Skip to main content

Struggling, with Hope

I need routines, and this school year (as well as the move to the Midwest in general) has already been playing havoc with my routines. Plus, I simply don't like the claustrophobia I am experiencing in the city.

Today was tough. I held on as long as I could, but eventually my body gave out an hour before my last class ended. Maybe it was even sooner than that. I was starting to bloat, which I've never understood but think might relate to pain. I get an upset stomach, acidic and burning, so there must be a correlation. I was shaking, had a headache, and felt lousy overall. I just wanted to get off campus and eat something non-spicy.

The way I try to make it through each day is by telling myself that eventually I won't be here. I'll be back in what I consider normal.

I want my dinner at 5 or 6, not 8:30 p.m. twice a week. That's hard on my system. I want to sleep eight hours more than two days a week. I want merge lanes longer than the width of an overpass. I want to see the Pacific Ocean at least once a summer, ideally several times.

I want my radio programs from various states back. I miss Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, and other A.M. stations, but the Internet is helping a little — assuming I want to keep a laptop running merely for radio shows. (The radio in Minnesota stinks. The
shows are stranger than an Art Bell marathon.)

Television shows will be at the "right" time and not "Tomorrow at 9, 8 Central!" Forget that. I hate thinking of time shifts every time I hear a schedule on radio or TV. I want to think the announcer is talking to me, not announcing my time zone as an afterthought.

I'm tired, which doesn't help, but I also know that not having my routines is making things worse than they would normally be. Not that they were great in California, but they are worse here. I'm tense all the time, counting down months until I can leave.

What is sad is that I'd be lonely anywhere. Here, it's just a lack of places to be alone without feeling lonely. There's something reassuring about the foothills and country roads back home. Darkness. Seeing the Milky Way. Knowing I can clear my mind, away from the city.

Mostly, I just want a schedule that lets me relax a few hours each day, during the day. I'm struggling, but I keep telling myself that some day soon, I'll be home again. I don't mean one place, but I means the West Coast. Home where I can hear my radio programs. Home where TV times are when shows really air. Home where roads were built with some forethought (though not much, I admit). Home where I can get donuts when I want them. Home where I belong, writing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Autism, Asperger's, and IQ

"Aren't people with Asperger's more likely to be geniuses? Isn't genius related to autism?"

A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius.

I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include:
Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include She…

Listen… and Help Others Hear

We lack diversity in the autism community.

Think about what you see, online and in the media. I see upper-middle class parents, able to afford iPads and tutors and official diagnoses. I see parents who have the resources to fight for IEPs and physical accommodations.

I see self-advocacy leadership that has been fortunate (and hard working, certainly) to attend universities, travel the nation (or even internationally), and have forums that reach thousands.

What I don't see? Most of our actual community. The real community that represents autism's downsides. The marginalized communities, ignored and excluded from our boards, our commissions, our business networks.

How did my lower-income parents, without college educations, give me a chance to be more? How did they fight the odds? They did, and now I am in a position of privilege. But I don't seem to be making much of a difference.

Demand that your charities seek out the broadest possible array of advisers and board members.…

Life Updates: The MFA Sprint

Life is okay, if more than a little hectic at the end of this first month.

With one month down, I'm 11 months away from my MFA in Film and Digital Technology. Though things might happen and things do go wrong, so far I'm on schedule and things are going well —— though I'm exhausted and working harder than I did for any other degree. Because the MFA requires projects every week, this isn't as easy to schedule as writing. Even researching a paper can be done from the comfort of home, at any hour.

You cannot make movies by yourself, at any time of day. It doesn't work that way. Filming takes time, and often requires a team of people. It's not comparable to working alone on a degree in writing or rhetoric.

The team-based nature of film is exhausting for me, but I enjoy the results. I also like the practical nature of the skills being taught. You either learn how to adjust ISO, f/Stop, shutter speed, and other variables or you don't. You can have theories …