Monday, August 17, 2015

Expanded Reality

Today I met with an amazing professor. She has not only made me feel incredibly welcome in the class, but our interaction is helping me to feel more confident about Tourette's and my tics going into my senior year. I expected her to be understanding since it's a course about how disability is portrayed in the media and in literature, but I didn't expect the incredibly amazing response I got when I sent out my usual introduction email.

This was her initial response to my email ""Thanks for contacting me. I’d love to meet with you. I have some familiarity with Tourette Syndrome and welcome the opportunity to find out more from you and discuss accommodations. If you choose to disclose in the class, it would be a great learning opportunity for everyone. If you choose to maintain privacy, that is entirely fine too. I’m sure you know what works best and is most comfortable for you." 

As I said before, just reading this email helped me to feel like my tics are not a nuisance or annoying, but instead am adding something valuable to the class just by being there. Additionally she has now asked to include a piece about Tourette's (a video clip or a film, either Front of the Class or I have Tourettes but Tourettes doesn't have me) which i'm excited about! Also, she asked me to speak to another class she teaches about disability. 

This is the email she sent to me about that: "Might you be interested in talking with that class about Tourette’s? That class meets 4 to 5:30,  Monday-Wednesday. I think you’d enrich their learning experience tremendously." 

Just these words: "I think you'd enrich their learning experience tremendously" and to hear this from someone older and wiser than me gives me such a great feeling. A feeling of pure acceptance and kindness. 

Today when I met with her she didn't even blink when I did my louder vocal tics. She wanted to do everything she could to help me  in the classroom. She asked questions such as "What can I do to make you feel more comfortable in the classroom?" and I loved it when she agreed that the students would just become used to my tics and told me that they would accept it as their "expanded reality". I like that phrase. It implies that i'm responsible for expanding their world, their minds, and their concept of how things are/should be in the world. 

I think one of my camp friends put it perfectly: "That is freaking awesome. What an amazing response."

Just two more professors to meet with now. Hoping I get two more amazing responses! Although I don't think their responses can even come close to topping this one.

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