Sunday, January 28, 2007

News Round-up

A couple of things have happened to or around us this past week, that I feel I want to write about here (because there are people who read this who are interested in our lives, and whom I would want to know); but because the events also concern other people, I’m not sure how to go about it…

I work part-time supporting nine physically disabled adults who live together in a sheltered housing scheme. Last Monday evening, one of the tenants died. In the thirteen years since the scheme opened, this is the first time that a member of the community has died. If you understand what I mean, her death was not a surprise, but was still a shock. Can I say that in a small community the impact of a death feels somehow magnified, without sounding dispassionate about the impact of death in other contexts? Anyway, this event has brought a whole new dimension to the supporting role. And can I say that some of the conversations I’ve been able to have with tenants have been really good, very positive experiences, and that they have made being there feel more worthwhile, without sounding callous? I think I can. The funeral is on Thursday.

I also go into my daughter’s Year 1 class at school one morning a week, as a voluntary parent helper. I went in one afternoon a week when she was in Reception, so I’ve been able to build up a relationship with the kids, several of the parents, and various members of staff. This school year the class has felt very different from last; and there are a number of aspects parents are unhappy about. The school seems to be trying to address certain symptoms, but not underlying causes; and the strategies for dealing with symptoms seem to be further aggravating both symptoms and causes. On Thursday morning, while I was in the classroom, things reached a point where I felt I had no option but to walk out, and to remove my daughter from school for the rest of the day. Jo and I are meeting with the head teacher tomorrow morning to discuss things. We are committed to the school community; and what I did has the support of those other parents we’ve spoken to; so I hope that we will be listened to, and that we might see a positive move forward for everyone involved.

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