Its the end of the month. I can’t believe I managed to post every day. Since it is only takes 21 days to establish a habit I hope it bodes well for the rest of my writing. I’m glad I did iv even though sometimes it has felt like scraping the bottom of my brain with an ice cream scoop. Onward to next month!
People who say relationships are easy probably haven’t been in a serious one yet. Every day there is conscious choice to continue. I am currently several states away from both of the people I care about and to say the separation is awful is a massive understatement. Love is beautiful and complicated. One of the things it took me a long time to learn is that sometimes the Princess has to work through some of her problems alone before her sweetheart (s) show up. I think that in order for relationships to work all parties must be comfortable with themselves before anyone else can be.
I admit that it has taken me quite a long time to get there. I do not mean that you have to like yourself all the time. Mostly you should know how to be honest with yourself even when it means acknowledging qualities in yourself that you would rather ignore. Somewhere I read a quote that says something to the effect of “love doesn’t show you a perfect person it allows you to see an imperfect person perfectly”. My girl has an Irish temper which drives me nuts sometimes. My man has patience 2 miles wide even people I would have given up on. He is also a self admitted ideogame junkie so sometimes creativity is necessary to get his attention. In
All of that aside they are the best thing that has ever happened to my life. This distance thing sucks but it is only a temporary condition. They used to think that the heart-wrenching I had gone through was pointless and only served to make me miserable but I realize now that everything that happened before this happened so this could work. I know myself better now and I communicate much easier than I used to though I am by no means perfect at it. I have learned the hard way that it is not a good thing to assume that your significant other can make your mind.
I don’t give relationship advice much mostly because I am unqualified to but the one piece of advice I will continue to offer if anyone asks is to communicate. If something bothers you tell the other person don’t keep it bottled up, if you do it will come back to bite you in the end. My man’s saying is “if I don’t know if it’s broke I can’t fix it”.
When your caregiver in college says that no one else will take care of you except her do you like your sister has been telling you for months, fire her. It will save you a ton of issues later. When Janet Norman tells you there is no safety plan for disabled students in case of fire other then to inform the firefighters where you are when they get there do not yell. Get a lawyer. When the math teacher gives you hell because your caregiver wasn’t there to get you up in time to get to class in a rental chair do not cry. When the math tutor disabled student services set up for you doesn’t show file a complaint call Nathan, he’s probably better at it anyway. Tell him not to go kayaking that weekend. When he comes back tell him to go see a doctor.
When the math teacher who is been giving you hell all semester tells you (loud enough for the whole class to hear) that you failed just like she knew you would, do not cry tell her to go hell and then when she brings you in front of the Dean of your college tell him the hell she put you through. When you find out that one of your previous teachers informed a current teacher that you are a slacker do not cry. Go to the head of department and file a complaint against her for slander. Somewhere before the end of your argumentative writing class thank Prof. Brown for his younger and patience. Later apologized to Dr. Peterson because you could not give him your best effort. Tell The social work teacher you see in the elevator every week that her smile that her smile and bright clothing always make your day better. When Janet Norman to you that you cannot have a service dog in training on campus with you, get a lawyer. When she says awful things about your mother get a lawyer. You are an adult run the only way they can make you feel smaller and if you let them
Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
This is what it feels like to stand along the edge of a cliff. That was the thought that ran through my head when a conference room full of adults with medical degrees turned to look at me, waiting for my answer. It has been decided after two weeks of evaluation that I was indeed a candidate for an experimental surgery which, if everything went well could make it possible for me to do things I wasn’t able to before. However the doctors couldn’t say exactly how much of a difference it would make other than saying that in their professional opinion the potential benefits outweighed the risks. Because it was surgery on the spinal cord itself there was the risk that I might end up worse off than I was now, though the doctors couldn’t define what “worse” might entail anymore than they could “better”. The surgery was never performed on anyone older than 14 so if it was going to be done and had to be this year. The doctors looked to my parents and my parents, reasoning that I would have to deal with the consequences good or bad, long after they were dead, looked at me.
I sat. I thought. I deliberately imagined the worst possible scenario I can think of, could I live without my voice and my hearing if things went badly? I imagined being trapped inside my own head and felt my gut twist into a Gordian Knot and my toes literally curl in my sneakers. I silently admitted to myself that if that were to happen I would probably see a mental health professional in order to cope, at least at first. refuse to even contemplate seriously any idea of what a best case scenario might be because even if the operation were successful chances are it would fall short of my hopes and I didn’t want to be disappointed. They were still looking at me. Nothing ventured nothing gained right? With a mental shout of “cannonball!” I jumped, and heard myself say “let’s do it.” The rest is history.
Usually when I think of poetry as performance art it conjures up images of the Beatnik movement and I cringe away in fear. Recently I was introduced to Taylor Mali through on a WordPress blog and my preconceptions were completely thrown out the window. Taylor is a former high school teacher turned performance arts poet and teachers advocate. I have watched all of his YouTube videos that I can find and in the process explored a little deeper into the Poetry Slam movement and found some more awesome writers. This particular style of poetry is not pretty in the classic sense. It is gritty, blind, and as far removed from a Shakespearean sonnet as it is possible to be. This is not to say that the poems aren’t beautiful but it is a beauty grounded in reality.
Some of the poems like Mali’s “On Girls Lending Pens” had me giggling through most of it because I remember similar scenes from high school.“Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls with Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair” (by Jeanann Verlee) however had me, caught somewhere between cheers, laughter, and sympathetic sobbing all the way through. Despite this I think I’m trying to memorize it, exactly why I am not sure. Her poem “40 Love Letters” is somewhat lighter in tone but I now feel as though I would probably ask her at least 40 questions if I ever got the chance, such as “what in the world did Ethan ask or suggest that led to such a flat, emphatic no?
After scouring YouTube for videos of poetry read in this style I can only come to one conclusion it is a good thing that I do not have aspirations to become a poet, if I wrote poetry every day for the next 50 years it would never hold a candle to some of the works I have seen over the weekend.
Do NOT LISTEN TO WITH SMALL CHILDREN PRESENT (I wouldn’t anyway)
Also not with kids present
Taylor Mali’s silliness
Mr. Paul Smethers was my tenth grade Speech teacher who also taught Senior English. You either loved or hated him. Every time I see this video I think of him.If the link doesn’t work look up “Taylor Mali What Teachers Make” on Youtube
Though I have never taught in a public, private, or charter school I consider myself a teacher. I teach a tiny piece of Biology every time in a retail store or a restaurant asks me, “what’s wrong with you?” My answer varies slightly depending on the age of the child but is usually something to the effect of “my brain and my legs don’t communicate well and, it’s like talking to someone who has a funny accent, they don’t always understand each other so sometimes my links do what I ask and sometimes they don’t.” I sometimes end up gently criticizing the parent for discouraging the child from asking me that question, if they don’t ask how will they ever know?
I have taught people how to bow and curtsy and in the process imparted a little History. I started teaching English As a Second Language almost by accident when a Turkish friend of mine asked me to help him improve his English and I have even though I still don’t think it is nearly as bad as he thinks it is. I have taught children to weave and adults to dye. I helped my math note taker with her Business Law class. I have raised my voice when others would prefer I kept silent. I have spoken up rather than allow myself to be condescended to. I swear when others would whisper and whisper when others might swear. If you see me do either do not assume I am inarticulate. I call it like I see it no matter who you are, school board official, telemarketer, police officer or random neighborhood resident it doesn’t matter. You have been warned, ignorance is not a viable excuse.
You ask me what I take a cure for this condition, I have, the answer is not a simple yes or no. Yes, assuming I could afford any treatment that comes along I would take it but not for the sake of being “normal”. Normal is a societal construct and therefore its meaning is fluid. Any treatments would be divine to lesson the physical stress of my loved ones. I have also been asked if I regret being born the way I am. I am sad that I have never ran to hug any member of my family or been able to jump into the arms of a significant other. It means that I will probably not be the one to teach my children to ride a bike. It will not be the me who teaches them to drive a car or write in cursive..
I will teach them; double Dutch jump rope, at least have to turn the ropes without tangling with them. I will teach them the military phonetic alphabet and the languages I know. If they are inclined to learn cooking I will teach them drop biscuits, twice baked potato casserole and chocolate chip cookies. I will introduce them to Play-Doh and sidewalk chalk and checkers. I will show them how to blow soap bubbles.
You ask me if I regret being born this way. I regret it a little less every day because even though I have no academic degree in education I have been, am and will be a teacher and my disability gives me a unique perspective. It is annoying to knock things over and spill things, I really wish my handwriting was legible all the time and personal hygiene would be a lot easier to manage. That being said if I had the opportunity to go back and be born as an able-bodied child I wouldn’t take it. For all of its frustrations and annoyances I believe I am a better person for my past and my unique experiences.