28Jun/17Off

Quote, Dr Naoisé O’Rilly

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6May/17Off

Pina Bausch – Why I identify with her, Naoisé O’Reilly

Over the years I have read a few books since I started on my own journey that has really helped, been profound or I have found in some way deeply grounding. I guess when we can truly relate to someone else it's hugely helpful for our own journey. I think this is why I study so many biographies of pioneering people.

This book on Pina Bausch has been eagerly awaited by me since I went to see the 3D film Pina a number of times in the last few years.

28818668Pina Bausch: Dance Can be Virtually Everything
by Marion Mayer, Penny Black (Translation)

So what do I relate to in Pina that has been so profoundly helpful for me? Firstly, her work at times can be quite challenging for the audience she had a deep desire to show very complex difficult themes in humans such as humiliation. I can often read humiliation on people as tattoos. It's one of the most damaging aspects of education. There is a sense of her taking in vast arrays of human interactions to honestly reveal them. It's all condensed and presented easily to people for them to absorb. She was fascinated not only by the complexities of emotions but the contradictions within people. I have whole notebooks of these contractions as they determine the needs.

Mostly I was delighted to understand that she disliked labels and never wanted to explain her work to anyone. I personally hate talking about my work. I loathe that question; "what do you do?". She wanted each person to take their own interpretation and experience for themselves. In the same way, I struggle to explain to people what I'm going to do working with them and everyone describes it as a personal journey in the end.

What struck me when I went to the see the film was the interviews with the dancers who said phrases such as " I never had the words to express myself before I met Pina". I think expression is possibly one of the most key elements on the planet for me.

There was a sense for me in watching and reading about Pina that she was frustrated, bored and couldn't find a channel for her thoughts and ideas. This was when she started to "make something for herself". She sought a new language, "a new set of vocabulary". I guess I felt identical when I started my own school. I'd done so much time in everyone else mould of education and I couldn't find a way to truly express what I wanted to achieve from within the system so I made a school.

Most of all I love the way she worked with her team of dancers. She started everything with questions. She revelled in difference. She wanted to look right into people and see something that made her curious about them. This approach of questions and x-ray stare will be familiar to anyone who's worked with me.

Her team was completely international and the universal themes in the work brought by this mix of people could transcend across the globe. Pina says " You have to care for them and very slowly allow them to grow. Which requires huge mutual trust". There are so few people who have this core of strength within themselves that they can give others freedom to grow. People's insecurities all too often cause them to need to control others. A huge dilemma within the conventional education models.

Pina developed work with people. It was a process that I find I can truly relate too. It's often hard for people to hear that I construct what I will do with them as the sessions develop. It's clear to me always where we need to go. Pina didn't start at the beginning of the work either. Which I can also completely relate too. I always keep the end goal in mind. That is what we are working back from.

Pina understood the importance of research and learning by working with international people. She talks about not being a tourist but having the opportunity to work within different cultures. This was also the reason I took such a huge step in closing my school. I didn't want to become localised. I knew it was important to have the knowledge that working internationally with people would bring to me.

Pina seems to have been acutely aware of the differences of working with Men and Women. I create completely different sessions for both genders and see great differences as developing children too. I think the furthest we have really got into this understanding in the education system is whether to put them together or not.
Pina had a great understanding of what an audience needed to relate to a piece. She knew that the what was being conveyed would be universally understood if they had seen something honest, true and quite exposing from the dancers themselves. This is something I really struggle to explain to people. How can you make a person you haven't worked with yet understand that through trust, respect and a well-crafted journey that they will own their experiences more deeply?

One of the reasons I read biographies is to understand the importance of having the courage to follow your own ideas, ways of thinking, ways of seeing the world. But Pina also followed her intuition and dreams which I totally relate to too.

Of course, there are simple similarities I relate to too such as the need to work independently to think up new ideas, often late at night. The fact that she was described as horrendously organised! The fact that it's almost impossible to separate out the work and person life. All these speak of a person that I would have loved to have known in person.

Ironically, The challenge for me is to find a way to express what I do in a way that allows others to experience it. That I don't have the outlet or forum of a stage to create this is somewhat of a challenge. Similar to Pina I don't like labels and I don't want to explain everything. I want others to feel something different, more balanced that they can take on board for themselves. Ownership of your own expression is very important for me.

Pina Bausch created a legacy in an archive of work and a foundation. Every prop or piece of scenery was saved from her shows even as she was developing her works. She set out precisely what she wanted to belong in the archive and how she even wanted to see it structured.

It's clear to me that I need a foundation for my work long term. Not for the monitory reasons that I've been encouraged to have one in the past but for the set guidelines on how my methods should be used for other generations. A protection to the integrity of the work.

I deeply grateful to Marion Mayer & Penny Black (translator) for the long anticipated book.

Naoisé O'Reilly

26Feb/17Off

Dr Naoisé O’Reilly Speaking at the ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland) conference 2016

30Mar/16Off

7 Year Journey Dr Naoise O’Reilly

IMG_7003I have always liked the number 7. This time of the year always makes me reflective as it was the first time students flooded into The Homework Club in Blanchardstown in 2009. Many of these first cases turned out to be hugely influential in my own journey.

The first parent to ever ring me seeking help had a teenager who had not attended school for months, having dropped out of the system. He took classes with us for 6 weeks and did so well in his State Exams the school rang his mother with the results wanting to know what had changed. We worked with him for the next 3 years and hence I found myself taking on a huge number of cases with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm now known internationally as an expert in an area I never expected or set out to be.

By the following September, even though I set the school up for second level students, I found myself taking on the transition age before you start big school. By the following January, a year after my craziness to set up my own school with my own teaching methods, the youngest students were now 4.

Within this time, I had been encouraged by people to go for a number of awards. These were important to me personally as the first outside validations of my work.

I guess all along the only judge of my work, research and methods had been the results my students have received. From there I have become a top referral for many organisations. I find it sad that in many cases I am the person who people are sent to when no one else has been able to help them.

Two years after starting the school, I realised I needed to convert all my work, experiences and methods into a formal system. This meant the birth of The Purple Learning Project. I have always felt there is a balance between supporting people currently in the system and making real change for the future.

I remember this odd moment of describing the basic Purple Learning method to someone and they asked, "Who's work is this" and saying, "It's mine." What book could they read it in? The answer was none - my head. It's always been a bit bizarre to be so outside the box. To work in a way that has not existed before. The Homework Club was, for me, about proving all the wacky ideas in my own head.

Along the way in those years, I developed all these ways of working with people with a whole spectrum of conditions including: ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Audio Processing Disorders, Hearing Impairments, Home Schooling, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Confidence, Bullying, Self Harm, Sexuality, Learning Disabilities, Gifted Children, Exam Fears, Child Development, People Development, Team Development, Business Success, Bereavement and so on.

When I started the school I had one main question in my head. Why do no two dyslexics learn the same way? Through working with so many people and conducting interviews, which allowed me to create unique profiles for everyone, I now have the answer to that question 7 years later.

I now have the recorded patterns of how personality and learning styles go together.

I reached the next major crossroads in the school 4 years into the project. The students knew what we did. I collected many of their comments and feedback. It was a magic sense of achievement having created an environment they all loved so much. Hence, the tagline became, "Develop Your Love of Learning." But the parents had no idea in many cases what the project was about. I felt I was missing part of the puzzle. I also felt that many parents had lost involvement in their own children's education.

Confidence Club was born.

I was also itching to take the projects nationally and internationally. Every time I did a radio interview I would be contacted by all these people rurally in Ireland with no support. Confidence Club has been about supporting students in their own homes, with the support and understanding of their parents.

Along the way, the methods have continued to develop in the background. It feels like a back room factory sometimes. The most significant one being in 2013, Periodic Table of the Development of Results. Nicknamed Purple Success. It brought my science and creative brain together. It is the table of the elements each personality needs to succeed in life. Whether it is a 3-year-old I am helping to talk or a 5-year-old to read or a business to grow. It is always just about people and their personalities.

With all the work I have done to date, my key focus in life still remains to take literacy and intelligence out of the same sentence. Because even after all these years, I still remember what the teacher said to me in school at the age of 7.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly

   

Introduction

Welcome to the Purple Learning Project.

The aim of the Purple Learning Project Foundation is to create a legacy of the methods which Dr Naoisé O’Reilly has developed since 2009.

The methods in learning and personality theory have been developed while working with people of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and cultures. The methods have been applied to the education, business and sporting environments. The ages are in the spectrum of 4 to 70's. The methods include: Purple Profiling, Purple Processing Scales, The Periodic Table of the Development of Results, Forget Phonics Reading Method, Purple Pre-School Success and so on...

There has always been a clear distinction for Dr Naosié in working with people who currently need help within the system and leaving behind something of integrity for the future generations.

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