June 11th, opinions and assessments

It’s 11:19am and time to do my diary. I woke up today just before 4am and had the beginning of urge to go to the rock. The urge wasn’t strong but it was beginning and I now know the signs well enough to take heed of them. I could have gone up Friday but with a run planned for the morning it would mean dashing around and the weekend is out because there will be too many people up there and too many cars on the road. Cheeky my big cat was asleep beside me and this meant I couldn’t move to get back to sleep so I decided to get up and go to the rock before the urge got stronger and it threatened to consume me. Around 4:15am I got up and went downstairs for breakfast and coffee.

It was just before 6am that I set off to the rock. It was overcast with a bit of mist in the air but pleasant enough. The drive over was good, little traffic and all the lights on green and I was I my little layby in no time and taking the path up to the rock. I stopped for a quick wee and soon I was nearing the rock. The rock looked majestic as always looking out over the moors and dales from it’s vantage point high on Norland Moor. I stood there, alone, taking in the views for a few seconds before heading back to my car and home.

At home I had breakfast and felt the nerves kick in as I had a telephone appointment with the DSA Needs Assessor at 11am for a new laptop and software that will help me with my studies. I’m hoping I can get voice recognition software like Dragon to help me. It’s not that I don’t have thoughts it’s getting them out on paper that’s a problem for me and while not everything I think will be of a good standard it will be good for me to be able to clear my cluttered mind of my thoughts and see them on paper. I will be able to start a piece of work without sitting there with a million words going round in my head and none of them coming out onto paper or my screen. I also need some planning software as my planning skills are not very good. I want to do better and succeed but in order to do that I need to change and use things that previously I have been wary of. It might help me write my life story too as I’ll be able to say what I’m thinking and then look at it on screen and decide if I like it or not.

My appointment was at 11am and I got my assessment and the answers I had given them up on screen and waited nervously for the assessor to ring. 11:01 nothing. 11:05 nothing. 11:15 still nothing. Could the assessor get through on my phone? I checked it and it had all bars. What time was my appointment? I checked it and it was 1pm not 11am! I was only 2 hours early! At least I was early and ready and not late and unprepared. All that anxiety for nothing but at least I feel less anxious now about it after making such a dick of myself even if it is only me that knows I’m a dick!

Although I’m tired and could do with a map I’ve decided to stay up and do my diary and have something to eat. If I went for a nap I might miss the assessment or be in some sort of a daydream for it and say the wrong things and not get what I need. Stopping up is the much better option and then I can have a nap later after the assessment.

It’s 2:29pm and I’ve had my assessment! It went really well. The lass was really nice and understanding and has recommended a new laptop, text to speech software, Dragon software and a new dictation machine. Everything I and more. I think it’ll be a month or so before I get all this so that’s a month to think about it and change my thoughts and behaviour towards using modern technology in my studies. If I don’t I’m going to struggle and I might go under. I can still remember my undergrad and Masters and how much that took out of me because I insisted on using old methods and wouldn’t embrace modern technology. Now I have an opportunity to embrace modern technology and use it so I can do my very best in my research rather than sat at a blank screen with my mind swirling round at a hundred miles an hour. Now I can listen to books and articles and dictate my thoughts directly onto screen bypassing my hands and freeing up my mind. It will take time to get my head round but I have to do it and I can do it. Also I can have some water now. I didn’t dare drink any before in case I wanted to go for a wee!!

It’s 3:51pm and Facebook is going mad and doing my head in. All this BLM seems to have brought out the worse in people and some of the stuff being posted is beyond belief. I haven’t the time or energy to comment on any of them as most of them are unfounded pictures or comments based on ignorance or are posting specific parts of history that support their views. It’s sad but Facebook is fast turning into a place for some people to post any old rubbish. I’m sure there’s blame on all sides too as when one side starts the other does in a game of never ending one-upmanship. I despair at some sections of society.

Headache wise I’m having a good day despite having been up from 4:30am and having been anxious about my interview when it was fine. I think drinking a lot less alcohol is really helping. According to my Garmin my resting heartrate and stress levels have returned to pre beta blockers levels. I’m looking forward to running tomorrow over the moors and feeling human again. I’m just tired today but happy. I feel good today.

It’s 7:58pm and time for a final entry for today. I came off the laptop which is a good thing and sat in my chair. I fell asleep in my chair watching telly and woke up with a headache and thinking about everything that is going on in the world at the moment and how to me something that is cut and dried can lead to unrest and extremes within society coming to the fore and society once again being divided on all sides as even within sections that should be on the same side divisions arise. Is it right to delete Tv programmes from such as Little Britain from history or should they stay and people be allowed a choice as to whether to watch them or not and judged on whether they watch them or not? Is it right to focus just on the use of blackface within Little Britain or should we be also focusing on the representation of disability and class within Little Britain as well? A lot of this reminds me of Sheila at Igniting the Spark a lovely lady in her 70s but still as sharp and intelligent as anyone I know. I remember her telling me how in the 60s and 70s she was viewed as an extreme feminist and now her views are seen as moderate even though they haven’t changed and differ to the views in todays society. In my opinion what we can’t do is rewrite history but we can put it into an historical context and learn from it. I feel that we are moving on from taking down statues which offend which I understand and onto trying to change history and eradicate things from history. The problem is generations and in doing this the divides begin and where someone might agree with the taking down of statues they might not agree with the taking down of Little Britain and that in my view is when the cracks begin to appear. I also wonder how the people of today who are at the forefront of the changes will feel when they get to 40, 50 and 60 and have their views challenged on the basis of what is the norm now not what was the norm then. Some of them will be in for a big shock I suspect!

Anyway enough of that because I could go on forever and never reach a conclusion because there probably isn’t one. You do academic research and you begin to realise how much history plays its part in our views still to this day and how divisive sections of society can be within each other even when they start off with the same aims.

I have a headache and I’m tired and I need bed but it’s been a good day and nothing will spoil that. My assessment interview went better than expected and I’m looking forward to running over the moors tomorrow and clearing my head and getting back to normal even if only for the weekend. I’ve lost my chair too to Lulu my little female cat who is the boss in the house and is a proper little madam but gorgeous and lovely with it.

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