A week ago I had a laparoscopic bilateral salpingectomy. In case you don’t already know these medical terms, salpingectomy is the surgical removal of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) fallopian tubes. And laparoscopy is an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis using small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) with the aid of a camera. There are a number of advantages to the patient with laparoscopic surgery versus the more common, open procedure. These include reduced pain due to smaller incisions, reduced hemorrhaging, and shorter recovery time. The obvious drawback—laparoscopic surgeries require extra medical equipment and are a bit longer, which means a more expensive medical bill. In the transphobic and backwards country where I live neither the state nor insurance companies pay for the procedures that are necessary for people who are either trans or don’t want children. Thus I had to pay from my own pocket. Lucky me. [Read more…]

Neurodiversity and Communication Difficulties (Part 2)

Each society has some rules of conduct for how a person is supposed to behave in specific situations. In general, the existence of such (often unwritten) rules is beneficial—if gives people guidelines for how to behave and what to expect from others. The problem is that these rules are made by neurotypical people for neurotypical people. They are also consistent only within a specific culture or even a subculture. Thus people who are neurodivergent or simply travelers from another culture often face various problems with social interactions. [Read more…]

How to Learn Foreign Languages for Free

Some people mistakenly imagine that learning a second language is expensive, that only wealthy people can afford to pay for the language teachers, textbooks, courses, travel expenses, etc. This is simply not true. You don’t need to be able to travel to a country where your target language is spoken everywhere. You don’t need to pay for any expensive classes or even textbooks. It is possible to learn a second language without spending a single cent on this endeavor. Some people also assume that it is impossible to learn another language unless you have a lot of free time. Again, this is not completely true—learning a second language does indeed require plenty of time, effort, and commitment, but it is doable also for a person with a very busy schedule. [Read more…]

How to Efficiently Learn and Memorize Foreign Languages

How to learn a foreign language is a question that has interested me for a long time. After all, I wanted to learn many languages. More importantly, I wanted to do it efficiently. By now I speak six languages. In this post I will share my favorite language learning techniques and explain what worked (and didn’t work) for me.

Since this blog post is going to be about what worked for me, I must remind that if your memory works differently than mine, then you should do whatever works for you. There is no right way how to learn foreign languages, no magical one-size-fits-all approach that will make you able to speak many languages. People learn differently, thus what works for one person may not work for somebody else. [Read more…]

Neurotypical People Are Weird (Part 1)

(Note: The following text is a satire.)

Neurotypical people are weird. They do all kinds of silly things. They are emotion-obsessed, easily distracted by novel stimuli, and insist upon participating in silly social rituals that they consider mandatory. Their odd lifestyle choices and preferences in how they like to communicate would be their own problem and none of my business, but, alas, I routinely have no other choice but to communicate with a neurotypical person.

If neurotypicals only engaged in silly activities and left me alone to live as I prefer, then I wouldn’t care. After all, other people are free to live as they want. But instead they actually demand me to imitate their nonsensical behavior. Unfortunately for normal people like me, communication with neurotypicals is made harder by the fact that they mistakenly perceive themselves as “normal” and their own typical communication preferences as normative. In order words: They expect me to accommodate their preferences, and they tend to become offended whenever I don’t feel like wasting my time on elaborate linguistic constructions that are nothing but empty lies. Whenever I am reluctant to follow their silly norms, they will complain that I am being rude towards them. [Read more…]