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Everything posted by Aeolienne

  1. Speaking of juvenile literature, The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay never fails to raise a smile.
  2. Verdi, Ballet Music from Act 3 of Macbeth
  3. And http://www.splitticketing.co.uk will supposedly get you a cheaper deal by splitting the journey. They do charge a booking fee however.
  4. Terezín / Theresienstadt: "Anne Sofie von Otter (and friends) commemorates the musicians murdered in the Holocaust. Includes lieder, cabaret songs, lullabies and Erwin Schullhoff's moving violin sonata performed by Daniel Hope"
  5. Bach's Orchestral Suite no.2 in b minor, performed by I Musici feat. Severino Gazzelloni (flute)
  6. Didn't stop most of my contemporaries from pairing off. In any case I happened to study two very male-dominated subjects at university (maths and philosophy).
  7. What issues? I can only speculate. The main "explanation" I've received for my plight is that I'm "too intelligent" which baffles me because I've known of any number of women who are far more academically gifted than me who still manage to attract men. A former line manager got married shortly after getting me dismissed from my last job but one (not that I'm implying any connection), having had two previous relationships during the five years she had worked in that organisation. She has a PhD, an extensive publication record and is one of very few female managers in that department. I on the other hand spent 8 years on the bottom rung and got dismissed with a damning report about how I was totally lacking in analytical skills, needed too much guidance, lacked the necessary initiative to be a researcher etc etc. The only other explanation I've received is that it's the Asperger's, which in turn begs the question as to why other Asperger women aren't affected to the same extent. More specifically, that I can't read the non-verbal signals that indicate someone is interested in me and/or I don't give off the right non-verbal signals in return. Then there's the wider issue of not having many close friends, certainly none who've attempted to pair me off with anyone. I've always found all-female company uncomfortable, not just because of not being able to contribute to conversations about boyfriends, but also I suspect from having been caught between my peers at a single-sex school on one hand and annoying female relatives on the other, and feeling unable to confide in any of them. I had one great-aunt of whom it was said that she liked to wind up her younger relatives by asking them if they'd ever been to bed with anyone, and assume that a refusal to answer me they had (if female) or hadn't (if male). Although I never received this treatment myself, presumably because by the time I was 16 or so my aunt had become sufficiently vague about how old I was, it enraged me to think my aunt had done it to the members of my mother's generation. Although my mum said she'd never do such a thing herself, the fact that she told me about it suggested that she thought her aunt's behaviour was funny - and hence acceptable. Another thing which may or may not be relevant is that I have never gone in for instant attraction - the eyes meeting across a crowded room scenario (or its internet chat room equivalent) is so not me. When I have fancied people in the past it took weeks or even months to feel the spark. Is the idea of online dating that you force yourself to go out with people that you are not attracted to, on the offchance that it might, just might, eventually click? It's enough to make me wish I were an overweight brunette, because I've heard tell of women who found their first ever partner as a result of an image revamp, which almost always involved losing weight and dying their hair blond. Unfortunately my BMI lies in the "ideal" range and I've been a Scandinavian-style blonde since the day I was born.
  8. Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet feat. Kees Boeke (recorder) and Toyohiko Satoh (lute), The Image of Melancolly
  9. Does that include the music of the Conquistadores? I'm currently listening to Patrick Wolf, The Magic Position.
  10. I'd have liked to work on my difficulties in forming/maintaining friendships and relationships. Preferably not by being fobbed off with the same old same old "just join clubs and societies".
  11. I once sent off for information about joining Mensa, but was put right off because of Jimmy Saville being a member. Aughie-aughie-augh!
  12. Manuel de Falla, Ritual Fire Dance from El amor brujo
  13. Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, Extra Time
  14. I've been on their waiting list since last December. They told me they'd let me know when I'm close to the front of the queue, but until then, nada.
  15. What nationality is Uta Frith? I can't place her accent.
  16. An email I sent in 2008 to Emily Holmes at Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry: I was interested to read the article 'Imagining how to tackle trauma' in the latest Oxford Today, in which you were featured. Specifically the bold claim that "CBT works", a point hammered home even more forcefully in a recent episode of 'Imagine' about self-help books, in which Alan Yentob said that CBT is known to produce positive results in just three sessions. All of which make me wonder why CBT has proved so ineffective on me. Are there different versions of the therapy? Are some versions more equal than others? My motivation for seeking CBT was my having Asperger's syndrome. I was officially diagnosed with AS in 2001, nearly two years after finishing an MSc at Somerville and just days after taking up a full-time post at the Met Office, but did not seek CBT until late 2003. Rightly or wrongly, I thought it best to wait until after the Met Office relocation from Bracknell to Exeter. I asked the National Autistic Society to recommend a CBT specialist, but the person they put me in touch with was a complete waste of time. He didn't give me therapy so much as chit-chat with the odd bit of advice thrown in. Worse, he was often patronising or belittled my worries. For instance, I tried to talk about the apprehensions I had about getting onto the property ladder and he said "Just go round the estate agents" as if it were the easiest thing in the world! After four sessions I asked him if he was really giving me CBT and he said no, just practical advice and why did I want CBT anyway? I said I'd heard great things about it, that it had really turned people's lives around. He told me to forget it, that Asperger's lives can't be turned around. I then resorted to the official CBT practitioners register to find one, but all the ones in Devon, bar one, turned me down because they weren't qualified to treat someone with Asperger's. The only one who was qualified initially gave me several sessions at a venue near my office over a six-month period, but then for some reason the venue became unavailable and I had to travel to his usual office in Barnstaple (some 40 miles north of Exeter) once a month. On top of that I was expected to keep a diary of noteworthy emotional experiences, which made huge inroads into my time and meant that most of the session time would be taken up by the therapist reading my notes. Eventually our meetings dwindled to once every 2-3 months, so the therapist suggested we call it quits. This was after over two years of this supposedly miraculous treatment. It was pleasant enough having someone to talk to while it lasted, but it hasn't really altered my fundamental problems of loneliness and not fitting in etc. Did I expect too much?
  17. That was Nicky Reilly who attempted to blow up the Giraffe Café in Exeter. I remember finding it odd how the media described him as having Asperger's and a learning disability - er, surely the two can't got together?
  18. I felt the same about it myself - here are some notes I made after reading it: Tony Attwood, 'The patterns of abilities and development of girls with Asperger's syndrome' p.3: "girls with AS are often 'mothered' by other girls" ... no way! p.5: "Acting can subsequently become a successful career option" ... but surely you need far more than a prodigious memory to act? Are ASDs over-represented at drama schools? Should the latter be offering more in the way of mentoring, career guidance or whatever? p.6: AS girls are, we are told, entranced by the intrinsic rhythm of Shakespeare and poetry and "some develop their writing skills ... to become successful academics in English literature." Again, there would seem to me to be a need for more than an ear for rhythm to become an academic. And no, "unusual perception and reasoning" is not confined to Aspies, nor is it intrinsic to their condition. Sheila Wagner, 'Educating the female student with Asperger's' p.20: So struggling with maths is a symptom of AS, is it? p.22f: Still don't understand this peer programming malarkey. If it's about ordering pupils (in the main, NTs) to befriend the AS pupils, I can't see how that will work. Surely more profitable to accept that people will befriend whom they want to befriend (otherwise they wouldn't be friends), and the best you can do is eliminate all school activities which involved choosing partners. I.e. appoint partners for PE and project work, have a disco instead of a prom, and adopt zero tolerance to saving places. (None of the above are addressed by SW, oddly enough...) And another thing ... what consolation are stage-managed, teacher-led acquaintances to the more savvy AS teenager who is only too aware that they are no substitute for real friendships? SW states as a fact that "Cliques [among girls] form rapidly and spread often." If this is a given, how can peer programming change human nature? In the words of somebody's signature on Aspie For Freedom: "You can't change what is natural." p.24: Pre-teaching of content - where do I begin ... I can only see negatives / objections: How do you find the time for this extra coaching - aren't school timetables full enough as they are? Wouldn't it make classroom lessons too easy, encourage the AS girl to think "Heard this all before, don't need to pay attention" and switch off? At best she might miss out on important announcements about homework assignments or field trips; at worst she might develop a habit of poor concentration which might take years to quit. Far from being "viewed in a better light [by her peers]", surely she'd be regarded as a swot or a teacher's pet? And if this extra coaching gets her a higher grade than she would otherwise have received - say A instead of B - and she ends up in a higher ability stream or a certain university course or career training programme, how will she then be able to cope without the spoon-feeding? Or are we to assume that anyone with Asperger's can play the disability card throughout their lives and always claim extra coaching and supervision? Why should it be considered a great loss if an Aspie can't get into university? Surely it's more important that she'd provided with careers advice and support appropriate to her ability - she could still go to university as a mature student, with some years of work experience behind her. Obviously I'm biased, because what I missed out on most of all at school and university was work experience - extra academic coaching is no substitute for that. The only version of pre-teaching I could support would be if the teacher put the contents of her lessons on a website which pupils could access if they hadn't been able to follow during the classroom environment. But this should be accessible to all pupils, not just "special needs" cases. Other than that, encourage the Aspie pupil to develop her own coping mechanisms - point her in the direction of the library, brief her as to what questions are appropriate. Is that so hard to do? p.25: I can certainly see the attraction of reduced homework assignments, just as I can also see the attraction of jumping the lunch queue and bunking off PE. But isn't there a danger of being inadequately prepared for the next stage in life? p.29: "Typical students alone are usually self-conscious, embarrassed or highly amused at the [sex education] provided and if they ask questions, they often do so to gain a reaction from their peers." Is this a misprint? If a student is alone, then there aren't any peers around, by definition - or am I missing something? Lisa Iland, 'Girl to girl: advice on friendship, bullying and fitting in' p.40: Is this stuff about "levels of popularity" w.r.t. dating really true? I've read opposing advice on at least one problem page. Anglo-American cultural differences? pp50-1: Can't see the point of boning up on MTV and celebrity gossip. Accumulating information about a topic parrot-fashion is no substitute for a genuine interest at a level that an NT would deem appropriate. Maybe things are very different today, but among my peers the only gossip they were into was about their own social circles e.g. what X said to Y when A saw P snog Q at B's party. You can only contribute to said conversations if you've attended said parties, but you only get invited to said parties (or at the very least tipped off) if you're in the "in" crowd. Catch-22. Jennifer McIlwee Myers, 'Aspie dos and don'ts: dating, relationships and marriage' JMM protests against the assumption that "... marriage is the best goal for everybody, especially everybody between the ages of twenty and forty". And yet she got married at 28! p.92: "No one goes to singles activities for the actual activity." And yet I for one am frustrated at the tiny window of opportunity for actual socializing. Is this just another example of Anglo-American cultural differences? p.95: JMM's use of the present tense is somewhat confusing coming from a woman married for 12 years. This is in the context of advice for dealing with rejection: "One, always be aware that rejection is not a real setback ... Two, I use a somewhat cognitive-behavioural approach to deal with the depression and general crankiness that can follow rejection." p.95: "the best tools that a girl with AS has are logic and facts." How often have I been accused of over-intellectualizing my situation? And how can you apply logic when you don't know the facts (as in the reason why I've never had a relationship)? p.98: In a roundabout way, JMM says that she had difficulty attracting men in her teens and 20s - but she became aware of the reason why when she was happily married and so this problem had somehow gone away of its own accord. So what advice is there for 30somethings who still don't attract? Why don't I attract even the users? p.105: "Girls with AS need lots of factual information, rationally put, about everything from how to turn down a date..." Oh yes! p.106: This is assuming a lot, that the people you meet at a special interest group will become your friends, and that they will go so far as introducing you to their extended family members. What if your level of acquaintance is still stuck on "How's the job?" and "What was your name again?" snatched in the all-too-brief coffee break? p.107: Not all volunteer supervisors are willing or obliged to give "clear but kind feedback". And what if JMM's special interests had not been "Fred Astaire movies and old-time radio shows" but something more contemporary? Ruth Snyder, 'Maternal instincts in Asperger's syndrome' Where were RS's common special interests with the men who entered her life? p.124: "I had no problem finding dates or men wanting to date me." Lucky cow! p.127: How did RS manage to marry someone given her track record of "immediately all or nothing" (p.124)? p.130: "I had no one helping me with career choices; there were no services that could help me to understand or decided what I needed to do in life ..." "Working on a career was much easier compared to working on relationships. There were steps, routes, degrees, and road maps to where I wanted to go." Make up your mind!! p.132: "Even though I had given up on relationships, they did not give up on me." What's her secret? p.134: What sort of Aspie mum laughs at her son's sporting inability?
  19. What are the advantages in never having had a relationship in my entire life?
  20. Er, why is Daniel Tammett's Born on a Blue Day classifed as a work of fiction?
  21. It's something that people have said to me on more than one occasion, presumably to make me feel better about my freaky status.
  22. I voted yes to both the poll questions, but I'm still a bit unsure as to whether I'm really affected. I was assessed for tinted glasses at Specsavers after my then job coach had commented on me frequently "occluding" my eyes under the office strip lighting. In the testing room I could see that printed words looked easier to read with the pink lenses, so I got those and wore them at work. At the same time I'm puzzled as to why I haven't experienced the same revelation other Aspies have, as in "For the first time the carpet isn't moving!!"
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