bed; Bus stop; Chiropractor; Confused; Courses; Damage; Decision; Director; Doctors; Graduate school; Helicopter ride; Hit; Hospital; Injury; Interesting; Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami, Fla.); Long-term facility; Medical school; Mirror; Neuroimaging; Nurse; Passed; Payments; Plans; President; Principal; Psychiatrist; Rare; Released; Return; School; Seniors; Severe brain injury; Skeptical; Squinting; Tied down; Tortilla truck; Unable; Unconscious; Walker; Window

Subjects: Belize; Boston (Mass.); Boston College; Career; Consciousness; Epilepsy; Glasses; High school; Learning; Letters; Living; Massachusetts; Memory; Miami (Fla.); Occupational therapy; Orange Walk District (Belize); Parents; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Belize; Physical therapy; Protection; Recovery; Short-term memory; Snow; Spanish; Speech therapy; Time; Vallejo (Calif.); Vision; Walking; Writing

GPS: Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami, FL.)
Map Coordinates: 25.791525, -80.212575
GPS: Boston (Ma.)
Map Coordinates: 42.358056, -71.063611
00:14:37 - Return to Belize/medical evacuation and rehab

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Partial Transcript: So I got out, they sent me back to Belize. For the first time I realized how damaged I was.

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld discusses her return to Belize. Rosenfeld recounts the struggles she faced once back in country. Rosenfeld describes how a treatment plan by the only chiropractor in Belize helped her to recover from her injury. Rosenfeld reveals that this chiropractor inspired her to enroll in chiropractic school in California. Rosenfeld recalls her experiences with medical evacuation, once while serving in the Peace Corps and another while she lived in California about twenty years after Peace Corps. Rosenfeld states that Peace Corps paid for her medical treatment costs after her accident in Belize. Rosenfeld discusses her difficulties with convincing the federal government to pay her medical expenses. Rosenfeld explains how her injury influenced her to pursue a career as a chiropractor.

Keywords: Accepted; Accident; Action; Adversity; Application; Auto store; Brain Injury Radio; Brain swelling; Bus; Busy; Chiropractor; Confused; Courses; Crawling; Crosswalk; Damage; Decide; Effort; Expensive; Floor; Focus; Football player; Fun; Goals; Grateful; Happy; Helicopter ride; Help; Hit; Host; ICU; Ice cream; Injury; Jackson Memorial Hospital (Miami, Fla.); Later; Long-term care; Lost; Major life event; Medical evacuation; Medication; Moved; Pay; Place; Post office; Private facility; Psychiatrist; Questioning; Records; Recovery; Requirements; Severe brain injury; Stayed; Stop; Store; Talking; Therapy; Tow truck; Unconscious; Wakeup

Subjects: Belize; Belize City (Belize); Boston (Mass.); California; Career; Change; Epilepsy; Federal Employees' Compensation Program (U.S.); Federal government; Health; Hospitals; Learning; Miami (Fla.); Money; Orange Walk District (Belize); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Belize; Pharmacies; Planning; San Ignacio (Belize); Time; Travel; Vallejo (Calif.); Walking; Weather

00:22:04 - Upper-cervical treatment

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Partial Transcript: So, you were in the hospital for a year and a half. And then did you apply to go back in the Peace Corps?

Segment Synopsis: Upon discharge from the hospital, Rosenfeld reapplied to Peace Corps and returned to her school in Belize to complete her service. Until she returned to Belize, Rosenfeld did not realize the extent of her brain damage. Rosenfeld often suffered from brain fog. Her now-husband took her to an upper-cervical chiropractor while they were in chiropractic school, which was life changing for her. Connecting the spinal cord with her brain allowed Rosenfeld to take her life back.

Keywords: Application; Brain fog; Chiropractic school; Discharged; Hospital; Husband; School; Upper-cervical chiropractor

Subjects: Belize; Brain damage; Chiropractors; Orange Walk District (Belize); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Belize; Spinal cord

00:23:58 - Second tour in Belize

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember much about your second tour in--um--in Belize?

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld discovered that some of her old students from her last tour in Belize were now in her new class.. Her family visited and toured Belize and Guatemala. In the future, Rosenfeld would like to return to Belize to thank people for the wonderful experiences that she had. Rosenfeld mentions that driver of the tortilla truck who hit her sent her a letter while she was hospitalized. Rosenfeld did in her words "okay" as a teacher, teaching the students basic science. Rosenfeld helped her students learn by focusing on the task. Rosenfeld states that she is "forever grateful" for Peace Corps for allowing her to complete a second tour.

Keywords: Basic science; Driver; Family; Grateful; Tortilla truck; Visiting

Subjects: Belize; Caye Caulker (Belize : Island); Education; Guatemala; High school; Orange Walk District (Belize); Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Belize; Students; Travel

GPS: Orange Walk Town (Belize)
Map Coordinates: 18.075, -88.558333
00:27:15 - Career as a chiropractor

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Partial Transcript: And then you came back and . . . went straight to chiropractic . . .

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld entered chiropractic school after completing her second tour, which is where she met her husband. Rosenfeld's husband had also suffered a head-injury in his childhood. Rosenfeld and her husband are now specialists in upper-cervical treatment.

Keywords: Chiropractic school; Head-injured; Husband; Upper-cervical specialists

Subjects: Brain; Chiropractors; Education; Health; Medicine; Peace Corps (U.S.)

00:29:05 - Impact of Peace Corps on life

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Partial Transcript: . . . Is there any other part of this story that you wanna tell or . . .

Segment Synopsis: Rosenfeld explains that Peace Corps was responsible for helping her find her path in life. Rosenfeld believes that she may not have found her passion in life if it were not for the Peace Corps. Rosenfeld details the skills and resiliency, and spirit of perseverance that she developed from her Peace Corps service. Rosenfeld often wonders how the lives of her students in Belize turned out.

Keywords: Discovery; Future; Perseverance; Resilient

Subjects: Education; Guidance; Life; Peace Corps (U.S.); Students; Survival