Holding Hands

This semester I'm taking "The Exceptional Child." It deals with the laws concerning, as well as different modifications for, both students who have disabilities and those who are gifted. I went and did the three hours of field experience required at the elementary school our class was assigned to. Those were three of the most memorable hours of my life.

I'm going to tell you about the two pictures I received from two of the students there. One girl drew a Christmas tree. She had drawn it before lunch and I didn't think too much of it until she gave it to me. You see, on our way to lunch we walked together, she was using her walker and ran into my a few times because she doesn't have a lot of control over direction, but she asked how I spell my name. I told her and we went over it a few times on our journey, she got it, even the capital 'A.' When I got the picture, I turned it over and it said "To: BrieAnn." I know I tend to be overly emotional, but that meant so much. The second picture was from a girl who only has a physical disability. She is in a wheelchair and came into our class because it was too cold outside for her at recess. Her picture had some flowers and grass, and she didn't have time to draw a sun but told me I could go ahead and draw it on there. Standing amid the grass and flowers were her and I holding hands. I didn't even think about it when she gave it to me, for her to draw herself standing near me. I'm glad I didn't see it in front of her because a tear did come to my eye when I realized it. All of the kids were so bright and beautiful and they all worked so hard, so much harder than I'll ever have to work. Some had to think about the sounds, not just the letter and what it meant to the word. Some really struggled to understand concepts like that and others knew so much, but their ability to express themselves inhibited peoples' perceptions of what they are capable of.

I am just so glad I had the opportunity to go. It was absolutely amazing. I want to go back and help every now and then, just to be around them and a part of their world.


Yeah, so Italian Wedding Soup is really great! I have another late night infront of me. 16 hours at school, ahhh! At least I get to go home, not just walk across campus to Cokesbury, how nice. I need to be in class in approximately 13 minutes. I was at OU this weekend. The campus is so beautiful! I watched the A&M game in the student union. It was so fun. It made me really wish I was at a bigger university...that and the library, holy cow, it was amazing -- better than I could have even imagined. I almost expected more secret spaces but the "book decks" made up for it ten-fold...And all of those books! They were so old and beautiful! I just wanted to move right in and start reading them all. I'm sure I would get to all of them all the way through, but just to skim through every cover. Ha, I'm almost giddy. Well, that 13 minutes has turned to 4 (I took a bathroom break). Adios for now.

Four flights and strikes

So I'm still recovering from my trip up the stairs to the fourth floor of the library. When I reached the halfway point between three and four, and found myself completely out of breath, I thought about the prophet of our church, Gordon B. Hinckley, and how he climbs the stairs to his fourth floor office everyday. The difference: I'm 20 and he's 95. My only defense was that I was carrying about 25-30 pounds of stuff. I hope that this semester and all of my book carrying is making me super macho.

Okay, so the mine (a copper mine) my dad works at has been on strike since this summer. My dad, as a member of management, and on a salary (not just paid hourly), goes to work everyday...for 12 hours a day because of the lack of workers. He started out having to do this 7 days a week, but after they figured out how many people they had they were able to schedule in some days off for those who are working. I was talking to my mom last night and she said that when he goes to work he has to drive through all of the picketers...and they yell vulgar things at him. One thing they call him is a scab. A "scab" is someone who either refuses to join a union or still works while the rest of the workers are on strike. My dad is not a member of the union as his position does not allow him to be, which means he's not just going to work to spite them (and there are some who are members of the union, but can't afford to go on strike). Anyway, it made me very mad. I want to go stand on the other side and picket for kindness and respect. We had the president of one of the Oklahoma's teacher unions come in and talk to one of my classes about joining. After that meeting I had no desire whatsoever to join a union and came to the conclusion that if unions were really doing what they claim to do, there wouldn't be unions anymore. By being a part of one, and by still existing at all, means that they haven't done anything to improve the condition of the individual worker, if they still have to hide behind the union. Their voice isn't loud enough or what they have to say doesn't mean enough to be respected or taken seriously alone. And how ethical is it to be the reason a man must work 12 hour days and then taunt him as he shows up to get the job done. Bah!


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