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Fred worked with the children who
1) lacked some physical ability.
2) attended a weekend school.
3) had to stay in a hospital.
Sabrina: Hi, Fred. This is almost the end of the year, so tell me, how was your year?
Fred: Oh, I’ve experienced a lot and undertaken a lot of new responsibilities. I’d say my life has changed fundamentally. I became a father and I feel proud and happy about that. I also tried a new job in the construction business. And, you know, I took part in a very unusual project — it was not connected with finance or business. But it was very rewarding.
Sabrina: What was it?
Fred: I tried working with children, actually, it was amazing.
Sabrina: What was it exactly that you did when you worked with children?
Fred: Basically, it was in ... a rehabilitation center for disabled children. I spent two days a week with them — actually I attended classes with them and just played with them, interacted with them during the day and supervised their weekend activities.
Sabrina: Oh, that sounds really great.
Fred: Yes. It was the first time I had done something like that. It was quite challenging because I was a bit afraid at first. I wasn’t sure how to treat them. I wasn’t sure what exactly I should do. There was something about those children that made them different. One minute they were depressed and the next they became very excited. But the instructors were very nice and they explained that, you know, I had to be myself and treat them like any other children, like normal children, and that’s what I tried my best to do.
Sabrina: So you must have learned so much. It probably changed your attitude to a lot of things.
Fred: Yes, it has. It has really changed me because I have more patience now. Earlier, I mean, I used to be quite stubborn and used to make decisions irrationally. But now I’ve calmed down and I always question myself before doing something, so I think, in that way I’ve completely changed.
Sabrina: Could you say that what you’ve learned through your experience of working with children has also helped you in other areas of your life?
Fred: Apart from developing a more patient side, I’ve mastered some nursing skills. You know, now I know how to take care of my baby son.
Sabrina: OK, I feel that I can learn a lot from you and maybe I should do the same thing — become a more rounded person.
Fred: You should.
Sabrina: Well, Fred. I’m just curious. What is it like being a father?
Fred: Ah, right. I think- I should first talk about what it was like not being a father, being me and not being a father. I was a very lazy person. I was an incredible time waster. I would have all this free time to make use of and I would probably just sit in front of TV, or I’d probably go to a pub — I loved spending time with my friends in the warm and friendly atmosphere of a pub. Anyway, I took time for granted. I had so much of it. Once I became a father, suddenly my time disappeared but strangely enough, it taught me to appreciate the time I have. My time is very limited now. I am a lot busier at work and I have more responsibilities than ever before. I also have to help- my wife at home and make some time for charity activities. I actually make much more use of my time now than ever before. And I still go to the sports centre and play paint ball with my friends.
Sabrina: Yeah, so when you first have a kid do you lose a lot of sleep?
Fred: Well, something that carried over from my previous lifestyle was an ability to sleep very well whatever the circumstances and, um, fortunately I have a very understanding wife so if the child wakes up during the night, she looks after him and doesn’t wake me up. I have to work hard during the day and need some rest, at least at night. I am never home before 8 in the evening. Anyway, I’m such a good sleeper that even if he cried for hours, it wouldn’t wake me up. I don’t think there are many fathers like me. I’ve spoken to some other fathers and they don’t have the same talent as I do.
Sabrina: What a lucky man you are!
Basically, it was in ... a rehabilitation center for disabled children.