I have been thinking about reflective practice and how important it is to actually WRITE about things rather than chunter on with other people. Just talking inevitably leads to rumination and lack of clear perspective so I am going to attempt to put my writing where my mouth is and begin to reflect upon things in the hope of making sense of the stuff going on at the moment.
I approached a new Professor at work as a very brave first step back into the research world. After the death of my PhD and the subsequent grieving process I have had nothing to do with research projects. I have been teaching it - a task I find incredibly difficult as I know a lot and have done a lot but not doing at the moment seems all wrong. Anyway I have made that first step and this time with the arts -based work rather than the diabetes stuff, as in the past. This time the project is about dementia and today some of us went to see a play called "swags and tails" at Longbenton - produced by Open Clasp Theatre. It was absolutely wonderful and so moving. It was a commentary on how we treat older people and using the lens of Thatcher’s legacy and how older people have views and values. A very moving portrayal of dementia was also part of the play and this was one of the most poignant parts of the play although not the only emotionally evocative part of the play. It was brilliantly acted; the scenery was great as was the scenery changes and all in all a wonderful way to spend Tuesday afternoon. I really believe that good fiction plays, novels etc are a powerful approach to enabling our students to learn about care and compassion. I fear that it might be too out of the comfort zone for folk but maybe there are more of us considering it as a possible new way of looking at age old problems.
ALSO writing for publication is bloody hard work - peer -reviewed journals hard to get in to and it is not what you know but who you know that counts. I think if you are responsible then sharing information and opinion this way, via the blogging world, might be a great democratic and enabling way of generating debate and action.