Friday, March 6, 2009


People seems to think that discrimination against people with disabilities is confined to occupying a handicapped parking spot or saying something uncomplimentary bout a person's disability. But it is more than that. Sometimes the environment can be discriminatory too.

For all of us who are in tertiary institution, we have heard the heroic stories of what we have had to do to get a paper handed in on time. Deadlines are deadlines, no matter what, no excuses, right? And while I agree for the average student who is adequately able to cope and is not ill, this can be so. For a bipolar like me this can be a nightmare. Yes, I have pushed myself and that is university to an extent is, what is pushing yourself to the limit is about. But what if you have to chose between missing that all important deadline or your health because you are not completely well? Seems like a no brainer, right. You ideally should choose your health.

In a university setting though, the no-brainer is that you should choose getting the paper before deadline, even if you are dying. Because if you don't it means that you can't hack it. You may be an excellent learner but you can't hack it in the university environment. I once heard a lecturer say at the beginning of his class when give an assignment that if you get sick before you hand in his assignment, do the paper first and get sick after (needless to say I dropped the course). You are expected as student to be an automaton, a superhero. Another of my lecturers says no matter what life happens, so regardless you still have to complete the paper., Now while I am for respecting people's time and considering deadlines when you can make it, I think it is hard for a student with a disability and well nigh difficult to cope under this pressure. Even if you say Ok, Life is tough and suck it up ; It is still ultimately a choice between your health and meeting certain academic standards that really have nothing to do with the quality of work you produce or how well you learn what is in the course but how well you survive a pressure cooker.

Institutions should be about learning and assessing learning that but in truth the underlying thing is really is a test to see who is the fittest so that they can keep up standards.......sad. And at many times, I have chosen my academics over my health to try and be that Superwoman. It resulted in me having to take two leaves of absence of medical grounds. Now that I am in the situation again, I am going to make the right choice for me. I know that it is not that I cannot produce the best work (I got an academic prize for topping a course). It is that I am human. And if the system faults me for that so be it. I'd rather be seen as student who can't quite hack it than be sitting with out without my degree in a mental hospital.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I been gone for a minute. I know. I've been going through a rough time lately. Struggling to settle back down into school and watching my money run low was occupying my mind.Then, things got better and I got a break so I can write for you all.........HELL NAW!!

In fact thing have gotten worse, at least on the outside. Broke up with a lovely man who informed me that he had no future plans/intentions for us. ( Trust me watching The Bachelor was deja vu all over again......especially the part where Melissa tells Jason off and walks off). In addition, a bad crunch time with two assignments within a week of each other has morphed into craziness with FOUR assignments- two papers, a project and a presentation within two weeks of each other.

I did the usual aaaaahh!! - stress out- bitch-and whine thing that I normally do. Wrote some bad sounding status updates on Facebook and generally was a mess. But now I have gotten out all my feelings, I think I am going to handle this crunch time a bit differently. I want to plan out what I am going to do when and try my darnedest to stick to it, to be gentle with myself when I see time passing, to make sure and budget time for laughter, music ; to sleep no matter what (bipolars need their sleep almost as much as they do their fact more).

I have carved out at least a couple hours later this week to go to the gym and relieve the physical stress when it gets too much; and will grieve (when I have room) for my lost relationship. And from the depths of my heart rises the last refrain from Smokie Norful's song,"God is Able"..... " He won't fail / He won't fail....."