#weloveEU or at least we did before #brexit

It’s day 5 in the Brexit house and the housemates are still divided. Actually, this one has just about calmed down enough to write a coherent post. I’ve spent the past few days apoplectic with rage (that doesn’t do POTS any good btw) and swearing at more people than I cared to mention. 

There’s been so many more well written and eloquent posts describing just why I’m so enraged: this one in particular, so instead I’m going to do what I do best: take a deep breath and identify some practical things that people can do to make an attempt at shaking off this image that we’ve generated that all Britons are navel gazing racists looking to restart colonialism. We’re not. Some of us are really rather recent.

Firstly, we need to understand what we’ve done. Yes, all of us. If you are in the remain camp, some of us (and I hold my hands up) assumed this would never happen in a million years and were complacent, some of us (yep, me again) were too patronising to change people’s minds with our figures. We made the awful mistake of thinking that only the ultra right wingers & UKIPpers would vote out; we were wrong. Watch the video below & know we should have tried harder. I do believe part of my raging over the past few days has been feeling guilty that I didn’t do more to stop this shitstorm.

If you voted out (and forgive me, because I’m doing my best to be understanding & all in it together, but it’s not easy), watch this video. Listen to what this elderly woman is saying. Why? Because every out vote facilitated the racist behaviour that makes her too scared to leave her home. You might not be a racist, but your vote facilitated them. You might not be a racist, but you gave the right wing groups a mandate to hate anyone who isn’t white with a British sounding name in public without fear of public outrage. Why? Well, you wanted to take our country back.

Of course, this could just be one isolated incident of nasty pensioners smearing excrement on their neighbours door. Except, I present you with exhibit B, Twitter. I searched for the hash tag #safetypin  (I’ll explain why later)

Just a choice few – I do suggest reading the responses.

This person who might not entirely get where we left…

Or let’s go with blatant racism

OK, so what can we do now? Well, let’s start by acting like humans and being that person who steps in if we hear racist language. Don’t be afraid to use your teacher voice with kids trying to be big & clever – you’ll be surprised at how quickly a bully will stand down when they’re called out for exactly what they are.

An onwards to the almighty safety pin. It may seem like a limp attempt at middle class activism, but for now I’ll be wearing a safety pin in a visible place. Why? As a visual sign that you can approach me with a smile, a question, ask for directions, or if needed ask for help, no matter your race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation. Importantly, the safety pin isn’t just a sign that I’m not a racist, it’s a symbol that I won’t just stand idly by. I will help you. Hell, I’ll risk yanking out my arms to get to you & I’ll run that bastard over in my wheelchair if need be.

Not everyone is on board with it.

Do I think it’s sad that we should need to do this? Yes.

Do I think it’s worth it if it just makes one person feel safer? Yes.

Am I still a European Citizen? For now & I’m looking at ways I can answer ‘yes’.

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Meh

Today was meh. Actually, it was more than meh. It was a megalithic shitstorm. And yet I kept my temper.

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We’re now 4 weeks past the final final coursework deadline. So far I’ve marked & moderated all the GCSE controlled assessments  (again), all of the AS structured tasks, and most of the A2 projects… apart from the few that aren’t finished. 4 weeks past the extended final deadline.

If they worked for me, they’d be fired. As it is, one particular student waltzes in today & demands that I mark his 4 week late project tonight so he can make improvements. As it is, I did mark it. Then sat there horrified that the month long extension produced no additional code than that copied from my tutorials. So here I am between the rock of a kid who has barely worked for the past 12 months (seriously, we started this in June 2015) who deserves the grade he gets and the hard place of being judged on the value added that he brings to my class results which utterly wipes out the amazing hard work that the other kids have put in with some achieving incredible results. And here is the teacher conundrum; do you go with the moral high ground of allowing them to learn the greater life lesson of results actually require hard work, or do I go with the gnawing fear of our results being pulled down by the kid failing & give him yet another chance?

The day that gnawing feeling leads me to over help (delicate way of saying do it for them), is the day I leave teaching. But I hate that I have to put my morals and the important lesson of allowing someone to fail aside because ultimately, I know that my pay grade is weighted against my classes performance. By performance, I mean how many grades above their predicted results at the start of the course are they by the time they leave.

Today, I have watched my daughter stay up til past 9 trying practice papers for an exam for 11 year olds that ultimately benefits the school but not her, have been made to feel unsupportive because after a year of trying to extract work I took longer than 4 days to turn around some marking, worried more about departmental stays than a human being, and my bones hurt. I dragged myself out of bed this morning despite lightening shooting through my back & legs, but I’m not wholly sure why now. We visited Squeezy my SIL for her birthday this evening & trying to enjoy the company, I could barely sit in my chair because of the pain in my pelvis despite all the opiates. As I sat squirming, I could feel myself reaching blackout levels on the pain scale as my bones turned to lava & all feeling left my feet. As Mr Geek lifted me back into the chair when we got home, I couldn’t hold myself up anymore. Welcome to not pacing.

I’ve lost some of my fight today. This isn’t a closed mindset – I genuinely believe that they could reach the stars with enough hard work. But I won’t do the work for them. My challenge now is how to instil that growth mindset into those final few kids who year on year don’t heed the advice of start early & do little & often. I fear this isn’t an easily won battle.

I’m not an #Ableist but…

It’s time I quite literally wheeled Stella out again. The world needs a replacement for the blunt but very funny woman she was. This is the woman who got drunk, fell out of her chair & broke her wrist. No regrets aside from spilling her wine.

Anyway, this evening Facebook and I clashed. Ok, not actually Facebook,  but someone posting on it. I usually just roll my eyes and move on, but sometimes I forget that this is the internet and try to explain to people why their words might be misconstrued as offensive, or why in fact they are being a dickhead. In fact, to save you reading further: TLDR; don’t be a dickhead.

However, for the more literary…

Just a quick reminder of standards for talking to, about, or around those with disabilities  (and like ninjas, you won’t always be aware of our presence):

– The “at least you’re not that person” style of motivation speech is not well received when done in front of that person. That speech is best described as a clusterfuck.

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– we are wheelchair users. Not wheelchair bound. Not in public anyway… don’t Google it. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.

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– on a similar note, I can call me a cripple as can my disabled friends. It’s our word.  Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger?

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– if I call you out for being ableist and you are not disabled, you don’t get to tell me that all disabled people would agree with you. Because one just didn’t. That’s not activism, that’s maths. Let’s be honest, If I call you out on it, I’m probably going to be nicer about it than half of Twitter. I won’t even c bomb you the first time 😉

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Now watch Stella. Go on. Off you go.

I used to love you

I grew up with Harley Quinn as an icon. As a bit of a feminist, this doesn’t for too well as she was (is) the ultimate bunny boiler.

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Intelligent woman tries being all independent, but ultimately loses her mind over a man (who fair enough did get her to kill him for messed up reasons). Then, like she had no chance at self esteem, falls in love with self obsessed, manipulative and abusive make up wearing man. That’s the joker btw.

I’m not entirely sure why she was my hero growing up when you put it like that. Oh yeah…. She’s hot, and slightly unhinged.

I present also exhibit B.

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My taste in women is questionable at best.

So, somehow I was miffed to find Mr Geek salivating at DC’s latest incarnation of Miss Quinn. It took me a bit of head churning to work out the two themes of why I’m not keen on this one.

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1. She’s not even pretending to be the proper Harley Quinn overtly tits in your face sexy with the severely mentally unhinged facade hiding the fatal Freudian flaw of requiring the Joker’s approval of her actions. The HQ of my comic years kicked ass, and spoke to my inner teenage girl, whereas this one appears to wiggle her ass in a girly, slightly unnervingly underagey way whilst kicking nothing but her cute shoes  (they are good shoes).

2. She’s hot. Mr Geek is right. And right now, I’m about as sexy as a vasectomy. Performed by Dr Zoidberg.
 

I’m a bit jealous…. and probably out to stick with Deadpool. He’s far more my style.

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Carby Cravings

It’s the second day back at work and I’m tired and hungry (and we’ve returned to not eating dinner until past 7.30pm because of work & kids club commitments). I want a great big bowl of pasta and garlic bread. Or a pizza. Yes. A pizza with CHEESE  and garlic bread. With extra doughballs. And breaded chicken. And some mac & cheese just for good measure.

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I am so sick of the gluten free “ooh it nearly tastes the same” shit. It doesn’t – especially bread. Gluten free bread tastes like it was made out of the mashed bones of jelly babies. Even hearing someone slicing through lovely fresh tiger bread makes me want to skin them and play taxidermist with breadcrumbs. I want white baguette that doesn’t taste like play dough and enough garlic to kill Nosferatu.

Fuck you gluten free FODMAP diet from hell.

Also, I might have a bit of PMT.

Why @SouthernRailUK Was The Last Straw

I’d got this. Mr Geek is working in London this weekend which means him leaving the house at 6.30am and not getting back until after 8pm. It doesn’t happen often and his employers are paying him extra for this unusual task.

I’d planned each day carefully so I didn’t overdo it. Today, Mrs G came over in the morning & we spent the afternoon either making the first stages of the kids’ homework models or having some nice downtime with them playing on the wii whilst I knitted / watched them. I even managed to dictate some more of my PIP form (Google Speech to Text I ❤ you.)

I was mildly concerned about getting a bath in before Monday, but as it turns out as soon as Mr Geek got in, he helped me run a bath and 8.30 is fiiiine. I don't need painkillers yet. (Can you hear that sarcasm?  I absolutely do. I could currently sob with the various bits that are screaming).

The plan had been for tomorrow to get up slow, take the girls to hobbycraft to get the bits they need to finish their homework models, and possibly even stop at the garden centre for cake. Then have a nice afternoon of finishing homework and washing children ready for school.

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Except the trains aren’t running past us tomorrow, because, there’s probably a Rice Krispie on the line or something. And in one short service announcement, Southern Rail have trapped me in my house for another 36 hours.

My wheelchair won’t fit inside anyone else’s car aside from ours, and my useless body doesn’t can’t even manage to propel myself half a metre along the pavement anymore, let alone to the bus stop. (I’m not even going to go near how mortifying it is asking an 11 year old to try & push me onto a bus).

I can totally get why people with EDS get labelled with depression because it’s just so fucking frustrating. I can’t take enough painkillers because I need to be functional in the morning, I grit my teeth to be functional then get trapped in the house. If I’m thirsty, I can’t even get a bloody drink for myself as I have to decide between carrying a glass and shuffling across the room. I’m so angry and have no way to let it out! I can’t even hit out or throw stuff because I’d dislocate my sodding shoulder.

I don’t want to live like this anymore. I want my old body back. This is not me. I’m sick to death of just waiting for the next dose of drugs. I want off this stupid EDS roller coaster.

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Resting Bitch Face

I’m starting to wonder if my doctor is a drug pusher.

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This evening, in order to get into bed I have a neuroblocker for CRPS, another one for reflux, another couple of dihydrocodeine to kick some of the pain in the arse & a laxative because otherwise the codeine quite literally becomes a pain in the arse.

I have more in the morning & some more to get me through the day. Which sort of makes me wonder why stuff still hurts. Seriously, I ought to be stoned put of my tree. Instead I’m just vaguely contemplating a nap.

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My elbow is currently beautifully swollen after the blood test, because apparently poking a vein directly leads to wonky elbows. This is a nice addition to the regular joints out and reflux.

I’m having a bit of an “Everything hurts” grump this evening, providing me with an excellent resting bitch face.

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I’d do anything for a 24 hour date with my mega pillow.