Recovery is a long, windy (Guthrie) Street by Dan Jackson-Yang

Hello Ragged University Readers!  I am currently in the midst of a sort of career switch/life (black) sabbatical (eth). I am doing a lot of walking to combat the effects of sciatica, get my blood pressure down and try and to stay active and positive during a difficult time for myself and my wife.

Dan Jackson Yang
Dan Jackson Yang

Whilst doing so I came across a business card on Guthrie Street. The very street named after one of the founding father’s of the Ragged Schools movement. I am glad to report that my health conditions are getting a bit more manageable and I can start to write more reflective short peices again.
Recovery is a long, windy (Guthrie) Street and I hope to find many other treasures on the way. This is my attempt to summon the ghosts of Tom Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson and H. L Mencken. It pays artistic tribute to some of my favourite journalistic media types, namely Jon Ronson, David Simon and Louis Theroux.

I hope you enjoy it. Critical responses welcomed. Always.


My Educational Experience…

So where to begin? First by explaining the exact chemical circumstances that this is being written under, to whit/wit (twoo/to woo):

  • 175 mg of Ranitidine
  • 200 mg of Ibruprofen
  • 1 coffee with coconut milk


And here are the conditions I operate under:

  • Monolateral profound deafness in the left ear. No auditory nerve connecting to brain due to genetic mutation.
  • Severe short sightedness to the point where I am classed as partially sighted.
  • These two conditions may well indicate that I have Usher’s Syndrome Type II. This has not been confirmed by any medical professionals.
  • Sciatica from poor posture and bad drumming technique (my main interest is playing drums).
  • Mild stress related migraines.
  • Type 1 Bipolar Affective disorder. This has been confirmed by medical professionals but I have a low opinion of their diagnoses and prefer to emphasise my physical disabilities. Until these are fully acknowledged and accounted for I will not accept any able bodied persons’ opinion on whether my mental health falls within the range of normal behaviour or not.

I am currently signed off from my two jobs at an elitist Scottish university. I was working as a Course Secretary and then also as a Warden for two halls of residence as the costs of city centre living are so great. On top of that I had the misfortune to fall in love and then marry a non-EU woman with ambitions to make a career for herself in academia. We pay most of the money we earn back into her visa and tuition fees.
I dropped out of two different English universities in my youth and eventually gained a first class Open Degree in Social Sciences from the Open University. Sadly, this has not seemed to make a blind bit of difference to any prospective employers. I also learnt British Sign Language and basic Chinese as well as volunteering extensively with Deaf charities and youth music projects. Again to no particular monetary avail career- wise.
I have however, been given a staff scholarship to undertake a part-time distance learning MSc in Digital Education. I am enjoying the intellectual freedom that comes from postgraduate study. I am learning to use Twitter, writing blogs and generally mucking around with non-musical/non-sign language related things. It is how I got the gumption to approach Ragged University to offer to write this essay.
In terms of my personal background, I was raised by nice, hardworking socialists in a normal middle class suburb in a poor middle England city, specifically West Bridgford in Nottingham. My mum was a social worker specialising in support after adoption. My father worked for the GMB trade union as a health and safety officer.
I was raised to treat people with respect and kindness, something I often fall short of when my own needs are not taken into consideration. I was raised to think about people who are worse off than myself and to be grateful for what I have. This has stood me in good stead. That and an interest in music, comedy, politics, literature, history, international relations, philosophy, anthropology, drama, economics and theology. The order of preference there is entirely deliberate.

I am not too sure what I am going to do next with my life. I don’t think anyone should ever be too sure what they are going to do next with their lives or the lives of others. It generally leads to mistakes.


Hope you all enjoyed that. For more of this type of thing please follow @JYDrummer on Twitter and Dan Jackson-Yang on youtube