Thursday, February 25, 2010

Job Hunt

I had written a long reflection on the job hunt (better an essay some day) as I finished preparing yet another portfolio to send to a state university. I found myself focused on a comment from a search committee member.

"You aren't anything like Christopher in The Curious Incident. Are you sure you're autistic? You clearly got over it."

That's a rough paraphrase, leaving out the various comparisons the professor made. At least two other faculty made similar observations, including, "So, is this like your trip to London?"

Ever like a book but wish it didn't exist? I'm starting to dislike the novel, even though I found the structure interesting to study.

So, that's what "Rhetoric" (New Media) thinks of autism. A few math savants and some fictional characters… who also happen to be math savants.

There is much more behind why the job hunt is exhausting. Having to deal with faculty biases and expectations adds to the stress and frustration.

Depictions of autism -- I'll leave that for other rhetorical scholars. It definitely gets in the way of my own research interests, as I've mentioned before. I'm interested in theatre, film, and new media production. Just tired of "autism" being the starting point for most job interviews.

Whatever the "autistic-like" traits I have, one is a lack of patience.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sleep

I hate the night.

The insomnia I suffer slowly crushes the soul. It is an affliction that separates its victim from the normal members of society, a reversal of existence that leads to wandering at night alone and sleeping during the day when others are interacting.

I read today that nearly a third of people in the United States are awake between midnight and sunrise. These are the men and women protecting us from harm, delivering the goods we buy, preparing morning foods, and so on. They are the swing and graveyard shift workers, the people who keep things ready for the sunrise.

But I have no such excuse. I am not employed to work at night… though you could argue that no one cares when a writer writes or a scholar reads.

I sometimes fear falling asleep. I always have, even before I began to have trouble with my eyes in the morning. It is illogical, I'm sure, but I have always worried that I might not wake. Or, if I do wake, that I will somehow have lost the ability to function.

Then, my eyes began to hurt in the mornings, the thin layers tearing slightly for reasons inexplicable to me even if medicine has a name for the condition. Doctors cannot explain why the condition exists, so having a name for it is rather pointless.

My joints hurt in the morning, and have for years. It's not much fun to wake up in pain, so the added misery of feeling like my eyes were being torn apart was too much.

What if you only turned into a monster in your sleep, during the night? What if you had to stay awake, every night, forever, or risk being something horrible and beyond your conscious control? No idea where that thought comes from, but it might have some literary purpose...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Travel Challenges

I am not going to fly when I have any chance to avoid it. I hate the experience. The planes are like crowded city buses, but instead of being able to take a break at any stop along they way — something I have done in the city — you are stuck in the same seat for hours. You can't get off and wait for ten minutes for the next bus; I need a pause to catch my breath sometimes.

I've gotten off the train in Minneapolis when it was too crowded, noisy, smelly, or in some way just not the place I should be. I wait until I'm ready to continue on my way. Planes are not like that.

Today I had to tolerate the smell of Corn Nuts, chomping gum, and perfumes. I wanted off the plane. The flight left me feeling horrible, with a headache and my eyes bothering me. I cannot do this to my mind and body many more times. I hate it too much. It takes every once of energy I have to not scream in agony.