Well, somehow it’s now May! I’ve nearly finished my first year of university, and I’ve somehow made it through, but I can’t help but regret that I haven’t had time to write more blog posts! So here I am trying to make it up…
A very brief summary of what I’ve been up to: Lectures and seminars (boo), a musical, a week of placement in a special school and other things…there must be other things!!! I have managed to keep myself very busy with various things, I just can’t pin down exactly what those things are!
Anyway, as I’ve more recently been trying to learn the lines to a play I have to do for the drama part of my degree, I was trying to work out why things like learning lines and repeating information has been easy for me, especially learning song lyrics.
I did think I just had a knack for learning things (but then nothing important still seemed never to stick!), but more recently it has occurred to me that it probably has more to do with my fondness of repetition. I’ve always liked listening to, for example, one album for months at a time (as the other people I live with will probably tell you, as they get sick of whatever I’m listening to!), so I inevitably end up knowing all the lyrics.
So when I had to learn songs in choir, or for a musical I could listen to the songs over and over again without a hint of boredom, or without even realising I was doing it — so I would learn the songs without any intention of doing so.
So spoken-line learning is different. I can’t listen to that on repeat, and I am often sitting with a script in my hand consciously trying to learn lines. However, I think I just mull things over in my head. Once I have the idea of something in my head it runs round and round, whether that’s lyrics to a song, lines to learn or just a random piece of information. The mystery of how I’ve ever learned lines seems to be somewhat solved — I can’t help it, my brain just adores repetition!
Another thing I’ve been pondering is cued tics. Often when I see someone walking a dog, I can’t help but say “dog” or if a cat is sitting outside its house I will say “cat”. I was wondering if these were tics, or just me regressing to an infant-like state, but then came the game “yellow car”.
We’d always played it (first one to see a yellow car exclaims “Yellow car!” and gets to punch whoever else is playing — always so sophisticated!) but recently whenever and wherever I see a yellow car I say it without fully processing that I’d seen the car.
I thought this was perhaps a trained response, I would say it as fast as I could to avoid getting punched, so I was sort of conditioned? But then I was out in public on my own and I saw a yellow car. Inside I shouted, “Yellow car!” and I had a facial tic! Was this a coincidence or is this really a new tic for me? Either way, I blame my brothers!
This week, however, I’ve been having what I have decided to call “sleepy tics”. When any sort of tic sensation comes I seem to just go floppy and look like I’ve passed out. This normally happens for just a few seconds and then I’m up and about again, so I’m not really bothered, but this week rather than being super-duper quick and excitable, I feel like someone’s put me into slow-motion.
I’m doing everything slowly and time seems to pass before my eyes without any reasonable explanation of what happened. Any tics I do have seem to have to go on for a while before I can stop, so when I found myself hitting the wall by my bed I couldn’t stop for a ridiculous length of time! I think I’m just over tired and need a really, really long sleep (like hibernation long!) and with only a couple of weeks left until the end of the semester maybe I will find the time to sleep pretty soon!
So with the idea of sleep now printed in my mind, maybe I’ll stop writing and try just resting! And as my workload lightens maybe I’ll be able to write lots more summery blogs, which is very exciting!
And a very merry Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month to you all, as well! :)