Uptown funk!

If you read the news, chances are you’ve seen this AWESOME high school drama teacher put together a version of “uptown funk” to get his students back in the groove of things:

uptown funk

Man, I wish that my teachers were that cool!

Upon initially watching the video, I noticed how cool it was that EVERYONE was included in it. Kids with and without disabilities were getting their groove on, and the soloists weren’t all skinny and fit.

However, reading some of the video comments made me think:

“How nice of them to include the disabled kid in the video”

“I love how they put the disabled kid in the front. Most people would just stick them in the back.”

These comments made me cringe. I know the people who wrote them had good intentions, but I couldn’t help but think- why wouldn’t they include kids with disabilities in the video? Who’s to say that including people with disabilities was an “act of kindness” and not due to the fact that they were an awesome dancer?

It’s easy for people to pity those with disabilities, but when we pity those with disabilities, we limit them in our minds. People with disabilities can be dancers, singers, politicians, teachers, and literally anything else.

I admit, when I first watched the video I immediately applauded the teacher for “including” the student with a disability. The next step was to take a step back, think about my personal biases and opinions, and recognize that “hey, maybe the kid was just an awesome dancer.”

And if you watch the video, you’ll realize that he was!


Special olympics

Is there anything better than special olympics? I doubt it. I have volunteered in several sports for the past few years and cannot get enough. Unfortunately I am now unable to participate during most of the year because I’m away at school. Because I’ve missed it so much I decided to volunteer for basketball just for the month of January. I’ve only been to a few practices and am having the time of my life!

My dad mentioned that I probably am not being too big a help since I’m only there for a month.

Oh, that’s cute dad. 🙂 you thought I was going just to help. Nope. I go because it’s FUN!

I go because I meet so many new awesome people.

I go to say hi to old friends.

I go because the spirit of sportsmanship is abundant and alive at every practice.

I go because I want to get in shape.

I go because the teamwork I see there is spectacular.

I go because it makes me HAPPY!

Any “helping” that I do along the way is just a bonus, I guess. If you asked me who benefited most from special olympics, I’d probably say it was me.

I have to go now. I need to ice my face. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much!

Disability and dating

I’m 22 years old and have never been in a serious relationship. Up until now, I have never had any interest in dating. However, I have recently found myself attempting to break into the dating world and have discovered many things:

1) it’s hard. It’s uncomfortable to put yourself out there. What is flirting? How do you know if someone is doing it? How do you do it? All my friends have told me that I’m naive and couldn’t see flirting if it slapped me in the face. I’m starting to realize they’re right.

2) it’s harder if you have a disability, especially a visible one. A girl screaming “HAGRIDS BUTTCRACK” is not a turn on for most people. And frankly, it would be kinda creepy if it was.

3) it’s hard to seek people out. Meeting through mutual friends is great, but it’s hard when all your friends’ friends are also your friends. I find myself consistently friendZoned.

So, you get the point. It’s hard. Anyone have any advice?

Disability and Hollywood

Yesterday I watched probably the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It was sappy, cliche, and boring.

Today, I’m adding it to my “favorite movie” list.

Wait, what!? Why?

The main character in the movie “spy kids 4d- all the time in the world” has a hearing impairment. It doesn’t affect the plot in any way, nor is it mentioned all that much. All you see is a bad@$$ kid who just happens to be a spy- and have bright blue hearing aids.

There’s no sob story. There’s no “Cecil is a spy DESPITE his hearing impairment.” What you do see is sibling rivalry, family tension and resolution, and a crappy storyline. You see a kid turn down his hearing aids when his sister talks to much, and turn them up to crack a safe open.

The best movies about disability are the ones that aren’t about disability. They’re about something completely different, but happen to include a character who has a disability. Their disability isn’t at the forefront of the plot, they’re just like any other character.

These kinds of movies present people with disabilities as they should be presented: just like everyone else with a few differences. And that is why, despite being an overall crappy movie, spy kids 4d is now included among my favorites.

Look out!

As I’ve probably mentioned before, I am a caregiver for adults with disabilities on my breaks from school. I love my job more than anything! But I have to say, I have some of the craziest experiences at my job, and most of the time it’s got nothing to do with my individual, but rather ignorant members of society.

Case in point: the other day I was grocery shopping with my individual, and it was the most fun I’ve ever had grocery shopping in my entire life! As we’re wheeling through the deli aisle, we see two young kids, (maybe 6 and 4?) running around. As we approach, one of them says “look out, a wheelchair! Don’t let it hit you!” They run around, “dodging the wheelchair” and making exploding sounds.

I was taken aback, and certainly appalled. I looked to their mother, who was yakking on the phone and clearly not interested in educating her children on people with disabilities.

I didn’t say anything. My job is to be a caregiver, and when someone is rude or ignorant, the last thing I want to do is call them out on it and make a scene while I’m with my individual. My job is to redirect and hope that someone else (the parents, maybe?) will stand up and be an advocate. Sometimes it sucks because I want to advocate the hell out of people, but can’t.

Instead, I found myself rationalizing their response by thinking how cool it was that we were a major part of whatever imaginative plot the kids were making up.

“As we were sitting, wondering how we were going to escape the evil three headed deli monster, a wheelchair zoomed by, ridden by an awesome person and driven by her caregiver. ‘Look out!’ I said. ‘Don’t let it hit you!’

But I had no reason to fear. As they zoomed by, they swooped up my brother and I, saving us from the clutches of the three headed deli meat monster. ‘To the chopper!’ They exclaimed, as we rode off into the sunset.”

Hey, it’s all in a days work 🙂

12 days of my life since I last blogged

Wow! With all the craziness of the holidays and finals I realized it’s been a while since I updated everyone on the mundane details of my daily life!

Well, today’s your lucky day. You will receive those updates. And you will receive them in the words of a song:

On the 12 days since I last blogged my life has brought to me:

12 crazy (but awesome)
11 last minute assignments
10 daily coffees
9 all nighters
8 fits of laughter
7 fits of tics
6 fits in general
4 hours of sleep a night
3 weeks without laundry (oops)
2 hospital visits
AND A SINGLE 4.0!!!!

Wait what? A 4.0? Is it voodoo or is my disgusting amount of hard work paying off?


Ps: I know it’s been like 47 billion Days since I last blogged but that wouldn’t fit with the song. Soooooo


One thing that many people don’t know about Tourettes is that it doesn’t just “stop” when the tics start to become painful. Surprisingly, that’s a common misconception.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A lot of times you have to keep ticcing until it hurts enough, or feels “just right.” None of this is a conscious thought, but the tic won’t stop until that happens. Most of the time, I can’t tell you what “just right” is. My brain calls the shots on that one!

Anyways, the other day I was having a really bad “tic fit” and ended up with a concussion. Owwww. I was out for the count for about a week but am on the mend.

But here’s the thing I’m ashamed about. Whenever someone asked how I got a concussion, I lied.

“I walked into a wall.”

“You know, just doing that sports thing.” HAHA

“I got into a fight with an elephant.”

I couldn’t tell people. I couldn’t say “I hit myself in the head 47 times.” I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. And I was afraid that I’d hear “but doesn’t it just stop before you hurt yourself?”

So for future reference, it never stops. Literally never.

ALSO: I went to the dr on campus and when I told him I had Tourettes, he said “you’re born with that, right?”

….no. I got bitten by a radioactive spider and BAM- TOURETTES! 😛

I think he got his medical degree at Walmart…

Musings of a proud nerd, showtunes junkie and future special educator who just happens to have Tourette syndrome