Deep thoughts & Directions: Coming out of the ADD Closet

As noted in an earlier post, I it was recently discovery that I had ADD as a child. With reassurances from some in the blogging community I thought I’d go ahead and put a brief history of my life concerning this new revelation. This isn’t the complete cliff notes, but I hope you enjoy the beginning of the journey nonetheless.

As stated, on a visit to a psychiatrist  last month he had determined that as a child I likely went undiagnosed with ADD, otherwise known as Attention Deficit Disorder. I guess this didn’t come too much of a shock to me since as far as I can remember I was always a little off as a child; quiet yet emotional, physically adapt yet unable to academically “fit in” (I did have my scholarly moments). My academics were erratic as best; there were years where I was stellar in K-12; others I was in the dumps with Cs and Ds! (for those not from the USA, it’s kindergarten through 12th grade – ages 5-17).

One year in middle school however, I discovered a saving grace: sports and exercise. That year was the year I was on the cross-country team. Man was it tough! Running three miles for an 8th grader is no walk in the park. However I assumed that was what got my grades up to a 3.9 GPA (stupid French, I only got a B+).

So that was it. The only time my grades ever breached the 3.5 gpa mark. I use to have a 4.0 gpa the first semester of my graduate program but it was since fallen due to subject course load and subject matter. Goddamn.

So there’s my ADD history in short. Nowadays it’s just known as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder). Why the scientific community upped the standard of those with this type of existence is beyond me. Just being ADD already carries a badge (of honor or shame depends; I prefer the first) and just being typecast is already something to consider. Anyway, my academic woes didn’t stop at college, I’m still struggling with in my program and in my classroom placements.

That aside, I would like to share this part of myself because of my martial arts history. I did Shaolin Kung Fu for 4 years from 6th – 9th grades. Unfortunately that didn’t end well (different story). My cross-country experience was only for one season – I did it for 8th grade and entered high school being on the team but dropped out in favor of taking an accelerated literature course for freshman (a decision I’ve regretted ever since!).

My attitude towards the classroom has been a bipolar one; either I’m deafly neutral to them or they’ve been the bane of my existence. The only time I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a classroom setting has been when I’ve had a great teacher. By “great” I mean “balls-to-the-wall-I-love-teaching-AND-I-know-my-stuff”. I bet that some of you have had teachers who were quite animated and enthusiastic about themselves and their topic(s).

Anyway I digress. So yes, the way to attract my attention in a class was to have an awesome teacher. Otherwise forget it! I’ve off into my own little world, drumming on the desks, daydreams, swinging the legs, etc. If you wanted to get me you’d need to go kinesthetic; that’s academic speak for “activities that involves movement”. Not surprisingly, my cross-country experience and my current forays into Aikido had yield positive results and growth in multiple facets of my life in terms of energy, self-control, self-confidence, self-dignity, and direction (among others).

I won’t get into details as to how to handle ADD/ADHD. I’m not a licensed professional (yet) and am just one guy among many trying to sort out his own craziness. But what I will say is that my journey is one that is riddled with trial and error (with amusing and tragic results!). There’s nothing particular at the moment that I want to focus on, but I will be including my “condition”, and will be sharing findings that I find of interest.

Till next time ladies and gents!

Update: 16 hour days

Student teaching!

As part of my master’s program I am to being a student-teacher to a classroom I would spend the next 4 weeks getting wet in the world of teaching young minds. In this case, 2nd grades at a school where I would have to make a 45 minute commute each way. I appreciate the “me” time but it’s only killing my wallet each trip. That and the fact I don’t have an active income is not helping the situation.

I don’t know what I’m more angry/impatient about: Not having an income or the wait until the possibility of having an income.

I guess it’s all part of the “plan”, getting through my program with the hope that with a Master’s in Education and (hopefully) 2 credentials in tow I will have a greater chance of finding and keeping a position that will have me become a responsible and contributing adult to this society.

So long story short: a 45 minute one way commute (4 days a week for the next 4 weeks) to a 2nd grade classroom with a teacher whose position is akin to a Jedi master training a padawan (me) who academically destined to take on the minds of the young children in this nation. As for the first week I feel like a fish out of the water; today for example there was a full 15 minutes that I sat there and I couldn’t come up with a way to teach the kids especially after the lesson was done. My master teacher (their official designation) gave me the “What are you doing?” look and I felt bad that 1 year of teacher training didn’t prepare me for 15 minutes of not doing anything after the main lesson had been completed.

But she (my master teacher) I feel is a good fit. I believe she was awarded teacher of the year award a couple of times in the past in the district that she works in. It’s the first week so we’ll see.

As for my absence in posts? The homework load just shot up 4 fold (along side my current student teaching 4 days a week) so tonight is one of the few nights I get to write (along with my much, much reduced attendance in Aikido). Before my world got invaded by a cargo hold of homework whoop ass I actually was attending to this blog more often than my homework! I’m know I’m a bad example of  a teacher but I suppose that writing has always been a medium in which I could express myself honestly and freely. This is in great contrast to my past academic and personal life.

Well it’s back to the grind again. The textbooks await…=/