Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Handicap Minivan Experiences

I drive anywhere feeling like a teenager that just got his first car, but of course I am 25 years old. Why did it took me so long to get a vehicle? Well you usually spend a couple of year convincing your family that is safe that you have the same risks as anyone to get in a car wreck.
 When you are a handicap person and  you own a minivan (Town & Country Chrysler 2014) you tend to feel free. I drive anywhere I want, well anywhere my budget allows me anyhow.  But on pay day I’m always going to the bar to play some pool and drink a beer with some friends. I drive to school and work I became a “awesome person, some one that amazes people/promoter” People always see me and say that what I do is awesome or ask me about the van and tell me where did I get it cause they need one for their grandpa or old father. Sometimes when I go out with my girl, which she is also handicap, we tend to get free food sometimes. Like the chef from the school gave us free sushi and a couple of rolls. As far as school I drive myself there. On the weekends I even make hobbies outside of the house. Alejandro, one of my best friends, and I have been talking to each other about doing an art show in a gallery in Brownsville. I manage to get an exhibition for our paintings in a cultural center close to my old university at Brownsville. It was fun driving over there and setting up the gallery and driving around promoting the art show. I guess now I see why my parents use to call the minivan a luxury thing that I don’t need. But now I think they see that it was a need because now they are able to accomplish more tasks without having to worry about driving me to other places.
           The only main issue here in the valley is the parking spaces. People don’t respect the some handicap spaces are mainly for vans. It is a drag to go to Wal-Mart and see that someone with a car that could have parked in a regular handicap space is parked at a space designated mostly for vans. A couple of times I am force to park at a regular handicap space and someone blocked the side where the ramp for my wheelchair comes out. It would be handy if someone design a ramp that can come out either side of the van. That would be the best solution for it. Another possible solution, is to divide the handicap permits in to different digress. For Example, where people can park on the regular handicap parking space other where only van or mini vans can park.

       Yesterday I went out with my girlfriend, Elizabeth, to eat. I went early to her work place at the Student Union of now called UTRGV (University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley) I waited for her for a couple of hours but I didn't mind because my BFF the laptop was with me. I played Starcraft 2 the hole morning it was a blast. 
          Anyways, I do not know if I have mention Elizabeth before but she is a sweet girl although ever time I tell her that I love her, she rarely says it back. Elizabeth has a condition called Cerebral Palsy that it is a condition that affect the movements of the body and body coordination. This can occur while a child is being developed or with an injury. Although this sounds serious is can be treated manageable, so the person with the condition can be more independent luckily for my girlfriend this is the case she has a little machine implanted that is always giving her medicine, because of that she rarely get spasms and they cant be notice. Although the medicine helps he a lot she still has to use a wheelchair because of her feet. 
        I been bugging Elizabeth to let me teach her how to drive. I think driving will open a lot of doors for her just how it happen to me, I want her too feel what I feel when I am behind the wheel. No, I'm not referring to the irritation of people driving like crazy on the highway. I'm referring to the taste of freedom from public transportation and rides that a person with disabilities depend on 100%. After she got out of work I notice that there was an empty parking space since we did not had anything to do so, I told her to get behind the wheel. It took us a while to try and figure how to sit her in the right position to reach the steering wheel. Although she did several mistakes like getting on the sidewalk, she did fine. I think a couple of more tries and she will be a pro.   
So far, the van has been very useful I go to school, dates, work like any other person, it is like I have been set free into the world of independence. I love my van I treated like a part of me now i depend on it a lot and I know it would be there as long as i give it maintenance. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Substitute Teacher

      I have an associates in communications, and almost done with my bachelors in communications studies. Part of my Disability is that it’s hard for me to communicate, because my voice is distorted. I do not know why is it like that I just know that ever since I was a kid I had to develop my nonverbal communication a lot more than any other person. If I want I could predict what someone was going to say even before they are going to say it. This ability has kind of help me understand, when I’m working as a substitute, what kind of teacher the students have. Without even knowing the teacher.
      I did not confirm this theory until I started to tell the students at the end of the day what kind of teacher they have. They usually tell me, how did you know? Its not really that hard to tell what kind of teacher they have. I start from a low voice and then I raise my voice and tone according to how the students respond. The students behavior tells me everything. 
       This experience made me realized that I am not made for teaching. I just do not see my self being a teacher in the near future. It is a lot of responsibility to teach. I think that only people with a passion to teach should pursue this career. Teaching is a skill that we all have inverted in our DNA but not every one enjoys it.
      Yesterday I started Working again as a Substitute, I substituted for a coach for elementary the first to hours went kind of slow. Since I'm in a wheelchair I could not help the other coach with the routine on the exercises for the lower grades. I felt bad in letting the other coach do the routines by her self. I kind of decided to keep an eye on the kids making sure they do the routines. It help but still I still felt useless. After the lunch brake for the #rd, 4th, and 5th graders classes. We played volley ball with a big ball that you could also bounce it. with that I did help It was fun helping my team win against the other coach's team. Although I did came with some issues with some co-workers I stop letting that go to my head. Behind the door of the lunch room for teacher a lot of drama and gossip can happen. I got annoyed on how a group of teachers were gossiping about a poor student. Then I remember a video that I saw during my training as a sub, that said to keep away from those kind of educators for I finished my food and left to wait at the school's gym. It's very unprofessional to gossip about a student in the teaches lunch room. Unless you are asking about advise for one of your students you should not talk about them.
     Today at work on my way to the high school classroom I was horrified three fights broke right near me. It was like a domino effect. Since I'm handicap I felt scared and yet useless I wish I could have stop the fight but I could not. Talking about feeling useless then there was no security near people were hitting each other and no one was there to supervise.