We are already halfway through the first term and it is time again for the annual school photos. They were held on Thursday last week and that isn’t my usual day of work; however, I came in for them, I also made an appointment with the numeracy head of the school so it wasn’t wasted. The main point I want to make is that school photos have gone through a weird evolution.
When I started in primary school, I loved school photos. I loved the memory that they gave me, remembering my class. However; as I got older I found that as I was teased and felt less and less like I belonged, I hated them retrospectively. It wasn’t just the students in my class, but also the teachers and aides that I had which made me feel like an outcast.
It has only been since I started working at my current work that I have felt a sense of pride. I am in an environment that makes me want to continually better at what I am doing, they make me feel included and want to work with them. I have gone from working alongside them to starting a Bachelor degree because I have realised there is so much more than I can do to challenge myself and impact the students in a positive way.
From Monday the school holidays for Victoria were over, nearly 6 weeks of summer holidays gone. So to mark the occasion I thought I would tell you which Hogwarts house I am in. I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘Potterhead’ however; I totally subscribe to being sorted into Ravenclaw by the Sorting Hat.
Recently I did this test with my sister to see whether she was sorted into the house I thought she would be put in,
Hufflepuff, she was in fact sorted into Gryffindor but only marginally though. She then asked me what house was I sorted into. When I told her Ravenclaw’s and they are commonly known as the nerds of Hogwarts who like reading and study. She laughed and said, ‘That’s about right.’ and in fact she is right.
These are the traits of a Ravenclaw House and how they are embedded in me:
Intelligence – there is no way to get around this topic with not trying to be humble. Yet I want to point out that it took a long time for me to actually believe what people have been telling me all along. It is only recently that I have been able to start accepting my intelligence because for so many years I thought they were just being nice to me, because they felt sorry for me because of my disability.
Wit – As an Australian comedian, Adam Hills said once, ‘… disabled people have the sickest sense of humour.’ this is true even of me. Also, I have a very wide spectrum of what I find funny, like everybody I have my tastes in what I lean more toward, however; I approach comedy the same as I approach food, you don’t know whether you like it until you try it.
Wisdom – Being an active audience member and for two years participant of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I learnt a few tricks of the festival. I and my friends have been attending it for 10 years including this year, and we have perfected the art of how someone who is abled body to the festival, but we have hacked how a crip can do it.
Creativity – Having a disability which limits my physical body and capabilities means that I have had to be creative when it comes to some tasks. I am still learning when it comes to improving the efficiency in my life but know what will work and not when it comes to working with my body.
Originality and Individuality – I have grouped these two together because although not the same, they are closely linked in my case. For starters, I do not know of anyone in the world with a heart condition and has had ALL of the defects that I have. I have seen stories of babies who have had one or two of the same, but not all five defects that I have and survived. So speaking in medical terms, I am a first edition never to be repeated, original one of a kind. As for being an individual, well so is everyone in the world. All 7+ billion of us are unique.
Acceptance – I have recently turned 30 and it isn’t until now that I have fully accepted myself for who I am. I was not the first to be bullied, and I certianly will not be the last. I know though that things do get better and that who you are in school is not who you will end up being as an adult. For example, when I finished Grade 6 I didn’t go to the last day. I had just finished the worst year in what had been a mostly terrible time at school. Being the student that had no friends, surgeries that intrupted school and in the final year being bullied by both students in my class and my class teacher – I was glad to get out of there and never enter a school again. Now, 18 years later I work at a primary school (grade 6 is the last year of primary school in Australia) and I am beginning my teaching degree. All this because I finally accepted who I was and that finally people saw past the things I was being judged on in primary school.
This year I set my reading goal on Goodreads at 20 this year, last year I set to 30 and although I am pretty sure that I will read at least 30, I am lowering my goal. This is because of university. I know that reading is going to become a huge part of my life; however, I am aware that because I will be doing a lot of academic reading and that my ‘pleasure reading’ may be limited.
So this year I am going to take my reading slower and enjoy the process. Now that isn’t saying that all those years I have been reading that I haven’t enjoyed it; however, I usually am trying to finish it quickly so I can get onto the next one. My goal this year is to enjoy each book in its entirety.
I am studying full time and that equates to 40 hours a week study.