Saturday, May 21, 2011

Long weekend plans

So it's the end of a very long week and am I glad the weekend is here and I can tend to my garden.  I think I spent more time away from my desk than at it this week. It was workshops and more workshops and for the first time I was a panelist for a non-academic grade appeal which lasted for 4 hours and at the end of it, we had not resolved the situation. It's interesting how 4 people can hear evidence and come up to different conclusions based on the evidence presented.  It was a mentally exhausting 4 hours which means that we have to meet again to come to a decision.  It's a perfect case of the Rashomon effect. Here is an explanation of Rashomon effect: 

At the end of that session, I ran back to my office, gobbled down some lunch and headed off to do a workshop to a group of 39 students in the Medical Lab Technology program on human/workplace relations.  I gave them 4 case studies based on events that they might encounter at their practicum placement sites.  There were 8 groups of 5 and they were assigned one of the cases.  They had to do an analysis of the case, come up with two possible solutions beyond the obvious and then choose the one that they thought was the best of the two.  One of the cases was about a technologist who keeps a beard for religious reasons and is asked to shave it off because he has to wear a special mask because of a flu outbreak.  He tells his supervisor that he cannot shave his beard for religious reasons and his supervisor tells him that he can keep it.  However, the next week the technologist overhears a colleague telling another colleague that he is angry that he has to shave his beard and the first technologist gets to keep his.  One group came up with a pretty stunning solution: If the technologist wants to be in the medical field, he should have to follow the rules of the organization.  So he must save his beard or choose another profession.  The group also said that if the technologist wants to live in Canada, he needs to follow the rules of Canada and assimilate into the Canadian culture - which I presume means that Canadians don't wear beards.  I wish I had more time than two hours and by the time the group presented, it was almost the end of the two hours. 

What would you say if someone said that to you?  What if someone said that you had to choose between your religion and your career? What would you say/do?  I know that the laws of Canada protect the individual from this kind of situation, but what if it was more subtle and your employer/supervisor knew just how to manipulate the rules?  I ended the week feeling drained so I came home intending to have dinner and jump into bed by 6pm.  That was my aim but sometimes I don't aim very well so I ate dinner, spent some time in the chaise lounge contemplating how many steps it would take to walk from the chaise to my bed but instead of my feet walking toward the bedroom, they walked right out to the backyard and before I knew it, the three of us had rearranged, planted and replanted several plants in the yard.  I planted my dahlias and canna lilies and moved some of the perennials that are getting overcrowded.  Then the rain came down in perfect time and fell gently all night - just the right kind for a newly planted garden.  I am really looking forward to seeing them grow over the summer because besides the fact that they look like a piece of the tropics, they attract several hummingbirds all summer. I love looking at those little creatures.  Their colours are so beautiful and they are so hardworking.  I wrote in a previous post about how much I love them.  

Today I spent the morning watching all my favourite PBS cooking shows and then cooked some curried chicken because Hana was coming over for dinner and to spend the night.  She is now sitting with mom in the family room and Hana wants mom to hold her like a baby. She is six and a half and is almost as tall as mom 51 inches to mom's 61 inches.  It's funny to watch them.  Mom is trying to hold her like a baby but give Hana a couple years and she'll be holding mom I think.  By the way everyone, Mom has decided on Thursday that she will stay with us on a permanent basis.  That makes things a bit easier for all of us I think.  She can now feel more settled and can make plans for the future which I hope will include some travel which she has not been able to do for a while.  She is much more at ease these days and I have to say that it's nice to have an extra set of hands around for meals and such.   I am also encouraging her to get involved with a senior's organization in the Fall so that she can made some new friends. Two of the organizations have book clubs, exercise and painting classes, a lunch club, bowling, and yoga as well as other seasonal activities.  I think she is hesitant but I'll keep encouraging her over the summer. 

Okay everyone, have a good long weekend and whatever you're doing, I hope you have fun. 


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