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Stupid idea

September 30, 2011

Don’t really want to talk about how I’m feeling right now, but I know it’s not healthy to keep it in. It’s distracting me from finishing up my last bits of work, I might as well get it out and move on.

I don’t stay in the depression phase long. My last entry, I was depressed. The next phase always takes over really quickly: anger. There will be a lot of swearing in this entry. If you can’t handle the profanity, go elsewhere. I know it doesn’t make much sense (at first), but I’m pissed off about one stupid little thing. This:

For some reason my school thinks it’s a brilliant idea to stick that symbol on the desk that is dead center of the front row. Everyone looks at that symbol as they walk past that desk like it’s a rabid animal reaching out to get them. Don’t get to close to the cripple-desk or you might turn into a gimp! No one will sit in that desk, or the ones beside it or behind it. The desk itself is loaded with stigma, yet they expect someone with a disability to gladly take that damn seat?!

Why the hell would anyone with an illness want to sit there? You might as well hang a sign on your back saying I’M A CRIPPLE AND WELCOME YOUR SPECULATION AND RUDE QUESTIONS ABOUT MY DISABILITY! Sit in that desk, and you are declaring to everyone that you are sick and should be avoided (just like the desk itself is avoided). It’s hard enough to manage health problems, a social life, and school. Openly declaring you are sick by taking that seat says to the other students “I am not a person, I am just an illness”. I have worked very hard to hide all of my symptoms at school. I have caused myself physical and mental pain to keep this shit a secret. If I had been able to sit in that spot without declaring that I’m ill, it would have been much easier for me to hide. I wouldn’t have to close one eye to to see the front of the class. I wouldn’t have to try to cover up my closed eye with my hand, pissing off teachers since to them it looks like I’m falling asleep during a lecture.

This is a crucial time, social-wise. This is the time that cliques start to form (and break apart if given the right reasons). Get in now and don’t give anyone a reason to avoid you, or spend the rest of your time in your program alone. That’s just how it works. Giving everyone a reason to avoid getting to know you is not only a bad idea for your social life, it can hurt your grades in programs that involve a lot of groupwork. Everyone immediately jumps into their clique for groupwork. If you aren’t in one, you get stuck with different people every time and never get the chance to learn your partners’ work styles. You never know which areas you’re going to have to put extra effort into, which things your partners are good at.

Some of you may be thinking “oh that’s just a spot for students in a wheelchair, and since they’re in a wheelchair everyone already knows right away that they have a disability.” Not true. Do you have to be in a wheelchair to park in a handicap parking space? No. And what symbol indicates a handicap parking spot? The same as the one for the handicap desk. There is no extra space around the desk to fit a wheelchair in, and there is a chair seated with that desk. Not exactly wheelchair friendly.

They make such a big deal about keeping your disability “confidential”. They don’t technically require you to tell any of your teachers what your medical condition is, just that there is a condition that needs accommodations. If your accommodation happens to be that you need to sit in a specific area in class, classmates will notice and they will ask question and/or gossip. There is no confidentiality because it will be hounded out of you. There is no need to force the student to mark their desk like this. Everyone always sits in the same areas anyway (thanks to cliques), so why can’t the student with the disability make the “cripple-desk” their unofficial desk without slapping a sticker on it? Sure, the professors will leave you alone and won’t question you, but that’s because they could lose their job if they do that. The students have nothing to lose, so what’s to stop them?

The sticker is a bullshit idea if you ask me.

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2 Comments
  1. Non-disabled people just don’t get it…..how belittling (sp?) and annoying. Its like people telling me to ‘just get a wheelchair’ at the airport when I travel. They have no idea the looks, the comments…. Hubby & I went to a music festival and got handi-passes so we could get a shuttle closer to our seats and get to the handi-toilets. We had two friends with us who also got passes since we were all sitting together. On the shuttle one of them yells across the bus “Wow Warrior! Your disability is really paying off for us!” Everyone on the bus stared at me. Awesome. Thanks friend. (Needless to say, we haven’t hung out with those people since).

  2. wow that friend has no tact at all :/
    they really dont understand. the looks, the comments, and just the feeling is horrible. everytime you have to make some adaptation its a defeat (well at least it feels like it at first). its hard enough to deal with on your own, all the stupid comments and behaviour just make it worse.

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