People sometimes ask me how I have so much to write about. Here are some notes that I scribbled down during the course of just today. I must admit that it was a long day, lots happening with four different lots of lovely work so there was ample opportunity for lots to happen to write about.
What a noisy morning; rainy day so no outside play for the little ones. The kindergarten was very, very loud. Ear plugs will be supplied tomorrow, they promised me!
This afternoon I had the most relaxing ninety minutes of work that I have had in a long long time. It was perfect. I had a different hat on: I was being an art therapist and I had just managed to make friends with the mother of an autistic young man.
She waited outside but like many mums she couldn’t resist walking around the building to peer in the window! I didn't see her, neither did her 25-year-old son, thank goodness. At least, she admitted she had peered in the window, most don't.
She doesn't want to accompany her son any more until I let her know that she can come and paint with us! Son was perfectly happy. Painted extremely well (that's his painting at the top of this posting). A hit, and lovely for me. Six more appointments and when he has settled in a bit more she can come and join in.
I have sent one adult back home to change his trousers after he had an accident in the bathroom and wanted to carry on working with me. I refused. As he only lives next door he will return shortly.
Sometimes, the smells a conductor has to put up with!
There are sometimes children in the group who smell so strongly of stale tobacco. That is actually very sad. To be severely disabled and to have so much smoking around at home that clothes right down to the underwear smell of smoke is unspeakable.
Teenage girls have a big problem, they often sweat a lot and it is especially bad for them if they come to us after a long day at school. Sometimes we buy nice soap and deodorant for them so they can wash, or be helped to wash, and freshen themselves up when they arrive. Poor girls!
Just had a lovely, seelische (soulful) chat with the cleaner who always has time for a chat. On tuesdays she always sneeks quietly in to clean the bathroom, she sees and a hears a little bit each week. Today she said "You can't learn what you do with them". This sounds like another way of talking about the "magic"!
She is a lovely lady, a real down-to-earth, intelligent soul, the wife of a farmer. It was a lovely moment with her, especially when one of the disabled adults who lives upstairs came to share the news with us that he is moving out to a flat in the city to begin his independent living.
All in a day's work
Today was a day like any other conductor's day. Packed with human experiences and things to think about. I wish that other conductors would write such things down too. Then we should have the beginnings of a real pedagogic literature and put a stop for ever to people trying to make something conductive out of a handful of principles and exercises.
I might come back to some of these in more detail, but I just wanted to show what an amazing life it is being a conductor.