Big Reminder before I start the main post from Sharon Sweeney
Just to let everyone know that the Blood Donation Clinic returns to the Community Centre in Ballinamore on Monday 8th June 2009.
Clinic times are 3.00pm to 4.45pm and 7.00pm to 9.30pm.
We were below the 100 donations at the last clinic so we really need to get above this number at the next one or we may lose it to another town.
Thanks to everyone who attended the previous clinics. Please try to get to this one and if you can get there please bring a friend.
From Liz – My blood is RH O Neg so I’m going to be very brave (I’m needle phobic … runs in the family) and go down there on Monday. I’ll be the one whimpering in the corner … and staying the longest. My blood takes forever to come out … and I sometimes have to have the needle moved around between my arms … I feel dizzy just writing this … don’t want to do it … fear fear fear … but the blood is needed.
Love Sunday … a lovely slow day … street is quiet.
I read until 3am this morning and was still up at 7am to let Coco out … and then … back to bed to sleep for another few hours.
I’ve been uploading and resizing photos from my Dublin trip this week and Coco is sitting in her chair … looking at the photo and around the office I see I’ll be doing some tidying tomorrow morning.
The Dublin trip was a great success.
I went over there on Thursday by train … very comfortable and I love seeing the countryside go by … lovely and sunny.
My meeting wasn’t until Friday so I had a great wander on both the Northside and Southside.
They are separated by the Liffey and connected by a heap of bridges.
This photo shows one of Dublins favourite bridges … the Ha’Penny Bridge.
I used to live in one of the apartments in the red brick building on the northside (the left) … 1 minute from the bridge.
Some of my favourite streets in Dublin city include:
Dame Street … at one end is Trinity and at the other is Christchurch … and my Juries Hotel. Temple Bar runs off Dame Street and faces onto the Liffey.
Off Dame Street is Georges Street and the beautiful Georges St Arcade … a covered market. Great little streets run off it and you end up on …
Grafton Street … which is a key pedestrian area with a lot of shops. Stephen’s Green Park is at one end.
Parliament Street runs into Dame street on the South side and then you go across a bridge to the northside and one of my favourite streets … Capel Street.
It has some great pubs and really old shops.
One of the main shopping streets on this side of the river suns off Capel Street … it’s a mix of Mary Street and Henry Street … and there are heaps and heaps of shops as well as open markets.
It ends up at O’Connell Street which is a major part of Dublin history … a little run down but always full of character. The O’Connell St photos were taken on Saturday morning when I was on the LUAS train to Connolly train station … it was bucketing down after days of sunshine.
The meeting ran from 11am to 2pm and I organised for sandwiches, fruit and cheese to be brought in so we can eat and talk.
The major part of the meeting was spent standing around the SKIL2 learning space design that I have developed … commenting … questioning … adding … changing.
My design mantra is
BEAUTIFUL + SIMPLE + AFFORDABLE
So … that mantra informs every design decision and discussion and the Team are very aware of it … to the extent that they are now commenting on other sites I show them in those terms.
After 2 meetings I feel we have captured the key design elements and the Team has been of invaluable assistance in making it even more user friendly.
This week I’ll be transferring the paper design to a new open source design software called Scribus … which I have to teach myself to use first!
As we are standing looking at the design it raised all sorts of great questions, ideas and comments from the Team:
- how can we engage people to use SKIL2?
- SKIL2 will be a great way to capture organisational memory
- what if we ….. they have heaps of ideas
- here’s how we can link it into existing systems and processes
- it’s a great tool for challenging good practice and sharing our knowledge
- how do we deal with people who abuse the space? [my response … the same way as you do in face to face encounters … link back to your policies on best practice, bullying etc … have clear written codes of conduct …]
- let’s open SKIL2 to our volunteers as well
- how can we eventually include service users?
- etc etc etc etc
The discussions are amazing and I facilitate in a way that makes people feel safe enough to be challenging and excited and unsure.
We also started our Elevator Pitch exercise … where we will develop a 60 second SKIL2 pitch.
I asked people to throw in their thoughts and ideas on the following questions:
- who is SKIL2 for?
- what problems/needs does it solve?
- what opportunities does it seize?
- what values/benefits does it offer to an organisation and individual?
- what are it’s key features?
- what calls to action do we need to develop?
We got to number 4 and we’ll finish it off via a group email.
Over lunch I showed the Team a range of interesting sites … a social media for non profits site ... a cool tools for schools site …a site that shows you alternative open source software to the paid stuff … and open course ware sites [I gave the links in my last post].
At each meeting over lunch I will be showing the Team different aspects of social media … online learning … open source etc.
It’s like a literal and figurative Bite Sized Learning session … their knowledge, skills and confidence in these areas will grow as I show them more and more ways that it all works.
SKIL2 and everything I develop is based on an interesting mix of conceptual models and my own experience:
- adult learning theory
- social justice theory
- social media and Web 2
- community building
- change theory
- group theory
- facilitation theory
- knowledge management
- learning organisation models
- learning styles theory
- communication models
- a range of learning models
- social action research
- organisational development theories
- feminist and power theories
- structure and process systems theory
- neuro lingusitics programming
- design theory
- information architecture
It all informs the way I work with people … and the kinds of things (products, processes and services) that I want to develop and share with the world.
And at the end of the meeting as we were setting a date in September for the next Team session … I apologised for having to convene 2 three hour long meetings in 2 weeks and I explained that I wanted to get key feedback from them on SKIL2 design before the summer holidays.
I promised that the next meeting would be shorter … maybe 90 minutes to 2 hours … and they all said they wanted the meetings to be longer and stay at 3 hours … they really want to learn and discuss and build SKIL2 into Depaul Ireland.
First time in 25 years people have asked me to make the meetings longer … they are really engaged in the whole SKIL2 process … and … I facilitate meetings that are always results oriented … and fun.
After the meeting I went to stay with a good friend Mary and chatted into the night … love that.
Then back on the train in the rain on Saturday … thanks William for picking me up.
Now I’m off to walk Coco and begin a new pattern of health living:
- cycling to Riversdale (10min each way) and swimming for an hour … 2 to 3 times a week
- walking Coco every day … at least an hour 4 times a week … and shorter on other days
- eating healthy … which I’m doing anyway
- 4 to 5 alcohol free days a week
- try the You Tube free personal trainer sessions … twice a week
I intend to be Fit & Fabulous for my 50’s … coming up in 47 days.
I will enter that age fitter than I have been in over 30 years.