University, Covid, and More

James buddypal

It’s been almost a year since we last posted on Returning James. A lot has happened in our family, in James’s life, and of course the world!

This is a picture of James and his “buddy pal” club getting ready to go to a GMU vs UR basketball game in January. His older brother got him tickets to the game for Christmas. It was pretty fun for James to go to his first sporting event as a University student! George Mason has been a good fit for James. The student population is diverse and he finds the diversity great for a student with disabilities. His classmates have been welcoming and accepting.  The professors for the most part have been really great and he loves the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship chapter on campus. The Disability Office has been a disappointment and challenging to work with, but he (we) have prevailed and he has completed 15 credit hours!

Last semester of course was Covid semester. What an experience for all of us. So many changes in such a short period of time. So much uncertainty and disruption to normal life. I think people with autism had a big jump on many, because daily life for them is a lot like Covid life has been for us. Isolation, limitations, lack of control. The list goes on.

It was hard to move from “in person” classrooms to virtual ones. James handled it better than I predicted and he, like everyone else, adjusted. One particular loss was the classroom time with his Creative Writing class. The professor was one of those rare teachers who just knew how to teach his subject perfectly. He taught beautifully and was very engaging of all the students, especially James- or that is how it appeared!  James loved it. The other students were supportive of his using a letter board to communicate and his study group made him so comfortable that he got really used to “talking” with them in the break out groups. So it was sad to have to leave them mid semester.

This class covered various aspects of creative writing, among them poetry. James and Margarita just shared some poems with me yesterday from the class and I thought they would be perfect for the blog. One is about COVID and the other two are about life for James. I hope you enjoy. Thank you for following James!  (I had trouble formatting these, James did not write the poems with such big spaces between the lines!)

COVID-19

A stamp

A landmark

A title 

For the moment in time in which the world panicked into a pandemic 

I saw the masks 

I heard the conversations 

I saw the fear

I heard the fighting

I saw the yellow tape

I heard the news and media

No more movies

No more eating out

No more train rides

No more parties

No more classes

No more clubs

No more gym

No more

Less?

Less business

Less traffic

Less commitments

Less appointments 

Less work

More?

More time

More reflection

More patience

More stress

More uncertainty 

More fear
COVID-19.

 

Freedom

One day I will be free

I will be the ruler of my domain

I will have control over myself

I will be released

Released from the purgatory I live in daily

The middle ground between heaven and hell

A taste of freedom but still shackled

To the prison of my mind and body

And their lack of understanding 

I don’t understand me

I confuse myself 

I don’t always rely on myself 

But one day I will

I will have control 

I will know myself

I will understand myself 

One day I will be free.

 

Just Do It 

Questions run through my mind every second of every day

What should I do?

When should I do it?

What can I say?

Keep your hands still, relax…

Worry less

Listen more

Don’t be weird

Relax…

You’re an adult, a college student, a smart citizen

Fall in line

So you can blend in

Everyone will like you 

You can fit in

But what’s the right fit?

What circle is this?

It doesn’t matter 

Just don’t overreact

Just don’t make that noise

Just don’t get too close

Just do it.

 

 

 

 

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