June 26, 2006

I worked three hours today as a teaching assistant.

I got in about 9:00 PM tonight. I had been out since 10:00 AM. So I spent 11 hours outside the home today. It is good the way work supports me socially as I describe in the extended entry.

I could not have done this in the past but was required to do this when I lived in a boarding house. It was a difficult year that year. It was only from about November 1986 to June 1987 that I lived in a boarding house in the downtown area. This was as close as I have come to being homeless. The boarding house staff told me I had to leave the house in the morning and return for supper. The only way I could do this was to increase my study load at school that winter term. I often that winter term would be at school with no money to buy lunch so would return to the boarding house to eat lunch rather than starve. I would then miss classes. I ended up failing all three courses that term. It did not work.

Today I had more success out of the house and had meaningful things to do like working, participating in consumer advocacy, and shopping for carpentry safety gear. My pack today was loaded, so heavy I thought the straps would break.

Today unlike the winter of '87. I was fed lunch at a government meeting of mental health workers who give intensive services. I won't go into details of this meeting but I will say that a family member, myself, a consumer voice, and a mental health meeting facilitator from an agency, discussed a priority for the system. That priority that we discussed was standards and models for care and delivery of services. After we brought our thoughts back to the whole meeting I butted heads with a senior hospital manager who rebutted us. But I eased off and left saying only that it had been good discussion.

I then caught a bus to school and went to the union office and chatted with the business agent and did some union business. Then it was one hour of office hours where only one student attended and we worked on basic probability, expected value basics, and variance basics. I then proctored a test. Surprise, because at the test my neighbour from right across the hall was writing the test. He is studying systems engineering. We hardly ever talk because of religious differences and generally having no reason to even say hello. But tonight I told him more about my education and he suggested we talk more. He said he had no idea I was so educated. He said he would now come to my tutorial. Which means I have attracted students to my teaching.

So this summer could be a really good term for meaningful relationships in teaching effecting my community support. Although the concentric circles of support and, in fact, the definition of a community, need not be physical, this is the next circle outside the family, in a physical way of seeing the people that surround our "self". Neighbours are also a first line of support in other crisis not just emotional or psycho-social crisis.

Posted by petert at June 26, 2006 11:52 PM


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