Monday, March 16, 2009


I seem to have lost the ability to format my posts properly. This is very strange.

I am stressing massively, in a way that only a dyspraxic with obsessive tendencies can.

I sent an e-mail to my tutor yesterday, having *lost the plot* over one more inaccessible situation (not physical access issues - more structural, if that makes any sense). I offloaded about *all* the stress that structurally and attitudinally inaccessible situations have been creating for me on the course, over the last few months in particular.

Now she's likely to want to know exactly what the problems are and what can be done about them. Putting them into words? Not going to happen...

I've held it together by a thread - but still quite impressively and successfully - for six months in this situation. I don't like people seeing how vulnerable I am. Especially worried as I've just been accepted for a PhD (no news on funding yet so it may well not actually happen) and I really wanted to communicate the illusion of how capable and normal I am in relation to that. Who'd appoint a teaching assistant who can't cope with ordinary circumstances on an MA course?



Lisa said...

I really don't understand why you applied to do your PhD *there*.

It sounds like such a horrendously inaccessible uni.

lilwatchergirl said...

Lisa: Not horrendously inaccessible. Averagely inaccessible, I think, but I'm new to the kind of access issues I'm facing, so I'm stressed from a few different angles. Plus a lot of the issues aren't about physical access, and may be largely my own fault (for not making them clear enough in the beginning). Or at least partly.

And they do have the best Disability Studies dept in the country. Ironically.

Plus the chance of funding is a lot higher than elsewhere. But if that doesn't come through, I will be looking at other places for 2010 entry. (Or, y'know, giving up on higher education altogether...)

Lisa said...

"Plus a lot of the issues aren't about physical access, and may be largely my own fault (for not making them clear enough in the beginning)."

Yes, it's all your fault the university is inaccessible. They are completely blameless for not making necessary adjustments.

*slaps you*

rachelcreative said...

All those bottled up stresses tumbling out may prove to be A Very Good Thing.

They, and you, may learn from this. Hopefully there will be some resolutions that help. So you could actually make it a brilliant place to do a PhD. or at least quite good ;)

Stress does weird things to us. Especially considering you've been accumulating for 6 months! Hope the knotty bits get untangled.

lilwatchergirl said...

Lisa: If I haven't told them what I need, they can't make adjustments! We're getting somewhere after today's meeting. Some things are institutional, though, which is a lot more complicated...

rachelcreative: Well, if nothing else, I'm certainly getting together some demands to make if & when I get funding. :D

Elizabeth McClung said...

It seems that you are considering doing the Ph.D. if the funding comes through which I think is great.

I also think that having a stress offload is a very sort of academic thing to do, so I doubt they are going to be phased by that, since Linda's job at Cardiff was to sort of help the 200+ tutors through that day's breakdown (The pillars in their classroom make all the wrong light! Etc.).

I do find the idea that notification of an issue would NOT result in a sort of brainstorming for best possible solution, as in many cases myself, I am frustrated because X is inaccessible, but that is a far cry from taking over their facility and knowing how to arrange everything to make it accessible - isn't that why THEY have people who specialize in this, like the disability department. Yes, things like, "Please notify me ahead of time when you decide to service the lifts" are things I could say but beyond that I am flummoxed, I'm not an architect....not yet!

But, I hope that they come back with something satisfactory and I want to let you know that I am trying to emotionally support you and listening. And if you want specific help, just let me know and I will try to provide.