Dealing with learning disabilities in Math

All my life I have struggled with math; to the point where I find myself enraged every time I have to look at a math problem; I used to throw my math book on the ground because I got so frustrated; 25 years later; in college I find myself doing the same exact thing. Throwing a fit like a kid because I just don’t fuckin get it. I don’t know what the exact diagnosis is but I have a learning disability in math and it used to make me feel so stupid. I will never forget when I was about 9 years old; they moved me from my special education class to a regular classroom; I had no idea what so called “normal kids” were like. Anyways this teacher made me go up to board and solve a math problem in front of all the students; I can still remember turning red and hearing them laugh when I couldn’t figure it out and the more they laughed; the angrier I became at them but also at myself. I was angry at this teacher for putting a child with disabilities on display; knowing I struggled with it. In fact I hope things in school have changed since the early 90’s.  I felt so stupid because the other kids understood math with ease and I would look at a problem a million times and I still couldn’t figure it out. Due to the bullying they moved me back to the special ed class ( at least for Math) and I was given easy math assignments I could understand and got plenty of one on one help. By the time I hit high school I was still getting help for my learning disabilities and by that point; I don’t remember any math courses; then again it was a chaotic time in my life. I just remember now having to deal with math from 7th grade on; I figured I was free and never needed it again; I couldn’t have imagined at that time going to college in the future.  I got kicked out of high school and ended up in a bunch of alternative schools and their only requirement was that I showed up; not a lot of expectations. I look back and I feel cheated but I was a troubled kid and I needed to be there.

So fast forward to 2018 and I am so close to my degree. I have all of my classes passed; all the internships done; a good grade point average and I have taken 1 developmental math course (  passed by the skin of my teeth)  Now I am in the second class and it has to with prime numbers and simplifying fractions. mixed numbers etc; probably basis shit to most people, but for someone with maybe 6th grade knowledge of math ( and that is stretching it) it is all complex.  I don’t know how to divide or multiply without a calculator and the class requires that I not use a calculator for the first two weeks ( I had a assumed i could use the calculator from the start)  A lot of the coursework is done online ( thank god) but the tests are done in the computer lab ( which does not help my anxiety)  Yesterday was ok; I took notes of all the basis concepts and was able to finish some assignments; i felt confident.  Today I worked all day ( I am in retail and cannot take weekends off) so I was already tired. I came home again and started on my math work; took notes and tried to limit distractions.  When it came to taking the practice tests; I drew a blank and had to google the answers just to finish the assignment; it doesn’t help because I still don’t understand the concepts and I again feel like that 9 year old kid; I feel stupid, frustrated and incapable of learning this math.

I asked my family for help and said because of my temper they refused to help ( which is understandable) but that just frustrates me further; I feel helpless sometimes. I just say to myself I can write a 10 paper in a few days and get and A, but I can’t solve a simple 7th grade math problem; it hurts.  It’s the weekend; I am working; I can’t go to the school so I am sitting here; trying to calm myself down and take it a day at a time ( or in my case; a fraction at a time). I am going to get the right documentations and ask for accommodations because I need help. I NEED HELP!! There is also free tutoring and I am going to take advantage of that too.  I know I can do this with the right help and resources; I am not stupid; in fact I consider myself quite bright; I just have a disability and it isn’t my fault. And I’m not 9 years old and no one is laughing ( as far as i know)  I hope someone out there understands where I am coming from. The lesson of all of this is never be afraid to admit you have a problem and don’t be afraid to ask for help and never ever think or allow someone to make you feel like you are stupid due to a disability. You are not stupid; you just have a different way of learning things and need to find a way to adapt. With that ,I am emotionally drained and I am spending the rest of the night watching movies and leaving the math until tomorrow.

Good night

Dave

 

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The man in the mirror

I don’t recognize the reflection in the mirror anymore; the sunken eyes replaced with a burst of a confident look; the perpetual frown; now a sly smile; a full smile is simply too cheery. The person I couldn’t bear to see before surprises me; he’s handsome; lookin good; a little more bounce in his step; radiating good vibes; well some of the time. All I know is after years of despising this guy ; I quite like him and the person he’s becoming. I like the reflection in the mirror; I’m hoping one day to love him too.

Dave

 

My first club experience

My first club experience

Pulsating lights blind me and I trip over the vibrations of the music coming from the floor. Hoards of people push and shove towards the bar, sweaty, eyes darting from side to side, zombie club kids, my ears feel like bursting from being next to a monster of a speaker and I cant make out what shes saying but it must be good because shes smiling. She pulls me to the dance floor; my heart beating out of my chest; 100 mph; someone call a doctor. Dancing real close; she’s gone, lost in the song that to me seems like a blur, she dancing to her own beat. Different colors radiate from the ceiling; I can smell the smoke from the patio; going out for air; she follows .Things are going great; shes beautiful and all of a sudden she kisses me and everything is technicolor and we only met like 10 minutes ago, I’m unprepared with this unexpected turn of events; stop overthinking and just go with it. A dream like state because I must dreaming; this whole place is surreal and I’m lost in a stuper, dazed and overwhelmed by this whole place. In the middle of my dream I am snapped back to reality when she exclaims “My boyfriend is over there”. Fearing for my life; I’m out the door, panting in the hot summer heat. Why did i come here again?

Washington D.C August 2001

What should we talk about?

What should we talk about next; wait forget talking I’d rather text

I hate the sound of my voice; and I’d rather type if I had a choice

Can’t I just write what I feel; aren’t words just as real; as satisfying as your last meal?

Can you deal with that or should I just converse with the cat who has sat by my side all this time; from the corner of my eye; he’s getting bored as I notice him climb his way out my view; all alone I no longer know what to do and I guess at this moment this little post is through. Just a little diddy just for you.

Dave

 

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Watch How To Talk To People

reblogged and this is the perfect poem since Aretha Franklin passed away today and her hit song was “Respect” In her words: We all deserve respect.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0

Poetry Blog

Won’t tolerate the disrespect

Respect is what I expect.

Mood swings out of control

but learn to keep your voice low.

Even if people don’t agree with you,

debates can still be enjoyable.

Your attitude will forever keep you miserable.

Swear everybody actions are questionable but it’s really you that’s being unreasonable.

Like a vagina in pain from penetration of the cervix,

It hurts to tell you the truth and your not perfect

So I need you to listen.

We as humans are all created equal, so learn how to talk to people because we are all created equal

and you will not treat me like I am beneath you.

Dom’ t you dare assume

your behavior is acceptable.

I have to add a point

like a decimal when doing long division

and shut the fuck up

and pay attention and if you ever

raise your voice at me again

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The disability ministry at Church

Today was such a wonderful day; as most of you know I have been very passionate for a long time about helping those with developmental disabilities and am in school working on a degree in human service/developmental disabilities. A part of that passion comes from the fact that I got special needs services from the time I was a small child; I am so blessed that at that time ( over 30 years ago) there were people who were just as passionate about helping children like me as I am with the disabled adults I have had the pleasure to work with over the years; it’s amazing to give back.  I am also blessed to be part of a church that serves the developmentally disabled  in many ways; there is actually a ministry dedicated to helping the developmentally disabled in the community and when I heard about that I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of that somehow.  I have made a lot of changes in my life. There was a time; not long ago; in which I said I would do this or volunteer or help with this and I never followed through; things are different today; when I say I am going to do something; I will try my best to make that happen.

So today was a lunch served by those helped through the ministry; it was wonderful to see them interacting with people; feeling a part of things; being productive; I just was smiling seeing this because some of the kindest most wonderful I have met have been disabled in one way or another. In fact if I had a choice between spending time with disabled people or non-disabled people I would choose disabled people;  they are a hell of a lot much nicer and much less judgemental overall than people that don’t have special needs ( some; not all. I don’t like making generalizations) I sat next to a lady who had been to the lunch before and she was explaining some of the things they do out in the community; the activities through the church; I was impressed. She was also very friendly and I was glad to be seated next to someone who cares about this community. Her daughter was also there and was also interested in helping those with special needs; I told her about my internship and that it serves the many needs of the disabled and I gave her the card I got from there. Even though my experience was bad there; I hope she finds it rewarding.  Actually my internship experience soured me a bit on getting into the disability field, but after talking with people today; I feel more positive about it. I think if I can just connect with the right people I can be successful; like anyone else I just need the right guidance It is refreshing to be around people who care so much about serving those in need; I am not around people like that on a regular basis. I went with my mom because she knew a lot of the people there and she introduced me to some of the leaders there. I talked to a young woman who’s mom founded the organization; she was very friendly and I enjoyed talking with her. I told her about how i was in school to get a degree in human services and she seemed very enthusiastic. She told me to email her and the other leaders about what times I can volunteer. Sadly I work retail and my schedule is erratic to say the least but I will talk to my boss about making time for this ministry because it is important.  I am just so excited to be a part of this; I feel this is God’s calling for me.  And I love to be around people who as passionate as me and who want to help others. I am just at a loss of words at how happy I am right now. Truly a God moment.

 

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Late at night ramblings in an empty parking lot

Sitting in an parking lot late at night; and I’m in my car alone listening the radio ( take me to the river ;drop me in the water); feeling the cool air of the AC giving me relief on this hot summer night; staring at the at businesses in front of me; once full of life with workers and vehicles; people going in and out; now empty and lifeless. Yet behind me is an all night fast food restaurant; full of.activity; late night food cravings and enough grease to send the most fit man to the ER; cars lined up around; eagerly waiting for that next heart attack. Hey there’s nothing else open except for this place and since this city seems to have no need for 24 hour diners; I’m stuck eating here because I’m too lazy to go to the grocery store. I’m beginning to wonder if these ramblings would have been left for private journal but everything I think comes out in my writing and this is no exception. Well I bid you good night as I bite into another greasy cheeseburger. Farewell.

 

And yes after reading to this myself; I do need to eat better but hey it gave me inspiration; so that’s good, right?