After completing my first year of graduate(grad) school, I had a wonderful group of friends in the same academic program as me. We were all elated when the last day of finals came and we had all survived the most intense academic year of our young adult lives! That first year of grad school had been so crazy that I had gone a full 8 months without watching 1 minute of tennis. For those of you who I have yet to meet, me going without tennis is like me going without *gasp* purple… simply unheard of! So, once summer vacation commenced, I began looking for tennis tournaments near campus that I could attend. The closest tournament I found was in Newport, RI. I had never heard of Newport, but figured that any town cool enough to have a professional tennis tournament was cool enough for me! Boy, was I right!
One of my favorite aspects of having CP is ascribing to disability culture. Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “Did I read that right? Disability culture? There are many words that come to mind when I think of disability… but ‘culture’ is definitely not one of them!” Well, join me and my community for a moment.
Yes, we have a culture and a part of our culture that I thoroughly enjoy is our dances. We have dances at so many events- everything from summer camp for disabled kids to conferences for academics in the field of disability studies. We firmly believe that there is room for everyone on our dance floor. Indeed, each individual’s experience is enriched when everyone dances their dance in whatever way they can. Having grown up immersed in disability culture, I forgot how special this is until I saw one of our dances through the eyes of two of my non-disabled friends.