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Pat Ritter. Books

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Pat Ritter. Books

Postby Nevis » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:40 pm


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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:41 pm

My ambitions to be a writer probably started in my teens. You may remember we wrote 'compositions' at school consisting of a beginning, a middle and a end. Not much different today.

In 1964 I was a student at Sandgate High School, a beachside suburb north of Brisbane. Our English teacher Mr Imoff. I remember we wrote a story about a topic he gave us. I never understood English. I understood the meaning of a 'noun' and 'verb' but the other learnings were almost non-existant. I wanted to write my way.

After he gave us a topic, I wrote what I thought I should write, in my own words, about the topic. After we handed the pieces of writing to him, he came to me and said, 'you have a gift for writing. You write the way you speak which is unique.'

I didn't know if he was praising my writing or telling me I needed have to learn English. Anyway, this was my initial introduction to becoming a writer. Looking back at the time I wish he would've explained more his reason for sharing this 'gift' with me.

Jump ahead twenty years. I joined the Queensland Police Service (Force as it was known then) and introduced to report writing. This was a leap into the unknown. Over the years I gained confidence in my writing by practicing various styles of report writing and reading as many as possible reports furnished by more experienced officers.

Tomorrow I'll share with you how I came to write my first book.

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby Nevis » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:23 pm

Hello Pat.
Good to hear from you. I can't wait for your next post :thunbsup Welcome aboard buddy :scarf :-D

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:14 pm

Nevis wrote:Hello Pat.
Good to hear from you. I can't wait for your next post :thunbsup Welcome aboard buddy :scarf :-D


Thank you Nevis - it's my pleasure.

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:20 pm

After nine years working as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch I was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant Second Class and took up a position of Officer-in-charge at Juvenile Aid Bureau Petrie, a Brisbane northern surburb. The Juvenile Aid Bureau was a section of the police which deal only with juvenile offenders (children aged up to 17 years old).

One of the constant reports coming to the Juvenile Aid Bureau was 'teenage children running away from home'. Having a personality as a 'rescuer' I wanted to find out 'why' these teenage children ran away from home. I didn't have any answers. It concerned me greatly because of the danger to the teenager when they were absent from home.

After receiving negative results from my superiors, I decided to find a solution. Isn't life strange. I had no idea on how I was to find a solution to this important issue. It was important to me.

At the time because of the level of management with my role I decided to enrol at the local TAFE and study a management course. This was a step of fate into the unknown.

The day I went to the college to enrol I met a lecturer, Bob O'Sullivan who taught management subjects. How was that for fate. And people say things happen for a reason. I agree.

Anyway I enrolled in Bob's class of 'Behaviour'. It's a subject dealing with communication, conflict, problem solving, and resolutions. Part of the course was to attend a weekend workshop.

After the first day of the weekend workshop I returned to work to do the afternoon shift. I received a telephone call from a concerned mother about her daughter stealing money from home. The caller didn't know what to do.

We spoke for an hour and I shared the learnings of communication I'd learnt earlier that day at the workshop. I suggested she sit at the kitchen table and 'put her cards on the table and speak to her daughter about the stolen money'. She claimed it was hard because her mother never spoke to her and she didn't know how to.

Wait until tomorrow and I'll share with you the outcome of how this mother and daughter resolved their differences.

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:51 pm

Yesterday I spoke about sharing information with a concerned mother to help her communicate with her teenage child. I asked her to 'put her cards' on the table.

Next day I attended the second day of the workshop and returned to work that afternoon. I received a telephone call from the same caller. She told me she and her daughter took my advice and spoke honestly and openly about their issue. It turned out the daughter wanted to be part of the group at school and to do this she needed money.

Her mother explained their financial position the family were in and mother and daughter resolved their differences. My heart swelled with pride to know I'd been a small cog in a very large wheel to help this family. I couldn't wait to share my news with Bob at our next class however it would be five weeks before we again attended class.

In the meantime Bob wanted the class to write an assignment (before known as compositions) 'What we learnt from the weekend workshop'. I wrote as I saw it and completed the assignment of 3000 words in no time. The words spilled from my mind like a fountain of knowledge. I let the thoughts run onto the paper telling the story as I wanted to in my own way.

The thought of helping this mother and daughter kept running through my mind. I made a decision. In a group meeting I expressed my plan to the three other detectives. My plan being from that moment onward I would deal personally with all children who 'ran away from home'. Each agreed and were pleased to have me do the job myself.

To carry out my plan I secured an office with no telephone only having a desk and four chairs. The first parent and teenager who presented to me was a mother and her teenage daughter. The mother worked as a nurse and the daughter had 'run away from home' because she didn't want to live with her mother any longer.

I placed the teenager beside me and her mother across the desk to use the desk as a barrier. First the mother gave her version of events and after she told her story, it was the daughter's turn to speak. By having the teenage child sit next to me gave the child a feeling of security to speak her mind.

Again the communication skills Bob had taught us at the weekend workshop came into play. After both parties expressed their frustrations I explained strategies on what I'd learned at the workshop. Both agreed to listen to the other and to be honest in their approach.

Nothing would make me more proud than when I saw both mother and daughter hug and kiss each other almost crying with relief. My throat thickened and I felt a tear in my eye to see the mother and daughter came to a resolution.

Wait until tomorrow when I'll share with you Bob's response.

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby Nevis » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:51 pm

:thunbsup
You have me hooked now :wink :clap

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby aussiewoo » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:23 pm

I'm hooked too now, especially as Bob is writing about my home town :clap

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:06 pm

Thank you both - there's more to come.

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Re: Pat Ritter. Books

Postby patritter » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:36 pm

Before I attended college to share with Bob what I'd been doing, work increased to an average of two to three sessions per day. With each session I appreciated the difficult role parents had with their teenage child. It wasn't easy.

After the first week it was obvious parents wanted me to wave a magic wand to stop their child from misbehaving. Alas, I didn't have a magic wand. Instead I understood parents needed to become aware and educated in the skill of communicating with their teenage child. A bit like King Arthur and his Knights communicating at the round table. I often used this analogy as an example for parents to use.

Did you know parents only speak with their teenage child - mate to mate - only ten minutes per week. Yes, only ten minutes per week. There was much work to do.

One story folded into another and after listening to the first dozen parent-teenager sessions I discovered the lack of communication skills by parents. They didn't have the skills to sit down with their teenager and actually share their thoughts and knowledge and feelings with their teenage child. They'd forgotten they were teenagers themselves at one time.

At the session when this point of view was raised I always asked the parent, 'what did you do when you were your child's age?'' They always told me they also couldn't talk with their parent because they didn't know how to speak with them. The child didn't realise their parent was once a teenager and thought their parent had become an instant parent without growing through the stage of being a teenager like what they were doing.

These sessions highlighted the issue of 'running away from home' more important than I'd first discovered. It became a passion to me to learn more about this subject Bob was teaching us. I might add here Bob was one of the best Instructors I'd ever met and his manner of teaching was beyond reproach to provide the tools to his students so they would search for their own answers. I am pleased I met Bob that day when I enrolled at the college.

Unfortuntely until the 27th of this month I will be on holidays. May I wish everyone who reads this a Very Merry Christmas and I'll be back. Thank you for all the continued support.

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