Radicals and Rebels – a Story

Regular readers know I am impressed by the possibility of the technology.

Wow – I was born in time to reach 2015 – this is what I look like now.Elspeth70

Wonderful other people use the tech to help others. Have you found Future Learn, or TED talks? Or someone’s really special blog? [Mine is Speccy‘s] Tell me your finds.

I found the School for Health and Care Radicals – UK based so their web interaction starts there at 9 am on Fridays. Uh oh that is 4am here so I have not been a joiner in.

But, I have downloaded and used the Study Guides.

Learning from Module 1 – the reflection space – “change starts with me” yeah yeah I know that and I believe it and and and …

What good questions!!!

I did learn – oooohhhh – I do have personal inhibitions – I knew that – this time I saw that I also often let them overrule the other things I know. So I have a history of all I want to see happen sort of nearly or not quite or not enough happen. Decided to try to put myself out there.

Hence an actual photo on the blog, and an amazing week.

Here on the blog I have been fairly quiet about my involvement in ‘work’ – I am retired from anything official. I am telling what I do here as part of Module 2 – TELL the STORY. What story? Well, my story, and as a retired worker I just volunteer. So the story is to say to anyone who reads: You have no idea how much you can do from an apparently powerless place if you just look at the context, look at the people, make connections and do the stuff you quite like doing anyway.

In between a lot of nothing much and walking and all that as described elsewhere on this blog, here on Block Island I belong to:

The Wellness Coalition I and WordPress produced the website, and I and the website featured in this week’s Block Island Times. [A big thanks to wonderful WordPress, another of the techy helpers in this new world]. “Wellness” is sort of like Community Education or Youth Work with the big aim of offering something/anything different from getting high on alcohol or drugs – a sort of WOW for young people. On Saturday I will be a chaperone at the Valentine’s night Dance. I took a Webinar this morning from Rhode Island “Using Public Relations to Support Environmental Change” as part of Wellness work. It feels complementary to the Health and Care Radical School. How to make changes from the bottom up, that really work, that are about the kind of change we want to see, the kind of change we want to be. I got some good ideas about pro-active ways to connect with other groups – have to write it up and share.

beachmeetsoceanThe Block Island Poetry Project – planning  a project with Poetry in the Wild – I volunteered to make a box and warden it – the fantastic idea from artist Ana Flores that poetry can re-connect people and place in this disconnected stressed out modern era. ‘Poetry boxes’ are made, contain a poem, a map, a brief outline of the project, and a NOTEBOOK and PENCILS. Anyone who comes along is encouraged to read, reflect, write their own thoughts, or whatever. This is the most interactive open-ended notion I have heard for a long time. We are all excited. It is perfect for Block Island “one of the last great places in the western hemisphere“. I will make a box and be its box warden (!me!) – just check ‘my’ box every so often hopefully to provide pencils, fresh notebooks, but if making sure it is all clean and safe is also part of the job, will do. Will coordinate with the other wardens and project people, sharing what treasures have been found in the various boxes.

The Grapes of Wrath anniversary Celebration. Brainchild of my friend Gloria, thanks, grapesaided and abetted by me, Kristen at the library and Nancy from the School, we are holding a two-day event to engage with the themes in the novel. We have planned creative art and writing responses, seeing the 1940 film, discussion, more engagement etc.

I nearly cried re-reading it – I must have been teenage when I read it before – now I see how many of its themes of oppression, justice/ injustice, humanity, connection, despair and hope have been notions I have carried all my life. What about Casy then?

“I figgered about the Holy Sperit and the Jesus road. I figgered “Why do we got to hand it to god or Jesus? Maybe, I figgered, maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit – the whole shebang right there. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of. Now I sat there thinking it, an’ all of a sudden – I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it”

As if that was not enough, I also belong to NAMI Block Island (National Alliance on Mental Health) and they will soon have a website too. And as representative for Mental Health I am on the School improvement Team.

That’s my story, this week, for module 2.

What I did that was new for me:

  • I agreed at once to the poetry box plan, and already have agreement for my box outside my space. [This is a condo, so I needed the support of the co-owners of the public space – I asked, I got!].
  • I said I wanted to be part of the discussion panel for Steinbeck, saying how Steinbeck saw the process of oppression and injustice. [Before I would have done what I was asked to do, the brief biography, someone else is doing that now.]
  • I asked a couple of questions in the webinar. I said I would write it up.

See the change!!

4 thoughts on “Radicals and Rebels – a Story

  1. I started with the Open University in 2010 and have enjoyed every step of the steepest learning curve I’ve tackled since my college days. Invigorating as well as interesting, and definitely worthwhile.


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