one of my modules on the ILS course is career preparation. this morning I worked on that module. Its quite detailed. There are a lot of different exercises to fill out for it. I made a personal profile. That was not too hard. I had to talk about my strengths, talents, goals and achievements, qualifications, education, etc. I had to pick out careers that I thought suited my personality and profile. Then I had to answer questions on planning a career. I had to explain terms like career, work, casual work, and so on. I spent about an hour and a half working on th e folder. I got a lot of work done. It was great. If I keep working at the pace I am working at now, I will have the module ready to be handed in for the summer and I should have my certificate for it by mid august. My tutor said hopefully the module will help me figure out where I want to go when I am finished the ILS course, I kinda want to work parttime, but we’ll see. It really depends on if I can find a suitable job, if not then I might do a CE scheme, community employment scheme. That is where you work 20 hours a week somewhere, but you only get payed for the work you do by the government, so it is kinda slave labour because your doing the same work that a full time employee would do but your getting a government payment for it. We’ll see. First I need to do this module, and then research jobs and schemes and stuff.
so I just got some good news! I thought I was way behind on my work experience module, and I found out I am not!
Yay! I am so glad!
I have the majority of the module finished. I just have to write my thank you letter to my employer, and my reflections on my work experience process. I cant do those though until I’ve finished my work experience. I also have to finish the diary I am keeping about my work experience.
I have 7 weeks of my work experience completed now. Cant believe I’ve been there 7 weeks already!
I am meant to do 10 weeks in total.
I will probably do longer if Anita is happy to keep me on. But after 10 weeks I can do the rest of the stuff that i need to do to finish up the module.
There is also a team work exercise that needs to be completed but I cant complete that unless one of my class mates is in to help me because we’re meant to work in teams to do it.
So yeah progress is being made and I am happy!
busy day today at the ILS course!
in the morning we did a module called personal care and presentation. to be honest i found it a bit simplistic, i could have taught it myself. it was about hygiene, health care, dental care, how to present yourself etc. i should fly through the work and complete it in no time.
After break we cooked. There were only 3 of us in today so the kitchen was fairly empty. We made vegetable soup, or I should say, I made vegetable soup, because the other two did not do much of anything except watch me.
I didnt mind though, I enjoyed cooking, and I liked that I could do almost everything, I liked that I had the confidence to do all the chopping of vegetables, sauteing the vegetables, and stirring the soup and blending it once it was done cooking.
We put carrot, onion, leak, cellery, parsnip, and lentils into our soup. We also put spices in there, cumin and curry powder, salt and pepper.
It was so yummy. And there’s left overs for tomorrow too, yay.
After lunch I walked the 10 mins to the bus stop with Nitro. I did not want to at first, but my tutor pushed me, saying we wouldnt have time to go tomorrow and it would be good if I did go today so I went and I am so glad I did!
When I came back we had our weekly reviews, that is where you write up a sheet about what went well and what did not go so well this week. You also say a little about each class and you can add suggestions for new modules or things you’d like to see added to the programme. There is a space to for tutor comments.
My review went great. The comments I got were awesome. Enthuastic, willingness to learn, good contributor in class, energetic etc. I was really pleased.
There was one negative. My tutor kinda lectured me because she said I used the emergency buzzer in my room inappropriately. You see everyone has an emergency buzzer in their room. last week I pulled mine to ask someone to bring milk to me. The thing is staff thought I’d fallen, or something. And a bunch of them came running thinking I was in trouble.
So I was reppromanded for that today, which was fair enough I suppose.
After class ended I came upstairs, fed nitro, and sat down on the couch, thinking to myself, i’ll sit here for five mins before I go make some tea. Five mins turned into me falling asleep for an hour and a half! lol what can I say I must have needed it!
I’ve been just chilling out for the evening. I’ve started showering by night instead of in the mornings so that I can have a little extra time in bed in the mornings, plus, its getting colder outside now, and I dont want to go outside with wet hair.
so yeah good day overall.
so tomorrow there is a documentary being filmed at the basement club. it is all about learning and education and how we learn at the basement club through doing groups and having a recovery space and through mentoring and having a drop in information service. The documentary will be filmed over two days. then it will go on a couple of websites including our local health executive services’s website, and unesco, which is a european website which is about community development. 3 organisations were picked to be part of this documentary. only a couple of members of the basement club were chosen though to be part of it. i was chosen which is a great honour. i’ll be talking about volunteering as an admin and how i have learned from that. on wednesday we will have an art room set up and they will be doing shots of us doing art, to show off our creativity. in a couple of weeks i will have a link to the documentary, which i will be able to show all of you. so stay tuned. i am so excited to do this. it is a great opportunity to show off the work that the basement club does. and even though we are a mental health related organisation there is much much more than just mental health recovery that goes on in here. through groups and talking and sharing information and sharing ideas we learn. some people come and participate in one or two groups and then from that are able to have the confidence to go back to college. others are able to find out through our catch ups or from the notice board what is going on in the community. then there is the whole creative side through art and creative writing and gardening and other creative projects. the 3 members who were chosen to do the interviews tomorrow will do different things. one member will go to the green ribbon garden and talk about what he has learned from being part of the gardening committee each week. then another member will go into the resource room with denise who is the co-ordinator and talk about how finding resources can be helpful in learning and she will also show how staff help members fill out forms and other documents. and then i will sit with emily in the computer room and we will talk about the newsletter and ideas for that and how me being an admin and volunteering has helped my recovery and helped me to grow. it should be a really fabulous experience. i cant wait to be part of it.
so some of you might know i was looking in to going to college in september. i have been working with my OT mark on this. I had a couple of things in mind, mainly childcare, advocacy and youth and community work. I decided childcare is not for me. I’ve tried it. It is great, and I love learning about child development and education and stuff but its not practical really given my blindness. And doing another course in childcare would not be cost effective either because it would be a full time course and I’d need to take a taxi there and back each day which there is no way I could afford on my weekly budget. So i’ve decided childcare is now out. My next choice was doing an advocacy course. However I rang them up and it turns out the course only runs every two years, and its been running this year so wont be running again until 2019. So thats now out too. So my last option for now is a course in youth and community work. Its called substance use and misuse in youth and community work. When I first looked at this course I thought it would not be very benificial to me because I dont work with the youth or addicts. But then my mentor colette from the basement club said I should rethink because she had done it and she doesnt work with that sector either but she said there is lots of things it taught her and lots of stuff to learn about addiction and even if you dont work with young people it could come in handy for other communities that you are a part of. Well then I was thinking yeah, I work voluntarily with the basement club and I will be starting a volunteer position soon with cork city partnership working with vulnerable people in disadvantaged areas. So yes it would come in handy. I was also a youth club leader in the past, and I also have a diploma in youth and community work. So I filled up the application form today. The course is part time, one evening a week for 3 hours, and then some work to do at home like assignments and other projects. It runs for a year. There are only 25 places though and usually about 50 or 60 people apply to do the course. Interviews are run and I hope I’ll at least get an interview. So thats my good news of the day. I’m really hopeful that I will get to do the course. I think I would benefit from it and learn alot too along the way.
Yesterday I had an apt with my OT mark. It was a really good apt. We talked some more about options for me to do a college course. I am still interested in something related to childcare. at least I was until I got a phone call yesterday evening from one of the tutors on the other course I am interested in which is called issues in substance use in youth and community work. When the tutor rang me she said she’d send me an application form and brochure which she did and i’ve sent it on to mark, I also sent him an email this morning asking him to fill out the application form with me. But back to yesterday and the apt. We talked about the childcare course. And the supports I may need in the college. Funnily enough the course in issues of substance use in youth and community work is taking place in the same college where the childcare courses I wanted to do are. The thing is I only want to go part time. And the substance use course is part time. The childcare one is full time and that is way too stressful for me. Plus I’ve gotten a volunteer position with cork city partnership as an office admin worker I’ll be doing up letters, writing email and answering phones. Its only 1 day a week but then I also volunteer at the basement club, I’ve taken a small break while I was hospitalised recently but I will be going back to it soon. I work better under less pressure so that is what myself and mark talked through yesterday. Then we got on to talking about the adaptive technology and home improvements. I had asked him to request a price on a frame that goes around my toilet, which he did, but yesterday he said that rather than having me pay for it, he should refer me to the community OT and she could do an assessment and then I should be able to get the frame on my medical card. Since I’ve been having balance issues and postural hypertention that is why I need the frame. I told him I am having the blood pressure monitor done next week to see if my meds are causing my blood pressure to drop. so we decided to wait until we meet again in 3 weeks time to make a final decision about the adaptions to my home. I also have to see what equipment I might need and send him a quote for it, then he will get Karen the social worker to do a funding application for me. That was the bulk of our appointment. I did talk to him some about my ongoing symptoms. He always checks in with me about how I’m doing, what is going on for me, etc. Which is really nice. He’s a good listener and I was able to get a lot off my mind before I ever went in to see dr. barry.
yesterday i saw dr. barry. while i was in hospital I had asked dr. barry if I could educate the junior doctors on did, by doing a case conference to educate them. basically, these case conferences are done every week, each week a different case is picked but the patients arent always present. what happens is all the doctors and different team members, like nurses, social workers, community psych nurses, etc get together and discuss a case. there is a presentation and then they discuss treatment options outcomes etc. so dr. barry asked if i’d like to be part of that. of course i jumped at the chance. when i was in hospital this time i had to explain my did to some doctors. i always find that frustrating because you get a barrage of questions about it, most of which seem so stupid to me. i know they have to learn though so i agreed to do it. it will be happening in 3 weeks time. basically what will happen is dr. barrys junior doctor dr. wall will bring me into a room and ask me some questions. i will be on video camera and the video link will be fed back to another room where the rest of the doctors and nurses will be. i dont know yet what the questions will be that i will be asked but dr. barry told me yesterday that she will work on them and let me know soon. i think its up to dr. barry what she wants to ask. i’ve done one of these case conferences before some years ago. i feel kinda priveleged to actually be there and be part of it because as i mentioned usually patients arent involved in them at all