Daily Archives: October 30, 2015

Grad School Accommodations

I've worked - as an instructional assistant, substitute teacher, and full-time teacher - in schools for a little over 7 years. In that time, I've come to see that different students have different needs. For students who receive special education services, they have a legal document in place called an IEP or an Individualized Education Program. It basically lays out the modifications and accommodations that the school and teacher must comply with in order to meet the student's needs.

But, IEP's only apply to K-12 education. There are no IEP's in college or graduate school. However, many colleges do have an Office of Disability. And colleges can't discriminate against students for any disability the student may have.

I don't know how I found out about accommodations at the higher education level, but this summer I sought out the Office of Disability at my grad school to find out about what I am entitled to. Yesterday I finally followed up with them.

I brought a letter from my psychiatrist stating that I have a mood disorder and am under her care. And I had a 30-minute intake meeting with a staff member to discuss my medical and school histories. She determined that the two accommodations that would suit my circumstances best are extended time on 1-2 assignments per class per semester and 1-2 excused absences per class per semester. I knew about extended time as it is one of the accommodations some of my students received. But I was unaware of the excused absences.

I'm grateful to have been approved for these two accommodations. But in all honesty, I'm hoping that I won't need to use them. When I'm stable I can produce work. It's when I'm in the midst of an episode that I would need the help.

I really needed the help the first time I went to graduate school (for my Master's in Education. I'm now in school for my Master's in Social Work). I was depressed and could barely get out of bed to make it to student teaching and my seminar class. I did no work for my seminar class at all that semester; in fact, I didn't finish that work from fall semester until the spring semester. But at this time I wasn't diagnosed yet. I was just acting erratically. I didn't know what the problem was. I just knew I wasn't myself and I couldn't focus long enough to get my work done.

I'm hoping to make it through this grad program without enduring an episode. My program is three years long, so here's hoping. I say that because I have been manic and hospitalized every spring for the past three years. Three hospital stays in three years is a lot.

Despite that history, I'm hoping to stay stable. Thereby not needing the accommodations. But if I need them, they are there. I can't tell you how much peace of mind this brings me.

Grad School Accommodations

I've worked - as an instructional assistant, substitute teacher, and full-time teacher - in schools for a little over 7 years. In that time, I've come to see that different students have different needs. For students who receive special education services, they have a legal document in place called an IEP or an Individualized Education Program. It basically lays out the modifications and accommodations that the school and teacher must comply with in order to meet the student's needs.

But, IEP's only apply to K-12 education. There are no IEP's in college or graduate school. However, many colleges do have an Office of Disability. And colleges can't discriminate against students for any disability the student may have.

I don't know how I found out about accommodations at the higher education level, but this summer I sought out the Office of Disability at my grad school to find out about what I am entitled to. Yesterday I finally followed up with them.

I brought a letter from my psychiatrist stating that I have a mood disorder and am under her care. And I had a 30-minute intake meeting with a staff member to discuss my medical and school histories. She determined that the two accommodations that would suit my circumstances best are extended time on 1-2 assignments per class per semester and 1-2 excused absences per class per semester. I knew about extended time as it is one of the accommodations some of my students received. But I was unaware of the excused absences.

I'm grateful to have been approved for these two accommodations. But in all honesty, I'm hoping that I won't need to use them. When I'm stable I can produce work. It's when I'm in the midst of an episode that I would need the help.

I really needed the help the first time I went to graduate school (for my Master's in Education. I'm now in school for my Master's in Social Work). I was depressed and could barely get out of bed to make it to student teaching and my seminar class. I did no work for my seminar class at all that semester; in fact, I didn't finish that work from fall semester until the spring semester. But at this time I wasn't diagnosed yet. I was just acting erratically. I didn't know what the problem was. I just knew I wasn't myself and I couldn't focus long enough to get my work done.

I'm hoping to make it through this grad program without enduring an episode. My program is three years long, so here's hoping. I say that because I have been manic and hospitalized every spring for the past three years. Three hospital stays in three years is a lot.

Despite that history, I'm hoping to stay stable. Thereby not needing the accommodations. But if I need them, they are there. I can't tell you how much peace of mind this brings me.

Just Because You Can’t See It . . .

Sometimes, you just need to go to The Great One . . . and read what she has to say . . .

http://thebloggess.com/2015/10/just-because-you-cant-see-doesnt-mean-its-not-real/


Filed under: Bipolar Depressed, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Depression, Hope, Humor, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader, The Bloggess

Hard

Having bipolar disorder really affects your relationships with people.  Others often don’t realize how hard it is to interact with other people when you have this disease. I often come across to people as brusque and rough because interaction is so very difficult when your moods are fluctuating.  I do my level best not to.  And I do my best to not let bipolar be an excuse for bad behavior.  Please pray for me that I can do better in this realm as I continue to recover.


AROHO’s No No/An Intriguing Book About Virginia Woolf’s Manic Depression

  Happy day before Halloween!   Several weeks have passed since I emailed A Room of Her Own Foundation for Women: Writers: Artists, a well-funded nonprofit also known as AROHO.  The A Room of Her Own website features a profile of a young Virginia Woolf in its logo. Woolf is referenced throughout the AROHO website, i.e. the foundation’s … Continue reading AROHO’s No No/An Intriguing Book About Virginia Woolf’s Manic Depression

Morgueified

***Kidcentric post warning. If you wanna skip it cos you don’t have kids or hate kids or like to juggle flaming toddlers as opposed to first graders…Buh-bye****

 

Yesterday was another ‘too much time in the dish day”. I was mortified. Or Morgueified,if you will. Because I couldn’t find a single second of mental peace, knowing I had to face my kid’s school function. That parenting class thing blows goats and leprechauns. Back in my school days they had cake walks and games for kids and parents to do together. So the hilarity of the class that encouraged “spending more time with your kids” while separating us from them hit me upside the head. Idgets. Not to mention the time leading up was made more traumatic because the teacher sent home three pages of homework, all math, and my kid spewed pea soup cos it’s boring. And  I was taught differently and they are doing this “ten square” method I don’t really get…We were at the shop and I had to ask R to help my six year old with her math, ffs. Sad thing is, he has a freaking degree and it took him twenty minutes to comprehend the damned New Improved method. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. Spook is right, math is boring and it sucks.

Pre-torture, I took a couple of pics. I am posting these not to be narcissistic, but to demonstrate just how “deer in the headlights” I looked.

terrified morgue unamused Morgue(And if even one well meaning person says a word about how fluffy I am, I swear to pegacorn satan, I WILL hunt you down and take a shovel to your skull.I am fluffy, NOT FAT, and I don’t give a fuck about being healthy or being attractive. I’m in survival mode, lucky I managed to put on pants and remember how to drive, I was so panic stricken.)

But, twas not about me, it was Spook’s night to show off how pretty an Elsa she makes…I present…Spooky Princess Elsa.

boop elsa 15Of course, she kept tripping on it cos it was a little long, but she is an oddly proportioned child so to get things to fit on top I have to bump her up a size which results in too long sleeves or dresses she trips on.  And btw, to whatever ass trash company made the Elsa wig that alleges to be an adult size…It barely fit my six year old’s head so when sizing it, were you idgets using shrunken human skulls or what? I had a bitch of a time getting that thing on her.

Off we went, mommy in fight or flight mode yet sucking it up for the spawn’s sake. Went to the shop to meet my calm companion and since the school is just around the corner, we walked to avoid parking gridlock. The line waiting to get inside about made me hurl. All those shrieking running kids (did enjoy their costumes, though) and then there was my general discomfort having to have a calm companion, especially one with a wife, cos gossip in this town is viral and he went but looked like he was bored into a coma. His kids are well grown up now, this was a repeat for him. I was grateful to have the support though, otherwise I might have thrown up and run back for the car. I purposely took off my glasses so everything would be fuzzy and less vivid, thus lowering my being overwhelmed status. Which made me pretty much blind to see what classrooms were holding which parenting class. He made a comment about are you blind, and I said, “Yeah, I’m not wearing my glasses, duh. You’re my eyeballs tonight.” Shows how much he pays attention,didn’t even notice I wasn’t wearing my glasses. (One day I am gonna test his awareness by going to the shop without pants.)

Too panicked to really ponder what interested me, I fled into the room teaching math skills for first grade. After the homework fiasco, I obviously needed it. Beyond letting kids count objects like marbles or pieces of cereal, I understood none of it. Make them memorize their damned tables with flash cards like I did, for fuck’s sake. The saving grace was that it wasn’t too packed in the room, though R’s  bored fidgeting kind of unnerved me. (Though every time I started feel guilty for asking him to spend his rare free time to accompany me, I reminded myself of all the boring shit I have endured for his sake, and yes, back when we were together for his kids, and it’s like, fuck guilt, karma bitch.)

Next class was about rewards and validation for the kids. Ugh. They even passed out four papers of homework for the parents to do. Not to be turned in, but to give the kids a daily structure and routine. ‘Scuse me, I already have this one down pat. Home, snack, homework, then play time. BORING. I thought I might actually walk away with some new parenting Houdini trick but sadly…It was just a regurgitation of everything spew when I took Spook to that child psychologist. Bored. Bored. Bored Morgue.

This was followed by a trip to their very tiny gym filled with parental dish dwellers for a costume parade of all the grades. Hated the crowd. Loved seeing the costumes. There were two little Elvises. (Elvi?) To my surprise, my kid and only on other girl came as Elsa. (I figured there’d me a mini mob based on how many Elsa/Anna?Frozen backpacks spotted at pick up time.) One kid has the scream mask that actually had red liquid inside so it looked like he was bleeding. Two of the school staff were dressed as Dr. Who. One from the Tom Baker years of the neverending ugly ass scarf, the other as the Matt Smith bow tie nerd version. That was pretty cool. (Myself, I’d be a dalek. I can really rock that EX-TERM-I-NATE!HATE HATE HATE thing). There was a kid in a shark costume which made me dissolve into laughter and R was confused. I couldn’t explain it because it referenced this week’s episode of The Flash and he’d not seen it yet so no spoilers. But it cracked me the fuck up.

And then the crowd was braved for escape, I got my Mangoritas, and promptly came home and ripped off the body bondage known as bra, underwear,and any clothing I didn’t sleep in. I could breathe again.

So yeah, yeah, I survived, but it was pointless. I learned nothing. My kid was upset because not one single school mate complimented her Elsa costume and “they only let us have one cookie and made us play stupid math games!” Yeah, definitely sucky. My family used to come home with mega loot and cakes and pies and…I would not want to be a kid in this day and age.

This morning I am waiting on my “date” to watch American Horror Story with Bex (yes, you can “watch” shows with someone even if they live in another country.) I am taking much needed chill time. Fuck the biohazard level four that is my home. And for once,I have escaped being roped in to R’s bidding. Hope to get a call, though, cos I fixed a computer he outsourced to me yesterday and I need that cash, mommy’s getting a new keyboard for this laptop cos this one is fuuuucked. I get giddy over a new keyboard, wow, when did I become such a geek?

Monday the heating guys will show up. (Kindly benefactors exist, I did not win the lottery or rob a convenience store.) Woo hoo, heat in my bedroom for the first time in six years? It will be like Utopia. Lower heating bills would rock, too.

Off to be Morgueified by Lady Gag-Gag’s acting skills which are as good as her singing skills. They don’t exist. I’m in it for the hot goth guy in eyeliner. He’s a prick and drinks blood, but hey, no one is perfect.

Morgue, OUT.


Through my eyes

please understand that this is not a post to elicit pity, there are people out there that feel the same way, I want them to know they’re not alone

crying eyesYou live in an isolated area.
You have no friends,
It’s difficult to make new ones because…
You no longer have a working brain,
Your medications make you stupid,
You can’t hold down a job,
You can’t concentrate long enough for a hobby,
There are no opportunities nearby,
No opportunities for “people like you.”

Imagine you’re used to seeing your grandchildren at least once a week,
Now decrease that to once a year, if you’re lucky.

Sometimes I feel like a foreigner.
I’m not from this world.
I don’t fit, believe me, I’ve tried.

And I’m tired.
I’ve been fighting this illness for 50+ years.
I’ve been on the medication merry-go-round for 30+ years.
I’m tired enough that it would be so easy to just lay down to sleep
And not wake up.

Tagged: depression, isolation, mental illness

free medication time

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
It was a ward 13 day on Wednesday and medication day too, it’s always wise to get there as close to 7.30am as you can. The pharmacy is full of varnished and uncomfortable benches, with pharmacists busy as honey badgers round a cobra, behind plywood and glass. First you…

free medication time

It was a ward 13 day on Wednesday and medication day too, it’s always wise to get there as close to 7.30am as you can. The pharmacy is full of […]

Today