Speaking of getting to my head: I visited Raison, my barber of almost all my years here, who greeted me by name and didn't even ask if my "tail" was to come off... I now have my Guyana haircut. I like it as it is cooler... and drier. Raison added a spritzer of olive oil as he said, "all the cool guys use it." Naturally, I agreed. There are some days that my Canadian length keeps its "just showered" wetness all day... Ugh. [See previous blog.]
|I think it is getting fuller on the top!|
|Mercy Sister Denise is the Director at Wings|
|Sylvia is a Scarborough Volunteer who is working at Wings and St. Ann's; and is miffed because Tony and I took the Mercy Volunteers out to dinner without her and she is a Canadian, eh?|
There were about two dozen there eager, interested and doing their best so that their children will be able to have the better life that so far has escaped them. There were many questions and comments, most of which I could actually understand ..... but providing an expert answer was way more difficult. At best, I gave them some frameworks or tools to make a tiny bit of sense out of their raw thoughts and feelings.
The highlight of the time was in response to a series of questions about the impact of parents' fighting on the development of their children. I am of the opinion that fighting is not either here nor there. If the children can see the parents resolve the argument constructively ..... and we agreed that any use of machetes was not constructive .... it was in fact excellent role modeling for their children's own arguments. They wanted an example so I asked for a volunteer and we would role play a spousal conflict.
I asked my volunteer to think a of a simple and light fight that she and her partner get into. She said, "Sex." and the remainder of the class agreed with a huge roar of laughter. I suggested that a less complicated topic might serve our purposes, but there was no going back. I just wanted to illustrate the benefits of role reversals in understanding the other.So she described her part in the dialogue... and to no one's surprise... she is basically tired, and her partner who has a job but no household responsibilities is ready for a lot more action. She found it hard to be him until I acted the husband's position ..... though I did find it extremely hard to be a crude, horny husband. [I must have nailed it because the room was chattering, "That he!"]
Then I got her to be him and I was the tired wife ..... She got into his head and without my prompting said, "I guess we have a problem." The "problem we share" is an amazing first step in a satisfactory solution. The collective wisdom of the group came up with solid suggestions for satisfying both partners. And after the session, the lone man came up to me and told me he was the husband of the woman I was coming on to in the role play ..... Whoops... And he thanked me, as he understood his wife better.. and just for good measure they are foster parents of two more than their own four. I always learn more than I teach.
Speaking of things that have been out in the sun too long... My guard dogs. These dogs have been protecting me and keeping me safe... in unusual ways.
So far they have terrified all my visitors. I have resorted to visiting my guests on the steps of the church. However, after consulting with my dog whisperer and feeder Sandra, [who cooks something for them every day... and delivers it as well ..... maybe if I bark, she'll leave some dinner for me .....] I learned that the best thing is a bribe. So now when my company arrive, I litter the yard with dog treats. And it works.. though I have to repeat the process on the way out too.
And then the canines come into their own about 3AM [and settling down before sunrise] when they and the accompanying neighbourhood beasts bark loudly and constantly at some intruder seen only by them. [I wonder if Tony consults on dogs who have hallucinations?]
Sandra - and "Pastor" Val [all the way from Canada] told me the barking was my fault because the mutts are bored... and I should spend an hour or so with them, reaping personal rewards too ..... I will defer this till after I am really crazy and have a doctor's referral for Pet Therapy!
I have decided to try the same solution that worked for dog problem #1... I'll just chuck a few treats out the window. Stay tuned, I'll tell you if it works or if I just have fat guard dogs.
Our nursing students seem to have latched on to PBL; they are getting more precise at defining problems and developing a personal resource bank of books, websites and older nursing students/staff to assist with their learning. Some days Tony and I are convinced that we are missing something... and other days Tony wonders whether it is his wonderful and insightful and comprehensive and delightful facilitative leadership [including some of mine] or it is the students' hunger for knowledge and the appropriateness of the PBL model? I have long tried to avoid fundamentalism in religion and reductionism in science - so I usually answer "probably both are true"... even all those grandiose qualities he self-attributes ..... I just agree. [Though in the spirit of honest disclosure required of all great work: he said he was buying dinner tonight!]
Speaking of writers, I came across a quote from Edward Ward, an English writer in the Caribbean, about 1700:
Well, enough of my ramblings, my Benefactors.
[See Donations page.]