Jammin’ Sweet Dreams

As some of you know, I am musical. (Meaning I can play the keyboard and the electric guitar.) Anyway, one of our Year 10s, asked me to jam with the Year 10 Boy Band again. (A couple of months back, I had played Rocking All Over The World with them)

So we ended up playing “Sweet Dreams”, which is the ending on the Sega Mega Drive game: Sonic 2. (The year 10s had gone to see the new Sonic The Hedgehog Movie last night and decided to do their own take on the Sonic 2 ending.)

For those of you who have never played Sonic 2, here is the lowdown…

Sonic has chased Dr Robotnick through 10 zones and has finally caught up with the mad scientist, ab aboard his space station, called the Death Egg. (Orbiting the Planet Mobius) It looks like the Doctor finally is trapped and has run out of options. Yeah right! Sonic  has a final battle ahead,  which is in 2 phases.

Silver_Sonic
Silver Sonic – Death Egg Zone Final Boss (Phase 1)

First Sonic must defeat Silver Sonic (Dr Robotnick’s robotic clone of Sonic) Silver Sonic has razor blade spikes , which can instantly cause Sonic to loose a life if he touches them. Silver Sonic can also throw metal spikes, which can be fatal, if Sonic hits them.

Once Silver Sonic is destroyed in a puff of smoke, Sonic must chase the mad Doctor across his Space Station, for the final showdown in the Cargo Bay.

The Doctor uses his final weapon, the Egg Emperor. The Egg Emperor is a robot that looks like Robotnick. It has a  pair of  detachable arms, (with spikes) which Robotnick fires at Sonic. Also, at the rear, the Doctor can fire land mines. He also has a homing beacon, which can track sonic and flatten him! (It’s the final battle, where there is everything to play for. It’s do it or die!)

The only one way to destroy the Egg Emperor, is to dodge the flying arms and the homing beacon and hit the front panel of the machine.  After 12 hits, the machine will explode, while the  Death Egg itself,  begins to fall apart. Sonic runs for the escape hatch, just as the Death Egg explodes. Meanwhile Dr Robotnick has got away in his “Egg O’ Matic” and has returned to the Planet Mobius, defeated at last! (hooray!!!!!)

 

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The Egg Emperor – The Final Boss (Phase 2) battle on Sonic 2,

On the ground, Tails sees the explosion, but where is Sonic? Tails races for the Tornado and takes off, to find Sonic. Meanwhile, Sonic  falls down  to the Planet Mobius, where he changes to Super Sonic and flies near the Tornado. (if you got all the Chaos Emeralds) If you did not get all  7 Chaos Emeralds, Sonic will land on the wings of Tails plane.

 

So here is our version, with me playing lead electric guitar and having fun doing it! (This version starts quite slow and then speeds up towards the end.  Recorded via the PC in the Band Room and exported via Adobe Audition, (Which the kids did for me) this is Sweet Dreams, performed by myself and 4 Year 10 boys.

robotnick
The evil and Mad Dr, Ivo Robotnic, with his “dumb bots” Grounder and Scratch.

By the way, did you know the original song “Sweet Dreams” has lyrics to it? Also, did you know that originally, Tails was supposed to be a girl? Here is the link to the original track used in the game,  and Sweet Dreams, with lyrics. (It was supposed to be a love song, as Sonic was supposed to be in love with the female Tails!) Sweet Dreams was also re-released in 2006 and featured Akon. Click here to listen to that version.

Below is a video of the Boss Battles in Sonic 2, from Emerald Hill to Death Egg.

  • Emerald Hill Zone: Egg Drill Mk1
  • Chemical Plant Zone: Egg Dropper
  • Casino Night Zone: Egg Tazer
  • Hill Top Zone: Egg Blaster
  • Mystic Caves Zone: Egg Drill Mk2
  • Hidden  Palace Zone: Egg Tuba (Needs to be unlocked by activating Level Select)
  • Oil Ocean Zone: Egg Submarine
  • Metropolis Zone: Egg Sphere
  • Sky Chase Zone: No Boss
  • Winged Fortress Zone: Egg Laser
  • Death Egg: Silver Sonic
  • Death Egg: Egg Emperor (Final Boss Battle)

My Working Shifts

This is a quick post, as I need to get to bed in a few. (I am on Sleep In tonight (as I always am on a Friday Night.)

Sleep In Shift, is where I am paid to sleep. (Yeah, that sounds too good to be true and sometimes it is) If something happens during the night, such as a member of staff is taken ill, one of the boys has to be taken to a&e and that member of staff needs to be relieved, there is an emergency, such as a fire, security incident or urgent help from another member of staff is needed, if there is a safeguarding concern etc) I am on Sleep in for the Birds and Jets Unit tonight, as on each floor there is a sleep in member of staff for each unit on that floor. (Except for Sick Bay, which doesn’t need sleep in cover. Usually on Sleep In, I do a “late shift” and then go to bed after. The Sleep In Room is off the stairwell and is en suite. There is a bed, bedside table, desk, telephone and chair. There is also a hook, which has a torch hung on it, along with a clipboard; which has a list of children who are boarding on the units, emergency contacts and other important info. The beginning of this shift, always starts with a handover, as normal.

When I am on an early shift, I start work at 7am. This always starts with Handover, where we get an update on the events of the night before. This may include kids who may have been unwell in the night, including those sent to Sick Bay, had the doctor our or have been sent to a&e. Also behavioural issues, welfare issues, (such as if a boarder is upset or if a member of staff is worried about a pupil. Handover only lasts 15 minutes and after this, we go to wake the boarders.

Once the boarders are up, we assist with personal care, such as showering, getting dressed etc. Meanwhile, the hot trolley will come up from the kitchen, with porridge, toast and cereal. The Unit Housekeeper will make pots of tea and coffee, juice and milk for breakfast. I like Early shifts, because I can have breakfast with the kids and it is a good way to socialise. Breakfast is at 8am) After this, I do medication, making sure that the kids get their morning medication. Some of the meds are oral, but there are a couple of boys, who have to have it injected into them. (Insulin dependent boarders)

On a school day, the boys go over to the playgrounds, ready for school at 8.45. The only exception to this, is when it is wet, very windy or snowy. In these situations, they are allowed to remain on unit, until the bell sounds at 9am. Staff will then escort pupils over to school.

 Staff remain on unit, until 11am and complete their paperwork and take kids to hospital appointments, dental appointments and other appointments.

Late Shifts begin at 2pm and as normal, start with a handover. Over in the main school, there is a pigeon hole for each of the units. Teaching Staff can use this to pass on information about a pupil, where appropriate. This is then used at Handover.

We fetch the kids from school at 3.15 and supervise activities, before and after tea. On a Tuesday, I also hold a “House Meeting”, which all boarders on my unit, are welcome to attend. (I am the Unit Leader for Jets, but am more commonly known as the House Parent In Charge. I work part time in this role)  House meetings are a platform for discussing issues around the unit and for me to update boarders on unit \ school news. Later in the evening, I may be tasked to  supervise bathing \ showers and assist as needed. I don’t always do this, it depends on staffing and if it is my turn on the rota. I do this  a couple of times a week.

If I am on a late, I finish at 10pm. However, we do a handover at the end of my shift.

When I am on a “Waking Night shift, I start at 9pm. This will start with a handover. Usually, some of the kids have gone to bed by the end of handover, while some will be watching a film on DVD or playing pool. Btw, there are always  a couple of members of staff around during handover, keeping an eye on the kids and answering buzzers.  At 9.45, the lid goes on the pool table and the TV goes off.

Once the kids are in bed, I usually go to the Unit Leader’s Office and do paperwork for the shift. I also go every half a hour, to check the kids who I am looking after, (Normally I have 3 kids to keep an eye on) By then, I am probably through my 2nd cup of coffee.

Later on, I will take our unit laundry down to the laundry room. This is also in J Block. (The residential block.) Usually, this is the kids school clothes, towels and tabbards. (used on kids who make a mess when eating) Each Unit blue tacks a Unit Label to the machine, so that staff know which unit is using which machine. I will pop down a couple more times, to transfer clothes to the dryers and to then to press them.

By now it is 5am, so I usually finish paperwork, answer the odd buzzer call and lay the tables for breakfast. (I also answer buzzer calls through the night)

Finally, at 7am, I have handover with the AM staff, have breakfast with the kids and then at 8.30, go home and go to bed! (I  do 1 sleep in shit and 2 Waking Night shifts each week.)

So now you know what shifts I do and what they entail. Care work is knackering but rewarding and I enjoy every day of it.

Happy Valentines Day!

First, the good news is that we have stood down from the Major Incident, declared earlier this week. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who helped out, while Storm Ceira battered our school. Thankfully, we only suffered minor damage to the school buildings.

Tonight has been the Valentines Disco, which Sam put on. The boys were able to invite their “sweethearts” to the disco and of course me and Sam had a dance too! Earlier on, we also put on a dinner for the the valentines couples, before the disco and it was nice to see the boys dressed up for the occasion.

Earlier today, Sam gave me my valentines presents. It started with a bunch of red roses, then at lunchtime, he arrived in a horse and cart, which took us to a restaurant for a romantic dinner. (Shame we were both working and could not have any wine! I had coke and Sam had J20.)  I got Sam a gold chain, which I had engraved, and I bought him David Beckham smellies.

This afternoon, I did a “refresher” on my AED Training. (Automated Electric Defibrillator) so I am now refreshed on operating a defibrillator. (I have only ever had to use one once!)

I am on sleep in tonight at work and then working an early shift tomorrow. I will write a post on this before I go to bed, explaining this.

Night all, sleep well! x

Working Through The Storm

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Still at work, sat in the Jets Houseparent’s Office. I am Houseparent on Jets part time. 

Storm Ciara has certainly caused severe disruption across the UK, as well as here at school.  We’ve been on emergency power since Saturday, which is supplied by the 2 emergency generators on the roof of J Block. (Keeping the lights, sockets, lifts and other systems online.)  The main School is also on emergency power and has it’s own generators. However, due to the weather, school is currently closed and will remain so. During this severe weather.  Sam has 2 of the 4 main school generators running, keeping the “life support systems”, such as the CCTV, Pacs System, Fire Alarm System, Fridges and Freezers  and the school network running.

In the meantime, the village is still a mess. We have power lines down, telephone lines down and roads blocked. Back home, we have a generator from the electricity board keeping the house powered, due to Toby and his disabilities and how he needs the hoists and the lift working.

Due to the roads blocked and the lack of power, many staff cannot get into work. So, we are using the Day Unit for staff to sleep, so staff who are able to stay on, can do so and rest. I’ve not been home since Friday, due to the weather and am on Sleep In, at present. The staff who have stayed on, have shown real dedication, along with the volunteers who have come in and helped us stay afloat, by cleaning, helping with catering etc. Also I must thank our Head Karen and our Deputy Head Judy, who are coming in to help with care, even though school is closed. I make sure to Facetime Sam every evening, so the kids at home, can have a natter with me and can see I am OK. I miss the kids,  but I know they know why I am still at school.

We have declared  “Major Incident” Status and Karen, Sam, Judy and I are meeting every morning and having a progress meeting.

We’ll soldier on through and hopefully next week, Storm Dennis will pass and school can get back to normal. We’ve had a couple of trees down in the school grounds and a couple of broken windows, but we’re managing!

Batten Down The Hatches – Storm Kiera

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We’re preparing for Storm Kiera, which already has hit the UK. With a severe weather warning issued for wind and rain, we’re taking safety precautions. to protect our home, the kids and our school, after Sam, our Head (Karen) and I have had a meeting regarding the storm:

At school, Sam has:

  • Moved the benches that are not anchored to the concrete playground, into the bin store
  • Removed all the bins and bought them into B Block
  • Performed an emergency generator test
  • instructed staff to park in the main car park and not the J Block car park (as there are trees)
  • Instructed staff to use the link bridge to J Block, if boarders are taking part in activities in the Gym, Swimming Pool or the main school.
  • Instructed the Caterers to use the lift to the 1st floor of B Block and use the link bridge to access J Block.

I have also cancelled all off site activities this weekend, due to the strong winds.

At home, Jenny and I have been battening down the hatches:

  • We’ve removed the swing from the garden and put it in the garage
  • We removed the patio furniture and put that into the garage
  • Removed the garden gnomes and bought them in
  • Covered the climbing frame with Tarp and pinned it down with pegs
  • I have got all the torches on charge
  • I have tested the emergency lights

Please take extra care this weekend, as Storm Kera is going to cause mega disruption. Please only travel if you need top and keep an eye on the Met Office website to keep up to date with the latest storm info. www.metoffice.gov.uk 

Meanwhile, I’d like to introduce a new member of our family. This is Peppy, our Bengal Cat. We were asked to take hr in by a work colleague, who could not keep her. The kids and even Sox really love her! She was very nervous for the 1st couple of days we had her. However, last night, she curled up with Sox on the end of Kyrlo’s bed. She purrs and purrs when being stroked, but she isn’t too keen to be picked up. (But we are working on that!

Peppy

Right now though, it’s movie night and we are watching Pan, which is the back story of Peter Pan and before Captain Hook was a pirate. (He was just known as Hook and still had both his hands.) In the film, it shows Peter Pan, (Levi Miller)  in a orphanage, run by the evil Mother Barnabas,  (Played by Kathy Burke) and his escape to “Never-land”. This is where he meets James Hook, (Garrett Hedlund) who is trapped in the mines, under the control of Black Beard. (Hugh Jackman) With the help of Tinkerbell,  they defeat Blackbeard and rescue the other kids from Mother Barnabas.

Working Late

I am working late again tonight, thankfully I am at home. Today, I had to chaperone one of the kids, while had day surgery today. Everything went OK for the child involved and he is being looked after in Sick Bay. This meant that most of today, was spent sitting around in the Children’s Ward at the Hospital, but I didn’t mind.

Once I got back to work, I took our poorly pupil to Sick Bay, I went on my rounds. I do a rounds of all the units, at least twice a day. It’s a chance for me to interact with the kids and also to deal with any issues staff have.  When I got home, some of our kids were in bed, so I went up to check on them and had a quick game of pool with Josh and then hit the paperwork.

I also sent an email to all parents re: the Norovirus, as follows:

Dear Parents and Carers,

As you may be aware, we have a minor outbreak of the Norovirus. Please be assured, that only a few children are infected and we are currently keeping them isolated on their unit. Because of this, the Squirrels Unit is currently closed to all visitors, unless there is a urgent reason for visiting. This must be agreed in advance. so please contact the Unit and speak to the Unit Leader, before visiting.  Isolating the few pupils with the virus, will help us to prevent the virus spread to other pupils \ staff and visitors.

Please be re-assured: Your son’s welfare is high priority and we are working hard to contain the virus and stop it from infecting other children. If your son does have the virus, they will be assessed and treated accordingly. Dr. Robinson and Dr. Daryk are providing support to staff as needed and your son will be given medication; to stop  the symptoms of diarrhoea and medication to stop your son being sick.

Please feel free to ring the Unit to speak to your child on: (number omitted)  You may also use this number to speak to staff, if you have any concerns. You can also contact Sick Bay on: (number omitted,) where one of the nursing staff is available to answer any questions you may have.

If you or your child have had symptoms of the Norovirus, please do not send your child to school and keep your child at home for at least 48 hours after the the sickness and diarrhoea stops. This is to prevent re-infection of the virus and to stop it spreading around school.  

At the entrance to the main school building, the entrance to J Block and at the entrance to each unit; there are sanitizer points, which you can use on your hands. Please sanitize your hands on entry and exit of the buildings, to help contain the virus.

We are hoping that we will be able to re-open the Squirrels Unit to visitors on Tuesday and another email will be sent out regarding this, in due course.

If you have any worries or concerns, please feel free to give me a ring on: (number omitted) and I will be happy to answer any questions, worries or concerns you may have.

Kindest regards,

Kyle McLaughlin,
Head of Care


I still got quite a bit of paperwork to do and I know I will be at it for a hour or 2. The good news is, I am on a waking night shift tomorrow, as I was covering on another unit and that means that I didn’t do my waking night shift on the Jets Unit on Friday night.

Told you I am a busy bee!

Norovirus!

We now have 4 kids who have come down with the highly contagious Norovirus.  The Norovirus infection can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. The virus is highly contagious and commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation or contaminated surfaces.

The kids that have the Norovirus are currently isolated on their unit and we’re keeping other children and staff away, due to the how contagious the virus is. Staff have been instructed by the School Doctor, to wear gloves, aprons and to use good hygiene practices. The Domestic Staff are also doing their best to keep the unit clean as possible and are making sure cleaning is stepped up.

Once the virus is contained and the kids are feeling better, Sam and the Domestics will then deep clean the unit.

Lets hope that no one else comes down with it!

Cleaning Colour Coding

In a school or professional environment, it is important that we use the correct colour coded equipment when cleaning. This helps to stop cross contamination of germs and pathogens from getting to other surfaces in other parts of the building. This isn’t currently law, but is common practice in most workplaces.

So roll on the many colours:

Red Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Red coloured equipment must only be used in bathrooms, (Including bathtubs,  taps, shower fixtures, Shower curtains, taps, sinks plugholes, pipes, mirrors, tiles, window sills, window frames, door handles, locks, and floor)  toilets, (Including the inside and outside of the bowl, cistern, chain, pipes, seats, basins, window frames, window sills, sink, taps and pipework, mirrors, tiles and the floor. Also red mops can be used in changing rooms too. )

Yellow Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Yellow coloured equipment must be only used in areas of isolation. We only use those in single rooms in Sick Bay or in the event that Sick Bay has a Nova Virus outbreak. (This doesn’t happen often.

Green Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Green coloured equipment must be only used in a kitchen on all surfaces.

White Dish Cloths with a Red Trim: x These cloths must only be used for washing up in a kitchen environment.

Yellow Dusters with a Red Trim: Dusters can be used universally, but must not be used in a kitchen \ bathroom \ toilet or isolation areas.

We also use colored Tabards too:

Red: Toilets \ Bathrooms

Blue: General Purpose

Yellow: Sick Bay Ward Areas \ Isolation Areas

Green: Kitchens

These guidelines are not law, (Apart from the use of green equipment being used in kitchens. ) but are recommended by the British Institute of Cleaning Science. These guidelines apply to cleaning cloths, mops, buckets, brushes, gloves (unless the gloves are disposable) and sponges. You will also need to change your PPE, (Personal Protective equipment) every time you switch areas. (IE: if you go from a bathroom to a general low risk area, such as a office.) This helps to reduce cross contamination.

So that’s Sam’s guide to cleaning colour coding for cleaning. 🙂

Dealing with Body Fluids

I have just come back from dealing with someone on Sick Bay, who had vomited all over the floor. Our school policy is to bleep Domestic Services during the day (7am – 3pm every day) or page me out of hours on a body fluid spill. So being that it was 11pm that this happened, I got paged to come to Sick Bay  to clear it up.  (I only live round the corner from school.)

So, I attended and needed the following kit:

  • Body Fluids Kit (We have one on each unit, including Sick Bay)
  • Blue Mop Bucket and a Blue Mop
  • 2 Bleach Tablets dissolved in 5L of water
  • Blue Paper Roll
  • Disposable Apron
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Wet Floor Sign

Once, I had everything I needed and I had the correct PPE; (Personal Protective Equipment) I put up a yellow “Wet Floor Sign and  sprinkled the absorbent powder onto the vomit. Using the paper roll, I slowly  scooped it up. and then used the spills kit hazardous waste bag to dump the blue roll and the vomit. Then using a socket mop and bucket, I washed the area of floor with diluted bleach solution, leaving the wet floor sign in place; until the floor has dried. The mop head went into the red infected laundry bag in the sluice room and will be taken down to the laundry, by the Unit Housekeeper in the morning.

Remember: When dealing with any body fluid, (regardless if it is urine, vomit, blood, faces or semen) you must wear PPE. It is safety first. – Wear disposable \ thick rubber gloves, an  apron and goggles. (when working with chemicals) You must also remember to stick to the correct colour coding of equipment. Please read this post, to find our  more information about colour coding when cleaning.

Great (No Fantastic) News!

Yes, I am still alive for those of you who are wondering. I have just been very very busy at school and been knackered most nights, so I apologize for the lack of posts.

Earlier today, Toby’s Social Worker went to see him at school with the news that they may have found him a family willing to adopt him. (without saying who) He wasn’t very happy about this, as he feels settled with us and said that he did not want to be adopted.  However, his Social Worker had also been and seen myself and Kyle about this and we have said we would be more than happy to adopt Toby.  (Btw, we have also been approved to adopt him, which makes things easier too)

So, Sam and I borrowed a meeting room and had a word with him at Break Time. I have never seen him speechless before and then he started to cry with happiness. Social Services have said his adoption will take some time to complete, but it worth it. Our whole family behind us and I know we can make a difference to Toby’s life, as he has been  so ill for most of his life, due to kidney failure, (which lead to a transplant being needed) and other bits and bobs.

So Kyle and I are pleased to introduce Toby, who will be the newest of the Smith’s, once the adoption is finalized. Once again, Kyle and I are parents once again!

Meet Toby, the 9yo boy we are adopting

Once I finish work at 5, I am going home, getting changed and then I am taking the whole clan, (Smith and non Smith family) out for a celebratory meal. I have booked a table at TGI Friday’s in Newcastle! (Mum and her husband Steve are driving us there, so it means Kyle and I can have a drink… I think I need one after such a busy day like today!) Thankfully Steve has a People Carrier, which we often borrow, as it is large enough to get the whole family, plus Toby’s wheelchair in.

Thankfully, Kyle was also able to swap shifts, so he can come and celebrate. It means he has to do a waking night shift tomorrow night though, but he doesn’t mind that and actually enjoys working nights, as they are usually quite quiet!

Finally, I nipped to Argos this afternoon and I have got Toby a chain with the Hogwarts logo on the pendant. I then nipped to the Jeweler down the road and had a engraved on it. I know he’s going to love it and I will be giving it to him when we are at dinner. I had engraved on it:

To Toby, this is a fresh start in life for you and we will be behind you 100%. We love you very much Toby Smith, from your new Parents, Kyle and Sam. x