Great. I had this post mostly typed out and then accidentally Command+Q’d Firefox. And for whatever reason I can’t find the draft.
Anyway, I’ll try and get the gist of it down from memory.
First of all, a thousand apologies for the lack of recent posts. School is really a pain right now, on top of administrating a club at my school and a forum that might as well be the same, and furthermore trying to launch a Youtube channel. Life is busy and I hate it so much. But anyway. The pace shouldn’t pick up on posting for a while yet so unfortunately I probably won’t be posting very often for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, to the topic that I actually was going to talk about. Last Wednesday I got into a bit of a scrap with my PE teacher. Every day in class, we start off by doing ten minutes of warmup (usually running) followed by whatever the heck we want for the rest of the period so long as it involved physical activity. For this warmup you have to be running, which she defines as motion involving a moment of suspension in which both feet are off the ground. I looked it up and this is in fact valid, and furthermore I had amused myself by running in place with no comment from the teacher.
So this last Wednesday, because my shoes are coming apart I went as slow as I could to not lose my shoe, while minimizing the amount of suspension I did. Many other people in the class were flat-out not running. The teacher numerous times reminded people to keep going and add a moment of suspension; I would take care to increase my movement when she did this to show I was at least listening. I didn’t think she was talking about me anyway, but I figured safe was better than sorry.
She ended up adding two minutes to the warmup, which I admit I didn’t participate in because the reason for the addition was people not running and I had been running; in fact this had been the first class period I had run straight through the ten minute mark instead of taking the occasional break lap and as such I felt justified in doing that. At any rate, after the warmup she asked to speak to me at the side of the gym. She informed me I hadn’t been running and I would have to do a two-minute makeup.
I responded with something along the lines of “no, I was running and I’m not doing a makeup.” She responded with no I wasn’t and yes I was. This went back and forth with little variation except an increasing amount of outright anger on the part of the teacher (probably not helped by the fact that I was amused; do I look silly when I’m angry? I imagine everyone does to some extent) until she eventually just stormed off. I decided I had won (by virtue of not losing my temper, as I was still pretty certain I would have to make up the time anyway) and felt pretty good about myself for the rest of the class.
Then in the locker room, the two other guys in the class asked me what happened with the teacher. I told them. They asked why I hadn’t done the makeup. I told them because I had been running. They said “but you weren’t running.” I told them I wasn’t going to go into that argument again and they did drop it. But then one of them pointed out I should do the makeup anyway because the PE teacher has the ability to bar me from graduation by failing me in the class.
For whatever reason that upset me, even though I knew he was right, had already worked out as much and was planning to do the makeup anyway at some point (albeit not happily). So after indulging in a brief mental fantasy involving smashing the other student’s head into the locked multiple times I left the room before I actually did lose my temper.
As it turns out I ended up not having to do the makeup anyway but this brought up something that has come up numerous times over my school career. I’m fairly certain it won’t be a shock to those who deal with Aspies on a regular basis when I say that I have no small issue with authority for its own sake. Particularly when said authority makes what I view as an arbitrary decision and then refuses to elaborate on the reasoning behind it. In my point of view people are all pretty much the same. More to the point, being in authority doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make you magically more right than someone else purely because of authority or because of petty abuse of said authority.
As always, this should be taken with a hefty dose of context. I do not justify or stand behind anything that I do in the name of these principles. Or other Aspies. Heck, for all I know other Aspies don’t necessarily have these issues; I’ve only got my own experience to draw on and you won’t believe the amount of stress it causes me when I can’t write something about Aspies because someone somewhere will call me out for being wrong. Back on topic, I’m offering explanations, not excuses. These are reasons why we do things, not why they’re right and justifiable and shouldn’t be punished. And in some cases the issue is squarely on our shoulders and we’re at fault, just as often if not more than “neurotypical” people. Being an Aspie doesn’t excuse you from being wrong.