29 January, 2012

A new rambling diatribe (and a new reason to blog?)

Where have I been? Well...
I have been being a librarian, working out how a school library works and how I think I could make one work better. I have been finding out about the variations on office politics you get in an environment where post-grad qualifications are the norm and everyone values their independence. Not to mention, the fact that schools are one of the last bastions of management by seniority (not that I am a fan of management as a separate discipline - as I have mentioned before (and some time later I may search for it and link to it here)).

But, that isn't the point of this post. This post is to announce the resumption of posting (I hope) because, work is paying for me to get a Dip Ed. Yep, my old management masters is still on the back burner (no need for that in this role) . And, while I have no real intention of being a classroom teacher, I think the Dip Ed will improve my skills for this job.

I am half way through subject one (summer school) and as such I decided it was time to be medicated again. ADHD meds do not cross state lines, nor do Psychiatrist reports, prescriptions, or government authority numbers. So, when I got to Darwin (two years ago) I sought out a doctor with authority to prescribe and a psychiatrist to oversee the process. I failed. I saw several doctors and a psychiatrist but...
no one was willing. The psychiatrist said he didn't like ADHD meds, the doctors all said they didn't want the government authority as it was too much work (and once word got out they were inundated by druggies with dodgy diagnosis). So, for two years I have been unmedicated, it has certainly affected me at work. I am still good at my job, but (ignoring false humility) when I am properly focused I am brilliant. It hasn't been too bad though, exercise really helps and I have been keeping up the rugby. I was managing to train all year, first 15s, then 7s, then back to 15s. This year however I managed to destroy my knee in our grand final win. So, no 7s in the off season (in fact no exercise since August)
Well, having started the study, I decided to pop in and see educational support. They told me (what I already knew), being unmedicated at this point was not the best plan. They gave me a lead to the one psychiatrist in Darwin who deals with us adult ADHD folks, so I popped into the medical centre across the road at work and got an appointment for a random medico. I was only looking for a referral but, as luck would have it, stumbled upon a doctor who was willing to prescribe (and had the required government authority to do so).
Wow, right?

Anyway, it was all good timing. Admittedly by the time I got to see the psych I had already had to do 50% of my assessments but I just used the traditional ADHD hyperfocused last minute (all nighter) writing method and I pulled it off. Not great marks, but hey I am not looking for anything better than a pass. The real good timing though, is that we have a new senior staff this year. New principal and 3 new assistant principals, so as of today I am on day 3 of remedication and feeling great. When I started at the school, I wrote a 3 year plan for the library, began a collection development policy, wrote a budget bid, gathered all the stats I could find on the system and started keeping records of library usage. No one looked at it, no one cared. No one wanted a budged bid, they told me what I was getting. No one cared how I spent it, there was only one budget line.

The new principal, seems to be interested in my plans and ideas. I have been asked for budget bids, I have been asked for a business plan, I have been asked how he can improve the library, I have been told "if the library works the school will work"
So, day 1 of my new meds I was up until 4am writing a business plan. A very detailed one, giving him background information, my vision, my ethos, my ideas for building the library, for improving space, building new collections.

So, it may be time to blog again to:
  • give me a way to focus my ideas (I do that better with an audience)
  • give me somewhere to express my frustration with the academic world of school education. The jargon (which hides reality from parents)
    The political correctness (one text was so politically correct it said "all Aboriginal parents want their children to learn" really? All? I am aware some people dismiss Aboriginal parents and student too easily, but NOT ALL parents give a shit about their kids' education be they aboriginal or otherwise).
But, now it is time to get back to uni texts before printing and re-reading my business plan (after all, I was writing it at 4am so I may have been hallucinating and writing complete dross.