Last week saw Sarah and I in a virtual meeting with our colleagues in OT4OT discussing our plans for the Second 24hour Virtual Exchange to help celebrate World Occupational Therapy Day in October 2011.
We have set a clear strategy for getting our plans and messages out to you about the Exchange - so I'll not spoil it here, but I can tell you that the University of Salford here in the Uk will be hosting the event and will launch the 24 hours from our brand new Media City development!!
With this in mind, we decided we ought to go down to the Quays where Media City is being completed and have a look at the building and the potential for what we wanted to be able to do. Stopping off at the Lowry for a spot of lunch first, we had a strange experience. Standing at the lift, waiting for it to arrive, a curious knocking sound interrupted our conversation. After a few seconds we realised that it was coming from inside the lift! Leaning forwards to the lift doors we both gave a tentative "hello" to be met with a disembodied voice from inside calmly explain that they were stuck, and that they had pressed the button for assistance. This was shortly accompained by another voice - slightly more panicked asking us to get help and "get me out of here". Now, this was of course very serious and we both had empathy and compassion for the "stuckees" - but it was funny and we will admit to a snort or two of contained laughter whilst trying to respond to their plight. At this point in the story Sarah would try to convince you that I was more concerned about making our meeting on time and was frantically looking around for the stairs (not totally true! admittedly it was on my mind but I was looking around for security not the stairs!). Unfortunately we cannot tell you how this ends- as we reported it to the security desk and then left them to it. Hope they got out!
On to Media City. The University building is still a "site" rather than a complete package yet but the contrators are working hard towards the deadline. Suitably attired in steel toe-capped boots, high visability jackets and hard hats we were led round many of the floors where we were shown what will become studios, shared spaces and finally The Egg, forming part of the foyer of the building where there will be a large video screen, a cafe and exhibition space etc - a window to the world! This is indeed perfect for what we want to do - bring the real and the virtual together and have students, practitioners and anyone who wants to join us (within limits) stay for the 24 hours of the exchange and engaging with the virtual sessions together.
More information will be available about the day over the next few weeks and months - watch this space (and the OT4OT spaces)
Take a Tour of Media City here: