Saturday, October 5, 2013

First Course Complete

One final exam is now over and the next course with the same instructor begins Monday.  Foundation in Therapeutic Recreation was our first class and the idea was to get us exposed to different concepts about the field.

A major feature of the course was that we went to observe 7 different programs for older people and then we filled out huge sets of questions about things we observed at the location. We visited personal care homes, adult day programs and a lovely independent living facility. We talked with the Recreational Therapists running the programs about their jobs and the joys and challenges they faced in their particular work.
I was at a Girl Guide event where we had

I was really interested in seeing how the programs were handled and I could not believe how different they all were. I had fun watching a music program, and observing a really fun version of exercise combined with some cognitive prompting. (Stretch the rubber resistance band toward the west coast to Vancouver.. now let's aim toward Halifax on the east coast.)

One highlight was the hands on opportunity to help out at a day program when a petting zoo came to visit. The bunnies and chickens were carried around the circle for everyone to pet and I sat talking to several different interesting older people. I was amused to find that while my younger classmates were getting comments about yes nice and soft pets.  I was getting the older people telling me that these fancy breed chickens were too scrawny to cook and then several of them shared recipes about the best way to cook rabbits. So much for that cuddly petting zoo idea!

One of the lovely but still slightly disconcerting aspects of several of these visits was that so many of the residents looked at my cane and my graying hair and warmly welcomed me as a new participant and member of their group. I guess I look like I belong.

The final exam was not that hard but I really did need to take a lot of extra time to complete it.  Word recall is still very much an issue for me. Matching or fill in the blank questions were great and  I really don't think the essay questions went all that badly but darn that word recall problem when I needed specific terms. Somewhere in the extra time I was allowed because of my disability, I had the most of the "missing words" pop back in my mind. I was talking to one of the girls in the class yesterday about how I went to a bonfire cookout and I told her we had smore's and that I had roasted a mushroom on a stick. I looked at her confused expression and realized that I did not say "marshmallow".  I told her with a tiny touch of embarrassment...." and that  is part of what they mean when they are talking about aphasia".

 Exhaustion and stress bring on some of my symptoms that were bigger issues a year or two ago.
... Being exhausted and stressed is part of the definition of being a College Student.


Humpty Dumpty said...

Glad you made it through your first class. Interesting to read about the generation gap with regards to the petting zoo animals! Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much about the cane issue. I'm sure you'll be much more accepted by the seniors than your much younger counterparts. Good luck with your next course. :)

Sara G said...

I think it is wonderful what you are doing and what a great picture! Thank you for sharing with us and hope you have a great week in your new class.

Grace Carpenter said...

I love it that the older people trusted you enough to talk about the real deal (cooking those cute rabbits!) It was so important for me to have at least some of my therapists to be my peers (i.e. the same age).

Congratulations on finishing the course!

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