Friday, February 6, 2015
After two years of meetings with the teachers and the advocates, I got what I wanted. I got a computer in every room and all of the resources that I needed. It was all great, except I didn’t really feel normal where I was at. So even though I got what we fought for, I decided to go back to Shrine School. In the sixth grade, we would try again to mainstream me, but this time I would only go to another school for one class. So in fifth grade, I went to the school right next to mine which happened to be one of the roughest schools around. It was clearly not a good environment for me to be in. I took French 101. Everything was working out the way it should be. I got good grades, I made friends in my class, the teachers really liked me being there. But one day I was going back to the elevator on my walker. The walker I was using at that time went on the back of you, not the front. Just as I was getting ready to get out of the elevator, the halls were crowded with people and somebody ran down the hall and ran into my back and I fell flat on my face. It fractured my nose. After that accident, my mainstream days were over. From that time on throughout my high school years I went to Shrine School.
LEARNING HOW TO BE WHOLE IN SCHOOL
High school was really fun because the classes were so small that you didn’t have to move at a quick pace. I remember spending a whole nine months on just the Holocaust. I would not trade those classes for anything in the world. They were the best times because they taught me history and other subjects that I would not have gotten that deep into if I went to another school. A lot of what I learned was not what you would learn until you went to college because we had the time to go through it as much as we wanted to. I remember a classmate and I were really into the Civil War. Our teacher tried to teach us about all the generals that you don’t normally hear about. I’ll say it again, those classes shaped the rest of my life.
Because of the fact that we were such a little school, we went to prom every year to make it feel more like a party because there was only a few of us. Whereas everyone else only got 1 prom, I got 4. On top of all this, I had occupational and physical therapy two times a week at my school. It would require that I got into the pool once a week to loosen up my muscles. We also had field day once a year. What was really cool about field day was we competed against each other just like a normal kids would. Since we were all disabled in some kind of way, we didn’t have any sympathy for the guy in the wheelchair or the guy with the helmet or the one on the walker. In a lot of ways, it helped me grow because it made me think that I was not special and I was not the fragile being everybody told me I was.
Monday, February 2, 2015
When my parents were thinking about what kind of school to put me in, there were basically two options of where I could go. I could go to a normal school and be in a special classroom, it was basically like a day care. Thankfully, my parents chose the alternative which was Shrine School, which is a school dedicated to disabled people. What was good about this school is they actually taught you like you were any other kid, and they gave you the one on one time that you needed. In the third grade I was already put on a typewriter. Those first three years of schooling were a time that I really found out that I was just like any other kid, that I could learn, and also that I could get in trouble just like any other kid. In the fourth grade a decision was made to let me go through mainstream school. So I was sent to a “normal” school. Before I went, I was told that a lot of kids may make fun of me and that they may call me names. I was prepared for all of it. However, this was not the case.
Throughout my two years of going to a normal school, I had to fight time after time with the teachers to get what I needed to do my work. It all ended up with me and my parents having to threaten to sue the school just to get a computer in the classroom. My grades at the time went down to an all new low they had never been at before, not because I wasn’t doing my work but because I didn’t have the resources I needed to do my work. This is a very big deal to me still today. I really feel like disabled people should have the opportunity to go to any school they want and still get the resources they need to get the job done.