Archive for the Education Category

It’s 6:00 a.m. do u know where you are? I certainly do! It’s exactly one year later and rather than sleeping late, I’m back to the world of work.   I guess I should be grateful that I have a job these days…..lol.  but I’ll just go with the flow of things and put on a happy face and move foward, not backward.

I feel absolutely lucky to have had the opportunity to have had a one year sabbatical. Its nothing like when we took time off to be with the children while they were growing up.  Thats a whole different experience as well.  The sabbatical is literally “all about me” and these days, all about me can usually be a pity pot rather than a happy spot in your life.

My next sabbatical will be my radical retirement.  I’ll have no problem going off into the sunset.

Well, two more days and my sabbatical is truly over and done with.  Thursday I return to work and a new office.  Should be interesting as I also return for my last semester in College on Wednesday evening to complete the certificate program.

If I said I wasn’t anxious, it would be a lie.  I’m worried about how my lack of hearing will hinder my work.  Yea, yea, I have a hearing aid, unfortunately, hearing people don’t understand that we don’t get 20/20 hearing with the aids.  Funny how people are so willing to accept glasses but not hearing aids.

It’s so difficult and tiring to explain to people why you can hear the sounds but can’t make them out.   That your speech discrimination sucks big time but u hear sounds when they are speaking.  That repeating what they said totally doesn’t help you and that rephrasing means exactly that, rephrasing and not repeating exactly what they said four times previously.

That not everyone who has a hearing problem can lipread and not everyone that has a hearing problem is eligible for or wants a cochlear implant.  That just because I don’t hear well, does not mean u should say “never mind” when I ask u to rephrase.

Okay, I won’t get myself worked up about this.  I’ll return to work, do my job, do it very well and come home and have a life.  I actually love my job. It’s just that the higher ups tend to have this way of thinking that numbers are more important than children.  But I’ll do what I always do, I’ll continue to do what I do best and that is, working with the parents, the teachers and the children.

So, what level am I taking all this to? I plan to keep my cool, not get emotional, not make it personal and to do my job well.   It’s a whole new level of awareness.

Things I’ve discovered, things I’ve enjoyed/learned, stuff I didn’t enjoy and still have not learned and all are not necessarily in any order as presented below:

  1. Truly enjoyed going to college
  2. Enjoyed hanging with good friends
  3. Absolutely in awe watching lightning strike in the distance
  4. Happy spending a rainy day with nothing to do
  5. Occasionally taking naps in the afternoon
  6. Enjoyed listening to the rain
  7. I actually liked not feeling I have to be scheduled to do things all the time
  8. Enjoying projects in jewelry making, especially with friends
  9. Drinking wine
  10. Being alone
  11. Noticing the clouds
  12. Accepting that I am not high maintenance but very capable of being in that state of mind
  13. I loved the Anatomy class I took last year.  I am absolutely in awe with the information I learned
  14. I am a good person and I deserve to be treated with respect and kindness
  15. Being alone and drinking wine is healthy
  16. That I have terrific kids
  17. That I must surround myself with friends who have positive energy vs. people who are constantly negative with their lives.
  18. There are people, not many, but there are special people out there who can heal others in different ways than we are accustom to.
  19. Music must be part of my life as long as I can hear it and if a day comes where I will not be able to hear it, I’ll feel it.
  20. It’s important to have dreams
  21. That aging and old age do not have to be as frightening as my parents have convinced themselves it is.
  22. My circle of women friends is of utmost importance to me and I am so lucky to be surrounded by these special women
  23. Patience, something I never had and sometimes still don’t have, but trying
  24. Judging people, something I am very quick to do and still do but I am trying not to
  25. Complaining less about anything I have no plans on changing.  If I can’t change something or won’t change something, then whats the purpose in complaining?
  26. That a decade is not so far off and that a decade past was not that long ago
  27. That life is too short to not have a sense of humor
  28. I should have carried my camera with me wherever I went. So many pics that should have been taken on the spot.
  29. I still don’t enjoy yoga probably because I don’t understand it
  30. I let my hair grow and finally like it
  31. That I still hate cleaning even with more time to do it
  32. I didn’t read enough
  33. I didn’t spend that much less time on the computer
  34. Did not enjoy memorizing material for an exam or writing papers (just like old times)
  35. I didn’t do more than 1/4 of my “TO DO” list during the year which I wrote before my sabbatical started.
  36. I didn’t go to many museums and shows and should have
  37. I should have learned to swim even though I took a class and several over my lifetime
  38. I should have pursued playing an instrument
  39. I still dislike the people I disliked

I guess the only thing to add is that I know when the time comes, I’m going to love retirement.  Just wish I didn’t have to return to work for seven more years to get there.

As I grow nearer to my return to work, I find myself doing things in preparation for it.  I’m almosted surprised at my acceptance to returning.  On the other hand, I just read about Randy Pausch passing away today.  He was 47 and had the most unbelievable positive attitude about life and his impending death of pancreatic cancer.  How do we adapt to having his focus, fortitude, and upbeat attitude about life and our journey?  He’s just unbelievable!  Can’t help but wonder, is he real?  He was truly remarkable.

Take some time out and watch his LAST LECTURE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo

As long as school is out, I’m still on a sabbatical.  Hard to believe I’ll be returning to work in about a month.  I have been questioning, what has changed about me over the past year? I would like to think that some things about me have changed.  I tend to be very aware of my feelings but I’m not sure if anything about me has changed.

I want to believe I’ve learned to be tolerant and have the ability to keep my anger and differences under wrap.  I do know one thing, I’ve learned that I am a very capable, trustworthy and good person.  I can do whatever I put my mind to, but I allow myself to be way too lazy and slack off.

I love to learn new things, enjoy learning jewelry making, interested in learning to paint and/or sketch.   I love music and wish I could play it the way Nate plays it.  I just don’t have the ears for it nor the raw talent to be musical. I do however, have the ability to carry a tune when singing some of my favorite songs.

I don’t necessarily wish I were younger but I know I don’t want to grow older with the problems I have witnessed between my families. There are so many more things I want on a personal level but have yet to reach those goals and am not sure if I ever will in this lifetime. 

My mother in law is only 80 years old but over the past two weeks, she’s turned into somewhat of an invalid crouched in her wheelchair, busy in her own world of characters speaking in a language that is half hers and half theirs.   My heart breaks as I think of this woman before the disease ravaged her brain and body.

We may not have always agreed on things with one another but we seemed to have a good understanding of our comparable lives without ever having to say a word. The religion, the family, the animosity.

 She was a meticulous dresser, always coordinated, always looking sharp, always looking like a Queen in her role doing the right thing for her family.  Working long hours in a job that kept her on her feet all day until she returned home and started her night time job as a wife.

Life is not always fair, as I know all too well.  When she was first diagnosed with the Lewy Body disease, I don’t think any of us thought of it as anything more than another word for Alzheimers.  We expected her to forget things, forget where she puts things and maybe in ten years, she would have trouble recognizing us.  But from the time of diagnosis, it seemed to appear that we overlooked alot of little changes in her personality until everything seemed to be moving in fast forward.

In reading the material on this disease, I can now recognize her on the pages.  We who look at her, think she is terribly frightened or lost in her own world but the reality is, she is in a world where she seems to know everyone and they know her.  She feeds them and herself, she sews, she cooks and she socializes in her world.   We, looking in, are frightened by the prospects of losing her to another world that does not feel comforting to us, yet somewhat comforting to her.

There are moments of her being lucid and seems to be with us for a moment or two but her heart takes her back to where her life appears to have settled.  Though I am only a daughter in law, I feel as though I never had a chance to say goodbye.  My heart breaks for her and her family but she is somewhat content and we are somewhat lost and in fear.  We fear we have lost her, we fear we may never again see the woman who was once here.   Yet we also fear that this may be our destination as well.

New legislation is being put on the table which will require closed captioning on some internet videos.  Reading various sites, I see that many technology people are against closed captioning on the internet.  They feel the government will now get their hands on regulating and setting fines for videos not captioned.

 At first, I was very much for the legislation.  But rethinking it all and reading on the comments and criticisms on the subject, I wonder, do we really want the government watching everyone on You Tube and regulating it?  Do people on Vblog want their videos captioned?   Do u really want the government controlling the internet?  This is how people are responding to this piece of legislation.

Naturally, as a hearing impaired person, I want access.  All I wanted were for the videos on news based sites to caption their videos, candidates online to caption their videos, advertisers to caption their videos.   Naturally, there are many ways to caption our own videos with lots of free software out there for us.  So who should be taking the responsibility for this?

Here’s the legislation that is being presented and causing an uproar in the technology world on the internet:   What do u think?

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080626-new-bill-mandates-closed-captioning-for-internet-video.html

You know when you hear about someone quitting their job, packing up and just leaving? Did u ever wonder how successful that person was in their attempts to leave all that they uprooted?   Do people really just pack it in, pack it up and leave? Do they really leave it all behind for short term? long term?  and never look back?

When u look at all the technology out there from the beginning of their creation to its current status, u’ll note that most technology started out large and clutsy looking and eventually the product was reduced in size BUT improved in its functioning purposes .  For example, Look at computers, headphones, cellphones, xerox machines, fax machines, TTY’s, even televisions and radios.   They all went from large to small and improved.

 Now, lets look at the hearing aid.  Hearing aids started out as horns, something looking like the Shofa used on the Jewish holidays.  The first real hearing aid  by Sonotone with a transistor was put on the market in 1952 for $229.   In fact, AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph……remember them?)  gave out free transistor licenses in honor of Alexander Graham Bell.

 Without losing a beat, companies began producing their own aids and competing. Acousticon put an aid out soon after for $74.50.  The hearing aids were powered by batteries worn around the waist.  Could u imagine if the competition continued with prices like these to this day?   Anyway, my point is that hearing aids have always been small, but they never quite improved and never got cheaper the way other technology has.  In fact, the hearing aid price is so varied and so steep and so difficult to shop around for, that most buyers will not price them the way we do when buying a car.

Sure, we have the directional microphones and the programming of the aids for different environments and background noise reductions.  We have the options of digital, digital programming and analog.  All promising maximum speech understanding.  Did u ever wonder whether it was all a gimmick?  I mean, after all, hearing aids don’t provide 20/20 hearing, so why make promises u can’t keep?

All I know is that when I cut the background noise out on my hearing aid, with that advantage comes the downside of the voice i’m listening to being lower as well.  Or when there are two speakers, one behind me and one in front of me, my directional mics seem to get a little ditsy and neurotic. 

Point being that for some reason, the hearing aid industry has changed asthetically but not really technically.  They have their new state of the art micro style differences, the ergonomic designs made especially for the boomer generation who has become so vain and forgotten their roots.  And I just love when a company states, u won’t even know you’re wearing them……duh! never in a million years.   I am constantly reminded that I’m wearing my aid.  Whether from someone’s dumb question of “are u wearing your aid today” to “is your aid working.”

Naturally, I’ve accepted that hearing aids are not the perfect solution but they give me the best situation for my hearing loss.  I would have preferred the aids have been more miraculously improved without convincing us they are so dynamically tuned for our specific hearing loss and that our ability to hear will be a miracle.   And whats with the tiny battery? How do they expect the largest population of hearing impaired people to put that little battery into that little thingie compartment?  And don’t forget about what happens when dropping that little battery on the floor.  It’s amazing to watch a group of seniors on hands and knees looking for that stinker.  It’s also amazing to see how far that little battery can travel when its not even on.

I never lead anyone to believe that hearing aids are the all or nothing solution.  Its just a temporary solution to a problem that can’t seem to be fixed by medical science thru other means, yet.  In the meantime, all I want is a hearing aid that works and works to my benefit.  I couldn’t care less about all these ergodynamic state of the art designs.  After all, I don’t expect anyone to say, ay Pearl, cool hearing aid you got there in your ear!

Today is my birthday and I’m actually very excited. Not about being another year older but that my good friends are taking me out for the whole day and my husband will take Friday off to take me to a special place as well. 

My friends and I decided to go to this new Korean spa in town that has had rave reviews since they opened over a year ago.  I’m getting a massage and going into all seven saunas.  

We plan to have a korean lunch and just relax.  I can’t stress the importance of a woman having girlfriends outside of your main relationships.  Your girlfriends always know the right things to say, they don’t make u feel old, in fact, they make me feel young. 

I’ve always loved birthdays and I never need an excuse to celebrate.  I’ll celebrate anything.  I may not be where I had hoped I would be at this point in my life, but I have very special friends who just make me happy.

Happy Birthday to me!