Shazzies Creations

From heart to Art… My world on a page

Tag: education

One foot forward

Some days ‘schooling’ us all is a life lesson in patience and perseverance. I may just land up Virtues one day…..scary thought…

Currently the Intellectual thunderstorm is doing his utmost to avoid his OT homework, he has an indefinite amount of excuses and for every solution there is another excuse. At least we know he is currently using his intellectual abilities, albeit in the wrong direction. He has at least agreed to some slow and steady, a little here and a little there…progress. I know he finds self-reflection hard as it brings up so many emotional soft spots for him.

The pink whirlwind is either exceptionally bored with her work or she may be suffering from a concentration issues. We going to have to look into that. At present she seems to feel the need to ‘fake’ actually getting done, even though she knows it gets checked….never have understood the concept of voluntarily getting yourself into trouble. I would have said she may be looking for attention but we are doing a lot together lately to try stave that possibility off.

I….am feeling Information overload! I am going to have to deal though. I have just four months left to complete this ‘Business Fundamentals’ course. As much as it feels like info overload I am pretty sure it is more the fact that it is not my favorite topic. Although it will be highly beneficial for all the future projects we have lined up, so I will persevere and get done.

We have some great stuff lined up though, we have booked for a charity market stall at the end of October, the Intellectual Thunderstorm is slowly creating some artworks to sell, as am I. It feels really great to get back into my art. Nothing better than smudgy pastel ridden fingers and creativity blooming under your thumb. Will post some pictures of our work soon. The Pink Whirlwind is currently looking for great Dog Treat Recipes (She is testing them on the new member of our family, our rescue pup) so she can sell some nutritious Doggy Treats at the market. Cooking has become her favorite past time of late. I have to say in terms of the ‘Human Food’ she most definitely has a talent. Our lovable Biker Babe is motivating us all on and pitching in where he can.

I have also started a new contract job, brings in enough to cover expenses for now and allows me free time for the brood and for myself…..and….I finally started writing my book, it has taken 3 years to actually start it but I am really proud to say I have.

My favorite  happening at the moment though is our garden. Must be because we were without one for so long. Our peaches have arrived and are growing, the fig tree has woken up and our Mulberry tree is heavy with both fruit and weaver birds nests. The garden is alive with singing and new beginnings. The Pink Whirlwind is in awe every day with the new things she sees. The vegetable seeds have not sprouted yet, so I think I went wrong somewhere there and I definitely did kill those poor rose bushes. Bearded Biker kindly got me some seedlings to plant so my vegetable patch would not look so bare, thankfully those are surviving my beginners hands.

And as much as life gets tough and we have to some days pick our feet up with our hands and get moving, the results will be worth the effort.

One of our little sprouts....

One of our little sprouts….

Breathe

My head has been spinning lately. I actually don’t even have a plan on this post. I am just sitting here writing as it comes.

This last two weeks have been a bit of a blur with us all getting flu and still trying to get done whats needed. The paperwork involved with getting our application in at Social Services for the Intellectual Thunderstorms grant is immense. It has been one queue after another but we are on the home stretch…..I hope….

While chatting to some ladies at the Stables this last week, it was discovered that we all have similar thoughts and passion for starting a vocational center. They are in negotiations to secure space but were lacking the individuals to run the center, talks about getting things up and running will be scheduled soon. Amazing how when you stay the course the right people eventually land in your path.

on another note, I think I may have killed my rose bushes though, although someone suggested they may just be throwing a tantrum cause I moved their feet to a new location..in my defense I did google and tried to do it in the right month. The surprise freeze over cold front that hit us was not in the game plan. My seedlings have yet to poke their little heads above the warm soil. I am holding thumbs they will, while wishing that having ‘green fingers’ was as easy as simply painting them, but we will keep persevering. One ray of gardening hope is staring at me through my kitchen window, tiny little pink blossoms are appearing on our most ancient of peach trees.

Tomorrow the Intellectual Thunderstorm turns another year older, his childlike exuberance at this fact is contagious. The pink Whirlwind is all set to bake cupcakes for him to take to work in the morning. Outside the world is buzzing with life.

Me….I am just sitting here, soup in hand, mind wondering and having a breather.

 

breathe

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“1..2..Buckle my shoe..”

Baby steps….I believe its all about the little steps forward that dictate progress and success.

We cannot ‘High Speed’ chase it to the finish line without the small steps of planning and preparation and expect a quality outcome. Even MotoGP Riders study the track, learn the bike and its ‘personality’. Spending days practicing before they partake in the High Speed Race to a win.

So in lieu of my belief above, I am taking solace in our baby steps. Progress has been small in the last 9 days but it is progress. I may only manage to study for 45 minutes in a day (Bookkeeping is not my dream job, in fact its kind of mind numbing for me) but it is 45 minutes closer everyday to a finish. Rather 45 minutes of quality study than hours and nothing learnt. I may stop every 2 steps and take a breather but I do move again. The veggie seeds are planted and I have my next painting mapped out, research on Neuroplasticity is going a bit slower.Bearded Biker is hard at work in his new Job, putting in extra to build his career. Showing that perseverance pays off eventually.

Our perseverance and progress, albeit slow, seems to be having other effects as well. That with our newly installed ‘family project’ board has inspired the Intellectual Thunderstorm to slowly complete projects of his own as well. A task he has battled with for years. Usually spending a few minutes on something for it to just be discarded and never finished. This week though, he has completed two projects in full.

Our Pink Whirlwind is just that, twirling through her days on a rainbow of imagination and energy. I think her bedroom has been rearranged about 15 times in the last month. At least she finishes what she starts as well 🙂 even if she just restarts it again later.

So I guess what we have learnt is, even if it is 1 step 2, then a breather to buckle a shoe. As long as you get up and take steps 3 and 4, and so on, progress will come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edge of Madness

So I have decided to embark on a list of projects that may just drive me mad.

At least you will get a front row seat if that should happen, could be interesting….

Last night we received the latest Neuropsych report for our Intellectual Thunderstorm.  I cannot say that it said anything we did not already suspect or know, however it has definitively made me realize that I am going to have to get a move on in helping him achieve his goals. Outpatient Therapies are not widely available in our fund brackets at present but we are not going to let that stop his progress. Currently he is functioning at a level of between 5 and 7 years below his actual age. The silver lining is that the areas in which he achieves an older functioning level, are those we have developed through therapies and at home support. This proves that his brain is able to learn, albeit a little slower than most.

 

In my research on Neuroplasticity, I came across information from Debbie Hampton as well as the TED talk given by Barbara-Arrowsmith Young. Reading and listening to their stories I have a renewed motivation to get as much information and start helping our Intellectual Thunderstorm overcome the blocks he has, so he can achieve his dreams. I know this is going to be a challenge worth taking.

 

So here I sit, planning and trying to sort out HOW I am going to fit it all in.

  • Research and learn Neuroplasticity
  • Finish the Book Keeping course I am doing (this will provide income hopefully to help fund further studies and therapies)
  • Research and get our veggie patch up and running (to provide food and lessen household expenses)
  •  Help the pink whirlwind re-decorate her bedroom
  • Learn DBT so I can reinforce what our Intellectual Thunderstorm has been taught in therapy
  • Find time to paint (to stave off the madness)
  • Blog (as important a release as painting)
  • Redo Motorcycle learners so can attain wind therapy for self…

The list of TO DO’s grows by the day BUT, I will make it. There is thankfully no lack of family support…..

 

Any suggestions, helpful hints and tips, or research resources any of you have, will be greatly appreciated.

And yes, that farm is still somewhere in the cards for the future…..

 

 

 

‘Knock outs’ and ‘Come backs’

Can’t believe we are 14 days into the new year already. It seemed set to start off as a brilliant one. Our Intellectual Thunderstorm acquired another Volunteer position at a Specialist Vet clinic and was doing great, full week. We felt sure this was the turnaround point. We read about how a school, just like what we wanting to open, has opened its doors this Jan in another province. Contacts have been made. Our efforts in finding land to start our school haven’t been going so well but with all the other pluses we were on great footing anyway.

Then today the message came through, “Sorry to have to say but due to some issues we will no longer be requiring his help”

My heart hit the floor faster than a toddler’s breakfast porridge and felt about the same. I just sat, holding back tears and thinking…. “where to now?”

Needless to say I had to go fetch him, he is naturally devastated and emotionally punishing himself, words I hate hearing flying out of his mouth. Self-damaging talk. The emotional damage and self-esteem will take time to heal, we will move forward slowly and learn from this experience. There is no better teacher than life, if we choose to learn from its lessons.

I have calmly asked what the issues were so we can address them and he can learn. Turns out it wasn’t his lack of ability in work, but rather his inability to understand the social norms and etiquette required in social interactions. This has caused the problem. Management feel he does not fit in.

We have learnt already in this life how not everyone has the ability to understand his differences and not every environment is suited to them either. We will return to the drawing board and regroup. He has a way to go and much to learn. Maybe this new school is a new door opening, if all pans out and jobs can be found that side…who knows.

My feelings at the moment are a mix of heartbroken mother and unyielding optimist. I will take a moment… and allow him his. Then we will get back to work. Opportunities knock on the doors of those who are ready to answer.

Ready, set and I hope its a Go!

Well its a start. Emails sent, appointments made and docs downloaded. I’m feeling daunted and excited at the same time. Feel like I am walking on a wall, one side is failure and the other success. I am trying to keep my eyes on the success side. Got a response from a prominent person I emailed, can’t decide if it was a good mail or a bad one.  On one hand I am absolutely amazed that they responded…and so quickly to boot, took all of 12 hrs, I didn’t even really think I would get a response… so miracle number 1. On the other hand though they didn’t sound too hopeful that this will kick off. They have tried on another side of things and the red tape is apparently miles long and keeps changing.

I am determined though, my heart says its right and my brain is saying failure is not an option. Change is made by those who are crazy enough to try and keep trying. Page one has started so let’s see where this books story goes……

Motivation

Life’s Pain and Pleasure

And here we stand, after years of fighting we are finally getting closer to the truth. The hard part…. realizing that the truth may not be all you hoped it would be but knowing it is still necessary to know.

My Intellectual Thunderstorm is causing quite a buzz in the medical circles he is involved in at present.  Myriad’s of tests have been lined up and he will be a documented case for future medical students to learn from. He is caught between feeling anxious and scared and at the same time feeling a little famous; finally his differences are being noticed not by glaring and rude kids trying to get a laugh at his expense but rather by adults with gleaming excitement in their eyes.

I’m not quite sure where I am on the scale of emotions at present.  Years of hoping that the truth would lead to a cure or treatment that would make his life better and easier for once, were shattered with the new knowledge that whichever Disorder this turns out to be, it will be a symptomatic treatment process with possible further future hurdles still to come. At the same time though, I am elated at finally having a team of passionate and heartfelt specialists who are no longer going to allow him to fall through the cracks. I know we need the answers so that no matter what the future holds we will be better prepared for it.

I hope that through our struggles, future children like him will not go so easily dismissed. That those who will learn from his medical reports and history will go out to be better Doctors with an eye for the small things and a heart that will listen to those mothers a little more closely.

We have also through all this realized the lack of educational facilities in our country for children with similar problems, this has led to our decision to start the process towards starting a support group, as well as a school, where teens like my Intellectual Thunderstorm can come to learn in an environment that celebrates their differences and understands their struggles. A small home away from home, where they can find their place in life.

For now though…. we taking a day off…. to celebrate our little Pink Whirlwinds Birthday.

The Management Mauling

Something that has become a concern to my heart lately is the amount of people I encounter that when they open up, tell me about their issues at work with others who in their roles as leaders are displaying damaging characteristics towards those they are meant to lead.

It led me to ponder on the basics of what makes a good Leader/Manager. Something I have seen I am definitely not the only one pondering about, based on the numerous pictures and posts I see doing the rounds on social media.

The norm now days seems to be to place people in Management / Leadership positions based solely on their educational merits and achievements. This is unfortunately leading to a trend that is showing to be very damaging. I am not saying people with these high IQ abilities in their field are not great candidates for Management positions, however not all are equal in their EQ abilities. The merits of someone with a higher EQ (Emotional Intelligence for those who have not come across the phrase before) have been placed on the back burner by some companies. Now please bear in mind that I am not a Psychologist / Psychiatrist, just an observer and listener that has seen the damage this is doing through my encounters with others.

The problem I feel with basing an applicants suitability for a position in Management solely on their Resume’ and Educational qualifications, without testing their EQ abilities is that we now have individuals, who although they know the job, cannot relate to and encourage the best out of those that they are leading.

It is inevitable that at some point we will all miss the bar on certain projects, we are human and perfection is a myth that no one will ever achieve. We can strive to attain it but we will fail. You can argue this point but let’s be honest, what’s perfection for one is imperfect to another. The problem in an environment where the person “in charge” has a lower EQ is that the immediate response to their “subordinates” failure is to shout, curse and belittle that individuals abilities, sometimes going as far as belittling the individual themselves. Some times even when a job has been done well, the constant shouting is not even soothed over with the odd compliment of a job well done. This leads to damage to self-esteem, depression and oft times breeds an environment where anger and resentment builds. The impact of this is that the person being belittled lands up having no desire to work or do their best, as no matter how hard they try, their efforts go unnoticed.

We can sit and say ‘Oh, people should just learn to deal’, or ‘They should just shrug it off and not take it so personally’. Life is already riddled with stress from every angle. Work deadlines, personal relationships, financial strain and oft times traumas we keep to ourselves. We spend so much of our time at work that juggling everything else in the few precious hours of free time we have makes dealing with the added strain of a work environment that drains you even more, just too much.

Not everyone has the strength in them to deal with personal life issues and then spend 8 to 10 hours a day being emotionally drained at work as well. This does not make them inadequate, just human.

We have become a society that lives on anti-depressants and energy boosting pills and drinks that further drain our emotional and psychological abilities. People suffering from anxiety attacks, burn out and nervous break downs is becoming a norm. It is not a norm I think should exist. We need to start pushing for change not just in our personal lives but in the work place as well. A change towards people respecting others and valuing the contributions that each individual brings. Finding the strengths of each person and placing them in the environments and positions where they will be best suited based not only on their educational skills but their emotional skills as well.

When hiring for Management / Leadership positions, an individuals educational and skill levels should definitely be advantageous to the job required, however, importance should also be placed on their emotional abilities as well. The work force they will lead needs to be constructively criticised when a fault is found, led and taught with respect in the areas where improvement is needed and praised when a job is well done.

We are human beings and thus have emotional needs as well as physical ones. Those needs do not cease to exist when we enter the work place. I truly believe when an individual is given the encouragement and support required to achieve their best, they will be more willing to work and strive for the best. Thus inevitably benefiting the company, as a harder working, motivated and more efficient work force leads to better productivity.

found at thecompellededucator.blogspot.com

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