I’m the tip of the iceberg

I keep going in circles with research. Mind you, I haven’t been doing enough of that; summer always makes me lazy. I sit down to read, and read for perhaps 30 to 60 minutes, then my mind wanders. Its interesting stuff – I like the boardwellian/formalist approach, but how do you unite that detailed close textual analysis and grammatical analysis with ideas of scoppophilia? Its not enough to detail the on screen structures. I wanna know why they work, almost. I guess I should read more, but, as I say, my mind wonders.

My shortening attention span aside, I still love learning. I love examining stuff, arguing a point. I guess this is, in part, why I keep a blog. I think I have my family to blame for this, especially my parents. They have been very supportive. They’re a pair of bibliophiles, really. Incidentally, dad finished reading to mum and myself Deathly Hallows last night, but I’ll refrain from saying anything about it for fear of spoiling it for anyone yet to finish. My family is thus an academic one, and it is largely (but not solely) the environment which I grew up in that ensured my success.

There were other forces in play, of course: the fact that I love learning helped, as well as the fact that I saw college, university, and to a certain extent school as positive environments. These factors came together, and what had once seemed impossible was proved possible. The barriers to my entrance to uni fell quite easily all that was needed was my lightwriter, wheelchairs, electric door-opener, Pas and so on – physical things to overcome physical problems.

That, however, is what I’m now becoming concerned about. Before now, I’ve seen inclusively as mostly a physical problem, and I’m becoming aware this is too simplistic. Inclusion, for the likes of me, is relatively easily achieved, but it must not stop at me. I was talking to an old friend of mine last night; he used to be my LSA at Mac. He still works there, and he told me how he works with kids with ‘behavioural difficulties’ and so forth. During our conversation, over msn, I realised how little I know about that side of inclusion, and this struck me as a problem. Of course, I speak on my blog from a personal perspective (that of a white, middle class suburban man). If I truly care about inclusion beyond my own, and if I believe education must be for all, I should not ignore such issues. To a certain extent, the inclusion of kids with purely physical disabilities is just the tip of the iceberg. I must admit, too, that it kind of fascinates me.

My friend and I decided to hook up. According to him, these kids had low self esteem, which is a major cause of their problems. He suggested it could help if I went in to meet these kids; naturally, I’d be honoured – perhaps these kids just need some role models, or someone to show them how bril life in academia is, both mentally and socially. I also think such a scheme would also further my knowledge of the inclusion debate. However, now I have yet more research to do.

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