5th Grade Graduation and HAGS

Friday, June 4th, 2010 at 9:57 AM | Category: Blogging, Books, Links, Meryl's Notes Blog, Social Media, Writing 6 comments
5th Grade Graduation 2010

5th grade graduate and wonderful teacher

I Be One Decade Old

Goodness gracious! This blog’s 10th birthday passed and I never noticed until today. My first blog post went up on June 1, 2000. This place is a decade old. What does that translate into Internet years? Anyway, thank you to every single pair of eyes for reading in the last seven years or so. (I don’t think anyone read my blah blahs in the first few years.)

I’m glad HAGS short for “Have a great summer” didn’t come along when my friends and I signed each other’s yearbook. Nowadays, I see my kid’s yearbooks riddled with “HAGS” and little else. OK, elementary school kids — I understand. (Yearbooks only came out for high schoolers during my school days. Now elementary and junior high are in the game.) But high school kids can add a little more thought to what they write.

5th Grade Graduations

School ended today. Second child graduated from elementary school last Tuesday — the photos turned out lousy. Thank goodness, a photographer took a picture of every kid with the teacher. That one turned out great. My husband thinks my digital camera doesn’t do a good job. Ohh… I don’t even want to start comparing cameras again. Anyone get a rec? I love small ones that can also do videos.

I had a graduation ceremony in 5th grade, which I can only recall walking in the auditorium and nothing more. I asked my mom what she remembers. She said she can only recall worrying about my busing to 6th grade. (She has great instincts because 6th grade was my worst year in my school career.)

Mom remembers my sister’s 5th grade graduation because they marched in to “Hey, Jude” and it went on forever. 🙂 Wish I had kept a journal back then as a reminder of what I did, but being a typical kid — I’m sure the thought of doing it would’ve been a good laugh. At least, I captured my two kids’ 5th grade graduations in the journal that I’ve kept since 1989.

Fleeting Youth

The entire 5th grade year helps parents prepare for their child’s transition to middle school. The kids act confident, rule the school and show their readiness to move on to middle school (or junior high as some of you may call it). I could never imagine my youngest going to middle school. I’m not ready. But come 5th grade, I’ll get there. However, since he’d be my last in elementary school, I imagine it’ll be harder. We’ve been at this elementary school since 1999.

Over a decade has passed since I graduated college. For a long time, my time in school outlasted my adult years. Now the tide turns as adulthood surpasses the school career. Somehow, I wish we could package the insight that childhood makes up only a small part of your life that you need to enjoy it and not be in a hurry to grow up like my daughter is.

“Youth is wasted on the young.” — George Bernard Shaw

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What I Learned from Limits

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 9:31 AM | Category: Links, Meryl's Notes Blog, Tech 7 comments
Relax Speed Limit

Image credit: Josh Klute

Limits. That stayed out of my vocabulary even though I first appeared in Harris Hospital in Fort Worth without hearing. My life became about proving  I could do as well as anyone, if not better. This nurtured my competitive spirit, which worked for and against me in my life.

The phone had the honor of being the first limit. I didn’t have a teletypewriter (TTY) until the first job after college. I never considered the inability to follow TV programs a limit because I enjoyed cartoons and Sesame Street. Besides, I stayed out of the house always going to practice here and a game there as I played all kinds of sports.

Then I received my first closed-caption decoder at age 13. No more than 10 shows, if that, contained closed-captions. I think the first captioned program I ever caught was a James Bond movie. The first TV series I loved watching was Dynasty. I adored Joan Collins’ British accent (I still love seeing accents especially the British) — yes, I could lipread and recognize accents although I couldn’t place them all.

Today, the majority of national TV shows come with captions. Now I can choose what I want to watch. Back then, I’d watch anything that was captioned. I, of course, hope this will happen with videos and shows on the Internet. However, I’m a realist. I understand the problem of some folks being hobbyists and it would take a lot of time to caption longer videos. Videos under 10 minutes are easy to caption even I caption my videos.

Whenever someone sends me a link to a video or posts a video on a web site, I ignore it most of the time knowing it most likely won’t have subtitles or captions. I do catch the ones without words, but they don’t come along very often. A bill, HR 3101, is working to change this.

Often, I wonder how much more I could accomplish if I could hear. I’d be a better listener — rarely needing to ask people to repeat themselves or tell me what topic we’re discussing. I’d speak without a deaf accent avoiding the stares from young eyes thinking I’m strange or adult eyes thinking I’m not bright. I’d be able to go to networking events and conferences without a worry whether I’ll make the most out of my investment. I’d be able to make and receive phone calls. I’d be able to conduct phone interviews. I’d be able to attend online conferences.

But then I remember my being deaf compelled me to work harder. If I didn’t have that difference, would I have worked as hard? Maybe I would’ve resigned to living an average life as I would’ve felt I had no limit or anything to prove. Maybe I’d still be in a corporate job.

It took me years to learn that I may lead a better life as a deaf person than as a hearing person. After all, motivation can make a huge difference.

This is a contribution to the Group Writing Project What I Learned from Limits. You have until Sunday, October 12, to join in! I’d love to hear your thoughts (pun intended — but really I’d like to read your thoughts) on the topic. Thank you, Robert, for giving an idea for a post.

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