Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Schooled by Anisha Lakhani

Schooled is shaping up to be a good, funny book. (The parts about Lifetime movies had me laughing and annoying my mom by reading them to her.)

The main character is a first year teacher, fresh out of Columbia, at an exclusive private school. I've only made it to the orientation week, before she meets the students.

Right now, she has to read the student's files.

One child has a peanut allergy, "acute, life-threatening peanut allergies. You are responsible if so much as a peanut, or anything in the vicinity of a peanut, enters the classroom. He could die."

Also in the file is the fact that his father had an affair, his family is rich, etc etc.

On the next page, the main character mentally describes the future student as "an overindulged child who would probably think nothing of the sacrifice I would have to make in giving up my peanut M&Ms addiction lest I so much as breathe on him."

I can't get over this sentence. I can't tell if the writer wants us to go what the fuck is wrong with this woman or agree with her, because it's so hard to not eat candy during the school day.

It just really rubs me the wrong way. The kid is undeniably "overindulged," but it has nothing to do with his allergy. And the fact that the writer used to be a teacher...

Of course, this is like complaining because the serial killer on the TV kicked a puppy. I can accept the greater "bad" premise, but little things feel wrong.

Or maybe it's a sign of the character's immaturity?

I mean, what the fuck? It's so hard to make sure one of your students doesn't die.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pain medication

3 Idiots was an almost perfect painkiller - except for some pain from the pants and upright position about halfway through, I was all wrapped up in the story and because it was at the theatre, unable to pause and move around, causing myself more pain.

(3 Idiots is really good - I laughed, I cried, I wrote a cliche.)

But the worst pain killer is my pain medication.

I requested a liver test this year (just another thing to test when the vampires take my blood) and everything was fine.


I react to medications very quickly - within a week or so, what "should" take a month to work, has already worked and stopped working for me. So I build up a tolerance to pain medication quickly.

And run into so many headaches - why are you out of this a week before your appointment?

Because if I followed your directions, I'd be in the ER!

But that's "angry," don't "yell," or "I'm leaving." (Way to be supportive Mom - yes I over analyzed everything, I've been dealing with horrid pain for a week! Because I followed the directions.)

So the polite thing is to just grit my teeth and explain for what feels like the millionth time that "One pill does not last 6 hours."

And of course it's fucking invisible. When I had visible indicators of pain, no one quibbled.

The worst part is that over the last couple weeks, I have been denied the one "safe" place for the people with chronic pain - the bed. Laying down hurts. Taking a deep breath hurts.

I am so tired, and not just because it is 3 am. (Wasn't I going to watch a Punjabi movie a million years ago?)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

School wrap-up and nonsense

Reading accounts at FWD makes me think about how lucky I have been when it comes to the intersection of school and health, especially this semester.

One *dropped* a paper, I didn't have to write a 12 page research paper that I'd been dreading all semester. She also extended the due dates for everything, but I banged out some kind of relevant nonsense a few days before and turned it in early. (And got a B+ which mean it counts as my honors credit for the semester and "junior honors experience" Whew.) She also took an hour out of her day to talk me through my confusion.

The professor with the least leeway just extended my due dates. Yup, the history professor. Hmm. (B+ as well! w00t!)

My art 1030 (intro to art something - no drawing! w00t!) professor was so nice. Even though we're not supposed to (in the syllabus), I was able to make up the quiz I missed and save my grade (an A something). He also said I could make up any future quizzes over the next two weeks and for whatever reason, I could take the final early.

My French professor dropped all quizzes and homework I missed over the last 3 weeks and said just do the final - B something in that quiz. (That's my major.)

My Arabic professor - well, if snow disproves global warming, then his behavior disproves all bad "Muslim" stereotypes /silly sarcasm attempt. I went to class, choked on the heat, and asked him when I could meet with him and said I wouldn't be in class because of the heat. He offered to meet with me *outside*! And it was around 40! I'm still so touched by that. And yes, we went over the chapters I missed, and I eventually just took the test I missed as an exam - or that was the goal before pain attacked and I couldn't. Right now, I've got an A-, but I don't mind if it changes.

And that's just this semester! I have had so many professors and teachers help me and it makes me cry when people are so nice.

I have also run into teachers and administrators who did not help me - high school senior year, I come back after a surgery to get make-up work. I decide to make sure everything's in order with the administrators.

The principal wants to talk to me - if I miss another day or check out early, I won't graduate. Also, "You don't deserve that A, you only deserve that F." The A was in psychology, he let me do work at home. The F was in a joke class, and I was well past the allowed absences so eff me, right? It wasn't all bad - instead of fighting them, we went straight to the doctor and got him to write an order for me to go homebound, and we requested the best homebound teacher ever - and even though she couldn't give me a steady schedule, she still worked with me. And I graduated in the top 20 of my class. So even the bad people can lead you to good ones.

Also, *all* my professors have been nice - I don't get docked for missing classes. (I still suffered because class is important, but at least I didn't have the added stress of being there or being square.)

And I get away with murder and did in high school. No water allowed, pssh. Be in class on time? I'm supposed to go to the nurse's office. Next!

College rules I break? Well, it depends on the syllabus/professor. But there is the desktop fan, which can be noisy in a tiny room when I'm in the front row. There are also cell phones. I have played many games of phone tag with doctors and hate it, so if I'm waiting on them, I keep my phone out and on vibrate. And when it goes off, I bolt out of the room, breaking another rule.

But I don't enjoy it, because it's usually about Dr. Ego or insurance and bleh. It's not like I'm talking to my girlfriends!

Though I have texted my friend Elizabeth twice this year - the second time the text was in French! - asking her where she was, it's class time! So cell phones aren't all bad.

Of course, in high school, we had the 504 and I met with all 6 teachers at the beginning of the year. In college, I have to make an appointment with my case guy in the Disability Office during the first week, get 5 papers for my professors, and give them to my professors, explaining what's going on.

This November? Disability was no help! Because they were swamped as it was time to schedule final accommodations. And when I came back, it was even closer to finals! So I did most of the work myself, working so hard to type those e-mails. (Actually, it was hard at times, and I'd just send the same e-mail to all 5 profs.) But I had the paperwork to cover my butt in case anyone gave me a hard time.

Anyways, this was going to be a reply at FWD, but it got too long. And I realized that some of you out there in internet world (hello!) may care.

If you have snow, don't tell me. We're raking leaves and I took a walk yesterday in a tank top and shorts.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My depression is mean.

I am behind in school work.

I am in pain.

I do not need to be all weepy and tired and blah.

My stomach obeyed me last week when I wanted deviled eggs. Why won't my body listen now?

Anyways, I'm reading the comics. It's not quite as fun as taking the Sunday paper apart (after walking or riding my bike to get it) and getting to the comics last, around noon and spreading it out on the floor and gazing at the colors...

And no, you can't read the comics until I do! Why are you up anyways?

Back to the comics.

Today's Curtis made me laugh.

For some reason, Curtis always shrinks when I post it here. So in the interest of saving your peepers (and make my little read blog more accessible), here is a transcript (I used to have HTML skills, but I'm afraid this is too much for an ALT text):

1st panel - Inside. Michelle is walking away from Curtis, saying, "I am a child born for the limelight!"

2nd panel - Still inside. Michelle is facing Curtis. She is saying, "I used to crawl hearing Smokey and Little Richard! I took my first steps to Quincy and DeBarge!"

3rd panel - The bottom is curly, this is an illustration of a memory. It shows the baby Michelle - with huge eyes - tap dancing. Michelle's head is floating near the top and she continues, "When I was two, my mother enrolled me in dance class. I was a natural!"

4th panel - Back to the present, still inside. Michelle has her back to Curtis, she is angry because, "I was cast on the "Muppet Show" but was let go 'cause Miss Piggy was threatened by my flair for talent!"

Curtis responds, winking, "Can't upstage th' pig!"

It's the last panel. Particularly Curtis's response. Miss Piggy is THE diva of divas.

Maybe I don't really enjoy Curtis and say I do so I can be like, look at me, I'm reading a comic about black folks! I ain't racist. Where ya'll going? /bad southern accent

I don't know. Curtis doesn't make me laugh a lot, but there's this sweetness about it and an originality and creativity (have you seen the Kwanzaa strips?) that has little to do with the race of the characters. They live in the city. Money is tight. But they never age. Michelle and Curtis will never get together. The hat will never come off.

And that's ok.

In other news, today's Cracked is SO AWESOME! It's called "6 Mental Illness Myths Hollywood Wants You to Believe." So. Cool. (Even though it's riddled with errors, I think Cracked is pretty big. An article like this will hopefully change one person's mind.)

Also, this made me laugh, even though I nothing about old or new school video games. (I played the Sims. Not the Sims 2!)