Sunday, 30 November 2008

Blogs, cyberspace and keeping the ball rolling between blocks

"Northern waters" by Susie Mallett

Following on from Wednesday evening's comments on not enough time to read too many blogs, I am not complaining: life is getting really interesting on the blogosphere and I am meeting and communicating with lots of interesting people. Last weekend I spent some lovely “bits in between” times (between house work and paperwork) involved in an interesting discussion about mentoring on Andrew Sutton’s blog, the thread of which Norman Perrin also took up on his blog this week. Norman’s blog I always have time to read, usually late at night so I can be lulled into sleep mode by his lovely music.

Exactly at the moment when I was writing the bit in my blog
about hoping there isn’t anything interesting written so that I will have to stop to read it, I got waylaid by yet another interesting read that developed into a chat on Skype at one o’clock in the morning. That’s a time when all good conductors should actually be in bed and here were two conductors meeting only for the first time ever, and that in cyberspace. Of the two of us, though,I was the only one actually burning the midnight oil, due to the time differences. We are going to talk almost in reality through Skype video at the weekend!

This morning I did as Andrew Sutton suggested on his blog, that we write to Célia Diva Renck Hoefelmann for her full report on Conductive Education in Brazil. Mine arrived within hours of requesting it. I have had no time to read it yet it will be left for a quiet hour in Norway! Yet another new connection in the world of cyberspace, as is Norway but that will soon be reality.
I wonder who else will read the report and join in any discussion about it, apart from Andrew, Leticia and Becky. I doubt if anyone else in Germany has come across it yet.

Yet another development through blogging and cyberspace is “Doing a Dina", which you can see on the right-hand column of my blog. This came about in response to a letter on the Conductive Community Forum where I offered my services, long distance, and with home visits, to families wanting to bring their children up conductively.

This idea has actually taken off, not with the original family from the forum dialogue but here in Germany with a family with three-year-old twins. We have been phoning and emailing for a few months now and will meet for the second time in January.

I have been reading the blog of the Lieck family for a long time now but a recent posting caught my eye, also mentioned on Andrew Sutton’s blog “What to do between blocks”. The posting is called "Steps Forward" and Mum, Jacolyn, is questioning whether she is doing enough now for her daughter who came on in leaps and bounds during an intensive conductive block. Once back home Mum feels the that the steps forward became slower and there seemed to actually be steps back. I responded to this posting with a comment, I believe that I was the only conductor out of ten people to comment.

This subject has concerned me for a while now as there are many summer camps taking place each year where children and conductors are shipped in from miles away, and there is often no opportunity for house visits or support afterwards. The children with their families also come from miles around, making any kind of follow up difficult. Maybe this is a case where cyberspace and “Doing a Dina” could come in useful, distances do not seem so important any more.

I think that this will be a subject for a longer posting later but here are just a few of the questions which jump into my mind at this moment.

  • What does any one else think about this?
  • How do parents get support between blocks from conductors?
  • Do other parents feel they need this?

Many parents see so much progress and often don't know what to do next.

  • How can they know unless they are shown, guided, taught?
  • Is the support network enough after such a block?
  • What could be made better for families once they return home?
  • How do we keep the ball rolling?
Notes


Becky Featherstone- this is the conductor I was speaking to at one in the morning

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Stinky Stig from St Johannis it is.

First advent weekend in Nürnberg, November 29th 2008

His passport is printed and he is in the suitcase, all his insides have been removed and he is now stuffed with lots of warm socks and thermal vests. Minus 3-10 is forecast for Hamar next week but as it is minus one here today the thermal clothes are already in use. Once it gets below zero it is just very cold, and there is a limit to how much you can put on and still be able to move. Lots of layers needed, all stuffed inside Stinky Stig.
I will post reports on how Stinky Stig got on during his first trip abroad!
Notes

My camera all its cables are packed so please excuse me for not photographing Stig with all his legs sewn on, sitting in the suitcase!

Thanks to Gill and Andrew for the name-giving.






Thursday, 27 November 2008

Name that Dino in one... two, three, four, five







Dino at work! 27th November 2008, Nürnberg

A dino with no name
This morning after franticly looking for safety pins, with which to attach the dino’s legs, and some tape to stick his eyes on with, I rushed off with him under one arm to catch the tram to work.

Everyone loved him even in his unfinished state and he was put into immediate use as motivation for the whole morning...

This "Dinosaur with no name" unfortunately ate Lars, a toy horse, long before anyone was at the plinth. When the children arrived the dino was burping away like mad and they asked him what he had eaten for his breakfast.

Dino, still without a name, told us he had been so hungry that he had eaten a horse and now his tummy was hurting. Its hooves could be seen pounding his tummy from inside (or so the children said).

One little boy went off to fetch a saw from the Spielecke (play corner) and with a bit of help from his friends opened up the dino’s tummy to reveal, just as suspected, a horse.

Dino was left to rest after this huge operation and Lars took over the motivation with his mate Bruno the bear.

Later the children had five minutes to play, while we conductors partook in our favourite activities of moving plinths and clearing away potties, and they immediately pounced on the sleeping dino. They operated on him further, removing all of his four legs and the rest of his stuffing! They even performed a complicated operation to remove his eyes.

I am just about to spend another hour putting him back together again, but this time all parts will be removable on a permanent basis. The children just loved operating on him so I will have to hunt around for press studs and Velcro in my arty-crafty boxes, so the fun and games of this morning can be repeated often.

I managed a few shots before he got dismantled, as you can see above.

Help needed!

One problem that I still have is that the children couldn’t decide on a name. One young lad actually said that it wasn't the job of children to name dinosaurs! So, as the dino remains "Dino with no name" any suggestions will be gratefully received, as soon as possible please because he will need a passport before travelling at the weekend! If the names come in soon enough, you can all take a vote and decide on the best one!

The only thing that I have come up with so far is Dinafour (DinA4), as opposed to Canine (K9)
Not in my opinion a suitable name for a dinosaur but he may get stuck with it if nothing better turns up...

Notes

The title refers to a TV show that I remember from somewhere in my past called Name that Tune

A horse with no name, a song by America released in 1972.

Just a quiet evening for a conductor...




Working, visiting official offices, packing, blogging, phoning clients and drawing dinosaurs, all got a bit too much for me today, so I took the evening off. Well sort of, I just did something different. I got out the sewing machine and gave myself an hour to produce a dinosaur puppet (none to be found in town) and then I put on my high heels, lipstick and scent, brushed my hair, also a new necessity as it is longer than it used to be, and I took myself out to eat.

I walked 188 paces to the corner of the next street, to Café Fatal. This was my first visit, can you believe it? It is almost an extension of my living room and I had not been there once in the six months that I have lived in the city. I even have a gift token for a meal there given to me for the birthday that didn’t get celebrated last summer. Now was the time to spend it.

I nearly didn’t make it because the hour that I had given myself to produce a dinosaur turned into ninety minutes, as the machine played up. I bought this sewing machine in 1990 in Budapest, when the new Singer shop opened at the junction of the Korut and Ullöi ut. It is feeling old and weary and is a bit tempremental. It is allowed to play up sometimes but not this week, please!

So with the sewing machine fixed but the dino still unfinished, I flung on the high heels and thick winter coat and threw myself out of the house, braving the "minus zero" temperatures for this short walk. As I left the house I noticed this week’s Time magazine was poking out of my letterbox so that came along for food too.

While waiting for my food I sketched the café and the people in it. Then as I find it is difficult to sketch while holding a knife and fork while I eat, I read instead. I thought that I had gone out to get away from computers and blogging and work and there it all was again staring me in the face from Time Magazine. As I always read magazines and newspapers starting at the back (not for the sports news, it is a habit I picked up from my Mum) I read first the back page essay by Michael Kinsley entitled "Too much information: how many blogs does the world really need?”

Exactly what I was thinking yesterday.

The more blogs I find about Conductive Education the more difficult it is too keep up, and it is really important for me to decide where my priorities are, writing my own or reading other people’s.

Michael Kinsley says… "Now everyone has a blog. The opportunity for us all to express an opinion is wonderful. Having to read all those opinions is not.”

Well I wouldn’t put it quite as strongly as that but I am finding it necessary to be choosy about what I read, otherwise time flies and I don’t get to write my own blog postings or finish my dinosaurs!

Michael Kinsley’s closing sentence was that he feels many blog readers may be reaching the stage that he reached years ago with the Sunday New York Times Magazine – actively hoping that there isn’t anything interesting in there because then he would have to take time to read it.

Yes, this is getting to be the case with me and blogs this week, no time to read them, no time to write them, and at the same time go to work, go to dentist, pack cases, sew dinosaurs and eat!
Which is why I abandoned everything for two whole hours and sat, all dolled up, in the local Café Fatal, and still ended up with at least one new posting!
A picture of the dino puppet will be here tomorrow, when he will have two big eyes to look at the camera through, and legs to stand on!


Notes

Café Fatal
http://gastronomie.nordbayern.de/gastro_ausgabe.asp?gastro_id=1152

www.time.com
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1860888,00.html

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Chocolate Box City

In contrast to Bondi Beach here is the snow in Nürnberg at the top of my street! November 22nd 2008

Nürnberg isn't actually a chocolate box city it is the city of the Lebkuchen, the cake like biscuit that the many factories around the city have been baking since the summer. The gorgeous spicey smells have been wafting through the nearby streets to wet our appetites for a long time now.

The Christkindlsmarkt is built, the stall holders are filling the shelves with everything which glitters, sparkles or smells of the spices on which Nürnberg built up its trade hundreds of years ago.

This Friday the Christkind will once again make her opening speech from the top of the Frauen Kirche (the Church of our Lady), the christmas market will be declared open and the crowds will celebrate the beginning of advent with Gluhwein, Fruchtebrot and of course "drei in Weggla" (that's frankonian for three Nürnberger sausages in a round roll).

I am determined to be packed and ready for off by Friday so I can enjoy two evenings at the Markt before I go to Norway. When I return I will be just in time to take up my post on the charity stall which sells stars made by kindergarten children from all over Bavaria. It is the highlight of advent for me.


Notes

Lebkuchen- gingerbread

Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt - Christmas market

Markt-market

Weggla - Frankonian dialect for a bread roll

Fruchtebrot- fruit loaf

Gluhwein- mulled wine

Don’t be afraid to take the plunge


Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia by Susie Mallett, January 1988


I was going to write a poetry posting today in between watching the snow, doing household chores and drawing dinosaurs, but I got on a different track, one which is just as much fun as drawing dinosaurs and writing my own blog, I was posting comments on someone else’s blog. This time last year I would never have imagined I would be airing my views so publicly. Having a blog of my own does wonders for my self confidence.
Today I was commenting on Andrew Sutton’s posting about mentoring in Conductive Education. It is developing into an interesting discussion and if anyone out there reading doesn’t feel they have the time or the inclination to start their own blog they can also come in and test the water (http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/11/all-i-want-for-christmas-is.html), by writing comments on someone else’s.
I just had a look to see what other people say about mentoring and I came up with these two references

Mentor – a shrewd companion
and the following longer definition which I quite like the sound of –
Mentoring is the guidance and support of one individual by another within a personal relationship developed over a period of time. Mentors act as friendly advisors who listen well, question skilfully and gently challenge assumptions. Successful mentoring relationships are built on mutual respect and trust, where the mentor encourages the mentee to accept responsibility for their own personal development. “

To read my comments on mentoring and those of others you need to change channels to -
http://andrew-sutton.blogspot.com/2008/11/mentoring-do-we-need-it-in-ce.html

It’s quite warm in the shallows

Placing comments really is a good alternative to setting up your own blog, it gives you a chance to have a paddle, even come in up to your knees, before taking the plunge and having your own fully fledged blogspot.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

En-to-tre-fire-fem .......Wild about dinos!












Despite the Angst over not speaking a word of Norwegian and the fact that I will have six very active little boys in my group I am actually looking forward to my trip to work in Norway from the first of December.

A few months ago I mentioned a wonderful book on my blog about dinosaurs and their love of underpants!

It was my plan to use this book as a teaching aid for two young German boys who are learning English. This work unfortunately got cancelled and the book put on the shelf for a rainy day.
Now the book is already in my suitcase, this lovely project will take place after all but now it will be with six Norwegian boys. I am planning it on a much larger scale this time and hope to talk, walk, paint and create around the theme of dinosaurs for three weeks! Hopefully we will transform our work space into the bygone world of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and Velociraptors.

I met the organisers of Norsk Forum for Konduktiv Pedagogik when I was in Budapest and made the odd request that they invite the children in the group to bring their favourite dinosaurs with them. Let’s hope they don’t arrive in truck loads as I have heard that food is expensive in Norway and a room full of dinosaurs will take a lot of feeding!

Yesterday I thought I should read up on dinos so I will be able to answer any questions that get thrown at me and I also needed a few more realistic pictures to do some preparatory drawings from. There is a wonderful set of children’s books in Germany called Was ist Was and I went round the corner to the lovely little bookshop there, with the intention of buying Band 15, the one all about dinosaurs. They had it and I bought it but that wasn’t all they had and not all I bought. Being a book fan I just had to buy the second book too it was irresistible as you may be able to see from the photographs heading this blog.

The book called Encyclopaedia Prehistorica, says that it is the ultimate pop-up book and that’s exactly what it is.

It says that it is a pop-up book but a book with more pop-ups on one page I have never seen. It should be called a pop-up, pull-out and pop-up again book. As well as the main figure there are up to four smaller envelopes in each corner to open, and some of these have two layers of pop-ups. It is absolutely amazing and lots of fun.If this doesn’t help me to overcome the language barrier and get these children wild about dinos then I don’t know what will. Of course I will be letting you all know.

Notes

En-to-tre-fire-fem - Norwegian for one-two-three-four-five

Dinosaurs love underpants
http://www.pto-senteret.no/

Band 15, Dinosaurs
ISBN 978-3-7886-0255-0
http://www.tessloff.com/ , http://www.wasistwas.de/

Encyclopaedia Prehistorica by Robert Sabuda and Mathew Reinhart ISBN 978-3-7891-4735-7, Oetinger

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

More musings on Munich

Scotland Island, NSW, Australia 24.1.88 by Susie Mallett

It seems likes months ago since the congress in Munich and since then I have been on the trip to Budapest with all its angels, something which was missing in Munich (angels that is).

I will now try to conclude the report from Munich and get on with what happened in Budapest and in between the writing I will try to do some painting and think about what I will need to pack in my bags for Norway (that’s the next trip, in two weeks).

My memories of what went on in Munich have taken on a different colouring since the trip to Budapest, or maybe I have a clearer picture in my mind of the differences that I experienced in these two completely different worlds.

My images from Munich could now be compared to those photographs with a sepia or hand- tinted colouring that my great aunt used to produce in the 1920s, using her paint-box to liven up an otherwise quite dull photograph. Or as a moving image they compare to the films produced in moments of my childhood which we projected on to the wallpapered wall with a clickety-clackety projector, the film constantly getting stuck then burnt.

A question of tone

My images from Budapest are only two weeks fresher in my memory but still I compare them to the more cosmopolitan modern world of digital photography, brightly coloured, clear images, making use of all the up-to-date knowledge and information available.

The brightly coloured visit to Budapest was dominated by the conductive Seele, it was there to see and to feel with whoever I spoke to. This is what I missed most in Munich, there were very few like souls, not enough to adhere this group of people together as there were in Budapest. In Budapest we were all in the same boat, in Munich it was like we were at a regatta, all trying to get to the start with the best advantage, jostling for position as the winds changed direction, reflecting just how the direction of Konduktive Förderung in Germany is ever changing.

(Or is it? Is it more likely that Konduktive Föderung is what it always was but getting bigger and more powerful and that Conductive Education is getting smaller and being nudged out?)

What about these small groups of people dotted around the world, we don’t have to remain so isolated these days with the Internet. I realise as I meet more people in Conductive Education that there is a bigger world than Germany, and many conductive souls elsewhere. These are the people I begin to communicate with.


Konduktive Förderung: a backwater

The difference between Conductive Education/upbringing and Konduktive Förderung is perhaps a little clearer to me since the German congress, though unfortunately I missed the opportunity in the round-table discussion at Munich to ask Dr Karin Weber what she actually meant when many years ago she gave this name to what is practised in Germany

I think that Konduktive Förderung is turning into what is described in the passage that I translated from Andrew Sutton’s posting "German conference reports, Where's the elephant?" http://andrew-sutton.blogspot.com/2008/11/german-conference-reports.html, or maybe it always was this.

The one definition is very clear to me, that of the conductive pedagogy that I learnt about at the Petö Institute and which I practise daily. The other, the one that I encounter in Germany on my travels to different centres, I find increasingly difficult to define, with its fuzzy overlapping edges and lack of clarity in direction. It seems that every day it means something else, and the people who are most confused by this are the parents.

We no longer have a mother-and-baby group in Nürnberg at the moment, so when I am approached by parents of young children and babies who are looking for conductive groups I have difficulties suggesting what they should do. At the moment there are still one or two German centres to recommend and after that I suggest they go to Hungary or to England to see for themselves what conductive upbringing really is.

I do not use the term Konductive Förderung in Germany to describe my work. I say Konduktiv Pedagogik and many of my clients say "Petö"! I do not correct them as I prefer them to say this to Konduktive Föderung, both for myself and to give more of a sense of what we are actually doing. It was so nice in Budapest last week to be speaking in English and to use the term "conductive upbringing", which I know describes what I want to say and is understood! When I talk to parents or adult clients I think it easier for them to understand what Conductive Education/upbringing is when I use the German words for upbringing or pedagogy and not Konduktive Förderung.

Sadly, at the Munich congress Dr Schaffhauser, the director of the Petö Institute was programmed to speak in a parallel session on Saturday afternoon, which meant not everyone got to hear him, and it was almost at the end of the congress anyway. It would have been nicer to have introduced him earlier, so that he could have started the show off , talking to all the 200-plus participants, everyone would have then known who he was and could have had more time to pose their many questions. Instead the conference began with reports given to the whole audience of various research and pilot projects in Germany.

As it was, later, Dr Schaffhauser spoke about the new training courses being offered at the Petö Institute, he invited conductors, "multi disciplinary conductors" and "pedagogic-therapeutic-conductors" to apply for the master’s degree course that he hopes will get off the ground in 2009. The association for conductors working in Germany wishes to work closely with the Petö Institute to establish a university training course for conductors in Germany. Is this united front going to improve matters in Germany as far as training is concerned? Is there really a driving force, an initiative wanting to change the direction and re-establish Conductive Education on a stronger footing? I can't answer this, we will wait and see.

What did I miss most at the Munich conference? Apart from a uniting Seele it was representatives from the rest of the conductive world. Where were they? Not interested? Not invited? I don’t know but I wasn’t the only one present to notice their absence. Thank goodness for cyberspace is all I can say, those of us who wish to know what is happenning in the big wide world of "conduction" need not feel isolated anymore. I for one am happy to find many like souls online.

My previous blogs on this conference:

http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/11/icing-on-cake-in-munich.html
http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/11/konduktive-frderung.html
http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/10/carnival-may-be-over-but-i-am-still.html
http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/10/carnival-is-over.html
http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/10/it-is-october-and-it-is-fest-but-theres.html
http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/10/anniversary-congress-in-munich-24th.html

The full congress programme can be found on the website for conductors working in Germany, the Bundesverband Verband der in Deutschland tätigen KonduktorInnen e.V:
http://www.konduktorenverband.de/index.php?page=ueberuns

Andrew Sutton "German conference reports, Where's the elephant?"
http://andrew-sutton.blogspot.com/2008/11/german-conference-reports.html

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A journey round my skull

The Dancer, October 2004 by Susie Mallett

I always maintain that I learn more about strokes and other disorders or illnesses from the mouths of my clients or from the books that sufferers or their loved ones write than from any text book on the subjects.

Slowly I have gathered a collection of stories in my head and of books on my shelves, some written by famous people, some of whom are already writers of numerous books. Some authors are less well known and others not known at all.

One of the best I have read to date is “The Diary of a Stroke” by Martin Stephen, but there are many others worth a read, including “My Year Out “by Robert McCrum, “Lucky Man “by Michael J Fox and “A Leg To Stand On” by Oliver Sachs.

The Dairy of a Stroke is written in amazing detail, describing all that my clients tell me about and much, much more. It is full with information about those first few hours when no one dares to tell patients what is happening or what has happened to them, of the next days when the world seems to slow down and fears set in, the feeling of being alone, trapped in a world without means of communication. This is just a short mention of just one of these books. I will get round to writing about others one day, I am sure.

As I said in a previous blog, when I am in Budapest a must, even more a must than searching for tin toys, is a visit to Litea. Not only do I enjoy the atmosphere there and the tea and the people, but I always manage to find really good books and last Saturday was no exception.

Between consuming delicious coffee and walnut cake I used the 30 minutes that I had in Litea to check the shelf of books by Hungarian authors translated into English. As always it was a treasure trove but I had limited myself to one purchase because I had no time in the next two days to find a post office and ship more books back home! Of the half-dozen books that I had scattered around me between my coffee cup and cake it was not difficult to make the choice. Among them there was a book called “A Journey round my Skull” by Frigyes Karinthy, which has a forward by Oliver Sacks who is probably my favourite read in the field of neurology, and this one caught my eye. In his forward Oliver Sacks says that he read this book as a 14-year-old, and that it had a great influence on the style of the case studies that he wrote later in his life. If this was the case then I knew that I had found the right book and off I went with my purchase in my pocket to my next port of call, which was a visit to the wonderful open air train museum to the north of the city!

A "Journey round my Skull" was written by the Hungarian journalist and popular comic writer, Frigyes Karinthy, 1887-1938, and was published in 1939. Karinthy wrote many novels, short stories, poems and theatre pieces, he also translated "Winnie the Pooh" and "Gulliver’s Travels". Now here he was using his literary skills and wit to write about himself, about his illness and his recovery, producing what Sacks describes as the first ever autobiographical description of a journey inside the brain.

I haven’t quite finished the book and I am learning something new with every page I turn, not only about neurology but also about life in Hungary in the 1930s. It is certainly worth hunting it out on Amazon.

A few of the other books on my shelf

"A Leg To Stand On", Oliver Sacks, ISBN 0-330-29093-2
"Rescuing Jeffrey," Richard Galli, ISBN 1-56512-270-4
"My Year Off ", Robert McCrum, ISBN 0-330-35240-7
"The Man Who Lost His Language", Sheila Hale, ISBN 0140-28495-8
"My Stroke of Luck", Kirk Douglas ISBN 9-780-060-01404-9
"Zum Schweigen Verurteilt", Gerhard Reinhold, ISBN 3-927-442-801
"Lucky Man", Michael J Fox, ISBN 0-7868-9056-8
"Daniel Isn’t Talking", Marti Leimbach, ISBN 978-0-00-721701-4
"Nobody Nowhere", Donna Williams, ISBN1-85302-612-3
"Thinking In Pictures", Temple Grandin, ISBN 0-679-77289-8
"Footprints in the Snow", Julie Hill, ISBN 0-330-39186-0
"Living Proof", Michael Gearin-Tosh, 0-7432-0680-0
"Crazy", Benjamin Lebert, ISBN 3-462-02818-9

Notes

Open air train museum
Magyar Vasúttörténeti Park – 1142 Budappest, Tatai út 95, Budapest.
http://www.vasuttortenetipark.hu/

Tin Toys
http://konduktorin.blogspot.com/2008/11/trip-down-memory-lane.html

All I want for Christmas is…

Come on in, the water's lovely! Norwich, 1962


...one hundred blogs!

And with 36 writing days left till Christmas I might just make it.

Yesterday I was just publishing my most recent posting, on tin toys, and realised I might reach a hundred postings by Christmas.

It is hard to believe that since I started in March this year, when I didn’t even know I could write and had no idea what I would be writing about, I have published 88 postings on my blog, along with just as many photos and paintings.

It all started with the following on March 7th 2008:

The little black dress.

A blog should most certainly be inserted into the list of the 10 most important things a woman should have, alongside the cordless drill and the little black dress.I have just received this Blog as a present and I look forward to seeing how it evolves.Will it become an art gallery, a poetry book, a bike maintenance workshop, a conductive education forum or even my autobiography?I can imagine something from them all and more, but we will see. In the meantime thank you very much for this amazing present
.


The pink bits in the atlas may be long gone, but I am collecting purple spots!

When I think of all the things that I imagined my blog could become in that first short posting, the only one that I still haven’t touched upon is the bike maintenance workshop. That could still come, as today I noticed that I may be needing some advice on what to do with the very modern disc brakes that are making odd rubbing noises! There is surely someone out there among my regular readers, from England, Brazil, Budapest, Calgary, Israel, one even in Nürnberg, and recently, the for me more exotic locations, Dallas, San Jose, Hong Kong and Winnipeg, who will be willing to impart advice.

The reason I find some locations more exotic than others is probably because I do not know who those readers could be. Some I can guess, as I know people who live in the towns or countries listed, some being fellow bloggers like Gill, Leticia, Norman, Laci, Judit, Jerry and Andrew. Some of these people I have met face to face and the others I would love to meet.

Being a seasoned traveller I am sure that one day, if I haven’t done so already, I will visit the countries on my map with a purple spot, so watch out Leticia, next stop Brazil, after Norway that is, where I shall be in December.

I would never in a million years have imagined that after such a short time I would have written so much, enough in fact to even be considering publishing a small collection of my postings as a book.

My life has completely changed this year, not only through my blog, but the blog has helped. It has put be back in touch with the big conductive world and I have discovered that not only can I write but that I love doing it.
Going back to that first purple posting of mine, why not give blogging a try, it is very time consuming but fun, give it a try. As the picture at the top of the posting says "Come on in, the water is lovely!"

Some of my purple spotters

"Come on in, the water's lovely".
Thats me, far left, sister on the right, with two friends in our back garden.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A trip down memory lane

"Trafik" kiosk opposite the Vasor Csarnok Budapest, 2006 Susie Mallett

Taking a break from everything to do with work, I got to thinking about my rather lovely collection of tin toys, much of which is packed up in boxes in Norwich. I was rather sad that on this last trip to Budapest I had found nothing to add to it. I had not had enough time to go searching and it was always a matter of searching, peering in every shop window and using experience to tell me if it was worth venturing in and exploring further. It got to be that I could almost smell a tin toy yards from the shop door!

I gathered the bulk of my collection during the four years that I spent in Budapest. There are a few exceptions including my lovely Titanic which I found in Birmingham! In Budapest I became quite an expert at spotting a holdauto or a holdrakétta hidden at the back of a Trafik kiosk that sold everything and anything as well as tobacco.

There were three people who I knew of from the Birmingham Institute gang who were avid collectors and crazy about these wonderful toys, I suspect all three of us are probably still dreaming of our Hornby train set that got sold when we no longer played with it. I was the only one on the spot, another there for 6 months of the year, so we swapped information, orders got placed and if one of us spotted something spectacular then it was usually bought in triplicate. This could easily be done in those days as none of these toys cost more than a pound or two and sometimes only pennies.

Our collections grew fast until 1992, when stock started to disappear from the Trafik kiosks and from the supermarkets that had also been a good place to search. A bountiful supply of clowns riding scooters and torpeautos (mini cars) were always to be found in the huge supermarket in Bathányi Tér. There was also a Czechoslovakian shop near Deák Tér where more modern- looking tractors and a delightful ladybird could be found.

My favourite and most productive kiosk was opposite the Budapest Hotel on Szilágyi Erzsébet fásor just minutes walk from the Petö Institute and it was here that I found not only one but two holdautos, one of the best finds of the four years, and it was in this kiosk that I first noticed that the lemezjártékek (tin toys) where being slowly replaced by Barbies, Kens and plastic tanks and guns.

I thought about my recent trip and the lack of searching time and wondered if perhaps I could find a place if I googled, so that I could then make a beeline straight to it on my next visit to Budapest. And low and behold this is what I found, http://www.kelle.hu/1234toys/index.html,
a toy shop on Teréz körút.

I hope my Hungarian is good enough and I am translating correctly. The website tells me as follows.

Tin toys were manufactured in Hungary only since the 1950s, beginning with copies of the Czech and German wind-up cars and trucks, but the push-along models soon followed and in 1954 the first battery-operated toys came on the market.

The jumping chick, similar to my jumping hen in the video, first came into production in 1960. By 1963 there were already 77 different toys being made and soon after, in 1965, came the wonderful mini-cars, the holdrakétta and the one toy I still long for, which I will search for on my next visit, the toláto mozdony( the shunting engine), which can be seen bottom right on this page http://www.kelle.hu/1234toys/elzett/elzett.html

When we think of tin toys we think first of those produced in Germany and maybe England and America come to mind, but the leaders in this field were the Spanish, with the company Rafael Paya Pico building them from 1905. In the 1930s they had a work-force of over 500 and they were building many collectors items.

Here's another webpage. You will find a delightful tram and my favourite piece, the ship with its lovely metal flags, which apart from its bulky propeller at the back looks as elegant as the Erzsébet Híd in Budapest:

http://www.kelle.hu/1234toys/paya/paya.html

Majercsik Krisztina and Kelle Antal began restoring toys 30 years ago, and produced a book called Móra in 1985. In 1995 they opened the shop in Teréz körút, Játékszerek Anno.

On the pages of this website I found many of my old favourites from my collection, and one or two more that I would like to have. There were even some toys that we had at home in my childhood, including the horseracing game found on this page that I think my great uncle, a Mountie in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force, had brought for us on one of his visits home.

Notes

Trafik - http://www.continentaltobacco.com/ttr_eng.html

Hotel Budapest http://www.hotelclub.net/Hotel.Reservations/Budapest_Hotel_Budapest.htm

Holdauto - space car. This has a battery and while moving a light-weight ball floats in the air ona stream of air, quite amazing to watch. Unfortunately mine is in England, so the photo will have to wait.

Holdrakétta – This another spectacular machine, a space rocket on wheels that stops in its tracks and rights itself, then the door opens, like something out of Thunderbirds (one expects Lady Penelope to appear in the steps!)
http://www.kelle.hu/1234toys/elzett/elzett.html

Czechoslovakian toys - http://www.kelle.hu/1234toys/kovap/kovap.html

Játékszerek Anno - Budapest V1, Teréz körút 54.
Kelle Familia Kft.2040 Budaörs, Ipáros u. 1/1 kelle@axelero.hu





Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Angels and souls, to me it's one and the same.




The angel on the no. 2 tram route by Susie Mallett, April 2008


We all have angels in our Seele!

Of course we do. I think that is what I have been saying for ages!

There are all sorts of angels within us and I think the one that Dr András Petö talked about was part of what I call the conductive Seele. Of course we all have an angel within us and of course Petö would have believed this too! And maybe now I can write about it and not get carried off by the men in white coats!

After reading Andrew Sutton’s posting about Petö and his angels I immediately did two things. I looked out the photo that I have of the plaque in Balassi Bálint u. with its angel and I stuffed my copy of the Unfug in my bag to read on the tram , as I knew I had read something in there about angels, then off I went with my treasure chest to work!

All day at work there were more angels tugging at my memory bank and I have just discovered the one that will be action number three. I called on a Hungarian to help as I hadn’t believed in my own translation, but I was right: I had found the words again referring to the angel inside us.

Three actions and three results

The result of the first of my early morning activities is at the top of this posting, the photo of the angel in Balassi Bálint u. that I took on my visit to Budapest last year.

The second of the actions was to get the book out of my bag on the tram and open it up to begin my search for angels. This search turned out to be nowhere near as difficult as I imagined it would be, as the book fell open on exactly the page where Dr Bärnklau (alias Dr András Petö) mentions angels! Maybe not a coincidence at all but perhaps it was the angel within trying to communicate with me. I think that it is the only mention of angels in the whole book, but I could be mistaken and I will continue the search. Dr Bärnklau’s book is, however, full of references to the soul and, as I said at the beginning, I think as far as Dr András Petö is concerned the "angel within us" is a part of our souls.

This is what Bärnklau wrote:

If an illness comes into the realms of God’s influence, the Ens Dei of Paracelus, we enter the area of mercy, grace and favour and of healing through belief and prayer. The saints of the holy sites of pilgrimage, such as Lourdes, belong to this category as do theologists who believe in and speak about the work of the angels, together with that of the saints, in their sermons. Many people pray for the healing properties of these angels and saints.

He continued with references to the equivalent in eastern religions, in Indian belief, the Karma, the fate that man prepares for himself, how man can train his soul, his inner self, through Yoga and moral changes throughout the wheel of each successive life, and how he should be able to avoid or heal, by implementing these methods, the inevitable, pre-destined illnesses.

In this passage I think that Dr Bärnklau was using reference to the Christian angels, and our own predestined fate as spoken about in the Karma, as one and the same, the inner voice that speaks to us.

Angels, karma and Buddha

Now on to action number three. I was sitting here at my desk so tired that I was wondering if I should go to bed, and I had one of my “eureka” moments. I remembered where I had read about Petö and angels. I knew that I had read almost the exact words that Andrew used in his posting, “We all have an angel inside us”.

I rummaged around for another article that I have, thinking “It was not only Németh Ándor who was acutely depressed and who met Petö, I have a reference to someone else somewhere”. I dug out an article that Gill Maguire had given me in the library at NICE and I found a story that is almost identical, so either someone somewhere got the name wrong or someone told the story twice with different names. Who knows, it isn’t really that important here.

I have the paper in my hand. It is written by Popper Péter, a Hungarian psychologist who is very popular in his homeland. His books are to be found on the bookstalls in Moszkva Tér today (they were there on Saturday when I looked).

This article is called Buddha Budapesten ( Buddha in Budapest) and it is an account by Popper Péter of his encounters with Dr András Petö, some of which comprises the interview in Forrai Judit's book Memoirs of the Beginnings of Conductive Pedagogy and András Petö.

The first reference that I found there to angels was when Popper was describing a conversation between Dr. Kun Miklós, a psychiatrist, and Petö. Kun Miklós had done Petö a great favour and Petö offered him anything he wished for in return, Kun Miklós said he would keep it in mind and return to collect on it later. This he certainly did turning up in Vienna just before the war started asking Petö to return to Hungary with him. I have read that there are several versions of this story about how Petö actually decided to return but it still remains a bit of a mystery, as do a lot of things to do with Dr András Petö and his life!

Of concern here is how Popper tries to explain Petö’s quite rash on-the-spot decision to go with Kun Miklós to Hungary. Popper says that Petö had once told him that the most important thing in life is that man must always follow his destiny (probably meaning as in Indian belief that one forms ones own destiny and must follow it). Popper asked Petö how can one know what is one’s destiny, or fate. To this Petö had replied

"There is always a voice saying to do this and to do that and you must not close your mind to the idea that an angel is speaking from within you”.

So there it was almost exactly the words of Márgit Balogh, librarian at the Mária Hári Memorial Library, as reported in Andrew’s blog, but that was not all. This was not what I had remembered in my eureka moment. Where was the story about the depressed patient? I continued reading the aticle and translating, with a little help from some Magyars, and in the next paragraphs I found this:

The news got around that Márai Sándor was depressed, he was being treated by Dr Kun Miklós with little success so Petö, who didn’t know Mária Sándor, was summoned. Mária was lying in a darkened room , groaning, as Petö stopped by his door and said in a firm voice
“ Sándor, get up and write! For that is your destiny in this world.”

Sándor replied “When God sends an angel to me then I will get up.”

To which the bold, fat Petö, with his hernia and banging his chest, retorted so loudly that the walls shook, “Here is the angel".

At which moment Sándor looked up at the angel and got out of his bed.

All this time that I have been searching for links between Petö and angels and, especially after re-reading the piece in Unfug about the theologists,the saints and angels from the Christian religion, I have been asking myself why did Petö not stick to his ideas from eastern cultures, with its Karma and destiny and souls?

Could it be that in those times the Communist Party would not have looked favourably on Petö and his belief in angels and saints but maybe tolerated better an interest in eastern cultures? Did a head full of angels strain relationships with the powers-that-be who ran his institute and make them less than productive?

As I read further in Judit Forrai's book I found here too a reference to something that Petö said which had caused embarrassment at a time when the Communist Party disapproved of the practice of religion. He asked for Kiss Ferenc, a professor and also the head of the Free Church to “Bless this house”, meaning his institute. This caused red faces but he got the building blessed!

András Petö remains a man of mystery surrounded by tales of scandal and eccentricity but as I discovered earlier in the year when I first read his book Unfug he was a man with a soul and maybe he was also a man with an inner voice, his angel talking to him and to others.

Notes

Seele – soul

Unfug - Unfug der Krankheit-Triumph der Heilkunst, Dr.Med. Karl Otto Bärnklau, (Dr András Petö) Karl Schustek Verlag, Main, Hanau

Ens Dei of Paracelus - this is the fifth cause of illness in man according to Paracelsus, God-given health and illness, the other four being astral (influenced by astrology), poison, bodily and spiritual.
Ens/entien – cause/ reason for the illness
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracelsus

Popper Péter
http://www.artlimited.net/image/?id=89200

Márai Sándor- 1890-1989

Awarded Hungary's highest award for literature, the Kossuth Prize, in 1989.

NICE - National Institute for Conductive Education

Forrai Judit's book Memoirs of the Beginnings of Conductive Pedagogy and András Petö.
ISBN 963 85499 2 0

Monday, 10 November 2008

Where am I?

Moszkva Tér, one of the new city trams by Susie Mallett, April 2008

A really scary thing happened to me this morning and I shall have to tell a bit of the background before I start with what happened today.

When I returned very late last night from a five-day trip to Budapest I didn't see or speak to a soul except for the taxi-driver, who for some reason or other decided I was English and this is the language that he would use, and at that late hour who was I to complain?
I had been in Budapest to give the presentation that has been announced on the right-hand side of my blog for several weeks now. This presentation was in English, some of the other work was in Hungarian and the socialising and the touristy times were in a Hungarian/English mishmash,
not a word of German leaving my lips for five whole days.

I woke early this morning and at 7.15am I was on the way to work, having uttered not a word since thanking the taxi-driver in English last night. On entering the bus I asked what time it would be leaving, at which point the driver looked up at me with a very odd expression on his face. I asked again and the driver tried to speak to me in English then after he had pointed to the time on a piece of paper I walked quietly and very puzzled to find a seat.

At this point I had no idea what was going on, except that for some reason I had not been able to communicate with the driver. I have never been so scared in my life, as the thought suddenly came to me that maybe I had suffered a stroke during the night and my speech was the only thing still affected. All of this lasted probably for little more than a minute but it is amazing how many thoughts can fly through one's mind in such a short time. It is easy to believe what people mean when they say that their whole life flashes before them, if they have been in danger of losing their life. It was not my whole life as such flashing before my eyes, but a great many questions and fears. What was going on in my head, why didn't the driver understand me, was my speech slurred? Why had he spoken English to me? Why I am now thinking in English and not in German?

It was at this point that the penny dropped. All of a sudden I realised what had happened. The driver hadn't understood me as I hadn't spoken German, I still wasn't thinking in German I was in Hungarian mode with a sprinkling of English, but which language had I used with the driver? I tried out the question again " What time does the bus leave? I still had no idea how to say it in German, I could get about half of it out in English but I still could say very fluently Hánykor indúl a busz? (What time does the bus leave?)
I had been speaking Hungarian! It was actually a very nice feeling that after fifteen years living in Germany I could still get so involved in the Hungarian culture and feel myself so absolutely absorbed by it that the language took priority over even my mother tongue. I always love being in Hungary, I love being with Hungarians, I love Budapest, I can even honestly say I love eating the food and most of all I love speaking the language.

With the revelation that I had been speaking Hungarian it was with much relief that I continued my journey to work, knowing I had probably not suffered a stroke in the night and with the hope that enough German would return so I could get on with my work with the little ones. Yes, a complete change of clientel, last week the adults and a presentation about my work with adults and now for the next three weeks I am with the five year olds. I expect that I will write more about them in a later blog.

I walked in the door at work and the first person I met was a Magyar to whom I described, in Hungarian, my problem. I asked her to speak to me in German to try to get the ball rolling and it worked, it was enough to pull the lever to change the points. It was incredible how quickly I got back into German mode and all the fears of neurological damage left me. The children could understand me and I could now store my Hungarian language in a backroom to use again at a later date. I actually use it daily in some way or other but never to such an extent that it overrides the other two languages.

As usual I learnt an enormous amount from this experience. Most of all I can almost imagine the state of confusion that some stroke clients must find themselves in directly after suffering a stroke. I give thoughts to what happens to them if there is no one around to explain what has happened. I have read in many accounts written by sufferers that it is a very frightening and lonely period. I think it is perhaps an area in the treatment of stroke patients where maybe some improvements can be made, where more attention could be given to the person within the body, to the soul within the body, to the voice that is trying to break out.

Notes

Magyar - Hungarian

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Time for tea

Lali Bácsi in Litea

I lived in Budapest from 1989 until 1993 and I just loved it. I loved everything about it, my studies, the city, the people and the culture. I particularly loved being invited by Magyar fellow students to their homes for the weekend, to meet their families, to eat Hungarian food and to soak up Hungarian family life, and it was in this way that I also got to see many parts of Hungary.

I got an insider’s view of Hungarian life and over the years I became a member of many substitute families. I was never homesick when living in Budapest although at first I did sometimes miss English Sundays, but I soon developed my own Magyar vasarnap which was actually in the end even better than the English one.

On Sunday mornings I would be off to the Gellert Baths to steam away the city dirt. It was wonderful, a delightful atmosphere, at that time very few tourists just the locals and I would often get asked by the elderly Hungarian ladies to scrub their backs under the showers. And on winter afternoons my favourite haunt was Litea.

Litea

When the dark afternoons set in I would jump on little bus up to the castle district of Budapest, get off outside the Hilton Hotel, beside the wonderful Mátyás Templom, and buy a Sunday newspaper. I would then cross the road to the best book shop I have ever found anywhere in the world: Litea! It has small tables with Tiffany lamps, and tea and cake are served at the tables. There are shelves of really interesting books that one can take to the tables and peruse or, as I often did, just read the paper and drink tea.

On each visit to this wonderful city I am always thrilled to find this book shop still there, it defies the odds and remains open despite the leaking roof, and I make a beeline for it to soak up the atmosphere and of course I buy books! I often end up with more than I am allowed in my luggage allowance and have to ship them home!

This visit to Budapest is short but I will save an hour or two to visit my friends in Litea, they always remember me and on my last visit I was given a copy of “With love: Memoirs of the Beginning of Conductive Pedagogy and András Petö” that had been launched there in 1999. This book is invaluable for its insight into the development of Conductive Education and life at Petö's Institute.

Notes

Vasarnap: Sunday

“With love: Memoirs of the Beginning of Conductive Pedagogy and András Petö”: compiled by Dr Judit Forrai with an introduction by Andrew Sutton.
ISBN 963 85499 2 0

Gellert Baths: http://www.gellertbath.com/

Litea: http://www.litea.hu/

Mátyas Templom: http://hungarystartshere.com/Church-of-Our-Lady-Matyas-templom-Budapest

Magyar: Hungarian

PS I made it to Litea this morning, I had one hour to spare between meeting old friends and acquaintances ,which was enough time to make a beeline to the small bus from Moszkva Ter up to the castle district. I was immediately recognised as I went into Litea, I chatted to the lovely girl serving the coffee, found a great book and was treated to my coffee and delicious cake on the house


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The clearing fog did wonders for my Seele

Nürnberg, 8.30am on 4th November 2008, by Susie Mallett

It was the final day of the block for my stroke clients today and as always I am sad. I love this group but we are just getting into the swing of things and it is over for the next few months.

They are developing into a tight-knit community with a real conductive Seele. We have a couple of jokers in the group who know that I don’t understand the half of their Frankonian wit, which is usually about beer- drinking and blonds, so they tease me all the more with it.

Today they made everyone laugh so much while they were all precariously balancing in knee stands on the plinths, that one by one they fell down on to their hands, back on to all fours.

What a success, all five of them saved themselves by supporting with both hands, and what was such a delight to see was that they realised immediately the significance of this and cheered themselves!

I don’t often get individuals to do difficult tasks alone in front of the others, but today I did. It was so nice to hear how these people with hemiplegia were trying to applaud as loud as they could. None of them thought to stamp their feet or to whistle or to cheer. Instead, they all wanted to clap, which they did the best they could, using two hands.

They were trying to motivate their colleague to stand up from the ground unaided, which of course with so much encouragement he quickly succeeded in doing.

So yet another instance of lightening the Seele and easing the movements. You can’t get more conductive than that.

In recent weeks my stroke groups have been asking lots of questions about András Petö and the origins of “Petö” , which is what most of them call what they do with me. I do not correct them when they use this term as I much prefer it to “Konduktive Förderung” which is the German alternative.

I always refer to what we do as Konduktiv Pedagogie but still they say “Petö”, which is all right by me as we know that we are talking about the same thing, and for someone with aphasia it is much easier to begin with saying just “ Petö”!


But are we all talking about the same thing?
There have been so many questions recently which has lead me to think that they still don’t all fully understand what we are up to here! It is difficult with some stroke clients to judge how much of what you say they understand. It is almost impossible to measure understanding, except perhaps when I give an instruction for a task, when I can see by the reaction if it is understood.

I could use the reaction to concrete instructions as a measure to the understanding that they have of more abstract subjects, like discussion about conductive pedagogy, but it would be wrong for me to do this and to assume that any of them understand abstract discussion and concrete instruction in the same way. Maybe they don’t and maybe they have no way of telling me if they do. Or maybe they don’t because often they do not know that they don’t understand.

If this is getting complicated then it gives a good idea of all the different things that we are dealing with at the same time in a stroke group.

Today one client asked me for a list of tasks for homework and there was a look of horror on his face when I told him that he was to practise everything all day and all night. Another of the group jumped in and continued to explain to him what I had meant and it lead to us all getting a piece of paper and writing down what we would do at home, yes I say we because I had a piece of paper too. We all came up with lots of suggestions, including to drink beer, lifting the glass with the affected arm, gesturing while talking only with the affected arm, taking the coat from its hook with the affected hand, cleaning teeth with the affected hand. The list goes on. With all this brain- storming the client who originally asked about homework came to a much greater understanding of what his “Petö” is all about.

At the end of the brainstorming session we came up with a plan for the first sessions of next year. We will invite as many people as we can to attend one of the sessions, for example family members, physiotherapists and doctors. To begin with I will talk a little bit about conductive pedagogy and then we will continue with parts of our programme, inviting the guests to take part too. We will follow this with a sitfdown round the table, with a few cognitive tasks and discussion, and a cup of tea (made of course by someone in the group). I hope that when we do this it will lead to my clients' gaining an even greater understanding of our work together and give them the opportunity to spread the word about our work into the local community.

Notes

The picture heading my blog is one of many I took as I walked to work this morning. I was so glad that I had left my bike in the cellar and even more glad that I always have my camera in my bag.

It was glorious, the sun came out for just a minute or two and suddenly this row of trees appeared from nowhere. Then they remained hidden until almost midday when they suddenly became bathed in warm autumn sunshine.

Seele - soul

Monday, 3 November 2008

Memories of home

" Norfolk on my mind " by Susie Mallett October 3rd 2008

I haven't done any painting for ages and ages so today I took a break from work, from typing and from thinking and I picked up a paint brush. With no idea at all what I was going to paint I just brushed on a few of my favourite colours, Prussian blue being number one amongst them, and I waited to see what happened. Low and behold a Norfolk landscape appeared before my eyes, which isn’t really surprising as it is where I learnt to paint. My mother would drive me around the Norfolk countryside for hours and every so often we would pull into the side of the road and while I painted and drew she would read her newspaper or chat to me.

I am as ever amazed to see that blobs of paint and a few squiggles of the pencil can give us the impression that they are trees. They aren’t trees, they are just blobs of paint, but I am ever grateful for this talent of being able to deceive the eye into believing, just for a moment, that they are real trees, because today it gave me the opportunity to take a much needed break. While painting or drawing I enter a world of my own, totally absorbed by the marks on the paper and the consistency and colour of the paints.

Recently I have renewed contact with a second cousin in Australia who is also a bit of an artist, but like me she is not producing as many pictures as she would like. We made a sort of pact, we decided we should try to put paint or pencil to paper once everyday. Mary, that’s my cousin, has also asked for a bit of tuition so she could in fact turn out to be my first art student in cyberspace.

When I am at home another member of my family gets a bit of free tuition and lots of encouragement too, that's my dad. Having sat at the dining room table watching me painting for most of my life he recently began using the watercolours that I had given him on his retirement almost twenty years ago. He is quite good already and he becomes as absorbed in his work in much the same way as I do.

Watch this space for a family exhibition!

The Icing on the cake in Munich






I have talked in my congress blogs about meeting some of my old colleagues and friends in Munich last weekend but I haven't found the appropriate place to insert any photos, so this is a blog just for the photos!

Me with friends, in the first picture with fellow conductor (as you can see by the chairs) Raphaela Roß from Paderborn and in the second picture with Lisa Pitz from Forschritt Verein, Würzbürg, where I have recently been working.

Notes

Raphaela Roß, BA(hons)
Lisa Pitz

"Konduktive Förderung"

"Hero for the day"

I am waiting to make my final comments on the Munich conference till after I have been in Budapest later this week, to take part in and soak up the real "conductive culture" and put the whole thing in context.

But "German conference reports, Where's the elephant?" a recent posting by Andrew Sutton gives a German definition that I just cannot let pass.

First though here it is translated it into English. I won't even attempt to translate "Konduktive Förderung " and I will leave it in Andrew's inverted commas. Konduktive Förderung although is not "so called", it is what it is, "konduktive Förderung", which I believe is something very different from the conductive upbringing which is the basis of my work. It a German name coined early on after Germany's rather late discovery of Conductive Education, and the following paragraph actually describes well the directions in which the work in some centres appears to be developing.

My translation

"Konduktive Förderung" is based on the ideas that the Hungarian doctor and pedagogue Professor András Petö developed about 40 years ago: the logical combination of upbringing, education and therapy, the multidisciplinary team, the innovative furniture, and the strict daily routine, the close work with parents, the integration into the school system and last but not least the high requirements in professional qualifications and further training.

In a centre with Konduktive Förderung a constant team is occupied with the kindergarten group or the class of school children; from teachers conductors, therapists. And it doesn't matter whether it is in lessons, personal care, break times or therapy, everything is integrated into the schedule of the group and it often takes place all in the same room: The “caretakers” give constant support depending on the needs of each individual and what leads to their greatest possible independence.

My reaction as a conductor

Petö would certainly be spinning in his urn, couldn't the author at least read his books?

This passage above describes very well what is happening in Germany. The original Petö pur centres with conductors are becoming fewer. The more PTKs the more school projects there are with a PTK/teacher and a conductor or with a PTK/kindergarten nurse with no conductor at all.

I will try to check out how many of the 56 "Konduktive Förderung " centres in Germany now have conductors.

Notes

Andrew Sutton - "German conference reports, Where's the elephant?"
PTKs – therapists and teachers with an additional qualification, see my blog of 24th October, 2008 "An Oktoberfest to build Conductive bridges in Germany".

In the translation above I have used the English word "nursery nurse" to translate the word Erziehern which is the qualification one needs to work in a kindergarten in Germany. I used the word "caretaker" as the translation for Betreuer which is someone responsible for looking after someone else at a specific time, not necessarily a nursery nurse, a teacher or a therapist, it can be a mother, a sister or maybe an assistant.

András Petö’s book - Unfug der Krankheit - Triumph der Heilkunst
Verlag – Karl Schustek, Hanau/Main