Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need help for this operation to be successful

Well, they asked me to perform brain surgery the other day. I’m not a surgeon mind you; actually, I’m not even a doctor. However, I’m a pretty bright guy and I know where the brain is, I even know anecdotally the areas of the brain; frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital lobes and cerebellum. Still that wasn’t enough information to actually perform the surgery, so I decided to do some research and reading. I started with reading up on basic surgery procedures, turns out every surgery has its on modality and methodology.
Still undaunted, I went on; a cut, here a slice there I really felt like I could do this. After my general research I decided it was time to concentrate on the brain. Here to I found there were various manners in which to proceed depending on the reason for the procedure. So I thought it was time to ask, what the specific reason for the operation was. Turns out it was to change the behavior and expectations of the patient. This helped a lot because now I knew I was to operate on the frontal lobe. So, based on my reading, I would have to remove a large section of the front of the scull. Well, with my new found knowledge and vicarious experience I was ready to move forward. I assembled an expert team of other non-medical personal who just happened to be really, really bright and set about to perform the surgery.
Unfortunately, the operations weren’t a success and the outcomes not what I expected. Of the patients some seemed to have no change, some became vegetative and the others turned into monsters of a sort, acting out in ways I would never have imagined possible. It turns out, I didn’t have enough information about the nature of the patient or the problem, I wasn’t sufficiently trained to alleviate the suffering of the patient or the problem and none of the people I enlisted to help were really interested in the patient or the problem; they just wanted to be able to say they assisted in a major surgery.
It turns out you have to be a dedicated, trained surgeon in order to have any chance of performing a successful operation. You need to fully understand the patient and the problem and how to garner your expected outcomes. Your colleagues have to be an equally dedicated, well informed group of people whose goals are to accomplish the same outcome and not just bask in the limelight of being on the scene.
This same notion holds true for performing the necessary operation to change the outcomes of our underserved, economically distressed youth. It’s not enough to have an idea of the problem facing those of us living in poverty, attending our failing schools. We all have anecdotal evidence of the cause and potential cure for what ails them but without the fundamental research and understanding the real life person whose outcome we wish to change, we only set ourselves up for unintended consequences and little or no effect on change. Even more important, it’s not enough to just show up or just show up once. To affect a change in the life of a person one has to make a decision to be there for the long haul to be there when no one is watching with a hands on approach to working with the person whose life you’re trying to effect.
Currently at Cabrini Connections we are in our Volunteer Recruitment phase for the new school year. Anyone with the time and inclination is welcome to come to our location and become a volunteer tutor, mentor or leader. Or, you may want to consider volunteering at a location that is closer to you or back in your old neighborhood or anywhere that you know of a need. We have a Program Locator on our website that can direct you to entities in many of the areas throughout Chicago. We even ask for people who know of a program that’s not listed to reach out to us so we can add them to our database, there is no fee or charge associate with utilizing or being listed on our system. If time is a problem we, like any non-profit, are always in need of donations, whether it’s equipment, dollars or even advice we look forward to any and all participation.

1 comment:

Ms. Edie said...

I would love to volunteer in the area. I can give youth training in WIndows applications. I can also help with reading and report writing. I would prefer my community, but I am willing to travel where help is needed.

Also, part of getting to the youth is bringing in the families. Maybe some job training for the computer illiterate. Nowadays, you can't even apply for a job unless you hae minimial computer knowledge. Maybe there is a program in place there already.