smibbo: (xmas)
So, a few days ago... [editor's note: check that becuase with our memory, it could have been a few years ago. just sayin, let's try to be a little accurate with our general time-frame references] I wrote an entry that was pretty epic in a personal, life-changing kind of way. I wrote about how I didn't find my goal in life, I actually realized what it was while I was workign towards it which to my mind is the best way to really KNOW what you found is really of the realses. For real, yo.
Anyway, so a large part of what I came to understand is my ah.. purpose.. in life is predicated upon what i am studying currently in school and how the studying of it and the actual course trajectory of it, fits into the larger framework of "MY LIFE'S WORK" (trumpet fanfare) and what I am currently studying in school, is ASL for interpreting. Let me fine-point this for you:

I am not actually wanting to be an interpreter, although that as a stop along the way would be fine and good way to have some decent free-lance to fall back on at any given time. What I am working towards is a grad degree in Special Education, more specifically administration of education. What's the connection between ASL and Special Ed? Well really there isn't any, its just that in order to get a grad degree, I need a bachelor's in something ANYTHING. I have enough credits to get an associate in just about any field as it is, but an associate is only a two-year degree. SO I have two years under my belt already, I only need two more. But going to community college is cheaper so I was looking to go there to get reoriented. They told me they had a interpreter's program that would give you a BACHELOR'S degree if you already had an associate or equivalent credits. Which I do. So I could go through the program, at community college, and in two years get a bachelor's degree in ASL. I would also be eligible to take the NIC and RID tests to be an interpreter. Which might help me pay for grad school. Grad school, for education, doesn't much care what your bachelor's is in, just that you have one. So I could go to community college, get my bachelor's in two years and have certification to do free-lance work. All in a subject I already love. Awesome deal no matter how you look at it.

Except the community college lost their bid to be allowed to award bachelor's degrees.

So... if I stay in the program, I go for two years to get a certificate that I finished their program for ASL interpreting. But that won't do any good becuase in order to be eligible to take the NIC and RID tests to BE an interpreter you have to have a bachelor's degree in something, anything. Which I wouldn't have.
SO I'd have to go to another college for another two years in order to get a bachelor's degree.

So that'd be four years in order to get the bachelor's and be ready to be certified in interpreting.

Uh, no. I'm done going to college forever with no point.

I love ASL but that wasn't why I was in the program. I was in the program because ASL was one of the two things Ga Perimeter SAID they were giving Bachelor's degrees in. But now they can't. Becuase the Southern Association of Colleges discovered they "mishandled" $25million. This is the third year in a row they have operated on a deficit and they can't exactly explained where the money went. Yeah. TWENTY-FIVE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS.

And I can't get a bachelor's from them.

So.

Yeah, I'm not going to continue the program. Even if I wanted to be an interpreter, I'd hve to go somewhere else to get the bachelor's degree to qualify to take the NIC/RID exams anyway. What a load of fucking bullshit.

Fuck GPC.

SO I re-submitted to Ga State.

*sigh*

The place that costs about three times what GPC cost. I wonder if that's because they don't LOSE THEIR FUCKING MONEY.

Oh and when did they elect to tell everyone this little change? Yeah about a week before winter break. Too late for me to get into GA State next semester. So I swapped out all my program classes for education classes but since I'm not formally in the education major, the financial aid office decided I am not taking enough credit hours in my major to qualify for the pell grant. But its too late for me to get advisement to change my major before the next semester starts. See if they'd told us this two months ago, I could have handled it all just fine. But no, they waited until the last possible second. and you know what really fries me? They even admitted that they had been warned by the SACs that their accreditation was in trouble. They KNEW they weren't going to be approved for bachelor's programs but they told prospective students they were going to "iron out the details" anyway. And SACs even said in their released statement that GPC KNEW what was coming. and SACs were surprised that GPC was even TRYING to be allowed to "level up" to awarding bachelor's degrees becuase they hadn't fixed their financial problems at all. But they still fucking did it. They took our money and told us we'd get degrees. I assume the only reason they told us the truth when they did was because part of SACs review mandated they inform us.


Thanks GPC. I fucking hate you.
smibbo: (Default)
our dimension/universe is limited because one of the dimensions we perceive but cannot master is that of movement. Numbers are static, the closest we come is functions but we have to translate them in terms of numbers. This is the base of innumeracy - that most people have severe difficulty perceiving movement conceptually. We label movement in terms of points as if objects were existing from one place to the next however this is not accurate. It is, however, the closest most people come to grasping movement. Zeno's paradox is a perfect example of this particular innumeracy - the attempt to translate movement into points of stasis shows the broken translation.
smibbo: (blue hair is my normal)
Why having a child with a disability is not like being sent to Holland.

This parable bothers me. It bothers me a lot. While it is certainly uplifting, it makes me uncomfortable, because it denies a central and in my mind, undeniable fact about the experiences parents of children with life altering difficulties face: It is much harder and more difficult to parent a child with a disability than it is to parent a neurotypical child with no health challenges.

In my mind, a more accurate analogy would be this:

Imagine planning a trip to Paris for you and your partner. You get your guidebooks, your luggage, your wardrobe and your plane tickets. You research everything about Paris so you'll be ready when you arrive. You make make reservations. You talk with friends and family about their wonderful trips to Paris and how much fun they had. The two of you talk everyday about how much you want to go to Paris and how amazing it's going to be when you get there.

You get on the plane and take off. Suddenly, without explanation, the plane is diverted. Then at 5000 ft you and your partner are yanked out of your seats, strapped into parachutes you only vaguely understand, and tossed out the door.

Some how you manage to make it to the ground.

At first, you just sit, clinging to one another, checking to see if you have any broken bones. Once you're done thanking god that you're still alive, you dust yourselves off and look at the terrain. You look at each other and reassure one another that you're going to get out of this place.

Your first few days in the desert are exhausting. Just getting your basic needs met feels overwhelming. You feel alone, terrified and honestly- You're not sure if you're going to make it. Sometimes you fight, not because either of you is doing anything wrong- but because you're both tired and frustrated, there is sand everywhere, not enough water and there is no one else to yell at.

After many days of struggle, you finally make it to a village. The first thing you find out when you arrive, is that this settlement is made up of people who also got dumped out of a plane. This is what they tell you:

We are on the moon!
No, this is Arizona.
No, we're in the Australian Outback!
It's the airlines fault.
No. It's the flight attendant who pushed us out.
Oh! Another passenger pushed me out. How did that crazy person get past TSA?
There is no hope of rescue.

Wait! There is a rescue effort underway.

There is an 80% chance you and your treasured partner are going to crumble under the strain of this experience.

No, you won't, this experience will make you stronger!

The desert is a gift!

No, it's not. It's a war and war is hell!

Trying to make sense of this, you look around and say, "How did this happen? What made our plane go off track, when all the other planes made it to their destination just fine? If only we'd flown on a different airline. Who is right? Are we going to end up divorced or not? Is there a rescue party coming? Why are all of you talking at once?

Everyone in the crowd starts to shout LOUDER. Their voices jumbling into a unintelligible cacophony . Then, it dawns on you that maybe there are no right answers, because no one really knows. This is more terrifying than any answer you could have heard.

So despite being overwhelmed, despite struggling for the basic necessities and despite not knowing how you got there, you get on with the business of living your life. It's hard. It makes you angry, not at anyone in particular, just angry because it wasn't supposed to be this way. There are moments when the absurdity of it all makes you laugh. You and your partner discover that there are gorgeous sunsets in the desert and here, the stars shine with crystalline clarity. You smile a little more often and you realize that going to get water every day is doable once you know where the water hole is. You're scared sometimes, yes, but not as often as when you first landed. There are days when you wake up and wonder how you are ever going to make it through. At times, you're lonely for all the friends you had who went to Paris. Sometimes you don't recognize this person you're becoming or the person your partner has transformed into.

The desert is your new normal and once it becomes familiar, it's more understandable. You know which plants are poisonous, how to get sand out of your sleeping bag and how to be patient when your partner is screaming "ALL I EVER WANTED WAS A CROISSANT!" The path to the water hole is well worn. You learn how to handle your own meltdowns and you figure out that there are some wonderful people here in the village. Your skin gets toughened by the sun, and you realize you don't need Starbucks to get through the day.

Sometimes at the end of the day, as you gaze up at the endless sky, you wonder, "What would Paris have been like?" But then you realize that the desert has become your home- and you wouldn't give it up for the world.

Rhyannon Morrigan(c)2011
smibbo: (Default)
(overheard at [livejournal.com profile] wolven's party the other night)

"and then I have to ask myself, why is there always a giant bag of cheese trying to kill me?"
(man listening nods understandingly)
smibbo: (Default)
Someone in Australia is doing research on the families of Autistic children. I thought it was a pretty good survey and it's kind of nice that for once a research actually gives a shit how family members are affected.

So here is the essay part of the survey )

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