Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Ive been working on a case study for a paper called Integration of Practice.
The case study is about a 14 year old boy called Josh (pseudonym) and I have to make an intervention plan thats focused on aggression. Josh plays xbox most nights til 5am in the morning and as a result he hardly goes to school and when he does he have shown aggressiveness to peers and teachers as well as to his parents. Josh has been expelled before from another school and left another voluntarily. He likes to also skateboard (alone) and play online with buddies. (There are major other issues as well but I can only focus on aggression) There are a lot of things I dont know that I'd like to know like:
  • What is the parental history of his parents. What style of parenting do they use? What punish and reward systems do they use?
  • What do his two siblings do with their day? What are they into?
  • Has he physically met his online buddies?
  • What xbox games does he play? (I suspect GTA & Halo)
  • In what way is he aggressive to his parents?
  • Is he interested in any other games
  • Is he interested in the future and what he wants to do?
One thing thats really nagging me and its so simple but I know I cant use it. Get rid of the xbox. As plain and simple as that. But if Josh is my client as well as the parents that would not be a great start. In fact it would ruin any initial developments of rapport.

I have a few ideas (other than above lol):
  • Communication skills (self awareness, assertiveness, expressing aggressiveness appropriately)
  • Community sport involvement (sport= exercise+endorfins&tiredness+social interaction)
  • Routine: structure set hours of xbox time with spec games. Evaluate with parents appropriateness of games. PLUS set sleep hours (if xbox in bedroom negotiate having it in lounge). Set up reward system for this.
I might put the communication skills and routine as a priority then add the sport thing later (I'm limited in how much I put in intervention plan).
I'd really appreciate some feedback on this by my non existent readers (HELLO OUT THERE!)

I'm definitely going to use the above two now that I've looked at them. Its just finding the rationale now. I have no experience in child truancy casework just so you know so I'm very VERY new at this.

PS I forgot to mention - My intervention HAS to be based on the Behavioural Approach model


Monday, July 28, 2008

O be joyful

Good news folks
Im allowed to redo my design paper extramurally next year. PRAISE GOD! woop woop! So that means I will not be doing my degree part time and I will graduate at the same time as everyone else so long as I keeps my wits a lot better this semester and not screw up.
I dont know. Theres just something so satisfyingly motivating about failure. Dont get me wrong - I was very lucky and I'm not the type of person to be so lighthearted about my career. But it makes me think of Thomas Edison. Brilliant American. Made thousands of mistakes and only a few successes. I like to think that with those few successes he made (which changed technology in the world forever) I bet he learnt to celebrate well. Old school music, vintage wine, party games mmmMmmm. That is how I'm thinking right now and boy am I joyful. My partner is also happy about this because it means he doesnt have to wait more that 3 years for me to come home (hes in Christchurch I'm in Dunedin).

Second happy thing to report: I am so far on top of my papers. Considering I'm redoing one this semester this is excellent stuff.

Still practicing my finger spelling. Though to be honest I do a lot of it in private or when I'm bored or waiting etc. Need to work on my vowels I think. Ive keep mixing up the english version of A,E,I,O,U to the Japanese version of A,I,U,E,O (I can speak a little Japanese).

Also: My homestay has gone through yay!! So in two weeks I'm going to Auckland to work at a stroke rehab clinic. I'm really excited as I'm really facinated with this line of work and I've also never worked in a community setting before. Looking forward to it. My blessing is that the woman who I'm going to live with, lives in the same suburb as the clinic. How rare is that?! Im gonna save so much on petrol. The downside is that board costs are a lot more than I earlier thought which leaves only $50 left for myself out of my $1000 grant. Dammit! No new pair of sneakers for me then...

Had two tutorials today. Both pretty much the same topics: Leadership styles in client groups and client/colleague consultation. I have to do some quiz that tells me what kind of leader I am. To finish off this blog I already found the answer to that in a quote I found in Time magazine about Nelson Mandela's rules of Leadership:

"Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front"
Mandela loved to reminisce about his boyhood and his lazy afternoons herding cattle. "You know," he would say, "you can only lead them from behind." He would then raise his eyebrows to make sure I got the analogy.

As a boy, Mandela was greatly influenced by Jongintaba, the tribal king who raised him. When Jongintaba had meetings of his court, the men gathered in a circle, and only after all had spoken did the king begin to speak. The chief's job, Mandela said, was not to tell people what to do but to form a consensus. "Don't enter the debate too early," he used to say.

During the time I worked with Mandela, he often called meetings of his kitchen cabinet at his home in Houghton, a lovely old suburb of Johannesburg. He would gather half a dozen men, Ramaphosa, Thabo Mbeki (who is now the South African President) and others around the dining-room table or sometimes in a circle in his driveway. Some of his colleagues would shout at him — to move faster, to be more radical — and Mandela would simply listen. When he finally did speak at those meetings, he slowly and methodically summarized everyone's points of view and then unfurled his own thoughts, subtly steering the decision in the direction he wanted without imposing it. The trick of leadership is allowing yourself to be led too. "It is wise," he said, "to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea."

I would so love to have that man as a grandad...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

End of 1st week back

Bit slow to start but not too bad. Half way through the week I realised I left my folders and portfolio at home. Not too worried though as I go home again in under 2 weeks.

One thing has got my attention though. All the papers were put in the entry foyer to be collected and my design paper isnt there. The mark isnt online either. Looks like I'm going to have to suck up my pride and ask the lecturer whats going to happen. If I've fully failed the paper (not offered a special) I pray I'll get away with doing that paper at the same time as next semesters as well... I really hate the idea of graduating 4 months after everyone else and thus being held back 4 months so I wouldnt be able to move back to chch asap.

Anyway on the next bit of news.
I really REALLY enjoy my new papers. They have a lot more of an interesting factor to them compared to last semester. And I'm particularly happy to have my old psychology lecturer back. I got an A- in his last class. A really likable guy who makes everyone work hard for his good marks.

Last semester I had to make this blog for my participation in occupation paper. This semester for POII I have to take up a new hobby and do an interest piece on it as my paper. Ive decided to learn New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Its similar to the British version I've heard and I'm practicing fingerspelling in front of the mirror at the moment. So far all I know how to sign is: hello my name is melody and the sign for bullshit (which my boyf loves to show me). Understanding fingerspelling is all I'm going to work on for now. Then I'll start on basic sentences and vocab.
Its a bit harder than I thought it would be. Last time I tried this was in my first placement where I made friends with the speech therapist there and she taught me makaton (speaking and signing). I learnt about 500 signs in about a week and could sign and understand simple dialogue without speaking. I dont have anyone to practice with nor encourage me this time plus no one to correct me if I start making mistakes. Oh well.
Ive been a gestural talker my whole life. In fact that is where my beginnings are. When I was a toddler I was developmentally behind in language skills. My mother told me she was actually really worried at that point as the majority of the communication skills I used where facial, gestural and guttural (noises instead of words).
My mother being a deeply spiritual woman prayed a help cry of "God make her speak!!". Apparently I have never shut up since lol.
But even as a child I had speaking difficulties and needed speech therapy myself til my last year in primary school. Mum considered putting me down a level a couple of times but I'm glad she didnt.
Today I am a massive talker. Communication isnt hard for me and recently it got me into a spot of trouble in my last placement. Nothing major though. I've learnt to control what and how I say things in a professional setting now. Of course I've never been like that to clients. And I've NEVER talked about clients innappropriately.
What helped me later on I think was my enourmous appetite for books. Im still a big reader but back in Year nine I was already reading at a very high level. After that I learnt how to read very fast as well as being able to pick up on details.

Before I go -
Im wondering if it would be a good idea to show what signs I learn here. Which would mean Id have to put them on youtube first I suppose... I'd love to get feedback from anyone who knows NZSL.