The challenge started yesterday and now I am already one day behind! I am asking myself why on earth I did (join, that is!)? I felt it would or could be interesting to “flex my writing muscles” and now I am nervous about how I will do as well being really confused because I thought the first challenge was to write about if you were could be the Patron Saint of something in three hundred years, what would it be? Well, I think I have to be the Patron Saint of Procrastination. Why do something now, when there is plenty of time, no reason to panic, when you can do at the very last minute in a super-stressed state (every single time!)?
That aside, I thought I should rather nominate Barbara Arrowsmith Young as the Patron Saint of Dreams – that is, allowing all the students who go through the programme to discover their long-hidden dreams again and to know that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to, having re-discovered their belief in themselves. This amazing programme, which to quote the Australian 60 Minutes TV programme, is not a quick fix, requiring dedication and hard work on the part of the students and much moral support on the part of their families, it changes not only the student’s cognitive abilities which leads to their confidence and their self esteem improving out of sight, it is so exciting to be part of this change. If every student with a learning difficulty could have access to the Arrowsmith programme, all the mental health issues associated with learning difficulties might disappear – well, maybe not all of them but at least most of them. And the statistics are scary, with those with learning difficulties more likely to end up unemployed, with less prospect of establishing long-standing relationships and with more mental health issues unless their learning difficulties are addressed. Barbara is truly a saint and I hope that she will be recognised as such – she, as Norman Doidge said, is our equivalent of Helen Keller – changing others lives profoundly, having first had to change her own by changing her own brain – her achievement is truly breath-taking.
And that is enough from me for now! Just to add, what a great time we had with Jean visiting – showing her the sights around Peterborough, I’m not sure what was the highlight, the Peterborough Lift Lock or Niagara! And then we were sorry not to have got to Casa Lomax when it was open yesterday, but I think the Pulled Pork Carnitas at the Miller St Pub in the Distillery District compensated for missing out! You’ll just have to come back, Jean! And anyone else who wants to visit us in Peterborough is welcome too!