Monday, October 30, 2006

Whats the point

I have been absent from Blog Land a while, I have not even been bothering to comment on other peoples blogs.

Well partly it is because I have been wasting my efforts on the awares site until recently and partly because my studies are taking up more of my time.

I think it gets a bit pointless after a while, all the email and blog exchanges, in that when all is said and done, we on the spectrum can be as devoted to our own pet ideas about what autism is, how it came to be, who called it what and who deserves to be in and who outside the spectrum as any of the Mercurians and curebies out there, and I am fed up with it.

It is bad enough having to defend a position when I read the rot that passes for research and scholarship in the professional literature. Academically speaking I am not altogether convinced that any of the “names” are as "high functioning" as their credentials and position make them out to be in the social ladder of research fellow, PHD or what have you. The memes just pass from one paper to another like Chinese whispers and never a thought as to where they come from and what validity they did not have to begin with. There is just so much sloppy thinking. Take a paper on prosody for instance, written by American’s studying Americans, well American English prosody is different from UK English prosody, Caribbean English prosody and never mind all the non English languages out there, yet the authors universalise from what they know over to what they don’t even know they don’t know. That’s Volkmar and his pals for you.

Why do I feel so angry right now. I don’t know, you would think I would be rather pleased with myself, I have got I wanted and been transferred from undergrad to masters level on my University course, that’s got to be some acknowledgement at least.

However I just think the way the course is structured is not ideal for me at all, but I have to make the best of what is available if I want that “glittering prize” at the end. No I don’t think I will ever be happy till I am writing a course myself and teaching it. And then I shall just have to put up with people criticising me, well nothing new there at least.

11 comments:

notmercury said...

I have got I wanted and been transferred from undergrad to masters level on my University course

Congrats Larry!

Kristina Chew said...

I was wondering when you would be posting--the prize may not always glitter, but it is worth it. (If only so that you too can teach and hear from your students about how pointless what you are teaching are.....not that I heard that today exactly.)

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

Well done, Larry!

I'm genuinely pleased for you :)

laurentius rex said...

Well David the fact that you could do your course sans first degree sort of made there initial excuses why I could not look rather silly didn't it.

laurentius rex said...

Curios thing is (dogs and nightime notwithstanding) when I was giving my presentation at Lancaster, although there was plenty of discussion around the concept, it was well recieved, I just look forward to the day when I can challenge the orthodoxy at Birmingham in the same way from the lecturers angle not the student hecklers. But then one becomes the orthodox oneself does one not, well not in my lifetime I suppose.

Anne said...

Congratulations, Larry! If you end up on the faculty at UC Berkeley, I will take your class by extension.

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

Kuningas Lauri sanoi: "Well David the fact that you could do your course sans first degree sort of made there initial excuses why I could not look rather silly didn't it."

Well true... :) Trend-setter me, eh?

Mind you, I did enter with the full equivalent of a first degree (the Finnish universities would have said I was a BA, so...) - but definitely, very well done :)

laurentius rex said...

Of course I am beginning to wonder about the wisdom of it all now, considering I now have to put the extra effort in. So much of what has been written about autism is crap and I can see outright prejudice and bias in some of it, I am sure they never expected any of "us" to be able to read it.

Happe did us a lot of harm in the way she handled her literature, she may have taken that back now, but people still reference her original article and denigrate our capability to self reflect none the less.

Had a shock when reading some of the course handouts though, came across a poem of mine, that's Heta's doing.

Anyway the School of Ed accepted that continuing on the BPhil would have been beneath my capabilities and had I taken a BA or other first degree in recent years I have no doubt that I would have succeeded. If circumstances had been a little different I would have gone on from my media studies and got a BA in that, but funding got in the way and the extension to the HND course never materialised, by which time I had moved on and was looking to do something else. (and this is it)

andrea said...

Congratulations on the promotion, Larry! As far as glittering prizes, remember that all that is gold does not glitter et cetera.

On the blogging front, you have to decide what your own goals are for doing such, and how you are going to gauge your success and/or enjoyment of such.

(Gah! I hate these word verification puzzles)
By the way, I saw a different style of power line tower that I'd never seen before, while driving through the hinterlands the other weekend, and thought of you! Sorry I didn't get a photo of it (road conditions).

David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction) said...

Laurence of Wild Warwickshire: "If circumstances had been a little different I would have gone on from my media studies and got a BA in that, but funding got in the way and the extension to the HND course never materialised, by which time I had moved on and was looking to do something else. (and this is it)"

I seen to remember you having been on the UnivCertASD course at some point (although I could be mistaken)... if so, I'd have imagined that the UnivCert would have sufficient autism-related content to go with an HND for the whole set of study achievements (totalling at least 360CATS points altogether) as being enough for a BA-equivalence.

That in itself would have been sufficient to get onto an MA/MEd (delete as inappropriate), I'd have thought. Certainly, I went with study-achievements totalling 360CATS points, which is sufficient to be seen as equivalent to the BA in applied psychology, so the case was made for me to go postgrad; with your case, maybe they wanted to be sure, and now that they have seen what you can do (and, let's face it, you have been thinking at postgrad level as long as I've known you!)... eventually it had to be recognised.

"Had a shock when reading some of the course handouts though, came across a poem of mine, that's Heta's doing."

Yeh... I remember her doing that study module. She worked hard on that...

"Happe did us a lot of harm in the way she handled her literature, she may have taken that back now, but people still reference her original article and denigrate our capability to self reflect none the less."

What, in Frith's book? Yeh... I read that chapter... and I have to say that it was mostly fundamental attribution error coupled with denigration plus downward social comparison, and that perturbed me. It seemed like a very clinical account rather than an uncomplicated look at autistic ability to put together a narrative... there was a sense of psychoanalytic 'interpretation' to it, I felt. The autistic person writing is, for her (at least in the chapter she wrote for Frith 1991), the site of the problem/pathology and cannot have the objectivity to know how to interpret his/her own experience... too clinical.

Would do the regular clinical autism literarists some good to have their work deconstructed. As long as you can highlight where this deconstruction would take professional practice, I think that you've a very good chance of getting the MA/MEd.

Although you'd have the degree officially in Inclusion, Special Education and Educational Psychology, I'd see it as being more of a Master of Arts/Education in Applied Critical Psychology... is that what you see it turning out to be? I found it useful to have some sort of professional aim in mind.

laurentius rex said...

Well I thought that I would have sufficient CATS when I applied however I was told that I could not be admitted to an MA course without a BA and that was to preserve academic standards. Rather than not do the course at all I accepted that in order to get admitted in the first place.

Birmingham had already turned me down for BSc in plain ordinary psychology on account of my not having any science A levels, and being dubious about my not having GCSE English at C or above (I did O levels).

I suspect the admissions policy in that department had more to do with wanting the pick of younger school leavers than anything else if I figure out those built in age prejudices, I had been accepted to do Psychology at Coventry and at Newman College if I wanted to, but Autism was always going to be my first choice.

When I get the degree, what I do with it will be dependent upon what is available then. It irks me how much academics, though they may well be widely read and familiar with a larger canon of off genre literature tend to comparmentalise there thinking and would not for instance consider Rashomon (the movie) has any relevance to Autism, but knowledge of that informs very much about Happe and her colleagues perspectives and failure to grasp alternative viewpoints to be as valid a their own there being no one accurate story. Indeed Kurasawa and many media critics have been aware of this for longer than psychologists have been studying the phenomena that give rise to confabulation, false memory and subjectivity.