Reviewing Sins Invalid’s 2020 climate-chaos-themed performance

Image: Sins Invalid via Facebook, 2020

We dedicate this show
to our ancestors,
especially beloved community
members incarcerated in
detention centers,
nursing homes,
prisons, jails,
those lost through
the COVID-19 pandemic,
and the countless others
lost in climate catastrophes.

We dedicate this performance
to all those fighting
for the survival of
our earth
and all of her creations.

-Sins Invalid, “We Love Like Barnacles” 2020 Program

Two hundred people, myself included, watched Sins Invalid’s 2020 show from home on October 24th. Seven disabled performers shared their thoughts on climate change and the pandemic. Before now, Sins had only performed to a live theater audience in the…

How college educators ignore the elephant in the room

Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

We just passed halfway through the quarter, and my partner hasn’t gone to his classes in a week. He hasn’t done much schoolwork at all this quarter.

I started off the quarter strong and started to break down in Week Three, which was mid-April. I barely logged any academic work in Week Four, and none beyond Zoom calls in Week Five (last week).

At a meeting with my faculty last Thursday, I had to make a tough decision. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a project that was due Saturday, worth two of the class’s 16 credits. The…

A case study in how not to talk about disability

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Last Monday, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a four-minute package, reported by journalist John Hamilton. A podcast episode from NPR about ventilators — specifically, post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) — recycled this package earlier this week. In it, I noticed an unsettling quote from a critical care specialist, Dr. Amy Bellinghausen of the University of California, San Diego:

Unfortunately, oftentimes, when they’re coming off the ventilator, it’s not the same person as who went on the ventilator.

“Not the same person.”

I’ve heard this a few times regarding patients who have PICS, or post-intensive care syndrome. It’s a disturbing talking point…

Delivery work was hard enough before the pandemic. Now, it’s flat-out unsafe.

Image by Prime Cinematics on Pexels

Around two weeks ago, I cancelled all of my upcoming DoorDash shifts. I had only managed to get my location updated from Southern California to Washington state a few weeks earlier after moving in September, and I’d hoped I could re-establish a steady income stream. But after working several shifts before and during spring break, I realized I couldn’t keep putting myself and my partner at risk.

I live in Thurston county, which hasn’t been too badly affected by COVID-19 yet. When Governor Jay Inslee first ordered all restaurants to suspend sit-down dining service, stores seemed to take all of…

Image courtesy the author

Or, the mundane consequences of doing too little, too late

Every week for most of the past three years, I’ve given myself an intramuscular injection of testosterone. This is common among transgender people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB), like myself. Like any self-administered injection, though, this process has its risks.

And today, after three hours of class via Zoom and an hour trying to navigate Target/CVS with nitrile gloves and a cloth face mask my partner made for me, the thought of injecting my T (as trans people often refer to the hormone) brought me to tears.

One of my classmates has type one diabetes, and he’s only…

Advice, not inspiration, from an Autistic adult during COVID-19

In the last week, my expectations for at least the next six weeks of my life have radically changed. Much of the global population had, is having, or will have a similar experience as we try to mitigate COVID-19.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

The thing is, as an Autistic adult with a convoluted and traumatic past, I’m well-acquainted with this type of curveball. And usually, no one around me is going through the same changes at the same time.

So, this time, I already have something going for me. I’m not alone — and if you’re reading this, you aren’t, either. …

Late winter snow and spring’s new growth in Olympia, Washington

I don’t know if anyone in the South Sound area expected snow this morning. One of my housemates had to tell me to look out the window before I got dressed for entirely incorrect weather. Even when I could see the flakes falling, the weather app only said there were “showers in the vicinity”.

Meteorologists aren’t correct all the time. We’ve been seeing the beginnings of spring for the past couple of weeks, and most of us on campus seemed under the impression that winter was over. …

Insensitive comments and failure to seek basic information are the new normal

At dinner tonight, I overheard a fellow Evergreen State College student refer to COVID-19 as God answering their prayers (because it kills old people, who are bad drivers). Another person at their table said they’d still come to the dining hall even if they were sick. This, even though Residential and Dining Services told students last week that, if they were sick, they should stay home and ask a friend to bring them a “sick meal" (with permission to charge it to their student account).

An excerpt from an email sent by the head of Residential and Dining Services four days ago.

In short, an hour’s drive from the epicenter of the US COVID-19 outbreak, students aren’t…

A 22 year-old’s reflections on growing up in the long shadow of 9/11

For my parents, the 9/11 attacks are squarely memory; for my siblings, they’re firmly in the realm of history. I fall somewhere between those poles, in a liminal space without the direct memory people expect of me.

My fourth birthday was less than two weeks before September 11, 2001. By then, my family lived in San Diego, California, though I was born near Washington, DC. The attacks were very early in the morning in our time zone, but my dad had already gone to work. My brother, just 10 months old, always woke up early, so my mom also woke…

a poetic expression of existential fear

Thwaites Glacier | Image: NASA ICE, Flickr

each morning I wake, each breath I take

tainted by fear, by knowing the stakes

each minute we waste, living by our luxurious tastes

borrows time from my generation, seals our children’s fate

the lives we enjoy, the gadgets, clothes, and toys

strip wealth from our Earth, to give moments of mirth

the glaciers are dying, the President is lying

as we run down the clock, even the scientists are crying

for the changes we’ve wrought, for the destruction we’ve brought

to the one home we share, to this little blue dot

all the money in the world, all the…

rose iris theodosia elysium

rose is a Mad, Autistic, Plural crip. e received eir AA in ASL (2019) & is studying creative writing at Evergreen State College.

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