Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bits and pieces

Today was an okay sort of day, quite nice in places. Enter rambling reflections . . .

I don't know if this applies only to Aspergers & other neuro-atypical people, but I find that it's very rare to find friends that I can be 100% myself around, with all my quirks and oddities laid bare. Some friends come very, very close, but still there's the odd moment when their body language - the quirk of a lip or a wrinkling of a nose - gives away the fact that they think I'm strange. Of course, I forgive them immediately because they're my friends and I love them, but it can still hurt.

Over the last three weeks I've been lucky enough to make a friend around whom I really can be 100% myself. This may be because he's also neuro-atypical, I haven't quite decided yet lol. He's also in the Grad Dip Ed course, but in the high school stream, so we only share one class. We were on prac together for two weeks, however, and got to know each other really well, plus we keep running in to each other on the bus or on campus. Every time we meet we start talking, about everything and anything, and we're both quirky as hell so nothing that either of us does fazes the other in the least. We probably both sound as mad as hatters to an outsider, but it's wonderful. Just wonderful.

And before you get started, no, I have no romantic designs on Matthew. I'm giddy over the friendship but that's all it is. For a start, he's 3 years younger than me and I would have to get over my own psychological aversion to going out with someone my younger brother's age. He's a good-looking guy but I don't feel particularly attracted to him (not that I'm repulsed by him either - it's just a neutral, platonic feeling). I'm not ruling out the possibility that something could develop, but I'm not expecting it to. The friendship is uplifting enough! So you can expect a lot of babble about What Matthew Said in the near future. I'm definitely not letting him see my blog :-D


Speaking of neuro-atypical minds, mine got a nice airing in my Mathematics Curriculum workshop yesterday. We were being taught about subitising - that is, recognising the number of objects in a group without counting them, by recognising the patterns that certain sets of numbers make. Most people can subitise up to about 4, maybe 5 depending on how the items are arranged. To demonstrate, the workshop tutor was flashing up sets of dots on the screen and getting us to call out how many there were as soon as we were sure. After doing a few easy ones - 3, 4, 5 - she flashed up 9. It took a second before we all got it, and then we talked about how people had got to the answer (which was by subitising sets within the whole set, for example I saw three sets of three). Then she flashed up one covered with dots, there was a second's pause, then I said "sixteen". And everyone stared at me. No one else was close to getting it, but my pattern-obsessed brain saw five sets of three, plus one extra, and gave me the answer. The workshop tutor was a bit shocked, especially as I'd told her a few minutes earlier that I wasn't feeling well! I went and explained to her afterwards that there's a reason why I'm a pattern-recognising freak :-D But the rest of the class will just have to deal lol.


I got my first assignment back today, my reflective journal from the first two weeks of the course. I got 70%, which is a distinction and my average mark for almost everything I've ever done lol. I'm happy with it, although I know why I lost marks: I didn't reflect on the readings enough (as opposed to my experiences). I knew I was going to lose marks for that when I handed it in, but that assignment went in during the worst of the horror weeks so I knew I wouldn't be able to do my best for it. And a distinction is not something to be disappointed about!


The prospective share house I wrote about yesterday is looking very, very promising. Rent is $110/week including broadband internet, and the housemate only lives there part-time so I'd have a fair degree of autonomy. It'll be a bit lonely that way, but I'll have constant contact with people at uni so I should be able to cope. Jemima is allowed to live there and the room sounds big enough. I can't get to see it until next weekend, and it's not available until late March, but that's fine. I'm very hopeful, it sounds really really good! Funnily enough, the other girl who lives there (who is the daughter of the owners) is also an education student, but at a different university. Teachers everywhere!


I had that appointment with the uni counsellor today. They do a sort of 'triage' for people wanting counselling services - a 15-minute appointment to assess their needs to see whether they need anything ongoing. The counsellor is a nice young guy who I found really easy to talk to. We've agreed that what I really need first off is a session in which to talk over all of the changes in my life and try to come to grips with them, so I'm booked in for that. Although I'm not sure one 50-minute session will be long enough to cover all those changes lol. But we'll see how we go. I'm feeling better today anyway, since life has pretty much already thrown at me everything it's got for the time being, so I can breathe for a bit.


Without a doubt, my hardest class this semester is going to be Maths Curriculum. The good old mental block, installed by a Year 2 teacher who told me that I was bad at maths, is still there apparently. It's going to be an uphill battle to stay engaged and not lose heart. I can teach maths, I will teach maths . . . I just need to remember that!


That's all for today, I think. First shift at Subway tomorrow - wish me luck!


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