Tag Archives: a new beginning

New journey: dog trainer education

A rare update from my corner of the Internet: some things have changed here (others stay the same). I’ve started on a new chapter of my life, let’s call it “becoming a dog trainer”.

I’m currently studying for a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services, which is a government accredited dog trainer/pet professional education here in Australia. The version of it that I am doing takes two and a half years part time, and takes place mainly online. The offline elements comprise two seminars, and work experience with animal training and class teaching.

(The study does not free me from needing work in the meanwhile, but it sounds better than “unemployed” and gives a focus and vision for the future)

The Plan with it has two versions: Continue reading


Lost in Serenity

Thanks to Autisticook for sharing the above video track from the movie O’Horten (2007) in response to my review of my favourite movie, Moon 2009. I haven’t seen O’Horten* (in fact I had never heard of it), but I already love it based on the video and her description:

It’s silly and touching and it has some of the same themes about hope and social transformation and things not making sense but in a way they do. And the music just beautifully enhancing all of that.

Austisticook in comment on Memories (someone we’ll never know)

The comparison / similarity to Moon (2009) seems relevant too. Just like I find the musical-visual-philosophical sequences of Moon existentially meaningful and highly addictive, I find the above short video sequence deeply touching too. It hooked me immediately, and have to restrain myself from keep hitting Play to keep experiencing it.

Musically and visually, it taps straight into the pleasure circuits of my brain; and the existential undertones talk directly into my heart; about the tragic beauty of being a live creature, and how it has a deep meaning that can not be captured in words. How the act of staying alive for a while and connecting with the surroundings in any way is a mighty achievement, and a struggle worthy of great patience and compassion.


Image from Cinema Enthusiast

Something about it remind me of my dad too. He doesn’t look like the man in the video at all, and he doesn’t drive a train. He is a retired ship Navigator, and has been sailing container ships most of his life. But it remind me of aspects of his personality and the work life he chose to live:

The serenity. The dependency on routine and predictability; the love of repetition, of familiar rhythm (a train is a perfect symbol of rhythm and predictability). The technology operation role as a work role and a way to belong in a logical, structured, rule-based branch of the world.

The pragmatic attitude to life: like the world is an insanely strange place, but there is nowhere else to be, so act the best you can. Find a corner of it that can be controlled. The unspoken acknowledgement that a human is just a tiny creature on a big planet, that we’re just a brief moment in the passage of time; dinosaurs and all. But that, luckily, we are free to enjoy our moments as long as they last.

(The rest are footnotes)
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Research interviewer training course

The interviewer training course for my new part time job as a research interviewer stretched over two weeks with a total of one week’s course work (spread out) plus homework.

The training days were intensive and comprised going through the interviewer handbook from cover to cover, doing exercises and discussing scenarios, categories and definitions (and tricky obscure grey zone cases), and undertake interviews as role plays.

The course culminated in an assessment session where each trainee undertook a row of simulated interviews involving tricky scenarios. The assessment interviews were monitored by the supervisors and the forms checked by the office’s data entry staff right in front of us. An excellent, effective yet relaxed exam; and great practice too.

The oracle handbook

The interviewer handbook was the training’s backbone. It pretty much has the answer to any potential problem in chronological order.

The handbook follows the structure of the interview procedure from initial contact, communication and rapport building over interviews to the admin procedure and paysheet records. Every code and category of the interview forms has its own sub-chapter with numerous examples of when they apply and when they don’t.


Scene from Disney movie up: balloon-driven house flies away

Sample loss

There are sections about how to motivate the respondents through attentive listening (which details key attentive listening techniques and how to combine them), and one with common respondents objections with a script for how to address every one of them.

I like how there is a rule for any choice and a script for any communication. I wish I had a handbook like that for my life, that would solve many problems.


Scene from Disney movie Up: kids reads his scout book script for the old man at his entrance door

Scripted communication (we are supposed to memorise it though)

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