Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Google, Yahoo, AltaVista....OT?

I had a mini light bulb moment tonight...that I had to share! I was reading one of Yerxa's articles over dinner (sad but true) and spotted a wonderful quote! In the context of explaining the OT role she stated,
"we are 'search engines' for potential".
I thought it was a wonderfully descriptive statement, made of only a few words, that has so much relevance within today's web based culture. What makes it even more thought provoking is that she wrote it in 1998 - so long before the concept of an entirely online distance learning MSc in Advanced OT would have been considered even possible!? As OT's we want to place emphasis on ability not disability - and I thought this was brilliantly encapsulated in this simply quote. Maybe something to ponder next time you are using Google.....?

Monday, 20 October 2008

Waving at you

A photo from the Bangor and Cardiff University student conference in Gregynog. Thank you to all the students and lecturers for such an interesting and enjoyable day.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Popty Ping

I'm back from a great couple of days visiting students in Wales. The Student Research Conference for accelerated students from Bangor and Cardiff University of was a real success. The students did an excellent job presenting their research proposals and the 1st years in the audience were so supportive and maximised the opportunity to pick up tips for their turn next year. The venue, Gregynog, is an amazing half timber building near Newtown, and the fact the event is residential enabled the students an staff teams from the two universities to come together and swap stories and network over dinner (and glass of wine!).

On Thursday morning, I headed off to Wrexham to visit the students on part-time programme at Glyndwr University. I wish I could have stayed for their afternoon session as it was the OT philosophy - which would came in very handy for my assignment! However, I was back on train...and completed my 8th train journey in approximately 48 hours - with only a 6 minute delay overall!!!

While I was away I discovered the Welsh for microwave is "Popty Ping" - there is no going back for me...it shall be the Popty Ping for evermore!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Memory Lane

I'm visiting students from the accelerated programmes based in Bangor and Cardiff tomorrow - they have a residential student conference to enable the students to present their research proposals and bring together the two programmes. It is being held at Gregynog, near Newtown - so to ensure I'm on time and able to fully participate, I'm typing this from a B&B in Hereford. Heart stopping moment when I arrived here - as the owner didn't have my booking! She thought she had probably deleted it with the her "spam". Thankfully, she had a room available!
I changed trains in Newport on the way here - a trip down memory lane, as I had my first practice placement at Newport Social Services. I can still remember my first day on placement....as I went to the wrong door and I had to be directed around the building to actually locate the appropriate office!

Got down to some serious reading on the train - learnt more about the history of our profession - well worth exploring. I'm discovering our history is so much more complex than just basket weaving and it really does influence how we have developed and can certainly inform how we develop in the future.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The ultimate teamwork model

I did something completely different for a change last night...and went to a classical music concert at the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. My colleague had some free tickets so I thought I would maximise my evening my doing something different.
Instead of just sitting there listening to the music....of course...I start thinking occupation! Everyone in the orchestra was so clearly engaged in an "occupation" that brings so much meaning and structure to their day! Once I had exhausted my occupation observations...I then realised the orchestra was a brilliant illustration of ultimate teamwork. Everyone had their own unique contribution to make and role in the group, they were following the same music (so not going off in a different direction), had a shared goal (nice sounding music) and the conductor (their "manager") was providing guidance and encouraging them to produce their best work.

Ok...so this might be a bit nerdy...but it really jumped out at me! So if you have any free time ...I would recommend trying something completely different (it doesn't have to be a classical music concert!) and enjoying yourself...but also stopping for a moment to consider some of the observations you can make?

I enjoyed my visit to Brunel University today. The building work has been completed now so the campus looks really good. Dana, the student local group co-ordinator at Brunel University preceded my presentation with an overview of the Brunel Group and promoted the next meeting. It was great having the opportunity to combine information like this and hopefully will assist the Brunel group in growing even more.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Occupational Therapy Week

I bet we have all experienced that blank expression from someone, when they have asked us what we do... when we uttered the words "Occupational Therapy"...its either the conversation stopper at a social event or certainly the topic that takes up a bit of time. In an attempt to raise the profile of the profession amongst members of the public and colleagues - Occupational Therapy week is taking place between November 3rd-9th. This is one week when we (the profession and BAOT members) can join together to celebrate our work. Although time is ticking on...you still have time to plan something at your University - even a message on your Blackboard system could be effective? If you don't get around to doing anything this year...don't worry OT week will be back! If you want more information on OT week visit; http://www.cot.org.uk/members/otweek/intro/intro.php
It was great being in the office today. It felt good being able to catch up on my emails. On Thursday I'm off to Brunel University to see the 1st year students and meet with the BAOT student local group co-ordinator. I've got some serious article reading to do as well over the weekend! I've been set my first 1000 word assignment (only a bit longer than a page in OTN...and I keep saying to myself!)...so I will reflecting on the role of Occupation and Health for the next few weeks.
I was pleased to see the Facebook Group "Occupational Therapy Students: Get Connected" now has over 150 members....I'll add somemore DVD suggestions as soon as possible!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Full Circle

I'm back in London having completed a circle around England! I left COT on Thursday...and headed off to Bournemouth, then over to Somerset for the weekend, then up to Manchester on Sunday, to then go to Middlesbrough this morning. Travelling back to London this afternoon completed my circle. I must confess I'm glad to my on my sofa again!

In addition to meeting 1st year students..I've had the opportunity to catch up with some students from some of the other years. Its great hearing about plans for Occupational Therapy Week (1st week of November). For example, the BAOT student local group in Middlesbrough will be manning a stand in the city centre, talking to members of the public. What have other people got planned?

Something new this year is WikiFlash - set up by the "OT On The Net" group. Check out the link for more information. Its a great opportunity to increase the range of information "out there" about occuapation therapy.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Unpacking and Packing

I've finally had a chance to unpack my bag from my trip to Berlin....and I'm now packing ready for my trip to Bournemouth. I'm seeing the new students early on Friday morning so will head to Bournemouth late tomorrow afternoon.
I'm back at my parents in Somerset this weekend - for a school reunion! Mixed feelings about seeing everyone...its been a very long time since we all caught up. I went to a school specifically for people with dyslexia and still consider myself lucky to have received the help I did - as I use the coping strategies I was taught everyday, I don't even notice anymore.

I once worked in an OT department where we were all dyslexic! I certainly feel it enhances our verbal communication skills as talking doesn't show up spelling mistakes!?? The support Universities offer students with dyslexia is far more robust now - so I hope everyone with similar issues has been able to tap into the appropriate support? I'm still worried I might send an email saying "incontinence" instead of "inconvenience" so I double checking things before sending!

Thank you to all the UEA students for staying awake during my session this morning (although I did notice a few people nodding off! :-) A 9.00am start in a very warm room was quite a challenge! I have a similar time slot next week at Brunel University - so might take some sweets!

I've added another picture form Berlin...I was having a look through
my album again and noticed this picture.
Instead of looking at it from an photography perspective...I thought about the picture with an occupation focus and saw a lot more in my photo? What do you think?