Thursday, 28 November 2019

Lecturer Lola

Distant view of Christ the Redeemer above flowerbeds
Rio de Janeiro, April 2019
My ex-colleague who was the last-but-one Diabetes Dietitian Team Leader now works for a University offering a Masters postgraduate course in Diabetes-related stuff (I think it probably has a better name than that). She asked me if I would deliver part of one of their modules, all about insulin pump therapy. My bit would obviously be about diet and pumps, and it sounded interesting and within my capabilities, so I said yes.

She had already told me that the previous person who delivered this bit of the module was far too technical and the students were completely baffled, and when she sent the materials from that session I had to agree. Part of it was the same as the course I attended a few years ago that resulted in one of my most technical blog posts ever, and I wasn't even sure I understood it all. Another part of it was the same as another course I attended which produced another fiendishly complicated blog post.  To offer that to a group who are just getting to grips with the basics of pump therapy was pretty inappropriate.

So I started from scratch and created three hours of material at a basic level to cover three areas: what happens to your blood glucose when you eat and drink, how best to use the features of an insulin pump to deal with that, and what the pump can do for you when you exercise. It has taken up pretty much all of my free time in the last two weeks, but I was pleased with what I came up with, which included interaction and activities that I hoped would keep everyone awake and interested.

While I was doing that there was the distraction of having to go to work for two days each week, which also entailed supervising two different dietetic students on their final placements for their degree course. I had a pretty poor experience in two out of three of my placements, which makes me a terrible supervisor because there's no way I would put anyone through that. But I had to do extra hours and I had less time to do my own work. And there was quite a serious incident with a colleague that has led to me having to refer a complaint up to the Dietetic Manager (seeing as we don't have a replacement Diabetes Dietitian Team Leader since the last one left). So work isn't my favourite place at the moment.

As well as Monday and Thursday badminton and the regular Tuesday Buddhism and a film accompanied by live music on Wednesday (in a Leamington venue called Temperance that is rapidly becoming a favourite) and a trip to see mum and dad, I went away for another weekend retreat where I met lots of lovely Buddhists who restored my faith in humanity. One of the people leading the retreat was the man who played a part in setting up many of the small local groups, including ours in Leamington (known for historical reasons as the Warwick group). He was happy to spend some time with me so I could pick his brains for ideas about nourishing and sustaining our group, attracting more members and generating both enthusiasm and funding. I have come back with ideas spilling out everywhere and nowhere to put them. My pleas for a Warwick group team meeting have so far come to nothing.

So yesterday I finally delivered the material I'd created to a group of nine students, including three from the Middle and Far East and two podiatrists as well as local doctors and nurses. I actually thought it was the most successful teaching session I've ever done. The activities I planned went really well, several times people asked questions which were answered in the very next section, and the timing was perfect. Unfortunately, back when I was asked to do it I was told that this was the last time the module would be delivered as they are updating and changing the course, but when the new course is ready maybe there will be something similar, and maybe they will think of me.

Distant view of Christ the Redeemer from the Botanical Gardens
Rio de Janeiro, April 2019

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