Q&A Westchester Jewish Center

Hello!  Thanks so much for your questions!  I’ll get right to answering them :)

How is your MA program going?  Do you get a lot of homework and exams?  How do you watch so much TV and get your school done?

I actually finished my program last May (2013) so I’ve been out of school for a little while.  It lasted two years and was pretty overwhelming at times.  My program didn’t have many exams which I preferred.  There were a lot of papers though.  I like writing, so it worked out okay.  The program was demanding because I had about 5 classes per semester plus an unpaid internship.  This is how come I can watch tv now :)  I’m looking for a job, studying for my licensure exam and also working a few hours a week as a social media internship from home.  The social media thing is unpaid.  I hope to find something paid soon… We’ll see!

Are people at school respectful of you when you need to use your chair?

Yes, I think people were pretty respectful while at school.  I used my chair 99% of the time so I’m not sure many knew I could go without it.  It would get tricky sometimes in the dining hall but that’s just because people don’t pay attention sometimes haha.  This is pretty much how it is in general too- people are usually pretty good.  I will share an interesting story though that just happened.  On Sunday I went to a coffee shop and had to go to the restroom.  The tables around me were super crowded, but my mom and I made it over to the bathroom area fine.  When we came back however, we had to say something because this guy didn’t seem to notice that his foot was in my way.  I sat there for a second, and then we said something like oh can you move your foot a little, I need to get through and don’t want to hurt it.  He kinda looked at me like “what?” He was clueless haha.  I’m not sure how he didn’t put it together that his foot was in the aisle, but whatever.  I think people just need to pay attention to their surroundings.

Does your condition affect your facial expressions?

I hadn’t really thought about it, but I think it does a little bit.  Mainly just my smile, because the corners of my mouth go downward a little bit.  But I don’t think it interferes with people understanding how I’m feeling.

Have you ever been bullied at college?

No, I’ve never really had an issue with bullying at college or during middle or high school.  I did have trouble making friends (more so in middle/high school).  In middle school I had an aide that was with me most of the time to help me with my books, coat, lunch etc.  I think because she was with me a lot other kids didn’t make a huge effort to be my friend.  I had a few good friends, which if I’m being honest is better than having a bunch of acquaintances.  It was hard at times because I didn’t get to experience some of the normal teen stuff like going to dances or football games but it’s ok.  Those kinds of things were hard anyway because they were really crowded (dances) or my vision (couldn’t see the football during games so I had trouble following along).  I think that as I’ve gotten older I’m more confident and willing to reach out more to other people.  Sometimes I tend to want others to make the first move or initiate conversations.  But, like I said I think I’ve gotten a little better.  I think social media has helped a lot because I can keep in touch with people over facebook and it’s easier to say hi and learn more about them.  That was a very long answer to your question haha… sorry!

Do you have hobbies?

Yes!  I have recently started knitting with the use of a circular loom.  The loom makes it easier for me to make things because I wrap the yarn around each little post on it.  I’m not sure if any of you have seen them, but they’re available at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  My mom has started crocheting and so that’s how I thought to try the loom.  We even got my best friend Danielle into making scarves and blankets too. :)  When I finish my hat I’ll post a picture!

I’m also trying to get more into sports.  This ties into what I talked about before, trying to branch out and make conversations with people.  It’s tough because my vision affects how much I can follow what’s actually happening on the field but I try anyway.  :)  Hockey, baseball and college football are pretty big around here so I’m trying to watch the games more.

I also like to read.  I like Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, some Nicholas Sparks etc.  I just joined a book club (that’s why I was at the coffee shop Sunday) so I’m hoping to branch out a little :)  I wasn’t a huge fan of the book that we talked about, so hopefully this next one will be better!  We shall see.

Thanks for all of your questions!  Keep them coming :)

Rebecca Parten, LLMSW

Connections for Community Leadership Social Media Intern

Michigan Disability Rights Coalition


My ePortfolio: http://bit.ly/12nF7Ag 

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