Being Me

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm studying disability culture in my connections class this mod, and next term I have a six week course on Special Needs. We watched a video called "In My Language" made by Amanda Baggs, who has Autism, and though it was uncomfortable to watch, it seems to have broken through something in my head as to how I think about folks with these kinds of differences. I highly recommend watching it for a new perspective.

It's also odd going through these classes having been a special needs student myself. Though all I really needed was lower furniture, an extra set of textbooks and a few extra minutes to change classes, I technically was part of the Special Education department in high school (which sucked), but completely mainstreamed so it never even crossed my mind as being Who I Am. There are other times when it's completely obvious to me in both good and bad ways, so I thought I would share some of those with you.

[Okay, so I made a Pros and Cons list, but then the cons got me depressed, so I'm just leaving in a couple and will leave in the Pros so I feel better about me. Sounds like a plan.]

Pros and Cons of Being Me

Pro: I have never spent more than $10 on one blouse that I am aware of.

Pro: I've learned how to sew.

Pro: My house is obviously very clean, because I can't see any crumbs [dust/fingerprints/dirt] all over the kitchen counter [piano/fireplace mantle/bookshelves/buffet]. (Please bring a blindfold when you visit.)

Pro: We make good use of space to put most things in my house within my reach.

Pro: I tend notice people's shoes and interesting floor tiles or find random lost coins and things when I stand in lines. Related Con: I'm also eye (and nose) level with your backside, if you are in front of me. Please do not fart.

Pro: I can make use of the bottom shelves in my cabinets in my kitchen that most people don't.

Pro: I can sneak up on people and be otherwise surprising when I want to be.

Pro: I can see under things that are set on counters or stands, and often find interesting lost things there.

Pro: I can take amazing photos of children because I'm not off balance when I shoot at their level.

Pro: I can pet my cats as I walk past without bending over.

Pro: Flowers are closer; I stop and smell them frequently.

Pro: I can weed my container garden standing up (as long as the mosquitoes haven't drained me of blood for the day...)

Pro: I can get permission to ride my bicycle in unorthodox places, and I have a Go Anywhere 3-wheeler, in shiny metallic red.

Pro: I am educational to both the child who asks me questions and the child who runs backwards into a closed door because he's watching me instead of where he's going. I guarantee you both children learned something.

Pro: Friendly people carry my groceries (and other heavy things) to the car for me.

Pro: I often have to stay in one place waiting for people or things to happen. This is a "pro" because it's honed my observation skills and I get the joy of sitting by a lake surrounded by dragonflies, or people watching in the mall, or learning the patterns of the birds in my backyard or the neighbors to-ing and fro-ing, or catching up at church with people I wouldn't normally talk to much. Staying still and learning quiet is a blessing that I may not have been granted had I not been forced to sit down more frequently.

There's more on both sides of the coin, but that's a start anyway.


Lucinda September 22, 2009 at 7:54 PM  

I've seen that video when it first came out. Incredibly thought provoking.

Anonymous February 16, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

jess....i took a break from the blogging but am back at it...and catching up a bit on your posts...this was really great...humorous and touching!

About This Blog

Life is about changes; transitions from one place to another, from one purpose to another, from one being to another. They say that the person you are today is a completely different person from who you were ten years ago and who you'll be ten years from now. So far, at the age of 33, I've had four major transitions in my life which redefined who I am. Two years into the results of the most recent transition I am again - still - exploring how God is shaping me. Over the next few months I hope to review my past and set goals for the future, and embrace the next adventure of rediscovering me.

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