Friday, January 29, 2010

Back To School: Of PCAs and of Freezing Weather

Hey readers, though there be few. I certainly hope this blog update meets you well, and also I hope you've not been waiting too long for a new one (I really doubt you have).

So, what's been happening with me over these past few weeks? Well, for starters, I'm finally back to school (hence the lateness in posting), and I must say it is good to be back! Vacation is good and all, but let's face it, it can only go on for so long before I'm ready to drive over a bridge (which is impossible, by the way, because of those lovely guard rails on each bridge...). However, the night before I came back, my PCA asked me if I could hire a secondary part time aid as a relief to himself. That's where I'm at now.

So, my PCA, Boris... What's that? You don't know what a PCA is? Oh, well then I believe it is learning time! Students, take up your pens - this is important: PCA stands for personal care assistant (or attendant, which ever). Their basic duty is to help me out in the bathroom, help me with getting dressed, and anything else I need. In short, they are Godsends, without whom I would not be able to live at school, and would definitely not be going to Boston for school next year.

So anyways, the night before I came back to school, my wonderful aid, Boris, asked me if I could start looking for someone part time so he'd be able to focus on homework more this semester. After this, I started calling a few people I thought may want the job, as they'd expressed interest before. The conversations went something like this...

ME: "Hey Lumpy (that's his name!), some hours opened up as far as being my PCA goes. Still want to do it?"
Lumpy: "Dan, I got a job. Try giving Animal (I have some odd friends...) a call!"
Me: "Wassup Animal?"
Animal: "NO! -click-"

So now I was left without anyone to take some of Boris' hours. Where should I go? Where else but the most sketchy website on all of the internet: CRAIG'S LIST. Let me start by saying that you should be prepared for some CREEPY responses when your ad reads, "Need help in bed and in shower. 18+ Men only." Just don't do it.

Anyways, I posted my ad and had multiple strange but nice people asking about the job. However, I finally received a response from someone who I thought would be perfect for it, even before meeting him. I was right. (^_^) He stopped by Wednesday night and has the job now. But that's enough of PCAs. Can we discuss this weather lately?

I do not know about most of you, but a wind chill of -2, in my opinion, should be enough to cancel classes! This day has been, to say the least, unpleasant, especially considering I have at least a fifteen minute walk (drive, in my case...) from my dorm to the building where my classes are held. Here's something I never experienced before: as you go uphill, the wind gets worse, to the point where you may feel it would be better to simply shatter your now frozen fingers and get it over with, than it would be to just go those extra couple minutes further with the agonizing feeling of glass-like fingers.

But that's enough of that. I really haven't anything else to say for tonight. I will wish you the best, and bid you adieu.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Brand New Journey

Welcome to my very first blog post. This moment has spent a lot of time swimming around in my head, and I am finally ready to start. You may be sitting at your computer asking yourself, "what is he hoping to accomplish by blogging?" I have three very simple goals, and they are:

  1. Inspire people with disabilities (and without them, of course!) to go out and achieve whatever they want, regardless of what anyone else may say. Never accept "no" as an answer! If you want it badly enough, it is completely possible.
  2. Give my readers (This means you!), disabled or not, an intimate look at what it is like to overcome the challenges of being a college student with a disability. Of course, it won't just be about the difficulties; college is about a lot more that just that!
  3. Finally, this blog is not just for my wonderful readers; it's also for me! This is a place for me to get my frustrations, thoughts, and whims all written down. With any luck, this will be as much fun for you to read as it is for me to write!

Now I suppose you would like to know a little about me. Well, I'm a Sophmore at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). My current major is English Education, but by next year I hope to transfer to Lesley University in Camebridge MA to major in Special Education and Creative Writing.

My hobbies and interests include, but are not limited to, writing (one of the biggest motivators for my starting this blog), reading urban fantasy among other things, sitting at coffee bars long into the night, listening to "strange" bluesy-style music like Regina Spektor and CocoRosie (not so bluesy), and shooting black and white photography, much of which I hope to put up on here with my blogs.

Is there anything I forgot to mention about myself? Oooh, right! I am a 19 year old boy/man/guy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a form of Muscular Dystrophy (MD). When I was younger my spine was crooked, but I have a set of lovely stainless steel rods inside of me that straightened that problem out. Other than that, my range of motion in my arms is not great, and my muscles aren't very strong, and I'm in a wheel chair. I don't know that there's much else to tell you - my brain is not affected by the disease, and a pet peeve of mine is when people treat me as though it is.

The last thing I suppose you should know about me RIGHT NOW is that I have a fantastic service dog. His name is Jasper, and I have had him for six years. He's an eight year old golden labrador. He helps me with picking up things off of the floor, turning light switches on and off, and taking my socks off (I have the bite marks on my toes to prove it!). He's simply adorable, and I will certainly have some pictures of him up here soon.

So, I suppose that is all I can really talk about right now. My hope is to make this a weekly blog, and get some of my photographs up with each post so you have something to look at. There's only one question left: who is going to read this?!