Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yes, but no.

One of my all time favorite people with aphasia, when yourve close to figuring out what he's talking about but haven't quite gotten it, will give you the oh-so-helpful feedback "yes, but no". It tends to mean keep guessing, but stay in the ballpark. It would help, of course, if he talked about easily predicted things like the stimulus package or dinner last night, but I have a distinct memory of him trying to explain the concept of Burning Man to me just a few weeks after his stroke. Such is the brain of a lawyer, I suppose, who when he couldn't write his own name took his printed schedule and marked it with "stet" after a therapist had adjusted, then put back, a therapy appointment.

I've been having several Yes but No moments lately.

Being on a campus again has been a hoot. So many things are similiar to my experience more than 10 years ago, but so much is drastically differnt, partly from the world we live in now and partly from being on a campus that is so intergrated with the city life of DC. They still do chalk blitzes on the sidewalks for upcoming campus events, even in the face of so many other new ways to instantly communicate. Girls still smoke to stay skinny. Math buildings are still filled with nerds. But now students tap on laptops during class, and instantly look up anything that they have a question about (last night's rabbit trails included fallen arches and HSP, which is either a neurological disorder or a highly sensitive person). They are smart -- so much smarter than I ever was at that level of experience. They challenge the norm. Yes, but no.

We have new staff, again, to stop some of the bleeding of a few months ago and to cover maternity leaves. Someone else left and came right back. The new guys seem great - bright, creative, energetic, but once someone new comes in your organization is forever different. Yes, but no.

I think the whole A Rod steriod issue is a non-story. Who cares, and even more so, who should be surprised? Everyone was juicing those years ago, and he has a reputation for being a bit of cheater. I just wish he would say what he did, or stop talking. He said in an interview yesterday several times that he "felt poorly" about what he had done... this would indicate for the grammarians among us that his capacity for feeling operates in a sub-par fashion. That may be exactly what he meant. Yes, but no.

I spent Saturday morning a few weekends ago with two people I'd never met before picking up furniture from people who are getting new stuff or have just moved, etc. and taking it directly to people who need it. Most of the deliveries were in my immediate neighborhood, two to the next apartment complex over. Now I am the first to admit that I have a bit of an addiction to the A&E show Intervention -- it's an hour-long reality show about one person's addiction, the impact it has on their family and friends, and ends in an intervention that usually results in the person getting treatment. Sometimes they stay in and get sober, sometimes they don't (including a couple where the person died not long after the filming). I thought this show really exposed how awful addiction can be -- scary and destructive. Then I helped carry a sofa into an apartment just beside mine where addiction was living in full force. I had no idea what it really looked like. Not at all. Yes, but no.

I'm feeling better but still not anywhere close to right. Yes, but no.

This tshirt, the perfect homage to my friend with aphasia, is from here:

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