The Educated Heart

This is one of my favourite books on professional ethics and boundaries. It was written for manual therapists, but has been updated for movement teachers as well. I wrote a review of the book recently; apart from anatomy and technical material, this is the book I refer to most often in my Pilates teaching. It has quite lovely illustrations, also.

Educated Heart

Gainful employment, what larks

Wednesday was the first day of my new job. I went to the studio in the morning, and taught clients at 7, 8, and 9, and then I did a bracing Advanced Reformer workout with one of the other teacher/apprentices. It was smashing, actually: the first full Advanced I’ve done since I broke my ankle, and I left out only the Arabesques and the kicks in the Control Push Ups Back. I did Snake and Twist and stepped off in Balance Control and all sorts. Then, I went home and changed, and caught a bus to Mairangi Bay. The truth is that Windsor Park buses are rare and flighty creatures — I’ll be walking up Hastings Road many times yet, I suspect.

When these bods say induction, they have their minds made up. They started me out as they mean to go on by producing a training supervisor with practically the same name as another supervisor, who I was expecting; while I was still reeling from the dissonance, she started using a cunning technical-difficulty manoeuvre developed experimentally at Guantanamo, and when I was good and stonkered, she gave me a 60-page PDF about divergent models of mental health care. It was written in academic jargon, however, and contained a joke by a PACT alum about narrowly escaping a life “running for Clubhouse president”, so sucks to her: I survived the reading time with wits to spare and finished the day with a meeting. Meetings and acronyms, that’s where it’s at.

So. Thursday. More of the same. Obtained keys, drop-files, photocopier logins, and the lay of the carparking situation. Began the more interesting and useful orientation to various mental health disorders and diagnoses, treatment models, clinical teams and care responsibilities — I had a brief moment of doom when the supervisor asked me, for the purposes of analogy, to name people involved in a long-distance car rally. “The driver…?” said I, racking the remaining quarter of my brain; but she was kind enough to tell me, and this may interest readers, that someone sits next to the driver during these rallies. I was surprised, frankly: surely, in this modern age, such an arrangement represents an unnecessary risk that will inevitably lead to tyre and suspension wear, higher petrol costs, social awkwardness, helmet-hair — the list goes on. It’s fortunate that nobody has yet revolutionised this, however, in a way — I doubt that the mental health sector would take kindly to having to replace their navigator (family support, for anyone who’s still reading) with the equivalent of KITT or a GPS device. KITT, incidentally, is one of only eight remaining acronyms in the world (two of them undiscovered, like dvi-lanthanum) not in use in the mental health sector. Fascinating.

Anyway the point is, after lunch, I went back for three more meetings. Client perspectives, other services, and health and safety. Doting relatives may rest easy: there are plans for every hazard from stress to tsunami. Do not drink the floodwater, it may be contaminated.

Job interviews: the final saga

Thursday dawned for my job interview. I had a 7am Pilates lesson, a duo, which was lovely: whatever else happens, I will always have a warm and loving relationship with spinal extension. Few things in life are not improved with a backbend, don’t you find. Following this, I watched my boss having a lesson, and then I taught a newish client.

So far, so good. I had to wait a bit for a bus, and I had to catch the Mairangi Bay one, not the Windsor Park; that meant I had to hasten up the hill on my feet once I got there, which was inclined to leave me pinkish in the cheeks of my face. Fortunately, all three of my interviewers were stuck in traffic, so I got to sit peacefully on the couch for a wee while.

As readers are aware, the interviewers know me quite well, and so it was not necessary to discuss my personality defects or perceived or actual intelligence in any depth; I breezily described a few scenarios in which I have recently (a) forced someone against his will to do something unpleasant, such as eating vegetables or washing, (b) worked in a team, (c) used my perceived or actual intelligence to accomplish some important task, (d) withstood mind-altering boredom, and (e) other things like this. They delicately inquired after any warning signs I am likely to display just before I asplode from stress, and then we devolved into chatting for a moment or two.

Then I walked home, and on the way I discovered the Milford mall, which has quite the reputation as malls go around here; so I went in, and found it was dimly lit but well-stocked with swanky shops, which I did not peruse; I was making my way out when I received a call from the alpha interviewer, who offered me the job.

So there it is. Betty has a job. Onwards and upwards.

Science vs Betty’s Brain

So after I spent a few pleasant hours doing psychometric testing for this job I’m after, they called me back and said that their psychologist wants to see me. For an hour. He, or perhaps she, is only in two days a week, so I have to wait until next week to get the detailed explanation. Agog, once again.

You know the feeling when you realise, only too late, how awful some situation might have been, had not the fates intervened? I remember getting it once after getting back from Brisbane, where I’d been for a week or two doing some training. I had been walking to the studio and had stepped out to cross a one-way street when a taxi, going the other way (note well: he was going the wrong way), drove over my foot. It was the tyre marks on my shoe that gave me pause. But only when I got home. I was over it by then, of course, but there it was: my tibia had avoided a taxi by a matter of less than an inch.

Well, I had the same kind of feeling after getting home from this here psychometric test. During the first section, a thirty-minute intelligence quizzo, there were a few questions next to which I put a tiny dot, that I might go back and make sure. The one that gave me the most trouble went something like this:

One of these words is not like the others! One of these words just doesn’t belong!

A. Steal. B. Cheat. C. Extort. D. Sell. E. Loot.

I had another look at it, quizzled my face all up to one side, and then thought, “Aha! Selling, it is not morally wrong!” and put D. However, this took me a moment or two. Should I worry?


I spent a fascinating afternoon being psychometrically tested in the hopes of getting a rather perfect job. It was fascinating. I answered about forty trillion fascinating questions: some putting letters in order, intuiting the next number in a random sequence, locating the intersection of the square and the circle, pricing lengths of string, and pairing up related words, and some revealing my secret desires for a career in zoology over vivisection. I was asked repeatedly whether I would really, if money were no object, make pottery, or would perhaps prefer to party with friends.

The test was, naturally, designed to be impervious to devious nutters wishing to skew the results, and therefore I will have to wait until early next week to learn my fatal flaws. Agog.