Friday, March 11, 2011

Changing my own educational paradigm

I found this video recently, and wanted to share it, as it's an incredibly powerful animated video that's taken from the full length talk by Sir Ken Robinson entitled "Changing Education Paradigms". I find it fascinating as it seems to be quite relevant for those of us on the spectrum whose brains don't seem to fit in the mold that traditional education wants to put us in. One of the biggest problems I had in my public school years was the belief that because I wasn't living up to the potential I had, that I was a failure.

It's not that this idea came out of nowhere, it was certainly instilled in me from my teachers, counselors, and (in some ways) my parents as well. Like many of us, I had aptitude off the charts, a high IQ, etc, but lacked in some critical areas in order to be able to succeed - namely social skills (I always have been behind my peers), organizational skills (ADD, anyone?). As noted in the video, motivation to move towards the end goal was also a factor, and the lack of seeing a linear path ahead of me in where I'm going and what I'm going to do hasn't helped.

I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but I find myself frequently caught like a deer in the headlights. Being in school now has mitigated this a bit, as it's given me a schedule and routine, but when I'm not in school I have no idea what I'm going to do today, tonight, or tomorrow. I find myself in situations where I don't know what to say (or say next). I don't know exactly what's gotten into me (except my diet, more on that later), but it's like I've gone completely blank. My thoughts are completely jumbled and I keep finding myself questioning "why did I do/say that?" or just punting - that I'm just not going to say anything at all.

The positive: I've gotten motivated recently to enroll myself in school, which has cut down on having tons of free time on my hands with nothing to do, and has given me a long term career goal to reach towards for the first time. As it stands right now, I am in a local technical college, enrolled in a 2 year associates degree program to allow me to transfer to the University of Wisconsin. Doing this helps get my grades up, saves money on tuition, and most importantly gives me a smaller short term goal - as opposed to trying to digest the idea of getting through a 4 year university.

In the meantime, I've got things I want to study, namely nutritional science and/or dietetics, but quite possibly the subject of the video (instructional design) or economics/poli-sci. I'm not sure how all this is going to work out, but I've got plenty of time. I think what I am about to embark upon seems to fly in the face of the things I've been told while I was in school and what someone on the spectrum can accomplish. I'm looking forward to doing that. :-)

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