Cerebrally challenged

Be who you are & say what you feel

Patrick Stewart on domestic violence
arikel
Patrick Stewart talks about his personal experiences of domestic violence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi_27bpIb30
A fan thanks him and asks a question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqFaiVNuy1k
The fan's blog explains what he said in her ear: http://lemonsweetie.tumblr.com/post/51652237280

You need to watch this.

Missed connection.
arikel
This was (clearly) not written by me, but it's beautiful.
Missed Connection - anon.


I saw you on the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Q train.

I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse. We both wore glasses. I guess we still do.

You got on at DeKalb and sat across from me and we made eye contact, briefly. I fell in love with you a little bit, in that stupid way where you completely make up a fictional version of the person you're looking at and fall in love with that person. But still I think there was something there.

Several times we looked at each other and then looked away. I tried to think of something to say to you -- maybe pretend I didn't know where I was going and ask you for directions or say something nice about your boot-shaped earrings, or just say, "Hot day." It all seemed so stupid.

At one point, I caught you staring at me and you immediately averted your eyes. You pulled a book out of your bag and started reading it -- a biography of Lyndon Johnson -- but I noticed you never once turned a page.

My stop was Union Square, but at Union Square I decided to stay on, rationalizing that I could just as easily transfer to the 7 at 42nd Street, but then I didn't get off at 42nd Street either. You must have missed your stop as well, because when we got all the way to the end of the line at Ditmars, we both just sat there in the car, waiting.

I cocked my head at you inquisitively. You shrugged and held up your book as if that was the reason.

Still I said nothing.

We took the train all the way back down -- down through Astoria, across the East River, weaving through midtown, from Times Square to Herald Square to Union Square, under SoHo and Chinatown, up across the bridge back into Brooklyn, past Barclays and Prospect Park, past Flatbush and Midwood and Sheepshead Bay, all the way to Coney Island. And when we got to Coney Island, I knew I had to say something.

Still I said nothing.

And so we went back up.

Up and down the Q line, over and over. We caught the rush hour crowds and then saw them thin out again. We watched the sun set over Manhattan as we crossed the East River. I gave myself deadlines: I'll talk to her before Newkirk; I'll talk to her before Canal. Still I remained silent.

For months we sat on the train saying nothing to each other. We survived on bags of skittles sold to us by kids raising money for their basketball teams. We must have heard a million mariachi bands, had our faces nearly kicked in by a hundred thousand break dancers. I gave money to the beggars until I ran out of singles. When the train went above ground I'd get text messages and voicemails ("Where are you? What happened? Are you okay?") until my phone ran out of battery.

I'll talk to her before daybreak; I'll talk to her before Tuesday. The longer I waited, the harder it got. What could I possibly say to you now, now that we've passed this same station for the hundredth time? Maybe if I could go back to the first time the Q switched over to the local R line for the weekend, I could have said, "Well, this is inconvenient," but I couldn't very well say it now, could I? I would kick myself for days after every time you sneezed -- why hadn't I said "Bless You"? That tiny gesture could have been enough to pivot us into a conversation, but here in stupid silence still we sat.

There were nights when we were the only two souls in the car, perhaps even on the whole train, and even then I felt self-conscious about bothering you. She's reading her book, I thought, she doesn't want to talk to me. Still, there were moments when I felt a connection. Someone would shout something crazy about Jesus and we'd immediately look at each other to register our reactions. A couple of teenagers would exit, holding hands, and we'd both think: Young Love.

For sixty years, we sat in that car, just barely pretending not to notice each other. I got to know you so well, if only peripherally. I memorized the folds of your body, the contours of your face, the patterns of your breath. I saw you cry once after you'd glanced at a neighbor's newspaper. I wondered if you were crying about something specific, or just the general passage of time, so unnoticeable until suddenly noticeable. I wanted to comfort you, wrap my arms around you, assure you I knew everything would be fine, but it felt too familiar; I stayed glued to my seat.

One day, in the middle of the afternoon, you stood up as the train pulled into Queensboro Plaza. It was difficult for you, this simple task of standing up, you hadn't done it in sixty years. Holding onto the rails, you managed to get yourself to the door. You hesitated briefly there, perhaps waiting for me to say something, giving me one last chance to stop you, but rather than spit out a lifetime of suppressed almost-conversations I said nothing, and I watched you slip out between the closing sliding doors.

It took me a few more stops before I realized you were really gone. I kept waiting for you to reenter the subway car, sit down next to me, rest your head on my shoulder. Nothing would be said. Nothing would need to be said.

When the train returned to Queensboro Plaza, I craned my neck as we entered the station. Perhaps you were there, on the platform, still waiting. Perhaps I would see you, smiling and bright, your long gray hair waving in the wind from the oncoming train.

But no, you were gone. And I realized most likely I would never see you again. And I thought about how amazing it is that you can know somebody for sixty years and yet still not really know that person at all.

I stayed on the train until it got to Union Square, at which point I got off and transferred to the L.

The busiest I've ever been?
arikel
Clearly a productive strategy for dealing with this is posting on LJ prior to going for a picnic

By Tuesday I must have a draft of both of my 8k word papers in to all supervisors. I need to also have an abstract for a conference written. On this day, I need to apply for 2 jobs.
On Wednesday I need to prepare a presentation on a service evaluation I wrote about a year ago to present to a big team; a local NHS learning disability service I was on placement with. Also need to start the other paper that's due with the rest of the thesis (reflective).
Thursday I need to deliver said presentation and continue with reflective paper.
Friday reflective paper and meetings about the two aforementioned drafts
Weekend reflective paper/final amendments because I need to send reflective paper to supervisor by Monday.
Mon-Tue - Back to aforementioned drafts, prior to final meeting on Wednesday re: all papers.
Wednesday - interview for a post in Rugby and meeting (shit I just realised I may have double booked...)
Wed-Sun - formatting/appendices/amendments/references.
Tueday 7th - printing & binding.

..... I mostly posted this here to remind myself that if I -think- I am busy in the future, I should refer back to this post.

(no subject)
arikel
You tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
— “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love,” Warsan Shire

Larkin.
arikel
I don't like March
It's stiff, like starch
And the fucking snow
Doth blow, doth blow.

Sleep profiler
arikel
Sleep profiler - interesting!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/profiler/


Your profile summary
Your sleep is very well optimised, scoring 77 %.

You said you do not have a problem with sleep and you are not at all sleepy during the day, which indicates your body is getting the sleep it needs. Quality of sleep is more important than quantity. You may find your personalised advice below useful for the odd bad night.
Body and Health
You are an "Owl"

You are built to be at your best later in the day. Surprisingly, it also means your body clock is more flexible than people with standard or lark-like body clocks.
Ideally, people should wake at the same time everyday, but being an owl, you can probably cope quite well when your sleep pattern is disrupted.

You would benefit from getting more advice

Your answers suggest that health issues are affecting your sleep. A doctor can give you more advice about why you're not sleeping well.

First qualified interview
arikel
Eeeeep. I have my first ever interview in 3 years, and my first qualified psychologist interview ever!

If I get the job, the company (non NHS) will pay for me to do a professional Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology, which will mean I am a clinical neuropsychologist. The masters is pitched at a level above my doctorate; it sounds silly but it's because it gives you a further qualification and you can only do it after doing the doctorate. This is what I've wanted since 2006. Funny how when it's on the table, it suddenly seems to have drawbacks. Pigeonholing or specialising too early, not working in mental health. It's 2 years long so quite a big committment; not something I'd want to do half of and come back to later. Not really something I want to do straight away after my doctorate either. I am academically exhausted.

I'm not sure if this could be one of the luckiest breaks of my life or the worst decision I could make right now!

Oh well, can only go to the interview and see what goes down I suppose... I'll be pitched up against the qualified psych at my current placement too and she is more likely to get it, with 2 years post qual experience, plus not really got time to prepare currently, so might be a non issue.

Still I am rather excited :P

Nevermind. I have 16k words to write. Better get to it.

(no subject)
arikel
The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet
it echoes on in sweet refrains...
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.

I think my 17 year old self was right, you know.
arikel
My LJ bio or whatever.
*relatively* healthy living, absinthe, alternative, apathy, atheism, bacardi, beer, cardiff university, chinese food, chocolate, cirque du soleil, coffee, counting crows, current affairs, cynicism, douglas coupland, dvds, education, english literature, exercise, f.r.i.e.n.d.s, family guy, films, friends, fun factory, gigs, goo goo dolls, happy tree friends, hedonism, indian food, insanity, internet, leonard cohen, lionel shriver, literature, lost, margaret atwood, metal, mp3s, music, my family, perception, philosophy, photography, piercings, poetry, psychology, pubs, punk, randomness, reading, reality, rem, rock, romance, sarcasm, simpsons, ska, sleep, sociology, soft rock, stars, stephen king, sushi, tattoos, tea, thai food, thinking, thunderstorms, vodka, wine

This was written a long time ago. It was actually written when I was 17. Each time I consider updating it I think, well, no. Only a few of those are outright things I dislike, possibly only absinthe, (neat) vodka and metal music in fact. A few I am complacent about, such as Stephen King, the Simpsons, FRIENDS and lost. The rest, whilst very OMG I'm 17, are actually still very true.

That will be the musing for today. In fact, I just can't face any more literature searching.

Oh go on then
arikel
Quick update while I'm trying to avoid my thesishell.

1. I'm doing some training on autism for the NSPCC pretty soon. I am rather excited and scared about this!
2. I'm also doing some teaching to masters students at Warwick about neuropsychology - 4 hours :o
3. I hate my thesis. I need to write 20k words in the space of 6 months, almost to the day. I am bricking it. I'm sure it'll be fine, but still (I've got two undergraduate research assistants, I just hope they're good enough!)
4. Work is getting more and more interesting and I'm getting more confident in my abilities as a psychologist
5. Which is probably a good thing, because for the first time in 2.5 ish years, I will very soon have to apply for qualified jobs in a crumbling NHS.

There'll be a life one of these at some point, but work and life feel very much one and the same today.

Oh and hospital inpatient admissions SUCK. I now feel I have a better insight (if brief) into how my (very medical) patients feel. So much about it was awful, depending on others, not being able to shower etc, even if the hospital/staff were really nice generally. I definitely don't want to get old or sick.

Just did the old check old LJ posts on roughly this day every year which I do very occasionally. I am still mildly freaked out by the fact that someone who used to be a friend of mine at 6th form is now on my uni's sister course, within a very small field generally, and within small cohorts, and we share lectures often.

?

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