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Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's M TIME!

Wow! It’s been four days since we’ve written. It seems so much goes on in-between things that there’s rarely enough time to do half of what is necessary. We last left off on getting Julie’s edits which was huge! I remember looking into the house pictures thinking so hard of being there and trying to make things happen.

Today we are more hidden and reserved. We did have a meeting this morning and we have another in a half hour, but sister has the meeting this afternoon. Just she wanted me to be there. Ok, I can do that.

Today’s meeting went fine the mother wasn’t feeling good so asked for a short meeting. We trimmed it by 15 minutes, so we’re hoping that helped. She gets around on bus and I felt bad she’d be out there with a cold, but not much be done.

It was a good meeting. I enjoyed being there.

We took care of some CARF business too that had been weighing on us so we’re doing well there as well. Now if I could take care of the pile growing on my desk after the meeting then I will feel happy for the day. I’m thinking whether or not I should cancel tomorrow. We have work off on Monday for Columbus Day, so we’re thinking we could make it a four day holiday. Maybe. I’m not sure. I thought about it this morning. We couldn’t have taken off today because of the meetings, but maybe tomorrow.

We had a meeting yesterday out of the building. It was the meeting for communication and creativity. I respected the person who did the meeting and there was no doubt that he could hold the attention of the group, but almost half the time he had us playing with little games that were like supposed to stretch our creative imaginations. A couple of times is ok, but after that you are like … just please send me home or shoot me. For example one of the games was to competitively come up with as many reasons possible for using rubber bands and paper clips.

Growl! This is NOT why my agency spent $100 is to have me playing with paper clips during the day.

I think sometimes when people get their doctorate they think the world fall at their feet. It doesn’t happen that way. He didn’t even think of the games in advance. He brought a book with 99 games and then leafed through it saying we’ll play this one or this one. He didn’t have a clue how to incorporate creative thinking or communication to our field. He just said that if you could be these things then it would be better for everyone concerned. Yeah right.

At one point he was just reading off creative ideas and he said that we could start and end the day by writing down everything we think. Wow Flashbulb moment!

*silly, silly* That’s all we’ve been doing for the last 7-8 years. AND we’re publishing it. We caught him toward the end just sitting there so we talked to him about it. It was a 3-4 minute conversation if at that. He said that we should send him something in the email when it gets published. If we can remember, we’ll do it, pretty much because every book sold is another book sold. I guess this is the part of marketing that we have to be aware of. It’s a good opportunity.

In a general sense the meeting seemed fine, in that we took a chair at the front table that was empty at the time – they were set up in half circles facing toward the speaker. I also brought out my computer, so that held my interest because we were typing what we were hearing. I’m pretty sure I’m the only nut that does this, but it really does help us focus and I like having complete notes after the meeting. I ended up talking before lunch and during lunch to a group of three women at my table. Two were mother and one was a provider. It was a good balance of conversation as far as these sort of things go. After lunch the mothers left, but we remained communicative of the woman who was from a local provider. Actually all three women were from the Brookfield neighborhood.

I had thought I said goodbye at the end of the meeting, because we were going over to see if a particular lady who was representing separate issues that lead to the knowledge that she gave free meetings. WooHOO! You know that we are going to grab onto that. We did get her information though I couldn’t find it in the folder when we got to work, but generally we got back to the other person when we’ both gone out to get our certificates and she turned out to be someone who could present an open job in the field of employment specialty which is in Rich’s general interest of expertise. So numbers were exchanged.

When we got home yesterday we were biting on the bullet because first Rich said over the phone we’ll wait to talk when he got home, and then he had to use the washroom, and then he wanted to make dinner, and all the time we were standing there over excited because we wanted to tell him of this new job opportunity IN Brookfield and we wanted to hear how his second interview had gone. EVENTUALLY, all that spilled out, but it was aggravating there was so much information to be discussing. My mouth wasn’t working as fast as my mind … or certainly Rich’s mouth wasn’t up to speed. Sheesh!

I think in general, the interview went very well, but Rich didn’t have a good feeling yet because there were others the boss still wanted to interview. I don’t know in the least how that is going to work out. I’m hoping he’s still in the running, mostly because it’s a job that he figures he could do and it would give him people to manage. It seemed too that he was up a level than I’d expected, but I thought the salary was insulting. He would manage two houses of the six and each of those houses have a manager and each of those have Q’s and DSPs. Each house had 14-16 people in it. Rich would be expected to take shifts at the house to keep abreast of what’s going on and he would be expected to go out to day training programs to see if they were doing as expected. I could see it being a very good job, but as mentioned not enough money for the amount of hours and responsibility.

I think Rich has confused feelings. He talks about it in ways that seem to tell me that he’s considering the position, but doesn’t know how much to put into it yet. He sees the way things are run and mentally, he’s already making changes. I think that Rich would work to take some of the institutional feel out of it. And, he’d have to be developing a relationship with the two other house managers. I think that idealistically, he would be looking to take over the director position above him, but everything is like a series of learning to progress and become valuable to the organization.

It’s funny now we are after the meeting and I had gotten paperwork back from the new psychologist that is working with the program. I caught Rich’s attention and basically wanted to know how he would weigh in in that did he want to know generally what was happening and about the kinds of reports we were receiving, especially when generalizations could be made. Being Rich and us we skirmished … Rich likes to lump things as being developmentally appropriate for the age range of teenagers. I hate that kind of logic because I think it’s too commonly used by Rich … basically if its just their developmental stage then there is nothing that can be done about it.

Like I don’t think so. We basically don’t agree. I think that if one of our people is having a difficulty such as anger or retaliation or sex or whatever, then they are dealing with it from the perspective of a 20-30 some old age and not their referenced age as to being behind due to disability. I think they are for example 30 year olds who need to approach things from that perspective. They may not understand the full concepts of making their bed, though most really should know that by now, they are however being stymied on somethings because of parental and organizational regulations. Basically, the 30 year old in our care has watched X amount of TV shows where people get married, have sex and babies and work and that isn’t always what is happening for our people. I don’t look at it as developmentally charged as not being given opportunities to know others more intimately so things don’t develop … we stunt them ourselves. I think the group is over protected.

I still and always will think that the families should take more responsibility in bringing over peers and letting them get together for events OR even sleep overs.

But they get to a point of being too needy and complicated so that other families don’t want to take over care for that space of time. It becomes easier for the person to be kept isolated just with family friends. Maybe that is part of it is that sometimes the families need to be doing more together and holding that part where they have like similarities. Sometimes it seems that they are trying to protect their own family member so much and are busy with the work aspects of their life that nothing changes from the time they are little kids to being older adults. This is a big shame.

As to parts where I can control the situation, what could I do differently here at the center to make things easier for them to learn? I can agree with the impressions that Mr. Hall has, and I know I will need to talk to him for hints, but basically, how can we get past the part where so and so is bothering me and needs staff intervention. We seem to be repeating something because that part is always there. Basically, what happens when the staff turns around or doesn’t have structured time? What is it that is being communicated between our people?

There’s no doubt if I focus I wouldn’t be able to answer that in the thinking group.

Maybe this is the next experiment. I should have a thinking group where people could sit where they may, and then I could go between the groups and try to make them more externalized in that they aren’t isolate islands, but working systems.

Hmm, I think I’ll try that. That is going to mean thought that I should probably be here tomorrow. It seems too exciting to miss. Maybe we could have them talking and then go around to find out what they were talking about or if they are having troubles … I would expect some things happen like they usually might like out on the terrace. Most likely there are people that dominate and those that just follow.

I would have to look for something … I think I could draw schematics of people relating to one another. Maybe I could take pictures of every group that got together and then we could talk about those sets of relationships. As far as we could go … what happens when x x & x get together, what things are important.

Wow. This is really a good deal. The obstacles are that everyone is going to need getting up again with all their stuff and making transfers and that some people will feel out of it. Some people just hang out in the borders, but we might want to show that too. How is it that these others relate to the ones who hold the more popular conversation? We could worry about giving them tasks to solve after we know they can solve tasks or at least are getting along.

Ok, good good. I have to be at work then tomorrow. How are we doing in the meantime with the desk? Let’s turn around and check. We only have 40-45 minutes before we can see Dr. Marvin … WOOHOO!!!

Good good everything is back in place. What else do I need to think through? Did we cover enough of the week?

I think the biggest thing that we did and didn’t talk about was that we had gotten the changes back from Julie. She made as many as she could and then left a majority for me to go back and look at. These were highlighted in red. I worked on them through Monday night and then into Tuesday. After we got done with the changes, then I went over one more time, just to make sure page by page we’d dealt with all the corrections and squiggly lines. The other big deal was to be finding numbers that we had to change from numerals to spelled out words. After we got done with that we did a little research and although we couldn’t find the exact answer, we were pretty sure that 10’s, 11’s and 12’s had to be changed over to tens, elevens, and twelve’s. So with those we used the search and replace functions and we got it to where we were comfortable with it.

Of course, you always miss something. We sent a copy to Julie and Dr. Marvin suggesting they look over the 8 page Foreword, and Julie found a real mistake that was unbelievably silly on our part to have made. And, then Dr. Marvin let me know that he’d been given a raise and that I had written in for him his old title. I think both of these things have to be changed after the proofs come back. I think we sent something to Dr. Marvin today asking him to update his web presence (where we’d gotten the information) and we sent in something to Carolyn. With Carolyn, I wanted to assure that we were in the end going to get Times New Roman, that if appropriate Dr. Marvin and Dr. Woollcott’s names should go on the front cover, and we asked her whether or not there should be an “and” in between no cream AND no sugar.

We haven’t heard back so we are figuring she’s busy today, but she’s usually efficient to getting to the things that need doing. If not changeable now, they should be after the proof. I will check in with all that tomorrow. We established a day or two ago that it’s very appropriate for Ann to call Carolyn on Friday’s to see how things are progressing. WooHOO! You gotta know that every several days something or another is going to come up. After 8 more days and we pay the second money, we’re thinking that we’ll start talking to her about the marketing.

I hope soon the cover gets done and that we nail down a price. I would like to start taking orders. I think she’s going to need that kind of number up front. I also think we have to pay her up front for the books. I would like to suggest that people order from them, but if they do it’s a slower turnaround of maybe up to two weeks. I understand that we get more profit when we order through them, so I’m thinking that’s why the author is supposed to go out and get big collections of books to sell on her own. I will have to wait until mid-November before I’m able to afford books though, unless I collected from people ahead of time and unless I didn’t choose to spend the money on insurance to get the books in the store.

Carolyn seems to be holding back on that in favor of me ordering books. I think more profit is made by them if they are selling books than if we are trying to get one of the big sellers to be selling books. I am looking forward to talking to the marketing person to see if she also pushes in this direction. I would like to order books, but I’d REALLY like it if they were selling in a big store. It sounds like they won’t be in time for Christmas, but maybe they could be in the store for when things start to get returned. I’m not sure about that. I wish we’d started this all about a month earlier than it happened. BUT, I will always be grateful to Natalie for pushing when she did in such a nice way it didn’t turn me off. If I would have never stated the process we’d be so much farther behind.

I don’t know if I wrote about it earlier, but we’re going to be meeting Dr. Marvin to talk about his foreword today. I’m really looking forward to that! I don’t think we necessarily have other problems to be solving. I haven’t really seen the boys. Well, I did see Maury on Sunday. I think I mentioned that already though.

Nothing really big there, we just talked about how things were going. I do try to squeeze in with them a little on the book, but like most other things, they are really not picking it up, or if they are, it just doesn’t seem to be a big deal to them. They certainly don’t want to champion it through. I did hear that Joe said he could sell a few copies. Good Joe! I think once he reads being a mistress in the foreword though that he isn’t going to want to sell it to many people. We’ll see.

As to CS - we haven’t really been doing too much talking to her. I wrote a brief note to her and Linda yesterday while at the meeting, but today, we fell back asleep when Chief seemed to push in that direction. Now he goes to the bathroom and meows for water, but when he’s done AND the water is still running, he sits there and meows until I sit on the couch and pet him. This is a new thing this week. I’d like to have brought it to another alternative thought, but it’s worked out the same two days in a row where if we pet him, he snuggles in and stops meowing. I think this is his way of protesting that Rich gets me all night. He seems to want his turn too - poor Missy? She’s just left in the cold.

I don’t think there were any problems with Rich this week. He had a game on Monday, we both stayed in and did laundry on Tuesday, yesterday he went to a card game, tonight he’s going to meet Jill and Jon at his mother’s, and then tomorrow he’s got a game, Saturday we both have a wedding, Sunday he’s going to want to meet Jon and I think that’s pretty much caught up with things. I’m a little frustrated that the wedding is going to take so long. There’s like wedding and dinner, and after dinner and some kind of movie. I don’t know it’s just a whole lot of being around people. I like people, don’t get me wrong, but I’m an introvert. I really need my quiet space, and especially quiet space to be working on my projects.

We gave Rich a little static on the exclusivity of his family in that sometimes WHEREVER Chris might be involved, I cannot be involved. We’ve always been pro Rich having his family, but it’s been over three years now and I’d like to get over this part. With it comes the part where it would be against some major violations to have Chris come over, because I am here. We live an hour a part it’s just rather ridiculous. Rich says he’s working on it, but I see no signs of progress. Mostly what the family works on is not upsetting the mother and most things seem to set her off. We’re all too old to be playing chutes and daggers. I just want a normal life.

But, for that matter … how normal could it be that I’m writing out our story.

That’s a subject though for another day. For now, I’ve got 5 minutes to post and then ITS M TIME!

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