Saturday, March 8, 2014

How LD Feels

My head hurts.
My body aches.
I'm tense from an adrenalin high.
I am exhausted.

So many kiddos passed through my classroom
struggling with learning disabilities
and other challenges.


I know just how they felt
as they struggled to learn.

They would get discouraged,
and I would tell them
that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

Howard Gardener's Multiple Intelligences
Source:  wikispaces

That just because something is hard
doesn't mean you can't get it.

That what is important is persistence.

Remember learning to ride a bike?
It wasn't easy, but you did it!

You can do anything you want,
if you put your mind to it!

First Bike Ride
Source:  wikimedia

Sometimes I would remind my struggling kiddos 
that I was LD in computers.
Not that I had to ~
All they had to do was watch me in action!

I was a technological disaster!
If there was a hard way to do something, 
I found it.
If something could go wrong,
it went wrong for me.
My kiddos talked this excitable teacher down many times.

Disaster Waiting

I took many technology classes
at night and on the weekend.

It would be the same thing every time.
Four or five clicks in,
and I was terminally lost.

The instructor might go back 
one or twice over something,
but then would move on.

"You'll just have to keep up the best you can," 
s/he would say,
"We've got to stay on schedule."

And I'd slog on
fighting back tears, 
getting nowhere on the simplest things,
thinking Stupid. Stupid!  Stupid!!!!!  

Feeling Stupid

My husband would watch in frustration
as I struggled with a computer project.

A number of times he said,
probably waiting for a dinner that wasn't happening:
          "Nobody else can be spending so much time on this!
                    What's wrong with you?
                              Why is everything so hard for you?"

In the Ever-Patient's defense,
he would follow that up 
by massaging my sore hunched shoulders
and popping a frozen pizza in the oven.
"It will be okay.
You'll get it, honey."

You'll Get It, Honey.

Learning to blog has been a challenge for me.
The simplest things can flummox me.
I lost my blog after my first post
and couldn't find it from August to October.
Who knew it was under "More" on Blogger?

I'm going to join the Insecure Writers Support Group ~
as soon as I figure out 
how to add a badge from another blog.
That's next on my whack-a-mole computer list.


I've been fighting with copyright symbols on my photos.
You would not believe the shenanigans
I have gone through
to get a copyright symbol on certain photos!
Picasa ~ arrggghhhh!!!!!

But now I have a great trainer at the Apple Store.
She remarked at one of our first sessions
that I am highly excitable around computers.
Kimberly gits me.
Better yet, she knows how to handle me.

Yesterday we mastered copyright symbols.
Who knew they were watermarks?

She experimented with Photoshop,
designed some symbols with me,
dropped them into my computer using Airdrop ~
Just like the 101st Airborne parachuting to my rescue! ~
had me store them in Documents,
and showed me how to add them to photos in Aperture!

Then she told me to practice, practice, practice.
That it takes about 29 times 
practicing something on computers
to git it.
Somebody should have told those computer instructors that!


After an hour and a half 
of struggling practicing, 
I trudged to my car
My head hurt.
My body ached.
I was tense from an adrenalin high.

Drove through rain turning to snow
to another dentist for another appointment.

Drove through a snowstorm 
to Parkway for Friday Night Date Night.

Gratefully sipped the merlot
Casey placed in front of me.

My head didn't hurt anymore,
and neither did my body.
But I was still exhausted
from an adrenalin crash.
I just sipped wine and waited for the E-P.

But I remembered Kimberly's big smile
and the big hug she gave me.
"You've got this!"  she said
as I packed up my computer.

Yeah, I do!

White Muley with a Copyright Symbol!!!!!

Staring at the Stars
Source:  You Tube ~ passengermusic

Gotta go!
The E-P just came down and checked my pulse.
I think he's hungry.  LOL!

Oh yeah, today I stumbled across another site
for photos you can use in your blog:


  1. Excellent post, and I love the photos. Thank you so much for sharing this! A little encouragement and kindness go a long way!

    1. Thanks, Linda! I think encouragement and kindness are what you put out into the world! Have a good week!

  2. Very encouraging post!
    Sometimes I say to myself or others.. everything's easy once you know how.
    Sometimes I say it to help maintain perspective for those who know, and those who don't.
    I'd never heard of Howard Gardener's Multiple Intelligences,. thanks for sharing that, it provided more than the usual learning styles I've become accustomed to. and good on you for keeping on trying and learning!.. I'll have to try the watermark copyright myself one if these days

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Dawna! Gardener added his ninth intelligence to his theory some years ago, after having the other eight for two or three decades ~ he's somewhat known among elementary teachers. I was so excited because it was Naturalist, and all of a sudden the true and strongest me was there! Have a good one!

  3. Yeah you can get anything done if you put your mind to it, some things come easy and some surely don't.

    1. Hey Pat! I hope you're having a good one where you're at! I keep thinking of your cats and the skeleton. You are certainly an original, and you have the cutest cats!

  4. What a great teacher you were. I always told my students every expert was once a beginner. We all learn at different rates. I'm glad you figured out your watermarks. I worked for ages trying to figure out Lightroom. I even took a class and worked really hard. But I just couldn't get it. Finally I just had to admit defeat and give up. I've never given up...ever...especially when it comes to computers. But I just couldn't get it all. I think that was the first time things didnt come to me. I have such sympathy for learner s who struggle. I taught gifted kids for nine years and although they could learn fast they struggled with other things like acceptance and social skills. I loved teaching them. I wrote all my own curriculum. Great mempries.

    1. Hi Peggy!
      Thank you for your thoughtful and kind comment. I met a photographer up in Breckenridge this summer. He was a good friend of my BIL and had taken some spectacular photos of the Milky Way from my SIL's and BIL's deck and street. He's the kind of photographer who will wait two years for the right, literally, alignment of the stars, hike to a remote spot in remote Utah in the dark, and sit through the night taking photos with all kinds of fancy cameras and lenses to get The Shot. He recommended Lightroom to me, said it was what he uses. I kept a straight face, but it was hard not to bust out laughing at the thought of me and Lightroom! I was still using iPhoto and my really old point and shoot.

      I loved working with my gifted kids and I was a passionate advocate for them because they have very real and painful challenges. So many educators think that because GT kiddos are smart that they can sail along just fine on their own. And some teachers don't even want them in their classes! Give them to me please! They were so much fun! I'll bet you love Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory. One of my favorite professors in university was such a Sheldon!
      Have a great week, Peggy!

  5. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Congratulations on turning one of your weaknesses into a strength! You will soon be teaching us!

    1. How wonderful to see your icon pop up, Ken! Thank you for your kind words! You've probably noticed I've been absent from Facebook! Understatement of the year! I've put so much time and energy into blogging. Ever the Optimist, I keep thinking I'll get back. I hope all is well in your corner of our beautiful world!

  6. Persistence is the key indeed. What an inspiring teacher you are :)

    1. Thank you, OE! You are kind indeed! I know it's Monday, so that means that you've got another interesting question up. Last week's was certainly fascinating, and I've been thinking about it all week. I think it is The Question for many of humanity throughout time. Have a good one!

  7. Really liked the pictures and sometimes you just have to take one step at a time. Peace..

    1. Thanks, Truedessa! Thanks especially for Peace! I have such a restless soul! Have a great week!

  8. Now if we can learn to side track/stop/prevent/re-route those adrenalin attacks just imagine how much more readily we could learn without that rush of adrenalin shutting us down.
    You know very well the frustration LD kids experience from day one in our schools. As was yours Louise, my job was to help them through the 'maze' and learn the exact things everyone learned but in a different way.

    I really like your 'watermark'.

    1. Hey Jim! That was the key to teaching any kiddo ~ keep experimenting with him or her until you find what clicks ~ then run with it! "Maze" is the perfect metaphor! Got you three in my thoughts and prayers! I know you're keeping those fins and that tail moving through the water! Probably got Ron swimming in your draft til he gets his strength up.

  9. Schools need more teachers like you, who have the love, the patience and the passion

    1. Thank you, Ana! Teaching requires those three things first and foremost. Navigating through this increasingly complicated and challenging world of ours is daunting ~ and so many of our kiddos have come up through tough, tough circumstances. They need love in abundance and to know that they are unique and valued. Have a happy day!

  10. That's what I think we are all good at something.

    1. Yes we are, GT! And the variety of strengths humanity has is what gives me great hope for the future. Have a great week!

  11. Good for you, Louise! Trudging on through even though it's hard for you. I need to learn how to add some copyright symbols ~ maybe you can help me!!! I love that chart of multiple intelligences.....I am seriously going back to study that later.

  12. Hi Audrey! Thanks!
    You can make a copyright symbol in Picasa, but I find Picasa confusing. It gives me grief over my photos being on Aperture, I have a hard time locating photos I want on Picasa ~ could be I have about 45,000 in my library and it's growing daily!

    Kimberly made a © symbol for me in Photoshop, a program I don't have or know how to use. In Picasa, I had to make a new one for each photo, or at least that's all I figured out on my own. And it was a time-consuming struggle each time. I'm sure there must be an easier way, but I couldn't find it.

    The symbol Kimberly made with me, I can use over and over. All I have to do is decide on how opaque it is and where I want to place it.

    Howard Gardner's chart is known mostly by educators and probably psychologists. His work was based on the strong belief that intelligence is not a single general ability. Rather than looking at an IQ score as the definitive measure of intelligence, he argued that there are multiple intelligences and that people are a unique blend of differing intelligences, some strong, some less so.

    He initially came up with seven intelligences and has since added Naturalistic and Existential. I was so excited with the Naturalist intelligence because the moment it appeared, I knew it was one of my greatest strengths. I think you must be strong in this area. Your children show signs of strength this area too ~ I'm specifically thinking of Clara arms outstretched in the wind. And didn't Sophie draw birds in a notebook on a trip? Here is a good link to naturalistic intelligence:

    If you poke around in Google search you can find out tons more and about Gardner, his work, and each of the intelligences.. Some sources are better than others, of course. The chart above is simplistic, but a starting point.

    Okay ~ I'll stop now! You keyed my passions about children and learning! ALL children have strengths, and ALL children can learn!!!!! We have to help them develop their unique abilities AND (this is important!) help them develop strategies to cope with areas they are less strong in.

    Hope I didn't go overboard ~ Terry calls me "Overboard Louise!" Have a good one!

  13. What a super post!!!! I might have to take some of those things you wrote about persistence for my music room, if ok!? I am terrible at logistics, 3d thinking, but I get things sometimes! X

  14. Thank you, Kezzie! Use whatever can help you! We educators have to stick together and help each other! I can't dance or carry a note (but I do both when no one is around! LOL!)


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.