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

Working through withdrawal

Hello again, is it me the very sickly coughing student. I’ve had a bad throat the last few weeks which has made me pretty lethargic and is annoying everyone. I call it ‘Freshers Flue Part 2: Electric Boogaloo’. On top of that I’ve had the anxiety of running out medication which I have to blame myself for.

At the moment I’m on 20mg of fluoxetine which helps my serotonin levels. One major problem with this medication is the withdrawal. The withdrawal is the worst, and can involve depressive episodes, panic attacks, shaking etc. Last night I ran out of them and my mind feels like sludge. I’m not ashamed on being on medication because it helps me, if it were not for the medication I would be a mess most of the time and become reclusive.

Whilst the withdrawal makes me feel bad I just treated myself to a nap today and have been taking things slow. Why work on a tired worked up mind when you can take a break and work later? It’s been a slow day sure, but we’re allowed to slow down when we need and take a breath. You can’t win a marathon if all you do is sprint.

Luckily today I have my medication back, so this little slip up can be resolved and tomorrow I will feel better. Thank you medicinal science!

Drink some tea,

Gabby

This is the book I have been doodling in, I would recommend it to get your thoughts down somewhere and I may write a post about it. Also I said I would write this: Esther is sexy.

Taking Criticism

The second term has started here at Rose and everything is back to normal. Seems like forever since I saw my group but that may be because we see each other every day. In all honesty I missed them and it’s good to see them.

Coming back also meant receiving feedback on our presentations, something I had been dreading. Nothing gets me more nervous that someone telling me I was ‘bad’ at something or how I’m not that good. The reality is is that it wasn’t all bad, but it is me who takes the criticism and blows it up. I can take a negative comment and take it into my soul, but a hundred positive ones I would ignore.

When your self esteem is low you take anything that backs up that bad image of yourself and reinforce it. But if I’m going to survive the next three years the positive comments will also have to be accepted. There’s nothing wrong in letting yourself be complimented, treat yourself to making you feel good as much as you may downplay yourself.

From an unwell student,

Gabby

Here’s a picture of a pub dog that I met, he made me very happy so I wanted to share him with you.

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