10 February, 2010


So, I really want this job. It's at a camp in Vermont for people with disabilities (mostly DDs but other stuff too).

I am worried because I feel that things are never easy, but the assistant camp director sounds like Laura Roslin on the phone, so my interview was strangely calming. Also, usually I am afraid of giving the wrong answer, but I basically have a lot of sincere feelings about this stuff, so it wasn't very hard. I said that my hero was Harriet McBryde Johnson and I thought my strength was enthusiasm and my weakness was I don't have much experience dressing people or giving them showers. I said that I feel uncomfortable about giving people showers, but that if someone is used to getting help with that stuff, that would probably help me feel more comfortable, when I saw that the other person wasn't awkward or mad at me. She said that's probably true, and that it's natural to be uncomfortable with that stuff.

Job interviews are scary, because thanks to past experience, I feel concerned that a place I'm applying to work at is less ethical than I am. I'm not too good a person to work at an unethical place because I feel like at least I'll only do the bare minimum of unethical stuff, and once I have job experience I can become a big shot and revolutionize the system. So, I feel like I shouldn't be too noisy about my convictions.

This place seems really good though! She asked what I would do if someone wouldn't get dressed and go to breakfast, and I was really afraid that I was supposed to say that I would grab them and pull them to breakfast, or something. Instead I said that I would try to talk to them about how they might regret not going to breakfast, and how if they don't go to breakfast they might miss out on other activities later in the day. AND THIS WAS TREATED AS A GOOD ANSWER!! I was so relieved.

Also, it was just really emotional to hear about all the stuff they do, how they have all kinds of different activities and special events, because when I was visiting Clayton he told me how he went to disabled camp when he was a kid and it was basically like a warehouse, they sat around and the kids who could walk were sometimes taken for a walk, and that was it. This camp has as many activities as any other camp, if not more.

I was supposed to think it over and call her back. The problem is I had nothing to think over. I was supposed to talk to people so I talked to Noah and my mom, but all I really said was "THIS IS THE BEST CAMP, do you think I should be worried about giving people showers" and they were like "not really." So, after waiting the minimum suggested amount of time (she said two to three days) I called her back and as soon as she answered the phone I said "This is Amanda Forest Vivian [I love how I think putting a random word in the middle of my name will keep people from stalking me on the Internet], I really want to work at Camp ____, it wasn't a difficult decision, so I don't know how well I can explain my thought process, do you want me to try to explain."

Then I heard some coughing. She has a cold, as I learned when I talked to her before. Then she said, "You caught me off guard. Well, you considered it briefly, and I think if people really want to be doing this, they usually are sure about it fairly soon; I try to describe a lot about the camp when I talk to people, and if they seem to be hesitating, then those are usually the people who change their minds. So I'll check your references, and if nothing horrible turns up, you should be getting a contract in a few weeks."

I started to get seized with paranoia that my references secretly hate me and/or don't remember me, because I haven't worked with DD people in a while. It's too bad that the DD people can't give the references, because I think my friend Mike would remember me and give a really good reference, as long as he could communicate by stimming. (His verbal reference would probably be something like "Hi...blue...toast...BABIES!" One time I saw a woman with a baby walking by and basically forced her to come over and show the baby to Mike. All Mike has ever wanted to do is look at babies and talk to them, but unfortunately there are no babies in the South Group Home or the Oberlin Work Activity Center. However, he can carry pictures of them around.)

But anyway, I started emailing my references to remind them of who I am. But it took me like two hours because I kept accidentally flicking my wrists and jumping around the room, like Mike does when he encounters babies, police officers, mailmen, and flyers. I mean, Mike would never flick his wrists at a baby. Around babies, he finally becomes still. I hope nothing horrible turns up because if I get this job, I will have the best summer, and my life will more or less be on track FOREVER.

eta: oh oh oh, also the DSM? Best day ever. Except, I already heard two dumb comments about it today. You guys, if part of your Asperger's identity is thinking that Einstein had Asperger's, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. He had a speech delay. This is a good example of how Asperger's ISN'T REAL AND MAKES NO SENSE.


  1. I really hope you get it. You are amazing and very ethical as well.

  2. Hope you do have THE BEST SUMMER, as you say.

    And Mike and the wrist-flicking thing.

    Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, but people might be feeling far too anxious to eat it, among many other reasons.

    A blog that I read quite a bit, Life of the Differently Abled, tells about her day trip to Disney with 80 other people with disabilities.

    And Mr Pear is quite cool. Here he is (Neuroaster)

    Great choice of hero, by the way.

  3. Good luck! Interviews are very scary, I hope the people at this camp realize what a valuable, caring worker they'd have in you.

    And I'm also happy to see Autism Spectrum Disorder as a single category. It makes so much more sense, although I have got some quibbles with how autism continues to be defined so as to leave important bits out. But yes, I do think the new revisions are more of an improvement than a setback.