Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Sorry it’s been ages since I made a blog post but my mind has been so preoccupied with the crazy rotations of this world. It always feels odd to me to write about my life as it’s happening, I need time to process all that’s going on or what I have done.
Oh, what have I done? It’s so interesting to look back at the past couple of months and realize what has gone on. It feels like I just got here yesterday and I’m still a baby attempting to balance on new legs trying to place one foot in front of the other. I’m happy here but as before unsure of what I want in life, but I have dreams and values that became part of my foundation many years ago, those things I hold dear.
I guess that although I’m here making friends, and creating a community within itself I also know deep down that in less then a year those people will leave and new ones will come to take there places. I just question weather or not I want to have to say goodbye at the end of each year to the people I love… it gets hard after a while.
On the other hand I have this great opportunity if I stay here and I know I will learn so much about the world, other human beings and myself. How could one pass that up? I guess I really miss my family and friends back in Seattle you all feel millions of miles away from me…as if in another world all together. Many of us here have discussed how we have this extreme desire to share with you what it is we are doing here, but no words could capture what we feel or do. Camphil is a place of historical nurturing a place of loving dedication. You really have to be here and see for yourself, I could fill page after page just trying to describe one day of my life here.
I also want to say now that as much as I want to write to you all about the pupils I work with and show you the millions of photos I have taken, but I can’t. The laws are tight and I have to respect the wishes of the parents. So I will have to be careful of what I write on here!
I guess if I could somehow re-capture the term I would say it went well. We all had our struggles as we begun our new relationships with these pupils and we had our moments of brilliance. I certainly had my fair share of hard times and millions of wonderful moments that always seem to win and make you forget the tough times. Life is like that though, when we have these moments that make us so happy, when we laugh so hard we fall over, when someone tells us they love us or even an unexpected pat on the back at supper; those moments make all the negative things melt away and all you can do is forgive and let go. When someone shows signs of challenging behavior there is always a reason and a right to do so. I believe that they are simply testing their will as well as trying to communicate. Many of our pupils can’t communicate the way we do, and this as you can imagine is frustrating. If you could not say what was bothering you and there were tons of people around you telling you what to do and you don’t feel well, you would find someway to make people notice. Weather that’s hitting, biting, scratching, screaming, or running away you name it I have experienced it. These things can be avoided most of the time; it’s just a matter of trying your best to help your pupil communicate and by teaching them coping strategies. You do need to push them though; it’s through those moments you can teach them the most. By intentionally causing a situation that would cause complications you can teach them what to do, ways they can comfort themselves. Most of the time for my pupil it’s through moment of confusion that she can act aggressively. My pupil processes things much slower and needs time to work it out in her mind, so most of the time she just needs space and time. So I’m also learning a lot of new things and a lot of patience.
So we just finished our October holidays and the new term starts tomorrow and although I had an eventful Holiday in London I missed the routine of Camphil and all my friends here. Being away from here just made me miss Seattle and it was hard to cope, so I really need a place to call home and a place to return to and I think this is a nice one for now.
London was nice and I got to visit with an old co-worker of mine from the Sheiling School who showed us around!
Well I love you all very much and thinking of you often!
Till next time keep working hard and sweet dreams,
I would also like to give a special thank you to my daddy Bob who saved me when I got stuck in London and thought I may not ever make it back! Also to my friend David who showed me around a London and gave me the best night out and also saved me from two nights on the floor of the Victoria Station! I owe you both an arm and a leg!
Julia as well thank you for letting us stay with you, your wonderful dear!
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Well it’s the end of the day and I’m sitting at my desk in my cozy room with a large cup of mint tea thinking about all that has passed so far. It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost a month since I arrived. Time has gone by fast and I’m so at home here. Yes I do think fondly of Seattle and all that dwells there as I’m nodding off to sleep after a long day, but this is becoming home.
It’s a Saturday night and today I had a lovely day even if it did start with a mild hangover due to the clubroom party that occurred yesterday evening. I really love weekends here, they are so relaxed, and fun and it’s when it feels most like a home and not a school. We have a nice breakfast, and we linger a bit at the table savoring that last bit shade grown coffee that’s now almost cold. We sip our lukewarm caffeine as we gossip about the weeks events and laugh at the silly things we don’t remember doing the night before.
This weekend like most we just have my pupil Emma so it’s very relaxed and sweet Emma gets all the attention, which she adores. In the morning Bel another coworker who’s from Thailand, took Emma for a nice walk to Newton Dee café. While she was out having a lovely time I stayed behind to clean and make lunch. It’s nice because I can have a bit of a break while I listen to Radio 1 and clean the cooker.
Today I made a nice lunch of pasta with a delicious Béchamel sauce, Uncle Jack; it was perfect, you would have been so proud. I also made a Beet salad (Emma loves beets just like me), a Zucchini salad and a nice green salad as well.
Then after an hour rest hour Emma and I went to Mignon house to visit Joseph another pupil who is also in Emma’s class. We had a lovely time with the other pupils and co-workers in Mignon house as we walked to the River Dee. It was so beautiful by the river, the rain had finally stopped and just a very little bit of sun came through the clouds making the water look glassy. I loved the crunch the stones made beneath our feet as we searched for a way to get closer to the water. We didn’t manage in the end. Because it’s wasn’t possible for our pupils to hop across the large stones that made a path to the island of rocks on the rivers edge. So we just all stared longingly at the river wishing to get closer. I had desperation to place my hands in the cool water but I could only imagined the delicious sensation in my mind. Emma really wanted to get closer but I explained that unless she wanted to go swimming we were not crossing. She got so excited about the potential of swimming I thought she might slide down the hill and really splash her way across the water. It was a very amusing trip and Emma and I both enjoyed it. We both are the social type, even if Emma doesn’t speak with her mouth she has her own way of communicating and she loves her friends. Emma is also a very sensitive girl and she will either like you or she doesn’t. I already know, and have been told by those who are observing our new relationship that she likes me very much. So it really makes my life here so wonderful knowing that she loves me and gives me lot’s of hugs and kisses every day.
After our walk Emma and I joined Mignon for supper and after Emma even helped with the washing up, which she does every night. It was so nice to be with the others as Jorina washed, Emma rinsed and I dried while chatting about the day. I felt so relaxed and happy; I really love community it brings so much joy to my life and to the others who are coexisting here.
I’m really enjoying creating these personal relationships here in Camphill while I’m building a new foundation for my life.
After Settling Emma this evening I went with some others to a talk being given in the Hall by an Autistic woman named Ros Blackburn. It was a great way to end the day, I feel so satisfied knowing I had a full day filled with many wonderful things that I shall smile about as I fall asleep tonight.
Until next time take care and do something to fulfill your life, it will keep you smiling even when things become difficult.
Friday, 27 August 2010
The people I love the bestjump into work head firstwithout dallying in the shallowsand swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.They seem to become natives of that element,the black sleek heads of sealsbouncing like half submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submergein the task, who go into the fields to harvestand work in a row and pass the bags along,who stand in the line and haul in their places,who are not parlor generals and field desertersbut move in a common rhythmwhen the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.But the thing worth doing well donehas a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.Greek amphoras for wine or oil,Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museumsbut you know they were made to be used.The pitcher cries for water to carryand a person for work that is real.
~ Marge Piercy ~
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Greetings at last my dear friends, family and fellow bloggers,
I finally have time to make my first post about my life in Camphill.
I know it has been a couple weeks since many of you have heard from me, but things here have been really busy and it’s taking my fellow coworkers and I time to settle in. There is no shortage of information that needs to be stuffed into our minds, and some how we need to retain it all. Example: a five-hour “Client Care- Moving and Handling” course with the most un amussing man I have ever met, but one must know these things.
I’m really impressed with how easy it has been to readjust to Camphill life. It truly is a life choice to live in Camphill, I can’t stress enough how this is not work, and it’s my life. What a good life it will be, I could already tell in the first couple of days that I had made the right choice for this point in my life, even though I did take my time to make that choice.
We are a great group of coworker this year and most of us remarked in the first couple of days how we all seem to work well together and we really have created our own small community within the larger one, it’s so wonderful.
Since I have been here I have been replaying over and over in my mind those precious weeks I spent here in Scotland with my Grandparents.
I remember one particular day when we went to Newton Dee estate, they have this beautiful café and we went and had a nice hot lunch to escape the cold rain. On our way out after perusing their lovely organic supermarket I remember grandpa stopping to look at the shelf’s filled with magazines, maps, and books about Camphill, Rudolf Steiner, and curative education. He just started grabbing anything that looked interesting and I recall asking him why he wanted such a stack of papers? He simply said “so that when I tell people where my eldest Granddaughter is and what she is doing I can show and tell them about it. I knew in that moment how proud he was of me and I know he would be so proud of me now.
That was the one thing that took the longest to get over, simply the fact that I didn’t get the chance to tell him what I always knew but took me ages to admit to myself. I have always known that what I end up doing with my life it must be something that gives back to the larger community: the world.
I really do realize, now that I’m here, that this is a beautiful life choice. It brings your soul to life; it shows it’s true potential.
Rudolf Steiner describes these children as vessels filled with water. One may be big with cracks, one small and rusty and another chipped and crooked, but the soul of the child is pure and beautiful and the same as everyone. We all have a beautiful soul it just needs to be recognized and awakened.
This life does that for me, it awakens my soul in a new way, it’s wonderful.
Tonight my house had our weekly house evening meeting. Just before we finished we went around the room and we each shared a highlight from the week. I said that I finally had that warm internal feeling of being settled and that at last I felt that amazing connection forming with my pupil and I. It’s such a great feeling knowing that you love someone no matter how challenging they can be at times, because you get to a point where you never see anything negative it’s all playful and joyous. My pupil is very sensitive and can really sense if you truly like or love her, we have bonded very quickly and I feel f=great about her, she is wonderful. Every morning now when I go to wake her she sees me and squeals with delight at the sight of my face. I feel appreciated, loved and it’s wonderful that it’s starting to feel like a family at last.
I’m very happy so far with my new family and friends, I’m so lucky to be where I am and to be doing such rewarding work.
Well cheers for now I hope you are all doing well and you will be hearing again from me very soon!