Question of the day.

   Hey all you people! 🙂 

   What are things that are seemingly easy for others but are very hard for you? 

   My answer: 

   Oh my flip, do I really have to list all of them now? 😀 It would have to be like a whole series of posts – “Things That Other People Can Do, But Bibielz Don’t Have a Clue How, in 50 parts. – 😀 Well I think I’ll just mention a few, I’ve just had a migraine and my brain’s still a bit spacey from that so I don’t feel like writing a series, plus really who needs a whole series of all the things Bibielz can’t do. 😀 

   So yeah, the obvious thing would be peopling. I’ve no idea how people do that and know what to say when and have the right emotional reactions to things and all that and how it’s not utterly draining for them. Logically, I’d think that if they can do peopling better than me, then they should be all the more drained by it, perhaps except for people like my Sofi who really are extreme extroverts and simply love being around people and talking to anyone and stuff, but most people are somewhere in the middle I guess, so it’s weird for me that their brain batteries have so much capacity. But yeah, I’m really quite clueless about how to engage with people, and so if I want to do that well, I often ask my Mum for advice, and while she can be very helpful, it often blows her mind that someone has such weird dilemmas around peopling as I do. And no, it’s not just with some random stranger people, it’s with all people really. Which is one part of why I find it rather difficult to form closer relationships that go beyond some rather superficial level. 

   Then there’s math. Although, after a lot of fighting, particularly on my Mum’s side, I did get a certificate or whatever that would be called in English saying that I have dyscalculia, for some reason it’s generally not a thing to diagnose blind people with dyscalculia and I don’t really understand why. I mean yes, a lot of blind people struggle with math and one reason why that might be is a lack/some degree of impairment of spatial imagination due to blindness, so perhaps someone figured that all blind people must struggle with math due to this so no point to diagnose them with dyscalculia on top of that if it’s blindness that’s responsible for their math difficulties. Except I also know some congenitally blind people who are really good at math, so it’s definitely not a rule and people who are better at it can’t be classified as exceptions from the rule because it seems to be a lot of such people. Plus, if there really is such a strict correlation between blindness and math difficulties that diagnosing people with dyscalculia makes no sense, then blind people should automatically have lowered requirements on all sorts of official math exams, just like dyscalculics/acalculics do, which is not a thing. Or we need some sort of additional criteria that would help in telling which blind people need those and which do not. Anyways, even though I got that certificate, and even though I often call my math difficulties dyscalculia because it’s kinda easier especially for other folks to understand, it doesn’t really look exactly like dyscalculia I think. It’s not like I can’t do counting at all or can’t understand stuff like time and such which is common among people with dyscalculia from what I’ve been told. I have no problem counting backwards, or doing some easy math in my brain, I even know the times tables to 100, which our 15-year-old Sofi still does not despite a lot of effort on her part so she laughs at me that I’m a total math geek compared to her lol. I usually had no problem learning theoretical math stuff at school and it seemed like I was able to understand it, but still applying it in practice was always difficult for me. With more complex calculations that have a couple steps or involve larger numbers, I’ve usually no clue what operations I actually have to do to get the result I need. I have that weird problem that when I read a digit, I read it right, but at the same time think of a completely different one, and it all gets really meddled in my brain. Same when someone dictates some digits to me, be it a mathematical operation, a code or whatever else really, I’ll hear the numbers right, but often end up writing different ones, and only realise that I did when something goes wrong later on. Or when I was at school we often had to read our homework aloud, and even though a boarding school staff would often spend several hours helping me do it the evening before and I had it done well, I would still often get a bad grade from it because I would read different numbers than the ones I actually wrote. It’s quite weird. I also have a problem using a calculator, not just because I often don’t know what operations to do to get the result I need, but also again because the numbers and all the plus minus etc. Keys get mixed up in my brain. Same even about digit keys on the computer, I have to really think when typing digits, especially in a string, because I usually make some mistake in there and then have to proofread and figure out if I did indeed and where exactly. 😀 So it’s funny actually that formally my job at my Dad’s includes making bank transfers. I wonder what would happen if he actually let me do that. 😀 I don’t even do my own transfers myself, I always ask my Mum, because I’m scared I’ll do something wrong and, like, send someone 3000 dollars instead of 300. Generally shopping is always a more or less stressful thing to me. I can deal with my own PIN codes and stuff like that because God bless Braille and the fact that digits in it are based on letters. What I mean is, if you want to write numbers in Braille, you have to precede them with a number sign so that it’s clear that these are numbers and not letters, and then numbers from 1 to 9 are letters from A to I, and 0 is J. So if I have to use a PIN code or something similar, I choose words from my various languages that can be written in Braille as digits, which makes them a lot easier to remember and type in. For example the Polish word babcia (granny) changes into 212391 if preceded by the number sign in Braille. This is helpful even if I don’t type in Braille but just any other keyboard or anything because I simply have to memorise the word and then it’s no problem to know what the numbers are. I also struggle with estimating numbers, like prices and stuff like that. One annoying problem that I also had with math at school was that I could do pretty well with it if I had someone sitting next to me and telling me what to do next and generally guiding me. I’d think for myself, but they’d just sort of help me figure out what to do next. And then I would often do everything really well and people would wonder what the problem really is with me and math when there’s no problem. But, as soon as the person would disappear, I’d have no clue what to do. It was super frustrating for me when I worked with my math tutor while at the mainstream high school, and she would often give me some homework to do. So in order to not forget how to do what we’d just been doing during our lesson, I’d sit down to my homework as soon as we were finished with the lesson, except my brain no longer knew how to do it. Perhaps if she’d given me the exact same math problem that we did during the lesson, maybe I’d be able to do it on my own, with the emphasis on maybe. 😀 So I’d be confused as to which operations to do when, and something would always go wrong. Especially if I ended up mixing up some numbers in the meantime as well, and as a result I could rarely get the right result. Interestingly enough, Sofi has exactly the same problem now, and for her it’s also similar to how it’s been for me inn that it’s gotten a lot worse around fourth grade. Sofi’s actually a preemie, and my aforementioned tutor also worked with her. She specialises in working with special needs students, especially blind and deaf but also more generally, and Sofi has no diagnosed special needs, but when my Mum asked her if she could help Sofi out she was willing to do it and taught both of us. So she spent like two hours with me (because I was preparing for finals at that time as well) and an hour with Sofi and we both marvelled at how she has so much patience and joked that this is why she gets ill so often, because she really got very ill with some sinus stuff or other such every few weeks. And quite soon after she started working with Sofi she said that it seems like Sofi might have some mild learning disability due to being born prematurely and suggested that she should be evaluated or something, but Mum didn’t go deeper into that as she didn’t think it could actually be practically helpful even if she was diagnoseable with something, because Sofi doesn’t have any academic ambitions really so she doesn’t even have to do the normal high school but can go to vocation school or something like that if she wants. Indeed, Sofi now says that she would like to be a plumber, or should I say a plumbress, lol, but still I think perhaps that would have been useful for her anyway. Now Sofi has a “mainstream” tutor and she – Sofi, not the tutor – tells me that she’s really struggling with her, because the tutor seems to think that Sofi’s just lazy or stupid or something, when actually she understands everything quite well during the lessons, it’s just when she has to do something completely on her own with no guiding that she has no clue how to actually apply what she knows in practice and just writes nonsense. 

   Other than math, Bibielz also can’t do a lot of seemingly simple manual things. Like how the flip do people even tie their shoe laces?! I’d been taught that in preschool, then at school, then my Dad tried his luck and I still don’t know how to do it. It’s kinda like with math, I know in theory what you have to do in order to do it, but I still don’t know how to do it in practice anyway. Not that I care, I can just wear shoes without laces, but yeah, that’s just another thing that Bibielz can’t do and that’s a mystery for me how other peoplez do it. And a lot of other things like that, like how do people do it that they can cut their food into even pieces, well generally cut either with a knife or with scissors properly? In my blind school, we had to eat with a knife and fork, one of the staff even said that we should eat vegetables that we would eat alongside sandwiches for breakfast with a knife and fork rather than just with our fingers as I guess most normal people do, though noone actually did it, and while I can eat with a knife and fork no problem, cutting food is another thing, so someone always either had to help me do it, or do it for me. We had such subject at school which I have no idea how to translate it to English, we learned how to do artsy things there (or as Sofi says “plast plast”) but also things like cooking or sewing or such. I had great luck that pretty much all the people who went to this particular class with me also struggled with it and most were intellectually disabled, and it was a pretty small group of just four people most of the time so our teacher was able to give everyone quite a lot of attention and make sure that no one would make too much of a mess during their crafty endeavours, wouldn’t ruin a Mother’s Day card or other clay figurine for their mummy so much that it would actually show that they did it totally independently, or chop their whole finger off and mix into the salad. 😀 I was also super lucky that this teacher actually really liked me despite  my shortcomings at her subject, and as soon as she discovered that I am decent at writing, we’d made an unspoken deal that I would make up lovely little poems for various cards that my classmates were making for various occasions, or for school events or stuff like that, while she would do most of the manual labour for me, which I was super grateful for. Or whenever she would learn about any art competitions for her students to take part in that also accepted literary forms, she would encourage me to take part in them and I would work at some short stories or stuff like that during our lessons. When I came back home from that school, I mean for good, I really wanted to learn at least some basic cooking or something like that, and wanted to help my Mum make dinner, so she told me to cut up vegetables. It went fairly decent for a while, even though my vegetable pieces were in all sorts of shapes, but then at some point I cut my finger pretty badly and there was so much blood that my poor Mum got really scared, and now she’s very reluctant to let me do anything more serious in the kitchen. 😀 

   Yeah, so these are a few example things that Bibielz can’t do. 🙂 

   Now your turn. 🙂