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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Checking In

Time is 9:40p.m.

I have written 636 words on the 'Lisa' case study.

Has gone ok...I would emphasize the 'rough' in rough draft.

Next Up? One hour drafting response to the next case study. This one is about 'Elsa', a 76 year old woman with dementia, recently suffered a stroke and is in hospital...she is about to be released from hospital, returning to her home where her husband will care for her. So this one is all about assessing her needs (the stroke has left her wheelchair bound and with limited speech) and the needs of her husband. Researching this one has been so interesting, in part because what is set out in law & policy is all a big mess and the truth is that there's not much money put into caring for the elderly in the UK.

One thing that has really struck me: one chapter I was reading yesterday talked about the fact that professionals/society need to remember that older people are not a separate entity from the rest of human life/experience. Basically, it was saying that a person doesn't stop being who they always were when they get older, despite the changes they may experience physically (such as Elsa's stroke) or mentally/psychologically (her confusion and dementia), she's still a person defined by the collection of her life experiences, her dreams, her likes, dislikes.

Sometimes the things I read in these academic articles are so full of common sense, it makes me wonder at the world we live in; a world where someone has to theorize and do research to state what should be obvious to everyone.


It is now 9:53p.m. Reeeeaaaaadddddddddddddyyyyyyyyyy.............

GO!

Two posts in One night...she must be procrastinating...

Yes I am!

But, you are all benefiting from my procrastination, so I expect only support and gratefulness.

Just wanted to say (quickly), that I have stayed home from my cell group (with church) in order to work on a 4,000 word essay which is due Monday. It's worth 50% of my grade for this module (that's big).

It's alright, but, as I am alone (and those who know me well know that that's never a good thing) and am SUPPOSED to be doing something relatively productive, I am going to give you ongoing updates on the status of my essay-writing-progress.

Currently:

It is 8:40p.m. - In the past hour I have: gone onto my university's (UWE) library website and tried to navigate my way through it, searching for online journal articles. Realized I was in trouble when I couldn't actually remember my password or user I.D. - this is due to the fact that I haven't used the library website in over a year! :) ah, yes...quality work. Finally, after many Failed attempts at obtaining my password and finding search methods that work...found three really good journal articles on working with people who have dementia and even some communication methods to use with stroke survivors (I particularly like this one because there are lots of pictures). No, all in all, very good sources.

Now 8:46p.m. - Goal for the next hour is to write a first draft of my answers to the first of three case studies we've been given. In case your interested, the case study is about a 13 year old named 'Lisa'...she's suddenly been playing truant from school, is distracted, is producing messy/incomplete work and is not willing to talk about it with anyone. Also, she has some nasty scratches on her arms. It's my job to do a little detective work, know which parts of the law I will be working under and all in all, save the day. I have done a good deal of the research for this case study already, so hopefully the ideas will flow like honey.

Check in with ya peeps lata.

xx

If I were a rich girl...

Just home from another day of work. Thursdays and Fridays I start work at 7a.m. Yes, it is ALWAYS painful waking up that early. Though, I have to admit that this morning as I sat in the passenger seat (Pete played chauffeur today) at 6:50 a.m. with my very organized purse at my feet, my to-go mug of tea in hand and two pieces of toast with jam balanced on my knee, that my heart gave a little leap of joy at the sight of the sun peaking over the horizon! Yes! It's always easier to get up early when the sun chooses to join you.

Work was work, alright, but not something I would do if not for tuition fees.

Pete and I had an intense conversation last week about what we would do with the money if we won the lottery (which we don't even play, but just hypothetically). The national lottery was up to £125 million last week...hence the speculation. My response to this question was:

-I'd pay off all our family's debts (ie. school loans)

-I'd pay off the mortgages of our parents, grandparents, buy our siblings houses (except probably not for Katie or Rach! As they are 16 and 12, but they could each buy one later!)

-Buy a house in Bristol (probably in an area called Southmead because some of our closest friends live there)...though, I have to admit, the moment I started thinking about buying a house with unlimited resources my brain immediately struggled with thinking bigger and bigger. So, having reigned in my ambitions again, I would still say a modest three bedroom terraced home in Soutmead. (Though, I would do LOADS of construction: fabulous kitchen with an Aga, make the ground floor open planned, have french doors opening onto a back garden/patio area, master bedroom with en suite and definitely a huge jacuzzi bath, and a loft conversion-with skylights- which I would make into a study/music/art/quiet retreat)

-Pay of my school loans and quit my job (both in retail and my cleaning job); but I would finish my degree in Social Work because I really do love what I do and I can't think of anything I'd rather spend the majority of my time on.

-BUT, interestingly, I would also take up private singing lessons, guitar lessons and violin lessons. Singing and guitar mainly for my own private enjoyment, but the violin lessons would be for a purspose. I have an ambition to take lessons in england and pass enough exams (they have a standardized system for assessing your competancy on various instruments here) to be eligible to join UWE's orchestra or a community orchestra. That wish surprised me a bit, I know that I love music, but I hadn't realized that I would choose to dedicate a lot of time to it if I had more time (ie. wasn't working and could afford as many lessons as I wanted).


-Buy a Smart Car. Most of the time if I'm driving I am by myself and I think it would be so cool to zip around Bristol running errands in my tiny Smart Car. mmm, maybe someday (though if it ever happened it would probably be a more basic model! )

- In reality, I have to admit that I probably would buy LOTS of clothes, shoes, coats/jackets, and Bags. Sad, but (who am I trying to kid?) true.

- I think I would probably fund One25 (charity based in Bristol) and Mutende Children's Village in Zambia (our church is involved in it) for the next 5 years.

- Fund our friends Transition to pursue their music full-time with no worries.

- But, to be honest, I'm probably forgetting loads of things and would probably spend about a year planning/thinking/praying about how to best use it. Mainly though, I'd want to have a house, take care of our family and friends and then set up some charitable trusts.

Interesting, so I ask each of you, what would YOU do with £125 million (which is a bit more than $217 million)?

Some differences in opinion from that conversation:

-Pete was surprised to hear that I'd quit my jobs if given the opportunity. He would keep his.
-Whereas I would buy a second car, Pete said: 'I wouldn't even use the car. If I had that much money I'd only use public transport'...actually, with that much money Pete could BUY the bus company.

The conversation turned really stressful around the time that we contemplated our hypothetical house in this scenario...and after about 5 minutes I was so stressed by our differences I was actually Relieved that we don't have to deal with the burden of those millions. Good thing we don't play the lottery.

Can't wait to hear your replies! xx