Saturday, July 21, 2007

PhilosophiƦ Doctor hic venio

Or PhD here I come!

I guess this is going to be the smuggest, most self satisfied and self congratulatory post in my career of blogging so far but I am really as chuffed as a bowl of badger fat to discover that my gamble has paid off and I have been accepted for doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

In making this announcement I have to acknowledge my thanks to those various bloggers who assisted me in meeting the shortfall of my fees this year. If I had been forced to drop out, this would be happening now.

What am I going to research?

Well there are a lot of videos out there purporting to say something about autism, either to families, to professionals or the world in general but nobody has ever bothered to carry out any objective research into what good they actually do. (if any at all). In carrying out this research I am combining the skills I learned from my media HND, which allow me to analyse and deconstruct video according to well established practice, with the academic and personal knowledge of autism I have gained in my current and earlier studies at Birmingham (and work in advocacy generally).

I suppose I also ought to be thumbing my nose at the faculties of psychology at Warwick, Leicester, (and yes Birmingham too) who a year ago decided I was not qualified enough to pursue an undergrad degree in psychology.

Well less than a year ago, I entered Birmingham University as an undergrad, not all that long afterwards progressed onto post grad study, and now I am ready for doctoral research. That has to be something of a record progression in any University!

Not only that I have in 16 weeks of study at an evening course, gained the equivalent of another A level. The City and Guilds 7302 qualification in delivering adult learning.

Naturally this is only the beginning, but a fine new beginning at that, ten years on from my mothers death. I only wish she were here to see it.

There is a lot of hard work ahead, not only adapting to a different style of academic work as a researcher, but in writing off to all and sundry in order to secure the funds to keep this study going over the next few years. I guess I shall have to be a little more polite about (or as someone else has pointed out, 'to') my fellow researchers from now on :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Silly games ... Eight Random things

Memesis indeed

I have been tagged by the power of 8

These are the rules, until I deign to break 'em.

The rules:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Here goes and it don't get more random than this ....

1. Fool: The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
Lear: Because they are not eight?
Fool: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool. King Lear Act 1 scene V

2. I have three nipples

3. Yesterdays, yesterday was the tenth twelfth by my reckoning

4. There are thirty cameras visible in my room

5. There are thirteen notes in an octave and seven flutes currently in reach of my hands

6. I told the anaesthetist that the first thing I would say on coming round from my recent operation would be a number, the same number I quoted when I came round from the operation last year 823543

7. October is the Tenth Month wherein I will have as many years as there as usually weeks in a year.

8. It is entirely a falsehood that all aspies are obsessed by numbers, does it look like I conform to any stereotype there?

If this meme should die I ought to tag no-one therefore I shall tag Vicky of the new blog. Mike of an older one (cry havoc and let ship the logs of yore) Kristina whose blog changes so rapidly I can't keep up with it.Promefeus cos it's all greek to me and my liver is in danger. Autiemom who has not blogged in a long time that I can see. I am tempted to tag Four Sam but maybe Best forgotten and now I have run out of numbers oh Deer I never could count reliably and I prefer the rules of Fizbin which like Wikipedia are forever being updated, so why ain't the tags eight? Because they two plus two equals six and thats why!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ten years ago this day

Ten years ago this day, my mother died.

You can read the story here and you can read more about her on this link

So where am I ten years on in the vacuum? There is much I would like to have achieved but have not and it has taken more than a few of those ten years to get over the vacuum in my life that was left when my mum passed.

I had hoped that I could look back by looking at the future, but I am still waiting to here if I have been accepted for doctoral research at Birmingham. Oh well no news is good news at least, as the saying goes.

Much has changed over that ten year period, not least the Prime Minister, as I blogged previously.

There is a great deal more access for physically disabled people than there was (but not enough) and there are wheelchair spaces on public transport, on trains and in taxis, something we campaigned for together and were told at various times was impossible.

However I increasingly appreciate what it was like for her now as I succumb to the pains of unreliable joints myself, hoping that I do not ever approach her score for operations, which seemed to be at least one a year. I am hoping I will not need any more for some time.

She had an expression, that she would have used as the title of her autobiography if she had ever had time to write it. "I don't have time to be disabled" and neither did she, it was a very hectic life we led and she was a very difficult act for me to follow, but as I board another train for London next week, for yet another NAS meeting, I know I will be doing right by her and that my activism in the autistic world is something she would have appreciated.

As for me, I don't have time to be disabled either, and to make such a statement is not in anyway to belittle those people who are not as active, but if there is a job to be done, then someone has to do it. I don't have time for those petty arguments which seem to be dividing our community at the moment, who is more disabled than who, who thinks autism is not a disability, that is all to misunderstand everything about the relativity of it all and to leave out the human dimension. We all have needs, and we have a right to have those needs met. However no rights exist where no one is willing to fight for them.

Those who think I am too much in the public eye, should stop and think whether they would really like to be so visible and subject to the vile criticisms that come with it.

My mum is past that now, and her monument is the good that she did, and that she will be remembered by.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Gone Fishing...

Well not exactly.

If you don't see me about on the web for the next couple of days or so that is because I am in Hospital for an operation. May not be posting much after that either depending on how my hand feels as it is a hand and arm operation.

So don't think I am ignoring the world or avoiding arguments, I am just indisposed.

(ps these are the stitches for the one I had done last year)