Wow. Emo Occupational Therapist Student, anyone?

I just finished reading Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult and I was impressed…I also enjoyed The Condition…many many hours of procrastination from PDE (professional development evaluation) time. I’m about halfway done. It’s frustrating to me that we are asked to show evidence of things like “uses APA style”. C’mon…you’ve been our professors for a year and a half in a small school. You know us intimately. Tell us what you don’t believe we show proof of professionally so that we can go find evidence for those specific things. The only argument I’ve heard as to why we do it is to build up something for our future bosses…but um, what boss in their right mind wants to be shown a two inch binder filled with things like a page of citations to show we know APA style? And an e-mail showing we motivate others? Seriously? Also the professors get together to discuss us so that they can give us feedback on a little sheet. I’d LOVE to be a fly on the wall for those discussions. Mine last year basically said I was pretty cool, except that I tend to make morbid comments too frequently. Yeah I agree. I tried to be better about it this semester, although I admit I’ve had quite a few slips. So now it will be like “You’re kinda cool, except you’re still morbid and inappropriate, work on that more. And stop slouching. And project louder. .” LOL. And I’ll be like, okay, I’m still working on the whole inappropriate comment thing. And I slouch because my body is messed up, not laziness. And my ears are insanely sensitive. But I’ll try.” and then they will be like, “don’t try. DO.” and I’ll be like, “Geez louise!! Criminy crickets! Okay!” And then I’ll promptly go slouching off to speak softly about how I want to fall off a cliff.

JUST KIDDING. Today I was supposed to go volunteer in the morning but since I didn’t fall asleep until after 5am I ended up calling them to ask about coming in next week to do the database entry instead. I slept in until it was time to go to the Assisted Living facility, where I met my Tai Chi partner Julie, and then we went around scheduling people. Everyone is so nice. I ended up going to Kerri’s (who lives near by the place) for a few hours to work on stuff like PDEs, although I was exhausted enough that I ended up playing Super Mario Kart with her and reading a book. I went back to the facility at 6ish to help out with Bingo. It’s fun smiling at people and being around so many nice people. I think many “older adults” (the politically correct term these days) have a special ability to see inner sparks…lights within us that have nothing to do with age.

A few days ago I clicked on a site my friend had found that was made by a man who buys unprocessed film at like antique stores, to develop it. He put up his favorite pictures, most of which were decades ago. It made me feel odd to look at these flat images on my screen, random strangers looking into the camera, and knowing that there was an entire lifetime of history captured in that snapshot. So many emotions and so many stories that I would never know. I think that’s one reason I like OT – you get to know your clients. You get to have an intimate look into their lives, get to live a small part of their journey. You are medical enough to get to help them, but social/non-medical enough that they will tell you things they might not tell a doctor. You, if you do the job OTs are truly meant to do, have become a part of their history…not just a single sentence line in Reader’s Digest referring to the grueling months of rehab a person underwent.., but a living human being that worked with another human being, day by day, working together to help create a new fabric…I need to stop reading so many random books. I sound like an emo metaphysicist on LSD.

But seriously…I have thrown myself into OT…and it has nothing to do with wanting to do glitter crafts, or stack cones, or measure hand angles…it has to do with watching a woman’s eyes light up as she watches her daughter put on her own socks for the first time…in other words…it’s not about the skill being learned…it’s not about the job….it’s about the joy of connection, the joy of participating in activities that bring meaning. All careers have their pros and cons…but there is, at least to me, a special magic in OT…although it’s time for another Slagle lecture on why we need to not forget our roots… a famous reconstructionist aide (precursor to OT), Ora Ruggles, explained that it is the healing of the heart that is the most important…

One point of clarification since I know “Cookie Gimp” will fuss at me otherwise on how I’m talking about restoring and not about people with congenital issues….the joy of watching someone do something doesn’t have to be a physical task or gaining a new skill…it’s solely based on watching a person participate, mentally OR physically, in a task that brings that person some satisfaction or joy or enhanced quality of life…regardless of level of ability before or after. 😛

May 16, 2008 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1