Monday, July 27, 2015

A Spectrum of Highs and Lows in College: Accommodation, Education, and Socialization in Undergrad

I left my previous post about my college career in a second start to school. The first six months of undergraduate education was spent on medical leave pending adjustment to the academic and general living rigors of higher education. It was not how I wanted to spend the majority of my freshman year, but it was what it was. It forced me to re-evaluate what I wanted and what I wanted was confidence to prove I could handle college. So I returned to northern California with a steely determination to make it through upper academia far from familial support and create the best undergraduate experience possible.

How did I do? Pretty damn well considering that previous hiccup.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The "Unlikely" Combination of Autism, Social Work, and Empathy

I almost ruined this past Thanksgiving because of a news story.

The day itself was fine - all the guests showed up, the food was good, nobody got in each others' faces about hot-button issues (a miracle considering the Ferguson protests dominated the news cycle at the time), and I managed to get along with everyone perfectly well. As far as family events went, it was a good one.

Bu after the meal was over and the guests left, I checked my Tumblr feed and saw a  story about two British policemen facing charges for chasing and assaulting an autistic Pakistani man.

My entire demeanor changed from being okay to sobbing beyond belief. I couldn't believe the cruelty these men had afflicted on a person I didn't even know. That story combined with the Ferguson coverage made me upset at people's cruelty and it all spilled out in tears. A family member found me crying and while she understood how I could be affected by such a story, she was perturbed that I would let a news story would make me break down.

In short, I may have let my empathy take over to the point of unhealthy display.