Thursday, 13 February 2014

Anything and Everything, happy memories, and a few notes on my historic posts yesterday

I posted two posts about my early adulthood yesterday, and have been thinking about those.
I don't think I got as far as the part where I had to quit college yet.
But I think there are bits missed out of that story, it was not such an unqualified disaster, my struggles and being misunderstood, because I did end up better understanding myself and becoming part of a community as a result of leaving college when I did, halfway through the National Diploma.

I am pre-empting the rest of the story which I wrote in 2011, and will continue to repost on here, but on the them of happier memories, which my online supporters seem to like, I will add this information.

Within a year of leaving the full-time National Diploma, I had returned part-time to the agricultural college to study advanced horticulture, which was a drag, but followed that with NVQ horticulture, which was a riot! :)

I know people like happy memories, so I will share my memory of the beginning of the NVQ course.
The tutor, Mark, a groundskeeper, was quite tense and uptight at the beginning of the course, and to our surprise he burst into a rage when one of a pair of twins on the course was larking about at the back of class, Mark dragged him outside and threatened to take him to the vice-principle, I think he nearly lost half the class at that point, because that twin was part of a little group who worked together and were very much a group.
But anyway, after that incident and it's resolution, Mark relaxed, and not only did the class become a chattering, laughing, joking class, but we all could get a bit silly, and Mark joined in, I think it did him good, he taught with humour and we responded with humour, this, I think was when I started developing mild nortiness as part of my character! :) yes, I am sure of it. After years of grim struggle, I discovered joy and fun, albeit in small doses. Further developed by my lovely team mates when I became a delivery driver in the evenings, they were also a riot! :)
I think Mark left after teaching us, but I doubt that was because of us.

Anyway, I had returned to the college to study horticulture, with vociferous backing from my village community where I carried out whatever voluntary tasks I could, whilst also working in a local horticultural nursery and and doing light gardening as therapeutic work, because even though it was not known exactly what was wrong with me, I was classified unfit for work and allowed only to do therapeutic work, and my community and horticultural work was very therapeutic! :) I loved it!

Before I had even applied to return to college or thought about it, I had apologized to any agriculture tutors who I felt had struggled to understand me or had difficulties with me, and although I was undiagnozed, I was getting an idea that autism and trauma were contributors to my problems, so I did my best to explain that I had never deliberately played up.
Then, after a hearing test at this time, it was explained to me that my difficulty understanding speech was dysphasia and was classified as a learning difficulty, and that I should see an educational psychologist (this never happened), at least I was on the way to better understanding now, and also being able to explain myself to other people better, if people know what causes you to do something, it helps them to understand and be more understanding!
(This is why the church should have interviewed me properly about what has happened to me instead of going on other people's stories).

Anyway, the day I was interviewed and accepted to study horticulture, less than a year after I quit the agriculture course, the old college counsellor drove past me on the college driveway, he stopped his car and said hello and asked what I was doing there, and I told him I was returning part-time, he seemed delighted, and offered me a lift home, he gave me a lift down to JM's house as I was supposed to be walking her dog for her that evening (I lived in sheltered housing nearby), and we shook hands and parted on good terms, JM had recommended that he had more training, which is funny considering her breach of counselling ethics, but anyway, he resigned from the college not long after that, and so did my old tutor, and the safety officer who used to mentor me apparently did a 'moonlight flit', and vanished from college and his college house.
I gather that this is because the college was reputed to not look after it's staff very well in those days, and they had a high staff turnover. No-one resigned because of me, I wasn't that bad! :) No, it ended on good terms with them.
By the time I left that college, pretty much no member of staff who was there when I was a young student was still there, and the locals said the college were not good to their staff.
How can staff look after students needs if the staff themselves are not looked after?
But, the college was in transition, from traditional agriculture and countryside, to animal care and horses.
I eventually went to college in Dorset and got an equivelant level agriculture qualification to the one I had had to give up, with distinctions, and I was course rep there too. By then I was diagnosed as AS, but not properly diagnosed as PTSD or maladjusted.
Lovely little college that one in Dorset.

Oh, that brings back another memory, back to the Hampshire college, from when I was a first diploma student onwards, I used to go and help with the horses, I was not an equine student but I just liked occupation and variation and helping out, so I would trot down to the stables and clean tack, groom horses and pick out their hooves, skip out stables and get in the way. I loved it.
Again the staff changed completely during the years I used to do that.

I never rode at the college, but I loved horses, but after leaving the agriculture course and while studying horticulture, I used to ride with someone from church, she had a horse, and we used to borrow an old pony called Humbug for me to amble about on, dear little Humbug, he was very steady and calm, and we used to just wander about, Humbug was old, I don't think he would still be alive now. But sadly the owners of the fields decided to build on them, so the horses were moved away and it was harder to go out for a ride then.
I remember a funny episode, we were riding up the hill and a bus or lorry came, and my friend's horse didn't like that, so we moved into the driveway of another friend, and she looked out the window and waved, we waved back.
Later I went to have a pot of tea with the friend who's driveway we had borrowed and she said 'There I was, looking out my window, and the driveway was full of horses, so I waved, and everyone but the horses waved back!'

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