cripplephobia?

its been a bit of a busy day, so I’ll just link to this frankly very disturbinng article from tom shakespear about violence against cripples. I’m off to organise paying my p.a before she gets violent! [kiddding]

night of the supercrip

I went to brandies again last night, for the dickshow. It was superhero night, so there was spandex galore – I especially like the catwoman outfits a few of the girls were wearing. I had on a red cape, blue unitard and the letters ‘S C’ pinned to my chest, for Supercripple. Well, it amused me at least.

Yet halfway or so through the evening, it occurred to me that I wasn’t supposed to be there. I’m now a postgrad, supposed to be respectable. My life as a tearaway undergrad is over – maybe I should stop going. I put this to jen, who swiftly told me to stop being stupid. I had every right to be there, she said, more than most. I smiled: I was, after all, enjoying myself. Then I thought of the past, about school. About the lads who never got to go to uni, let alone graduate, or go to discos. I had, therefore, a duty to enjoy myself, in whatever way I see fit.

With that I sipped my beer.

are you happy?

While I am usually cautious about singling out any one person to stand for an entire group – people aren’t metonyms – I think thisis quite a good short film about how one little girl has been included in the American school system. As far as I can see, that’s one thing Americans do better than us. I think this film is exemplary; I’d like to draw attention especially to the section where the teacher outlines how, without prompting, all the other kids help the girl. I hope all the anti-inclusion, nay saying idiots watch this.

you and yours

It’s rather ironic that a day after my lightwriter breaks vocas feature on radio 4. I’m listening to it as I type, and have already heard nadia speak in the intro. As for me, I’ll continue to use my shoebox-mounted letter chart till I get my lw back. My friends have already named it barry, colins little bro. Anyway, go listen to mondays you and yours here

light on the puddles

Evenings on campus can be quite beautiful, especially in the autumn when the leaves start to turn golden in the sunset. The view, as I drove defiant home this evening, was stunning. Just a fraction of a second, when the light of the setting sun hit the puddles, I was in awe. All weekend I had this nagging feeling at the back of my mind: do I still belong here? All my friends have gone from my year – should I have returned? Am I up to the task at hand? And then the light hit the water, and I could hear my friends talking as they turned or their homes, and the answer came: yes. I can do this! already I’m more comfortable with my subject. I can grasp it. In that moment, all fear left me, and I felt once more at home.

voca broke

Colin broke again yesterday. It won’t respond to anything I do. Dad and mum had to come get him earlier in order to send him to be repaired, and from the way it looked I doubt I’ll get him back soon. This, as you can imagine, is a pain in the ass. It makes communication with anyone – especially those who don’t know me – ten times more difficult. I suppose it could be worse – this year I only have weekly meetings with Alan, rather than lessons per say, so academically it won’t hold me back too much. It’s just when I’m with friends, or in the library. But to every problem there is a solution: jen has already made me a ‘letter chart’, and when going to the library I can print off the book reference I need before setting off. Ho hum.

And I cant be too glum when Palin’s on tonight!

dance monkey dance

Last night I was in ashleys room. She’s American, but we don’t hold that against her (much). We were waiting for jen and co to return from the beauticians, and were planning to just drink and talk, which is pretty cool. Anyway, probably inspired by watching olly throw a ball about her room, Ashley showed us this. I thunk it’s one of the most astute orations ever. It may be just about monkeys, but it is what we are. A hairless ape. Go listen.

interesting proposition

I was at the centre for social inclusion today – finally got round to picking the photos from my exhibition thingy – and joss west-Burnham was there. I guess that isn’t surprising given that she is in charge of it. She greeted me: ‘I’m glad you came, Matt, we’ve had an idea. We think it would be good if you stood for disability officer at the union.’ Now, this was coming from a highly respected member of the academic staff. She told me to think about it, offering to help me with my election bid.

Now, I’ve got to ask certain questions of certain people, but, as it stands, I think I’ll say yes.

Need a hobby anyway.

the inevitable return of wednesday nights

I now feel much better! Daunted, but better. My meeting with Alan went well, and we sorted out precisely what I’m going to look at. We had a long talk, he gave me various instructions and tips, and set me to work. I have quite a bit of reading to do, but that’s cool. Not much else to do during the day. Tonight, however, is disco night; I’ve missed it tremendously. Of course, it will not be quite the same without my mates – I’ll miss going round to charlottes before the disco especially – but now I have jen, olly and the gang to leech off, err, I mean hang out with. Jen’s coming her at 7 to help me get ready. Should be cool. Then, after breakfast tomorrow, reading proper commences.

Life is good!

more wheelies

This is natural – or should be – and kind of hardly worth noting, but there are two more cripples on campus this year. Both wheelchair users. I was going about campus today, turning the corner of the Wes, and I saw a girl in an electric wheelchair, being followed by a person who I presume to be her PA. they both went over to look at the map by the bushes, looking rather lost. I decided to go over, being a responsible master’s student, and offer my help.

They asked for the contemporary arts block was. I pointed to it, and asked hem to follow me. They did, and I lead them to the door (my chair is faster than hers!) The new girl thanked me, and we parted. Not a good story, I know, and hardly worth noting, but it was cool to me. Finally more wheelies! Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, although, it should be said that if CaMoron gets elected and instigates his anti-inclusion policy, I fear this trend has a real chance of being reversed.