Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

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. 😀

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. 😀 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? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hey people! 🙂

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… 😀 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. 😀 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? 🙂

Question of the day (10th March).

What matters to you more: being successful at work or being part of a loving relationship/family and why?

My answer:

It’s kind of hard to say for me, because although I have a job, I can’t say I’m either particularly successful or not successful, mostly because the range of my duties is rather narrow, and so is my work experience as I haven’t worked in any other job than I do now, and it’s unlikely I’ll have a chance to work anywhere else, or even if so, it would probably be in a similar way. Also, while I do have a loving family, I haven’t been in any romantic relationship (unless you count Misha) and it’s not likely to change any time soon which is fine by me, so I have no experience in that either and it’s a bit hard for me to imagine myself being either successful at work or having a family of my own, like, one that I would have started, whether loving or not.

But I really value the fact that I have a good relationship with my immediate family – parents, siblings, or at least Sofi, and Misha – and I think that would always be more important to me than any job accomplishments I could achieve, even if I really liked my job and it would be really satisfying for me financially.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (3rd March).

What was the last thing someone said that made you angry?

My answer:

My Mum said something that made me quite angry, well okay not angry but rather frustrated anyway. I was recently telling you about my dilemmas with the occupational medicine doctor, and how he doesn’t understand how different types of benefits work in our country, and doesn’t understand that despite being on benefits, I am still able to do the work that I do, and is scared that when he’ll confirm that, someone’s going to kill him or whatever, so instead of educating himself on the topic, through his colleagues or online or I don’t know how else, he sends me and my medical documentation back and forth between different places and wants to have an official explanation just for himself of something that’s stated on my disability benefits claim that’s clear to everyone else in the field and everyone involved, and just keeps making quite a bit of fuss and problem. So, to fill you in on the recent developments, he sent my documentation to the Occupational Medicine Centre, and asked them to explain whether I am able to work or not, interpret that statement on the claim, have a consultation with me or something, despite it’s not their competence at all. A couple days ago, they sent a letter to me, and to him, saying exactly that, that it’s not their competence to make such clarifications and that they don’t really understand what he wants from them, like what’s unclear. 😀 My Mum said that this will probably be very embarrassing to receive something like this and have his own incompetence pointed out in such a way, and today she went to see him about that, without me this time as she was going out anyway and he was not going to make any more check-ups or tests for me so it would be rather pointless if I went. Mum was sure that now that things are clear, that the OM Centre can’t do what he wants from them, and that the situation is clear to everyone except him, his eyes will finally open, and he will write that, from his – that is only OM – point of view, I am able to continue to work, and won’t be so scared of that as if he was doing some kind of crime or whatever. But, sadly, dr Jacek is too much of a chicken. He wants to continue the saga and write an appeal letter to them. When Mum told me that, I just couldn’t believe it for a while! I just wish he educated himself on different kinds of benefits and stuff, actually it feels puzzling how someone like this could get into occupational medicine. I guess he only knows how to deal with the most typical cases, but when things like disability are involved his brain can’t cope. I was thinking that if he’ll make further trouble, I’ll just change OM doctors, but it actually seems like a lot of ordeal in itself, with transfering my medical documentation from there to some other place. I guess I’ll just have to deal with it and hope it will end soon and things will be back to normal.

How about you?

Question of the day (6th June).

Hi people. 🙂 Ok here are some overdue questions for you.

Has anyone ever made a rude comment about your job/profession?

My answer:

Nope. Probably because I haven’t been working for more than I guess two or three years and don’t have that much experience, also it’s nothing very unusual/controversial or anything like that that I do, and I don’t talk with everyone about my job.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Hi guys. 🙂

Here’s my question for you for today:

What’s a career that no one really thinks about or admires enough?

My answer:

Looking at the situation here in Poland, especially that I have two people of this profession in my family, I feel like it’s nurses. They do a whole lot of work, that requires a lot of skills because of how versatile it is and how different things they have to do, and also it is them who are very often closest to the patient, but they don’t seem to get much recognition, not as much as doctors, even though, no matter how competent a doctor would be, he wouldn’t be able to help his patients quite as much without a nurse. Especially nurses who are older and have only finished a nursing school, I am always confused by English education terminology, but you know, they’ve finished a school like on the college level that teaches nursing, but they didn’t study nursing at the uni so don’t have any higher education. Now I guess it is required, but still, in relation to how much they work, they don’t earn equally much, and they’ve been protesting a lot in recent years.

Also people who work as cleaners or in similar jobs, that most people look down upon, but that are important nevertheless.

And last, but not least, homemakers! Yes, I strongly believe it is a valid career option. Or like my Mum – a homemaker herself – likes to say, home manager. One day my Mum had a conversation with an official, something about some family allowance or something like that, and he asked her what her job was. So she said home manager and he was like: “Umm, do you work at people’s houses? I’ve never heard about such a profession”. “No, my own house is enough for me so far”. “Ah, OK, so you don’t work.”. “Of course I do. That I’m not paid for it and not employed by anyone doesn’t mean I don’t work”. So he was just laughing but in the end he said he has to write she’s unemployed. Sounds so daft and unfair when you think about how much she’s doing.

Which career is it in your opinion? 🙂

Question of the day.

What’s a good piece of news you’ve received recently?

My answer:

Hmmm can’t think of anything really… I mean it’s not like nothing good has happened to me recently, but I guess no spectacular news or anything like that, can’t think of anything at least… Well what comes to my mind is that I recently got to know that I’m going to earn more. I’ve been paid minimum wage, and recently it got increased here in Poland. That’s always a good news even though so far it doesn’t make much of a difference to me, not one that I could feel a lot, I consider myself lucky in this regard because since we all still live together as a family I don’t have to worry about the basic stuff like electricity, water, food and such completely on my own, I can pretty much use my money for all the less important things, anything I want but don’t need like books, linguistic things, or anything less basic that I need like all my tech stuff, things for Misha etc. and most of it I’m saving for the future anyway, but it’s always a very nice piece of news, and I think even more so for all those who like me earn minimum wage but in opposite to me have their own families to feed or other things they really really need their money for, and oftentimes have way much harder things to do at work than I do.

What’s your piece of good news? 🙂

Question of the day.

What is the most boring job you have ever had?

My answer:

Well, so far I haven’t have that much experience in this area since my current job is my first official job. It’s maybe not like incredibly exciting, but I also woudln’t say it’s very boring, I’m fairly neutral about it.

You? 🙂

 

Question of the day.

Is there some insider knowledge that only people in your line of work have?

My answer:

Haha, surely, but I don’t have it. My work situation is a little bit odd, at least I see it this way. For those of you who don’t know I work at my Dad’s company, because it is lucrative for both of us, for me mainly because I can have some money I can either save for the future or use for just my own needs – since we all live together as a family I don’t need to buy myself basic stuff like food etc. so just the things I want/need just for myself, and I save the rest, so most of it. My Dad is a tank driver, he delivers fuel, and I’m officially something like his secretary, unofficially I help him out with everything he can do that I can do, so mostly techy stuff because he can barely type and is not willing to learn, or language stuff because there are people from different countries he delivers fuel to, so English comes in handy, and even Swedish sometimes too.

I can sure tell you there is a lot of stuff tank drivers know that no one else on Earth would even care about or be interested in, while they – tank drivers – assume you’re just utterly stupid to not know all those things. The thing is I don’t have a clue about them, don’t have to know much about that stuff, and don’t want to cus it’s just boring.

I wouldn’t suppose though there can be much things that are known exclusively to office workers, no offence to office workers or anything, but it’s just not a very niche thing, I mean, or maybe I don’t see anything enigmatic about this job.

But I can also say that lots of environments that I am a part of have a lot of such insider knowledge. It’s not because it’s some “professional secrecy” or anything, just other people don’t ask us, and we assume it all is obvious.

As a language geek I know a lot of things that could be completely useless for anyone who isn’t a language geek, about linguistics, or some particular languages, or dialects, or other related stuff, and it all just circulates among the language geeks, not going anywhere outside cus who would care how are Finnish and Hungarian related to each other and what they have in common practically, or what are mutations in Celtic languages, or how does it feel to have wet dreams dreaming in Zulu etc.

I think the same regards blind people community although in a bit different way because in contrast to language geeks, there’s definitely a point in exchanging information between sighted and blind people so that the two groups can understand each other better and avoid many issues, conflicts etc. Likewise I would say about the community of people struggling with mental illnesses. It may feel annoying to explain things to people all the time and there are some people who will never be able to understand some things, but they’re a minority and still I think we should educate others about how it feels to be us, to struggle with our conditions, we should give them a chance to see it not just assume they should know it. And healthy/ablebodied people should be empathetic and open-minded, and then it would be just ideally.

As for my own very insider knowledge as a blind person with mental illnesses and other odds and quirks, I can say that what intrigues people if I decide to reveal it to them is my sleep paralysis and all the related stuff. There haven’t been many people in my surroundings that I told about it, in details I only talked about it with my Mum and it was still very hard to actually describe what it’s like, firstly because I just couldn’t find words for it and secondly because sometimes even talking about it may feel scary in a way, anyway whoever I wouldn’t talk about it too, they always seem intrigued, and can’t hide it. I don’t have nothing against, well it intrigued me too for years until I just got used to it. Those dreams I have are certainly anything but normal.

My – as I call it – “silence anxiety”, as well as the “sound anxiety”, if I decide to mention about it to anyone, also seems to be of interest. but it’s even harder to talk to people about it.

Also my synesthesia and related stuff are very interesting for people and for me too – like the fact that I can link sounds with factures or tastes or that whole thing with names I wrote about not so long ago.

Some are very excited when I need to mention I’d been using Doses or doing stuff like OOBE, and often ask how it feels, which in this case is very embarrassing for me because I simply hate that part of my life very deeply and it’s just all… let’s say complicated, I’m too sleepy to come out with something more adequate and creative. 😀 Although I’m not surprised that people want to know how it feels, it can be certainly interesting in a way, if it wouldn’t, I wouldn’t ever do it, I guess.

and of course like (I guess) all the blind people I get tons of questions like how I dream, how I type, can I feel colours, do I use echolocation, why I am not like other blind people they know, why I don’t have a guide dog, whether I’ve had any surgeries for my eyes, how I imagine their faces, do I need to touch every single thing while I’m shopping to know what it is, are my other senses supersharp because I can’t see, and so on and so forth.

Sometimes you can doubt in everything but I guess if people ask, they truly want to know and truly want to learn, although sometimes really wish they could also think a bit on their own before they ask, and if they really want to ask, be more constructive, because sometimes it’s hard to not snort with laugh at someone asking “Oh, how did you know I am here if you can’t see?” 😀

Mental healthwise I’ve had much more serious situations, some even kinda traumatising I’d say, with completely ignorant people at the boarding school and other places like that, who, to give you a short and sweet example, wanted to diagnose me with schizophrenia because I wasn’t meeting their expectations – was different than other kids basically –
and created my own imaginary creatures called Parpills about whom I was writing a book and they accused me that I think that they exist. But with this kind of situations it wasn’t only me going through similar stuff, also kids who didn’t have any mental health issues.

What is some insider knowledge in your environment? 🙂

If it’s a bit embroiled or not very logical or stylistical then I’m very sorry, I’m having a Zombie day and am going to soon go off to sleep, but just wanted to write something constructive today, will look at it and edit tomorrow, but suppose it’s quite consistent. 😀