S2 E9 - 5:10:20, 2.20 PM
7:01PM May 10, 2020
Lee Skallerup Bessette
All right, everyone, welcome to today's episode of all the things ADHD. Oh you covered your mic while you're between
let's try to move closer to my face could you hear me?
No shit start over.
So how did we screw this up?
Cuz this is how we roll.
is why people pay this the big money which is exactly zero to do this this is why I'm so I'm one of your co hosts Lee Skallerup Bessette and with me today is my co host, Amy Morrison. Hi. Hi. And finally, after we've talked about it for how long now two years, we finally are endless numbers of years and endless numbers of years, we finally have a guest list. On our podcast, and I'm so happy that our friend Kelly Baker has agreed to join us today. Yay. And I also love we have been with today so we can all see each other because I feel like we are the rainbow crowd now because I have like the remnants of my red hair. And Amy, you've got your pink hair and Kelly I love that shade of like, movie purple in your hair. I'd like when you when you did that. I was like, Oh, I won't do that again. Oh, I've got
like signature glasses on too. I think yes, that too. With the significant like nerd ladies represent. It's great.
So is it my turn? Yeah, it is. Okay. All right.
Yeah, no, I'm digging the hair and the glasses. That's my, the only game that I have fashion wise. So I just lean into it. So I'm Kelly. And let's see what should I say about myself. I'm an editor and writer and In particular, I think for this podcast, I am one of the managing editors of disability x where we talk about anything, disability, and primarily personal essays. But thinking through a lot of those themes, and a lot of me talking about mental disorders mine in particular in public, which is fine, I guess.
Welcome to the club.
Yeah, you're definitely on the right podcast, because we also like to talk about our mental disorders in public. I mean, maybe you're like us, because Leah and I, like, people tell us like, we're brave for talking about this stuff. And we're like, oh, no, no, we're blurred or sweet. Like, if you'd asked us to keep a secret we would not be able to. So we can't really take credit for being brave. in those ways. Do you find it easier or harder to do?
Yeah, no, I don't find it easy. I do get a lot of the same thing, right, where people are like, Oh, you're very brave and I'm like, or am I just I don't know, like Or do I just overshare? Or do I have to like, think about these things out loud to figure them out. And I think for me, most of it is like I write to kind of figure this stuff out and think about it. And then I'm like, oh, maybe someone else will like this. But yeah, no, I get a I get a lot of the Oh, I'm not sure I would have said that out loud. And I'm like, yep, yeah, that's fair. Yeah.
I didn't anyway, but Yeah,
fine. The Internet can see that Leah and I are nodding vigorously as you're saying all of this, because I think these these are some things that have come up for us as well, too. I always find like when people say, Oh, you're so brave. That means like, I would never Yes, that thing that you did. I'm just gonna flag that as beyond the pale. That's what that means to me is like, Wow, what a dumb thing you did, right? Yeah. It's brave to brave to go to school with no pants on. Right. Like, okay. You're not like that was a very wise thing that you did or a useful thing that you're there. That was really brave, right?
Yeah. No, it's always the like, fun judgment piece of that where it's like, oh, Oh, I see that you said this or tweeted this. And isn't that something right? It's
very brave of you to do that. And I'm like,
uh, you know, I guess bring your judgment because it's the internet. People do but, um, but it is it is funny to hear that that is the language that's used instead of like you said, like useful or this is helpful. And I do get some of that. So I should be very fair here that I do have people that are like, Oh, this is very useful to me. This helped me out. This helped me realize something. But yeah, it's always like intriguingly, like, concern troll Lee, you know, in the comments that you get where I'm like, huh? That's kind of passive aggressive, okay?
It's like bless your heart. Right? Close your discourse, right? Bless your heart, right. Bless your heart thing that you did that regular people would never do for good reason. Never
say out loud. Never ever right.
Can I just say how impressed I am Amy that you correctly use the southern expression. Bless your heart. correctly. Thank you. I started this out until I moved to Kentucky. I had never heard bless your heart. And then of course I heard it all the time. But like,
yeah, I survived with it.
Yeah, well, yeah. So you grew up with it? Yeah.
Yeah, no, that's like a like an embedded like Southern lady. Like skill that I feel like happens in your infancy right. You hear it? And then it just kind of is there? Yeah.
All the aunties and grandmas and like, old lady busy bodies are like, bless their heart, right? When they're, when they're gossiping. That's how you politely gossip about people
raise their heart. It's the original concern troll, right? Yes,
It really really is. I mean, I guess, internet I understand. But like, bless your heart came to me after I understood how the internet concerned trolling work. I was like, Oh, I see. I can slot that into something I already know. Like,
makes a lot of sense. Yeah. I mean, it's very mentioned that kind of category two I feel like like what all due respect, you know, when someone starts with a healthy respect, I'm like, Oh, here it comes, right let's, let's bring it let's see what they're gonna say to me today about something I've said or did.
So it may be as opinionated ladies on the internet who are bloggers and overtures maybe pathologically, but maybe personality wise, we probably know a whole bunch of those things. There's like, bless your heart and you're so brave. And God, what are some of the others there's like, but did you know right like people always want to kind of correct you. There's always the faint praise or people like Tony police us. They come at you with that. Well, I would never or like, That's very nice.
That you do I agree with you. But I wouldn't have put it that way.
Yeah, no, that was
the sentiment. But did you have to say it
that way I dig the people that think that they're experts on my mental disorders. So that's my favorite right is that I'll tweet something about anxiety. You're having an anxiety disorder and never fails that someone comes in and is like, well, I wouldn't take medicine for that. Or, or, you know, Kelly, if you just did yoga, you can't see me looking at the camera like the pan and the camera. You know, yoga, you just walked it out, or, you know, maybe if you just stopped worrying, like,
you tried like having some perspective, because that thing that you are anxious about doesn't really seem to me to require that level of anxiety like, Oh, I never thought about your rifle.
That's my favorite one where I'm like, oh, my goodness, you fixed me.
What I mentioned already 90 here is that I just was not worrying. Oh, it was
that easy the whole time. Yeah, I mean, I have a number of rage threads, like very similar about insomnia, too, because insomnia people always give you like loads of advice. Like do you think that if this would have worked, I would not have already tried it in the like 14 years I've had chronic insomnia, right? You honestly think that I haven't tried yoga? I am a yoga teacher, right? I like try yoga so hard. I got a 200 hour yoga certification. Because I don't do things half assed, all the way, right? meditation. I'm on it. I teach meditation, right? Like I do all that stuff like, have you tried turning your phone up? Right? Have you tried minding your own business? Is to feel sorry for me. Right? And not asking you to tell me like, I'm pretty sure this is your fault, right? Because you're doing something
or the people that think that they're helping me. I mean, I think some people come from like a genuine place of I'm helping you and you've never like thought of this, but I also have it happen when I share this kind of stuff, where people want to come in and give me advice and I think they don't realize that sometimes I'm sharing this because I need to say it out loud. Not because I want someone to fix it. Right like there's job is not to come in and fix something for me. And so they're like what you should do. I had this long thread couple years ago about how anxious I get about these giant conventions, right? these giant disciplinary conventions, because it's just a lot of stimulation, and my brain can't handle it because it's all over the place. And because of ADHD, right, like, it's first of all, it's just too much stimulation. It's too much chaos. And so it just hits a number of things for me, and I think the incredible response I got it people are like, see, what you need to do is you need to like deep breathe, right? And you need to have like snacks. And you know, Kelly, you should really lay off the coffee. And I'm like, first of all, I'm like, 95% coffee, like, No, I can't lay off the coffee. Like, that doesn't work. I'm like, also, it's not like it is for most people, right? It's not a stimulant To me, it helps me kind of level out level out. Yeah. And so it's just it's the funniest thing where I'm like, I don't I didn't I just what stop I think like, I know how to handle these sorts of things. It's like I'm just saying this because other people also experienced this. And let's kind of validate that in some sort of way. But it was just the funniest where I'm like, Oh, I should take breaks, right? I shouldn't drink water. Like you're gonna take my coffee out of my cold dead hands, but it's like, I don't need any of this. I'm already doing these things. And I'm not
I mean, this is like the difference between like the kind of pathological model of building and the social model of disability right. So what you are narrating is like the experiential reality of moving through the world or moving through specific social situations in the in the body and the mind that you have and how you have discovered certain things about yourself, which is like big crowds. Not cool, right? You know, sessions that go from 8am to 7pm with like, catered lunches and you never get to get away from the people or like, it doesn't work for you. But what you're describing is not like, I wish that I was different, right. Bing is, this is the reality that I experienced in This type of location that other people do not experience as debilitating, right. And all you're doing is like sharing that out there. And the social model of disability with like, sort of, say, the disabling condition is produced by the environment that you're in, right? Because you're like, not anxious, and you're still 95% coffee and fully functional when you're sitting on the couch in your office, right, but just not in a big situation. So the goal of people interacting with that, I mean, what you're looking for there is not for them to tell you how to change yourself, right? to better fit the environment where you just are not going to fit right. What you're asking is for them to recognize that you may need to participate in that environment a little bit differently. Like for me, I always stay in the conference hotel if I can so that I can immediately run away back in my room, right? And height, and I do only maybe half the sessions and it's not because I'm lazy and I'm not going to the sessions, I just know I can't listen anymore. I can't hear anything and I get anxious and I get a headache and I can't even talk to people, right so I have found ways to navigate big conferences, which I also don't want because I find them overwhelming in a sensory way or like the air is either too cold or too hot. And the room is like too crowded or too empty or the sound is like being projected too loud, or the lights are too dark. I'm just like, I can't. And I'm not asking people to give me coping skills for that my coping skills are I dip out, they go. So, I mean, it's interesting that the kinds of interactions you often get when you describe your experience to people, is they find a way to change your experience. Right? instead of like, I think what we want is for people to validate our experiences and, and either like, allow us to shift our participation in the environment so that we can participate in whatever way we can. Or maybe when they design those environments themselves to design them to be a little bit more inclusive, right, like unstructured break times, less crowded sessions, or even like having quiet rooms for people to go to. Right. I'm not asking for advice on like, how can I worry less about stuff?
I mean, I think that's big. I think that's exactly it is that so often? And I think this is this kind of individual ethos, right, this idea that we can like, somehow no matter what, you know, change the person that we are to then fit into these kinds of structures. And so people get really, like deeply offended when they offer this advice, and you kind of push back at them, because they're like, Oh, no, like everyone has to change to fit into these sorts of things. And it's like, well, I think that's the wrong way to approach this, right? If we think about these structures and the structures that we're all laboring under, and these are not universally designed at all, and to have some sort of reflection on that, but that's not what they want to do. They're just like, drink more water. Yeah.
Yeah, stay hydrated.
I was like the next person that tells me to stay hydrated. I'm gonna like, lose my mind right before
your water bottle in their head. That's what you're getting.
Now. I just had someone tell me that last week. They're like, are you staying hydrated and I'm like, I have to Children in my house that I'm also like trying to school at the same time that I'm trying to work and my eyes twitching like this is not the moment for you to ask me if I'm drinking a glass of water or not.
Water can do a lot, you know, but in that structural change.
I mean, maybe the biblical flood, I mean, the flood could enact structural change at this point, right. I think that maybe the conference site needs to be well hydrated, right? Like maybe the convention center needs to experience a sudden and dramatic flood so that we all get to go home, right? Yeah. So overwhelming anymore. They're well hydrated. There's also there's also the issue that even when these conferences are allowed to start happening again, especially in academia, none of us are going to have any money to go to them. So like the four people who are able to go to these conferences are going to have like a lot of downtime and a lot of quiet space.
I'm ready then I'm ready. That's the conference. I want to go to.
What's interesting to me And so like, you know, I'm an extrovert. So I'm hearing you guys complain about conferences like this. Bring me all the people. But, but at the same time, and there's been stuff, obviously on the internet because that's where anything lives anymore. But about how exhausting zoom meetings are and why they're so exhausting. And so there's a lot of conferences that have moved online, particularly in my field. So like, LLC, which is online learning Consortium, they're doing their big meeting online right now and EDUCAUSE Li, they're doing their online meeting right now. And I'm just like, I can't write like, I can't go and it's like, well, you have space to do it. And I'm like, No, I don't like I have space in my calendar. Sure, between meetings where I could drop into these sessions, but I don't I have to, like walk away from my computer and I have to walk away from zoom and I have to, you know, take the dog out because I just there's, there's it's Not the same, right? It's not the same. It's, it's the two means, in some ways, the more exhausting, right then a traditional conference would be. But it's also again, that whole thing where, like, you know, I, when I go to conferences, one of the things that I appreciate about it, it's not just the throngs of people in my extroverted nature, but the fact that you get to go someplace, right? Like there's something really powerful even before about like, I'm in conference space now. And so I have my hotel room and whether or not how much I use that hotel room, whatever, but I have it and you know, yeah, my kids might text me or my husband might call me or like the school is gonna like be annoying anyways, but the very end, but it's like work knows I'm gone. family knows I'm gone. Right? Like this is this is sort of the the space and a place for that. And one of the things that structurally which to me is is really hard right now is that like, you know, we're home. We're not We're working. But there's also the conferences that we were scheduled to go to, but we're still working and so it's like, I'm not going to take a sick day for this because normally I wouldn't take a sick day for this because it's part of my job now and so there's all of these kinds of influences where I just can't get into the right headspace anymore to go to a conference right to to like click on the zoom link or whatever webinar link to be like, oh, here are my here are my colleagues a lot of them are by people that I like and you know, I'm friends with and I want to support them in the same way that I would support them at a at a face to face conference, right? I'll go to your session because we're friends and that's what you do with your colleagues right you support one another but I'm just like, I can't I'm sorry. I can't go to your your session. I just I don't have
the energy to sit for another two hours on. Well, and you did you'd be muted to right like your video be turned off and you'd be muted like I was just, I think it's kind of like a giveaway Another one of the gifts that the the neurodivergent can offer the neurotypical here is, is our exquisite attunement to our kind of mental or cognitive, emotional and physical experience of spaces that we have mostly, like by dint of hard effort and sometimes therapy and a lot of medical appointments been able to begin to name like the things that are working for us, right? I'm physically uncomfortable in this room or I cannot concentrate when the door keeps opening and closing and people are coming because I cannot focus or, you know, the the sound is being amplified too loud and it's booming in my ears or what have you, or I can only work for 30 minutes, but then I need to get up and walk around. Right. So I think we've developed a language around boundaries that we've had to learn to discover without broaching because when we push past those boundaries, like we experienced more catastrophic, catastrophic failures more quickly than neurotypical people would do. So I think it's an opportunity for us to say, like an in person conference is different from a remote conference because at an in person conference, I can look around the room right? I can shift around in my chair, I can put up my hand to speak, I can come and go, I'm in a different environment that is maybe stimulating for me in a good way. Maybe in the afternoon, I'm gonna go to a museum or I'm not half focused on my family who's in the house with me, like, I'm not in Chicago, if I was in Chicago, I would be able to focus on what's happening in Chicago, but I can't focus on what's happening on my video screen when my family is here. Right. So I think, in by the ways that we've had to learn how to ask for accommodations or express our limits around certain types of things that that we have got use to saying, no, this setup doesn't work for me, right? Not in the kind of expression of a preference but to sort of say, I can't like Shin in this environment and the modality by which, like a given work experience happens is really going to impact my capacity to focus or not like I did a webinar yesterday, I participated a webinar. It was a webinar on Oh my god, on creating interactive and engaging online learning experiences. And there was like 40 of us there, and we were all muted. And the public chat was turned off. And all of our video was turned off. And there was two Talking Heads speakers narrating the PowerPoint that had already been distributed. Right? And I was like texting a friend at the same time saying like, I'm a terrible student, because I'm texting you. And I'm kind of like half assed talking to my daughter about her homework off to the side. And I'm googling stuff because I can not listen to this. I can't learn like this. I'm like, I don't want to do this to my students, right? Like, so having that experience of not being the person controlling the meeting right now being the person narrating the PowerPoints, which I wouldn't do anyways, but like to be in the seat of like one or 40 students in that class. I was like, excuse me? No, right. I left this little comment. The only way you could get like anything put in the stream was to private chat, one of the facilitators and then the facilitator would decide if your like, comment was going to get promoted to the public. It wasn't a public chat. It was a one way communication channel but like I said, Feel like a lot more empowered now since I've kind of come into my own as a disabled scholar to be able to say, I can't work under these conditions, I can work under lots of conditions, not this one, right. And I think we could teach maybe some of our neurotypical colleagues that it's okay to say, like, it's way too cold in this room, or I can't do it here because my internet isn't fast enough. Or I actually need my physical copies of my books in front of me or I can't remember what I read like it's okay to say, I have this limit. And if you push past it, I just can't do the work no matter how hard I try.
I tried to attend a webinar last week. And so what I should say is I am distractible under normal time, right under ordinary time. And under the current crisis, like my brain just doesn't, it has it takes a lot for me to kind of anchor in right to focus. And so I have to do very particular things. I have to work in very particular spaces. For this to happen, I've been hiding out on my front porch a lot. So I can't hear anyone, right. And so because it is it's like anything can distract me. And so I was attending the seminar last week and I was like, Okay, we'll see, you know, we'll see what we're gonna do. And I'm through I think no fault of the facilitators, it was just really different than what I was expecting it to be. I mean, I was doing similar things to you, Amy, where I'm like, oh, let me look at my calendar and see what we have coming up. Oh, yeah, I need to schedule this sort of thing. Oh, let me go to Twitter. stream, right. Let me do and it was just one of those things where part of it was them realizing that to be engaging on that form takes something right, like you can't just chitchat or you can't just kind of flip a slide up right and do that. But also, you have to give us some content to grasp onto. So it was one of these things where we're supposed to be, I think like a conversation between two People, but they gave us nothing to hold on to. So it was one of those things where they're like, oh, we're going to do this exercise. We're going to do this. Now if you have questions about this topic, and I was like, but you uncover anything about this topic, like how am I supposed to have a question or engage with this? If you haven't even given me the parameters, which we're doing and I think it was because this thing where they're like, Oh, we gave you the reading ahead of time, and I'm like, What but
weird I didn't do all the reading because I'm a terrible student.
That's the time for me to do this in between all the other stuff that I'm doing. Um, and it was really funny where and so I like about halfway through it, I was like, I just can't like this is not working for me. not learning anything. I'm just getting frustrated. And right now I really need to control frustrated over. But it was super funny because my partner is like, I thought you were on a webinar and I was like, Oh, no, I tapped out like so quick. Just closing because I'm not learning under these conditions. Yeah, not learning. I'm not getting anything from this, my brain has already spun up on the like, all the other things on my to do list that I can some that I can actually accomplish some that are going to take a lot longer. I was like, and I'm getting anxious because I'm wasting the time, right, like I'm wasting them. And but I mean, I think you're exactly right. I mean, and the nice thing about therapy is that I can identify like, Oh, I know what's happening here. I know what I need to do to address this. Sometimes I'm like, Oh, I know what's happening here. And the train has already left the station like right now. Like there's no
is too late. It's too late.
I've named it and it's
it's moving towards that wreck slowly, but that's what's gonna happen. But I think it is that thing where it's like there are certain conditions under which we can do things and are conducive to this kind of stuff in the sort of zoom culture that we've landed in now. is not necessarily conducive. You said to these sorts of things. Yeah.
Yeah, I think like we need to all talk like more explicitly about what people's needs are right? Like, because so much of office culture is kind of taken for granted setup of things, right? There's like offices or like there's a cube farm or there's hot desking, or there's open, whatever. And then there's boardrooms. And there's meetings and like, we just sort of like as if that is inevitable and was not a series of choices that people made. But as we have all shifted kind of immediately into this, like remote work and often from home work and in different modalities like phone calls or more emails, or more like video conferences and stuff like it's okay to take this moment to say like, we've never done it like this before, right? Why are we doing it like this? Who is being included? or excluded just because it is so new to everybody? And this is not a system that we've inherited from like the men in the gray flannel suits of the 1950s tsunami like we are reinventing office culture right now and I really do think there's a place for and I say this with love, the brain weirdos, right? brain, weirdos and the body weirdoes like the disabled people of all types, people with chronic illnesses, people with caretaking issues, people who experience constraints in their lives that they've explicitly had to work around to be able to name thing for people who have maybe not experienced a lot of constraints or friction or difficulty with the kind of business as usual working model that we have experienced in the past, right. Like, I know, Lee, that you were talking about, you normally wouldn't take a sick day to go to a conference, right? You would just go. And it's interesting to me how much our workplaces are now trying to like discourage us from going to conferences or like, can't you just do that online? Again, that was something that happened before this, right, because it's this idea of like saving money, but there we needed to be able to express in very particular and specific ways. What is it about in person meetings that produce value, right? And for me, what produces value from in person meetings is the opportunity for kind of freeform or semi structured networking. It's less about sitting and listening to people getting talks and more about introducing to people who I know who don't know each other, or Incidentally, catching something in the hallway. Right. And so now I've kind of more deliberately chosen conferences that are smaller, that have a less cramped schedule where the thing that's most valuable to me about in person meetings is the thing I'm getting, instead of stuff that could be handled by like, just send me a reading package. Like if it's going to be just 50 papers back to back to back to back to back then, like make a book. Send it to me, right.
And I'll never read it anyways, though. I know. Yeah, I know this. Download it.
Let's have something much more pressing to do in which case, like, I'll read the whole thing. Quite Yeah. Right. But like learning to be able to say like, this doesn't work. Why are we doing it this way? What is the goal we are intended to accomplish? Right? Like, what is the goal of the webinar, right? So if I go to a webinar, and it's about engaging teaching practices, and it's basically like chalk and talk, but with PowerPoints, like structurally what's happening in the webinar is like in direct contradiction to like the goal and for That's always like a big thing is like, how is the way that I'm doing the work? structurally reproducing the values I'm trying to name right? If this is about togetherness, I actually like doing this podcast where I can see that I'm recording with because it helps me understand when I should give a break for someone else to talk about other things I like to do over the phone because it doesn't really matter like that, right? What's important about the way that we're choosing to do something, and I think those of us who've ever had to ask for accommodations, right or have ever self accommodated, have become kind of skilled at expressing those values and with other people never thought to do them, because they've never hit a friction point.
Yeah. So you guys, you'll enjoy this as well. So to even talk about meetings, but that also is is the same thing with online learning right now. Right? And with or distance delivery because it's not anyways, emergency mode teaching emergency remote teaching. Thank you. Well, no. So I live I live in a county in one of the richest counties teas and biggest counties and highest ranked counties in terms of education in the country in the United States. And it has been a shit show for the Oh, no, no, no. Well, so they were they were great. So they took a month off. We took a month off. They were like we're closing down. We're going to see what happens in a month and we're going to make a decision. Are we going to come back to school? Are we going to do distance delivery, it looked more more like distance delivery. They had a month to plan for this. And it just it failed. It failed so bad. It felt so bad on so many different ways. Like so it was like day one. Day one. It was elementary school and high school so they've straddled it elementary school kids have like two synchronous set one hour sessions Monday through Thursday. High school kids meet Tuesday and Thursday for 45 minute sessions. middle school kids meet Wednesday and Friday for sorry you lost me You lost me entirely. Now I'm bored and confused. Yeah, well This schedule. Sure, trust me because I have one kid in middle school and one kid in elementary school. And thank God my middle school kids is organized because that's her coping mechanism with no idea what's going on. So I just forward her email. So I'm like, I just got this and a, they don't even identify. So I can't tell if this is a middle school teacher. This is a high school teacher did she send it just did they send it just to read? They sent it to her as well. And my daughter's like, would you stop forwarding me my teachers emails? And I'm like, but I don't know.
So So day one comes up and it's fine. My son is able to do this in his room. So they've they've so there are certain things that I understand why they're doing it, but at the same time, what they're giving up on it, so everybody's there synchronously, but their cameras are turned off. Now, this was an equity issue because people don't necessarily feel comfortable showing their house their homes, right depending on what it is. So there's kind of an equity issue on that. But then the kids don't see each other, right? Which is what they want, right? But then of course my son and I'm not gonna get mad at him which is also why I let him do it in his room with the door close is that he's like what you guys were saying on the webinar he comes out after is our session right? Hey, Mom, I organized all my Nerf guns and realize that the electronic ones and I'm like what he's like, well, they were I was muted and the cameras not on they were talking I was listening. And then another one he like walks out during class. It's like it's just funny announcements. Mom, it doesn't matter and like she's so like, every time he does this, like his room gets that much more organized because he's just like, so not engaged with this, but but that's how he is in class. Like I know that's how he is in class because I was like that i doodled I was, like, sending on my, my daughter of course, she's got the laptop and the iPad and her phone and of course her friends were all back channeling Uh huh. The one time they had class, so, so this was so day one. And then like that night I get an email saying, oh, by the way, we're on a two hour delay tomorrow because of security issues. So we sent out all these links to the classrooms and of course, the high school students sent them to each other and posted them on social media naturally, right? Yeah, apparently. Um, and so my son's like, I knew it, I could have told you this wasn't gonna work. And I was like, yeah, I'm 11 year old online gamer gets it, trolls are gonna troll. And then the other problem was was bandwidth, where people so many people were trying to log into the LMS is that it kept crashing and nobody could get in. It knows that too. He's like, if too many people are trying to play the game, it's not gonna work. Um, and so so that was that was so that there was a two hour delay and then week one was completely canceled.
I shouldn't laugh I mean, we I know. I but I am but I mean, it's,
oh, no, I love to and this is my job, right? Like anything in a university setting. This is my job, right? And I'm still Like y'all shouldn't have gone with Blackboard, that's all I gotta say. Like, I was able to tell my daughter, I was like, in my professional opinion, Blackboard is a piece of shit. And I'm not surprised this happened. You know, and so then week two comes around and they're like, Alright, we're gonna, let's start off with week two, no one could log in. Or like, half the kids could login and half the kids could log in. And then like, middle school was just like, Cassie got emails. And she was like, half my teachers like told me what class I should use because now we're not posting on Blackboard because we can't log into Blackboard. So they're emailing it to us at the last minute. No, but I'm not sure where to look. And I'm like, I'm, and I'm getting emails and I get one from one of our teachers saying, you know, I'll be taking attendance of your travels, and they're gonna be contacting you and I'm like,
Yeah. They're taking attendance. Yeah. Like, like, the thing is, I am enraged, Lee, by your story, because, with my vast levels of executive dysfunction, the first change that they made, you know, I'm screwed up forever, right? You know, me too. And I can't. And like, I have my kid to write has like a limited amount of brain cycles to devote to complicated things. And I don't want it to be email like, I just don't you know, I feel about email. Yeah, no, I know how you feel like you're very strong feelings about email, but also like, make the plan and don't change it. Right. Don't always be like, Oh, wait, we had to move to a different Zoom Room at the last minute, because the last one was not password protected. So everybody moved here. I'm like, No, I missed the meeting now. Yeah, that's all that happened. Or,
and of course, like, again, so my son doesn't care, right? He's just like, if I tell him but then I feel bad for his teacher because I keep emailing her and I'm like, so what are we doing tomorrow? Is there anything going on tomorrow? Because I'm not sure what's going on anymore.
I think it's time to become a conscientious objector. Lee Yeah. But like, this is unreasonable. Yeah. But then, like, and you are an educated woman, right? You have plenty of devices in your house. And you do this like for your job, like, you know, well guess what? And if this is flummoxing you to this extent and the amount of time that you'd have to put in it during the day And you're not an essential worker at a minimum wage job who has to leave the house and commute by half empty bus to get somewhere every day. Like it's not fair. It's ridiculous to ask people to do that. I mean, it's truly truly, truly ridiculous. And use your little bit of like, identity privilege to say like, this is ridiculous. And we need to stop. Like, yeah,
yeah, I sent those I sent those messages the first week because our school, the teachers overestimated what the kids could do in a week at home. So we got these like giant packets and, and they were totally unorganized. So I'm a person that needs it organized. So I can move forward, right? Like I need it to be orderly and not chaotic. So they're using Google Classroom that had half of the stuff but the paper packet had the other half half. And some of the teachers had a really nice outline. And then others had like handwritten scroll in random documents. And I was like,
I have a I have a piece D
crate like, exactly. Like I have a PhD, and I am struggling to figure this shit out. Yeah, or two kids. And like, we have devices for every like, right. So we have. So I was that parent that first week that kept like messaging teachers and I'm like, Okay, can you tell me exactly what we're supposed to be doing right now? I'm like, because your messages are contradictory. Yeah, right. And message, you say this and this message, you say this. What are you actually grading? Right? And so it was my sister, who also has two children was laughing at me, because she's like, I can't believe you. And I'm like, No, I'm like, if I am confused, yeah. And I'm an educator. Like I'm trained as an educator, you're like, this is stuff I pay attention to, and I'm part of these communities. I'm like, if I am losing my mind, because I can't follow this. Can you imagine what other people are doing or they're just not doing it? Right like it's It's not worthwhile, right? Yeah, um, yeah, a bit. So this morning, I'd finally had it because we had like a pile for one child and a pile for another child. So I'm going through this morning and I binder it at all. I was just like, it was like I have to have this organized so I can look at it. Like, I'm not even sure that the kids need it that way, though. It helps them but they're not as dependent upon it as I am. But it was just one of those things where I'm like, hole punching and putting stuff in binders. I'm like, this is what this week is, this is what this week is here is our sort of thing. And I was like the amount of effort it takes just to organize this shit is like, ridiculous. Yep.
And there are ways or bureaucracies make things inaccessible. Right? Again, this is one of those places where it's like death by a bureaucracy, right? Like you could do the work If only you could figure out what is needed doing right? Or if the effort that you had to expend to figure out what work that you had. Do didn't consume all of the time and energy that you would have otherwise used to do the work right? It's like a kind of bureaucratic stonewalling. Almost right? It's like we've got to fill out this form all the wrong form, like fill it out again, like that one episode of like Parks and Rec word. Tom is trying to make like the emergency room doctor fill out the form to rent the park space. And he's like, No, he's this other. For me hands. You're like a 3000 word form, because he's just trying to make her stay longer. Like, in some ways, it's like almost preventing education from happening.
Our conversation with Kelly ended up running almost two hours. And so this seems like a good place to stop for this episode. We're going to have two more episodes after this with Kelly. We're really excited to have her on here. As always, you can find us on Twitter. I'm ready writing and Amy is Digi wank you can email us at all the things firstname.lastname@example.org and find out out more information on all the things adhd.com so stay tuned and next week we'll have more conversations with Kelly