Sunday, February 16, 2014

Continuing Education

Those who follow my writings know, that I often write about all the ways I benefited from Conductive Education- a rehabilitation method which during the mid to late 1980's was extremely popular with kids (and families) striving to overcome Cerebral Palsy. The Hungarian Institute in Budapest became a popular destination for parents from both sides of the iron curtain, and an expensive one at that and many children saw great progress. I have also written about the method itself. How for decades it attracted supporters, but remained secretive. And how young men and women, mostly women known as Conductors, the rehabilitation experts if you will, after few years of training scattered across the world working for facilities as well as families and communities who could afford them. It appears as if a Conductor, once he or she graduates from the program is now fully formed and equipped with all the skills needed in the profession and is prepared to take on any challenge that comes their way. I don't really hear of them expanding on their talents, taking follow up courses or even maintaining relationships with  others like them in their countries and across the world.  I have no idea what it must be like to know everything you will ever need to know before you get started. As an attorney in America I'm constantly required to take continuing education courses. Every few years I must report a certain amount of credits or else I'm in trouble. Some may say it's a way to make money off lawyers as those things are both mandatory and not very cheap, but I think it  accomplishes a lot of other, positive things. It makes  us constantly grow and learn. It exposes me to new areas, developments  in ways and concepts that I don't think having me read about it or researching it would. Often it teaches me some practical skill. One of the things I struggle with still is figuring ways to do things that I've never done before. Although for this I often rely on other, more experienced lawyers who never turn me away when I simply don't know how to get from point A to point B. Things like where to go and what to file. Just ask my friend Bill. I'm sure he wants to shut down his laptop every time he sees a blinking message from me on the bottom of his Facebook page but so far he's been very patient with me.  I'm not a part of some law firm, I only practice law occasionally-  I had no one to show me some of these things. And while I can figure out most of it on my own, sometimes I need guidance. As I do those things, they are new things that I have learnt and I'm more confident about doing it again.  And I do think that what lawyers were able to accomplish, particularly in Florida, through the classes, the meet ups and the luncheons is establishing a sense of community. I can't think of a profession or a trade that would not benefit from networking. From swapping war stories. From learning that were you've been others were before you. Maybe sharing some tips and hints. In case you haven't guessed it already, I'm talking about Conductors again. I don't quite get how they do what they do: They travel around the world, they often encounter  cultures that are strange  and foreign to them. They leave their homes and everything familiar and end up often in very intimate family settings. How lonely that must be, how isolating, with nothing else to go on, but secret teachings of Andras Peto, a man who lived in Budapest decades before most of them were even born. A method. A treasured concept they are apparently told not to disclose to anyone, so they keep isolated not only from their surroundings but from each other,  while Peto, almost 50 years after his death is cherished like some bearded man in the sky. Doesn't it help to reach out to others like you? Who live where you are, who can do as little as understand what your going through? And who you can share your frustrations, doubts and failures with? Conductors must take on a lot of expectation, of hope of joy, of struggle but also  of disappointment. Recently an American CE organization contacted me. It was interesting to see it was from somebody writing on behalf of their Continuing Education department. Would I be willing to talk to their members about my experience?- they asked. It was interesting to see how they wanted to learn and felt I had something to teach them. And I said as I had times before: I'm always willing to do Cerebral Palsy/CE programs, speaking engagements and fund raisers. Just tell me what you'd like me to do and how.

1 comment:

  1. Economic situation is one of the main reasons driving demand for continuing education, and many individuals enroll in continuing education programs during economic depressions. Similarly, during recessions, many employees seek to improve abilities to remain hired or find new work chances. Some individuals enroll in university because they love education, while some do so to qualify for certain occupations. However, many individuals feel incapable to re-enroll in university since they must keep their full-time professions. Working experts wanting to keep their professions but obtain more education can register in life experience degree programs. Professionals are taking benefit of the chances provided by returning to university or earning additional degrees.