“Baboons (new window) infected the computers” – An inside joke between client and tutor. What else would you call it when your computer acts up?!
Vladan, a professor at Simon Fraser University (new window) and a life coach, has been a Distance Computer Comfort volunteer since January 2012. Through taking life coaching courses, he learned about the Neil Squire Society (new window) when he met Anu, from the Neil Squire Society. “I was searching for something like this,” says Vladan. “I wanted to evolve myself.” The timing was perfect for Vladan because he was looking for some work to do and then he met Anu. “I didn’t know what to do and then it was handed to me on a platter,” says Vladan.
Vladan has been tutoring Distance Computer Comfort participant, Patrick. Patrick lives all the way across the country in New Brunswick (new window). “Patrick is absolutely phenomenal,” says Vladan, “I’m learning more about people with disabilities.” It seems like most of Vladan and Patrick’s sessions are spent laughing and making jokes. “We have developed a friendship. Patrick has such a sense of humour. His humour opens up the relationship and allows us to really connect. Talking to Patrick is like talking to someone I have known for a really long time. It is important to develop these relationships, not just for him, but for me. It forces you to break down boundaries, and any stress that is brought into the picture, making the whole process really easy. Both of us make it fun,” quotes Vladan.
Like most of us, Vladan does not have a background in computers (new window), but has taught himself all of the basics. “I’m learning as well,” says Vladan. Vladan enjoyed his time with the Neil Squire Society, and says, “It’s absolutely great.” Unfortunately Vladan recently had his last session with Patrick. They haven’t talked about the next step, but if the program continues, Vladan is more than happy to keep volunteering. Vladan took away a lot from his time with the Neil Squire Society’s Distance Computer Program, “the Society doesn’t just serve people who have disabilities, but serves everyone who is looking for a meaning to reconnect.”