Thursday, February 23, 2012

Procrastination is the name of the game . . .

Well, I've managed to hit the 1,400 word mark, so only another 600 words to go, and I'll be done!

Oh dear :~(

I've never in all my OU years struggled as much as I am at the moment, with both the course work, and my poor state of health, and I have to admit to getting pretty fed up with both!

I've got pretty good at procrastination recently, which doesn't help, but, at times, it's the only way I can cope with everything, and so it reduces stress in me, and so the migraines don't come at such close intervals.

While going through a period of procrastination, I went onto Facebook (as you do), and looked through the various sites shown. Through a link with one of my student friends, I came across this quote, which I thought very relevant to our government at the moment:

The morality, or lack of, in our government today, is only a reflection of the world at large, and so we shouldn't be surprised at its grasping and greedy mentality, where there is more concern over filling their own, and their fat-cat friend's pockets is the first concern, and the role of taking care of those in need, the ill, the disabled, the elderly, the needy, are their last concern.

Quote by Pierre Joseph Proudhon (introduction to book by 'the Lioness.'

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue. ...

To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.

It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured.

That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

It actually says in the bible, at Revelation, just how the world orders will behave - and we can see it in action today! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And I've got set to go!

Well, I wouldn't really say ready to go as yet, but I am making slow, but steady, progress with my TMA - albeit in daily attempts at working for roughly 30 minutes at a time - when I'm able to!

At the moment, I've got a bit of a hotchpotch of around 850 words written, The intro, which I'll probably have to alter as I go along, the very beginnings of analysis of Text 1, and a goodly amount of Text 2 analysis, all of which I'll probably chop and change about, each time I work on them.

That's the problem with having too many choices of theorists thrown at you! :(

Monday, February 13, 2012

We're coming up to the mark . . .

. . . and I'm so far behind, I'll be lucky to hear the starter's gun :(

I've spent this last week fighting off cluster migraines, and dead to the world in between. I'm not in a nice place at the moment, and I've now got 2.5 weeks behind in my course work :(

As I've got a TMA due on the 16th, at noon, as you may imagine, I'm just not going to make it, so I've emailed my tutor to ask for a 2 week extension - something I didn't want to do, as our next TMA, due on 5th April, is a double TMA, requiring 3,500 words!

I'm managing around 30-40 minutes a day on my OU work at the moment, and most of that is taken up with re-reading what I've already done before as, the minute as I fall asleep again, everything I've read or done goes straight out of my head, once more :(

I've been on the point of chucking it all in so often over the last few weeks, and I feel as if I were on a roundabout that's spinning so fast, I'm having to hold on for grim death, or just go flying up into oblivion. I absolutely loathe the fact that this is my final course, and that I'm hating every second of it!

I guess that's my own fault, really, as I should have bailed out as soon as my health started to nose-dive - but, I guess, the fact that I can't let up on myself, is one of the reason's that my health has got so bad in the first place!

If there's one thing I've discovered recently, it's that those with M.E./CFS aren't, as the press like to portray them, no-hopers, or lazy bums, but they are people who drive themselves the hardest. I know that half of my health problems were brought on because I kept pushing myself when I should have been resting, but it has been the hardest lesson of all for me to have to give up the driving seat, and go sit in the back and nap a while :~/

And in the meantime, my poor hubby has had to take up the slack (I'm really mixing my metaphors here, aren't I? But I just don't care!), and I'm having to face up to the fact that I just can't do it all on my own any more :(

I guess I'll have to go back to a time when I could cheerfully be the tortoise, instead of always trying to be the hare. Maybe that way, I might come in slowly, but I will succeed in getting there in the end!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Passing on an important message about Work Capability Assessments

I don't normally post this sort of thing on my blog, but I felt the information is very important to so many people going through assessments with Atos at the moment, and so it should be spread among as many people as we can get to. The message was sent to me by email from DPAC, so I hope anyone reading this will pass the message on:

Posted: 07 Feb 2012 11:29 AM PST

6th Feb 2012
Subject – Recording your Atos WCA

For quite a while now, I have been campaigning on the very important issue of recording one's Atos WCA (Work Capability Assessment), through repeated FOI Requests, dozens of letters to Ministers and MPs. I feel something has been achieved.

A specific reply to FOI Request ,from the DWP, has now confirmed that claimants can now have their WCA assessment recorded, if they request it. This has also been confirmed by Chris Grayling, during a debate in the Westminster Hall, on the 1st Feb, 2012. To my way of thinking, this is a victory for all those undergoing the Atos assessment process.

If you look at the FOI Request you will see the answer the DWP give –

I understand that many of you will already know that Atos/DWP carried out a pilot study into the viability of Audio recording of assessment’s last year? This process, I believe, was a farce from start to finish. How can a pilot study be regarded as a true study when only 230 people took part? Only 10 Atos HCPs agreed to participate also. 

This, to me, shows what we have always known, one: the HCPs don’t wish to have assessments recorded and, secondly, the DWP are also not keen. Chris Grayling said as much in the debate last week. As far as I could glimmer from what he was saying, it sounds like the  decision NOT to roll out the Audio recording of WCA assessments nationwide has already been decided; claimant’s will have to REQUEST their assessments be recorded.

I have been in touch with Tom Greatrex MP, and he is going to put down some written questions on this subject to further clarify some questions that need to be answered.

Some people have already asked me questions like, “When will we get a copy of the assessment?” “In what form will we get the copy in, CD, DVD, Cassette?” “What about people who have home visits, how will their assessment be recorded?” These, and other questions, need answering - plus, one other important issue surrounding this I think is imperative:

How are people meant to know they can have their assessments recorded unless they are given this information? 

I have suggested to Tom Greatrex, MP, that this information is put on DWP websites, and all relevant materials, “Forms, leaflets, JobCentrePlus”, this information needs to get out. 

I would ask all those who have websites, blogs, groups etc., to publicise this information. Everyone should now request that their assessment be recorded, take a copy of the FOI Request, and put it in with your ESA5O form, and request your assessment be recorded. Give a copy to the JobCentrePlus office also, and keep a copy for yourself, for when you go to the assessment. I’m sure there will be problems but I think this will help us all a tremendous amount.

I will keep you all updated when I get some new information.   
Paul Smith (Atos Victims Group)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Surprises still happen . .

. . . even with a course that I haven't enjoyed one bit!

I didn't think that there was any redeeming feature of this course for me. We're just over half-way through now, and I can't think of any time during it, that I could truthfully say I was enjoying the learning experience but, for once, something positive has come out of it :)

As part of the course, we had to deal with a chapter that was all about the creativity used by prisoners, in their effort to communicate with other inmates. Part of this, dwelt on the prisoners who are on death row, and how their only real outlet for creativity was in either the artwork they created, or through letter writing through a pen-pal system created just for those on death row. This was started by a group of people who call themselves Lifeline and via co-ordinators who set each pen-pal coupling up.

The whole idea of writing to someone on death row intrigued me a little as, through my various disabilities, I have become almost as incarcerated as they are. True, I don't have the death sentence hanging over me that they do and, obviously, I didn't do anything to warrant my being in this position in the first place but, because I have always loved letter writing, I decided to sign up for it.

Much to my surprise, I am enjoying the process of getting to know a complete stranger, through the medium of writing, and the first letter I have received from my new pen-pal was so filled with a sense of humanity and humour, that even my hubby has become involved in our writing partnership.

I think what saddened me the most, with what I have learned so far, is the fact that there are around 200 inmates of death row waiting desperately for someone to reach out to them, and become a much-needed pen-pal. For many of the inmates, a letter is the only contact they have with the outside world, especially if family relations have broken down, and it has got to the point where the co-ordinators are having to ask those who are long-term pen-pals, if they could take on another pen-pal, as so many inmates are desperate for that human contact.

I hope, and I pray, that there are people out there who can look beyond what the inmates have done in the past, and have the ability to help build up a relationship based on the written word, so that these men and women, who are all living with a death sentence, can find some peace, and even joy, in their lives.

As I told my new pen-pal, whatever he has done in the past is between him and God. I figure that, if Jesus could forgive the murderer crucified beside him, then surely we, imperfect as we are, can find it in our hearts to go beyond what was done, to find the humanity that lives inside us all.