Teacher Thoughts

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

As we grow up, we remember being told over and over, “think before we speak”, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, and at some point in our teens most of us are told to “walk in another’s shoes”. As a kindergarten teacher, some of these phrases, I say more often than none. It is amazing to me though, that so many adults should be told this too.

What if I had a time machine?

Monday, January 4, 2016

It has always been a bit of a thought experiment for me to ponder what I would tell my 10-year-old self if I had the chance to do so. When I was recently asked by TEDxVienna to give a short talk on the theme of “What if,” I jumped at the chance to explore exactly that: What if I had a time machine?

Watch the talk here: https://youtu.be/dbx_rzZYH5Q?list=PL8yrjrxWR4NM-427mfr3Ef8K4u9oZkAyj

Yakety Yak

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I recently lost my voice as a result of strep throat, an upper respiratory infection and pharyngitis. {Yes, when I get sick I really commit!} As my voice gradually starting coming back, my husband joked that I sounded like Barry White! Raspy, gravely pitiful are the words best used to describe it. Every effort I made to get it back seemed to make it worse instead of better. Cough drops? No. Hot tea with honey? Nah. Gargling with warm salty water? Nope. I was driving to the doctor and my favorite song came on the radio.

Sometimes you have to paint…to survive

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Applying for SSD

Maintaining a positive attitude is my goal each day when I awake. I generally do a pretty good job of living well despite my chronic diseases; but I am a fallible human being with emotions and physical sensations. I experience stress, sadness, anger, and helplessness just like you. I have a wonderful support system and many coping strategies at my disposal, so I can usually get through any situation. Recently, though, I took the step of finally applying for Social Security Disability and boy has it knocked the wind out of me.

5 Centimeters Per Second

Friday, August 28, 2015

Today I visited Powell’s, a famous bookstore in Portland. I had been excited for quite some time to go there so I could buy some books and kill some gift cards. Instead of taking my wheelchair, I chose to walk, which was not an insignificant choice for me. I had to envisage myself as strong enough to get everything I wanted; exploration suddenly became very daunting. For the past few months – 11 and a half by my count – I have been struggling with problems of strength. In the past, my legs were more capable of supporting my weight.

Cribs: ADA Edition

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fall is synonymous with change. Although I usually dig my nails into summer and refuse to embrace fall, I’m actually looking forward to the change of seasons. I’m in the process of moving cities, setting up my new apartment, and starting a new job. All of these changes are arduous, exhausting, and exciting. Living independently as a person with a disability adds an additional wrinkle, and in this post I will describe how I am making my new apartment as accessible as possible.

Keeping Faith

Friday, August 21, 2015

I remember when I was in the midst of my struggle with muscular dystrophy, crying out after another trip to the hospital from extreme muscle pain. It seemed impossible to even roll over in bed, or to sit up to take a drink.

As tears were rolling down my face in pain and frustration, I remember wondering “God, why me? What did I do wrong to deserve this?”

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I’ve been busy since I wrote my last blog post on the difficulties of trying to find an accessible apartment. Since then I took my last set of finals, passed the patent bar, graduated from law school, turned 25, signed a lease to a new apartment, and studied for and took the Minnesota bar exam to become a licensed attorney.


Friday, August 14, 2015

This morning I was reminded what it feels like to take a brutal jab to the body... Maybe not a takeout punch, but a damaging one, nonetheless.

I fought for breath and staggered down toward the mat.

'Not again,' I thought. And then this, "No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Noooooooo..."

I couldn't mutter anything else.

That was my cue not to.

I retreated to my room and quietly shut the door. My old friend, the bath tub was waiting to be filled and I needed to be alone to think and pray...to begin the healing process again. To come to terms with the news...