Schools: How They Fail the Students and Teachers

Hello all, yes I’m still alive and I am very much looking forward to having time off for Christmas. Drama school is quite full on now and the dark weather is not helping the feelings of isolation, but I know I’ll make it through.

Over the last week my mum went on the radio to talk about me as a child and how I was bullied by a teacher. Not only a teacher, but the Special Needs Coordinator which brought back a lot of memories of my school life and how I was treated. My biggest fear wasn’t the girls themselves, but actually teachers. For many years I have sustained a fear of being picked out by teachers and being called back from the class. I wasn’t one for the rules, but was terrified of the repercussions and punishments.

I would love to speak to any person who said that school punishment ‘helped’ their behaviour or that they learned anything. It’s a system built on shame, shaming those students who don’t fit into little educational boxes or who cannot sit still for hours at a time.

But why is this? Because teachers themselves are under pressure. From my old school they used to have competitions on which subject had the most A*s (used to be textiles that won, but the teacher was really rude and strict). Teachers have to plan up to 5 classes a day, take those classes and mark the work that was set for a terrible wage. If their students don’t do well, then they could be punished and lose their job.

It’s a triangle of hierarchy where punishment is the easiest way to get results, where the arts are neglected because they don’t yield as many higher grades and there’s no solid mark scheme. I love to learn, but I’m so happy my school days are behind me, I’m just disappointed how the system is only getting worse rather than better.

Maybe we can change this… any ideas?

From a contemplating Gabby

Where is this Blog Going?

Hello all, I’m back again already doing an update on my thought processes. Firstly I want to say that I’m proud of myself for carrying this on, as one of my less familiar names was ‘quitter’ as I would start something and literally quit after a month. Go me! The past couple of days I’ve mainly been concentrating on getting back into playing instruments on my own terms (many thanks to my brother for letting me use his electric piano).

As I lay in bed in another state of social isolation, I started to consider about where this blog is going. It was not until recently that I knew how many people I knew actually read this, which really warms my heart. Adding to this there are a few people who have also followed me on here, so hello you guys! It’s good to have you.

My one problem with my blog currently is that I don’t go into as much detail as others, so my main aim from this point onwards is to have more discussion but still keeping it fun. This may be hard at first, but hopefully will make my content more worthwhile to readers instead of fulfilling my own little writing ego. The English Literature part still isn’t dead (my English teacher would hopefully be proud).

Also I apologise a lot, but if you got this far I applaud you people.

Have a good day,

Gabby

One of my little doodles, it’s good to have a doodle book just to draw down what you feel at the time and it doesn’t have to be good. Just personal

Anne Hegerty: Autism in the Media

As some of you may be aware, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is back on the air! Whilst many of you may despise the show, it has always been a family tradition of mine to tune in everyday during the run. There’s something so alluring about millionaires camping out and eating ostrich anus for meals. Along with that, you may have seen the name ‘Anne Hegerty’ around online news pages recently. This is because she is the first openly autistic participant on the show. As a person who has only recently found out their diagnosis, it has been a massive confidence boost. Whilst trying to come to terms with it, I can look at people like Anne and say ‘If she can do it, I sure bloody can too.’ Many traits I see in her I see in myself too, and it is so nice to relate to someone in the media like that.

However there is the other side to this. Whilst many are supportive of the publicity of autism, it’s not hard to find the negative ones calling her ‘pathetic’, her having and ‘easy 3 week holiday’ and her getting better treatment. What people need to understand is that as an autistic person, putting yourself on a show like that is already like a trial. All your rituals are destroyed, your privacy gone and all your senses are put into overdrive. Not to mention the sensory effects of bugs on autistic people (I almost vomit just at the trials). Everyday there can be a challenge for people with autism, and I applaud her for her bravery. As a person in a drama school, not many people are aware of the effects, but to watch her every night gives me hope to carry on and push through.

Sorry if this has been over the top, but I still feel very turbulent about the issue. It’s about time we talk about it.

Hope you’re enjoying the show!

Gabby

Finding Myself Again

Hope you’ve all had a good day! So far my illness seems to be fading and I’ve just been doing some work before I’m a Celebrity starts (it keeps me distracted okay). I’ve had a lot of reflection time this week because of my hours which I haven’t had much before, mainly concerning my autism diagnosis.

In all honesty it is still very overwhelming that other people literally think and act differently to me, that people don’t have to overthink interactions as much. I imagine the amount of time I could save if I was neurotypical, then the ‘what ifs’ come in. What if I was ‘normal’? Would I have been bullied and made fun of as much? Would I have hated school as much as I did? I can’t help it. It’s like rediscovering a part of me that has always been visible.

One thing that autism makes me is extremely determined and headstrong to the point of extreme competition. This is something that I don’t think can ever really be helped which is a hard concept. If I love something and have someone better than me then I’m automatically pathetic, which is usually the case in drama. Perhaps maybe you yourself can relate or someone you know is like me.

I guess this blog is not only trying to show how you can go through with what you love with anxiety, but also autism awareness and me recording my findings on myself again. It’s all very confusing, but hopefully will clear up soon.

Go pet a dog today,

Gabby

Here is my dog Charlie. One thing people on the spectrum can usually relate to is a love and understanding of dogs. I’m so glad to have this mutt.

Revelations

This week was definitely an interesting one. Beginning with having a cough from all the standing in the cold was not wanted, but for the experience made it worth it. Additionally I decided to move out of my old flat and move downstairs to another room. This was big for me as I had just begun to feel settled in my room, but I could not live there anymore.

After the 5th day if constant parties, loud music, drinking and strangers I had had enough. The amount of panic attacks I was having was excessive, so I decided on the day to move, pack up my stuff and get out. It feels good to be somewhere else, more calming, and I’m proud of myself for getting out. When you see your environment becoming toxic for you, make a change and or get out as fast as you can. It’s better in the long run.

Today I also found out my diagnosis, and I have been formally diagnosed with High functioning Autism (Aspergers). It was kind of hard hitting, but also a relief. The intense feelings in my flat and all the noise were now justified in my mind, so many instances finally made sense. It’s a shame it took this long to recognise but I’m glad I did. A weight has been lifted and I finally know why I act so differently.

Living with this makes not much change however. I am still me, the same person but now with a diagnostic label. This means I can also make this blog about being anxious as an actor, but also how to act when you have autism and how it can’t stop you from achieving your goals.

Thank you for reading, will be back.

Gabby