Ep 4 - 10_10_19, 11.01 AM
5:40PM Nov 12, 2019
Lee Skallerup Bessette
random number generator
Welcome to another episode of all the things ADHD the podcast where Aimée and I discuss being a Gen X ADHD women in the academy and just in the world in general parenting all of that kind of stuff. And this episode we're finally getting to our superpowers in terms of how ADHD makes us who we are and makes us better at who we are. As well as how well that is allowed for us to navigate social media like Twitter, and sometimes how we have trouble focusing so let's get to it and let's let Aimée describe what her superpower is.
Surely we have some superpowers. Oh, can I can I tell you my superpower?
I wanna, I wanna know your superpower.
My superpower Lee as an academic is that my classes are never boring. I have such low boredom tolerance. Yeah. And I would be so appalled to have any of my students feel about sitting in class the way I feel I'm very sorry colleagues about sitting in a department meeting, that I will do anything in my power to keep us interested. But my classes are part like seat of the pants just prepped 20 minutes ago. So I'm full of adrenaline followed by 10 sorts of group activities, followed by his stand up comedy routine and yoga breaks. It's like an 18 minute class, like, people don't look sleepy in my class, because they like don't have time. Like, I do like things that I sort of tried to generate urgency and excitement for my students. Like I give everybody a number and then I set a random number generator that I project off the screen and like, like, here's the question, who's going to answer it, like, pop up the random number and whoever's number comes up has to answer the question and they all find it like terrifying and hilarious but God mean like, I'm always like, what would scare the shit out of everybody in a productive way? So that we have fun. I mean, I think people write this on on my evaluations. And it's like, it was way more interesting. They'll say stuff this coded language like, Professor Morrison is like, really into the material.
I just got that I was really loud.
So I like really liked it. And I mean, we've seen each other give talks right and like people always say, but like when I give talks to that they're very interesting because again, I have like sat in untold, under heated hotel conference rooms with like, shitty coffee and nowhere to put it down except my lap while like somebody drones about like, I don't know
They read from the slides
Or like there's stuff this is like this is autism thing, but if you put something on the slide that is different from what you're saying, My head's gonna explode, right? trying to reconcil the two different pieces of information have like agitated and angry and bored. Like I make a solemn vow to myself, I will never do this to another human right and I don't. So that's my superpower is I've turned my boredom into this like, kind of engaging academic persona. Right? So now my students don't get bored. My colleagues they're always like, oh, Amy, and I gave, we're at TH last summer in Montreal. I remember and, and, and, you know, a colleague I know from the internet there was like, oh, Amy, you make such interesting facial expression. Oh, I don't feel weird now. Right, like so. So like, when I bring it, I bring it. I would say that's, that's my superpower. I think that's largely ADHD. How about you? What's your superpower?
So it's funny. I just wanted to say the facial expression thing. So I used to debate in high school, right, because of course I did.
Of course you did.
And that was actually one of the criticisms that I would always get from the judges is that I was too expressive when I wasn't speaking.
Oh my. You were Arguing with your face.
Yeah, no, I was reacting with my face. Right? They would say something like, like furrow my brow or get like really upset about it or I'd like laugh inappropriately.
You're like a silent movie star from the 20s. Yeah. Yeah. Basically bugging all the time.
Yeah. And it was just that poor impulse control, right. There's a feeling that is on my face, and I'm also crappy at poker as a result, right? Like Lee's got a good hands like what?
Giggling in her chair and starting to sweat. Yeah, okay. Yeah.
Your superpower. No, that's okay. So definitely not my superpower. Just wasn't it just made me think of it though. So my superpower is and I don't know how this works in with ADHD. But I can write a lot. I have a lot of words. Yeah, I have a lot of words. All the words. The words no I seriously have all the words and I can write quickly and fairly well, and I don't think that has to do with ADHD. That's just a lot of practice. I mean, I've always, always always written. I think that that was my coping mechanism, right? Where there's a certain expectation that especially, it's a very gendered one to of being quiet. Right, right. Yeah. Quiet and, and measured. And we're like, we tried to be the WASPiest family in the world kind of things so we don't talk about things. And so that, like I started writing, as soon as I could write, I was just I was journaling all the time. All the time.
And so I've always been writing and writing in a certain way was my coping mechanism for it. And so, it just sort of started feeding off each other where it's like, I have more words and emotions and so therefore I will have more text to write. And I can hold a lot of things. One of the things it's good as I can hold a lot of things in my head at once. They say you can't multitask. But ADHD people can.
Oh, I can maybe you some people, some lady. Well, it's all of these different threads that I'm holding in my head. And so like I'm writing one thing, but I'm also thinking about that other thing that I'm going to be writing.
Oh, yeah. So I think that's more like I call that the spider man. Like, you're, you're like swinging on one piece of web. And then you just shoot something to the next build. And then the next building and the next building just like I would say, I move I can move very rapidly between different domains of thinking, in ways that seems surprising to other people. Yeah, I can't do it. I can't sort of have it all in my head at once. It just kind of appears. Okay, next building.
Yeah, no, I think yeah, I think that makes sense. So it's not necessarily at once but like, the way people say like, you can't switch back and forth from tasks. Yeah. And that's like, no, I actually can.
As long as I can choose to do it. Right, right.
Choosing the tasks.
Yeah. If I'm choosing the task, man, I can switch like, you know, let's go. So that that's my superpower is. And again, I don't know how much of it has to do with the ADHD is the writing. And the other thing is that and I think we both kind of share this. So we're really good at the social medias particularly the Twitter's
I love the Twitter
so I love the Twitter's
the Twitter's are the greatest
I can like talk to 50 people at the same time
at the same time
I love it
five different conversations, different things
and whenever I have an idea I can just blurt it out to the Twitter and it's appropriate somewhere to somehow Yep, I'm not interrupting. an idea everybody must know my idea right? I like I throw my idea out there in the world and somebody's always interested. Yeah, the Twitter's
Yeah, and you're not enough for the Nazis and the trolls. Yeah. Well,
barring the Nazis, I'm
sorry, I brought my No,
no, but, but again, we're gonna it's gonna sound like old people's like remember the good old days early?
yeah, remember Remember the hundred and 40 characters? You know, there were no bots.
Yeah. Well then. And then the other thing is those hundred and 40 characters was such a perfect limitation for me. Right? Because it's like, Okay, I gotta get it out 140 characters. Yeah. And also You're right. Like, I want to narrate my entire life all the time.
Yeah. And it's good that you have like 10,000 followers, so 10,000 of them can take up like one thing each and not get overwhelmed. Yeah, I like to have to read this but if you are Yes, you're from you. Right. Yeah.
And, and I love the I love the intersection of what I'm having for breakfast with what I'm writing about with
the Montreal Canadiens are so bad this year with
the adorable thing you know, so look at the adorable things my kids are doing and oh, swimming, right, like
And then so so I think that like, I often Joke before I knew I had an ADHD diagnosis that my brain because a lot of people don't get Twitter and they find it overwhelming and I'm like, bring on the fire hose. And, and I really do think like as I used to joke my brain is just wired for Twitter.
right. Like, before I before I got this diagnosis and then I'm like, you know what the ADHD brain is wired for Twitter?
and not universally obviously, but like,
I would be really interested. Anybody who listens to this podcast so let us know like, what what areas you you work in? And I'm interested in in who's drawn to what right because I know also that like I'm really good at I mean, social media is actually my research areas. I've always liked doing stuff like oh, I need to verify something on Facebook. So I open up Facebook, but then I just read Facebook for 20 minutes and then I close it to go back to my thing and like, Oh shit, I'm supposed to like that thing. I'm funny. But I, I know that that I feel really comfortable in those spaces and that you know some of my colleagues because I'm mean in English department have a lot of literary colleagues are like, Oh my god, it's like too much. And it's Yeah, you know, and when I hear that from them, I think, Oh, it's because I'm, I'm a bad person. Yeah, I only like the little things because like, it's, it's bad. And I should be sort of in an archive with like a paper copy of like the sales receipts, you know, from the laundry in the 1850s. And I should be able to sit there for seven hours in the dark pouring over that, and then I hate myself, but I'm like, you know, but actually, people can't do what I do. Like they can't write and they can't do it, what you can do and, and it's it's I'm very intrigued by our tendency, often, I think all academics are afraid of this, but particularly academics who, who may have, you know, learning disabilities or other forms of difference to sort of think that the way other people do things is always better? And that the way that you do things is the lazy way, right, or the bad way without realizing sometimes that what we frame is our own sort of deficit is actually a strength. Yeah. So I think you really valuable work connecting people on your Twitter and I do a lot of talks where I'm like, basically immediate interviews. I do, like probably 50 media interviews a year, we're basically all I'm doing is explaining the internet to people. Yeah. Because like, they don't read enough of it to know how it works. I'm like, Well, I read actually most of the internet before breakfast this morning. So yeah, you want me to explain the key challenge to you, I can do that. Right. I've just I spent a really long time thinking that I was a trivial person, right? Easy person, like in substantial because I could do these things. But naturally, everybody could do them, but now they can't. So I encourage everybody who's listening to think about maybe some of those things that you tend to think make you less of, you know, a scholar or researcher or professional in the field that you work in and think maybe like some of your your quirks and special characteristics might actually be strengths that other people don't have.
Yeah, well, and for me, it was always, because I always was interested in a lot of different things and so it was like, Well, I'm not focused enough on one.
Sorry. Are you saying that you were interested in ALL THE THINGS?
Oh, totally. All the things are things now.
that's appropriate. No, no, it's perfect.
And, and so I end up with a little bit on a lot of different things, which is not how you behow you become a tenured academic inany case.
Yeah. generalist is not a great thing. However, as you well know. One of the things I'm also very good at, though, is scanning and then redirecting.
And so if I know what your research interests are, and Amy, you can attest to this if I see anything about selfies. It's damn sure my way tagging you in it.
Lee send me something. Yeah.
Yeah. And, and so I was just like, oh, selfies. That's, that's them and then and other colleagues that do different things. So like video games, I'm always my former colleague, Zach Whalen. I'm like, more video games things for Zach. And I'm trying to think of other stuff is it just but like, I have a group of people that I know. It's actually quite a big number I probably have about I made a secret Twitter list of people I love. And I mean love in a very well, ADHD kind of way. I feel all the things too very intensely. So I have a list of people that I love. And I would say that I have like, 80 I think I've 87 that's very precise. I think I've 87 people on that list. And I can go through that list and be able to say, for each and every one of them the one thing that I will always send them, right, like one thing that that I will always send their way hyper visible. It's always the privacy stuff. I'm like, hey, look what people are surveilling us again.
Aren't you glad you're friends with me?
Yeah, send you depressing stuff. Because I care
because I care. Because I know you care, right?
That's a superpower that's a real superpower to be able to sort of like juggle all of these friendships and interests and as you kind of like digest half the internet before breakfast.
You pick things up and throw them at people. Yeah, that's a that's a really kind of difficult cognitive task to do. And I we tend to frame that as as trivial and great but it's really not. And I think we should sort of celebrate that
Yeah. We want to hear about your superpowers so use the hashtag all the things ADHD
ALL THE THINGS
Dude, I can't stop doing it.
It's all right. No, no, it's fine. I'm going to take a sample of that and that's going to be like the intro and our intro of our podcast. Oh my God, we make it echo. Yes, Echo. Okay. We also have a an email address, which is all the things ADHD at gmail. com. Let us know if you don't want don't want us to use your name. have no problem with anonymity we know that this is can still be a very sensitive subject. For Oh, sure. If you want to make up a pseudonym, I'll use whatever whatever pseudonym you want.
Or use the fake name of your favorite movie character or anime character or My Little Pony.
Yeah. Oh, do you remember that when it was savage love? How it was always the challenge to create an acronym like a sign off name that became an filthy acronym?
Because he would always do that. Feel free to try that too if you like,
try it, man.
Next one next, next episode we're going to talk we touched a little bit on it. We're going to talk about the perception of people with ADHD is being lazy. I know and I have stories, so many stories.
Can I talk about drugs?
Yes. Okay, let's talk about drugs.
ALL THE DRUGS, the drugs.
This is so bad or we're gonna get flagged. It's gonna be super, it's gonna be great. Alright, well thanks everyone for listening and reach out to us on social media or drop us an email or visit our website all things ADHD calm, and we'll see you next time. Bye, everybody. Bye.