It’s been a heck of a couple weeks, which is why it’s been quiet on this blog. There will soon be a post on Fierce Freethinking Fatties about my first week using the scooter (affectionately known as my first week as a Scooter Fatty)…let’s just say that once I pushed past my anxiety, it’s been liberating!
My next immediate hurdle is figuring out how to do appropriate spoon management while teaching so I can get back to dancing more. A standard classroom technology podium is built for someone that’s over 5’2″ (approximately) and trying to lecture while seated in a classroom with barely movable rows isn’t working, so I’ve been standing & leaning on a rolling chair or other creative stand/sitting hybrids to be able to operate classroom technology. I could probably fight to get a presentation remote clicker to use, but since I’m considered an adjunct professor I doubt the university would spring for that. The other thing I’ve figured out is that the scooter is basically unhelpful in a classroom with the way I want to teach. I’m a kinesiologist and a dancer, so I like to be in pretty constant motion in some manner, and a scooter just doesn’t allow for that. If I can figure out how to conquer some public speaking fear to be able to teach in front of twenty college freshmen, I can definitely figure this out!
In terms of scholarly stuff in general, I’m severely struggling. I still have my incomplete courses, but I’ve not made significant headway on my independent study for the semester either. In all honesty, I’m barely keeping up with the one in-person course I’m in (Autism, Disability Theory, & Philosophy). A little bit of that is from not having a background in philosophy, and a little more is from some really weird dynamics in the class that have pegged me as the token disabled person. The rest is just from dealing with my body and what I’m trying to force it to do. I spend most of my weekends laying in bed trying to recover. Unfortunately, my cognitive abilities get dumped into the recovery bin as well (chronic pain is tiring on its own, even without the assortment of other bodily oddities I deal with). I’m honestly scared because of it….I’m trying to put together my committee for my plan of study & comprehensive exams (depending on dissertation, the committee might change), but I don’t want to come across as someone that will be stuck in ABD land (“All But Dissertation”). One way or another it’ll work itself out.
As for dance, I’m really feeling awful that I haven’t been to a dance class or a troupe rehearsal in a couple months. The combination of my work/class schedule, increasing spine problems, and tight finances have left me with doing some mental rehearsal & occasionally doing FCBD drill videos from YouTube (on my tv with my Xbox 360! I love technology!). It’s better than nothing, but I fiercely miss my Helix dance siblings…not only is ATS a primarily group format, but I just don’t enjoy soloing that much (which is why I never became a pro dancer…semi-pro was the best I managed in my whole-spine days). I’m nervous getting back into the swing of it all because my anxiety disordered brain keeps spinning me tales of angry troupemates and passive aggressive garbage (the latter has happened in a previous troupe…fears with connections to reality are the hardest to overcome).
The scooter arrived just in time…for me to get a flat in one of my manual wheelchair wheels. Since I’m still going to use the manual chair for smaller things like shopping trips and longer trips like academic conferences (I cannot bring myself to use the scooter at the upcoming Sport Sociology conference…I’m too afraid of being treated poorly and giving a first impression that will keep me from getting a job post-PhD), I’ve decided to check into solid tires that don’t have inner tubes. They’re a bit heavier and don’t have as good of traction, but will keep me from being stuck in a random city trying to find a bike shop to pump or fix my wheels (which has happened).
In a few days, I’ll post a few OotD posts from Gwynnie Bee. While I probably shouldn’t be spending money on it, having a guaranteed nice thing to wear once a week that I don’t have to worry about washing/drying/maintaining is absolutely lovely. It decreases my stress, lets me have a package come in the mail about once a week, and always feels like I’m playing a grownup version of dress-up. If I could afford upping my subscription, I would! I could have two outfits a week for teaching in that help me not waste spoons on clothing maintenance and to help me pretend that life isn’t really hard with chronic pain & nerve damage. Less laundry = less wasted spoons = happier Casey = I win!