Monday, June 20, 2011

Video of the inside of an ADD brain.

So the internet has been out for many days. I have video of what it feels like when you don't take your ADD meds. This is what the inside of my brain.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Welcome to my chaos

Hey Y'all! Thanks for all your support during the LSATs. I stuck it to them.

Like this.

I'm hoping that you missed me. BUT I have a very good reason.  

My life has been in total chaos the last two weeks. 

Like This.

Let me tell you why.

My routine changed. 

I moved out of my dorm room, the place where I have been living for the last 10 months. This means I had to find a new place for all of my stuff. In the end, I went to the airport with two bags weighing more than 120 pounds total.

People were graduating, and moving on with their life. This means I won't see many of them for a very long time. Some of them I may never see again.

Classes ended, and along with them the predictable schedule of studying and classwork I love my predictable schedule.

My life has changed.

Which got me to thinking about a question I got from stark. raving. mad. mommy. 
What advice would you give a teacher about introducing new people and changes to routine in the classroom? About helping a student through upsets in class? 

Great question!

So, if you are NNT, the world is kind of unpredictable.

If you poke them, they will cry.

Honestly, things that most people find predictable, I find less so. I think this comes from the fact that I miss a lot of non verbal cues from people. They see things that give them a more complete view of the world than I do.

Once something new happens I automatically think about the worst thing that could happen. Then I think about everything  else that could possibly happen. EVERYTHING.

And then I'm exhausted.

Like This

The older I get the more I can tell myself
Self that is a dumb thought that is not helpful. Squids will not walk out of the ocean because you tried calamari.
If you know this reference, we are friends.

But as a kid, it's a little harder to predict what is going on in your world. You simply don't have the same amount of experience that you do as an adult. Also, as a kid you don't have as much control over what you do in your life. Parents, teachers and baby sitters pretty much control where you are and who your with all the time.

If I could go back in time and give advice to the teachers and babysitters who were in charge of me I would ask them to predict the world for me.

Microwave= Time machine

If you can make the world more predictable for those of us whose world is less than predictable then we will have less meltdowns and be happier.

Meltdowns in cases of changes I think come from the emotion and anxiety brought on by not being able to understand these changes.

I would start early, way before a major change is going to happen. I would also be prepared to talk about what is going to happen again before the change happens.

Discuss what this change means in a classroom. Does it change the hours that you do things? Does it change who gets attention from the teacher? What doesn't it change? Is lunch going to be at the same time? Where is the bathroom going to be?

Why are you doing that

Can you develop some skills that will help the child predict similar changes in the future? For example, if you have half days on the third Friday of every month, would setting up a calendar and marking off the days help make that more predictable?

The more you can make a child's world view complete, the happier they will be. And after all, happiness is the end goal.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

NNT conquers the LSATs

So Y'all, I got news.

I'm taking the LSATs on Monday June 6th.

My current state
I've got other news.

I suck at standardized tests. Ever since I was little I've failed so hard at them. In high school, we had to take a test that was the determining factor in whether or not we graduated high school. The test was untimed, which was awesome, The test had three sections, and I knew I was going to be spending some time with the math section. I marched in to the middle of 400 other high schoolers to talk to the proctor on test day.

"I am going to be here until at least 4." Current time: 8 am.
"Most people finish up much sooner, I'm sure it won't take you that long." Witness me with two meals worth of food in my snack bag. I'm going to be here forever. You are a dunder head, I am certainly not most people and I will be here until 4.
So, do you know how long I was there? I was there until 4. I was the last one to finish the test by a good hour. And do you know who was annoyed, the proctor. But I told you I would be here until 4 it it hecka not my fault you can't plan when I told you I would be here forever. But I passed the test and graduated high school.

I have however, helpfully outlined some reasons why standardized tests are the worst.

Timed Tests

You guys, I hate this. Math minutes in elementary school? I hate them. They are dumb and stressful. Why yes, I do in fact, know how to add. I cannot, however do 30 problems in under a minute. Nor can I answer 25  complicated word problems in under 25 minutes. You either test accuracy or speed but not both. I can do things with accuracy, but not quickly. This doesn't mean I can't do it, it just means I can't do it quickly.

Bubble sheets.

You never use a bubble sheet except on a standardized test. I lack the skills needed to transfer my answers from the answer booklet to the bubble sheet and spend about a 5 of my time making sure I filled in the right bubble for the right answer. As previously mentioned, I don't do well with timed things.  Bubble sheets are dumb.

Lack of Technology 
I love spell check, spell check is my friend. My love for spell check is only second to my love of Microsoft Word. I have great ideas and can write about concepts, I cannot however, spell. This is because the English language is composed of French, Latin, German and Anglo-Saxxon. Their words became our words, and now I have to learn the spelling rules for all of them.

Do you know what the LSAT requires: A handwritten essay done in 35 minutes that will be sent to every law school you apply for. 

Dear LSAT people:
Do you hate me? Because I'm pretty sure you were all sitting around a big table looking smug when you came up with that one.

you guys, I have the best idea

My handwriting hasn't changed since I was 5, that is to say, that it looks like a five year old wrote for me. Also, do you know the last time I hand wrote an essay? It was the last time I took a standardized test. Before that: I was probably not even yet a teenager.  As soon as I could use a word processor to type my assignments, I did. Why: because it makes life easier. Because it's still my writing if I can type it and move sections around.

Non Mechanical Pencils
I love my pencils almost as much as I love spell check. They are soft, and have big grips that help me with my handwriting. They make a satisfying clicking noise when you push on them. They almost never run out of eraser.

Some schmuck decided to cheat and put answers in their mechanical pencil and now I can't take my favorite pencils in with me. 

Now I have to use regular pencils that hurt my hands when I use them for long periods of time. And they're less satisfying.

The application process. 
So, yeah. The LSAT would like for you to prove 6 ways to Sunday that you are who you say you and that who you say you are is a real person and that the real person is interested in taking the test and that you are not in fact, a robot. 
Please tell me I'm not an American, it was so funny the first time.
Getting Accommodations
So, if you thought that getting into the test center required a great deal of paperwork, then you have never applied to have accommodations on a standardized test. Please prove you are not a robot and prove that you aren't making up your disability that you've had since you were 5. Please retest and re-diagnose, because you know that it doesn't count unless you've had it done in the last 2 years.Because your disability might have disappeared and you could be totally fine now.

So is your paperwork.

The desks.
For some reason, every standardized test I've taken, students are required to sit at individual desks where the chair is attached. If you are a parent of a child who lacks the ability to sit still, then you are aware that these desks are no good. I'm also pretty sure they stopped making these desks in the 60s and now only pull them out to torture test takers. 

This is what sitting in those desks feels like

My fellow test takers

I do not like crowds. I do not like them in Disney World, where I am there to ride rides and have fun. Why would I like them when we are all nervous and getting ready to take a test that will determine our future? My fellow test takers are loud gum chewers, pencil tappers, loud breathers, non-bathers, and shoe squeakers. And since we all have to be quiet I cannot tell you that you're the most annoying group of people in the world.

Now here's the clincher:
I have major plans to rule the world

I just have to come up with a plan

And a major part of that plan is to take the LSATS and go to law school. I have excellent grades and I've got some pretty fantastic letters of recommendations from some impressive faculty. I have a diverse resume, including an internship in high school with a law firm. That law center worked on representing students with disabilities and was a major factor in me wanting to into law in the first place. My list of extra curricular activities is as long as my arm. I would be a fantastic candidate if I could just score high enough on the LSAT.

I'm pretty sure I would make a good lawyer. I'm a great public speaker and I don't get phased easily. 

This LSAT is just one more obstacle I'm going to have to climb over to get what I want. Which is nothing new.

I can do it

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