Time flies by so quickly. I never envisioned that I would be enjoying it as much as I am when I commenced my Master’s Degree. Rather, I kept thinking ahead of the present time anticipating my graduation. But now I find myself fully indulged into practical dialogue tasks, eager to complete them fruitfully. I wish my MA could carry on further, and I do not look forward to the time when it will come to an end. It has been such an enriching experience to be part of a lovely environment. Here we meet with people from different backgrounds and dialogue. It has been an educational experience for me, one which enhances my interpersonal skills and broadens my horizons.
We commenced week 6 with a seminar presented by Frances Sleap, Project Co-ordinator at the Dialogue Society and Omer Sener, PhD candidate. The presentation was about Martin Buber, a philosopher best known for his philosophy of dialogue which highlights a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the ‘I-Thou’ relationship and the ‘I-It’ relationship. The works of David Bohm was also discussed, another philosopher and dialogue practitioner and Daniel Yankelovich who is a social scientist. Having been presented to the works of all three philosophers, I began to think about my own views and approach to dialogue.
Most of the following day was spent sat next to the phone contacting a list of nursing homes for the elderly. We were planning to visit elderly women residing in nursing homes to gift them with flowers on International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. This was one of our Dialogue projects commissioned to us as part of our Dialogue Studies placement. We arranged for children attending Amity Educational Community Centre based in Ilford to also join us on this charitable trip.
On Wednesday the following morning, I received a call from Ms Irine P, the Manager from Cranvale Residential Care Homes and was informed that my friends and I could visit the care home. We planned to give the elderly ladies cards and flowers and discuss any other ways we can be of assistance to them.
The following day, we set out on a London trip with the Dialogue Society Westminster Co-ordinator Amir Sabanovich. We visited the British Museum, Science Museum and National Art Museum. Whilst at the National Art museum, I met a French lady and she began to discuss political issues arising between Turkey and France. As these areas of discussion can become somewhat heated I suggested that it would be best that we didn’t discuss politics and instead spoke of the importance of dialogue. She seemed content with my response and introduced me to her family members.
The Dialogue studies MA has provided a great opportunity for me to not only learn but also explore and relish the multiple dimensions of dialogue work. It has provided me with an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, and this in itself has been a positive experience.
*The ideas expressed in this column are solely the opinions of the author and not necessarily of the Dialogue Society