Psychotoons

To help adults and children understand psychology.

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THE MAKING OF A COUNSELOR This is the story of a life time struggle after a near death illness that left me at six years old handicapped. It is the story of a struggle to try to regain what was lost or to try and compensate, to try with much effort to do the things others were doing with ease. This struggle lead me to be a counselor and to help others with or without handicap to live happier and reach out to do more. It is the story of unsung hero's that helped me.    

Start at the bottom and work your way up to the lastest post.

 

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What a Reason to Get a Job

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

 

After six months probation on the job I was able to apply to get a better job working for the state welfare office as a receptionist. The lady that interviewed me was kind looking, an older lady that had worked in the welfare office for many years, the supervisor of the receptionists. She seemed very fair and upright. I felt very comfortable with her and decided to be very totally honest with her. As a handicapped child I learned to judge people by how they judged me and she seemed to understand me on an emotional level.

 

I was honest and told her how I had worked for university library, that they had few reference books needed by graduates and that they were given huge fines for being late. I explained that some of the students were so desperate for the books to finish their dissertations and so poor that they would cry when they learned the amount of their fines. I admitted that I had reduced some of the fines as they had been wronged by the library policy.

 

Afterwards I felt I had been too honest and I would not get the job. I was amazed when I found out I was picked for the job. Later I asked my new supervisor why she chose me. She said because I was honest but mainly because I had enough empathy to reduce their fines. What a reason to get a job, but she said I would be good at working with welfare clients and honest enough to be trusted. She wins the title of being a hero because she could see beyond the words and into my being and give me a change to move ahead. 


This was my first exposure to the public destitution of women and children on the system. It is a brutal system to say the least but a lifesaver for many to get a new start. The difference between them and me was which side of the counter we were on. I would not falsify any records, but I would listen. My bend towards counseling was growing.


In any bureaucratic system people will be wronged simply because the system can not see what it is doing to all others at all times, it is too immense and so it is inevitable. That time would come when I had to make a decision to helplessly suffer with the victims of the system or do something different. This would be a reoccurring theme over the years. There is always a call to action of some sort when you can not accept the injustice. 




An Innovation to Pass the Graduate School Exam

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

 

To pass the test you get the book made to prepare you. So I did. There was a section that was just a list of vocabulary words you would need to know and their definitions. It was a very long list indeed. Without a memory this was a humongous task for me. I would need hundreds of repetitions to even begin to do it. Where was the time with little kids, a job, and tons of work to do. I thought about it and came up with a plan.

 

I bought two books. I took the pages of vocabulary and cut them into strips and pasted them together into a very very long running list. I had to have two books as I needed both sides of the pages for my list and cutting them destroyed one side. I rolled up the list. I then went to the leather shop and purchased enough leather and plastic string to make a pouch with two chambers and a lead from one to another, very much like the cartridges of film used in cameras, so that you could advance the film, in this case the list, from one chamber to the next and back again. I then made a leather string, attached it to the pouch so I could put this amulet around my neck.

 

At work as I filed I would glance down at the amulet and read the word and definition that was showing through the window in the lead. I would repeat the word and definition as I filed and then I would advance the list to the next word and repeat it as I continued to file. I went over the list countless times over the next months. It seemed to me that I was not remembering anything. But I also knew the brain works beyond what we are aware of. Needless to say the trick worked and I did pass the test. I now had permission to apply for graduate school. But when and where. It takes money and opportunity. How would that come about. I had no clue. I had to keep my spirits up, not feel depressed and give up. I had to learn how.


Armed and Ready to Take on Graduate School? It is not so easy.

Posted on July 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 

My husband had been my hero for nine years, since I meet him at 17 to 18. We loved each other dearly but circumstances beyond our control I had to leave him when our third son was but one year old. His life and how he had made it to this country is a story of miracles in and of itself, how he fought for his own life and experiences of near death were extraordinary, how he went from disaster to a job with Unicef and a hop and skip to this country to pursue his eventual Ph.D equals my story. But I will stick with just my story of handicapped and heroes. He had been a hero to me in many ways, and now I knew I was unable to go back. It felt like life had ended at 26.

 

My mom again became a hero. I was sick, destitute, and penniless. I had to go to the doctor and the boys needed medical attention. It was surreal to find out my doctor had assisted in my birth and my son's doctor was the one who saved my life as an infant when my mother had no money and I was near death and she had barged into his office for a mercy call. Two heroes I finally got to meet. 

 

It was a time to heal but I had no plans. My husband had sent out a social worker to see if I was ok, a courtesy call. The worker told me how to get a state job. As soon as I was healthy again I jumped on the advice and landed a clerk job filing. It was the most boring job I could ever conceive of. They granted me a privilege, I could wear earphones and listen to a tape recorder as I worked. I had not forgotten my dream of graduate school. I had to come up with a way to pass the test and my vocabulary was really lacking. I thought of a scheme to do that quickly and efficiently. I set about making it possible.

 

A Miracle of the Brain Is Step Six, the Easiest Step to Succeed

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

In desperation I looked at my lists, I had read them and still I was stumped as to what to do next. I had read and marked facts with symbols as to their importance and relevance to different ideas and subjects. I had taken notes from the books and organized them under different categories so I could find them if I wanted them. I had done so and taken a word or phrase from the book facts and made these lists. But the lists were senseless, I was getting upset. The extra energy made me want to tear them up, but I did what people do when the vending machine does not give you your product after you put in the money and push the button. You push the button over and over. So read the lists over and over and over. I must of read them ten times in a row. A miracle began to happen. The mind on its own begins to see similarities and differences, the mind begins to put it all together to make a story, it is the natural working of the mind. I began to smile, the facts were coming together on their own, or so it seemed. This fact connected to that fact, another fact fit in between. It was easy, it was effortless, it was wonderful. The brain is a wonderful thing and works on its own. Just as it sees more then we do, as I had discovered in the research project using a heigh speed camera, it also thinks more then we do. Our consciousness is there to just put on the finishing touches.

Step Five Organization Helps a Lot but More to It

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I made note books of the notes and put them into categories, any category that seemed to make sense. It did not really matter what the categories were or if they were the best or really if they were even relevant. The fact that I made categories was the decisive fact that helped. I now had taken a hundred or so pages form a hundred books and categorized them. They were in neat notebooks with labels. I began to get a feeling that the data was accessible to me, that I could at least find what I was looking for if I needed it. It was the first time I ever had such a confident feeling about such a large body of material. This organization stuff was powerful. Instead of thousands and thousands of facts I had a hundred or less subcategories, a dozen categories and a few notebooks. Now what? I could find what I wanted but how could I gather various facts, or say a few hundred, and make a paper? I decided to make lists of the facts, not the fact or its entire reference but enough to remind me what it was about, a word or two or a phrase and the book and page it was on. I made long lists but to no avail. Then, then it happened, quite by accident. I discovered something about the brain.


Step Four Use Your Down Time to Follow Your Passions

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 I had finished up my BA in psychology just a month or so earlier. I wanted to go on but I knew I was not ready for the test and that I could not writes long enough papers to write a masters thesis or a dissertation, or even just long term papers. Then an unexpected turn of events changed my path. It seemed bad but turned out to be a learning experience. When my third and youngest was one I got really sick. I would be nearly bed ridden for six months. I went to my mothers to help me with the children. When you are useless and there is not much to do you have lots of time to read. When I had been at Ohio University library I had came across a book on the life of insects. It was fascinating and as I read it I could see a lot of insect behavior that reminded me of some human behavior. In the next six months I must of read hundred books on insect, animal, primitive human behavior, and human behaviors.

 

But more then that I had taken notes on it and with all my symbols to tell me which facts, sentences, or phrases were what I loved most. But again it was too many facts to keep in mind to organize in a meaningful way to present. What could I do? They say trial and error, mostly error, is the only way to learn if you do not know what to do. So trial and error would be my method. The similarities between insects, animals, and human behavior was so interesting I had the motivation to try and organize it. I just did not know how yet. I would try different things until I found what worked.

 

 


Married With Children a Handicap Also but Step Three Always Look for Opportunity

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I had married and my husband was working on his PhD at Ohio State University. I was about to have my third little boy. It was a full time job to track them. I counted heads constantly or I would forget to keep track of them. I knew I could not handle any more then three. One for each hand and a third to track and grab if need be. I had to be alert at all times because if not I would forget to count heads. I remembered the two close calls with cars I had as a child when two and when eight. Now I had to keep track of cars for my little ones. I had a very close call. I was eight months pregnant with the third child. I had to go do laundry and left the house carrying a basket load of clothes. My one and two year olds were by my side. The one year old darted out into the street to watch a car coming at him. I started out after him.

 

I glanced at the driver and I could see he was unaware of the little tike in the road. He was not even slowing down. I panicked unaware of when I dropped the basket and darted even faster after him. My arms were stretched out to grab him. I looked up and the car was almost on us. It was too late to just grab and swing him out of the way. The radiator was emanating heat. The legs are much stronger, I had played basket ball and was quick on my feet. I grabbed his little body and sprang up and out. The car flew by as we flew through the air. The little guy was laughing as he thought it was fun. I fell on my side with him in my arms. I looked up and the two year old was screaming. He was old enough to understand. I heard the breaks squeal. As I got up a young man approached me in a panic. He thought he had hit us. He was muttering something about he was a college kid and did not think there were any little kids on the block. I heard myself saying every house had a child in it. He was relieved that he had not hit us and I shook the rest of the day. How could I go to school and take care of three little ones? But I was determined that I would go. I would wait for the right moment no matter how long it took. I knew I could never give up, I would always look for the opportunity to learn.  Then the most unexpected thing happened.

 


I Did Not Know How But Step Two, Never Forget Your Dream

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I could write papers, short ones not longer then one to two thousand words. I usually got an A or A+ for content and D, E, or F for spelling and grammar. But to write a longer paper, say ten on up pages I was at a loss. I could not hold that much information in my head to organize it. Without paper and pencil it was even worse. But even with paper and pencil and cut and paste there was a limit to my papers. I got by and managed to pass most all my classes for my majors of Literature and Psychology. But I wanted to do much more.

 

I had gotten married and completed the Bachelors degree after the birth of my second child but I was in no way ready for graduate school. For one I could not pass the graduate entrance exam, four years of reading was not enough to have a big enough vocabulary. And word recall was my worst handicap. Second was the paper writing. I had to do something differently but I did not know how to go about it.


Life must go on, so I was looking at marriage. But I was determined not to let life get in the way of going back to school eventually. I had heard a lot of people say they would go back and never did. So I decided I would always be reading a book on my subjects or take a class here and there so the light would not go out. I knew I could never give up or life would be less then I wanted it to be. By reading or classes my dream and vision would not go away and I would not feel discouraged and it would keep my eyes open to any possibilities. That is very very important, that we keep thinking about how and when to do what we want to do.


New Memory Aids Step One

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 

School and learning, like any task, is a skill that you learn. The more you practice the better you get. But with a handicap practice may not work, or at least not the traditional way people do things.

 

Because I was half deaf, not for sound but for words, I soon learned to sit in the front row of classes next to the speaker or professor and slightly to his left and he to my left. The left ear or right brain seemed to process better. I always took notes. When we take notes we have to process what is important and think and so note taking helps us remember and later rehearse the subject. Otherwise we tend to only remember trivia. And since I can not recall trivia without notes I was wasting my time if I did not take notes. Note taking was a blessing but still it was too much information to remember and organize in my mind. I had to think of something.

 

 

I had the same problem with the text books. Others underlined what they wanted to remember but that was too much information for me. When you do not have much of a memory you have to think of ways to remember. And studying takes tons of memory. I could read but I knew I had to reread the main points more then once or twice or even a dozen times and it was too much information to handle and review. Students underline those points in a book, but I had to break it down into easier sections of less information with more meaning in order to remember things. So I would put a check mark on what I though would be on a test, a check mark circled if it was more important, a check mark with a circle and sun rays coming off of it for main concepts, a small star for facts that could be used for papers, a star with a circle around it if it was of great interest, a circled star with sun rays coming off if it was extremely important, and most important of all a large star for what I liked, and sun rays coming off the star for awesome unbelievable fantastic facts that warmed my heart and excited my imagination. I would put a word by it to categorize a theme or idea it was about. It was those facts that I would review and enter into my papers for classes. But I could not hold that many facts in my mind to organize and to present them in a paper to mold them into the themes I wanted to. I had to think of more.

 


Other Brother to the Rescue

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

The brother one year older then me was soon to save my college career. I had to take a class in research methods, it was way beyond me, I had no clue, nada. I couldn't even follow what they were talking about and we had to do an actual experiment. I had not even had statistics. I told my brother and he smiled and said I had forgotten but one of his friends from high school was in my class and he would take me under his wing. That kid was really smart and we had the best experiment. He taught me more about research then the class ever could. Later when I had to do research for my masters and PhD it would really help me. I was saved by my heroes, him and my bro. I must of been a burden to the kid but he never once complained.

 

But there was a lot to learn about research. Later, when my brothers were not there for me, I took another more detailed research class on rats in mazes where we had to do a lot of reading, I was totally lost. We did not have to conduct the research but we had to make a complete mock experiment and put in the data and conclusions etc. and in the proper style of mechanical fatalism or non creative existence and use all those big words I could not remember the meaning of. Again, I was at a loss and not clue. I went to the library and looked up a research that had been done on rats. I was young and foolish and at a loss but I loved to write outside of the box. I loved Gestalt theory because it was about the people and animals being greater then the sum of its parts and this teacher was more conservative and exacting. I was rebelling against his theory, still do.

 

I took the style of writing of Alice In Wonderland and said that because I could not find any lab rats and this rat with a hat and a watch, in a big hurry, happened by. I caught him and put him in the maze. Well, this rat was not any dumb lab rat with no brains. He caused all kinds of ruckus learned the maze in a jiffy, climbed over the walls and bolted out the door. I turned it in and waited for my grade. Believe me, I was happy to get the D I got. At least I had passed and did not have to take the class again.

 

I had learned to read, to study, to even plagiarize properly but I could not write a long term paper for the life of me. Yes, I had written all my life, but it was all my stuff. To put a term paper in the proper order with so many other peoples different ideas, to even remember them was beyond me. I had to figure this out on my own.


Learning On the Job

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

I was 18, starting my second year of college, handicapped and learning disabled, and for a month before I was to take care of three boys 8, 8, and 10 when I had never babysat before. Anxiety was my constant companion and it was hitting the ceiling. I meet the boys and I felt totally inadequate. I had hardly gotten there when the parents left. The only experience I had was helping my Grandmother and the guide of what to do was love. I was soon to find out it works with children.

 

My first stroke of luck was I had been mistaken about what the parents had told me to do and so after our first dinner I had the kids clean their plates and put them in the sink. They obeyed as I thought they would since it was their routine. I found out later that they had never done so before. That gave me a feeling of confidence.

 

My biggest scare was when the twins got the runs. I thought I had done something wrong. Perhaps the house was not clean enough, so I scrubbed from top to bottom. When that did not work I was worried sick and and beside myself, I thought I had killed them and it was only a matter of time before they died. I called a lady on the help list. She explained that they did this routinely every few months and not to worry. I can not tell you how relieved I was.

 

I learned how to keep track of them calling the parents of friends they would visit with in the day. I had to know where they were at all times so I would not feel helpless if they came up missing for a while. Things would go wrong but overall it was a very good experience. Little did I know someday I would have three boys of my own, I was preparing the groundwork of what to do. This would save me future anxiety. It also built up my confidence I would need to tackle college on my own, I was being more then independent. Kids are always great and workable, little did I know someday I would work with street kids, up to seventeen, alone, at a time from ages three to seventeen, and have little to no trouble. This experience had helped.

 

Classes had not yet begun. That thought gave me much anxiety. Living with a family, even though it was not my own, could help or cause more anxiety. Anxiety was my constant companion. It forced me to look for solutions and that may have been a blessing. It would not let me rest or overlook what I might have missed. One thing with a disability is you always feel lesser, weaker, dumber, and less worthy even when you do not know what the disability is. Confusion had only just begun. I was still very shy, quiet, and outside of nurturing very unobtrusive. I could not follow gossip, fads, fashions, or popular songs and movies. In other words, I was not in the loop. I forgot so much that someone once said I would never be bored because I rediscovered the world daily. I had a lot to learn and remember. I had to come up with new ways to process or quickly fall behind.


The Job I Would Never Have Dreamed of Taking

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

The letter finally came from the Dean of Women. I was being offered a job to live in a family with three boys, twins 8 and a 10 year old. I would take care of the kids when needed. And the first need was immediate. The parents were leaving the country for a month and I would take care of the boys alone. I had never dared to babysit, I had never cooked without burning everything as I would forget I was cooking, and I was a shy unobtrusive person who had not the slightest idea of how to go about such a job. My anxiety hit the ceiling, I felt ill, I was disappointed, I wanted to say 'No Way,' but I immediately took the job without question. It would be room and board which is the most expensive part of college. I decided I could learn how to do the impossible. 

 

Now, I was not a careless person, nor selfish and cruel. I would never put children in harms way. I had taken care of my Grandmother, I knew how to take care of laundry, cleaning, and shopping. I felt that I could relate to children the way my Grandmother related to me. And my mother would always be a telephone call away. I was use to anxiety and all the stomach problems that go with it. I never really seen anxiety as something to stop me, I couldn't or I would of been frozen in time and place, and a child does not let much stop them as they see it as normal not as a signal to give up.

 

Little did I know at the time that that job would be God sent, not just because I could return to school but because it would show me strengths and things about myself I never knew were there. School and others had never really praised me, I struggled for everything, only my immediate family and Grandmother had brought me love, but I was to find out love could go with me, three little boys, I was only eight and ten years older.



The Lonely but Exciting World of Handicapped

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

It can be a lonely world of handicapped. You have lots of different views from others. You listen to others talk quick and not slow down for you to grasp the word you need. They begin to treat you as if you are not there, or are of lesser importance. When one is handicapped or learning disabled they have to do more thinking to get around it and around the disappointment of others ignoring you. You can not just be bitter because it will eat you up in that lonely world. So you push for better understanding.

 

You have to push on or be left in the dust. So you try try again, fail fail again but try some more. It is always better then the alternative. That extra thinking can be a blessing, a heightened awareness. It also becomes a tool to help judge others wisdom and ability, if they can not figure out how to be accommodating or even just kind to you then it tells you the level of their wisdom. It also forces you to help them with their handicaps, especially if that handicap is ignorance. The biggest handicaps are the ones who did not have unsung heroes. To see the contrast between heroes and non heroes creates wisdom. And to have your very own heroes, and several is a privilege.

 

We all have handicaps. Some are more common place obvious and others never recognized. Handicaps teach us what is really important in life. They force us to expand our thinking and realm of understanding of others. One day you notice you have more understanding then them. You now see their handicap of no handicap, of life being to easy for them, no driving force that pushes them to be normal. They do not feel normal either, but they are not aware of their disadvantage and so do not know how to overcome, do not think about it as a handicap to overcome. I did not know what my handicap was yet but it was very evident to me. To everyone else it was my shyness, my aloofness, my lack of pushiness, my patience, my letting them take the spot light. But over the years I would begin to see the short comings in others and think how to help them overcome.

 

That was about to start. Berry picking, even at a good hourly wage, would not produce enough money to get back to school. I waited anxiously for a reply from the Dean of Women. There lie my largest hope. Money is always handy but I needed a job while at school. Little did I know I would take a big leap when I heard from her, that I would take a job I would never had even tried to get if it was not offered to me. Did I ever mention the anxiety I went through almost daily? Combine anxiety and caring and it can be an ongoing struggle, painful but going forward.

 


 



If There Is A Will There Is A Way

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)

 

The trip home in the large truck, still the plants waving in the wind, seemed a slow progression, more like a funeral procession. We were headed home where it seemed a war had destroyed our father. It is a story in and of itself that I will not get into. But we would unravel that story in sadness. We made sure mom would have a good summer and our Aunt would stay with her another semester or more. But eventually the house would grow silent with her there along.

 

I was in a dilemma, after summer I would have no where to live. My brothers were going back to school in the fall, they were all set, but I was broke. There was no room for me with my aunt and uncle living with my mother, me and my brothers were staying on and off with our four grandparents, but only for the summer. I had no money for tuition.

 

I sat down and wrote the dean of women at the university. I explained my dilemma and sat back and waited. I could not find work, most work was too hard for me to do as it relied on a working memory and I could not remember what the instructions were. But at least I could read now. I had no idea how to even get a good job. Filling out forms was still a challenge, one I still have, as I do not see everything on the page and can not recall the information they ask for. But I tried, and tried, and tried, and tried some more. I landed a job picking rotten berries on an experimental farm. I had no transportation other then my old one speed bike. I rode it about ten to fifteen miles to work up and over what seemed like mountain hills. I never before realized how often it rained in the summer, once for two weeks straight. The rotten berry juice would roll down my arms into my clothing and smell, stink, and stick. But I could care less about that or the commute. I was earning money to go back.


Mom Returned With Us For the Last Time

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Mom's sister moved into our house when we returned to the small town. Life was altered, it was bitter sweet. As one life was ending in a sad way, the other was opening up. The struggles were not over. My Garden of Eden had changed. Was the fruit of the tree of knowledge always so hurtful? I knew we would move back at summer and that my mother would not return. She would get a job at home and live in her empty house. I was watching her age quickly as sorrow was sinking deep.

 

Hitting the books was now a serious business, we all became more serious. My oldest brother was sharper with me, yelling at me for making noise as he studied. That was really hard on me. He was trying to take the place of Dad. He was my hero, not my dad. But as the years went by I began to realize he had always been like a father to me, just eight years older, a kid himself, a handicapped kid fathering a handicapped kid sister. Dad had been his sense of strength. Now he had the burden of the entire family. Mom needed comfort and it was up to me. We walked a lot at night. It was an education my schooling could not give me, the grief of my mother.

 

I had to do better the next semester. I wanted to glorify the gift of my mother. And I did, I was on the honor role. It was the only time I did it. But I had to, I had to put up the extra effort. It is not easy being a perfectionist with a handicap. But when your mother is hurting, your brothers too, time and effort take on a different perspective, its easier to be serious. It was a tribute to them and the last semester I would have their support. The next year I would have to do it all on my own, even the finances of school. I would have to pay my own way and figure out on my own how to do term papers, something I always failed at but I had to learn as my classes were advancing and would demand long papers.


Grades Finally Came Amongst Great Tragedy

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Shortly before we went home for the holidays my mom got that horrible letter. A policeman knocked on the door and served her. The breath left her. I will never forget her look. It was as if life stopped and she was fearful what would follow. We were all in the grip of sorrow. Her husband and our father had left and she was devastated. There was tons of snow outside. It was so cold ice formed on the inside of the windows. But Mom and I would walk in the snow, over the local bridge across the river. We often walked, but this was the walk of pain, of me being there for her as she had been there for us.

 

We went home to an empty house. The holidays went on as usual. But my mother's life had changed. My life had changed. My Dad had always encouraged me. Now he was gone. Mom always encouraged me, and she was gripped with grieving. The last blow of terrible times I felt, was yet to come, my grades.

 

The day came. I stared at the envelope. I was hesitant to open it. My future was inside. My mothers sacrifice to make it all possible was in question. Did I really pull it off, was all in vain? It was a turning point, for the good or for another path. I slowly tore open the end and slid the paper page out and unfolded it.

 

I had, I had really WON, I had passed. I was launched on a great adventure. I clutched the page in my fist and looked at my mother with great joy, and she smiled that smile of 'it was worth it all.' She had helped me at great cost,  she had helped me over one of the biggest hurdles I would experience. She would help me one more semester but no more, she needed to rebuild her own life. I wanted to make it the best semester of my life, as a tribute to her in the midst of her grief. 




There Is No Limit To A Mother's Love

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

 

She had gotten a job making donuts early in the mornings. We would leave the tiny town we lived in and travel to the small town of the University where we three went to school and she went to work. It was the good old days to remember. We were all so very happy, my mother loved to work. Between classes and before and after classes waiting for my bothers and mother to finish their days I would walk all over the little town the University was in. It was my little Garden of Eve.

 

But the thunder clouds were gathering. Five months had gone by and my father had not joined us. We visited him on every school vacation. My mother knew something was up. She began to have suspicions, doubts of her future. But she never once said she would abandon us. We were her main life from birth, Dad was the dream of her past, the dream of her future once we launched our own lives and moved out. She would not even allow us to worry. Such devotion, such faith, I had to succeed, I owed it to her. She was willing to wage her future for ours.


Finals Finally Came, A New Surprise, A New Challenge

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

I had never experienced a week of finals before. I sat in my psychology class finals room. I was nervous as they passed out the tests. What would I do, how would I do, could I do it? The test was placed in front of me. It was mostly a multiple guess test, a few match the word columns, and a few fill in the blanks. I looked it over and began to smile. Not because the test seemed easy but because concentrating on it reminded me of playing Chinese marbles with my Grandmother. Just concentrate and see what you can do.

 

To my delight I found the multiple guess questions really easy to do. The join the words was also easy. The fill in the blanks was not so easy, my mind was blank. But I did my best. The how to Study class exam was similar. And the reading test was not so bad. Hay, I said to myself, this is doable. Maybe I would succeed.

 

I went home and felt good about it. I actually relaxed and enjoyed the days ahead waiting for my grades to come out. Life was good. We lived by a river and I would play my flute at the rivers edge and it would echo up and down the river. Could life get much better? I played it by the river as my older brother needed his peace and quiet in the house to study for the rest of his exams in engineering. What could possible go wrong? Time had some nasty twists to come, ones I would never have dreamed would happen. I was soon to find out who was my third unsung hero who would have to pay the price for my efforts to get ahead, someone close to me who I never thought about enough.



Drama and More Drama, the Key

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Why I began I do not remember. But I began to dramatize as I read. I guess I wanted to emphasize things into my memory. It worked well. I was actually using all my brain by doing so, so there were better memories that stretch across the brain. The brain would wake up, take heed, feel emotion, think and process, and the body was adding its two cents. People in the quiet reading rooms probably though I was crazy sitting there in silence reading with my arms dramatizing or traumatizing every word. My mouth too was in ever changing contortions as I silently yelled out passages of importance clashing them with the concepts.

 

It was a new world that opened up to me. I marveled at the possibilities. Lots of doors seemed to crack open to me to peer on the other side, doors that others freely went through but were closed to me. Like an indoor cat that peeks through the door you go though to an unknown vastness to explore.

 

But I had not yet succeeded at classes. Would I be able to stay a second semester? The first was almost over and I had just began to read. So I knew I would pass reading class. What about how to study and psychology. Finals were around the corner, it was too late to re-read all my texts, or at least every word. In the how to study class the teacher told a girl who had not read a text in one class to just read the first sentence of every paragraph of the book. I decided to try that for review. I had listened and taken my usual notes in class. The big day of proof was to come.


Reading Class

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

There I was in reading class. But this class was different. We worked on our own. We had lessons and question and answer stuff, comprehension exercises etc. I had always done well on that if I could manage to read anything. It all seemed futile, the same old stuff that never helped.

 

But they had something I had never encountered. It was a little stylus, a horizontal clock arm that would go down the page line by line. My task was to keep up with it. That was impossible but day after day I would try. It was a real challenge.

 

But a miracle began to happen. As I got faster I was not forgetting the letters in the words, I was seeing words instead of letters. As more time went by I was comprehending whole sentences before I forgot the words, then as more time went by I was seeing phrases not sentences. I was actually reading things that were not interesting enough to otherwise had remembered, I was able to read boring useless information and know what I had read. I was really reading like everyone else.

 

This was a turning point, I could do it, or at least for short periods of time, for short essays. But alas, it too would begin to fade from memory. But it was enough to get by, sort of. I had other lessons to learn on my own, and only the desperate desire to find out would lead me to a solution.



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