It was suggested by one of our instructors that at some point we physically write out why we’ve decided to take on this course. The instructors, conductors, and 2nd and 3rd year students have not kept us under any illusions about the difficulty of the course and the career as a whole. We have been repeatedly told things such as, “there will be days you will go home in tears and question why you are doing this.” However, we are also reminded, “there will be days that you absolutely love it and are reminded why you are here.” So, as I am an avid writer when it comes to things like this (only a small percent of what I write is put on this blog) and because I highly respect the aforementioned instructor and her suggestions, I am going to attempt to put this all into words.
My desire while on earth is to seek God and serve people. I have had a passion for people with disabilities for as long as I remember. While not the sole cause, I’m sure my brother has influenced this to a large degree. When my brother was 2 my family found Conductive Education while searching for alternative therapies, unhappy with the results we were getting from traditional therapies. He is now 8, and while we are somewhat discouraged by the lack of availability of CE in the US, we are happy with the progress he has made when given the chance to use CE services. The basic approach that I understood about CE at that time made sense to me. More sense than anything else I had seen. In Conductive Education there was a stronger belief in potential of the children than I saw elsewhere. The kids rose to the expectations and the results were undeniable.
I spent a portion of the summer of 2010 in Canada at Ability Camp, a 5-week intensive CE camp run by a few Hungarian Conductors. I spent 5 hours a day for 5 weeks in the classroom with the children. There were good days and bad days, but when I left that camp I was surer than ever that I wanted to train as a Conductor. The sight of the first independent steps taken with a walker by one of the children at the end of 5 weeks of relentless work is forever ingrained in my mind. The joy on his face brought me to tears, and still does.
As I learn more about Conductive Education through the lectures and practical placements I continue to become more excited and enthusiastic about it. I’ve seen the methodology, but equally brilliant is the philosophy. It is so much more than a “form of physical therapy for children and adults with disabilities” as I unfortunately so often explain it. (For the sake of having a succinct explanation for the vocation no one understands.) It is truly holistic. Conductive Education does not just seek to give specific physical functions to those affected by disabilities. It aims to facilitate the development of problem solving skills for movement, improve psychological health and social abilities, increase use of cognitive abilities, and create a love for learning; all of which lead to a meaningful, joyful life that many take for granted. It is as much about improving walking as it is about improving confidence. If I can help someone learn to walk independently, great. But if I can be a part of showing someone that they are valuable and understood even if they can never walk, even better. The great thing about CE is that you do not have to pick one or the other, it is always developing both. I was a bit wary of leaving psychology as a course of study. But I am now seeing more and more how psychological and relational CE is. (As a small aside; I will be honest and say it makes me a bit nervous to write about CE as a fairly ignorant 1st year student. Especially knowing that there are people reading this who are extremely knowledgeable and qualified. I am trying to accurately represent CE to the best of my current ability, but I know that I have so much to learn.)
So why am I doing this?
I love people and want to serve and relate to them. I am fascinated by movement and the brain. I want to spend my life a perpetual student, because there is always more to learn. Conductive Education gives me the opportunity to have all of these things. I have no idea where I will find myself 5 years from now, but I do know that I am ready for a challenge. I am keeping my eyes and my heart open and trusting God to lead me. Ask me about my lofty dreams and ambitions sometime if you’re up for some passionate discourse. Just don’t try to bring me back down to earth too quickly 🙂