Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.” Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

Here I am again, doing another daily prompt. In fact yesterday was the first time I ever used WordPress’s daily prompt and I like having the option of a specific “topic” ready for me to choose from. In fact I’m loving having the option to not only have a daily prompt but having the option to do todays daily prompt or a past daily prompt. Just like the daily prompt I use yesterday, today, I chose a past daily prompt.

It is an extremely difficult choice for me to pick just one teacher who has had an impact on my life because, there isn’t a teacher that I haven’t had who hasn’t made and impact on my life at one time or another. Since all my teachers have had an impact on my life, I have decided to only discuss three teachers in this particular post. Two of the three teachers happen to be two of my most favorite teachers. I have decided to use their real names due to the fact I want to give them all credit for what they have done. I know maybe that may not be a wise choice on my part but they do deserve credit even if what one teacher angers you (like it does me) they all are worthy of credit.

Before I begin telling you about the three teachers who have had the most impact on my life let me tell you a thing or two first. All through my school years I was a main streamed special education student. That means I was in “normal” classes with other kids in my grade with the exception of one subject and sometimes two subjects. The reason being is because at an early age I was diagnosed with not only ADHD but dyslexia and other reading and writing disabilities. The only subject I was not main streamed in was English and on occasion other subjects when needed.

Now that we are on the topic of both Special Education and English, lets talk about my seventh grade Special Ed English teacher, Ms. Phelps. Ms. Phelps wasn’t the best of teachers nor was she one of my favorite teachers. She was not always the most sensitive of people and unfortunately wasn’t afraid to speak her mind especially when it came to hurting a students feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I actually prefer people to speak their minds but when it could harm someone especially a child then its not always exactly the best thing to do. Ms. Phelps was getting fed up with me because she didn’t think I was putting much effort into my homework.  In all actuality, I was spending two hours a day just doing homework for her class alone. I had six other classes that I needed to do homework for (including marching/concert band). I spent three hours doing homework from my other classes and that includes me practicing my flute for an hour for band. I spent more time doing homework for class than my other classes. Since Ms. Phelps didn’t think I was putting much effort into my homework for her class she kept giving me detention which was nothing new for me since I was always in trouble. It was one of those detentions where she spoke her mind and spouted out her anger on me. She told me “You will never graduate high school much less make it through you freshman year of high school. You most likely will drop out your freshman year. You will be a high school drop-out just like your parents.” It was because of what she said is what made me determined to graduate high school and prove her wrong. If it wasn’t for those words echoing through my head, I think I wouldn’t have cared so much about graduating high school as I did. Yes, I did graduate high school and it made me feel good that I not only proved her wrong but I proved myself wrong as well. I still haven’t been able to show her my high school diploma and I’m okay with it because it doesn’t matter so much to me any more.

The next teacher, I’m about to tell you about was one that inspired me to be the best at what I was able to do despite my disabilities and had him throughout my junior high years. For me the junior high I attended was only seventh and eighth grades. Mr. Hahn was my band teacher. He had a sense a humor that related to every kid he taught. Mr. Hahn taught me how to persevere through difficult sections in a specific piece of  music which could be a potential metaphor for life. Mr. Hahn put a great deal of effort into me and helped me improve playing the flute. He taught me various things in regards to the flute as well as being able to use them in life now and not just in regards to playing the flute. Mr. Hahn’s constant encouragement, sense of humor and love for music is why I continued playing the flute through high school even though I wasn’t exactly the best flute player in the world.

This next teacher I am about to tell you about is one who encouraged me to get help for both my eating disorders as well as the depression I was in. Ms. Casey taught me Earth Science my sophomore year of high school and Biology my junior high of high school. She was also the class advisor for my graduating class. She taught me how to love science and that it was more than okay to be a woman who loves science. Not only did she help me get the help I needed for the eating disorders and mental illness, she helped me with my homework for her class(es) as well as other classes. Ms. Casey put the effort into me to make sure that I graduated high school. Ms. Casey was one of those teachers (just like Mr. Hahn) who put in extra hours to make sure all her students succeeded in school and beyond.

If it wasn’t for the above three teachers, I wouldn’t have graduated high school nor been the success I am today. They all taught me the power of determination in their own way and that once you put your mind to something, stay strong and most importantly keep the determination.

I wish I could write more on this particular post especially about Mr. Hahn and Ms. Casey, I am unable to do so because I have to go to work. I love my job and if it wasn’t for all my teachers throughout my life I would have it. Thank you to all the teacher who have taught me. Well, off to work I go. Peace out!!

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Daily Prompt: Strike a Chord

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Strike a Chord.” Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

As I was searching through past topics of the Daily Prompts, this particular topic caught my eye instantly. It caught my eye for a multitude of reasons and decided that I would do this daily prompt before heading out to work today.

Yes, I do play an instrument. I play the flute. I’ve been playing the flute since the sixth grade. That was back in September of 1991. Holy shit, that was 24 years ago. The story around why I started playing the flute is quite humorous. I originally started playing the trombone and my arm was to short to slide to the fifth and sixth positions and even with the extension I was still unable to slide to the sixth position. Since I was unable to play the trombone due to short arms, I had to choose another instrument. I was debating between the oboe and the flute and was ultimately persuaded into choosing the flute by my best friend, who was learning to play the flute at the same time as well. I am beyond grateful that I was talked into playing flute but part of still wishes I picked up the oboe. The oboe has a beautiful yet unique sound and is an instrument that catches my ear.

I find many musical instruments quite pleasing to my ear besides the above mentioned instruments. One of the instruments I find particularly pleasing is the bagpipe. Yes, the bagpipe. People tend to laugh at the fact that I not only enjoy the sound of the bagpipes but want to learn how to play them as well. Over the years I’ve come to study the history of the bagpipe. The reason being is because it is a part of my heritage. I am half Irish and identify as Irish. Yes, I do know it’s also a part of Scottish heritage however, I don’t have any Scottish in my blood. A cool side note about bagpipes is my fiancé, Junior can play the bagpipes quite well. In fact he is a part of the pipes and drums with the fire department. He in fact is a firefighter and paramedic. The cool thing that I find about Junior playing the bagpipes is that he is Mexican and isn’t afraid to do so. (Junior is also able to play the trumpet and plays in a Mariachi Band).

Playing the flute has been a life safer to me in many ways. Playing the flute in the high school marching (and concert) band is what helped stay in school and prevented from dropping out. That’s why I am so passionate about keeping both the performing and fine arts in schools. The arts keep people like me in school.

Not only did playing the flute keep me in school, it has helped me enormously in my recovery with mental illness. Playing the flute helps with my mental illness in several ways. It helps keep me distracted at times. It relaxes me. Most importantly it helps me focus on my breath and breathing well. When I am dealing with severe PTSD symptoms I tend to forget to breath and the “normal” breathing techniques and exercises don’t help me much. The “typical” breathing techniques and exercises tend to make my PTSD symptoms worse due to some trauma. That is where the flute comes in to helping me focus on my breath. You need to breathe well to be able to play the flute properly. That means, me being able to breathe well not only helps me with playing the flute helps with the symptoms of my PTSD. You can say that playing the flute has been a type of therapy for me; music therapy. Unforantenly, not many places offer music therapy despite how helpful it is to many different people in this world.

When I chose this particular daily prompt, I had absolutely no idea where it would lead. I honestly didn’t think I would be discussing how the flute helped (and still helps) with my PTSD. I thought I would me discussing more how band kept me in school and how I now have life long friends because of band. In all honesty, I have my best friend since the third grade to not only to join band by picking an instrument but persuading me to choose the flute over the oboe when I was not able to play the trombone. Playing a musical instrument gives one a community that they will always be a part of.

Now that I’ve done this daily prompt, it brings joy to my soul that I was able to share one community I belong to, to you the blogging community in which I to belong to. Thank you for allowing me to share all this. I am going to have to end this blog for now because I have to go to work now. Have a wonderful work week everyone. Happy Monday and peace out everyone!!!!

Blogging With Burned Fingers

     Well its another Wednesday and unfortunately was unable to go to my volunteer job today. I was unable to go because I accidently burned three fingers last night cleaning my stove. The attending physician that saw me last night in the ER called me to see how my fingers were. I told her that they hurt like hell but seem to be doing well. Even the nurse that took care of me last night called to see how my fingers are doing and I told her the same thing I told the doctor. Speaking of doctors I made an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow for a follow from the ER visit regarding my burned fingers.

     Since I didn’t go to my volunteer job today, I continued reading A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. I am really surprised that I am enjoying the book. I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with the school district that I graduated from because they didn’t require the students in Special Ed English to read the classics like the rest of the students. I was a mainstreamed Special Ed student. That means that most of my classes were regular classes. The only Special Ed class I was in was English because of my dyslexia and other “reading issues.” Don’t get me started on the lack of education I got from the school district I graduated from. The school district I spent most of my school years in was absolutely great but the school district I ended up graduating in was lacking quite a bit. Getting back on topic of reading, I am really enjoy A Tale of Two Cities.

     I also read some comic books. I read four Wonder Woman comics, two Superman comics, two Batman comics, two Spiderman comics and three X-Men comic. . I love comic books. Just like reading “normal” books, reading comics distracts me from a lot of things. It distracts me from the every day stress of life and at times distracts me from the symptoms of my mental illness. I collect all sort of comic books but I mainly collect Wonder Woman. I am a big Wonder Woman fan. I don’t discriminate between the comic book universes because both universes have there great characters.

     After I am done blogging for the evening my boyfriend and I are going to watch documentaries on homelessness. If you have been reading my blog you know that I volunteer at a homeless shelter and that I am passionate about ending homelessness. I really missed going to my volunteer job today at the homeless shelter. I can relate a great deal to most of the clients in the shelter because most of them have a mental illness. Plus at one point in time I was homeless. Thankfully it was only a short amount of time. Yes, I have my favorite clients even though we are not suppose to. A lot of the clients do seek out mental health help as well as help with addictions from alcohol and/or drugs. Unfortunately, some don’t get treatment. Getting treatment or not getting treatment is an entire different blog entry in itself.

     I better get going. My fingers are hurting like hell at the moment. I wasn’t expecting to blog so much today. Word to the wise make sure your burner is completely off when you clean your stove. I really thought I turned the burner of all the way last night when I started cleaning the stove. Well, I need to get going.

     Have a great Wednesday evening everyone. Now it’s time spend time with my boyfriend. Peace out and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.

It’s Been A Good Tuesday

Hey!! It’s another Tuesday!! Today, didn’t start off in the most desirable way. I woke up with a nightmare. Not the way anyone wants to start off their day. Apparently and unfortunately it was a screaming nightmare. I found this out when the police showed up at my door. Once again, I was highly embarrassed that they were called and that I disturbed my neighbors again due to the PTSD I struggle with on the daily (and nightly) basis. The police did their jobs and thanked me for understanding. When the police left, I decided to stay up and get ready for the day.

As I was getting ready for my day my boyfriend called me to make plans for the day. I was more than pleased that we made plans because having such a rude awaking from a nightmare can cause my day to be rocky. We made plans to meet up Downtown to have lunch after his doctors appointment. So I met up with my boyfriend and we decided to go to Johnny Rockets. I love the atmosphere of Johnny Rockets and their food is absolutely awesome. I had the Houston while my boyfriend had the Smoke House Double and we shared a Chocolate Shake. As, we ate we made plans to do with the rest of our day.

After we ate we walked around the Downtown area of the city we live in. We decided to go into Barnes & Noble to look around. There I bought three books. In fact all three book are classics and I personally think they are books that I should have been assigned to read in school despite being in a special education English class. (Don’t get me started on the education I received in high school or the lack there of it.) It is my humble opinion that even though I was in a Special Ed English class I should have been required to read the three books that I bought today. The books I bought today are: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I love to read and enjoy it immensely despite having dyslexia and other reading issues. After buying books we decided to come home to his place.

When we arrived to his place we worked on a jigsaw puzzle together. We both love to do jigsaw puzzles. After that we both decided to read. I of course picked up the book that I am currently reading. The that I am reading is The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks. The book is a memoir of Elyn R. Saks life. She writes about her struggle with Schizophrenia and her struggle with the illness as well as her recovery and how her education helped her through her struggle. While I was reading my mom called from my little brother’s place.

When my mom calls that means it’s 6pm on Tuesday. I had to set a specific time for her to call because she would (and still tries to) call me multiple times a day. I talked with her. Thankfully, she wasn’t as full as drama as she usually is. I think the reason being is because she was over at my little brother place. My little brother and I extremely close despite our 11 year age difference. He is my hero. He too struggles with his own disabilities but I wont share them here unless I have his permission. Since my mom was at my brothers place I talked to him as well. I love his sense of humor. After about an hour of talking to my mom and brother I decided to call my dad and talked with him for about a half an hour.

After my conversation ended with my dad at 7:30pm (Pacific Time), Josh asked what I wanted to eat. We agreed on Spaghetti, so he is started fixing dinner as I blog. The spaghetti sure smells great. My boyfriend is an awesome cook. His food is almost as good as my grandmas food. Of course nobodies food is ever as good as grandmas food. Well I better end this entry and help my boyfriend finish dinner since it is now 8:07pm (Pacific Time). Have good rest of your evening, night or day wherever you maybe in the world.