I am not a good writer. I have potential; since grade school all of my teachers have told me so. Being put in a “special” reading/writing group in elementary – designed for the students that were behind but didn’t make the requirements for Special Education – I was on the cusp of needing more help but never getting it. I have always had a tremendous amount of energy that hinders any attempts to sit still long enough to write or even learn to spell. Since early on, my teachers believed that repetition and public praise were the only ways to learn to spell. I had to rewrite every word I misspelled multiple times and never had a star on the spelling board, allowing my name’s barren row to stick out amongst the surrounding stars. But the most humiliating example of my difficulties in spelling was on the first day of eighth grade, when my English teacher gave the class a hundred word spelling test. After peer correction, the teacher had the class stand, allowing the students to sit down in the order that they had scored by ten’s. When he called out for the fifties to sit, my partner in shame sat down with an apologetic glance in my direction. I had to wait until he called the twenties to sit down, and he announced that in his forty-some years teaching, he had never had someone score that low.
In high school, the Title 1 “professionals” told me I had to wait until I was in college to get re-tested. To compensate for my difficulties in writing, I became very good at participating in class discussions, which was when my teachers started using the dreaded “p” word. Everyone likes having others believe that they are smart, but by that point, I had already found ways to get by without doing a lot of the things that were difficult or took me longer to accomplish; and once learned, those bad habits are ingrained into my learning process. Some teachers worked with me, allowing tests or presentations to count for a higher percentage. Others would fail me in hopes that I would learn a lesson.
The extreme highs I had as a child were now followed with bouts of listlessness, weeping, and general laziness, in most of my teacher’s opinions. By my senior year, my acceptance into college rested solely on my ACT test scores, and I had managed to forget that I had them until midnight the night of, misplaced both a calculator and a pencil, and fall asleep during the math section (another subject that I was found waning in). I pulled through with a composite score of 21. My ACT score overrode my dismal GPA (which makes me question the system’s effectiveness), and I was accepted into Bemidji State University.
The first week of college, I went to the Student’s with Disabilities Office to request to be tested. The person assigned to my “case” had me as a student; she said that I was capable, but just lazy. Throughout the semester, I persisted knowing there was something wrong until finally I went over her head. By that time, I had failed most of my classes.
The results of my evaluation weren’t available until March, and I was well on my way to flunking another semester. I was diagnosed with the learning disability ADHD, along with the behavior disorders Bipolar and anxiety. It was agreed that I would withdraw from the remainder of the semester to “get a handle on things.”
Five years later, I still don’t have the tightest grip on my problems with school, but I have made many strides. Even now, in my senior year in college, it takes me a long time to write a paper. I usually use a tape recorder first and then I try to type it out. Each component takes a great deal of time, between compiling and organizing my thoughts, reworking words until spell-check will recognize them, and the hardest part: sitting down and starting. It usually takes me weeks to finish a paper, and it is hardly ever on time. But my abilities in understanding and enjoying literature, as well as my aptitude for rhetoric and desire to help students learn without facing the problems that I had to overcome led me to pursue English Education. My struggle with writing is something that I have to overcome on a daily basis, some days it’s better than others, but hopefully, I can impart on my students that only with perseverance will they recognize their own potential.
Filed under: Random | Tags: Bed and Breakfast, Bikes, Carebears, Guns, Nightmares, Random
I was tag for the 25 Random Things About You activity and decided to share it with the class. Nothing too bad, but still gives you a little slice of my life, dreams, and general randomness.
1. I want them to bring back the banana seat bikes. I loved going doubles on bikes when I was a kid and those where always the most comfortable and cute.
2. I fell asleep taking the ACT’s. Thankfully it was only the math section, because I really needed a good score to get into college.
3. I have a recurring nightmare about pirates…
4. Which I distract myself from by singing the Carebear song, I’ve been doing it since I was five.
5. I’m addicted to eating peanut butter with my cereal. I take a spoon full of peanut butter (strait from the jar) then plunge it into my bowl of usually banana nut or raison brand cereal. Delicious.
6. I love reading horror books but I’m pathetic when it comes to watching scary movie. I either have my hands over my eyes throughout the entire movie or I bravely watch it and then spend the entire night with my bedside lamp on. Soooooo sad.
7. I have six piercing, all above the neck, thank you very much.
8. …Anyea pierced my nose in her mom’s kitchen with some help from a couple of ice cubes and a sharp earring. She had to re-pierce it five times that day, each time the cartilage emitted a knuckle cracking pop. It was not a good day.
9. I have a (ridiculously farfetched) dream to open a bed and breakfast where each room has a theme from a famous novel (i.e. Jungle Book= India, Gone with Wind= 1860’s South, ECT.) I would have a small book store, guest writers, conferences and a variety of unique foods.
10. I love to bake and sometimes cook but only when it’s for others. It feels nice to cook something that people really enjoy (like cheese cake) and I always get a thank you.
11. When I babysat as a teenager I would put the kids asleep with stories from Greek mythology. Last year, they told me they still remember the stories I “made” up.
12. I am the BIGGIST procrastinator.
13. I have three tattoos; one on each foot and one on my lower back (swear to god that I didn’t know it was a tramp stamp until after I got it.)
14. I played a whore in my high school’s production of “Guys and Dolls.”
15. I plan to eventually get a Masters in Library Science so that I can impart on young minds the importance of procrastination through reading.
16. I took almost three years off from college to bum around New Mexico and Mississippi.
17. I have been to fourteen countries and twenty-six states…
18. But I’ve never stepped foot in the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean.
19. I have been to the alien museum in Roswell, NM…I believe?
20. I was robbed at gun point when I was a manager of a video store in Mississippi. It sounds a lot cooler when I don’t mention that I was watching Grey’s Anatomy on DVD (the second season had just came out) and I let a man (i.e. the guy who signaled the all clear) in right at closing so he could grab a “quick movie”, because I was going to finish the episode anyway. Baaaaad call.
21. I love the children’s books The Velveteen Rabbit, Love You Forever, and The Frog Prince.
22. After the movie store “incident” I worked as an overnight waitress at a pancakes house in Newton, MS for six months.
23. I was a Girl Scout for ten years and chaperoned for another three years. It was all for the cookies.
24. I immediately breakout singing anytime I hear a phrase that reminds me of a song I know, always off key and missing most of the words.
25. I was born on the same day as one of my favorite authors, Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time.)
Please entertain me with your randomness.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I have to start a blog for a collage class, and maintain it for at least the semester while discussing a central theme (I believe that is the general gist of the assignment, it’s still early.) Starting this in January, during one of coldest weeks of the season, I (excuse the pun) froze when trying to decide what to write about. There wasn’t a lot going on due to the weather and Bemidji wasn’t providing much inspiriting.
Until last Saturday, when I had dragged myself to the bar to wait for my friend to get off of work and I found myself talking about the idiocracies (great movie) of small towns with the only other customer in the bar. He wasn’t in a very good mood and started to rant about how he wanted to escape from the endless cycle of mindless activities that Bemidji had to offer. In his opinion, the only things that happened in small towns were a repetition of everyone sleeping with the same people and hating others, most of the times A following B. I pointed out that I don’t sleep around, (not judging anyone who does have sex, best of luck to them) and I try to not fight with people if I can help it, and I enjoy Bemidji. He replied that I was more of an observer of small town than a member of. The discussion left me reminiscing on what I believed a small town to be and of the activities around me. This blog will hopefully evolve into a sort of Living and Coping in a Small Town 101 with a collection of stories from my childhood; critical analysis, think Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City on a much smaller scale, on the formally mentioned behavior; and in generally, gossip.
Filed under: Uncategorized
I’m from a very small town and from there I moved to a little bigger small town. Eventually I will graduate from Bemidji State University with a BA/BS in English with a certificate in education, until then I’m pondering the oddities of my cloistered community.