Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Labour VS Work (Extra Post)

Why is there a need for an occupational service?

According to Arendt, (1958),
"Labour is the activity which corresponds to the biological process of the human body, whose spontaneous growth, metabolism, and eventual decay are bound to the vital necessities produced and fed into the life process by labour. The human condition of labour is life itself".
In contrast Arendt, (1958), defines work as,
"The activity which corresponds to the unnaturalness of human existence"

Reflecting on these quotes I believe cooking dinner is definitely an everyday necessity and process of labour otherwise we would not survive for long (I know I wouldn't!). The food we process by labour is consumed basically straight away and has no enduring quality unless there are left overs! However, as I have stated in a previous blog, my cooking has components of work in it as it can be a choice and is something I enjoy doing that allows me to be a responsible human being and helpful family member.

On Thursday night it was my night to make dinner, I didn't exactly feel excited to cook as I was tired from the week, however this had to be done. I had put the corn beef in the slow cooker during the day so all I needed to do was prepare vegetables to go with it. I was planning to go to the gym so I was aware of my time constraint. I decided to do my favourite vegetables, kumara, pumpkin, carrots and broccoli. I had to make sure I prepared enough as we had a guest coming over for dinner.

This brings up the question, why is there a need for this occupational service? Well I cook for different reasons (sometimes labour, sometimes work) however, in this case it was a labour role. Maslow's Hierachy of Needs shows the basic fundamentals for survival including water, food, shelter, and surviving illness which all need to be met for one to survive and have a balanced life.

Comments I have posted on other students blogs:

References I have used throughout my six blog postings:

Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Baer, R. (Ed.). (2006). Mindfulness Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and Applications. United States of America: Elsevier Inc.

Creek, J., & Lawson-Porter, A. (Eds.). (2007). Contemporary Issues in Occupational Therapy. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. (2004). Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools for Practice in Occupational Therapy: A Structured Approach to Core Skills and Processes. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone
Visser, (1986). Much Depends on Dinner. New York: Grove Press

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Practical Considerations

According to Christiansen & Townsend (2004), practical considerations influence how we engage in our activities or occupations. It is the supply of objects or tools necessary to effectively perform and engage in our occupations.

In light of this quote I can see that the fit between my activity of cooking and the influences practical considerations have on cooking are a considerable factor. This afternoon I decided to make a bacon and egg pie for dinner, simple and delicious. I was trying to get my ingredients together and find the filo pastry in the freezer however this simple task turned out to be not so simple. My four family members were all in the kitchen rummaging around making their own food for their afternoon tea, making it extremely difficult to prepare my bacon and egg pie. The practical consideration within this was the size of our kitchen. There was not enough room for us all to be in there and this influenced my cooking and attitude toward my cooking. We all tried to stick to a part of the kitchen each and pass each other utensils we each needed to allow for a relaxed kitchen experience. We were running low on baking dishes and cutlery as they had not been cleaned from the night before. This was a practical consideration I did not like the look of and was not surprised about. Dishes in our house are one thing everybody puts off until it ultimately needs to be done. Once I had washed up and put the pie in the oven I was able to clean up the mess I had made while preparing it. Thank god for dishwashers!


Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. (2004). Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.


"Ambience describes the feeling created by a particular nature of an activity when it is being done for itself".
(Butler, personal communication, 2011).

The fit between ambience and the environment for me, is the atmosphere and impression in the kitchen and how the mood in that specific environment affects how I feel while cooking.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and all I felt like doing was cooking a delicious meal to match the weather. My family and I were planning to have a barbeque outside because of the nice weather. I felt a peaceful and stress free atmosphere when I walked into the kitchen/lounge area and once I saw that the bench was clear, my mood lifted immediately and I started preparing dinner. Some relaxing New Zealand music was playing in the background and this created an ambient atmosphere for me to work my magic. The atmosphere is important when cooking as it not only effects how I cook but how the food tastes too! I am not one to have an interest in Feng Shui however, I believe a factor that influences our engagement in occupations is that if we want to enjoy our cooking experience it seems as though it is necessary we feel positive and comfortable in our environment! As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, depending on the influences and convenience of cooking dinner, labour is the framework I identified cooking to be. However, in this case it was so enjoyable it really only felt like work!

Affordances cont.

Here is a poem that is demonstrating connections between areas of my cooking:
This is the house called home,
This is the kitchen in the house called home,
This is the draw that holds the cutlery in the kitchen, that is in the house called home,
This is the dirty knife in the draw, that holds the cutlery in the kitchen, that is in the house called home,
This is the chicken that was cut with the knife, that is in the draw, that holds the cutlery in the kitchen, in the house called home,
This is the meal that was made with the chicken, that was cut with the knife, that is in the draw that holds the cutlery in the kitchen, in the house called home.

Ethically, there are always good and bad parts of cooking dinner such as eating (good) and cleaning up (bad) which i am sure everyone agrees with me on! Sometimes it can feel like a job and sometimes it can feel relaxing and invigorating. Cleaning, paying for the ingredients, finding out you have got the wrong ingredients, and cutting some foods for example, onions can feel like a burden however the joys of eating and preparing something everybody enjoys over rides this making most cooking experiences enjoyable for me!

Memories are one component of my cooking that are really evident. One memory that really stands out for me in relation to cooking is a certain spoon in our cutlery draw. When we had our pet cat we had a special spoon for her cat food which we would never eat from just in case! Whenever I come across this spoon or someone picks it out accidently it reminds me of our cat which brings back good memories! Another memory is smells in the kitchen. There is a lamb and vegetable salad I make every now and then which has rosemary and other spices on it, whenever I smell these it reminds me of this meal and where I first made it!