Friday, July 24, 2009

COMING OUT: Conversational "Delivery" and Adjusting to new environments with Asperger's Syndrome. (Part IV) (Personal Entry)

Conversational "Delivery"

John Braaten once said, "It's all in the 'delivery'." This was his answer to a question about why my results weren't as good even if I told the same exact joke someone else did, who got better laughs when they said it.

Another source said, "It's not what you say, it's HOW you say it."

Conversation Delivery seems like such a foreign concept to Aspies. I really wish delivery didn't matter.

Also something is said about "timing" when making jokes or saying certain anythings. What's that deal here? Do you wait two seconds between telling the question and answer? Or is it something entirely on a different league from what I'm thinking?

Since I could never manage to get this concept right, I have grown to hate "delivery" so much. Yet, I still have to master it because I believe it still matters at a Job Interview.

I still like the other kind though - delivering pizza or other meals at your door. You just gotta get the right toppings, ingredients, choices as requested, and the correct address. Timing matters too in that "If you don't get it in 30 minutes, it's on the house!" (It used to be until some delivery driver ran a red light and killed a pedestrian. Now they just expect it in a reasonable amount of time.)

If only Conversational delivery were THAT easy. I think I'd learn how to deliver from a FIVE-STAR, $100/plate restaurant before getting by fine with the conversational one.

Adjusting to new environments

College was such a wholly new environment for me. I might as well have set foot off-world. It's hard enough for neurotypicals (what we call "normal people") to adjust to college, and plenty of them fail out, but it was harder for me and other Aspies newly in college.

Getting rescued from the brink of dismissal

There were so many new distractions in college and completely different ways to go through our academics. That's mostly why I failed all my classes in my first fall in college.

I only stayed at K-State because I pleaded my Asperger's case to Ray Hightower (an engineering dean since retired,) gave him a prepared essay about my situation, along with website printouts of lists of world-famous people diagnosed with Asperger's, or would've been diagnosed with it had they lived in our time. Mozart, Gates, Newton, and other famous luminaries were on this list.

I told him that if I'm given reasonable accommodation at K-State, even I may end up on such a list one day. The accommodation I shared about was of the PILOTS program that I didn't have a chance to join when I heard of it in October, because it was already full. The idea is for new students to "fly through" college rather than just drag.

After he arranged for all my classes to get withdrawn, I enrolled in 7 credit hours worth of classes the following Spring, and got in the PILOTS program. The results were an improvement.

Persistent Present-day Adjustment Difficulties

So much of college was so new and different, in some areas, I still have trouble adjusting to them to this day. There are plenty of people here who expect TOO MUCH from anyone whom they interact with (in terms of social skills, at least) so I eventually couldn't get along with them. When these expectations aren't met, it's "quite a crash" like Garrett put it. Some of these crashes are even harder than they would've been in high school.

Also when I "crash" a person, starting from college mostly, people hold longer grudges. That's something I still have trouble adjusting to. Sure, people have said "kids are cruel," but in the short-term sense they are. They don't keep at it for as long as our cruelties are.

Dealing with long grudges

Since grudges from college can last many years, I've felt compelled to try harder to resolve conflicts after failing. In certain cases, it leads to bigger failures, but that grows this positive feedback loop into a snowball effect. For years I've kept trying harder to end my source of misery (by reasoning with them, etc.) if my initial attempts have failed.

This tactic worked before. I have a feeling it won't as much as it used to, so I'd have to try another strategy.

Whatever that strategy is which leaves both sides a winner, is something I'd love to learn about.

(Continued on Part V)

1 comment:

  1. I've found that people hold fewer grudges but are more subtle about them as they get into their twenties (what you would call college/university age. I'm not talking about mature students!).