Thursday, November 2, 2017

Starting Over


Having to start over again as a Master’s candidate is interesting when one has traumatic brain injury.
The classes seem to move a little more quickly, but that might just be my perception, as this is only my first class.
I’m in somewhat of a luxurious position, because this is my only job.  I don’t drive forty-five minutes one way and an hour and a half en route to my abode.  That would be L.A.-and that probably would drive me to commit homicide…even though I do miss Los Angeles, with its culture, its scenes, Topanga Canyon Road, Zuma Beach, The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, and so on.
On second thought, the gas prices would drive me crazy, too.
I remember that gas was $5 a gallon before George W. Bush left office-and that was in the San Fernando Valley.
However, I digress.
I realize that more is expected of me at this level, but I know that my brain can handle this.  We’ll get through this two year-long intestinal tract together.
Armed with a learning disability, I know that I have a lot of information for my fellow classmates on how to help these kids.  The strangest thing is that I never thought I would sign up to teach-I never wanted to.
Why am I pursuing this degree?  Teachers are unionized (unless they are in a private school), and I deserve the extras which come with unionization-especially a pension.
Pensions are rare now because of the 401K-and a good number of people have to work longer because of that.  Do I feel sorry for them?   No.  Educated people don’t do stupid things, like opting out of guaranteed money for playing the stock market.
That’s why I have opted for this thankless job.  It’s better than being a community trainer and you are rewarded when the time comes-unless a Republican comes and takes it from you first.

Living, Working, and Studying With Traumatic Brain Injury

Do you know what it's like to go through school with a traumatic brain injury?

I don't know how many times I have to tell people at Technical Support that I'm desperately trying (and failing) to keep it together, because I realize that I shouldn't use expletives.  However, I will whenever I lose patience with the technology, and even though I remind some people that I am not angry at them, it's like I'm talking to my armpit-I mean, I might as just as well.

It is the frontal lobes which govern our ability to maintain self-control, and this becomes difficult when they are damaged-if not completely impossible.

Study the case of Phineas Gage, a railroad foreman in California in 1848.  This easy-going man became a profane alcoholic who could not hold down a job after the blast, in which steel flew through his brain and landed eleven feet behind him.

The worst thing about the entire thing is that he remained conscious throughout the event.   

The community in Phineas which lived realized that he had undergone profound change, but they didn't blame him for his behavior.  They said that he wasn't himself-which he wasn't.

Since Gage's death in 1860, neuropsychologists have studied his brain and learned how it controls behaviors-even those of which we try to abstain from.  This is one of the reasons why spanking a child simply does no good, and only discourages the child from improving upon their behavior.

Do I like getting angry and pounding the desk when technology fails to work?  No, I try to leave the room and diffuse-but it's never in time.

This is where I laugh at Solomon's writings in the Book of Proverbs, because he tells you to stay away from those who are easily angered in Proverbs 22:24. That ignorant suggestion only makes things worse, because one understanding person could prevent another Las Vegas or Columbine.

I warn people ahead of time what's in store when I'm in a bind, because it has come to my realization that Americans have become less tolerant of others in the past year.  How did that happen?  I think it had something to do with the 21st Century version of Know-Nothings installing someone who makes of people with disabilities into the White House.