Here we are again, it is Thursday, the day after another amazing Occupational Therapy Society event at York St John University, and what an event!
At 4pm, we students settled down to hear our lecturers talk. A normal afternoon for us students you say? Well, not this time. This time our lecturers were NOT sharing their extensive knowledge of Occupational Therapy theory, practice or research but were instead, sharing information about themselves.
Sharing personal and private information can be a hard task for some people, being open and honest about yourself can be a challenging and frightening experience, how much information do you share and of what type? For Occupational Therapists in practice deciding what level of personal information you share with patients and colleagues is a daily decision and one which can affect your professional relationship. This must be even more complicated if you are doing this exercise with a group of, lets be honest, relative strangers, who you are in a position of authority over. And yet, our wonderful lecturers stepped up and really, to coin a phrase, knocked it out of the park.
First up was Hannah Spring. Discussing with all present, her route into teaching and how she came to end up in such a specialist field and such a unique position as a lecturer here. From there, she shared with us her talent and true passions in the form of her extra curricular activities. I won’t spoil the surprise if you didn’t attend this event, but I will just say ATTEND THE CHRISTMAS CABARET! Definitely not to be missed.
Karen Wilson had the unenviable task of following Hannah but she captured our attention and hearts with her frank and open discourse regarding her past careers, her love of nature, animals and people and her overwhelming passion for Occupational Therapy and teaching. Reminding us all to be ourselves and carry all our experiences with us as they each have value and merit, especially in our chosen field.
Alison Laver-Fawcett came next with an all too quick ‘tour’ of her truly amazing and, all too enviable life as an Occupational Therapist. She discussed with us the opportunities she has had to live, work, present and lecture all over the world. Opportunities which have led to her meeting and working with some of the worlds most famous Occupational Therapists (I am including our own lecturers here too). Alison suggests that all students, and graduates, grasp any and all opportunities which are presented too us, however large or small, as you never know where these may lead.
After a quick break, Maria Parks had the floor and wowed us with her dedication and commitment. Maria spoke about her ‘lack of academic ability’ growing up, but how she persevered with academia only to find out when completing her Masters Degree that she is, in fact, dyslexic. Showing that all odds can be overcome if you try, try again, play to your strengths (and have a great personal tutor).
Finally, the newest member of the YSJ staff, Alison Wadey came to speak to us. She talked about her journey as an OT through various services and specialties until she found her passion, proving that it is OK to take your time and not be 100% on what you want or where you want to be. Ally also spoke about her tremendous commitment, as for the past 6 years she has been hard at work, forgoing her own therapeutic needs, in order to gain her PhD. What an achievement. Luckily now, she can finally have a break and practice her yoga.
That’s all from me folks, the only thing left to say is what an inspiration all these ladies are. If you missed the event, I hope this can give you a little flavour of what it was about and if you want to see some pictures (including one of me, I think that was payback so thanks Kerry) then check out storify. Hopefully we will see you Monday for our first ever Occupational Film Night! Bye for now