Sunday, April 12, 2015

50 + 50

When I was little, my cousins called me Doogie Howser.

I already had the beginnings of genius, that first 50 in the 50 + 50. Pull-out in school started in the 4th grade. I was sent to the 6th grade for reading. Before that it was piano. I had heard people say "prodigy."

I moved when I was 15. I tried one high school and didn't like it. I started the next school year at a neighboring town's school. My school records had been lost, though. I was pissed. I took the test in December to get out of high school.

I started at the community college while still 16 right before my birthday. I had an AA by 18. That was in Business, but you will see I lacked focus. By age 19, I had a BA in Psychology. (Two different degrees during my undergraduate years- that's lack of focus!) I got my MA at 24 in yet a third area, Special Education. Degrees in three different areas show I wasn't focused. The first change can be common, but to do it again? I didn't know what I wanted or where I was going.

That above video is long, but I took something away from it...a prodigy alone does not make a genius. Something else is needed...grit, or focus plus drive and determination.

"Grit is a personality trait which is encompassed by a passion and resilience to achieve one's goals. Overcoming obstacles and hardiness are also components of this personality trait. A gritty personality could also be described as ambitious, tenacious, and having perseverance. High achievers and successful people who have overcome obstacles are often described as having grit especially if they come from humble origins." I would say that nearly being dead is a humble origin.
I became focused on myself when I had a severe brain injury. All that knowledge and skill were going there. This is where I probably get the second 50 in 50 + 50. I actually made a conscious decision to use existing knowledge and skills when I got out of the hospital. Only my family seemed to be aware of those skills.

My first caregiver was terrible with math. She needed to do her timesheets. I didn't have a calculator, and I couldn't use pen and paper. I figured her timesheets in my head.

I thought...for a brain injured person to get out of the hospital and live on his or her own, they will need a photographic memory and have excellent math skills. They will have to be a genius!


I'll add to what I have done....

After I got my BA, I started as a substitute teacher. In anticipation of my degree, I had already taken and passed the teacher's test. I taught, and then a few months later I was hired on full-time in this county I currently am in as an Employment Specialist for disadvantaged youth. The next year I was hired at Head Start as Parent Coordinator.

I left Head Start for a full-scholarship at San Francisco State University. It was to get an MA in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. I ended up holding 2 P/T jobs while there; an after-school recreation specialist for special education students, and a night-shift care home supervisor. The home was an ICF/DDH so the standards were higher than typical care homes. The home was for children.

I graduated and had my first child that same year. I went to work for California's Regional Center system. This large organization is a state mandated service for the developmentally disabled. I was a Children's Service Coordinator. I was there 3 years.

I then went to UCP in the same city as a Program Manager of Early Intervention. I was there 5 years. By this time I  had both my children. I home-schooled them which can be seen as another F/T job.

I left for a small town high in California's Sierra mountains. I was a children's behavior therapist. In addition, I volunteered as an On-call Crisis Social Worker about every other month. I was also the vice-president of the Sierra County First Five. I taught a class on special needs children for a couple of weekends for the local community college.

I had my own brain event of which I shouldn't have recovered. I wrote this.

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