It is officially the first Saturday of March which means that you are reading our newest blog 😀
This blog post is very special to me since I will be narrating to you, in cooperation with a dear colleague of mine, Aspa Argyri, the first occupational module we took when we started our studies, in 2018!
We started studying at Metropolitan College in Athens (AMC) in 2018 with our first module being “Humans as Occupational Beings”, during the first semester, and “Occupational Therapy process across the life span”, during the second, coordinator of which was Ms. Polixeni Skaltsi. I refer to them as one module since the latter was the sequel to the first.
At that time we had no idea what we signed up for, to be honest since in Greece the profession of occupational therapy was not really known for its full work field, and for that, we could not have asked for a greater “getting-to-know” module.
We started studying what Occupational Therapy and Science theory are with hopes of developing a primary understanding of the complexity of occupation and its relation to health and well-being. Pretty basic stuff, one could say, but Ms. Skaltsi made sure to make every chapter experiential.
If I recall correctly, the first-ever practical lesson we had, besides the implementation of theoretical models onto case studies, was an “arts and crafts” lesson where we constructed our very own “river” aka KAWA with rocks, leaves, coloring equipment, etc based on how we pictured our life that far. We used rocks to display our struggles, logs, and branches for all the helpful environmental factors, the banks and Delta of the river for every path we have taken and will take, and of course the water flow which represents how we perceive our life.
I remember that day like it was yesterday, because not only did I fully understand the model but I learned how to apply it to someone’s everyday life, starting with my very own!
During the first year, Ms. Skaltsi would always refer to WFOT from time to time depending on the topic, and that is when we first heard of the narratives WFOT started a project on. She encouraged us to make, individually, a narrative by filming a person engaging in a preferable occupation and talking about it. She insisted on asking 5 questions; What is the occupation? Where is it taking place? How is it carried out? Why does the person do it? and What does it mean to them? These questions, as Aspa has beautifully expressed, were congruent with the nature of occupation which we were elaborately discussing; that it is active, purposeful, meaningful, contextualized, and impacts health. Little did we know at that time, that this project was gonna shape the way we perceive occupations and how we implement all the theories we had learned that far.
Both I and Aspa took credit for the projects we had done, and not until recently were we reminded of them because both of our narratives were accepted and included in WFOT’s project! That is what triggered the memory of that module and how grateful we really are to have experienced such a first touch with the profession.
For my project I filmed my lovely grandma talking about knitting, a traditional occupation in Greece. She narrates that when she was a little kid she had to learn how to knit out of a necessity and explains how it has a different and unique meaning for her, along with the conditions that must be fulfilled before she can start. Thankfully, she made it a lot easier for me by talking passionately about one of the occupations that have followed her through her life and how it shifted from a “need to” to a “want to” as we OTs like to say.
You can find my narrative by clicking on this link: https://occupational-narratives.wfot.org/knitting/
“In my video which is uploaded on WFOT’s page for occupational narratives, I filmed my friend who was engaging in the occupation of metalworking and was then crafting some bronze olive trees in her father’s laboratory who is a metal sculpture technician. Looking back when I first started school, I had little understanding of Occupational Therapy’s philosophy since I mostly knew about the view that is dictated by the biomedical model, which is, unfortunately, the most popular and dominant one. I am very glad that from the first semester of my studies I learned about the holistic view of and approach to health and people and how that is consistent with Occupational Therapy’s principles and theoretical models. Both the module and the occupational narratives’ activity, gave me a greater insight into the complexity of occupation and Occupational Therapy, since we explored all the factors that influence occupation, both external and internal, while also examining the meanings of it and how it affects health and well-being.
Today I am in my third year of studies and I am still learning more and more about the complexity of occupation while holding a better understanding of the profession. After these 3 years, I have come to realize that learning is an ongoing process that will continue even after my graduation, and hopefully all the knowledge acquired will facilitate me as a professional to provide a person-centered as well as an occupation-centered practice, while also advocating for the profession itself.”
You can find my narrative by clicking on this link: https://occupational-narratives.wfot.org/metal-working-crafting/
We would love to know your opinions on our narratives or learn about what inspired you to film your own narrative if you have! If you had a course that changed your view on Occupational Therapy feel free to reach out to us and share your experiences!
You can contact me via my email: bl*****@sp********.eu and/or Aspa via her email: aa********@am********.gr
Ps. all the pictures above are taken either from me, Aspa or Ms. Skaltsi.