16 May, 2011

what is an indistinguishable when it’s at home? that is, what do indistinguishables look like when they stand in empty rooms? who could love an indistinguishable? (people do, every day.) what happens to them?

how indistinguishable are indistinguishables? does keeping your hands by your sides really cover for all that could go wrong? what does it take to be an indistinguishable? what kind of thoughts are churning in the indistinguishable mind?

can indistinguishables cry? what does it look like? what kinds of places do indistinguishables go to to cry?

what sorts of feelings do indistinguishables have? what about people who were taught that being an indistinguishable was the first thing they should want—but are incorrigibly distinguishable?

what do indistinguishables eat for dinner? what do they put in their napkin? what happens to indistinguishables who pretend they can cook?

do indistinguishables have rumbly stomachs, or do they try to create a clatter to distract the people around them?

David Foster Wallace used to carry around a tennis racket to explain why he carried around a towel, which he actually used to wipe sweat off himself when he was scared. it’s a good story, but there is no indistinguishable pride parade. all the pride of indistinguishablility is like holding a taste in your mouth in a place where you’re not supposed to be eating.

in Sparta, a boy died holding a fox under his shirt while it chewed up his stomach. this has lasted for millennia as a story of something to be proud of, and why this is the case is something that people in power should be asking themselves, but asking themselves questions is something most people in power are too busy to do.

13 May, 2011

I hate hate hate when professors have office hours in fucking cafes or random places. Or especially when they say they’re having them in a cafe and then they actually have office hours SITTING ON A WALL BEHIND THE BUILDING. This is one of those things where I bet everyone else thinks it’s SO COOL (just like the project we had in my history class last month that involved social networking as a historical character and I had no idea how to get a good grade, when or how much to work on it, etc.--I was blindsided when I got a B because I thought I’d do badly because thinking about the project made me cry and I got the bare minimum done at random intervals).

First off I feel like it implies that everyone knows where a certain place is and has familiarity with it, but I don’t have familiarity with this place and had never been there before, and felt anxious about going. I’m sitting here feeling all anxious about: will they tell me to leave because I haven’t bought anything? If I asked for the wireless password, would they say no because I haven’t bought anything? What if my professor doesn’t realize I’m here, since he’s NOT EVEN INSIDE and only came inside for a minute to collect the person he’s meeting with before me? Should I go outside and creepily sit there so he can see me from the wall where he’s meeting with the other student, which will probably make it look like I’m telling him to hurry up, when I don’t even care because I’m doing work (except that it’s annoying that I don’t have wireless)? I tried to go into the bathroom and it was locked and instead of assuming that someone was in there (which turned out to be the case when I tremulously asked for the key) I just assumed that it’s one of those bathrooms where you have to ask for the key because that’s how things go for me usually, awesome.

I can’t even email my professor to inform him I’m here because of the NOT WIRELESS.

Dear professors of the world: please, please, please, be boring forever. Don’t have class outside. Don’t randomly have class involve a group activity if it’s a lecture class. Also, no group projects ever please. No fun projects unless you provide a boring alternative such as a PAPER. Even if the paper is intellectually/academically more challenging the fun project, I will suck it up, that’s how much I loathe fun. Have office hours IN YOUR OFFICE. IN YOUR OFFICE. IN YOUR OFFICE. Not at a picnic table, not in a COFFEE SHOP, and not ON A WALL BEHIND A COFFEE SHOP. Or if you have to do this because you’re SO QUIRKY (and I admit I’m being a bitch, and my professor probably just has a whole day of meetings and wants to be somewhere he can eat/drink), make it super 100% easy for students to find you and know that you know that they’re here.

The lone voice of super boring, uncreative, wonderful, less-anxiety-producing liberal arts education,

Update: It got worse.

06 May, 2011

“I can do RAD all by myself”: a fancy About Me section

I was born in 1988 to a rich white family on the East Coast of the United States of America. For those keeping track, I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS when I was 9 and Asperger’s when I was 14--but all that really tells you about me is that I was born in 1988 to a rich white family on the East Coast of the United States of America.

By the time I was 18, I had been undiagnosed many times by people both qualified and unqualified to do so; and after a brief flirtation with Autistic culture I soon succumbed to the implications of the types of praise and encouragement young disabled people often receive. When we succeed we’re told that we’re not really disabled or that we’re different from other disabled people. The idea of being a real average disabled person becomes unacceptable. Being approved of or getting the things that we want is associated with not being something that we are; so, growing up, we bury part of ourselves.

I grew up to be a buried young adult. When I associated autism with myself at all, I identified as “very high-functioning” or “someone who used to have Asperger’s.” I even wished there was a word for someone who was more high-functioning than Asperger’s, since I felt I was on the very, very mild end of that spectrum, almost disappearing into thin air.

I experienced a lot of intense emotions, but ultimately calmness and joy, when I was around disabled people; so in college, I decided that I wanted to work with disabled people professionally. As I began to get experience doing this, I became aware of two things. First, I learned that I liked real average disabled people and would like to be one. I also learned that disabled people were often treated or judged in ways that didn’t make sense but were accepted as natural.

So, I became interested in analyzing and taking apart some of the “natural” judgments and decisions that are made about disabled people, and that’s most of what I do here. In the process of writing this blog and learning from other blogs, I’ve made some real average disabled friends and acquaintances who have helped me get better at being RAD.

In a few weeks I’ll graduate from college and go work at a summer camp for teenagers and adults with disabilities. I don’t know what I’m doing after the summer, so I can’t write a better description of my life circumstances. The best way to describe my “disability experience” is to say I’m a cognitive zombie and an emotional werewolf, but I’d rather not try. I’m Christian, queer, and cis; I write genre fiction about dishonest people; and I used to make pop music.

Here is a picture of me with a book I really like, but unfortunately have to write a paper on soon:

[Image description: a white girl with blond hair wearing a black shirt, blue nail polish, and a ring, sitting in front of a window in a white room and holding up Showings by Julian of Norwich. Unintentionally covering up Christ's face. Overdoes image descriptions and as a result tends to avoid them or put them as alt text so no one finds out how dumb the image description is without using a screen reader, or hovering over the image to see what it says.]