Well, okay, it’s not a secret anymore. I remember when it was a secret. A year ago, I was co-leading a small group for Longhorn Awakening 62. At this time, I wasn’t very proud of my autism. Really, I didn’t know how else to tell someone I was autistic, rather than taking them aside and saying it. Since I knew that the retreat can get rather personal, I had to tell my partner who I was. I texted her that I wanted to tell her something after one of the meetings before the retreat. I drew attention to myself. I didn’t want her to think this was some big secret. But doing that make it feel like I wasn’t naturally being myself. It made me anxious. Continue reading “The Secret of Autism”→
On the last day of May, I am finally explaining what “The Nerd of May” means. Nothing.
Okay. My last name is Maynard. It’s pronounced May-nerd. I consider myself a nerd.
I’m intelligent, knowledgeable, and I’m a tad bit introverted. The last part becomes less true the more you know me. I fit the stereotypical nerd look. I can dress up in a button up shirt, with my glasses.Except you almost never see them. They’re reading glasses.
So, I took my last name Maynard and inverted it to make “The Nerd of May. The month of May has no significance to the blog itself. I was actually born in June. I think it could mean that there’s more to me than you may not know. I’m more than a nerd. I’m more than autistic. I’m more than my descriptive “Catholic college student majoring in Civil Engineering who loves Jesus, family, friends and the buildings around us.” on most of my social media. I am a child of God.
I wish I could change my url to thenerdofmay.com, but that’s not until I can afford it. It remains badsay34.wordpress.com because of my old username “Badsay34” that I inherited from my innocent youth. It was random. No indication that it I actually don’t like to say anything bad, including curse words or adult humor, despite being an adult.
This blog is a place where I can create. It is a place where I share things that I’ve been inspired to share. It is to let others know that they are loved. It is for acceptance and creativity. I believe it all comes from God in how he created me and how I use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to show others that I may be more. They may be more. But Jesus Christ is greater than all that. And for him my Lord and Savoir, I am eternally grateful.
I always carried a deck of cards in my backpack when I was in a high school. Why? Because you never know if you needed to play a game. Whether it was Maui, Egyptian Ratscrew, or Castle, I had the key to socialization. Pull out the cards during lunchtime and play a simple game. It can get my mind off it all. It was a quintessential part of who I was then. Today, I’m reminded of this fact while I’m meeting up with on of my oldest friends whom I played cards with, Michael.
I know a lot of my friends are graduating college this year. It’s a culmination of all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. (At least we all know there was tears.) You did it! You made it through college and you’ve earned a degree. It’s worth a lot more than the loads of student debt you might never pay off. You have learned a lot and you will continue learning. I’m here today to congratulate your work, to remember the memories and the friends you’ve made, and encourage you to going on. Continue reading “Crossroads”→
Note: I have decided to not disclose the company that I was interviewed by and keep it anonymous for legal purposes.
It started out like any other job interview. I went over to the Engineering Career and Assistance Center interview suite on campus at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning.
He called my name, “Andrew?” When I met the interviewer, I shook his hand. We went into the interview room. He began by introducing himself and the company he worked with. He said there was potentially one position for an internship for the summer. He then opened a folder containing the resumes of all the candidates. He said, “I’ve been looking at your resume…”
Then I noticed something a little odd: two small coffee stains on the right side of my resume. I remarked, “There’s coffee stains on my resume.” They were small, brown and round spots about 1 centimeter or so each. I had electronically sent in my resume in a email, so it wasn’t my fault.
Hello y’all! It’s been a week since Longhorn Awakening 64. I gave a talk about the Mystical Body of Christ. I also participated in Music Staff this Awakening, helping lead Praise and Worship via singing. It was a fantastic experience, probably the best Awakening I have staffed. I initially wanted to copy a transcript of my talk, but since I believe that the nature of Awakening talks is more relevant only on retreat, I’m going to share my experiences there instead. Continue reading “The Real Meaning of the Mystical Body of Christ”→
Happy World Autism Day! As it’s World Autism Day, I want to address how messy autism advocacy can be. There are two sides to what I call “Autism Politics: Neurodiversity, those autistics who advocate for themselves and their supporters, and Autism Parents, those parents who advocate because they have children with autism. Now both sides are not exclusive, as opinion on autism can be as much of a spectrum as autism itself. To be honest, I’m not personally on one side on the other. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and my older brother has autism as well as being intellectually disabled and bipolar. Here I will present both sides, and then explain my own opinions based on my experiences.
“Autism parents” are those who live with those who have autism and their supporters. This group is commonly allied with Autism Speaks, the most common non-profit organization that advocates for Autism Awareness. This side struggles with adjusting those with autism in order to better adapt them to the world around them and vice versa. This camp believes that autism can be cured, and the source of autism could be vaccines or other unnatural causes. They prefer person-first language, such as a “person having autism.” The primary symbol is the puzzle piece, as autism is a puzzle that needs to be understood. They use the color blue, as in #lightitupblue, or a mix of primary colors.
The “Neurodiversity “camp includes those autistics that can speaking for themselves and advocate on their own, #actuallyautistics, and their neurotypical supporters. They focus on the positive qualities of autism, and support natural behavior such as stimming, various communicative behaviors, and sensory sensitivity. This camp looks to better accept the various types of brain neurologies and intellectual disabilities as different abilities. They advocate for “Autism Acceptance” rather than “Autism Awareness.” The source of autism is more likely genetics. They prefer identity first language, such as a “autistic person.” The primary symbol is a rainbow infinity sign, and use a rainbow to support the neurodiversity spectrum. They protest #lightitupblue by wearing #redinstead or #toneitdowntaupe.
I stand in the middle, kind of. I am wearing #redinstead, but I’m not fully integrated into the neurodiversity paradigm. I grew up with my older brother who has autism, and I have Aspergers myself. I prefer that both sides should listen to each other. Some parents sadly suffer by raising those with autism, as I did having a older brother with autism. Autistics suffer only because we are living in a world that’s not made for us. I believe that God made my brother and I both autistic, and I have learned how my faith helps me identify myself by Christ, rather than just a stigmatized disability. We should help those who suffer by raising autistics and the stigma behind autism so we can better accept each other. Stop, listen, and love. Happy Autism Acceptance Day! For Catholics and Christians as myself, Happy Easter!