Re: Check Ins, Reassurances, and Concerns, 11/10


Alive and well. We had our extra-life fundraiser this last weekend, with the 25 hours of gaming (because time change weekend), with vaccinated only staying past the business close at 7 p.m. Six people made it through the night, and it was a nice taste of normality again.

I play support crew, which means that I head home around 1:30 am, feed the cats and sleep until 7, when I feed the cats and head back for the last hour or two (it runs 10-10). It's amazing the difference that 4 or 5 hours of sleep makes versus zero on Sunday.

Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 11-10-21 11:20 AM
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Jesus christ, Pokey and Rascal are a mess in school right now. Rascal is getting in significant trouble several times a week.

On Tuesday, for example, he got caught giving the middle finger to another child off at the afterschool program. (He clarified later that he only got caught for one of the two kids that he was flipping off.) The teacher said, "You can't do that!" and he said, "But I did it," and they went in circles for awhile like that. His key move is just to repeat "I don't understand" and other signs of confusion. It's amazing how long adults will patiently re-explain things to a 6 year old who is manipulating them. (I guess he's almost 7.)

Anyway, in the midst of the circular argument, he asked if he could get a drink of water, and she said yes, and he just left and went out to the playground. Once she realized he wasn't coming back, she called the outside monitor and asked for him to be sent back in. He was sent back in...and just found some third location. He managed to evade her for the rest of the day, because everyone was too harried to pay close attention. She was very mad. (The next day he had to face consequences.)

Today his teacher texted me that he scratched another girl and then feigned innocence. It's just always something.

The one silver lining is that it helps validate my notion that he's a lot of work at home, and I'm not just some fragile mom who faints easily at disharmony.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-21 2:24 PM
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I'm so demoralized and exhausted and fragile. My health is the same as it ever was, as far as I know, which, whatever. But it is incredibly difficult to be a deaf person in Montana- way more difficult than I anticipated, plus my family is a bunch of weird assholes who didn't respond to my coming home like any normal people would. Nothing is accessible to me and I do not have anyone to talk to that doesn't require a huge amount of unacknowledged effort on my part.

The state's early intervention/education system is abysmally bad. It's so bad it's hard to describe how bad it is. And it's a self-perpetuating cycle- any deaf person who somehow makes it through as a whole person leaves and never comes back. The only deaf people left in the state are severely damaged language deprivation syndrome survivors who are poorly educated and emotionally volatile and anger and have internalized an incredible amount of self-loathing (all of which are unavoidable results of language deprivation). So that's what Montana thinks deaf people are like, and they expect deaf children to have language delays and behavioral problems because that is what deaf people are like.

I've been spending a huge amount of time and effort on this because it's a really distressing problem to witness (and it is REALLY EASY TO AVOID) and children are being permanently damaged and I know how to keep that from happening. But I'm one of literally 3 people in the state trying to address the issue. The entire state/educational system is actively working against me (and full of people who dislike me personally at this point) and most of the parents are either also in opposition or just apathetic. The deaf community and the parents are additionally upset about rocking the boat- what if the scraps of humanity and accessibility they have now get taken away as punishment for my bad attitude?

I would be personally much happier if I left and went somewhere with an actual deaf community and enforced accessibility laws. But then there would be only 2 people trying to save all these fucking kids. And I'm pretty sure one of the two is moving soon anyway because her own kids are being negatively affected by the situation. I don't think I would be able to tolerate myself if I left, but I also don't know how long I can tolerate the situation here.

(My #1 advice to every family I work with is to start thinking about whether or not it's possible to move to another state. So far I've convinced 3 families to leave and I have 2 more on the fence. This is a solution for those individual children but it makes the collective problem even worse.)

I obviously need to spend more time making ridiculous art projects to alleviate some of the distress, but that won't really solve any of the loneliness or the actual monstrosity of the situation.

(And most of the time, when I contact out of state people for specific help or advice, they tell me a long list of things I've already done or can't do and then say they don't know how to help.)

I'm not asking for advice! Please don't tell me how I can solve this situation in one easy step. (But if you want to dump a bunch of money at the problem or move here and help me then I would be happy to entertain your ideas.)

But anyway that's how I'm doing. Medicore-ly healthy but not awesome social/emotional-wise.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-11-21 7:03 PM
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It sounds insanely demoralizing.

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-21 7:51 PM
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I'm having an especially difficult week for assorted personal reasons but it is a truly unbelievably bad situation. Covid is making it worse plus now it is dark by 5pm and it snowed all day.

I texted my dad yesterday and told him I needed a treat, so he brought over two persimmons. I had never had a persimmon before! They are delicious, and also my dad is a weirdo.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-11-21 8:08 PM
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You're an adult. You don't need to ask your dad for permission.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-21 8:10 PM
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I had to ask him if I wanted two at the same time though. In Montana only boomers are allowed to dispense multiple permissions.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-11-21 8:15 PM
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Messily that must be very grim. Have some useless admiration from a distance.

Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 4:26 AM
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Those are the ones where they look ripe but they're not yet, and if you eat them then, it tastes like someone is thoroughly vacuuming your mouth into an arid desert. IIRC.

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 6:04 AM
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While you rode a horse with no name.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 7:38 AM
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3 does indeed sound deeply grim. As we get close to year-end-giving season can I ask if there are particular organizations to which monetary support could be directed to make a difference in your life and the life of the deaf community in MT? I can't promise a "bunch" of money without knowing what would be needed to move the needle and wouldn't presume to tell you what to do anyway, but I'd be glad to be able to help even a little.

If this question is itself a presumption or a burden, feel free to disregard.

Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 7:49 AM
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Yikes, messily, that sounds demoralizing. I don't have any advice, but if there's anything we can do to be helpful let us know.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 9:46 AM
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I very much appreciate the sympathy and admiration. That is really the goal of my post so keep it coming (insert some kind of goofy emoji)

I also appreciate 11! For anyone inclined to help out (and Unfogged has been a hugely appreciated source of support over the last year- thank you all again and again):

1. I'm working with a 501c3 nonprofit, Conservatory ASL Northwest. Any donations made under the "Montana Family ASL" program go directly to support the work I'm doing and also are tax-deductible. This page includes a donation link as well as links to our Amazon lists:

2. If anyone knows things about running/growing nonprofits, disability law re: early intervention &/or education, or likely donors/foundations, we could use some advice-type help in those areas as well

3. I have a Patreon account set up (not tax deductible though)

4. My email is under my pseud for anyone who would like to talk more about details, budgets, dedicated gifts, or whatever.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 9:54 AM
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Also- persimmons are delicious! My instructions were to slice them up and sprinkle salt over them and I highly recommend this approach.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 10:51 AM
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Honestly, I can't even picture one.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 10:56 AM
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they look kind of like orange tomatoes.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 10:59 AM
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Maybe that's why? I don't like raw tomatoes.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 11:08 AM
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Yes but!! Ripe persimmons are delicious. Unripe persimmons are ghastly in a completely novel, sweatsock-in-mouth way

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 11:27 AM
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Everyone in my family says the best time to eat persimmons is the texture that would be overripe in other fruit (soft & slimy) which I've never cottoned to. It's good if you mix it in yogurt, though.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 11:28 AM
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We only have skyr.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 11:48 AM
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18: I was informed of this! Apparently it's because of tannins? The ones I ate were in the middle between crispy and tart (but edible) and mushy and sweet. They were sort of the texture of an Asian pear and sort of the flavor of a very mild mango.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 11:56 AM
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Persimmons (soft type) are among my favorite fruits, and I"m eating one right now.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 12:59 PM
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I almost never eat persimmons straight, but I bake persimmon cookies for the holidays. They are delicious... and yeah, are usually a paste in the batter, rather than distinct like raisins or nuts are.

Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 1:21 PM
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2 kinds of persimmons - hachiya (pointy full breast shape, e.g. while skinny dipping) must be v soft when you eat or will be full o tanins, & fuyu (flatter full breast shape - same chick but reclining out of water) can be eaten crisp or soft, often deployed in winter salads.

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 4:22 PM
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23: Same. My grandmother had a hachiya persimmon tree. Deployed in cookies and pudding. They're not common and very expensive here except at Asian groceries. Hachiyas when fully ripe taste almost spiced, consistency of a mango. Fuyus taste more like an apple or a pear to me.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-12-21 6:14 PM
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Coming down with what is almost certainly a cold (feels exactly like how my colds usually feel). It's utterly infuriating that you can't get a quick test in the US. I have to wait until tomorrow to get a test (which I can only do because my university does its own tests, all the public ones are booked out) and then it's 24+ hours for the results. I just want a 15 minute test to tell me it's just a cold.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 1:12 PM
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It's just a cold.

Posted by: Opinionated Test | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 1:28 PM
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That's free because it took sixteen minutes.

Posted by: Opinionated Test | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 1:28 PM
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I get the other symptoms so often that right now I don't think I'd get a covid test on strictly symptoms grounds unless I had taste-smell issues or a fever.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 2:06 PM
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I suppose this is the right place for embarrassed bragging. I ran a 10K yesterday and won my age group, through having shrewdly turned fifty over the summer and not having to compete with all the fast women in their forties. (I would also not, entertainingly, have won women's 60-69 -- the winner of that group beat me by a couple of seconds). My actual time, just barely under 58:00 for the 10K, was nothing remotely impressive, but I think that may be the first athletic anything I've won in any sense since sailing when I was sixteen. So I'll take it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 4:17 PM
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Whoa, that's great! I've only run 10K one single time in my life, and not in a race, and my back hurt the next day.

But I did play a real soccer game on Friday night! Pokey's team had an end-of-season Parents vs Kids. They were the best team in their league, and I can proudly report that I can reliably dribble through 10 and 11 year olds.

I felt really great out there and like I hadn't lost much in the past 20 years. That night and the next day I was hobbling around like a broken marionette. I'm still sore, in fact. However, soccer did that to me in my 20s, too. My back ached a lot from it.

Posted by: heebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 4:22 PM
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Which reminds me of a funny side bit: Jammies and I keep noticing Pokey limping and asking if he's okay. Finally he got annoyed with us and said that he's fine, we need to stop asking, and it's just that one leg is longer than the other.

I checked his hips, like how they do for scoliosis, and couldn't discern a difference, but I suppose one leg could be a touch longer, right at the eve of puberty? I had different sized feet then, and they evened out at the end.

Mostly it's hilarious and I should probably stop making jokes about him going in circles.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 4:25 PM
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Congratulations, LB!

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 5:14 PM
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30: That's great. I can't go near that fast.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 5:25 PM
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right on lb! & go go heebie!

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 5:30 PM
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32 reminds me that I have one leg longer than the other and none of the scoliosis checks caught it until my senior year of high school. They didn't really catch it then but they noticed the resulting spine curve. The specialist I had to see after that told me the leg was shorter after x-rays. We had to see the doctor in Omaha so I went with mom and she let me drive.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 5:50 PM
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She never liked driving but she totaled two fewer cars than I have.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 6:28 PM
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We were both tied when I was 17.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 6:47 PM
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Wow I just got a PCR test result back seven hours after it was collected. At least some pandemic management systems are working well.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-14-21 9:41 PM
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