use of blogs

We all know that the blogger has more and more political clout these days; there’s quite a convincing argument to suggest that blogs helped sway the American election. More of what we know comes from so-called citizen-reporters. Blogs were apparently a valuable tool in aiding our understanding of events like the tsunami and the recent terror attacks in Mumbai. However, it occurs to me that blogs can be very useful for people with communication disabilities, like myself.

Take the entry I made earlier. Ordinarily such a blog entry, unless it was on some girls livejournal, wouldn’t have appeared – how is my return to campus blogworthy? Blogs, as I say, are for political and social commentary; they shouldn’t be a narration of one’s life or one’s internal monologue. Unless, I’d maintain, you’re like me.

Often – I cannot speak for everyone here – people with communication disabilities find it hard to explain stuff at length. Plus, when you’re trying to tell a lot of people something at once, and you’re not sure how to word it in an email, it’s often prudent just to allude to it in a blog entry. Earlier, I needed to tell both Ricardio and jo I’d tried to turn up to rehearsal; my parents what had happened; it also told Ricardio that I will need him at tea time. It told Lyn and everyone else I was back on campus. Bada bing bada boom.

Talking of such problems, I neglected to ask my parents if Lyn could come stay over Christmas. I know its not as simple as Luke having yan come to stay or mark and Kat coming up from Paris. First she has wheels. Second Katrina would have to come too. Third how would grandma and yaiya react? Grandma especially. Then I don’t want mum to think she has more work to do. Plus what about timings? And then and then and then. But at least, by raising the subject, I have increased the possibility. By telling people without telling them, it gives them room for manoeuvre.

okay, where the smeg is everyone?

Annoyingly I have just hurried back to campus, after a restful weekend at home, only to find that rehearsal has been cancelled. Well, more specifically, the rehearsers are nowhere to be seen. I’m annoyed – I whish someone had told me. Whets more, I made dad drive me here especially. Strangely though, Rob’s not here either, so I’m about ho head over to Ricardio”s place to find out what’s going on.

Pointless blog entry, I know, but at least it lets you all know I’m still alive.

back on the wagon

After a quick detour off the wagon caused by a trip to charlottes and my subsequent lack of willpower, I am back on the wagon. My last drink was on Sunday,, and, as per my father’s advice, I do not intend to drink for two weeks. To be honest I feel better for it; I’ve been able to do some good work and feel much more cheerful. Now, I’m not going teetotal, but suspect my special occasions only strategy is the way forward. Besides, the rarer the drink, the better the taste.

lost

I got lost today. Totally, utterly, and completely lost. Well, that is a slight exaggeration – I knew I was near Crewe, but I was lost. I went looking for Lee’s house – I knew roughly where that was, so I kept going in the right general direction. However, I was almost at Leighton hospital, with defiant’s power gauge just showing one amber light left, when I decided I had taken a wrong turn. With the gauge flashing danger warnings, I caught the bus back to Crewe, then the 20 to alsager.

Today started well enough. after morning, I settled down to write, then found I needed more evidence to back up my ideas. First I went to the library, which wasn’t much use, then over to consult Alan in Crewe. I had a short, but very encouraging meeting with him – he seems to like my current line of enquiry, concerning the politicisation of film in the French new wave, very much – then I decided to do some more Christmas shopping in Crewe. Bought one present. Then decided to go find lee.

You know, I never did found his house.

starting to recover my spark.

It has been my first thousand word day in ages. in stark contrast to my recent performance, this morning the words were flowing out of me, and I felt on top form. I managed to get a solid 3 hours done, so I’m pleased. Also, this afternoon I went Christmas shopping. This isn’t my favourite task, as I never know what to get anyone, but I have made a good start. I’m quite pleased with myself, and am starting to recover my spark. Plus, next week Lyn is coming to visit – on the bus all the way home, I just couldn’t stop thinking about what a lovely time we will have.

Makaton

I was very interested to find out, over dinner last night, that Ricardio is now learning makaton. He apparently has to learn it for his job, teaching at a college in stoke.

I last encountered makaton back at school; it’s a writing and signing system for people with learning difficulties. I must admit that, back then, arrogant little child that I was, I didn’t see much of a point. Why not just teach people how to read normally, I reasoned. At the same time, I was sort of fascinated by it, from a linguistic perspective. I wonder, for example, if you can use Makaton to write any sort of complex narrative.

Even so, there’s something very amusing about Ricardio using makaton. I know it’s a very good thing, and I shouldn’t laugh, but it’s like a professor of chemistry using one of those kids chemistry sets. Also, once again I find that my old world bursts into my new one.

At least it’s a sign that the world is becoming more inclusive. Perhaps one day they’ll start using it around uni.

convoy

I know I should stop just bursting in, uninvited and unannounced, on people; it really is a bad habit.

I’m currently test-driving a new wheelchair, called a quantum. Yesterday I invited my friend lee Mayer over from Crewe, since he knows a bit about chairs. He arrived around eleven – the plan was to go somewhere together – me in the quantum, him in defiant. When lee suggested we both go to Chester, I thought it a wonderful idea – it’s a fascinating city, great for Christmas shopping, and perhaps I could pop in on Charlie and the joneses.

Getting there was easier than I thought. I instantly fell in love with the quantum’s mid-wheel-drive manoeuvrability, especially when getting on and off busses. It is much easier than the f55. plus, in terms of speed, although the f55 accelerates faster than the quantum, their top speed is like-for-like. In short, I was extremely impressed.

We got to Chester later than I hoped, given the busses tendency to stop every few meters. Lee muttered something about public transport. Anyway, we took a tour of the city centre, at one stage encountering a bunch of vicious looking school kids, who I think were very curious about us: ”Look, that one’s smoking a cigar”. (cigar smoking, by the way, seems to suit Mayer) I must say though, I did overhear a disproportionate amount of comments about us yesterday (”don’t laugh” etc) and felt very got at.

When I got bored of the city centre, which, admittedly, didn’t take too long, I decided that it would be nice to introduce lee to charlotte. I remembered that the joneses don’t live too far from the city centre, but had forgotten precisely where. So we asked for directions, and thus began a wild goose chase which, about an hour and a half later, saw us both turning up at the joneses door.

Quite what the joneses really think of me randomly turning up every so often I do not know, they’re such genuinely nice people they welcomed us in. Mrs j. gave us toast and tea, and we sat there warming up by the fire in their large, homely kitchen. It turned out, however, that Charlie wasn’t there after all – she was at her brother’s place in London, where they had seen him perform the night before. Nevertheless, we had a good talk, and lee got to meet poppy and will, C’s younger siblings.

We didn’t stay too long – I didn’t want to intrude too much – and we left after about an hour. Mrs. Jones and Will walked us back to the bus station, but, seeing as the bus was going to be 45 minutes later, they left us in subway. We again had no problems with thee busses, save for the waiting, and we got back to alsager about half ten.

It was too late and too cold for Mayer to drive home, so I asked security to open up an empty room at the other end of Westfield flat. They kindly obliged, and, after I had lent lee some pyjama bottoms, and after we had talked a bit, we both went to bed exhausted.

can white people teach black history

As much as I loathe the British national party, and find their ‘politics’ a heady mix of xenophobia, testosterone and ignorance, I must say that I’m appalled that a list of bnp supporters has been published and that such a fuss is being made over it. While I may find the fact that bnp supporters are teaching kids unpalatable, one’s political stance must be irrelevant when applying for a job. The same goes for age, ethnicity, gender, or whatever. If we go down this route, where will it end? Shall we say that if you’re religious you can’t teach science? Hell no. if you are white you can’t teach about slavery? How absurd. Politics should be left at the workplace door. Surely as soon as we make any such move we become as bigoted as we accuse them of being.

confidence boost

I was feeling abit down this morning; work hasn’t been going to schedule. I waas at my pc from about 20 past 9 till about lunchtime, trying to work and not getting very far. I must admit I’ve been feeling low about it recently.

At about 12 I went out onto campus. Time for a cheeseburger and a change of scenery. I also like just rolling about to see whats going on, if anything. I have also found this also bit of ground which is perfect for doughnutting, just outside the sports labs. Anyway, after lunch I bumped into Tony.

I’ve probably known Tony shaw since our first year. I think I’ve mentioned before he now works here with the drama technicians, but I remember him from film lectures and seminars. He was/is in our friendship group, and I remember him joining us over in the cool side of the wes on many occasions.(in my second and third year, whenever I needed company, I could always go over to what I call ‘the cool side of the wes’. I could always find Emma or Charlie or Vanessa or someone in there). Now, Tony is the only one of those guys still about, and I must say I’m very glad of his presence.

We got to chatting. ”If you’re gonna ask if I’ve seen Quantum of solace,” he said, ”the answer is no.” I wasn’t. instead I told him I was feeling down and I couldn’t do it. Tony then told me to stop being so stupid. ”You’ve probably just hit a wall. Go speak to Alan..” well, as it stands I’ve got a meeting with Alan tomorrow.

Its funny how a meeting like that can cheer you up. Tony is one of those people in the picture in the conservatory at home. Taken on graduation day, this picture reminds me of what I can achieve. Thus, in a funny way, even Tony’s presence here makes me feel more confident.

There were dancers too.

Today has started exceptionally well. At breakfast time I have home help, for a variety of reasons, and today a new lady came to help gget me up: unlike the other women, who are, let’s say, more mature, this one – Alison – is 25, familiar with internet culture and into greenday. She has a good sense of irony and sarcasm, and I think we got on. I suspect breakfast time is going to be slightly more fun with her.

Moreover, I was just passing through the student union, procrastinating, and the lady in the office flagged me down. She wanted to check my bank details – it turns out that the S.U had neglected to pay me for some work I did for them a year or so ago. I am now 130 quid better off than I was before breakfast. Get in!

Last night’s meeting of the cast of rage went better than I expected. Jo, the production manager, had prepared contracts so now we’re all obliged to show up or phone in with a good excuse. It’s all very official, but I think it’s necessary in order to get the job done. I think the cast agrees, and after a few slight quibbles over bus times etc, they all signed up. I am now officially part of ‘the very important theatre company’ in the role of co-director. How cool is that? Mind you, we now need to convince Ricardio we are committed.

Plus, I went to a live music night in brandies last night, which was fairly cool. There were dancers too.

So all in all I’m in a good mood. Wonder what to spend the 130 quid on.