Not one semester

I haven’t gone one semester without issues.  Those four years for my first degree were full of problems.  Last semester, I had to drop art metals.  This semester, I’m taking an incomplete for contemporary art.  I’m tired of this.

Hopefully, I can finish all the work for the rest of my classes before Thursday.  I just have so much to do.  And I’m so bad at doing it.

At least my professors have been nice and accommodating.

Let’s see…what do I have to do?  Well, I have to finish my giant drawing (mostly just erasing and fixing stuff) and assemble my portfolio for this afternoon.  Then, for tomorrow, I have to write a reflection and email it with another reflection to my teacher.  I also have a short paper for that class due tomorrow (really, due last week).  Then, for Thursday, I have to finish making a video, take a test in which I have to explain every answer, write a paper, write another paper, and assemble a portfolio.  Should be super fun!

I don’t really even have anything to write.

Things I learned in School Today

School is, basically, a game.  At least, that’s what I got out of the presentation.  I think the point was that games are better than school, but, based on my experiences, school matched his definition of a game.  So….yeah…..

Also, overmedication for ADHD is a huge problem.  Now, I’m not going to say it isn’t, but what I will say is that there are a lot of kids who do benefit from medication.  Yes, there are cases of improper use, but making broad generalizations stating that it shouldn’t be used ever and is really not for the kids, is, frankly, stupid.

Also, debate club in high school must be really easy.  ‘Cause these kids in my class who claim to be champions aren’t very great.  Well, I guess the one was good at reading quotes quickly…but that was about it.

We had presentations in two of my three education classes today.  It was, overall, not very exciting or purposeful.  I could have stayed home and slept.  But that would have been bad.  And I need to talk to my professor about my late papers.  So…guess it’s good that I’m here.

Going back to the ADHD med guy, one of his main reasons for not medicating kids was that then they can’t “be themselves.”  This brings up an interesting discussion that I don’t think he was meaning to get at.  Should anyone be medicated?  Does being on medication mean you’re not yourself?  Am I not myself because I take medication?  Who am I?  Am I supposed to be depressed and anxious and unable to function?  Or maybe the medication gets other things out of the way so that I can be myself.  Or maybe something in between.

Personally, I’m depressed and anxious enough on meds; I don’t think I would “be myself” if I were more depressed.  Then again, how do we define who we are?  Maybe being myself isn’t desirable.  Maybe the meds help me be myself, or maybe they make me “someone else.”  Or, maybe I’m myself whether or not I’m on meds.  After all, they become a part of me.

Really, saying no one can benefit from ADHD meds, or any meds, bothers me.  A lot.  I couldn’t sit through his presentation very easily, because I was upset by the implications of his generalizations and his lack of understanding.  But whatever.  There was no time for me to ask a question or anything (not that I would have), so it’s over now.  I’m probably the only person who will think about that presentation.

In an hour and a half, classes will be over, and it will be time for me to talk to my teacher.  I don’t know…I don’t know what to do or ask her or say.  I just know I haven’t been able to do the assignments and don’t know when I’ll be able to.

I have a drawing due tomorrow.  I haven’t started it yet.  Guess that’s what I’ll be doing tonight.  Even though I’d rather not.  There’s just so much to do and it’s so unnecessary.

Can’t I just give up now?

I have so much work to do.  I do not like it.

Yesterday, my friend messaged me on Facebook, saying she was depressed and had a bunch of work to do.  So we talked and encouraged each other and we actually got some work done.  Well, I wrote two pages in an hour, which was good, but that’s pretty much where my productivity stopped.  I still have to write at least three pages for that paper, plus a bunch of others.  I also have to make a video.  I did recording for that last night, since I couldn’t get any writing done.  That was good, I guess, but there’s so much to do.  Today, in my six hours between classes, I will try to write some papers and work on the video.  I’m already feeling super anxious, so I doubt that’s going to go well.  More likely, I’ll just sit here and not get anything done.

Right now, I am going to get something done.  I’m going to write the voiceovers for my video.  Basically, my video has two parts:  a breathing exercise to kind of give viewers a sense of what anxiety can feel like, and the video of me doing nothing while Matchbox 20’s Unwell plays.  That part, I think, will also flash statistics of mental illness, especially anxiety in kids (it’s for my education class), and have some voiceovers of me saying things that kind of give a glimpse of what I think about sometimes.  It’s sort of a performance art/public service announcement, ideally.  I’m really nervous about it because I don’t know how my classmates will receive it, but I think it will be okay and I don’t have to deal with them after this semester if I don’t choose to, probably, so that makes it a little better.

Anyway, I’m thinking of doing snippets of voice during the song, layering the audio and visual components to sort of reflect how there’s always so much going on in my mind.  I guess I’m trying to give them the feeling of being overwhelmed while not detracting from the message.  What’s the message?  I guess I’m just trying to bring awareness to mental health issues so that they can be sympathetic to students who are suffering and not make it worse.

So I’m going to type snippets now…yeah…I was also looking back through some blog entries for quotes, but I didn’t like doing that too much and it takes a while, so I think I’ll stick to this process.

I don’t know.  I just don’t know anything.  Except I do.  I know a lot.  I just feel like I don’t.

I’m stuck.  I can’t do anything.  I want to, but I can’t.  I can’t decide what to do or how to do it.  There are just too many options, too many possibilities.  I’m stuck, even when I know what to do and how to do it.  I know exactly what I want to get done, I just can’t.

I sit here for hours, doing nothing.  This is not fun.  This is not relaxing.  This is horrible.  This is painful.  This is not productive or comfortable or desirable.  This is pathetic.  I am pathetic.

I am hopelessly depressed, inexplicably anxious, and painfully aware of the ridiculousness of it all.

When I see you, my first thought is not to say hi.  It’s to hide.  To get away so that I don’t have to interact, so that I’m not expected to talk to you or look at you or have you look at me.  It’s not that I don’t like you, ’cause I do.  It’s just that it hurts me to say hello.  It’s just that I feel like I don’t know what to do and I’m afraid of doing something not right.  I’m afraid of hurting you and of you hurting me, so I avoid you.  It’s just better that way.

Well, with what I already had, that’s a page of typing.  Should be enough for snippets in my less than four minute song.

I emailed one of my professors, the one who teaches the class the video’s for, about not presenting it tomorrow, but on Thursday instead.  She said we can push it back however much I need.  So at least that’s good and I don’t have to worry about it too much.  Now, I just get to worry about it because that’s what I do.  And I can worry about everything else, because it is due (or overdue)…yay.

I’m so lucky

I just don’t feel it.  I know I am.  I just don’t express it.  Even if I do express it, I don’t feel it.  I feel horrible.  I feel like my life is crashing around me, even though I know it’s not.  And I can’t make it feel better.

It’s a difficult thing, having feelings and thoughts not match.  I often wonder how other people think and feel.  I know I’m not the only one to experience this, but what about those people whose thoughts and feelings match?  How do they function?  Much better than me, I suppose.  Not having to constantly remind themselves that the world is not, in fact, coming to an end.  That everyone doesn’t hate them.  To just wake up not even having to think about whether you’ll be able to make it through the day without wanting to cry for no reason.  To just wake up and not have to think about things you don’t want to think about.  It must be nice.

I had two papers due for two classes taught by the same professor yesterday.  I have a poorly written paragraph done for one.  That’s all.  I was able to write my teacher an email explaining the circumstances, and she’s agreed to accept the papers late.  Not everyone who doesn’t finish their papers get to turn them in late.  I’m lucky.  I suppose I’m happy that I have another chance, but I still feel bad.  I don’t feel relieved.

I have so much to do before the end of the semester in two weeks.  I have papers and projects and lots of stuff, plus my house is a mess and I really should clean up my stuff.  I would feel better if I did.  Maybe.  And I’d be able to work better.  Maybe.  But it’s just so hard.

I think I’m going to go to my volunteer position now.  I’ll be early, but I guess that’s better than sitting here complaining.  I don’t know what art project we’ll do today.  I have lots of ideas, so I guess I’ll see if they got any new supplies and then decide.

After volunteering, I’ll Skype with my cousins for their art lesson.  That will be good.  I like them.  Then, I’ll have to do homework, because there’s so much of it to do.  It will never be done, it seems.  I should probably just give up.  But apparently I’m not allowed to do that, according to my mother.  Giving up is not an option.  Fine.  Be that way.  See if I care.  I do care.  I care too much.  It hurts.

I guess I’ll go now.  Hopefully, I feel better later.  But probably not.  That’s just how it is.

I didn’t go to class this morning

I was far too tired for driving to be safe, so I stayed home.  I will go to my afternoon class in about 40 minutes.

I am also feeling very anxious for no apparent reason.  Yesterday, I was feeling very depressed, almost to the point of having tears streaming down my face, which hasn’t happened in a while.  I try to do everything I’ve been taught, all the healthy coping skills and breathing exercises and what not, but it doesn’t help.  It doesn’t get better.  And I don’t like it.

My psychiatrist was in a car accident and is closing his practice so he can recover.  I have about a month of meds left, but I need to find a new doctor.  I also need a doctor to write a note or something for school so that I can substitute another class for art metals, because I am certainly not taking it again, even though it’s required for my degree.

The semester will be over soon.  Then, I will be at camp.  That should be fun.  At least, parts of it will be.  I’m not in a very hopeful mood right now, so I’m not even close to thinking that everything will be better over the summer, though I’ve certainly had those thoughts at other points in time.

Last week, I started a post, but I didn’t get very far or really say anything.  I just couldn’t decide where to start.  Some of the stuff I was going to write about was going to maybe be happyish.  Well, not today.  Oh well.

The worst part is, I don’t know why.  If I knew why, maybe I could fix it.  I do everything I’m told to do to make it feel better, but it just doesn’t work.  Sure, there are moments that are fun or happy, like when I was coloring and gardening with little kids yesterday, but it’s still there.  Always.  If I stop, just for a moment, it gets worse, and then it’s hard to restart whatever I was doing.

I’m so indecisive.  I can’t choose what clothes to wear or what to do, so sometimes I just sit on the couch half-clothed and stare and think and worry.  But, of course, I resist any suggestions anyone gives me to try to help.  Oh, you’re bored?  Why don’t you play with the dog?  Or make a Mother’s Day card?  Nope…there’s something wrong with every idea.

I am kind of hungry.  I would like some ice cream, but I don’t think there is any in the freezer.  I guess I could stop at McDonald’s or something on the way to school.  But that’s maybe too much social activity right now.  I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.

I still have 20 minutes before I need to leave, and I do have much more I could write, but I feel like nobody would want to read it anyway, so why bother.  I guess I’ll try to find something to do, like work on homework or something.  But, probably, I won’t.  And I’ll just sit here, idly clicking and refreshing tabs, hoping for something to happen or someone to talk to me.

I already wrote this

but it wouldn’t let me post (“unauthorized”), so I copied and pasted into a new window, published, closed the tab…and then realized that it only posted the first paragraph.  Now, I get to rewrite everything.  Oh joy.

It’s okay though, because I realized my computer needs to charge and the spot next to the outlet was open, so I took advantage of that.  Now, I need to wait for it to charge so that I can go to advising and show them what classes I want to take.  I should have gone an hour ago (it’s walk-in, so I don’t have a specific appointment time), but I didn’t.  Hopefully, there isn’t too long of a line and I’m able to get through it quickly and get to my volunteering position on time.

Today, we’re going to print tulips with forks.  I found it on the internet and it’s springy and at the clients’ level, so that’s what I’m doing.  After I’m done there, I’m going home.  And then, the fun starts.  I’ll be Skyping with my cousin and some amount of her five kids for our first virtual art lesson (she homeschools, I help).  I’ve made a website and everything.  It’s going to be AWESOME!!!!!!!  I’m a little bit excited; can you tell?

It’s really sunny in this spot next to the outlet.  That makes it difficult to see the screen.  Oh well, that’s what I get for being an art major in an art building that doesn’t have a lot of outlets, I guess.  ‘Cause, you know, I totally choose my schools based on electricity accessibility.

I’ve already forgotten most of what I wrote about earlier.  Oh well.  I think I’ll record thoughts on my drive home (by talking to a recorder) and then type them up later.  I do that now.  It’s helpful for homework, I’ve discovered.  I’ve written two things that way, and it makes it way easier for me.  Who knew driving could be so productive?

I guess I’ll be done here for now.  Maybe I’ll write more later, about my application to the college of education and my interesting class discussions.  Or maybe I won’t.  I don’t know yet.

What happened on the 8th? Women

I thought I had posted something, but apparently it doesn’t exist.  I know I typed here then, but there is no post.  I don’t remember everything I typed that day, so I’m not going to try to recreate it.  However, I’m going to bring up one topic from it:  International Women’s Day.  That was March 8th, exactly a week ago.  What I really want to talk about, though, is the UN Commission on the Status of Women 57.  Three years ago, I was part of an organization’s delegation to the CSW 54.  Before I collapsed in the streets of New York and was forced to stay at the convent the rest of the week (which was still pretty awesome), I was having a great time.  It wasn’t that it was particularly entertaining or anything, but it was amazing to be there with people from around the world connected for the purpose of talking about women’s issues.  It was so interesting to learn about international gender and sex issues, and be able to participate in concurrent events and talks about these topics that so often are forgotten or ignored.  The delegation I was with is particularly interested in education and the rights of the girl child, so I went to a few presentations about education internationally.  I got so many resources that I still haven’t completely sorted through.  It was truly amazing.  I also attended a Planned Parenthood gathering with a Catholic nun from my group.  Though we have very differing views on the issues discussed, it was nice to be able to discuss them in a civil manner and with authorities on the matters.  They also had really good food.

I hope to travel to another CSW in the future, with this same organization (I’m friends with some of the leaders on Facebook, so I can make it happen, hopefully).  The only problem is that the CSW occurs for two weeks in March, a time when I generally have school.  When I went, the program was coordinated through the school, so missing a week of classes–though I had a lot of work to make up–was excusable.  Now that I’m at a different school, I think that would be much more troublesome.  Once I graduate, I will hopefully get a teaching job soon after, which would, of course, most likely have me teaching in March.  It is too late for me to go this year, and next year I will likely be student teaching.  However, I really want to go again, this time for at least a whole week without falling over and needing to be helped up by the police.  (Good thing I collapsed next to them so they could keep me from being trampled or lost by my group.)

The focus of CSW 57 is ending violence against women.  This is a huge issue globally, manifested in many ways.  In a city near me, there have recently been a lot of news stories about domestic violence (one of the manifestations of violence against women).  There was a shooting in which uninvolved people died, along with the husband (the shooter) and wife (the intended victim).  The thing that struck me about this case in particular was that, according to the press coverage, the police had been involved with this couple on many occasions, and saw clear warning signs and even acts of violence.  The police officers, multiple times, pretty much ignored the issue.  The man should probably have been in prison, or at least treatment, at the time of the final incident.

These things happen across the world every day.  A lot of people, especially in the US, think that the feminist movement is over, that women are treated equally and have equal opportunity.  This simply is not the case.  Sure, there are female CEOs and even presidents of some countries, but too many women are hurt every day simply because they are women.  They are raped, murdered, mutilated, kidnapped and sold.  They are not allowed to go to school or get jobs.  They cannot feed the children they had no choice not to create.  Maybe the world is better for women and girls than it was 100 years ago, but the effort should not end now.  The state of the world’s females is sad.  Even sadder is the complacency of so many that allows it to happen.

Some people think there’s not really much that can be done to change these huge problems.  Again, that’s not true.  Every step anyone takes against an issue like violence against women impacts someone.  Maybe the entire world will never be safe, but each relationship we build with others can be a safe place.  We can support women’s shelters in our neighborhoods.  We can spread the word  about what we care about and can take action to get world leaders (and local leaders) to change what happens.  Perhaps things like rape can’t be prevented (though I think some cases might be), but they can be treated differently.  Victims can be supported, not blamed or even killed.  Perpetrators can be punished and prevented from harming others.  In some cases, they can be treated.  Other cases, like those involving war, may take more time and a larger task force to solve, but empowering women is an important step in stopping violence against them.

I encourage you to check out the many resources available concerning these matters, and pick one you care about to act on.  As I sort through my resources, I’ll periodically post links for you.  To start, visit the UN CSW website.  There, you can read about what’s going on and even watch webcasts of events.  Even if you’re not really interested in women’s issues, there are other problems in the world that you can learn about and help remedy.