On October 7th, 2021, some in the class came to the realization that hot cakes are the equivalent to pancakes. On top of that excitement, everyone was ready to start their fall break. Thankfully Dr. Foss allowed for an early release if the conversations were active and had good content. The main topic that stood out during our class was the identity of how disabled people look and how they can be cured.
To begin the discussion, Dr. Foss wanted to get the classes opinions of whether Arthur is viewed as a protector, or if we saw him solely as a murderer. Everyone agreed that yes Arthur was a murderer, but he indeed was also a protector; some would say a hero. The conversation then moved on to question whether Arthur had a disability. During our reading Arthur is only present once and has very limited dialogue. To give a firm answer on whether Arthur had a disability was hard to figure out. Megan commented that Arthur could have been shy but still believed there was something there, it was just not specific as to what. Jamie highlighted Arthur’s appearance. Arthur did have pale skin and sickly white hands, but nothing about his appearance would appear that he had a physical disability. With these points, Jamie believed that Arthur had more of a neurological issue rather than psychological or physical. Hannah went over the section in the book where Arthur is stated to have a voice of a child and to have timid body language. It was clear to conclude that there was something going on with Arthur, but we did not have enough information to specify exactly it was. While we did not have a clear answer to the question of whether Arthur had a disability, we began considering if giving special treatment because of a disability was okay. Heck in the book wanted to protect Arthur at all cost, was this protection justified? As we pondered on where exactly the line crossed when considering which actions should get punishments, Irene made a good point. She told the class that typically people with disabilities do not do violent acts but rather are the victims to violent actions caused by others. Her statement wrapped up the conversation about To Kill A Mockingbird.
Our next discussion moved on to our readings for the day. To start we discussed The Case For Conserving Disability. A big topic we touched on was eliminating disabilities. If society were to eliminate disabilities, it would not just loose those individuals, it would lose a widespread of diversity. People without a disability often say they cannot imagine living with a disability, that is no one’s issue but their own. No one ask someone without a disability to try to live as though they have one, but rather asking them to understand that people with disabilities have their own normal and handle their day to day according to their abilities.
At the end of discussing The Case For Conserving Disability, we only had a little time left to discuss The Treatment of Bibi Haldar. The standout topic was that disabilities can be cured easily by doing one thing. Bibi had been an experiment her entire life, and people tired so many things to cure her but failed every time. As her life went on and people disrespected and used her, her condition stayed the same. Then poof her seizures were “cured” because she had baby. Many disabilities do not have cures and often society pants a picture as if there is. Disabilities are different for everyone, and everyone has their own normal.