Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why the Harlem Globetrotters have helped me love my job even more

When people ask me if I like my job, it's fun to be able to respond with a resounding, "Yes!" I've become one of those annoying people who loves what they do* and would talk about it all the time if they could, but I try to practice some self-restraint. Plus, as demanding as work often is, it's usually nice to not talk about it when I'm not there.

I wish desperately that I could post the video of my day today, but due to patient privacy laws, I can't. So I'm going to do my best to explain. We had a talent show! It's been in the works for weeks, all the other units (non-autism) have been planning and practicing and I was about at my wit's end trying to figure out what my kids would do. A choreographed dance was out of the question, a group song or skit wasn't going to happen. I toyed with the idea of an athletic exposition, in which each kid would show off one of their athletic skills. Finally, with some brainstorming help from the other RT's, I decided to introduce my guys as the LH Globetrotters! (LH being our hospital)

We worked out a routine that had 3 groups of guys passing a basketball, dribbling, shooting, walking and dribbling, making baskets, and generally wowing the crowd with skills most people didn't know they had. They even had red, white, and blue sweatbands, a bench on the sideline, and the Harlem Globetrotter music. It was a riot and the crowd loved it! I was so proud of them :)

My other unit, the younger kids, did end up doing a dance of sorts. I tried in vain to choreograph it with 2 groups standing and sitting but it ended up being a freestyle disco dance to YMCA with some instruments and lots of help from the awesome staff. The kids had tie-dye headbands and one girl who loves to dance got into it with her pompoms up in front of the crowd. So cute!

I just watched a news piece about Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. It's a modern hospital today, but when it opened in 1883 as the Georgia Lunatic Asylum, that's the kind of place my kids would have been sent to. Yes, even kids. Even though it's not an easy job and regularly frustrating, I feel so fortunate to work where I do and when I do and with the people I do. Just over 100 years ago, I wonder if the people running the asylum would have thought that kids like mine would be playing basketball and dancing in a talent show, then going out to dinner at Moe's afterwards?

*That's not to say I love every moment of work. Sometimes it just sucks. Trying to get 16 non-compliant kids to do what I want them to do is exhausting. Staff get tired, there are attitudes from everyone, resources aren't always there, time is extremely limited, demands and expectations are high. But in the big picture? The grand scheme of things? I have a pretty awesome job.

1 comment:

  1. First things first - yea for a new post.

    I love that they did were Globetrotters. What a great idea Liz. I am very impressed and so sad that you can't show us video.