Question of the day (21st September).

Did you have foreign language classes in your school?

My answer:

I had English classes from the beginning of primary until the end of my formal education, and German kind of on and off since fourth grade in primary until the end of secondary. But I don’t feel like the classes gave me much beyond teaching me the very beginnings of English which could perhaps be hard if I didn’t have them at school.

How was it with you? If you did have language classes, do you feel like you actually benefitted from them in any way? Or maybe quite the opposite? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

What’s the hardest you’ve ever worked?

My answer:

What comes to my mind is my final year of college/high school, before my final exams. As you may know, all things math are quite challenging for me, so that I even got the diagnosis of dyscalculia, albeit very late in my schooling as I was already 17, and it was a bit weird because technically for some reason blind people cannot be diagnosed with dyscalculia, really don’t get why, but I did have an assessment and the psychologist evaluating me decided I have it, perhaps because my then math teacher was her friend and this diagnosis would make things easier for both me and her. I’m not 100% sure whether my difficulties indeed could be classified as dyscalculia, assuming dyscalculia was normally diagnosed in blind people, because while I do struggle with a whole lot of mathematical concepts and operations to the point that even calculator isn’t helping much, if at all, since using it the right way feels like a challenge just as well, and I also often misread numbers, like when I’m reading aloud or rewriting some math operation I will recognise the numbers properly and have them right in my head but read or write down completely different ones, and I have a lot of trouble with remembering numbers, especially if there’s no meaning or stronger association with them for me, I don’t think I really do match ALL of the criteria, for example I do not have big problems with very basic operations, or have quite a good concept of time, I typically have no problem counting things either unless it’s something more abstract and complex like money or similar then I often need some help or at least much more time than most people I know to figure things out. Anyways, I don’t even feel particularly remorseful if it’s not exactly dyscalculia that I have because this label had been somewhat helpful in my last years of education, although still not substantially helpful and in the grand scheme of things didn’t really change much. Just that my teachers were more understanding than they were previously in the blind school, though they were also more clueless as for how to teach me, that I started having much better math grades and it was a little less frustrating, and that I could make a few more mistakes on the math final exam, which in the end didn’t mean anything as I didn’t pass it anyway.

What I’m about to say though is that one period when I was working very hard was studying for that math final. I had a math teacher at school, but while she was an amazing person and most helpful and accomodating, she was quite clueless about how to teach blind people math, so my Mum also found a tutor for me, who was a surdo- and typhlopedagogist, which simply meant she was specialised in teaching deaf and blind, or deaf-blind, people, and in her particular case her subject was maths. She was also a really great person and I really liked her as her, though just thinking of her these days makes me feel a bit sick ’cause we spent sooo much time together during these three years of my high school, and our time together was filled with so much pent-up frustration on both sides that with time it felt like there was no room for other, more pleasant feelings so that I automatically started to feel ragin’ inside upon just seeing her which I’m pretty sure was mutual. She had it worse, though, because after dealing with me every week for at least 1,5 hour, she had also Sofi, who isn’t blind or deaf but my Mum decided that my tutor was so valuable both as a teacher and as a person – which she undoubtedly was – that she’d like her to help Sofi out as well. Sofi perhaps doesn’t have dyscalculia or whatever it is that I do, but she does have a lot of trouble with concentration and just doesn’t like exerting her brain too much which she was very openly manifesting so working with her wasn’t too easy for our tutor either, because she often just wasn’t collaborating and preferred to chat with her about other things, or often didn’t do the homework that she gave her and then blamed her if she had a low mark on a test. Not that the tutor was unable to manage it, but it’s difficult to work in such challenging circumstances for so long at a time and so I don’t blame our tutor for not wanting to work any more with Sofi right after I had my finals.

We were meeting throughout the three years at least once a week for at least one hour and a half, during the last year it was longer and more often. And the last year of our collaboration was particularly draining. Of course on top of that I also had plenty of work she gave me to do on my own, which usually I happened to totally screw up so I wasn’t particularly motivated to do it but at least she wasn’t nasty if I did something, even everything, wrong, so I didn’t skip my homework like Sofi did or much less often, also Sofi wasn’t having her exams in a few months’ time so she could allow herself for that, but not so much me. Since the second year of high school I also did most of my schooling by myself at home, as the majority of my teachers weren’t as accomodating as the math teacher and based their lessons on slideshows which of course I couldn’t see, or totally ignored me/seemed to be utterly scared of me, so I figured I’d learn more doing the school work on my own, it’d be less stress for everyone and would be so much more productive. They agreed to this idea very happily, and I was happy too, as I like learning things on my own if only I am capable of it, but it all at once with math felt like quite a load of learning.

The whole final year was totally draining and I was feeling pretty badly mentally overwhelmed most of the time and had very high anxiety, not just about the finals and related stuff, and as a result my sleep cycle and quality that year was particularly all over the place, which didn’t help with my math focus. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to pass the math final, or at least couldn’t imagine passing it unless with some huge stroke of luck like the one I happened to have in secondary. I had even no real motivation for learning or even writing the finals because I had no realistic idea what I would like to do with myself afterwards, and it didn’t feel like I had a whole lot of realistic options that I felt would be something for me. I wanted to do Celtic studies online in Wales, but the uni’s “learning environment” turned out inaccessible and when I contacted them about it they never got back to me about it, or Scandinavian studies at the local university but my Swedish teacher strongly discouraged me from it saying that I wouldn’t get anything from it, my language level certainly wouldn’t go up from where it already was and other subjects in there were mostly just for the uni to get as much of the faculty financially as possible, and few of them were actually useful. Since the only reason I wanted to study Scandinavian studies was Swedish, when I learned that and then read some more about it I lost my interest in it. I suspected I was going to wait a year after finals with making the ultimate decision about what I wanted to do or study. But I thought that even if I’m not going to pursue any higher education afterwards, it still would be good to have the finals passed just in case I wanted to do something later and just for self-satisfaction. And I decided to take it as a challenge, just to see if I can surprise myself and pass the math. I thought if so, I’d be euphoric and it would just be another situation where my defensive pessimism worked wonders, but if not, nothing bad will happen, I have no immediate academic plans for the future anyway and I know what I can expect from myself. I decided that in such case, I would not rewrite it. At least not until I find some real reason that would require me/make me want to do it again. I also told my family about it and they agreed it’s a good idea not to be too worked up about it. A lot of them are intellectual people but they’re not crazy about education being the first priority in life so they understood where I was coming from. I may feel insecure about most things in myself, but all of my brains are not one of them so essentially I wouldn’t need a piece of paper to confirm my intellectual abilities or knowledge for myself, and since it seemed unlikely for everyone who knew me well anyway that I would be able to find any serious employment, unless in some really unusually fortunate circumstances or in a situation like the one I’m in now with my Dad, that is when someone knows my strengths and limitations well, it felt like even if I did pass the math, probably the only thing I would be able to do with the paper confirming it would be making use of it in the loo, would I ever happen to be deprived of that so unloved, yet so useful thing called toilet paper, as a result of unemployment. πŸ˜€

And so, despite math was not my extended subject, I spent a whole lot of time studying for it, and didn’t really feel like I was getting much more of a clue over time, only felt more hopeless and anxious about the thing and everything was getting more and more mixed up in my brain. Sometimes after the brain draining sessions I had strong self harm urges or just went to sleep for the next couple hours which of course meant that then I didn’t sleep at night or slept very little, so if I had another brain drain marathon the next day I was even more clueless, and often I could barely hold my shit inside and not flip out at my poor tutor, just as she seemed to have a very similar problem. πŸ˜€ My tutor had some health problems and would often catch infections or feel poorly, and some of these times she felt unable to come to us, which was a feast for Sofi if it was on a day she was also supposed to have her lesson, and a relief for me in some way, though that also meant I had more stuff to do on my own.

And so as most of you know if you have been following me for some time, or perhaps even from the beginnings of this blog which has started out the same year when I had my finals, I didn’t pass the math and so far haven’t tried to do it again, especially that my score was quite spectacularly low so I don’t know how I could get suddenly a high enough one when I couldn’t get there after three years. Also at the time of exams my circadian rhythm was upside down, and in the school where I was passing them (which wasn’t the school I attended but a special school for the blind closest to my home) I got super triggered by one jerky, stinking headmistress with too much testosterone, I wrote about that on my blog at the time though the post is currently password protected so I’m not linking. And so my motivation for repeating the experience is currently zilch.

My family, despite their initial support and despite they were aware of what my plans were, at least those people I felt needed to be aware, in the end were totally shell shocked when they learned about my results, both that I got such very high results from languages and so low from maths, and even more so when I told people again that, just as I said earlier, I am not going to rewrite the math unless I see the need. The only person who stood by me loyally, and uncritically, as always, was my grandad, who paradoxically is the most intellectually and academically-minded person in our family. And most of them have accepted my choice over time, though I have to admit I initially felt sort of guilty and not sure if I was doing the right thing, seeing their extremely shocked reactions.

So yeah, that whole year was definitely a time of hard, but at the same time pretty fruitless work, which made it feel all the harder, so I’m pretty sure I can say it was the time of hardest work for me. But I’m so glad the damn thing is over and that I don’t have to have anything to do with maths anymore or not to such an extend, anyway! It’s possible I had situations when I worked harder, especially mentally, but when you have more motivation or when it feels more meaningful it’s all the easier to do, even if objectively it may require more effort.

What was such a situation for you? Did your hard work pay off? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (16th March).

Hey guys! πŸ™‚

Did you like doing science projects, as a kid?

My answer:

I think it depended what it was about. Some of them were interesting, some not at all. But overall I think I couldn’t say I either loved them, or particularly hated, as I was rather neutral about science subjects in general, except for physics which involved too much math for me to be able to like it. Olek really liked science projects though, and he still has a whole book about chemical experiments that he got as a child. He’s no longer as wildly into it, but he used to, especially if it involved explosions or gross smells of any kind, or stuff like that. πŸ˜€ That sounds rather geeky, but overall, apart from that one thing, you couldn’t describe him as a geek or nerd, haha.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

When it comes to having any sort of job/profession, do you prefer working with other people, or independently?

My answer:

Generally, I’m a loner so I’d say I prefer to do things on my own and I really dislike group activities, I really hated them at school. I think I’ve written about that a couple times already that I’ve always been quite individualistic and it became only more pronounced in my personality, probably to a bit unhealthy levels, because of living in the boarding school, and in all those kinds of institutions there’s such a pressure for community in my view, for unity, for doing things together, even thinking similarly or being expected in quite an intrusive way to share your feelings, impressions and all with everyone around, playing with everyone, I hope you get it… Anyway, I gues it’s running on both sides of my family that people have a strong sense of their individuality, a need for their own territory and space and lack of will to blend in completely, so that approach clashed with me big time. My sense of belonging to my family got quite screwed up too because while I didn’t feel at home at school whatsoever and didn’t feel like I belonged there, I couldn’t say I did at my family home either, because I was there rarely and treated more like a guest most of the time rather than a family member like everyone else, which was of course nice, but not really normal. And I developed a strong dislike even just to some words that still make me cringe, like group, team, community, unity, together, everybody, common… πŸ˜€ I know it’s weird but I’ll probably never get rid of that fully, even though I know now at least rationally and theoretically if nothing more that it is good to belong and I do enjoy being part of some communities and groups of people and often take pride in it.

If I had to do group activities, that was often very confusing for me in a way, what I was actually supposed to do. If I was a group leader (which I was quite often for example at Polish classes because I was good at it so one of my Polish teachers would frequently team up me with a few people who had a lot of problems with the subject), and if I had a good idea about what we were supposed to do and felt confident about it, I’d usually do the whole work for the whole team because that was easiest for me, because I have very low tolerance and patience for ignorance and lack of independent thinking so I preferred to do it myself and thus faster, so that no one would get stressed overly, rather than wait for everyone, explain the most stupid things to people or whatever, and they were happy to if I just told them what to do and think for them. πŸ˜€ On the other hand if I wasn’t a leader I was usually quite passive and generally found group work kind of overwhelming, I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore. 😌 So, based on that I think I’d be the same when working in a team professionally. I’m usually much happier and more efficient when I can do things on my own, but also I can imagine situations where it would be much better for me to work with someone else, because I can do well working on my own only as long as I am confident in the field and know what to do and how I should do it, and it’s simply something I am able to do on my own. I can imagine there could be jobs, perhaps quite a few, where it would be actually better for me to work with someone else – I don’t know if a whole group necessarily – but one other person perhaps, for example because I cannot do many things independently or can’t do them well enough. So it really depends on what I would be supposed to do and what kind of profession.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Which of your former classmates had the most interesting or unusual names?

My answer:

I hadn’t had very many with unusual names really. Zofijka is being much more lucky with that hahaha. One that comes to mind is a girl called Luiza, which name has always been somewhere among my most favourites for girls. It’s certainly not unheard of, but not very popular at all. Also, one of my groupmates – not classmates – at the boarding school had a very unusual name, and I’ve never encountered or even heard of anyone with the same name neither before I’d met her, not afterwards, her name was Arnika, as in arnica – the plant. – In my college/high school there was a woman called Adela, which is a classic and vintage name that I love, that has probably never been highly popular as far as I know, although is now enjoying some more attention from parents and was a little below the top 100 last year, but still would rather be associated with an elderly lady by most people. Meanwhile my classmate certainly wasn’t older than in her mid 30’s or something (it was a weekend school for adults in case you didn’t know or remember). Also, through my education, I’d had plenty of classmates with so called “seasonal”, or in any case quite modern names, that is ones that were popular only about the time when they/we were born, were hardly used before, or not for a long time, and felt unusual for some, or fresher than more classic names, and people might have not been as used to them as they are now, but that now feel very much associated with the generation. For example names like Klaudia (I had quite a bunch of classmates with this name throughout my schooling at different stages and in different schools), Angelika (I went to college with two, one spelt with a g and another with a dΕΌ), Krystian, Olaf, Oliwia, Nikola (it’s a girl’s name in Poland, unlike in many other Slavic countries), Or some had names that maybe weren’t super popular back when they were born, so might have felt a little more unexpected, but are very high for babies right now, like Kornelia, Marcelina, Nadia and Oliwier. So overall very normal. It’s possible that I don’t remember someone right now, because one year while going to school I had individual education, and was only going to school twice a week, and while in college, there was a lot of rotation, people were dropping out, new people were coming, many were absent for weeks and later on I started to do most of the material remotely and saw my classmates less.

So, how about you? πŸ™‚

The Human Life Of Misha Hhrrru? ep. 8.

Hhrrru? 😻

Yay! Finally I’ve got to write another post. How are you all pets and peeps doing? Here’s another episode of my what-if human life. *****

March 9

I am Misha. I am 8. I just came back from school today. It was mostly a very boring day but the last lesson we had was plast plast –
that is how I call art. – I love plast plast! My Mum does it, and my plast plast teacher used to go to college with her, but she’s not very nice to me because my mum is her friend. It’s the opposite. She is very demanding. She wants more from me than all the other kids. When any other kid does something a bit wrong she says it’s okay as it is, but when I do even a very little mistake, she is very worried and wants me to try more. I used to be a bit sad about it and think I’m so very bad at plast plast, and I didn’t want to be bad at plast plast because I love it and my family always tells me I am a very good painter, but mum told me she does it because she wants me to develop my talent. I guess it’s very nice of her. I want to be a very good painter and now I’m happy when she tells me that something is wrong. But at the same time, she’s hardly ever satisfied. She constantly wants me to improve something and even mum says she’s a bit too harsh on me because I am just a little child. But guess what? Today she was very happy with me.

She wanted us to draw or paint or present in any possible way that suits us, our favourite season. My favourite season is autumn, because I love leaves. I like to think about them. But it makes me sad when I think about lonely leaves. When one fallen leaf is lying alone, or among leaves of a different kind, with no leaf of its own kind, or if there is only one leaf on a twig or the whole tree, it makes me so very sad. When I feel lonely, I often think that I feel like a lonely leaf. Some people say it’s stupid because leaves are never lonely, but I think they can be, very often. Whenever it’s autumn and leaves are falling and I come back from school, I try not to step on them. My mum says I’m too sensitive about leaves and that they have no feelings. But I just love them! I’ve always had. It makes me sad when someone says they don’t feel anything, I’m sure they do. But mum thinks I have such strange thoughts and ideas because I’m the only child and have no one to play with. But I have FeluΕ›, and when I don’t have FeluΕ› I have myself to play with. And even if I had many siblings and many friends, which would be very lovely, I guess I still would be myself, wouldn’t I? With my own thoughts and ideas. I would still have enough place in my heart to love leaves and care for them. And when it’s getting cold, I sometimes take a couple leaves home with me and put them close to my bed, so that they are warm and cosy and they have me and I have them. Mum says it’s unhygienic. But how can something as natural as leaves be unhygienic? Perhaps I’ll have to make a bath for them when I take them home next year before I put them in my bedroom. I wonder how they would feel about that. But I wanted to talk about plast plast. So of course I decided I will paint an autumn picture. An autumn forest with colourful trees and with lots of leaves, but no lonely leaves because I didn’t want to feel sad. I miss leaves because there are none at this time of year. They were all happy and with their leaf families, and leaves on the trees were happy too. i even managed to paint the wind moving the leaves, and light rain was falling. I painted birds and some other small animals, and a little grey cat rolling around among the leaves. I was so engrossed in this that I didn’t know what was going on around me and suddenly I felt someone elbowing me. It was FeluΕ›, he sits with me in class. “Hey, you, Misha, I’m speaking to you.” – he whispered. – “Hmmm what?” – I asked, looking up from my picture at him reluctantly. “I asked why do you painted a cat in this forest. Cats don’t live in the forest”. “This one does.” “Ahaa, and of course this cat is called Misha?” – he asked giggling. – I have a book series about a cat called Misha, and I myself often feel like I’d love to be a cat, and I often include a cat called Misha in my paintings. FeluΕ› thinks it’s weird, and that I am weird, but he likes me anyway. I nodded, and got back to my picture. I finished it, and had a lot of time to wait for all the others to finish. Finally the teacher said the time has passed and that she’d now like to see our works. She came to me and FeluΕ› in the end, and seeing my picture, she gasped.
“Oh, Misha! This is beautiful! Very simple, but you really have a knack for colour, I must admit that. There’s still a long way for you to go but I can say it now in front of the whole class that you are very talented and you need to develop it. But, why did you paint a cat here?” “It’s a cat called Misha.” “Ah, well, I assume this explains everything” – she laughed. – She didn’t understand and pretended she did, I don’t like it, but other than that I was sooooo very happy that she praised me. I got an A for this painting. I’m home now. My mum is abroad for a couple of days and grandma is here. She cooks us meals and all. It’s grandma from dad’s side, who lives nearby, not the one who gave me the books about Misha the cat. I’d prefer that grandma to come here and take care of me. This grandma is always irritated and grumpy and complains about everything and forces me to eat things I don’t like and is always asking what I’m doing and whether I did my homework, as if I never did, and when she’s not watching me she’s constantly watching very strange series on the telly. I’m not a baby, she doesn’t have to remind me of my school work. Today we had mushroom soup and liver for dinner, yuck! I guess grandma can cook better than mum, because mum often swears while cooking, cuts her fingers and does lots of strange unnecessary things and is always in a hurry, when she makes cereal for me she boils milk over most days so I’m late for school because she has to boil it twice or doesn’t remember to take out the cake in time from the oven, and grandma knows what she’s doing or at least she looks like she does, but at least mum doesn’t force me to eat what I don’t like, and grandma doesn’t even let me eat cereal. I had to eat scrambled eggs today for breakfast and I hate them. But actually I don’t like a lot of foods. I don’t even like bread, I never did. And grandma says it’s because I’m spoiled and don’t respect what other people do for me. No, I don’t if they do something I don’t like when they know I don’t like it, it’s malicious. But I actually haven’t done my homework today yet, so I better get to it now. Misha πŸ’œ πŸ’™ πŸ’š

Question of the day.

In childhood, did you ever have extra-curricular instruction (for sports, a musical instrument/singing, or participate in any arts and crafts classes or organisations)? This may or may not be related with school.

My answer:

While at the school for the blind, we all had a lot of extra-curricular activities which weren’t always associated with our schooling, but more with the rehabilitation thing. Like, all of us had some mobility training which we simply called “spatial orientation”, which involved learning some routes, using techniques for walking with and without white cane, but also some other life skills not necessarily always closely related to mobility. Many people, including me, had so called corrective gymnastics, I had that mostly for my shortened Achilles tendons. All of us went swimming twice a week after school. Things like that were sort of basic there. I remember I really didn’t like going to the swimming pool, it always stressed me out for some reason, so I looked for any way of skipping that, which was easy since I seemed to have some skin reaction to the chlorine and my Mum didn’t want me to absorb too much chlorine because she read somewhere that people with hypothyroidism (which I had) shouldn’t get too much of it. I really love being in the water, so it’s not that I am afraid of it or something. I love being in the sea or river, I just still have that crazy aversion to swimming pools which I don’t really understand, I would just never go to a swimming pool voluntarily, unless an open one, like Zofijka has. But I hate the in-door swimming pools.

When at the nursery, all of us had horse riding, which I wrote about earlier, that I was so scared of and then started to love to bits, haha. I also ended up getting into the music school, which was a bit accidental. As I wrote even in the last question of the day post, I did a lot of singing there, also on stage. I was taking part in some sort of contest and I had a lot of rehearsals and preparations for that. I guess, being at the age of 5 or 6, I must have been sort of confused whether it was a temporary thing or if I was to have those rehearsals regularl even after the contest, and at some point I asked one of the staff out of curiosity if I’ll be still having that. She was puzzled and said that I’d better ask our… OMG how do you call it in English…? rhythmicity teacher…? People make up really weird subjects, even for nursery children lol. Anyway, she told me to ask her, because she was working at music school, so she would know, or would get in touch with that tutor who was preparing me for that contest earlier. So I did, And the rhythmicity teacher asked me which instrument I was learning to play with that lady. I was very confused, I was just singing. But after a while, not knowing what I should say, I said piano, because she played piano, so I thought maybe that was what the teacher asked me about. And she was like: “Oh, but she doesn’t teach piano…” and she told me that she will talk to the teacher who did teach piano and get her to work with me. And, although I hadn’t ever think about learning to play piano,a week afterwards I met my teacher, who was a lovely and cheerful young woman, with whom I loved to chat with, especially about the Parpills (the creatures I made up), but the whole piano learning thing was super strenuous. I found it really difficult, technically, to repeat more complex things that she asked me or showed me to do. Then after a few years, when I was in primary, that nice teacher had to go on maternity leave and I never worked with her again, instead, I was assigned an older lady, who was very sophisticated and serious, and super calm and had the patience of a saint, which was probably life-saving for us both. Most of the girls in my group at the boarding school were in the music school and quite a few were very passionate and serious about that so I sort of felt like I should too, and once I very carelessly shared one of my dreams with my Mum. Not my real big dreams, you know, just a little, funny daydream I once had that didn’t mean anything, because I’ve had daydreams about being a hundred and one things in my life, and it doesn’t immediately mean that’s what I would seriously like to do for my whole life. Dreams are fun because you can pop in and out of them when you want. My daydream that I shared with my Mum was influenced by a book I read. For a while I wanted to be like the main character in that book – a 30-something sophisticated, elegant mummy with a big family of six children living in a mansion, who was very artistic and liked to play piano for her family’s entertainment. –
I had to hear about that little dream of mine for the next three years until I finally couldn’t take it anymore, my extended family seriously thought I could play the piano, and I felt like an imposter, and I was just frustrated with it and with myself and I quit. The more that that year I had to get my corrective gymnastics hours increased because the creepy shadow of Grice-Green’s surgery was hanging over my feet and the last thing I felt like focusing on was freaking piano. πŸ˜€ Some time afterwards I quit the singing thing for good as well, for a mixture of reasons but I guess mostly because it wasn’t my thing any longer. I only sing in the shower now or for Misha’s entertainment who seems to like it for some reason. I later tried learning guitar at home during holidays with my aunt’s acquaintance, mostly to please my Mummy but also because I had a glimmer of hope it could get better this time. Piano felt like a very sophisticated instrument, but I’d heard from lots of people that guitar is easy, and knew people without much talent for music who learned to play some tunes by heart, so I thought if it’s so easy, and since I did have an ear for music, perhaps I could master it too. It didn’t work like that. After four months I was definitely getting it at the brain level pretty well,but couldn’t repeat any of the chords completely on my own properly without at least some instructions or assistance. I wasn’t too disappointed though, just came to the conclusion that being a listener is much more fit for me than being a creator of music. If we all only made our own music, no one would listen to it, I guess. I also had other classes as part of my musical education for a while, which lasted for too short to give me very much knowledge, but I appreciate that experience because I did get some knowledge or understanding of music that I would probably never get otherwise, so while I don’t know nearly as much as someone who completed music school, I also guess I have a bit more insight than an average person would. And later on I was taking part in music therapy which was extremely helpful and relaxing for my brain which was one big nervous wreck at the time haha.

When I left that school to try the integration school out, my Mum made me a surprise organising horse riding lessons for me, which was scary like hell at first for me, but as you know I discovered very soon how much I in fact love horse riding. During my second year there, at 4th grade, I somehow ended up in a theatre club. I really don’t remember how I got in there. I guess it must have been something like that everyone had to pick an after school activity or something? And my Polish teacher was running it so I guess I got in there thanks to her. I really didn’t like it here. Neither did Olek, who also took part in it, well I suppose he must have disliked it even more, I had at least some experience with such things so could grit my teeth and get on with it, but when you’re new to it and not into it… sucks. I’ve had people telling me that I have some acting skills, which at first made me snort out with laughter, but when even my Mum said that I started to think about this more seriously. I like to play pretend with Zofijka, I am good at mimicking accents, I guess, and that’s what people say, but it’s been mostly Polish people saying that to me about English accents so they might as well have no idea, the more that Polish people usually have nasty accents in English, even if they are fluent. And I like to mimic people and how they act too. The thing is, I have to be really chilled and comfortable to do that. Every time I took part in a play on stage, I was stiff as a stick. And while I have mostly very good memory, I don’t do well with absorbing stuff like learning a poem by heart, or a word list in another language in specific order, or lines for a play. I always struggled a bit with that. I remember standing on a stage for hours after school, which always made me dizzy because it was so high and I was like “What if I fall from these stairs?!”, ravenously hungry and stressed, and I know so was Olek. We were doing a nativity play that year, and I was Mary, and hated it with my every brain cell. When we were finally performing in front of the whole school and parents and all, the power was out and mics weren’t working, and we all had to yell our lines, which I remember clearly because I had a bit of a cold that day and my throat was aching so that wasn’t fun. πŸ˜€ And I remember having high-heel shoes (did Mary seriously go all the way to Bethlehem pregnant in high-heel shoes), which was a really bad idea because I felt even more unsteady and panicky. πŸ˜€ But the whole thing seems rather hilarious to me now.

That’s also where my saga of my math compensatory classes (is that how you call it?) started.

At some point during my education at that school, my Mum found a teacher for me, via some local newspaper, with whom I had Swedish, as I always wanted. I loved that to pieces!

I had to go back to the “blind” school in the end, so all my jolly horse riding and Swedish adventures took a backseat because I wasn’t able to take part in them as often anymore, and then they finally all completely disappeared leaving me in a lot of distress (especially the fact that I couldn’t have Swedish) that I managed to sort of suppress and not think about but any time something reminded me about Swedish language I was enormously frustrated.

Instead there was some project funded by EU at our school in which I was chosen to take part and learn English via Callan method, together with some of my groupmates. I guess all of us disliked it because it was really boring, and looking at it now, I really wonder where that decision came from and why they chose Callan method, because I guess it’s the most ridiculous language learning method on the Earth. I mean, it certainly must have been of use in the circumstances in which it was created – for soldiers, to quickly learn the language, I guess soldiers do not need to be incredibly fluent, but just say what they need to say and learn as much as possible as fast as possible. – It’s basically that you memorise loads of grammar rules and learn loads of artificial sentences from the textbooks, no flexibility or anything like that. ANd I don’t think it gave me anything special, was just a waste of our time, and waste of the precious funds of the EU. We really liked to skip those classes if that was possible for any of us, but they emphasised it very much that we shouldn’t because they were paid in advance, so I guess it’s a pity they weren’t a bit more useful.

Basically as you can see we were able to have lots of extra activities there so it’s possible there was something else that I don’t remember now.

When I got out of there I could finally breathe with relief and restart my Swedish and horse riding after my depression got more manageable (the horse riding I still have even though I’m not in school anymore, though I’m having a hiatus again). I also had extra English classes at home for a while, I felt like I needed them to be as well prepared for my English finals as I could, and I happened to get a really really chatty teacher so I really got to talk a lot with him in English, which I liked and which probably helped me to get that 100% result at oral English, not even because I learned that very much from him but because I gained more confidence in that and could speak even more freely. Oh and I also had my poor math tutor, who was courageously teaching me all the stuff we had at college plus helping me immensely with exam preparations. I liked her as a person, but those lessons with her I sometimes still get in my dreams – that I am sitting there and don’t know how to resolve some ridiculously weird equation or something and we both get more and more frustrated and hours are passing and I feel like punching and throwing everything around – really stupid topic for a dream isn’t it?

So that’s it from me, phew, quite a lot, as I can now see. πŸ˜€ I really appreciate it now that I can decide on it myself what I want to invest my time in, although some of those experiences were really interesting.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (25th August).

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

I was feeling shitty all day yesterday so didn’t even write anything, so here’s the overdue question for you, another childhood related one.

Did you like school? Are there reasons that you liked/disliked it?

My answer:

Who likes school? Not me anyway. Okay, at the beginning of my education I liked school somewhat, just except having to stay at the boarding school and except all the stressful stuff. It was stressful and challenging but I guess I liked learning. But it didn’t last long. Things were becoming more and more stressful, and I realised that, at least most of the time, creativity isn’t very well seen, and that most of the time it’s just either boring or freakishly abstractive for my brain, and that it was becoming more and more rare that what I learned at school would be either interesting or significantly beneficial/useful to me and bring something new into my life. I much preferred to learn things myself, things that I found interesting, although that wasn’t always possible, or not to a big degree. I didn’t do socialising literally at all at the beginning, then with years I learned to engage with people a bit more but it was very superficial. At the beginning of primary I remember I loved learning Polish and especially English, with English I stopped loving it as a subject very quickly because we happened to have a teacher that no one of us really liked who wasn’t too approachable or likeable, and then for the next year or two we had in turn a very meek teacher who was a lovely person but couldn’t even have much control over the class, and wasn’t demanding at all so things were either boring or chaotic on her lessons. And most of the time I didn’t have luck with English teachers, no matter in which school I was, I had only a few pretty good ones, and I’ve had fair few of them haha. Polish I loved for longer, as long as I was allowed to write elaborate stuff on topics I liked or that I felt comfortable with and could read at least mostly what I liked or stuff that we were reading for school was interesting. I think I started to get seriously disheartened by Polish in 4th grade but still was fairly good at it, and still there were things I liked about it. But, as you hopefully know, at least if you’ve been here for a while, neither English or Polish as a subject has ever discouraged me from liking those languages as such, although it was very close to it with English at some point and I had to rediscover it for myself a bit and, in a way, relearn it in my own way. I never cared much for grades, neither good nor bad, and I was not a perfectionist at school matters whatsoever, though the bigger tests usually really scared me and with time I did started to feel slightly inferior because of my math dilemmas, but only a bit. I hated that they wanted me to be good at everything (thankfully my Mum didn’t and was pissed off with that approach when she found out there is such so I didn’t want to be good at everything either). I guess I must have some sort of ability to learn things reasonably quickly, which was a bit weird but which really saved me at school, because I didn’t like studying hard, I mean repeating what we had at school and just spending more time than necessary with school stuff, I only did homework and repeated things very superficially before tests if I felt like I could fail spectacularly or if I needed to do reasonably good. I just never like to spend too much time doing boring things that I don’t have much interest in. I had to change that approach when preparing to my finals and spend horrendous amounts of time preparing to my math exam, but, as it seems, even studying really hard can’t always save you. πŸ˜€ So, especially as time went by, there were less and less things I liked at school. I was constantly stressed and depressed, having trouble engaging with people and doing a lot of daily prosaic stuff because of various things that I was struggling with, I was awfully neurotic and just hated school with a passion. Somehow I guess though that most of the time I at least managed to keep the impression that I’m doing well, unless someone was a bit more perceptive but I didn’t want people to see, or see as little as possible. I’ve also always been scared of changes, and at school you get a whole lot of them sometimes.

When I was 17, I got out of the school for the blind permanently and for a year that I had left until starting college, or however else you’d call it in your country, I was having individual education at my local school, where my brother was going to. My dream was always to be homeschooled, but I knew that was hardly possible, so I was happy that the psychiatrist who saw me at the time agreed with my Mum and therapist and the headmaster of that school who felt I could benefit from doing that year in individual education. And my poor teachers would benefit too, they weren’t really prepared for me appearing suddenly and I know most of them were deadly scared of the prospect of teaching a blind student. So I think it was easier for them doing it just with me than in the class, if it felt so challenging for them. And that year was the best year at school for me. I am sure that had I been at that school all the time it wouldn’t be a good decision, but I sort of regretted I didn’t come there earlier. I discovered that – while I was reasonably good at most subjects before – I was doing much better when learning one to one, and also I liked that I could really get to know my teachers well and they could get to know me well. I had exams at the end of that year, before going to college, but I don’t remember being very stressed about them. I was, a bit, for sure, but not quite as much as I was before previous or later major exams. I only remember finishing the syllabus for most of the subjects ridiculously quickly and reading my Vreeswijk’s poems translations or my short stories to my Polish teacher during our lessons and such. They really liked me there and I liked them. Sometimes I came to Olek’s classroom and had had lessons with the class (we were in the same class even though he’s two years younger than me because I had two years delay) and I kinda got along with a few girls in there even though they didn’t even know where people speak Finnish but oh well, never mind. I had a whole big classroom just to myself where I had all the lessons, and I remember passionately reading “Outsider” by Colin Wilson during most breaks while listening to music on the headphones so, if you know me, you’d figure out I was pretty chilled there, as for my standards. πŸ˜€ So yeah, that school I did like.

Then I went to that weekend school for adults, which was just boring. I also found it hard to socialise with people, especially with most of the teachers, those who seemed to be plain scared of me or something like that. I was really struggling with math stuff, and the rest was usually quite boring. I had one good friend who was helping me with things like getting around which made it all much easier for me, and I had some other fun people in the class too though a lot of people were dropping out or coming as they pleased since it was a college for adults so no one could pressure them to do anything really, and many folks got some benefits at work or something like this when they were learning at the same time so they enrolled often just for the sake of it. It all felt a bit artificial for me but then school is generally one big faking in so many ways for me so I was just trying to get through that period as best I could. At some point my Mum got tired of driving me back and forth and I was tired of sitting in the class while they were looking at slideshows or doing something from a textbook that I didn’t have and we collaboratively decided to ask my teachers if I could do the learning at home and just come in for exams and such. They all agreed with great relief, and promised profusely to send me what they are doing in class and the topics of the assignments and dates of the exams, but then I had to send them countless emails asking for that and that was rather yucky and resulted in a couple situations where I knew just last minute that I had an exam coming up or wrote an assignment a day before the due date. I hated that and it annoyed me like shit but overall when I stopped having to go to school every weekend life became a bit easier practically, and even more so for my Mum.

So that’s it, my experience with school, quite eventful, but mostly miserable, and made me feel really spiteful towards the whole education system, so that if someone wants to rant about it, I am always open and happy to chime in, just for the sake of it. Though Mum claims I am intoxicating Zofijka with my spite when doing it with her. I’m not sure I even care, is that awful of me? Zofijka mostly thinks what I do anyway, and comes with her school troubles to me a lot of the time, and I have to get my shit out somewhere finally too.

How much did you hate school? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Here’s today’s question for you from me. πŸ™‚

Who taught you to write a CV/resume?

My answer:

I had classes at my last school, don’t know in which other countries something like this exists and how you call it but we in Poland call it a bit pompously basics of entrepreneurship, I guess I had it for two or perhaps three years, I don’t even remember now, anyway you learn different things to do with economy, business, having your own business, employment, just all sorts of things to do with entrepreneurship. And I remember very vaguely we were learning to write CV during those classes too. But, actually, by the time we had that writing a CV thing in our syllabus, I was already learning largely by myself, that is, many of my teachers seemed awfully scared of contracting blindness from me I guess, some were actually treating me like an air, which wasn’t making things easier for me with the anxiety and communication difficulties, one seemed actually even more sociophobic than me, or rather Emiliophobic, as his social phobia would only come up in contact with me and he was like almost literally tip-toeing around me as if he thought I’ll kill him if he’ll make me angry, πŸ˜€ and that attitude was really making me very pissed off whenever I saw him. Oh and he was scared of my Mum like hell too. Besides, the vast majority of them were using slideshows a lot or other things that weren’t really accessible for me. So at some point I just came up with an idea that I will teach myself and they’ll send me what they’re doing, the topics of control assignments and such and I’ll be sending the assignments to them and coming to exams. And they very happily agreed to it, as my Mum said it, with great relief, especially my poor Emiphobic history teacher. But that was relief to me too as you can imagine given the above circumstances, even though I did have some really awesome teachers there too. So, going back to that CV thing, I was supposed to tackle this on my own, which was tricky as I had no idea about CV’s whatsoever, those things still confuse me a lot. So I asked my Dad for help, as he’s had a lot of experience, and, practically, it was him who taught me that. But, actually, even though it’s been maybe three years since then, I doubt I’d be able to write a serious CV applying for job without any guidance. I still find all those things rather confusing. But I do have the basic idea at least of what it should be like, haha.

How was it with you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Who taught you to read?

My answer:

Since despite multiple attempts and good will my parents have never learnt Braille, moreover, doubted I’ll be able to learn it when I was little, I learnt to read at school, as I think the vast majority of blind people would. In spite their doubts, it really didn’t take me that much time to master it. I didn’t like reading at the beginning, but once I’ve become more fluent at it I grew to love it and my teacher was actually saying I read way too quickly and too much (no idea where the boundary between enough and too much lies in this case πŸ˜€ ). Nevertheless, when she found out that I feel slightly bored with the stuff we had to read at school, for some time she wrote little stories for me that I could practice reading during longer school breaks when I was at home, they were all – just as I wanted it – about a little boy named Jacek. These weren’t hard to read either, especially that I would tell the whole plot to her earlier so she’d know what to write, and I was actually the one making them up, but at least that was fun and not boring and felt quite special to me. πŸ˜€ I guess though that with time it became a bit of a pain in the neck for her, haha, so I had to move on and start writing stories myself which turned out to be even more fun as no one would understand my ideas as well as I do!

How about you? πŸ™‚

My most beautiful memory from last year.

A few days ago, there was a nice question at

Pointless Overthinking

: “Which is the most beautiful memory you have from last year?”. So in this post, I’m going to answer it.

From the top of my brain, what I can think of is the feeling when I finished my Polish oral exam last year. Overall, my finals were very difficult for me, not only because finals are always stressful, but also because I had quite a triggering situation happening to me on the first day, so it was all very tense and I can’t think of the exams overall without feeling my brain shuddering. I’m not going to go into details right now, but if you’d like to read about it, you can go

here.

The post is protected so just drop me a line if you’d like the password.

With the Polish oral exam though, it was a little bit different.

I came to the school just as stressed and sick as on all the previous days, mostly because of that scary situation, not the exam itself, although I was a bit jittery about the exam too. At Polish oral finals people usually are asked about obligatory readings. I found most of them rather boring, so only read detailed summaries of most of them, and did some online tests to see how much I know with that, but I was still a little afraid what if I get a very detailed question plus I get stressed and won’t know what to say. I may fail maths, and I did as you probably know, but failing Polish would be a real shame. I rationally don’t think I would, but I was so anxious then all the time that I didn’t think very rationally.

The thing with that being my most beautiful memory is that I had extreme luck that day, and could show all my potential and my possibilities. When I went to the class, one of the committee members very pompously led me to the desk, where I had a Brailler and a ton of paper, ’cause you know they assume you’d have to prepare for the oral exam and write some notes, which in other circumstances I’d probably find very merciful, ’cause I always prefer to write something down before I have to speak and be eloquent. I had to draw a question, and, despite all the anxiety, and how devastated I’d been feeling, at that moment, I felt just a wave of euphoria rushing through my brain. I’d imagine like when you just get to know that you are a billionaire, but not as intense of course. Because, it felt like that question was waiting right there, especially for me! My exam question was something like that, can’t quote exactly – describe the changes that have happened in the Polish language over the years, how has colloquial language evolved, what are some things that have influenced this change. – My notes were really, really, really laconic, it took me maybe a few lines, and a few minutes, definitely less than the time provided, especially that disabled students have that time lengthened (I hated it, it was always only problematic for me). So when I told the committee that I’m ready, they were quite clearly sceptical. But when I started talking, it wasΒ  a real logorrhea and their scepticism quickly vanished. πŸ˜€ I really don’t remember most of what I was saying, I know I was saying something about social media, and mentioning my favourite Polish book series “JeΕΌycjada” as a literary example, but it had to be much more. So when I got out of there, I was over the moon. Most of the other poor people there got indeed questions about obligatory readings and didn’t seem as happy.I was really relieved and very appreciative and grateful of my stroke of luck, that was far more than I could imagine, my Mum couldn’t believe that. Well I’ve always had my brain set up for all stuff linguistic, so there couldn’t be many easier things they could ask me about.

So when they were announcing the results, not very surprisingly, I got 100% of it. Was even more over the moon, especially that it was that jerky lady (who was earlier insulting me and all that and triggered me as I wrote in that post I linked to) saying that, so she could clearly see it herself, and my Mum was very happy about it. That same woman had to ruin the experience to me, saying to me in a very sweet tone of voice that it’ll be interesting to see what my math results will be like, which immediately activated my Inner Critic Monkey Maggie again, and indeed, later on it did turn out that I failed maths – I knew it could happen so it wasn’t a shock to me and din’t have to hear that woman’s opinion anymore – but still, overall, I felt like it really was a triumph for me. Especially that then I got 100% at English as well. And then another great thing was the euphoria I felt when finally my exams were over, never mind that I was pretty sure I failed that math thing.

So, while it wasn’t exactly beautiful, with all that intense stuff going on, and I wouldn’t like to go through it all again, the thing with the Polish oral itself clearly showed that I’m actually damn lucky sometimes.

I’ve had lots of nice and beautiful memories last year, but that was simply what came to my mind first. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What are you remembering?

My answer:

Recently lots of things have been reminding me about one of my close friends, with whom I am no longer in touch with, and it’s kind of bittersweet I’d say. I am thinking a lot about him recently somehow and it is both very nice and hurts at the same time ’cause I’ve been missing him a lot. Also, I had a bad dream last night, not like a full blown nightmare or sleep paralysis, but just not a pleasant dream, nothing more, and it involved some school stuff. I had to be up very early today, and that fact, of being up so early, and having that bad dream, it together reminded me that oh wow, today a year has passed since my finals. And, ugh, I’m so glad all that havoc is over. Both with the preparations and the finals. Last year was so devastating for me because of that, and then the finals themselves were absolutely scary for me, or rather accompanying events, not the actual finals, I guess that was kind of traumatising, or re-traumatising maybe I should say, I don’t know, that’s what my Mum says too. Grrrr scary! And then my Mum reminded me of that horror again. So glad it’s over and I don’t have to see those people from there anymore. I’m having a good day generally today, but my Monkey Maggie the Inner Critic is very active today and wants to constantly remind me that what happened then was only because of me, and, well, I guess at this point I’m no longer sure of anything. As if I ever was. πŸ˜€ It’s hard to stay rational when dealing with her really.

What are YOU remembering? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (1st April).

What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you?

My answer:

Hm, there were lots of very nice things that people have done for me… I don’t know whether nice is an appropriate word for that, it sounds a bit like an understatement, but one particular thing comes to my mind right now. When I left the school for the blind at the age of 17 which was quite a sudden thing, I was sure that I’m not going there again, but since I was still a minor I had to go to school somewhere, which was hard not only because of my blindness and lack of preparation of mainstream teachers for teaching blind students here, but also because of my additional difficulties, at that time especially emotional which were quite significant, so, honestly, there weren’t many other options, if any, and it looked like I’d have to either come back there anyway or take a risk and just wait until I’ll be 18 when I won’t have to go to school anymore. Because of my awful depression at that time and my brain being a mess, as well as that would be just practically easier for everyone, I got an opinion from the psychiatrist that I need individual education at least for the time being until I’ll be doing some higher education. But yeah my Mum and me had a real trouble finding an actual school that would be willing to accept me and that would be doable for me. After weeks of fruitless looking around and research my Mum went to some meeting for parents in my brother’s school, and after that, completely out of the blue, my brother’s class teacher asked Mum how is her eldest daughter doing. Maybe it wouldn’t be that strange but actually Mum could have sworn that she had never told him anything about me or even my existence, quite unlikely that Olek would do it, so it felt a bit like paranormal. πŸ˜€ So Mum told him everything about my situation, and he was the sort of guy who was full of enthusiasm, to the point that he was slightly naive, and when Mum told him everything he dragged her to the headmaster’s office and told her that he’ll certainly agree for me to go to their school as well, especially that, if not my blindness, that would be my sort of default school because it’s nearest in the area so would I choose them they’d have a duty to approve me. And, indeed, with a lot of help from Olek’s teacher (who ended up being my teacher too because although I’mtwo years older than him, I was two years behind with school stuff) and willingness from the headmaster, who unfortunately got fired before I even started going there because of some nasty drama or intrigue or whatever that was going on there and in which he got unfortunately involved in, I started going to Olek’s school. I was in the same class as him although I had individual education just twice a week so only interacted with his class occasionally. I was lucky because despite a rather low educational level and complete lack of knowledge about people with disabilities in that school, my previous school’s educational level was high, and the year when I changed schools was the year when I had exams before choosing further education, so it was a lot of rush, but I had a lot of knowledge from previous years so it went very smoothly, especially that I was doing much better in individual education than I earlier did in class and finished the year with great results, better than ever before. And despite those exams being ahead of me I completely didn’t feel any pressure or even much stress, I was just very laid back and didn’t have to care too much. Because of individual education, I had a more sort of personal contact with teachers, they knew me well and I knew them, one teacher was fascinated by my fascination with Vreeswijk so in the last months of school when we had practically all the syllabus done I read my translations of his poems to her. As I said, people didn’t have the slightest idea about blindness and possibilities that blind people might have, so I experienced some rather condescending attitudes from them and I could see that they were absolutely gobsmacked that I could even write, and the same teacher who would a few months later be delighted with my Vreeswijk’s translations, was close to passing out at my first day of school when she learnt that she’ll be teaching a blind student, while the art teacher gave me an A just because I knew who Leonardo DaVinci was (while my brother who did a whole presentation as it was required of the rest only got an equivalent of a C), but because other than that they were nice to me, and because I was and still am incredibly grateful to them, I could distance myself from it and not take it personally or something. I think in my whole education it was the happiest year for me in many regards, and I regretted that I didn’t know it could be like that some two years before I changed schools, so I could go there earlier. Though I’m glad I didn’t go only there, because if I did, I would probably not learn much of neither academical knowledge (Olek’s classmates didn’t know in which country Finnish is spoken 😱 ), nor any other skills, so I guess all experiences we have are for a reason. I really don’t know though where I could be now if not that Olek’s teacher, I’m not sure I would even like to know as that certainly wouldn’t be the nicest place unless some other miracle would happen. He was an utterly weird guy, the kind that people always make fun of, and they did, like all the time, but at the same time he really cared about people. So yeah, that would be probably the nicest thing.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (25th March).

If you could disinvent one thing, what would it be?

My answer:

School. I’d disinvent it, and then invent it again so that it would have a completely different structure and would stop being brainwashing, as well as, among other things, it would also be optional for parents to send their children to school, home/flexi schooling would be highly encouraged, school would be more of an alternative for those children whose parents can’t or really don’t want to homeschool them, or to gain some additional skills that parents can teach their children but would like them to know, like some stuff that is of a special interest for the child or that they would like to base their career on in future. Schools would also be more of a place where the children could meet and play so that people wouldn’t complain that they don’t grow up together with their peers, and parents would be taught there on how to homeschool their children and just learn about parenting. But in fact I’d rather have someone else do that than do it myself, I don’t fancy dealing with this rotten system. πŸ˜€

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

When was the last time you were really angry?

My answer:

It was last month, during my finals, during that notorious encounter with the headmistress of that school where I passed them. I was just so angry I could barely keep it inside, I was tampin’ fumin’ ragin’, to use my favourite expression,, I was triggered,frustrated, sad, hurt, overwhelmed, scared, all and more at once. And I couldn’t get over it for days, and I still feel very weird and awful when I recall it. I am very lucky I had my Dad who was driving me back and forth for all the finals so I didn’t have to stay in their boarding school at nights and deal with her more than necessary, and when we once did stay in Bydgoszcz we went to the hotel and had fun thanks to him being so much at our disposal, otherwise it could be really a horrific experience, also more practically because from what we heard about rooms in that boarding school and the living conditions there, it didn’t look very appealing, particularly for my Mum. She was indignant that they call their rooms “cells”, even at the boarding school where I was learning they had “guestrooms” (and the school was led by nuns, so… well…). Anyway, anytime I had to see that bitch afterwards before and after any exam I was just feeling absolutely raging and it is pure luck for both of us, I think, that I’m so excellent at bottling up emotions so she didn’t have to deal with my rage and I didn’t put myself in trouble. πŸ˜€ I’m so so sooooo happy it’s over. I might see her once more if I’ll pass the written exams and will have to go there once again to receive the certifficate, but then the circumstances would be completely different, so it won’t be so tough. And if I won’t pass, then I won’t see her at all, and she won’t have anything to say about it, although I suppose she would really like to put in her two pennies worth if she got a chance, assuming from her earlier comments and behaviours towards me and my Mum.

When was the last time for you? πŸ™‚

It’s over.

Yeah, can’t believe it! πŸ˜€ My shitty finals are OVER!!! And no matter what will be my results from the written ones, I am still proud of myself, because of the oral exams. And OMG I was so lucky yesterday.

Yeah, yesterday was my last exam, oral Polish exam. I won’t lie, I was pretty stressed before it. I am rather good at Polish as a school subject, I love Polish as a language and I guess I know a lot about it, but this whole list of obligatory readings we have is overwhelming at its best. I guess it’s not a thing in most countries, but here, no matter on which educational stage you are (well I don’t know how about uni, but below it for sure) you have a very speciffic list of books that are obligatory to read that your class has to do and there are speciffic books for all years of school. The original purpose of it is to promote readership, ’cause, you know, in other circumstances some people, particularly little children, would hardly read anything, I still know people who only read obligatories, or just their summaries, Zofijka would be the perfect example, although she’s still young so things will hopefully change. On the other hand these books are usually incredibly boring, well that’s my opinion, so I really don’t know how they can help in increasing general readership, but well, that’s not my problem and that’s not the purpose of this post to write about it in detail. There are a lot of them so it’s rarely manageable to do all of them during a school year unless discussing obligatory books would be the only thing you’d do during Polish, and some of these books are more optional than others, but still somehow you are expected to know them all perfectly for your finals, because you never know what question you may get on the exam, and most of the question evolve at least partly around these books. So I was kinda worried what if I’ll get a question about a book I know very poorly or don’t know at all. You know, if you know the topic at least superficially, you can always say something, but if you know barely anything, it’s hard to pretend it’s otherwise. So I was hoping for some possibly light and versatile question or a question about the book I know really well and which we’ve done in class.

Luckily I could get some more sleep yesterday because my exam was to start not earlier than at 10:30 AM so we left at 7 AM to get there. Zofijka wasn’t going with us this time. When we got to the school, I had just 15 minutes to my exam.

I came in and drew the question, got the sheet and other stuff and had max 30 minutes to prepare to the talking. Normally it’s 15 minutes, but when you’re disabled you always get those fucking 15 mins extra which I hate, because I am usually done with everything long before the standard time finishes no matter whether it’s easy or difficult and no matter whether I did it well or wrong, and then there’s lots of fuss about it that I finished so early, I think if all those experts are so nice to adjust exams to us, there are plenty more things to think of than this, I don’t think many people make use of soooo much time, not all disabled students are disabled because of learnign disabilities.

I looked at my question… and you know what? I actually started to laugh, because it was so damn easy! I did some very brief notes but I doubt it even took me five minutes. So of course the committee was very surprised.

The topic I had to talk about was to describe changes in modern Polish language. You know, stuff like what the fact that people communicate via Internet or texting has changed in the language, for example, or lots of new words, etc. I got a text about it to read and then discuss it, say something about my own experiences in communication and what changes in the language I personally have noticed, and also talk about one more work, either a book, or a film, or even a song, anything that could illustrate how the language has changed.

So, ahem… well, ain’t I lucky? πŸ˜€ I talked and talked and talked. I was so afraid of this monologue, but this was such a broad topic, and one that I could really talk about a lot, so it was very easy for me to talk about it for 10 minutes. I am a huge language freak and I always notice the slightest things about how people are talking, writing, when they say things wrong or write something incorrectly or slapdash, or ignore all the punctuation or diacritics or write slapdash, and it usually drives me crazy far more than it should, I guess, well unless someone does it on purpose, ironically or something, then it can be cool at times. I’m of course talking about Polish, not English or any other language, since I don’t feel like an expert in any other language, although I am also very attentive for details in other languages. πŸ˜€ SO it was a perfect topic for me and I was talking about it actually quite expressively, I think, and I made the committee interested, because when I finally got to the limit and didn’t have anything else to say and we got to the part in which they could ask me questions, they had a lot and we had quite a lively discussion hahaha.

I came out after like 15 minuteswhile there were 45 in total for me, πŸ˜€ and there were already all the other students that are graduating from that school and passing their finals sitting in the waiting room, also that girl whom I know from the integration school about whom I’ve written before. I’ve seen all of them on Tuesday and although felt very tongue-tied around them then, I now knew them a bit better and we smalltalked while waiting for the results and supported those who were still to have the exam. Smalltalk is certainly not my favourite activity and it’s absolutely draining, especially that there were lots of them (yes 9 people is a lot, if you didn’t know it before, in my classification it’s a crowd) and they all knew each other while I was new, but I felt like it would be even worse if I wouldn’t talk to them at all. But we waited for so long that finally me and my Mum decided to go out to the park and have ice cream and one of the guys there offered he’ll call us when they’ll be announcing results so we could go with no issues.

I told Dad how well my exam went and how it’s actually a miracle because I’ve heard from others there were tons of other absolutely stupid questions which other people got with which I wouldn’t manage even half as well as with that one and that was just something perfect for me. I was feeling very high, well it was such a moodswingy day for me. I felt like I love the whole world and all the people together and every single individual on its own, and I think my Dad felt quite the same. We just sat in the park with ice cream and were observing nursery kids, to which, particularly my Dad, wouldn’t turn even the slightest attention in other circumstances. But we were watching them quite amazed, my Dad even in a rather maudlin way, I’d say. πŸ˜€ How much one small success and a strong feeling of relief can change in people’s attitudes. πŸ˜€ Wonder how people act just after they get to know they’re millionaires. πŸ˜€ Maybe that’s why so many millionairies support charities or children. πŸ˜› My Mum on the other hand was very happy that I cut that awful Maggie (the headmistress) down to size once again and was sure I’ll get 100% once again. I wasn’t as sure, but anyway, I was happy my exams are actually over and the last one went so well. I was rather stressed on the prospect of seeing her again to announce my result to me, was afraid she’ll manage to crack me up once again, but even though felt rather confident and really proud of myself, although Maggie (my inner critic) had still other things to complain about, but I didn’t listen to her, or pretended I don’t, even though she tried to scream as loud as she could.

Finally the break started so they had results for all of us who’ve already taken the exam. I came in and once again the headmistress asked me how much I think I got, this time there was max 40 points to get. Silently I hoped for 40, but just in case I said only 35. She said that the committee rated me much higher and I got 100%. I was slightly surprised this time, even though I really wanted it to happen and know I did the exam really well.

– 100%? Again?! –

The committee started to laugh, and the headmistress said, not without some bitterness, that it seems to be my manner and that it’s not much of a surprise for me. I laughed and said it starts to be a little boring. It was a surprise for me, but it wasn’t at the same time, I’d say, if it makes any sense for anyone else than me.

Luckily she didn’t say anything more at all. I only waited for that girl with whom I was going to the integration before and who was in the same class as Olek to hear her result which was also very good. Everyone congratulated me, my Mum almost cried, as always in similar situations.

I felt like all the stress from the whole past year is suddenly going out of me and it felt so good. Sure, I still don’t know what I will do with myself now, no idea at all, but it’s so good to feel that this stressful and boring at the same time, stage in my life is over and I can now finish my education if I want to, which I definitely want, or at least have a break from it for a while, I’m so indescribably fed up of our education system, I mean of any education system that could possibly exist, believe me. I don’t say I am completely breaking up with the education system, if I’ll pass that damn math, I would love to study Celtic studies online at University Of Wales Trinity Saint David, but I just don’t know how things will go, even if I pass.

The headmistress’ assistant came to my Mum and gave her the address of the website where I can check out my results before they’ll be sent out to the school. Mum asked her if I could maybe have my certificate sent home and not go all the way to school and back again in July and it turns out that no, but we can ask the district committee to not send it to the school and then we can take it from the district committee, since it’s closer, and less stressful for me for sure, I really don’t want to go to that school anymore again. I told Mum that anytime I’d been there, I felt like something horrible was about to happen. Hard to specify what or even what kind of thing, but just something horrible. Probably just because of all that horrific and I guess triggering stuff that happened to me when I came there for the first and second time. Mum asked me whether I could be afraid that she leaves me, and, although it sounds so irrational, I said that maybe yes, maybe that was it what I was afraid of happening, hard to say though.

On the way home Mum was calling all the family to tell them I passed both English and Polish oral exams for 100% and my Dad was doing the same but with his job colleagues, even if most of them didn’t really care and didn’t even know he had a daughter, but he also wanted to let it out somewhere.

It feels so good to be over it all. Dad asked me when I am making a party to celebrate it. I said that before we can have a party we need to know what my other results will be like. Of course we were joking and I am not planning on making any parties, we’ve all wasted too much energy and sleep already.

But I thought it could be nice to celebrate it in some other way, however don’t have any clever ideas yet.

Any suggestions, anyone? Or has anyone of you any ideas how we could celebrate it here in My Inner MishMash? πŸ˜‰ My brain doesn’t seem to be very cooperative now, so, any suggestions/wishes/ideas are appreciated. πŸ˜€

Surprise!

So as some of you could notice before from my activity on your blogs, I’m back since a while now. We came back much earlier than we thought we’d do. It was because the weather yesterday was really crappy and rainy, unlike last week, so if we wanted to stay in Bydgoszcz until THursday, with one day completely free of my exams, we’d be bored to death, not being able to do anything other than vegetating in a hotel room or hanging around the rainy streets, which wasn’t something appealing to neither of us, in addition in the morning I happened to sit on the ax, which is how my Dad calls having a period πŸ˜€ so I really didn’t feel the best despite taking two Pyralgines.

I had only three hours of sleep, but it’s always something, although we all were very sleepy. Zofijka decided in the last minute that she wants to go with us. We got to school about nine, and then me and Mum had to wait because another girl was passing the exam. In the meantime we were talking with one of English teachers at that school, who actually made me realise that it was English exam first, not Polish, as I thought. She seemed a little scared when she realised I thought it was otherwise, you know, she thought I was maybe not prepared and stuff, but I was actually relieved, I much prefer having English exam than Polish, I’m a little afraid of the Polish one because I’ve heard multiple times it’s such a lottery, they can actually ask you about anything, including obligatory readings that your class didn’t do, because there are so many of them you can’t do all of them and be prepared for everything. It would maybe be better to have the worse thing first, but anyway, I was glad it was English. As the girl before me came out, it turned out that we were going to the same school for a while, when I was in the integration for two years. My brother Olek was then in the same school as me, and she was in the same class as he. So then the committee called me and I was actually happy I can now demonstrate my skills, I like talking in other languages unless the circumstances aren’t too stressful, and because I had a teacher for a little while at the beginning of this school year who was coming to me to just prepare me to my finals, more technically than linguistically, I knew how this exam will look like and wasn’t anxious at all. I had lots of conversations with my teacher on even a higher level it all was completely manageable. At first there was a little issue though because I didn’t bring my ID. I knew that ID is needed for your finals, but when I was coming on all the previous ones, they didn’t ask for it at all, so I didn’t bring it this time. But luckily there were lots of people who could declare that I am me so then it went smoothly.

At first they always ask you two questions, kinda for a warm up, and in my case they were what qualities I seek in a friend and… surprise, surprise… what foreign languages I’d like to speak. πŸ˜€ So I provided them with a whole list, which as I think, made quite a big impression on them, as I believe did my accent. πŸ˜€ I listen to a lot of British stuff like BBC programmes, so it was easy for me to pick kinda standard British accent. Sometimes I talk in a more Northern way or may try to talk in other British accents in more informal situations. Although I’m sure I still have some kind of Ponglish too, as I’ve never been to any English-speaking country. But on Polish people my English accent always makes an impression. πŸ˜€ So then I drew the set of actual exam questions. At our finals, we always hhave a kinda roleplay to play between a student and an examinator. You get the instructions with a brief description of a situation and things you need to bring up in the conversation. In my case, the situation was that someone stole something from a shop and I witnessed it. And I had to talk about it with a friend, played by a lady from the committee, and tell them what I’m going to do now etc. And then when we did it, she asked me about a sport event in which I’d like to take part, so I told that I would like to take part in another horse riding competition, because it’s been a while since my last one and I miss it a lot. Then she also asked me if I have friends who regularly attend some sport events so I told her I don’t, I only have a brother who is a supporter of Legia-GdaΕ„sk (this is a football team) and is always willing to support them on their matches, even if it involves driving across the country at times. Then she asked me whether I like to actively spend free time. I told her that although I spend most of my free time doing things that don’t involve too much activity and movement, I do like being active, especially if we’re talking about horse riding, and I also go for a walk with my Mum very frequently. Then she asked me whether cinemas are popular and why so I told her that yes, I think they are. Although people can watch movies online and almost everything seems to be available online, I feel like there still are people who like to just go out in the evening, get some popcorn and Pepsi and watch a film in the cinema, that must have some atmosphere for them, I believe. And then she asked me what kind of art is most important, so I said I can only say what’s most important and beautiful for me. I’d say most people would choose visual arts, but for me it would be music, because it is so relatable, so cathartic and international. and the last question she asked me what would I choose, a classical music concert, or a rock music concert in the open air, if I was going for a concert with friends. I said that although I appreciate and like classical music, I’d rather choose the latter because I feel like many people don’t understand and don’t like classical music, rock is much more accessible and relatable, I know people who just fall asleep listening to classical music, so just the latter would be a safer option, plus I too like rock in general slightly more than classical music.

The whole exam lasted for not longer than 12 minutes and I was really glad of myself. TO be honest, I didn’t think there was anything in it that I said or did wrong, and because I am able to think in English nowadays, I felt very confident in speaking. That’s so weird, but at times I even feel like talking to people in other languages is much easier and less anxiety-provoking than in Polish, and I feel a bit more extroverted and less self-conscious while talking in English. I would be hugely disappointed and even more surprised if I got any less than 85% for it.

So I came out and then we had even more waiting. We had to wait until a few more people will take the exam and the break will start, because then they will reveal the results. Unlike with written exams, with oral ones you get results much quicker since they aren’t sent anywhere, just the committee who asks you rates your skills. All that waiting, which lasted for a few hours, was so damn boring.

But finally the break started and all of us who have taken the exam so far were coming into the room again to hear our results. This time, besides of the committee, there was also headmistress and her assistant in. I always feel kinda unsafe at that school, as if something terrible was about to happen, but I feel twice as unsafe around the headmistress because of that awful situation that happened to me after the first exam. I was seeing her then every time before and after writing an exam because of all the procedures and although nothing like that ever happened again, she was still very critical and clearly jerky to me, unless it’s her everyday attitude. And even if she isn’t talking to me, I feel awful around her, even simply her voice sounds so dry and unpleasant so that you feel some kind of antipathy from the beginning. And omg honestly, if I was her, I would seriously think about taking something for halitosis, but I am not as jerky as she is and I’ll be nice and won’t give her advices she doesn’t ask for. But well, I’m glad I’m not from that school and hopefully soon will be able to forget about her for good.

Anyway, I came in and she said:

– So you can get 30 points max, and how do you think, how many did you get? –

– Hard to say, but I think quite a few. –

– And maybe some more speciffic numbers? –

– Hm, something like 25? –

– 25, you say… so, with a great regret, er… sorry, with a great pleasure, I have to say you’ve got 30 points. – she said.

You know I wasn’t really surprised? I just felt like that’s what is gonna happen. She was so nice that she didn’t forget to at least try to crack me up in the end, but it was easy for me to keep smiling, because I was happy I got 100% and I knew that in a way I just cut her down to size. It’s not often that someone gets 100% from any final exam. I was the last of all the students who were taking this exam to hear my results. There are only 9 people, 9 people in the whole school, plus me, taking their finals. Cause you can graduate from school here without taking them, and although the school is big, I’ve heard not many people were feeling like doing it. In the school for the blind where I was for years, I know there were always whole classes taking finals. And I was really surprised they had only 9 people taking them. Looks like their level is much lower there. Or maybe it’s because so many students there seem to have coupled disabilities. And I’ve heard all of them coming out and sharing their results with the whole world. Only ONE girl had the result above 60%. Her result was really good, but she was the only one, most people had like 40%. That seemed a little bit sad, although my Mum told me that I should cut her – the headmistress – down to size as much as possible, for disgracing me and comparing me to her brilliant kids. And although it wasn’t my goal in itself, I was so happy I did it.

I wonder why she said it “with regret”. Maybe she was just joking, and that’s OK, or wanted to somehow keep me in suspense, or something, but sadly I suppose that’s what she really thinks and wanted to pretend it’s just an innocent joke. It’s not like I care what she thinks or feel sad that I made her feel regret, not at all, but you feel rather weird hearing something like this, among other jerky stuff which I’m not gonna quote because I don’t want to start to think about it again plus it’s not important in the grand scheme of things, I think it’s a bit foolish to care about what she said even a bit, but I can’t help it that I still do and still hear it. My Dad simply said it’s “biatchy” of her to say this regret thing and my family doesn’t really think it could be a real joke and she is really “regretting”.

My family of course were very happy of it and Zofijka couldn’t believe it, but my Mum said she also somehow felt it will be so, ’cause well I might not be fluent in English, but this exam was a bit below my possibilities.

On the way home we went to CheΕ‚mno, which is a town near Bydgoszcz with lots and lots of old churches and cemeteries even from 13th century, and my family went to see it, but I stayed in the car. I didn’t feel well physically because of the period and somehow my mood started to drop. Yes, I was proud of myself in a way, but I felt somehow very depressed. I don’t know, maybe the headmistress’ words started to strike me and I felt exhausted of all that exam fuss and started to fall deeper and deeper in the self-loathing hole, having to fight against another Maggie, this time my inner self critic whom as you may remember I also call Maggie, and because I felt so exhausted and not at all like fighting anyone, she started to win over me with a smashing predominance, and I didn’t really care, as so many times before I just believed her she’s right. I also felt dizzy and like I’m going to get an awful migraine. My dizziness got worse when my family came back and we drove home. And as we got home my balance was so shitty I was walking slightly like I was drunk. πŸ˜€ So Olek let us in and asked me whether I had some Jack Daniels with me to help me on the exam. I laughed and said that no, but it’s something to think about next time. πŸ˜€ I got a quick shower and went to bed, not to sleep but just to shut my mind off, with which I didn’t really succeed, and to rest for a while. Read some blogs and other stuff but my head started to ache more so I gave up on this. And when my mind finally shut off I I fell asleep about 7 PM. Really really early for me.

ANd I woke up with a nasty migraine in the middle of the night. Ugh that was so shitty. And lasted until almst 2 PM. I am still kinda weak but it’s much better now and the migraine is gone. But I still feel rather depressed and blah and hopeless, overanalysing everything and shitty, and definitely not like someone who got 100% on an exam, quite the opposite.

So glad tomorrow is the last one, maybe will feel better afterwards.

How are you guys doing? πŸ™‚

Last exams ahead.

So today I’m going to Bydgoszcz to the school for the blind wher I am taking my finals, to take the last two of them. I can’t sleep again, although it’s almost 1 AM and we have to wake up at 4 AM, so I thought I’d schedule some posts for you and I’ve just done it. I’ll be off for three days. That sucks because I’ll have one day off exams in between and it doesn’t seem to be a very nice perspective to traipse around the city for so long, but I know it’s reasonable because there’s no point in going there today, coming back and then going back there on Thursday. I am so grateful for my Dad that he took another few days off work and will be there with us, otherwise things would be, well, poor. I’d have to repay it for him in some way, have no idea what to do though.

Anyway, I’ve scheduled three song of the day posts for those three days, I hope you’ll enjoy them.

OK, so I think I’ll try to fall asleep once again, it definitely won’t help me in the morning if I’ll be a Zombie.

Question of the day (10th May).

Do you like to draw? If yes, what do you like to draw? And if not, have you ever liked drawing?

My answer:

No, I am not a fan of it. For some people maybe even just asking a blind person if she likes to draw may seem weird and pointless, but it isn’t really. I know blind people who actually like to draw. There is some specialised stuff that makes it possible, including thick foils on which you can simply draw with a pen or a pencil or whatever and you get a tactile graphic. This is mostly used at schools for purposes like geometry, physics or other incredibly boring stuff, such things tend to generally be pretty expensive, and not used so much for art purposes, but why not.

For me though drawing is no fun. First of all, I usually can’t do it properly without some assistance because of my coordination issues and stuff, and I don’t like doing things with which I have to rely almost completely on others, ’cause it’s just boring and the work isn’t really mine. Another reason is that at least in my school all these foils and other specialised drawing tools were usually used as I said for more scientific purposes, which made it even more boring and didn’t really allow me to learn how to draw artistically. Therefore I haven’t drawn anything in like four years already and don’t think I’ll ever come back to it as I’m graduating and have never drawn anything outside of school.

I did however draw with Zofijka when she was younger, but I did it without any specialised tools, just in her colouring book, simply to make her laugh. That was fun, but not something I really really liked and would like to do often, it’s rather boring when you have no idea what actually you’re drawing and where. πŸ˜€

So no, I don’t like drawing, and I never liked it before.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What were/are your favourite classes at school – and were the ones you liked most the same as the ones you were best at?

My answer:

It is hard to think about any classes that I really liked. I liked Polish as a language, same as English, but had become discouraged to it both as school classes fairly quickly, as they were both so very boring and I rarely was learning on them something I thought could be really interesting or useful. Most of my English skills are actually self-taught and I don’t feel like any of the schools I’ve been going to has taught me much more really useful things than basics. I’ve been very good at both Polish and English though, slightly better at English.

Then there were German classes when I was in primary and secondary. It isn’t one of my favourite languages, like I mean in my top favourites, so I didn’t feel as motivated as with English, but I still do like the language and was fairly good at it, but OMG it was so incredibly boring, plus most of the classes were actually completely wasted because of my classmates, who were mostly boys at that time, with whom the teacher couldn’t cope at all. And I feel like she wasn’t the best at explaining things either. When I left the school for the blind where I spent most of my childhood and school time, I had one year of individual learning until I started the school from which I’m graduating now, and during that year I finally happened to have a cool and concrete German teacher and I really enjoyed having lessons with her and learning German. But as I said I was never particularly motivated to this language so I just left it after I was finished with individual learning and now I can barely understand someone speaking German, not to mention my own speaking skills.

I kinda liked art at the school for the blind, but only because our art teacher was incredible and was one of the very few people I was getting along somehow more naturally there and who genuinely liked me despite I sucked at her subject as much as it’s only possible. She was a very warm and creative person and she understood it that I need much more assistance with doing arts stuff and some things are just nearly impossible for me to do because of my coordination issues and other stuff and didn’t make much of a deal about it. It was her who actually discovered my writing skills even though her subject wasn’t about writing at all and we had kinda unwritten agreement. She was helping me with technical stuff a lot, often just making what we had to do during the class for me to make it faster and more efficiently, while my task was writing. Like I was writing poems for all the students’ mums or other people so that they could have them on their cards or other gifts if they didn’t have much creativity in writing themselves, I was making up some slogans for posters, stories to get along with different art works etc. and although it was something I was doing more of duty than pleasure, I was glad I still had something to do and that she was so understanding.

So overall I don’t think I could say I had any really favourite class. I was OK at most of the classes but not passionate about anything.

You? πŸ™‚