Wednesday, February 26, 2014

But I can't do the thing!

Yes, another reprint from Yes, That Too.

Trigger Warning: Heck if I know but it's the product of me being triggered so... school stuff, generally?

My study abroad program has language utilization reports they want us to do. I can tell from the descriptions they've given that they think these are supposed to be easy. Like, 5 minutes of a multi-day orientation was given to this and I said then that I didn't think the questions were accessible to me. It got brushed off, because I don't know. Maybe because they can't understand how such a thing would be brain-breaking. But it is.

No, asking me what a language interaction I had trouble with in the last two weeks and what resources I think I need to solve it isn't going to get you anywhere. It's just not. There is an assumption that I'll remember an interaction like that. I actually probably would, if I got reminded of the interaction, but... the question they asked is one that brain-blanks me, not one that brings up information. So I'm not going to have an interaction. If we're lucky, I'll come up with a vague general thing that I remember a teacher told me I had a problem with. In this case, what I could come up with was a teacher telling me that the language I was using is too informal. Which, um. Yeah.

That's something people have been complaining about in my English essays since at least the seventh grade. I got marked down on my MCAS essay that year for overly simplistic language. I remember that. No, I don't know what linguistic resources will let me fix it. Frankly, I've got a wee bit of a moral issue with the idea that it needs fixed, since the point of language is to say stuff and people writing the way they want me to be able to tend to break my brain too. I'm actually OK with technical terms as long as they are technical terms as opposed to wide-broad-not-actually-meaning-anything buzzwords. I'm OK with complex ideas. I'm OK with complex sentences for complex ideas, generally, but when people start making stuff more complicated in the name of formal it tends to make my brain hurt.

And of course, I think a good teacher is someone who can make complicated stuff understandable, not make complicated stuff sound more complicated. So yeah. Just a wee bit of a moral issue with that. Also the fact that I prefer to be able to understand my own writing, and yes, when I give in and write in the extra-complicated-formal-academic voice that people like to praise I can find myself not understanding my own writing later. Not worth it. Really not.

So that's the issue that I can remember, and it's not one that I'm entirely comfortable with the idea of solving.

Plus the other questions don't get along any better with my brain than that one does.

And I just sent them an email saying this stuff doesn't work well with my brain. That's scary because this is a heavy-duty smart-people impressive-people-doing-impressive-things program and I'm going in and saying that yeah, the thing that you wrote to be a simple easy data collection thing is actually one of the hardest things you're asking me to do because it is breaking my brain. That's scary to admit. It's risking becoming Not A Really Real Person in their eyes and that is scary. It is a lot of scary. And yeah. Help. Except don't, because I can't deal with people right now. No, really. If we are friends on Facebook: DO NOT MESSAGE ME ABOUT THIS. IF I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT, I WILL START THE CONVERSATION. NO EXCEPTIONS.

1 comment:

  1. not responding because i know you said ew people, and i'm probably a person: this is probably best described as modified echolalia but i just needed to because...those questions ARE terrible. i read them and was like "AUGH STOP."

    and i have never called it that, but brain-blank is like every day of my life. what are proper nouns and names and why are they used? i do not understand.

    also "wide-broad-not-actually-meaning-anything buzzwords" are something i've been upset about ALSO since i was in like seventh grade but that's the best description of them i've ever heard. i usually call them "nonsense words." or "bulls**t words."

    and i am also not interested in solving this "problem" and it upsets me when people get angry at me about it. and then i cry and get even worse at understanding what they're saying, except that i can feel the feeling of them talking in a way that makes me disappear/suffocate. and that makes me more stressed.

    and i am also in the middle of having to write to big important people at a place for smart people about how they need to accommodate me and my language things and i am also terrified because i'm supposed to write and read and be languagey as my entire major and living and life, and i can, but not they way they want me to (i can even better, like you said. i can teach better. i can read better. but i'm not allowed to say that to them, am i?). i don't want to become a not-person (again).

    so this is just an echo, really. but a big one. loud echoes.