Friday, September 28, 2007

Is it bad to brag?

Remember the test I took in Test Construction and Measurement? I said it was an A. Well, it wasn't just an A. It was a 99.38%. It was the highest score in the class. I am bragging about this now, because the test I took in the Psych of Learning class won't be so happy. Right now I have all As, next week I might be choking on a B. Do you suppose I would survive a C? Especially in a class I understand like it was my life, because it was my life?

6 year old criminal?

I couldn't believe it when I read that a teacher aide filed charges agains a 6 year old autistic boy for assault in Kentucky this week. I worked with profoundly disabled teenagers as a teacher aide/paraeducator for 13 years. I have been bitten, kicked, punched, spit on, scratched, pinched, and have had various objects thrown at me. I have suffered a black eye, a variety of other bruised areas, and bleeding wounds. Never was I ever even tempted to file charges against one of the students! I would have died first!

Apparently, the school district doesn't want to have to deal with educating this child. He has autism, and that means they need to step it up to hire and train people who can teach him and keep him safe.

Some people apparently believe that the child maliciously attacked the teacher aid. I wonder if she didn't conduct her self in such a way that a tantrum was actually brought on, then made more of the incident than what it was. At any rate, as and educator, you need to be able to understand a student on HIS level. Just because you wouldn't push someone unless you wanted to hurt him doesn't mean that children with disabilities think that way. Working with kids with disabilites (a teacher aide's job) means knowing enough to change the environment of the child so that they feel safe and successful. I did it with big teenaged kids! If she can't handle a 6 year old autistic student, she needs to find another job.

Luckily, the charges were dismissed. Hopefully, the parents of this child have been put in touch with some good advocacy groups. They need help and support to make the people who run this school district do their jobs.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ooh, I'm hot!

I know, I know, this really didn't describe me too well. I doubt anyone knows me for my power. Unless they mean the smell! (Ha Ha) I'm not terribly violent either. It would be fun to be lightening, though, wouldn't it?

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous

People will stop and watch you when you appear

Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturdae (as opposed to Sundae)

Terry's girlfriend (ex-girlfriend?) showed up at Zach's work today. This makes the second time she has managed to be there when she knew Zach would be there. He only works 2 days a week, can't she find someplace else to eat?

So he called me, all upset and scared, and I went to make sure nothing happened. And drank a large chocolate milkshake while I waited for them to leave. When they finally did, the new boy she was with waved at me as they were driving off, just to acknowledge me.

Since none of them were involved in the crime, they can't be included in the no contact order. I thought a lot about contact. You know, the kind that happens when my fist meets her nose

A LARGE chocolate milkshake, and I drank the whole thing! My stomach is sure I hate it . (anthropomorphic fallacy) Once my stomach has finished with the problem, my thighs have the perfect place to store it.

It will take me a whole week to run that off!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hi Readers! This one's for you.

For some reason, blogger hasn't been sending me e-mails on some of the comments I've gotten on my blog! They're supposed to. I did get notified of three that came from a new reader. I don't know if she'll be back, but she's funny. I'll be keeping my eye on her blog. Ethel has been commenting, and I didn't know! I wasn't just ignoring you, I promise! And thank you for the kind words Netgeek. I'm so glad you are feeling better. I really did miss reading your posts. Even the geeky ones (well most of them) ;)

I just found out today that Jake Vasques will be changing his plea to guilty. Makes things easier for us. Terry will be sentenced on October 22, Jake's hasn't been scheduled yet. The third creep still hasn't been charged, and I'm not sure why. I think the detective made some secret deal with him to get his confession. Like, confess, and I won't charge you. I don't know. I'm still looking forward to seeing Judy pay for her part in the crime.

But school is going ok. I had my first test in Test construction and Measurements. Apparently, I missed one on the multiple choice, but that's ok because I got the highest score in the class on it. She hadn't scored the essay, but I think I did ok on it too. Reading the book she had chosen, I really thought this class was going to be hard. The book is hard. The test was easy. Don't tell her, ok?

History of Psych is going to be a kick. I was mad at teacher for a week, but I'm over it now. All he really did is prompt me to really research what I am feeling right now. Guess what, it's what the topic to one of our papers is going to be on! Our theory of psychology! And do I have one!

I don't know what to think of Psych of learning. A grad student working on her masters is teaching it. I think she knows a lot about learning, but I don't know if she really knows enough to teach it. I'll be glad when the real teacher can work teaching back into her life. New baby, gotta have patience!

Art is fun. Of course.

Apparently, when I was drunk last Saturday, I posted that someday I will find the love of my life. The only time I really wish for that is when I'm drunk. If it happens, cool, if not, I'm doing fine. It was a really rough weekend. I'm better now. Got an A on my first test of the semester!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A golden glow filtered through the trees and rested on the front of the little house. Grandma was making a bed for me in the back of the Fairlane with soft fluffy blankets and my pillow. Grandpa was standing beside the car with his hands tucked in his pant pockets, smiling patiently.

“Let’s go!” Grandma said. I jumped into my perfect little bed. The length of the seat was just perfect for me. If I stretched, I could touch my toes at one end and the top of my head at the other. Grandma and Grandpa got into the front seat, and we were off on our drive.

I closed my eyes, only for a moment it seemed, and when I opened them again, the drive was over.

“Please can we go for a longer drive?” I pleaded.

“No.” My grandma chuckled. “We’ve been driving all afternoon!”

I was disappointed, but I got out of the car and headed into the house. I knew that it wouldn’t be long until my mother arrived to take me home.

I don’t ever remember doubting my grandmother’s love for me when I was young. She was the only person in my life that I felt comfortable to really be myself around. Oh, sure, she often called me a little pill - I often deserved it. But of all the people I had in my life, I knew I could always count on her to be in my corner - No matter what.

I don’t think my grandma was ever truly a happy person. The love of her life was knifed to death in a bar fight. Her mother then proceeded to cajole her into marrying my grandpa. He was a steady honest man who would be able to support her and be a good husband. He loved her, but she never returned that love for him.

It was a couple of years after they marred that she became pregnant. The labor was very long and difficult, and the baby boy died hours after he was born. She never held him. She almost didn’t survive the ordeal.

Several years later, she became pregnant with my father. He was the only child she would be able to have. She doted on him and spoiled him horribly. She lived and breathed for him.

While my dad was still a young boy, grandma and grandpa divorced for a while, and both married other people. My grandpa’s second wife died young (I understand it was because of alcoholic-related disease), and my grandmother finally divorced her alcoholic second-husband.

When my father was a teenager, he got into a car accident that nearly killed him. My grandmother blamed herself. She felt that if she had stayed marred to my grandpa, my dad wouldn’t have been so wild, and wouldn’t have been in that car accident.

When they found out he would live and be ok, they remarried. She stayed married to my grandpa for the rest of her life. He took care of her and they had a safe life.

I asked her once why she never had any other children. Apparently, they had really tried to have more children. She desperately wanted a daughter. I was the closest she came to having one.

She doted on me and spoiled me just like she had my father. There wasn’t anything she had that she wouldn’t give me. But she had plans for me that I didn’t have for myself. When I was 19 she told me that if I didn’t settle down and find a husband, I would be an old maid.

I wanted to go to college, but I was a girl. I think that was the very first time she ever saw me as not perfect. I found a husband and had children. But I wasn’t the kind of mother and housekeeper she thought I should be. Apparently I wasn’t much of a wife either, because my husband was never at home with me.

She loved my daughter, Megan. Everyone loved Megan. You would have had to be a cold hearted monster not to lover her. She was nothing but sweet. Ok, she was sassy too, and sometimes she wore the “little pill” honor! She was a perfect child (still is).

It was at that time that my brother started having kids. He hadn’t graduated from high school yet, but he did stick with it until he had. Grandma was always so proud of him. His wife was a first rate loser in grandma’s eyes, and she and her sister would sit in the mornings and say the most horrible things about her. She was living in the bedroom downstairs, and she heard a lot of what was said.

His first baby was a girl. She died when she was just six months old. Her death crushed my grandma. She gave up on everything and everyone. She started by limiting her diet to broccoli. She wouldn’t eat anything but broccoli. She managed to survive on her diet for over a year. The she started boiling it for one to two hours.

One day, I came home from work and was told she had been taken to the hospital. When I went to see her, she was being really snotty. She kept saying she had to call her sister and have her take her to the hospital because grandpa wouldn’t. I wasn’t there, so I don’t really know what happened, but aunt Toots let on like grandma was blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Toots was there that morning, just like every other morning, smoking and gossiping.

That night grandma took a turn for the worst. Because of her lack of nutrition, she had a serious electrolyte imbalance. The doctors said she wouldn’t survive the night. She did, though. They went through extraordinary measures to keep her alive, or what was left of her.

She had suffered brain damage. She had forgotten most of her life. She didn’t recognize my dad. She had vague recollections of some people. She still doted on Megan. But she hated me. I told myself that she though I was my mother, and that was why she treated me with such contempt. But I have never been sure.

Aunt Tootsie died last Thursday. Her graveside funeral was held on Saturday. It hit me really hard, harder than it should have. I think it was because while Tootsie was alive, the best part of my grandma survived in my heart. With that gone, I really had to take a look at my relationship with her.

I don’t know if my grandma loved me in the end. I don’t know if she was proud of me. I don’t know what happened to change her feelings for me. I always loved her, and I always depended on knowing she loved me too.

She was the one person whose love saved me from my mother. If she didn’t love me in the end, then how can I really believe that I am loveable? I’ll never have a definitive answer to that question. I guess if I’m going to hold onto me, I have to believe that she loved me unconditionally, right up to the end.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I am going to meet the love of my life.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

And, we're off!

I survived the first two weeks of school. I think it should be a very interesting semester. In my psychology of learning class, the teacher just had a baby and wants to have one of her graduate students teach the first half of class. The first class she taught was so uncomfortable. The poor thing was so scared she could scarcely breathe. The second class went much better, which gave me cause to hope. The class covers behavioral psychology, which is something I know something about.

I am also in the next step of the scheduled ISU increments: Measurement and Test Construction. I have to make a test of some sort. I am not sure exactly what and how as of yet, but I am starting to get into the swing of things, so I'll figure it out. I have a way of doing that, you know.

Then I have History of Psychology. This is going to be a fun class. There is going to be a lot of writing, which I do like. (not that you would know it by the number of posts to this blog as of late)

So, with all of that heavy learning, I decided to take an elective. Drawing I. So, I am in a class now where I HAVE to draw for three hours, twice a week. Darn. It is so cool, because I usually put art last - when I have done all the work. Problem is, I never get all the work done, so art never gets to happen.

I thought I would share what I have done so far. (except for the "blind" drawings that look like they were done by a two year old. - blind drawings are drawings that you do without looking at the paper, only the subject)

On the first day we had to do 20 drawings in 2 hours. None of these are very good, but then, I only had an average of 6 minutes to do each of them. It was fun. I got to loosen up my drawing arm, and open up my lazy eyes. Everyone liked the girl. I thought it was ok, but no more.

The teacher didn't think my flower "popped". I asked him what he meant. He didn't think it popped off the page. 6 minutes, folks.
He did like the funky looking guy that I used to doodle in high school. I thought it was goofy.

He thought my tropical scene was too commercial.

The texture of the bow is odd. The curve of the ribbons awkward.
On the second day of class we drew a skeleton.
I got tired of drawing the skeleton a million times, (this is where the blind drawings came in), so I drew some kids drawing the skeleton.

On the third day, we did my favorite kind of drawing: Gestural drawings. Mr. V. only gave the high school students a couple of minutes to scribble out an image. We had 1/2 hour a pose. I had so much fun. Others complained though. Some of the people in the class complain a lot though. Artists can be so temperamental!

And so, we're off!

Zach has started classes. He wants so badly to be successful. I hope he makes it. He has so much ambition. He learned a lot this summer. It feels like all that is about to be put behind us. We don't know how long we'll have until Terry gets out yet, but we are definitely going to make the most of it. They say justice is blind, I just didn't realize how slow she was too!

I was mean last weekend! I read a new blog in which the blogger was bashing her boss. She felt that he was inappropriate when he bought an employee beer. She also complained that he had been accused of sexual harassment. She said it was because he had an mental illness - asberger's syndrome. I wrote in her comments that asperger's is not a mental illness, and that someone with that disorder getting a position of that magnitude with that power is amazing, and instead of being hated for his social awkwardness, he should be understood. Why can't people just tell him discretely that his has crossed one of those invisible lines? Instead, let's humiliate him on the blogosphere. I told her I would be watching her blog with the intent of outing her to her boss. I think I took it to far, but I was really upset about it. She hasn't posted since. She probably started a new blog under a new name. Hopefully she will be a little more considerate of people who have autism, and a little more discrete about what she writes. No blogger is safe from being outed.

I did some pretty heavy reading this summer. I read Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion and I have to say, I didn't find anything one could argue with. Well, except the part where he says evolution is the best evidence against the existence of Abraham's god. I think the best evidence against the existence of Abraham's god are the doctrines used by the three major religions of the world that were spawned by Abraham's god. I don't think I'm alone in that thought, because I also read Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation. And I started reading Christopher Hitchen's god is not Great and he really lays into the religious doctrines of the three major religions. And he would know, he studied the bible at great length as a school boy in Europe.

I continue to believe that Abraham's god is not the kind of god I could worship, and anyway, what kind of a god wants to be worshipped? I still can't help but feel that there may be more to us than just this biological existence. However, I question whether that belief isn't some kind of evolutionary baggage that has made humans feel so much more special than they are. If everyone in the whole world believed that this is it, this is all we are and all we have, would we be so quick to kill each other over what happens in some after life?

I am currently in the process of processing this information in conjunction with some of the psychological information I have and am learning. I am too tired to write about it now, but I will. I might not get to it until after this semester is over. I still want to finish Hitchens' book, and get some more psychological evolution to make sense of some of the concepts banging around in my head.