There are very few people that truly show disabled individuals respect. Maybe it is the disabled person has not acquired knowledge or experience. No, wait, I know the problem. The problem at hand is that disabled people are discriminated against. That cannot be correct, right, we as humans know something is different with this person but who really gives cares.
This part deals with respect. The respect, I feel, I earned from my schooling (e.g., Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Human Development from University of Wisconsin (UW)-Green Bay and an Associates of Liberal Arts from UW-Marinette), my experiences with elderly clients with Hospice Advantage, or this will get you, I am disabled too! I, even though, throughout my entire high school and collegiate career have been given extra time and other accommodations do not complain but when it is time to pick groups whom is ALWAYS the last one to get picked?
I earned my bachelor’s degree in approximately four years. I was declared a Social Work major and my first summer semester in 2009 at UW- Green Bay I took a hybrid Family Development and one class online (e.g., American Government & Politics) course. I was below average (e.g., 1.5 GPA) in my class because I had to wake up at five in the morning to drive with my brother’s girlfriend to Green Bay and was scared. My verbal recollection skills suffered so I, accompanied with my doctor Hitch’s (e.g., my neurologist) referral, got my books on tape, another student’s notes, and a control room to take exams. A person would think that would be sweet deal to have unlimited time for exams in a different room. Actually, it is not, I do not the research behind learning information in one place and then going in a different place but it is not as good as it sounds.
In the fall of 2009, still a Social Work major, took Introduction to Human Biology, Middle Childhood-Adolescents, and seven social work credits. In the middle of October, I dropped the Social Work major because my heart was just not into helping people plus I was terrible at writing papers. Living on campus I was able to get to my classes easily, yeah right, I rode around a somewhat large campus on an electric scooter. Simply put, I was an outcast. I developed a good friend and his name is Josh. He helped me go to the grocery store when I needed food. Our end of year fun with a roommates cooking utensils:
It really was my first time away from a parental figure. Josh has an introverted personality type where he was one of two places. The first place was obvious, class, and the other one was his room. My GPA was 3.0.
Now comes the spring 2010 where I changed to Psychology. I am fascinated by the complexity of the human brain and wanted to figure out how I behaved. I took only 10 credits but with roommates changing, parents saying get out more, and being disabled I had a complex load. The classes I took had been Psychology of Cognitive Processes and Social and Experimental Psychology. My term GPA was 2.550. I took an Intro to Human Development online class in the summer and finished quite well. I received a GPA of 3.5.
My parents at this same time back in Marinette worked diligently to get some assistance at school. The assistance was a new computer, an audio recorder, and a device that played already recorded books on cd along with a person, normally two to three other students, I hired to help with schooling, housekeeping, grocery shopping, and lastly to go to social events (e.g., basketball games or concerts) together. All of the students that helped with whatever I needed; I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will not ever realize the gratefulness I feel towards you as workers and as friends.
I want to take this time to especially thank Shelby. We have share many memories (e.g., meals I cooked to staying at your apartment off campus after I left college) but I would never replace those memories for the entire world. I have learned and grown into the person I am today. As I think about our interactions together I seem to have forgotten an IMPORTANT, friendship rule that I learned from you. I should never try to kiss a friend because she is my friend. You are undoubtedly one of my best friends because you accept me.
My fall semester of 2010 was very interesting. I say compelling because I was somewhat familiar with the campus and things did not seem so busy. The roommates kept on changing except for Josh but I started biofeedback, exercised regularly (e.g., endorphins), and even started to talk to other people. I really gained some insight on how to be healthy, using a biopsychosocial perspective on things. I took nine credits.
I was enrolled in Health Psychology (HP), Personal Finance Planning (PFP), and Introduction to Sociology (IS). Starting first with HP, taught by Dr. Regan Gurung, was where I started my journey through the Wild Divine world of biofeedback. Biofeedbackis a technique that help trains a person to improve his or her health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature. The first few times I tried the device I was skeptical to it’s efficiency, but slowly, I started noticing a more calmer demeanor and a better nights rest.
One thing that I remember from my PFP professor, “A person has to stay within his or her own means of financial planning.” At the time I really did not pay much attention to this but it has grown in importance these past years. My IS was a prerequisite for the Psychology Major. My GPA was 2.666. Not the best GPA but I was getting more familiar with the school.
I also meet a lady, on another dating website, we engaged in some facetious behaviors. I could see that the relationship centered around sex. I found this source that after reading it makes more sense then talking to another guy (http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/7-sex-mistakes-men-make). The many woes of being a survivor did not seem so cumbersome.
The spring semester I took Cultural Images:
Stereotyping and Prejudice,
Counseling Across The Lifespan, and Clinical Child Psychology. A heavy psychology class load meant little time for other things which was stressful but manageable with wonderful workers I managed. I fared a bit above average with a 3.125 GPA. The summer of 2011 I was hired by my DVR counselor to work at the YMCA in Menominee, Michigan.
My fall of 2011 was alright. I took First-Aid and Emergency, Tests and Measurements,
Physiological Psychology, and Human Disease and Society:
(e.g., 3.125) but my three new roommates where total douche bags. One was a male cheerleader, other one worshiped the cheerleader, and the last one would do immature things (e.g., fart on my door) and just was not nice.
The male cheerleader, for example, knew I liked this one lady so to be an ass he started dating her. Simply put, he dated her out of spite and she needed that in her life. Long story short, she had attachment issues.
The terrible roommates would eat and drink my food, not include me in social gatherings, and make snide comments to their friends about me. Three days left of Christmas break I decided to move to another building to a newer apartment complex. The three new roommates were from Marinette county. I received help from Tom moving my things across campus. The other two had been Brady and Kyle.
Brady is another amazing friend. I believe this is the case because we share similar hobbies (e.g., hunting, fishing, and outdoors) and personalities. This was just one of the many adventures we embarked on together:
This video is taken at my grandparents cabin.
The other video is the some of the actual property the grandparents own:
Brady whom is very athletically and intellectually gift and we shared the same drive to get things done. Plus he knew I was an excellent chef.
I can say I had a lot of acquaintances and only a few friends. I unintentionally stuck out by riding around campus on an electric scooter, sat in the front row of all my classes, and I was the one whom asked a lot of questions. My fellow students probably thought I was helpful or annoying. I have been told by some that he or she likes when I talked in class because it makes the person look at the issue differently. However, there are some that disliked when I asked questions because it would make the professor rush through his or her presentation. The point that I am trying to make is I really did not care what others thought of me.
My spring, 2012, semester was insightful because it helped a lot with answering my anxieties. My class load: online Science and Religion, an independent study–Physical Disabilities in Romantic Relationship, Food and Nutritional Health, and finally Psychology of Drug and Behavior:
A fair WARNING: I have the voice of an angel and anyone whom does not agree can go sit on it.
I finished my semester with a 3.350 GPA. The science and religion course examined the differing world views of science and religion; origins of science in the Judeo-Christian West; sources of conflicts; domains of validity; and of limitations of science and religion. The class looked at religion scientifically. My PDRR class was to try and find some hope in a relationship:
My FNH course was looked at ways a person consumes food. My PDB class was a good way to look at the drugs I currently am prescribed and good information to know.
My fall consisted of Myth, Ritual, Symbol, and Religion (MRSR) anthropology, Culture, Development, and Health (CDH), and lastly a Developmental Psychobiology (DP) class. The MRSR class was about Mythology, ritual, and symbolism in the belief systems of a variety of cultures around the world and a survey of anthropological theory relating to belief systems. This course was interesting because it made you look at five other different beliefs in this world (PUT ANTHROPOLOGY PAPERS HERE) along with other rhetoric and exams. My DP course looked at how a brain and others associated structures develop.
My final semester at school was easy taking six credits. A Developmental Research Methods and another Independent study– Educating about Diversity (EE). My EE class was good because I told my story to a Pulaski High School classroom:
However I was left with a feeling of bittersweet about school. On one hand I have proved EVERYONE (e.g., doctors, therapists, family, and friends) that I am resilient and can do what I want. On the other hand, I have college debt, no job or home, and no real means of moving on to graduate school because my cumulative GPA is 2.915 not the 3.0 GPA that is what a lot of schools are looking for in a potential student. Oh I almost forgot I am disabled so getting my ducks in a row is practically impossible. I got my neurologist to give an exam for the GRE, two books to study, vocabulary flashcards, and an actual study schedule. I even contacted university (UW- Madison, University of Minnesota, UW- Milwaukee) that I could and would apply too. Obviously that was not enough I asked for help but received absolutely NOTHING in return. Yeah I am bitter, but, whom would not be in my situation?
This is where I get the short end of a stick in my family. This is where I feel PARENTS can learn a vast majority of information on parenting. Let your children follow his or her dreams to whatever extent. If your child needs help trying to be a psychologist help him or her. Again, give POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT and any help to your child. If you do not help him or her; he or she will resent you.
Shifting to a more life altering volunteer experience at Hospice Advantage. Hospice Advantage is a hospice program that provides end-of-life care to patients and families. In the fall of 2012, I volunteered over 120 plus hours for the agency for three months and within that time I traveled all over northeast Wisconsin (e.g., Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Appleton) paying clients a friendly or bereavement visit. In order to receive services a person needs to be diagnosed by a medical doctor of having less than six months left of life.
Clients, normally, were thrilled to have someone whom he or she has never met before come visit. Some clients were bed ridden, some had Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or even dementia, and most not if all walked with some assistive devices (e.g., canes, walkers, or wheelchairs). As good as that sounds (e.g., visiting the elderly) it not only took a toll on my pocketbook but on my perspective of life. Like I said earlier I was did bereavement visits. Families or nursing care facilities would call the agency to say your client is at his or her last hours of life so I would go into the room and sit reading the bible while a client died!
I just said, “I went into a patient’s room where I sat with him or her to DIE!” If that did not shake you up I have no flipping clue what will. A lady who was going to die alone if I did not travel to the facility and be with her. I never did find out if she had family that paid a visit but after completing my hours with her I went back to my apartment on campus and just cried for hours. To imagine dying alone maybe my worst fear ever!
I think I was a great inspiration for the agency. I showed the patients and staff that, even though, I had almost died I still volunteered my time for him or her. A special thanks goes to a pastor named Ron. He, in our many trips together, showed that God’s love is infinite and that us humans will never die alone. God will always be with us…
I received an award from Hospice as the Volunteer of the Year. I was flown, accompanied with my brother-in-law, in an airplane to Miami, Florida. We rented a black Porsche Boxster and stayed in a luxurious hotel:
I not only proved that a person with a horrendous life altering experience can provide assistance to patients but hope that for him or her to fight.
Lastly it comes as no shock but I am disabled. In the big scheme of things I know I will always be unique.
Lastly it comes as no shock but I am disabled. I know I will always be unique. I will always be searching for that lady whom is willing to make an effort and willing to get to know me. As much as I absolutely hate being judged I am my biggest critic. Why is that the case?
After every event I am always rethinking how could I have acted differently to have changed my outcome. Not a day goes by that I do not think maybe I should have never gotten on my snowmobile that day. Never should I have talked or acted that way to my parents. Never should I have lost sight of what friendships means. Never should I have been such a bully to a lot of my classmates when I was younger. Never should I have gotten into that relationship my freshman year of high school. Never should I have cut my left bicep muscle almost 12 to 13 years ago and causing self harm would help save Briana’s and my relationship by showing her how much I cared for her. Never should I have thought that I was in someway special. Never should I should have not been so competitive with my brother. Never should I have been so fierce in everything I did in my life.
Never should I raise my voice to you. Never should I not listen to you. Never should I stop respecting you. Never should I have lost sight of you. Never should I stop caring for you no matter what state I am in life or death. I feel so much pain that I have caused to everyone that I do not feel like life matters. Never should I dwell on past behaviors or actions. Never should I have stopped caring about your family. Never should I have tried to read that poem you wrote in your sketchbook about that time. Never should I use petroleum jelly because it is a by product of oil refining and largely because it is carcinogenic . Never should I have let you into my heart. Never should I have been so open with you. Never should I have thought that what I was doing was right. Never should I have thought if just this once, MAYBE, if I try harder things will be the different. Never should I have thought the bars I baked or the gift certificate would have saved our friendship. Never should I have lost hope.
Never should you lose hope. Never stop looking for that special person out there for you. Never should you forget us. Never forget the time by the beach or in my car. Never should you forget my inability to make gluten-free macaroni. Never should you stop drawing. Never should you stop putting yourself out there. Never should you stop caring for a person. Never should you lie to a person, even though, you say you cared. Never should you say you like someone and not know that make other person feel.