Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stepping off the ledge

Tomorrow I'm going to take, what is for me, a HUGE leap of faith. I'm going to a local college to take the "accuplacer" entrance exam, to see if I can get back into school.

I know that I'm an intelligent person. (well, ok, there are some who would beg to differ, I'm sure.) but part of this test is...umm.....M-a-t-h. Let me remind you that I graduated from high school in 1985. And, let me also have you look up the word dyscalculia, and you'll understand why I'm kind of freaking out about this test! 

When I was in elementary school, there wasn't a name for what I had. They just said I couldn't learn to do math. I also received tutoring for reading, because I was always turning everything around. I continued getting 1:1 help with math all the way through my freshman year of high school, when I was required to take freshman algebra. ROFL...seriously, I was still trying to memorize the multiplication tables, so they stuck me into a general math class instead. My sophomore year they stuck me in a freshman algebra class. I hated it there. I was with students a year behind me (which made me a social outcast in the class) and the person I hated most in the entire school sat right behind me. To make matters worse, I was kind of a clown, and would do all kinds of stuff to get out of whatever I was supposed to be working on. Finally, the teacher told me "I'm going to pass you with a D-, because I don't want you in my class again. (he was our only algebra teacher) You're unteachable!" Yes, really, a teacher told me that, and it stuck with me for years.

In fact, I'm almost 42 years old, and it's still with me!

A couple weeks ago, in preparation for the test, my friend Clara gave me some tutoring time. When we were sitting right there, with it right in front of me, what she explained to me and had me figure out made perfect sense. By the next day it was already gone from my brain. Tonight I opened the lesson again, hoping that something would click inside my head.

It's hopeless. 

Or is it?

Years ago, when I was beginning my journey into interpreter training, I had one class that was supposed to be 8 weeks long, but I took a condensed version over two weeks. Not only were we learning 200-300 signs PER CLASS, but we were also learning grammatical structure. At the end of the 2 weeks, when it was time to take the test, I felt like I hadn't even gone to the class in the first  place. Not one bit of the information was retrievable from the storage facility called my brain. So, on the way to the test I said this prayer, "God, you have me in this class for a reason, and I know it wasn't just to waste my time.  I don't know what the reason is, but I'll know which direction to go next based on how I do on this test. If I do well, I'll continue on, and if I don't, I'll stop here."

I scored 100% on the test, and a couple months later found myself in full-time college, later graduating with a 3.8 gpa. 

So here I am, 23 years later. My interpreting skills served me well for many years, and the information I learned along the way has helped me in many areas of my life. Four years ago I had to let all my certifications go so that I could stay home and care for Angela when her health took a bad turn. Now it's time to turn my sights to something different. Two years ago there was a local program that caught my eye, but I wasn't sure what I should do with the information. Then a few months ago Dean and I started talking about what I'm going to do with myself once Angela gets back into school. I really do NOT like being at home full-time, but other than interpreting I have no formal education. Time for me to go back to school. 

Today Dean asked me, "What are you going to do if you don't pass the test?"

My answer is, "Tomorrow I'm going to take the test, and I'm going to pray as I answer each question, particularly the math questions. If I pass the test, I'll know I was meant to go back to school. If I don't pass, then now is not the right time."

They only take the top 20 scores, and I won't find out until the end of April if I got in. But tomorrow? Tomorrow is the day to prove myself.


My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Best of luck on your test.

JennyH said...

Good luck!! You can do it.

Tamara said...

Prayers - that whatever happens, you'll figure out the next thing you're supposed to do -

datri said...

Good luck! Boy, makes me want to go back to college. I dropped out at then end of my 2nd year and figured 41 was too late to go back. Guess not!