Phew. And that’s a wrap

My last assignment for Paediatrics is due at 17:00 Friday (today). Paediatrics is the final subject of my third year.

In other words, I’m officially DONE with my third year. I’ve been chugging along since the last days of January so that’s nine months. Whew. I get to rest now, until next February when my final year begins. That’s going to involve a lot more placement work and will no doubt be just as intense as this year but in different ways. But until then – huzzah.

This year, I’ve learnt about and built on so many things. Like how to do SMART goals properly and building on intentional communication; environmental modifications, splinting, adaptive equipment, funding etc.; stress buckets, case formulation, intervention planning; stages of development and different treatments for specific disabilities and situations; many many models applicable in general and also specifically to various client groups – aged, disabled/ chronically ill, mentally ill, children…. and so much more.

That’s a long run-on sentence and it’s been a long run-on year.

But so, so good.

I’m really appreciative of all the opportunities that have come my way this year. I think I’ll give myself a few days off to savour them before organising my summer break.

 

On a different note: Don’t forget – today is the final day to get a replacement survey form for the marriage equality survey. Make sure you’ve voted before the end of Friday next week.

 

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Orange Sky charity for homelessness

Got plenty of things to say, but in the meantime (because I ran out of time today), here’s something I’ve wanted to post about for a while.

See, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a fancy dinner to celebrate the year. It was organised through uni. At the dinner, between main course and dessert, we heard a talk from Nic and Lucas, the guys behind Orange Sky Laundry.

It’s a pretty awesome story about community and people helping people. As Nic and Lucas told it, they had an idea, to wash the clothes of homeless people using a mobile laundry service in the back of a van. They had a few setbacks in starting up, but now they’ve got services in different places across Australia. They’ve also started up a mobile shower service that accompanies the laundry.

Here’s a screenshot of the front page of their website, for some visuals. The real thing can be found by clicking here: http://www.orangeskylaundry.com.au/

orange sky homeless charity

The laundry service fills a physical need. It also fills social and emotional ones. It creates community.

 

The way they told the story got me thinking.

It reminded me of the connection I made for a little while with a homeless woman, who used to beg on Londsdale Street near Parliament Station. I think her name was Sally. The first time I met her, I was walking quickly towards the station from the bus stop, on my way back home. It was 2015 I think. I remember, the fact that made me pause was that she had a dog. An old corgie if I recall correctly. As I paused I listened to her telling her story to another person. Over time, through more stops, I’d hear more of it.

She was homeless due to domestic violence. She had had a pretty rough life. It seemed like life had dealt her a series of blows – her own child died young, for example. She lived for her dog; the money she got was first spent on dog-food, then on accommodation for the night, then food for herself.

She had cancer too and had been told she only had a year to live, which dwindled away as I visited.

How do I know she was telling the truth?

I don’t. Not really. But her eyes – the pain in them – I saw that. It felt real to me.

 

I don’t see her anymore. I haven’t done since about this time last year. I think she’s passed on.

I wonder what happened to her dog? That was her biggest fear.

Busy, busy bee…

Study central around here because I have an exam with oral and written components next week…. I have to present, for ten minutes, an intervention-based session applicable to a particular case scenario I’ve been allocated to.

After the exam’s over, I have to finish writing and submit an assignment about child observation.

I shall have more to say about my Paediatrics OT subject journey after next week.

Until then – this landed in my inbox today. Check it out. I agree – health and arts are linked. After all, treating the whole person is better than just focusing on treating one part; it’s not just about the medical way of things but the social-environmental occupational etc. ways too. https://fromtheharp.co.uk/2017/10/12/a-day-out-at-parliament/

 

Central Australia Trip Report #6

Oops! It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these! I had them all written by the start of September…but general busy-ness has prevented me posting – just as it delayed my completion of the writing.

So, last time, Day 5 ended with us rolling into Algebuckina Bridge camping area. Day 6 begins here.

Day 6

The next day, I was up early, so I went to explore.

We’d camped beside the Algebuckina Creek. According to an information booklet, it’s never run out of water since it was discovered. Or something like that…

The campsite was really just a spot to camp, without facilities. All necessary things had to be provided by the campers (us), which was an experience.

After breakfast, we drove around to see the actual bridge. The Algebuckina Bridge is disused now, but when in operation it was the longest rail bridge in South Australia at 583m.

Womble sits with the railway cart information board for Algebuckina Bridge

It’s nice enough, I guess.

We soon drove on. We were aiming for Oodnadatta and Marla today. On our way to Oodnadatta, we saw the grader at work repairing the track, which was good – less bumpy track, hooray.

When we arrived at Oodnadatta we were pleased. We stopped at the famous Pink Roadhouse, where the walls, tables, chairs and other furnishings are various shades of pink. Like the roadhouse at William Creek, it functions as a fuel station, pub, general store/grocery, hotel/campsite area – and post office!

We bought postcards to send back home. We also bought lunch – six of the famous “Oodna-burgers” with a side of chips, coming right up!

Large burger in bun with tomato, lettuce, bacon, onion and sauce, next to side of hot, thick chips sitting on a plate on the pink outdoor table. Background is a green woollen jumper and Hufflepuff scarf on the photographer.

Then it was back on the road, for the last stretch of the Oodnadatta Track. I’d read somewhere that this was the supposed to be the best bit, but it turned out to be the worst. Oops.

Finally, as the sun set, we turned off the Track onto bitumen road again. After 621km, we’d made it.

Hello Stuart Highway!

Taken as sun setting of red-orange Track, green-orange scrub and green sign with distances and directions on Stuart Highway: Coober Pedy and Port AUgusta to the left, KUlgera, Alice Springs and Marla to the right

We kept driving and soon reached Marla. Which has apparently only existed as a township for thirty-five years….

Their campsite was full, so we pressed on to a rest stop closer to Alice Springs.

 

 

Tiger Roar

How was your weekend? 

Mine was fun! I attended a Game(s) Day event, where some of us watched the Grand Final and others played games (board-, card-, etc.). Both rooms were quite animated. 

I learnt a couple of new games – OrganAttack and Articulate. Fun with friends! But that was after the game… 

If any other team had been playing in the Final, I’d have been in the designated games’ room, popping my head in now and again as some did. But it was the Tigers (!) so I watched the whole game. 

The first half was tense and I found myself doing the “sportsball thing” of muttering things at players when good or bad things happened. Though mine weren’t often quite full sentences or even phrases.  

Things picked up in the second half and it was with a touch of amazement that I watched that unfold, slowly beginning to believe fully. Excitement flowed too. 

As I’ve previously mentioned, footy is a very family thing for me. It felt like that on Saturday and after – I was separated from them by distance but we kept in contact over text and internet. After the match, several people in my friendship circle made or received calls to people for the same reasons. 

The emotion of the game caught me at the end. I’d been trying to balance a mix of excitement and nerves all week (all finals season really), as I hoped for the best but was wary of being disappointed. But we Tigers fans were not disappointed (sorry Crows fans – I had thought it’d be a slightly closer game). The image that made it real to me in a sense was the beautiful image of Dustin Martin’s joyous face and then the group as they embraced. All the other scenes, tears of joy and happiness flowing. 

It felt good. That’s what it’s all about, really – the striving to reach the ultimate goal, time after time, and the sweet emotions of success when it’s finally achieved after a long time between drinks. I’m happiest for those of my friends and family who have felt that long time keenly. Plenty of happy faces around the place for a while I think! 

#PostYourYes

Aussies, have you sent back your survey yet? 

Times are pretty tough for LGBTIQA+ people right now. There’ve been quite a few nasty attacks. This whole survey is in a way an attack because why should everyone have the right to decide on the validity of the relationships of a few? … If you were inconvenienced by a text message on the weekend, maybe have a think about that, ey? 

Anyway, here’s a brilliant (polite) video, directed at those who are considering voting no. If you are one of those, please watch and think before you do. 

Also, see this: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/logically-theres-only-one-good-reason-for-voting-no-20170922-gymr7n.html 

Just… think about it, please? 

I – and my funky-toe socks – am a yes. I posted my yes within 12 hours of collecting the survey (filled it out minutes after receiving). Go do that.  

Pair of feet in pink, brown and white socks with separate big toe part stand on grey tiled floor

Then watch this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3FkwaMGpnrg

So proud of all of those who made it!  Beautiful. ❤ 

OT uni update: busy skill learning

Hi all. This post is currently being written by my left hand on my mobile while my right arm is held captive by the plasma-collection machine at the local blood donation centre. 

I’m two weeks into my last subject for the year: Paediatrics. It’s been really fun. We’ve covered typical and atypical development (including how to hold low/high babies), early childhood interventions, autism, cerebral palsy and interventions and assessment for these plus more generally. These have included sensory processing, family-centred practice, traffic light self-regulation systems, handwriting interventions – and most recently, this interesting intervention called CO-OP: Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance. 

It’s a cognition based cooperative approach which enables success (ie skill acquisition) through problem-solving. The OT guides the child to use metacognition strategies and discover the skill(s) for themselves. The child uses their own words to create goals, which are then planned, done and checked (GPDC acronym is used with a toy to help the child remember). 

As part of our learning we each chose a skill to learn using this method in class. So I learnt to KNIT! 

Goal: to be able to knit a row. 

Plan (in my own words): I watched a classmate who knew how to knit demonstrate and talked through the steps, as I saw them, in my own words. Then a third classmate wrote them down. 

(I’m right-handed.) 

  1. Right needle goes through the thread on the left needle and then goes to the back. 
  2. Loop the thread around the back of right needle only, it does not cross the left needle. 
  3. Pull down the thread against the needle with right hand keeping needles crossed at back. 
  4. Pull the needle from right hand down 
  5. With the left hand turn the needle so the right hand pushes needle through the wool.  
  6. With the right hand you move the loop off the left needle while the left hand holds the wool steady.
  7. Tighten the knot. 

Or something like that. 

Do: you do the plan. 

Check: has the plan worked? We needed to modify a few steps to ensure everything was clear. 

Finished product:

Grey knitting needles with a few wool stitches on them, on wooden table next to Ball of white woolClose-Up of white wool in stitches on grey needle on wooden table
Not much. But it’s a start. Now I need some wool and knitting needles so I can practice – I borrowed those ones above.

Hip hip huzzah for a wonderful Pirates concert

As my post on Friday indicated, on Sunday evening I went off to see The Pirates of Penzance by MonUCS. It was a fantastic show. As I reflected on earlier this year, there’s something really nice about watching your friends perform a great show, knowing that they’ve been working towards it for months. 

It was really, really fun. I’d never seen it before, which made it all the more special. It was both fun and funny, touching on themes of duty, family and choice but mostly just being a jolly good romp. For some time I’d been avoiding spoilers of songs and so on, but since the concert they’ve been running through my head, competing for attention. They were well-sung after all. Acting was also very good. I could tell people enjoyed themselves on stage just as we enjoyed watching them. 😉 

Afterwards (after packing up or “bumping out”) we went off to a choir member’s house for more singing, food and conversation. Fun! 

As I said afterwards, I’m so proud of all my friends. Well done! I can’t wait for the projects to come. 

The Fox and Fool – my friend’s new book!

My friend is an author. She’s got a new book out. I beta-read it a while back…so I’ve got a quote on the back cover! It’s a fun little read. Go buy it! Details below. 

I’m happy for you, Lauren… great work! 

Book cover for The Fox and Fool with a white star shaped flower in an earthenware pot resting on a blue patterned table-cloth on a table
______________________________________

From Lauren: 

I’m delighted to present my latest book, The Fox and the Fool

From today, it’s available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and iBooks.

Official press release: 

This refreshing new novella from from Lauren K. Nixon celebrates love and friendship from the very edge of things. Sometimes in Illyria you find yourself in need of a friend, particularly among fools.

A gentle, strange romance between two people who spend their lives on the edge of things, set after the events of Twelfth Night. 

Things have settled quite amicably since the marriages of the two great houses of the town. But now there’s a new fool on the scene – and we are all fools in love.

“The Fox and the Fool is a delightfully romantic tale that sweeps you up in an instant and doesn’t let you down until you’ve savoured every last drop. Perfect for fans of Shakespeare, it will also appeal to anyone looking for an enchanting, uplifting read about love and life.” – Jessica Grace Coleman

“A light-hearted tale of fun, mischief and music – a story about the importance of friendship and brave vulnerability, all wrapped up in the setting of a Shakespearean town.” – Clare Keogh

Further information can be found on my website, http://www.laurenknixon.com/books