Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Well, it’s that time of year again, we’ve somehow almost made it 365 days around the sun and oh boy was this a monumental year. Most of it was spent joking about how with economic collapse, a pandemic, dictators rising in the world, and more it’s definitely the 20s for sure! If I were to ever recap a year, this is absolutely the one to do with all the crazy things that happened, so without further adieu, let’s get started!!
I wrote the 2019 year in review that you can read Here
We had an ever so cheerful chat about prognosis that you can read Here
I decided to actually start to write more frequently on this blog again and have so many WIPs and scheduled posts still to do since I had finished the first semester of senior year
I finished applying to colleges and got some decisions!
For the first time in awhile I participated in an art friend’s draw this in your style (that was pretty out of my comfort zone!) that you can see Here
Since the Witcher is one of my favorite series I made a sticker design, and my first animation with everyone’s favorite bars, Jaskier! You can view that on my Instagram (please give me a follow I’m more active there and I really appreciate the support) Here
While not being a very big Harry Potter fan I decided to do a little painting of Ginny that I then turned into a digital painting! You can see it on my Instagram Here And on my redbubble Here
I opened commissions! If you’d like custom art please feel free to reach out! You can view the information about commission pricing and such Here
For the first time I submitted my art to an auction, and it sold! The auction was for the bushfires and did quite well. You can see the piece that was entered Here
I launched my own Australia fire relief project and was able to raise about $30 for bushfire relief. I still have a couple of stickers left over if you’re interested! You can see the cute koala I created Here
After on and off work I finished another character design for my comic, you can read about her Here
Instagram shadowbanned me so I took the time to improve my sketching and took a trip to NYC during February break. You can see what I did during my two weeks of being shadowbanned Here
I made a huge inchstone and walked around NYC BY MYSELF and went to see a friend who I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half! Also got a ton of cute stationery :) and are lots of good food
I redrew a sketch of Anna that I made when I was just starting to learn to draw, you can see the much improved re-drawn version on my instagram Here
I reposted my commission info on the blog so all you you could see it. You can see that post and the accompanying commission information Here
The fellowship and I took an excursion for lunch a couple of times when classes got canceled and had a lovely time just hanging out before coronavirus took over the world
I celebrated my birthday in Quarantine, you can read about that Here
I compiled a list of handwriting tips for children with disabilities, you can read my tips (many from personal experience) and tricks for writing Here
I participated in March Meet the Maker on Instagram for the second year in a row, you can see my favorite post (and all the rest) on my Instagram from the month of March Here
Finally after a solid couple of years I finished my entire Morrowind painting series project and posted them all together, I’ve linked my favorite but please check them all out, I worked so hard on them! You can find my favorite painting in the series Here
After months of waiting I had my neuropsych evaluation and had a horrible headache for the two days after the testing was completed, and therefor missed my last two real days of school :(
Coronavirus intensified in the US and Massachusetts closed down
School reopening was canceled, school moved to online learning with no April break
After getting back into the swing of writing I posted a short domestic fluffy drabble, a super cute short read! You can read it Here
Schools were closed for the remainder of the year, you can read about my thoughts on it Here
I finished up posting my Morrowind series, you can see the final painting Here
Since quarantine wasn’t finishing up anytime soon I decided to paint baby Yoda and Mando just for fun along with a few other paintings that have become personal favorites you can see it Here
I posted the first page of my comic!! You can read it Here
After a lot of procrastinating I finished 2 silly Morrowind comics. One can be found Here
With a lot of help from staff a graduation parade was planned for June 6th with a ceremony in July
I started writing a lot more due to the quarantine and finished a number of WIPs and posts which will be posted at some point eventually
I finished illustrating my first book in remembrance of a little girl who passed away from cancer in february of this year for her family
The graduation parade happened! Which can be found
It was official, I’ve been sick for 6 years. You can find my thoughts on that
I launched my art website/shop, you can visit it here
America and the rest of the world finally started to change the ways of systemic racism though there was a bit of civil unrest and borderline chaos at times as it coincided with a pandemic that was by no means over
I lost my summer job and had to navigate unemployment for the first time
I wrote even more, and worked more on updating this post, as well as going through the archives and getting rid of some older posts that are not really relevant any more
The pandemic showed no signs of stopping nor did protests and discussion about racism in the US
School officially decided we would start remotely after a previous attempt at putting together a hybrid model of schooling. International students who were unable to leave campus would be allowed to stay
Due to severe dehydration and abdominal pain I ended up in the ER not once, not twice, but three separate times, including two days in a row because of a less than ideal resident who sent me home with no fluids.
School started remotely on August 24th and I officially began college after a couple of days of very boring remote orientation
Classes picked up and math is absolutely not my strong suit
We celebrated Deaf Awareness Month with a special etsy shop update and charity sticker/print
I spent most of the month doing classwork or calling doctors offices about continued abdominal pain
A much awaited halloween shop update
I participated in TES Inktober 2020 you can find them on my instagram @thedisc0panda
Midterms happened as did many more doctors appointments
I miraculously passed math
The United States had an election
I explained how I passed math, and the question of if my technical failure at math was due to a lack of knowledge or a math related learning disability, or perhaps both
I finally finished some fluffy borderline sin for friends? Also binge watched the Mandalorian season 2 while friends were home on thanksgiving break the first time we had gotten together in some way shape or form in about 9 months
Finals happened and now we are off on Winter break until February with January term being optional I plan on taking a class on Digital Design Fundamentals
The annual holiday fic post feat Anna and company, Valan hates the cold
I shared my culture paper that talks a bit about how disability has shaped my culture and the way that I experience the world around me
The COVID19 Vaccine was approved for emergency use in the United States and hope was finally in sight in the new year, but with holiday travel as expected cases get worse before they get better. Nonetheless, the holiday season was a welcome time of happiness
2020 was arguably the worst year for the world on the whole that I have ever seen, here's to hoping that in the new year things will begin to get better and we can begin to heal as a people from this exceedingly dark year.
Until next time,
Saturday, December 19, 2020
For my first Sociology and Anthropology class paper we had to write about our culture and what makes it unique, as well as what goes into the concept of culture. Since disability and the like are very much a part of my own unique world and its culture, it is mentioned a bit (more like quite a lot) in my paper, and I thought I might as well share it here, and see what you all think. As always, comments on any of my posts (disability from personal experience or through creative writing) is greatly appreciated and makes my day.
Culture can be defined as dynamic shared patterns of norms, beliefs and symbols. Throughout the world and its history, many different cultures have developed. Each individual throughout their life develops their own culture and group of beliefs and practices. My culture and my family's culture is really a mixture of many different cultures and their beliefs from a mix of ethnicities. For a bit of context; my immediate family is made up of two ethnicities mainly, and within those, three different cultures. Those ethnicities are Anglosaxan, to be specific English and Irish, and Ashkenazi Jewish, in particular Austrian-Hungarian, possibly with some Polish and Czech on that side as well.
My father is a first generation American, born to a former British Royal Pay Corp Officer, who lived through both world wars after being born in 1909. My grandfather had his house bombed during World War Two. My grandmother was a Vienese Holocaust survivor who fled her home by herself at 19 to Jerusalem.
Born to a well to do Jewish family in Vienna, where her father was the head of the Austrian Wine Company, my grandmother was the second of three children.She had an older brother, Heinz, and a younger brother, Eric. During the 1930’s my grandmother was sent by train that was turned around while trying to cross the Hungarian border. She was then successfully sent by boat to what was then British Mandated Palestine, during the six week journey someone stole her only coat. My grandmother got so sick on the boat trip that took three weeks longer than expected, that when she arrived in Jerusalem, the lady she was staying with thought she was a frail old woman until she gave her a bath and realized that she was only nineteen years old. Heinz later met up with her there as he had left first, while Eric went by kindertrain to a Kibbutz. The three children did not see their parents or step mother for ten years, as the adults had fled to the United Kingdom.
While in British Mandated Palestine my grandmother met my grandfather who was an officer in the British Royal Pay Corp, stationed in the Middle East, they later went to London. Heinz stayed behind with his family in Israel, and his son still lives there. Later on, the rest of the Austrian side of the family moved from the United Kingdom to the United States and settled in Massachusetts. Some extended family also settled in Canada. The exception being a great great uncle, Erwin, who after being ratted out by a neighbor was sent to the concentration camp Auschwitz. He later escaped having been granted a weekend pass out of Auschwitz, and took the opportunity to flee. He fled to China, with his wife and mother, with the help of Presbetaryian missionaries, and worked as a doctor in a hospital outside of Shanghai. He was one of the last western doctors in the Shanghai area hospital where he worked when the communists came. He then briefly returned to Vienna, and then eventually came to New York and New Mexico before finally settling in Michigan.
My mother's family, by contrast, has been in the United States for at least a few generations, are Irish Catholic, and have deep roots within the city of Salem, MA. The city where my mother, her siblings, and their parents all grew up. There is even a distant relation to John Trumbull, the first governor of Connecticut under both British and American leadership. For both sides of the family, heritage and family history are very important and stories are passed down from generation to generation, particularly on my father's side. The belief that Israel has the right to exist as much as any other country, and Zionism in general, is another very important belief on that side, as the entire family would have been annihilated had they not fled to what is now Israel, and the United Kingdom, and I would not be writing this paper.
Culture also includes a person's values that they and people around them harbor. In my family, education and more specifically the education of the whole person is a key important value. As well as the fact that intelligence comes in many different forms. My grandfather for example was unable to finish university at The University of London, but was awarded a prestigious award in music theory and was highly intelligent, able to solve a rubix cube with mathematics, and worked on some of the first computer programs at John Hancock that were still in use after he retired.
Since I was born extremely prematurely much of my early childhood memories are taken up with early intervention services and therapies of various sorts, mainly physical therapy as a preschooler, and occupational therapy during my elementary school years. In both cases, I had very nice, respectful, and understanding therapists; who were willing and eager to adapt things so I could succeed. I have been in the special education system since the day I turned 3 years old and was eligible for an Individualized Education Program, also known as an IEP. Before that, I received services through Early Intervention.
During my time in primary and secondary school I encountered a mix of teachers all with various ideas about education. For the most part, many teachers were willing to accommodate my needs and make the needed changes so I could access education in a fulfilling way that educated not only the intellectual needs but also the other functional skills I would need in life. Other teachers though, had a very cookie-cutter approach to education, that one size fits all, neurotypical or not, and that was that. Those teachers ended up with a sit down from whoever was my special educator at the time with a thorough read through of my IEP and all of its various components, accommodations, and if applicable, modifications.
Self advocacy with diplomacy was a major skill I learned when dealing with such teachers, my special educator and parents being the major socializing factors, as they have always encouraged me to speak up when something is not right, and to use my skills with self advocacy to politely demand changes when needed. I also learned self advocacy during interactions with my medical team, which is a vast group stretching out over three separate hospitals, with many subspecialities. My core group of doctors consider me to be the “real” head of the team, while one doctor is the officially labeled head of team, they allow me, and even encourage me, to have a very involved role in decisions about my healthcare, even to the point of helping with research about my own conditions, which was something I did last summer. The research was then submitted to the National Institute of Health’s rare and undiagnosed disease center. It was also sent by my head of team to doctors and medical centers around the world for opinions and to ask for insight about what could be the cause of my variety of complicated symptoms.
Aside from education a major value to my family is to be exposed to diversity and many different types of people. My parents deal in antique oriental carpets, with the rug market being centered in New York City. They have been taking my brother and I to the city with them on business trips since we were very young, we essentially grew up playing, or napping, on the large piles of carpets, going for dinner with other dealers and clients, and getting to know the people around the market, many of whom have very interesting stories.
In particular, there is one office that has a few different dealers and their helpers in it after they lost their old building and offices in the 2008 recession. The office in New York City is likely the most diverse place one could visit. The owner, Yosef and his cousin Abraham are Mashedi Jews, or Jews from the Iranian city of Mashed, though the family fled to Israel when Yosef was a baby. Yosef and Abraham, and Yosef's son, Rohni, who used to work with him before going into the jewelry business are all Orthodox Jewish. Additionally in the office you can find Nader, who is Bahai, his sister in fact teaches in the nursing department at Lake Forest College. There is also Rahim, who is Muslim, and is in charge of cleaning and rug repairs, he has a group of South American women who are Catholic, and a Tibettian or Nepalese woman who help him with the repair, as well as various helpers to move the rugs, many who are either Middle Eastern or Sorth African. There are also of course, the other dealers and customers who come in and out of the office, further diversifying the mix. We like to joke that it is one of the most diverse places you will likely ever go to, and diversity is a very important value to us, as it helps expose you to the broader world and the many different customs, values, and beliefs of other cultures.
Growing up going to antiques shows and the Art and Antiques Dealers League dinners we learned how to behave and what was expected of us for social norms when out in public. My brother and I were oftentimes the youngest children at the League dinners, and other events. Norms can be defined as the social expectations of acceptable behavior we should do. Unlike many children who may grow up going to child friendly restaurants only, and behaving without any regard for politeness or having meltdowns when required to sit still and behave, my brother and I were socialized by our parents at fancy restaurants from a very early age, and thus we learned to behave as such. Politeness is an important social norm that allowed us to go to events and places that most children would not be taken to.
Another social norm that goes hand in hand with politeness is cleanliness. As a result of intergenerational trauma, the children of Holocaust survivors, and the survivors themselves, as well as the grandchildren of the survivors, often exhibit traits of hyper-vigilence and extreme cleanliness. In my family, we poke fun at ourselves and jokingly refer to it as “the mr. clean gene”, as it is a trait, along with punctuality, that has been passed down through the generations. In fact, there is a picture of my great grandfather with my grandmother, my great aunt and uncle, and a few others at a picnic after they immigrated to the United States. He is wearing a starched white shirt, and would notoriously get very upset if there was even a wrinkle in it.
This trait goes hand in hand with the need for cleanliness and devotion to a germ free environment after my birth, especially because I was born at the end of RSV season, a virus that can be potentially fatal to infants, especially premature ones. My primary care physician told my mother that anyone who comes into our home after I was brought home from the hospital after spending the first four months of my life in the neonatal intensive care unit and the special care nursery step down unit, that everyone must immediately go to the bathroom and wash their hands. While I am now at less risk of getting sick, that norm has been ingrained within our routine and continues nonetheless. If you enter our house, first you take your shoes off, then you go and wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water, though with the coronavirus pandemic we have obviously not been having any visitors the past six months.
We often follow social norms in an effort to fit in with society and be respected by our various peers. When we are with different types of people our behavior changes accordingly to the type of people we are with. A person behaves very differently with their close best friends than they do with their parents or a group of strangers, this is called role fulfillment. Norms can either be social or official and written into law. Sometimes people collectively ignore the law because of social norms, for example: speeding. Social norms can be incredibly powerful in that sense. Norms can be confining in their limitations of what is “normal” or “right”, but can also be very helpful, if not freeing, in their ability to help people navigate society, especially a society that may be complex or confusing. By following social norms we are able to understand our place in society and the larger world we live in.
Additionally we use social imagination; the ability to see the relationship between one's individual thoughts or life and the broader society when thinking about culture. We are able to make connections between our own experiences and the shared experiences of others within our culture, while also acknowledging the differences in those experiences. We avoid imagining ourselves as isolated individuals and think critically about our place in the broader world.
To conclude, culture is a group of dynamic shared patterns that include norms to help us navigate and understand the world, common beliefs that are shared by those within our unique culture, and symbols that are important to our culture. Different cultures have their own sets of values and beliefs. Many cultures intersect at different points, though they may be otherwise quite different to each other.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
QOTD: How do you spend the holidays? I usually spend it with friends or my cousins at their house, it’s much less anxiety inducing than spending it at home, and generally more fun.
While the weather in Skyrim might be dreadful most of the year, it does make for a nice holiday atmosphere, I think to myself wandering the streets of Solitude as the snow flurries down. Valan on the other hand seems to disagree, mumbling to himself why he ever came to this gods forsaken country, holiday or not. “Which would you rather have; ash Storm, or snow storm?” I ask, curious to know the honest answer. “Neither. I’d have neither.” He replies pulling his coat closer “Can we go inside?” I hold the door open for him “After you.”
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Epilepsy + fevers and sleep deprivation generally doesn’t = a very good situation...
Monday, November 16, 2020
Fluff, enthusiastic consent, light choking(?), Riften is a horrible city, Farkas needs a nap, Anna likes waffles, that’s really all you need to know.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Since today marks the nine year anniversary of Skyrim’s release, to celebrate, have some slightly rushed (at the end mainly) cute if slightly sad at times fluff. Happy ninth birthday Skyrim!
“You notice anything odd about Anna recently?” Valan asks sitting back in his chair and crossing one leg over the other. “How do you mean ‘odd’?” I ask, though I have my thoughts of what he implies. “I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. Behavior wise, I guess. A bit sort of...sad. Withdrawn, distracted, you know.” He replies. As I'd suspected, my thoughts were correct. “A bit, as to why, I have no clue.” I make a mental note to breach the topic later.
I find Anna sitting on the rooftop balcony of her alchemy tower, looking out over the lake and at the mountains in the distance. With a sigh I sit down next to her and we sit in silence for a few moments. “The iliac bay is beautiful this time of year…” Anna says abruptly, to who she’s talking to exactly, to me or to herself, I’m not entirely sure...I look at her as she continues staring out at the scenery with a blank but slightly sad expression on her face. “Anna?” I ask, and she looks at me “Are you homesick?”
With that question I may as well stepped on a landmine. Anna’s eyes well up with tears and she nods slowly, whimpering before bursting into sobs...Poor thing. I hold out my arms as a silent way of saying “I’m here if you need a hug” and Anna crawls over and into my lap. “Do you want to visit your parents?” I ask carding a hand through her hair and get a sniffle and a soft “uh huh” in reply as Anna buries her head against my shoulder and continues to cry.
We stay there for some time, Anna and I, sitting on the balcony of the tower. Continuing to sob, Anna clings to me as I sit quietly allowing her to cry, attempting to calm her down, and occasionally asking a question or two. For the most part, I just sit there running a hand along her back as the other keeps her stable and look around at my surroundings. The midsummer nights allow us to stay there long after it would have normally gotten dark.
Eventually, Anna falls asleep from exhaustion, or normal tiredness, or perhaps a combination of both. My attempts to wake her are futile, nor do I have the heart to want to wake her. Instead I simply pick her up and carry her back downstairs. I place Anna carefully on the bed, making note of the time and plan to wake her in half an hour. As Anna sleeps, I call her parents and inform them that she misses them quite a lot, and would like to come visit, as usual, they’re quite happy about the possibility.
“Hey, you, wake up.” I gently shake Anna’s shoulder and she opens her eyes sleepily. “You fell asleep up on the balcony. Do you want anything to eat? Have you had dinner?” Anna shakes her head. “No as in not hungry? Or no as in I haven’t eaten dinner?” Anna responds to the second one and sits up sleepily.
While it isn’t much, Anna downs a couple of pieces of toast and a glass of water, along with her medication. Not exactly a full meal, but better than nothing. Having finished Anna returns back upstairs and flops on to the bed. “If you’re going to go to bed you should probably take a bath first, or at least just change your clothes?” On that note Anna rolls over with a slight groan “right, forgot about that.” She gets up and trudges over to the dresser, getting her clothes and going to take a bath. The door closes for a moment before opening again “Um...would you mind helping me?” Anna sheepishly asks, poking her head out. “Get undressed? Eh why not, it’s not like I haven’t done it before.” I reply and Anna opens the door “Buttons are hard...“ she mutters closing it behind her. Fine motor skills, apparently a skill in need of quite a bit of continued work.
“You’re right, these are difficult.” I murmur fiddling with the buttons on her shirt before eventually getting it undone, after that it comes off easily. Having gotten undressed the rest of the way herself Anna climbs into the bath and spreads out with a sigh “You know, despite the heat, a warm bath is quite nice.” She remarks with a slight smile. “So, why have you been so homesick lately?” I ask leaning against the wall. Anna shrugs “Not entirely sure. Do you ever have those moments where you’re like ‘fuck, I really miss home!’ Or is that just me?” I cross my arms “I doubt it’s just you, but considering home is never too far away, considering whiterun is situated in the middle of the country, can’t say I’ve experienced it myself. Valan probably does though, he was wondering about you earlier today when I ran into him.” Anna nods “you’re probably right, I’ll have to ask him.” She says swishing the water around. “On a different note entirely...get out, I’m going to get dressed.” And on that cue, I take my leave, closing the door behind me to allow her some privacy.
After getting dressed Anna writes a note to ask Valan about what he does when he misses home and leaves it on the bedside table for tomorrow before crawling into bed and promptly falling asleep again. I on the other hand, stay up for about an hour longer before going to bed.
From what I remember, Daggerfall is quite a nice city, though I’ve only visited a few times with Anna. In a way, it reminds me of Whiterun, but far larger, and situated right on the Iliac bay. If you squint while on the docks, you might be able to very slightly see Hammerfell across the bay. I sift through memories as I lay there waiting for sleep to take me.
When I wake up in the morning I find Anna curled up against my side, but already awake, if barely. “Did you sleep ok?” I ask carefully picking her up and placing her on top of me, I get a sleepy nod in return. “Still sleepy?” Another nod and she closes her eyes again. I glance over at the clock, it’s only quarter past six...we must have been up until nearly midnight with how late the sun was out. “You can go back to sleep, you know.” I tell Anna, moving a stray piece of hair away from her face. Anna makes a small noise and her entire body seems to melt against me, no pun intended with the heatwave, and promptly goes back to sleep. I set the alarm for nine and close my eyes again, even if I don’t necessarily sleep, the additional rest is nice.
Anna wakes up promptly at nine o’clock, a few seconds before the alarm in fact and turns it off quickly. “I really hate that noise, you know.” She says turning it off. “Why? Because it means you have to get out of bed?” Anna nods with a small smirk “Precisely”.
It takes a little more than a week before we arrive in Daggerfall, including packing time and negotiating with Aelas mother to very generously babysit for Sofie and Runa, though I’m sure those two are more than fine on their own given their past circumstances. The city is much as I remember it, if not the same. Anna’s parents as always are happy to see us, and are very gracious hosts. Anna seems to enjoy herself, and we run into some old friends while we’re there. Overall, the trip is a success in all accounts.
“So, feel better since we went to visit your parents?” I ask Anna one night after we had returned. Anna nods sleepily and moves closer toward me “It’s nice to know the city hasn’t changed much while I’ve been gone.” She says leaning her head against me and closing her eyes, but then lifts her head up again and looks at me “It must be sad- not having parents…” she murmurs. I shrug “What I think is if you never knew them, it’s not quite as sad. Besides, Aelas mother, Tilma, and the rest of that lot became a sort of makeshift family, it’s the least they could do- really.” Anna tilts her head curiously “Do you miss your parents?” She asks, I shake my head “Never knew them, like I said. So, no- I don’t.” I explain, we’ve had this conversation before. Anna stares at me for a moment, before turning her head to look out the window “The iliac bay is much prettier than whatever lake that is.” She says with a slight disgusted tone which makes me chuckle slightly. She looks back at me then “what? It’s true!” She says throwing her hands up. I pat her head slightly “I know, I know, the bay is very pretty, with the Direnni tower, too. Skyrim is mostly woods, tundra, and plains or mountains- great if you like the wilderness, not so much if you’re more metropolitan.” I say with a smirk “And considering you started running the other way the first time you saw a skeever- I would put you in the second category.” Anna huffs and sits up “They’re basically giant rats! Who likes giant rats? Not me!!” I think the combination of sleepiness and mild opinionated annoyance masks to her that I find this entire conversation to be rather hilarious. “Alright, enough about the wilderness and giant rats and lakes- time for bed.” I wrap her in a tight hug and lay back down, Anna becomes quiet and closes her eyes- but not before one more sarcastic comment. I must admit- I’m not surprised. The earlier conversation does make me think though, I must admit, and having thought about it more I stand by the notion that it really does take a village to raise a child, or children in the case of twins. It’s understandable, the questions, but it does make one think about their circumstances.
Sometimes I wonder how it is Anna truly ended up in Skyrim, it’s a harsh and unforgiving land, with its fair share of harsh people, if not downright evil ones. It’s easy to see why she would long for home in a place that’s about as open to outsiders of any kind as The Camonna Tong is to non Morrowind natives. While she’s adjusted well overall, homesickness is certainly understandable. And with that thought late at night I finally fall into a deep and dreamless sleep.