Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Distinction You and I Can Always Be Sure Of

Advanced Midwifery Studies was just titled The Midwifery Home Study Course when we started as Apprentice Academics in 1981. We were the very first distance academic program. One of our most important distinctions is the fact that we offered the original course and nothing we offered then, or now, is patterned after anything else. It is as important to me to maintain that distinction as it was in October 1980 when I started working on the curriculum and March 1981 when I started publicizing it. There was no other curriculum to look at then, and I do not look at other curriculums now. In fact have never laid eyes on any midwifery curriculum that has come after ours. I have seen my curriculum with someone else's name on it and my copyright whited out. And I have had people who offer other programs admit to me that they "patterned" their program after ours or that they just condensed what we did. As amazed at I am at the lack of integrity in this matter, I have still never been tempted to look at anyone else's curriculum. I am careful not to compromise my integrity in this area. I will never borrow someone else's hard work intentionally.....NEVER.
When Carolyn Steiger heard I was writing a book for beginning midwives at the same time she was also writing a book on the topic, she made the first call and we became fast friends. Her book was published just before a MANA conference in October. Mine was not published until the next June. I was thrilled that she gave me one of the very first copies but I glanced through it quickly, in her presence, and never opened it again until my book was DONE. In the interim, Carolyn asked many times for me to read her book. She was anxious for my opinion. My response was always that I would read it the night I got back from the printer. She assured me that she trusted me and begged me to read it! As wonderful as knowing how much faith seh had it me, it was not enough to cause me to take that chance. I did not want to ever wonder if I had inadvertently changed something or added something to improve upon what Carolyn had already done. If I deposited my book at the printer before I read her book, I would always know, without a doubt, that I had never leveraged anything from her hard work or claimed something as my own that was really hers. As it turns out, our books were quite different and actually very complementary. We are still very good friends. By the way, Becoming a Midwife has been out of print for some time. You may hear a rumor that she has given her permission for it to be photocopied or reprinted but I assure you that is not the case. Contact me if you know of any copyright abuse concerning Becoming A Midwife.
I will end here, coming round to my original point. We have always been original, and will always be original. If you choose AAMI, you can be sure that you are not getting a reworked version of any other course. That is an important distinction.

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