boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

The Summer Birds, by Penelope Farmer, because of [personal profile] rachelmanija's recommendation.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. I think this is the right length de Bodard for me. The other one I've tried was The House of Shattered Wings, which had a similar flavor: melancholy, lots that is unspoken and maybe unspeakable, communication that is clearly conveying much more to the characters than I will ever understand. Maybe it is just too grown-up a flavor for me.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read all the good books for eleven-year-olds. Here's my list so far:
Suggestions and comments are welcome. No need to read through my list to make sure your suggestion is not on it; more mentions of a book make me more likely to read it.

• What are you watching?

Russian Doll, whenever I get some wifi.

Bad Times at the El Royale. Violent but worth it.

Tully. Really good.

A Wrinkle in Time.
1. This movie is so beautiful.
2. I am okay with it being its own thing, even though it has more love and less math than I would have chosen.
3. I have a surprising sore spot that this movie hit when the Happy Medium, urging Meg to find her balance, yelled, "You can do this, you’re choosing not to."

I don't have a sense of balance, not like most people do. I don't have a thing in my head that is constantly telling me what direction 'down' is. I have a substitute that I have manufactured for myself, from seeing horizontals and feeling pressure against the soles of my feet.

Most likely I was born this way. The nerve endings in my left ear never got finished. My parents noticed that I was deaf in one ear when I was five, but I didn't figure out the balance problem until I was an adult. Fortunately I don't have vertigo because my baby brain was still plastic enough to realize that the signal from my inner ear is not worth listening to.

The balance mechanism in my right ear still works, but the brain interprets any signal from right ear + no signal from left ear = 'down' is whatever direction the right ear is pointing. When I was a kid I used to sit in a swing, raise my feet and close my eyes, to get the illusion that I was spinning, very slowly, clockwise. I was always surprised to open my eyes and see that the swing's chains were not twisted together.

So the yoga exercise that has you stand on one foot, find your balance, and then close your eyes fells me like a tree. It was an immense relief to learn that no, I'm not choosing not to, I just can't.

Date: 2019-02-21 02:34 pm (UTC)
mrissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrissa
Thank you for flagging that, that's enough for me not to watch it.

People with balance disorders are so very often treated like we're making it up and just don't want it hard enough, and I injured myself several times on the road to nope. I don't need a movie to come in with the same point.

Date: 2019-02-21 03:56 pm (UTC)
the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_siobhan
I remember you talking about that last time I saw you, and how walking in the mountains was so difficult because the horizon line was all over the place.

Date: 2019-02-21 04:42 pm (UTC)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
From: [personal profile] sasha_feather
I only half-watched this movie and missed that line. It's so aggravating and ableist. Also, not helpful. If you're going to teach someone to do something, don't blame them for not getting it.

Date: 2019-02-22 12:05 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
I would like to enthusiastically recommend Dealing with Dragons (which I loved as a kid and should reread sometime) and The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm (which I read and liked as a kid, and liked even better as an adult)!

(I get so upset sometimes at people setting themselves up as the experts on other people's abilities and limits. There are many genuine difficulties that are entirely invisible to an outside observer.)

Date: 2019-02-22 10:55 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Two bookcases stuffed full (with books on top) leaning into each other (bookoverflow)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Arrrrgggh movie. Excellent job, right ear, feet, and eyes!

I adored John Verney's middle grade books, ISMO, Friday's Tunnel, and February's Road. Haven't read 'em since they were published--very anarchist/secret society children save the world.

Date: 2019-02-22 11:52 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: White woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK 56 powertool)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I am at your service--and will do some extensive research. Public or private school? Rural or city student? Is student's wheelchair use only issue in their lives--do they customarily travel with an attendant?

Sorry, she's probably in the back of the bus

Date: 2019-02-26 12:43 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Front of Gillig 40-pax bus rounding Madison's Capital Square (Metro Bus rt 6)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
All the school buses I’ve seen do load the chair with a high lift, in the back. It's probably the safest place for the kid. Chair is strapped to the floor with "four-point restraints," plus a shoulder harness for the kid. The shulder harness is attached to the bus, not the chair; if the driver doesn’t tighten the chair restraints, it’s a painful experience getting tossed around inside this fabric ball.

Older school buses did have wheelchairs sitting sideways near the driver, so if you can cook up a reason for an old bus…Sideways is least protected in a crash, so now everybody forward facing.

To make maneuvering easier, the back of the bus will be empty except for in-floor cleats that the straps connect to. She’d be strapped down behind the last row of seats with the sixth graders (unless they decide to move away from her) and kids in seats would have to kneel up and turn around to see her.

Drivers get very specific instruction in how to do tie-downs, and simultaneously get the message that the kids&chair are weird, dangerous, and other. Toxic mix. Many drivers eventually get practice and are great, chill, skilled. But someone who’s just been trained will probably be stiff-necked. And even though they are trained over & again not to lean on people, much less the chair, I can’t count how many times both have happened to me.

As a newbie, I was subdued and a little scared; now I get salty damn quick: for example, pointing at hand "Hands off! That breaks! Don't touch!" and when they say "I need to move" I come back with "Use your words, I will be happy to move."

Depending on how much experience she has advocating for herself in the world (many parents serve as buffers; many parents model advocacy), she might be insulted; squicked; literally damaged/pained. If she has good upper body strength then the hardware which holds her back on is quite flimsy, and a driver leaning on the back could break it.

Happy to answer more!


Oh Oh! This is all based on a yellow school bus. In Madison, kids that age ride the city bus to school. Our city buses have two forward facing wheelchair positions in the front of the bus, behind the front wheel wells. (Usually 2-4 regular seats fold up to make room, as in this photo. Holler for more detail on that.


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