Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunar eclipse

Tried to watch the lunar eclipse last night but it was quite cloudy so viewing was spasmodic. What I did not realize was that the moon goes red when the moon is totally eclipsed. I remember two occasions when I have seen the moon brilliantly red and just didn't click what was happening, so it really isn't too late to learn! The first time I saw it, I was a child. Having been brought up in a Christian home and regularly regaled with stories from the book of Revelation in the bible, I was terrified that it was the end of the world.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have been learning about which is a program that allows you to save your bookmarks whatever the computer you are working on. This is really useful if you access more than one computer. What is really exciting is that by linking your bookmarks, people are able to search and find your books marks making a network of interest. So, I link up to a load of web sites about midwifery - you hook into my and see what I am interested in as well as save time by having instant access to midwifery web sites. I am not sure if I have explained it very well, so the best thing is to have a play and see what you can find out through your own explorations. What impresses me so much is the ease with which it works. The key is: have a play and don't be afraid to get lost or make a mistake.

The only thing I feel at times with all these different programs and technologies, is that I am going round and round, like on a very fast merry-go-round, and I get so lost on the Internet, that I feel sea-sick (or Internet=sick) and I long to get off. I think the only answer is familiarity-as I become more knowledgeable about the different resources and incorporate them into every day life, the easier it will be to get on and off the merry-go-round as and when I want.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Attempt to post a short video clip

This is an attempt to upload a video. I don't think I have managed to get the sound. The cat is called Blackie and the dog is Angel. All the papers on the floor are to prove that I am doing some studying!

Making an informed choice about eating cake!

I have set up a wiki to help me get my head around how it works:

I wasn't finding it very easy to navigate around and was getting quite frustrated with it. But now I have spent some time putting in entries, editing it and engaging with other people's editing, I am starting to get the hang of it. It has great potential for collaboration, especially if you are working on a project such as developing guidelines or writing a multi-author paper. But you will need to spend some time getting to know the program's layout and functions.

Please feel free to have a look at the wiki and make changes to it or add material. The premise is we're developing an information leaflet to give to pregnant women about the pros and cons of eating cake in pregnancy, in order for her to make an informed choice about whether she is going to or not.

The man who lost his head

Watched Martin Clunes in 'The man who lost his head' last night. I have always loved his acting but have been a huge fan since the TV series 'William and Mary' in which he played a funeral director in love with Mary, who is a midwife. The way the series depicted midwives was excellent-very true to life, and promoted natural childbirth. Anyway, I really enjoyed last night's show which told the story of an English museum director who visits New Zealand to look at the possibility of repatriating a Maori artifact. My favorite line was a joke that one of the characters told-what do Maori families do when they cannot afford a camera and want a family photo-they drive very fast past a speed camera!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A daughter who wants to be a midwife!!

Just spoke to my daughter who is thinking about applying to be a midwife. She asked me what I thought. Midwifery is a wonderful profession and I have had many great years as a midwife, and met many wonderful women and colleagues, who have taught me much about life, relationships and communication. At the same time, midwifery is politically, personally, socially and emotionally challenging and I am not sure how committed she would be to live that life. Ultimately, that is her decision to make and it is her life to lead. At another level-my daughter following in my footsteps; how exciting is that!!??!! One serious issue we would have to consider is the implication of her doing the course where I teach. We'd have to work through the issue of favoritism and making sure she was not seen to be advantaged over other students, or disadvantaged as the case may be. On the other hand, she'll get to see what an old battle axe I can be!!

The question that I leave with midwives is: what advice would you give to a young woman (man) who wants to be a midwife?

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I know it takes a while for a blog community to develop and my understanding is that you can use tags to connect your blog with another blog. But I am not sure how to use one or what to do. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Blogs for midwives

I am writing a column for midwives in the New Zealand College of Midwives Journal and was really stuck on what sites to talk about. So I started thinking about the various tools we use for communication and collaboration. Tools such as blogs and wikis are really useful for midwives to reflect and learn together, but they are also ideal for when midwives are collaborating on projects, such as putting together a proposal or submission, or nutting out guidelines and so on. I have recently been writing an article with a colleague in Australia and sending it back and forth by email. But that became a real drag because the emails kept crossing in the post and it was quite difficult to keep track of at times. Of course, there are concerns about how secure these online resources are, but maybe if we kept our work 'open source' or available to everyone, we would find a growing national and international community of midwives working together. I would love to know how many times we replicate the work that we're doing all over the world ie how often do we re-invent the wheel?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Just testing

Just having a play to find out what I can do. Here is a photo of me standing by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, in May 2007. This came at the end of a month where I went to the UK and USA and presented at the RCN International Nurses Research Conference in Dundee and American Telemedicine Association Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

A fresh start

I started a blog last year which was devoted to my PhD but I did not keep it up. So I have decided to start again but make it a more general blog to look at anything that interests me from midwifery practice to mentoring, education and anything else that makes me think. At the moment, I am thinking about 'natural learning' which is the learning that people gain from 'real life' problems/issues as opposed to scenarios that are presented in the classroom. Am also interested in how we can facilitate 'communities of practice' where people come together in a group to support each other and learn from each other. Both these theoretical models of learning fit with mentoring and what we do as health professionals when we work with students, new graduates or colleagues. I am also very interested in the concept of cross-discipline mentoring, so if you have any ideas about that, please feel free to drop me a line.