Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Disability Studies and all that comes with it!

Well, I've done it!
I've made it to college and so far, live to tell the tale!
Proud. Excited. Exhausted. Scared. Challenged. So Excited (again and again). On a new road. On a continued road. Confused. Clarity of thought.... you get my drift.

I have been in college now for three weeks. One night a week, and a few days ago I felt for the first time "I Can Do This!" A happy thought.

The first few weeks, I encountered many issues regarding travel, unhelpful bus drivers (not wanting to take my mobility scooter on board), being left off at the wrong stop, trying to get a lift home. All these challenges are now slowly being teased out, which will all help to make the experience a much more manageable one.
I travel on a Thursday morning by taxi (sponsored) to the nearest bus stop (half hour away) and take the bus to Cork city. I've learned that taking a taxi to my "home from home" is the least energy taking-least challenging way to go. In my 'home from home' I make lunch and sleep for the afternoon.
The university has arranged a taxi for me to get to my course (and back). I appreciate this a great deal!!!

Then the REAL work starts!
First an hour of tuition, you know, well, I know now... :-) all these things you need to know on how to use the library, how to write essays, how to put in references etc... And then the REAL REAL course starts. Disability Studies! My brain is rather 'fried' at this stage but so far I managed to stay reasonably with it, with the help of painkillers and the occasional lying down on a couch during group sessions.
(I must say I am proud of myself to have given in to the need to be horizontal, in stead of fighting it, which would have had an adverse affect for days, maybe weeks. It isn't easy to be the 'odd one out' but so pleased I listened to my body.)

"Dipping Toes" © Corina Duyn '12
The course looks at all things disabled, to put it in a nutshell. There was soooooo much information 'thrown' at us that for weeks my head felt like a huge whirlpool of thoughts, images, reflections, notions, learning about my own personal experience. Thoughts about the 'social model' (ie that society makes me disabled) to the medical model (we need to be fixed, cured, rehabilitated...) What IS disability; to how people look at the disabled; me included, is it steeped in fear, fixable by education?; what about historical and cultural issues, anthropology; my art; my writing; how to take notes; how is disablity portrayed in the media, in art; how my work has been used by others in their academic studies; how I suddenly realised that even the correspondence course I did years ago in 'Understanding Western Art' now makes sense too. Soooo much to think about!
All so exciting!

Also the fact that there is a great mix of people on the course, range in ages, nationalites, expriences and backgrouds.

I have settled down a bit and have been able to switch of my brain some bit.
Thank goodness for mindfulness and creativity! And for jobs like folding laundry or dusting the mantelpiece!

Even the reading about, and praticing mindfulness makes more sense now, since I started the course. My life's journey makes more sense...
Although I probably do not make sense in the above rambles!
Trust me, in time to come it will all make perfect sense to me, and when that time comes, I will enlighted you too.

Thanks to all of you who have wished me well and have helped in some way to get me on the road to fulfilling a long held dream of studying at University, but also help me see how I have been on the right road for a long time.

Love to you all.

ps... As always it is lovely to know that you stopped by to read my musing and follow my creative adventures. It would make my day if you leave a comment... preferably here, on the blog...? Many thanks & Lots of love Corina


Unknown said...

Always read your posts! Absolutely great that it's now really happening. You got help, but I'm sure the lion's share is your own doing. Hope you meet interesting people, that's certainly one of the points of physical classes in the first place, right?

di said...

love to follow your stories as you travel your road .listen to that body , be brave ,laugh a lot and take things as slowly as you need . well done you and your little scooter.

John said...

Isn't this wonderful! You've worked so hard to get to this place: worked at it for years. Congratulations.

I marvel at your ingenuity and spirit xxx

Corina Duyn said...

Thank you all, Marco, Di, John and all others who wrote to me, text, or phoned me. I really is of such value to have you all there in the background.

best wishes and good health to you all.
X Corina