The More You Know…

 

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I’ve started substitute teaching. You probably remember crusty, old geezers teaching your class when one of your teachers was gone. These fossils were fond of telling students that they don’t know what hard work is, that they had to recite the pledge of allegiance in Greek and had to learn math with an abacus.

 

Whatever the case, there was always the assumption that, like teaching vampires who only came out during the school day, subs didn’t have an everyday normal life; when the school day was over they’d retreat to the school basement to read the textbooks for enjoyment before using them as a bed to sleep on until they were called to action again.

 

My point is that, with a single day substitute, there isn’t really a chance to get to know the sub.

 

I typically sub at the school where I once taught and assisted librarily, so I know most of the teachers and they know of my condition. Given enough notice, I’ll offer to give a presentation to the kiddos about me. This way the teacher doesn’t have to prepare as much and the students get first-hand knowledge of why I am the way I am. I’ve posted a version of this presentation before (LINK), but it was a raggedy old PowerPoint.

 

AND THEN…last summer – I went to a writer’s conference to pitch my memoir. I wanted to stand out, so I put together a presentation. I had just given the students a crash course in PowerPoint presentations and Prezi, so I thought I’d give that a try. I didn’t get a book deal >:(, but my presentation was pretty sweet. Find it HERE

 

AND THEN…a new school year started and the sub jobs came pouring in. So far, I’ve presented to about 250 seventh graders, most of the eighth graders saw it last year.

 

AND THEN…my younger sister, a Latin teacher (She teaches Latin, she’s not a teacher who is Latin, no one is or really has been since the Roman empire), asked me to come talk to one of her classes. I thought that this nexus of presentation opportunities called for a revamped presentation.

 

AND THEN…I combined the raggedy PowerPoint with the fresh, shiny Prezi to create a PreziPoint (PowerPrezi?). The svelte can be viewed in all its smoothly transitioning glory HERE. Or, for your convenience, I’ve reproduced the presentation here in slideshow form.

 

AND THEN…actually, ‘AND THEN…’ doesn’t work here, but I’m nothing if not consistent, the frames with a 🌟 in the lower right corner were adapted from the original PowerPoint. This means that the ones without a star make up the original Prezi.

 

AND THEN… If you don’t notice, apart from the book excerpts, it rhymes! Isn’t that delicious?

 

AND THEN…FIN

 

AND THEN…@JarrettLWilson

 

Me

I wrote a new intro – I thought it turned out pretty awesome (if I do say so myself, which I do), so I’m making it an official entry to make it easier to share, I ripped off “Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe –

 

   Before 2009,

I was fine,

Then,oh the pain,

It felt as though,

I’d taken a mighty blow,

Directly to the brain.

Got in the car,

Drove to the ER —

With the doctor, I explain

The symptoms that led me here,

And my growing fear,

That something was wrong with my brain.

The Dr announced his plan

For a CT scan,

In order to attain,

Information from my head,

Then I was led

To a machine to take pictures of my brain.

 


Turns out, a flood

Of my own blood,

Had loosed upon, and slain,

Neurons nestled so snug,

Snug as a bug,

In the stem of my brain

 

Since that day,

I have to say,

Several difficulties remain.

I would fill you in,

But then again,

Just read through this blog about my brain.

 

Is this the only topic?

A literary biopic,

Of how I maintain,

My composure despite

This neurological spite?

My interests do stretch beyond the brain.

 

I write on topics mild,

Like my only child,

Quinn is that beautiful girl’s name,

And read on friend,

Until the end,

You’ll find so much more than the brain.

 

You will see,

I ❤ technology,

And compose the occasional refrain

About this and that,

Like, how I can’t stand “Where’s [noun] at?”

But it all started with my brain.

.

 

FIN

 

@JarrettLWilson

SSI & Medicaid Straight Dope

Recall my earlier post concerning the ABLE program. Twas from researching this program that the truth about SSI and Medicaid really slapped me in the face. What is that truth? Quite simply, to get accepted into these programs, you have to be poor. To continue to receive benefits from these programs, you have to stay poor. There is no allowance for monthly expenses or the degree to which you’re disabled. The bottom line is $2,000 – if you’ve more (including assets, etc.), so sorry. If you’ve less, you’re in so long as you don’t cross that $2,000 line.
I’ve since looked into this matter more, and have labored to produce, for your viewing and listening pleasure, a blog post with moving pictures and sound featuring me, Jarrett L Wilson, giving you, the Internet, the straight dope on SSI and Medicaid. Let’s start the show…

SPEND IT –
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_n_12?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A510136%2Ck%3Ahome+decor&keywords=home+decor&ie=UTF8&qid=1453588189&rnid=2941120011
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_is_pantry_0?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahome+decor%2Cp_n_is_pantry%3A8417613011&keywords=home+decor&ie=UTF8&qid=1453588273&rnid=8410679011

ABLE –
http://www.ndss.org/Advocacy/Legislative-Agenda/Creating-an-Economic-Future-for-Individuals-with-Down-Syndrome/Achieving-a-Better-of-Life-Experience-ABLE-Act/

Pooled Trust –
http://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/estate-elder/b/estate-elder-blog/archive/2011/10/21/what-is-a-pooled-trust-and-when-should-you-use-one.aspx
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/using-pooled-special-needs-trusts-when-you-have-too-many-assets-medicaid.html
http://www.americanbar.org/publications/bifocal/vol_34/issue_5_june2013/pooled_trusts.html

SNT –
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/rpte_ereport/te_lewis.authcheckdam.pdf
http://specialneedsanswers.com/what-is-a-first-party-special-needs-trust-and-when-is-it-useful-13264

LOTTERY –
http://www.txlottery.org/export/sites/lottery/index.html
https://www.random.org/

 

 

 

 

Jarrett Gets Political

Breaking news from Ardmore, Ok – my mother (who lives there) stumbled onto a way for me to be ABLE (that’ll make more sense in a minute) to get government assistance AND have money to pay my substantial medical bills. In 2014, a program called ABLE (Achieving a Better Life for Experience) was initiated. This program allows disabled folks to put money into a tax free account that won’t count against them when they apply for benefits (SSI, Medicaid, etc.)
You see, you have to be on the brink of poverty to qualify for programs like SSI and Medicaid (no investments, no more than $2,000 in the bank). This is kinda backwards considering the folks that need these services (like me) probably have ginormous medical bills (like me).
Thing is, I don’t qualify because I was 28 when I became disabled. To qualify for this program you need to have been 26 or younger when the disability started. Does this two years make my situation any less urgent? Should I go back in time and cause my brain hemorrhage to occur two years earlier?
No and no. The answer is to appeal to the powers that be, which I’ve done with this letter to John Ratcliffe, my congressional representative –
Dear Representative Ratcliffe,
I write to you as a disabled man disillusioned by methodical rejection and neglect by our country’s social welfare system.
In mid 2009, at the age of 28, I had a massive brain hemorrhage in my brainstem (I’ve a blog with more info. here it is from the beginning – https://braininjourney.com/2009/07/01/how-it-began/). I now live with a weakened left side, a limp, and slurred speech.

The 6+ years since have been a struggle, most notably with medical bills. It’s coming down to the nitty-gritty, my checking account is dwindling and I have no savings. I do, however, have a 403b. I’d like to take the funds from this account and put them into an ABLE account: (http://www.ndss.org/Advocacy/Legislative-Agenda/Creating-an-Economic-Future-for-Individuals-with-Down-Syndrome/Achieving-a-Better-of-Life-Experience-ABLE-Act/#sthash.38UVpv5f.MmKqVt7q.dpuf), so that I can get SSI and Medicaid.
This way I’ll be able to use that money for medical expenses and avoid “meeting a means or resource test that limits eligibility to individuals who report no more than $2,000 in cash savings, retirement funds and other items of significant value [and] remain poor” to continue to receive public assistance.

This matter is all the more urgent because, having recently lost my job, I’m unemployed. This means I’ll have to pay out of pocket for health insurance.

One of the eligibility requirements is that an individual must’ve been 26 or younger when he/she became disabled. As I mentioned earlier, I was 28. Can this legislation be amended in such a way that it doesn’t discriminate by age?

Please consider my case for your valuable attention. Getting into this program would ease a heavy burden upon my family and me.

Sincerely,

Jarrett Wilson
—–
Problem is, my message will be a proverbial drop in the bucket full of other constituents’ missives. It is for this reason that I’m calling on you (yes you, with the shirt on!) to help my plea get noticed by those with the power to affect change and end this egregious discrminAGEion! I ask that you post this on the social media platform of your choice or favorite it here on WordPress – simple actions that might mean big, positive changes for me!
Here is a LINK to more information about ABLE – it’s on the National Down Syndrome Society’s website – it has the best explanation.

Favorite people

“Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow creatures.”

– Cicero

The above quote is etched in stone above the fire truck doors at the Stillwater fire department on the southeastern edge of the Oklahoma State University (GO POKES!) campus. As an idealistic, unjaded, starry-eyed undergraduate, I had great respect for these words. I use the word respect because, knowing what I know now, I can say that I didn’t know what they really meant.

I’ve since experienced things that have given me a more complete understanding of Cicero’s words, taught me the true meaning.

Some are quick to say that man, by nature, is selfish and motivated only by things that will advance his station in life. Still others will point out that man is a social animal.

What is the point of all this philosophology? My point is that, I’ve been blessed to meet a crapload of people who have successfully suppressed their selfish nature and become gods in the sense that Cicero was talking about above.

I refer to these people as “my favorite people”. Being “differently abled” like I am, I get the privilege of seeing the altruistic side of the everyday person and the godlike individuals who have chosen to work in some variation of human service. In no particular order, I’d like to recognize these awesome people –

Emily, Occupational Therapist
If you were to go to the Pate brain injury rehab facility in Anna, TX, you’d find a very pleasant blonde working with a patient with a wonky arm. If you were to go inside my head, you’d be covered in neurons and gray matter and all other matter of brain goo…Let me rephrase, if you were to see inside my mind, you’d see the head of a very pleasant blonde floating around, reminding me to use my left arm more often.
I’ve been fortunate as concerns the therapy game – I haven’t had to work with any crazy, ex drill sergeant “therrorists” (well, there was one who put electrodes on my arm and shocked me, but that’s a different story…). Still, it’s not hard to get cross with one who hounds you to click when a dot appears on a computer screen and constantly reminds you to grab that…whatever, with your left hand. I think that’s why she’s so good at what she does. She continuously hounded me, but I couldn’t get mad a at her soft voice and diplomatic word choice. For being the occupational therapist inside my head, Emily is one of my favorite people.

Here is her driver’s license photo, you know how those don’t always turn out –

Hand

I jest. I don’t have a picture of her, so this is what I think of when she comes to mind.

Teresa , Bosslady
My education is in sociology with a focus on research and statistics. Even though I chose to switch gears and become a teacher, sociology has never been far from my heart.
I figured that, having been away from research and statistics for almost ten years, I wouldn’t have a chance to use that skillset.

Enter Bosslady.

image

I didn’t like my facial expression on the original, so I fashioned myself a new one.
She took a chance on me and now I get to use those skills to pay the bills. Sometimes, as I’m writing the narrative for a grant or calculating the percentage of people with diabetes in south central Oklahoma, I think to myself holy cow! I’m getting paid for this!

I remember in my first week working with her she made me a list of statistics and data she wanted, I looked at the list and thought who does she think I am? Stephen Hawking? Then I started to think, she believes I can do this so I can, NAY, WILL do it! It’s been like that since I’ve been working there. I’ll be faced with a task that I reckon is too difficult, then her perky voice pops in and says, “Just try it!” And my personal motto is “Try not, do or do not, there is no try.” As such, Yoda and my boss have instilled a great sense of worth, of purpose (porthose?) in me.

It occurs to me that some of you, dear readers, might be thinking I’m just sucking up. I’m willing to grant that. Thing is, everything I’m saying is true and I’ve already said this stuff to her in some capacity.

For being the inspiration to tackle all obstacles inside my head, Bosslady is one of my favorite people.

Allen, Orthotist
I don’t walk so good :), I’ve had quite a variety of assistive devices for my left leg – Donjoy Fullfource knee brace, Swedish knee cage, a black mesh knee brace number that certainly has a name that I don’t know, and two AFOs (Able Foot Orthosis, read more HERE).

The latter three have been acquired through Allen.

Listen, I am pretty hard on these things, have a look at how I violated my first AFO –

wpid-20150913_163505.jpg

You see, the protrusions at the opening by the Achilles tendon had adjustable rubber stoppers to increase or decrease the angle at the ankle, but I found the max angle offered by the stoppers to be inadequate, so I concocted all manner of home modifications. I screwed with it so much that the stoppers feel out, leaving me with no option but to continue to jack it up. I had exhausted my ingenuity as concerns sustainable solutions (solutainable?), so asked my father of he had any MacGyver worthy ideas. He actually had a wonderful idea – get a new one. This made me happy because 1.that brace was done for, and 2. I’d get to hang with Allen.

Here’s the replacement –

wpid-20150913_163617.jpg

They only have one color/style at Happy, Smiley Orthotics of Sunshine & Happiness in Gainesville, TX

Allen is the kinda guy you’d want to sit next to on a plane. He is very pleasant and very knowledgeable about orthotics, and I can’t say this about most people, but when he asks “How are you?” It feels as if he really wants to know, rather than to exchange platitudes. I think of Allen every time I go to the gym and put one of his devices to the test. For being the orthotist inside my head, Allen is one of my favorite people.

I don’t have a picture of Allen, so like I did with Emily, I’ll put an object that comes to mind when I think of him.
image
Two reasons for this comparison – they share the same first name, and 2. EVERY device I’ve gotten from him requires an Allen wrench of some size to loosen or tighten various parts.

I’ve more favorite people, I’ll introduce them from time to time. In fact, a favorite who was originally meant to be on this list didn’t make the cut after all – his back story is too long – I’ll talk about him next time.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Jarrett takes a stand

OMG! I had a beautifully written blog ready to post, I clicked “save”, the screen went blank and a dialogue box saying the file no longer exists popped up.
I shall persevere with a brief synopsis of that splendid blog now lost to the great digital abyss (digibyss?).
I wrote the following letter to a collections agency disputing the charges.

August 21, 2015

Texoma Emergency Physicians

PO Box 8775

Fort Worth, TX 78124-0775

Re: Account #Wouldn’t you like to know

Dear Madam or Sir,

The above referenced account is for an emergency room visit on February 10th, 2015 for symptoms that were ultimately caused by an implant malfunction in my spine. Insurance refuses to cover it because I had already been to the ER that day.

I returned due to the fact that the treatment they administered (a pain pill) was having no effect and I felt like I was brushed aside as if I was merely trying to get a fix (an assertion made more credible by the fact that the doctor who referred me is a physical medicine/rehabilitation doctor who specializes in pain management).

If you were to check my medical records in the weeks after that ER visit, you’d find a surgery to correct my implant malfunction and a visit to my neurosurgeon in Dallas to discuss a small hemorrhage that resulted from complications due to the malfunction of the implant.

I recount all of this to show that I knew something was wrong, but was not given the attention I deserved on the first visit. Indeed, I gave the hospital a scathing review when they emailed me asking about my visit – concerning that critique, they’ve not contacted me. The only attempts at communication have been when they call to collect money, indicating their true interest, my bank account, not my health.

Frankly, I don’t think I should have paid the first ER bill – if I got that kind of service at a restaurant, I would have asked for the manager and left no tip. Unfortunately, TMC’s management doesn’t seem to take a customer centered approach when they find out you have insurance (I use the term “customer” as a slight, as I was never treated as a patient).

Please consider this appeal for the $425 balance of the above referenced account, and prove me wrong – that hospitals and those associated with them aren’t just out for the contents of my wallet.

Respectfully,

Jarrett Wilson
You see,  insurance refused to pay because the bill was for my second visit to the ER that day. Given the fact that I  received the brush off,  guy looking for a fix treatment the first time,  I went backand was upgraded to a bed in the hallway! This is an upgrade because EVERY member of the ER staff saw me. Twenty minutes later they saw me leave again.
That 20 minutes in the hallway might cost me $425!
I wanted to share this with you because:
a. Doctors might know more about THE body,  but you are the expert concerning YOUR body.
b. I rarely get the chance to write formal letters,  and I write them real good 🙂

From Wildcat to Shepherd

The Piner Middle School chapter of my life has ended. I’m not going to say that I thought I’d be there forever, but I don’t think I really processed the idea of not working there. I’ve Pinned some of my more memorable tokens on my bulletin board –

Bulletin Board

Among these various tokens of days gone by are pictures with various YAF authors, top down (right side of the bulletin board) – Jordan Sonnenblick (Notes from the Midnight Driver, Zen and the Art of Faking it, etc.), Joan Bauer (Stand Tall, Rules of the Road, etc.), and Gordon Korman (Schooled, Ungifted, etc.). Not pictured is the author from my first year in the library – Neal Shusterman (the Unwind series, the Skinjacker trilogy, etc.).

On the bottom left are warning signs I made to make the students (especially incoming seventh graders) aware that I’m rarely serious, and though it may not sound like it, I’m joking when I say “you have a fine of $47.33.”

Above that is a card that was stuffed with cash, graciously given after my most recent medical episode (read more HERE).

The rest are cards and other memos given for various occasions.

I’ll miss that place, especially the kids and my coworkers. One of the things I’ll miss the most is playing with the students’ names. Some of my favorites –

Student with last name Bell had lots of middle names – taco, liberty and southwestern

Anyone with the last name Martinez had to have “Wal” as a middle name.

Students named Juan were only allowed to check out “Juan” book

Landon’s middle name was gear.

A few years ago, a favorite of mine with the last name Park became *first name* national Parks, or water Parks or simply ess Parks.

The teachers and staff weren’t immune to my name play. I especially enjoyed heckling Mrs. Likarish (middle name ‘black’ or ‘red’, obviously). There was also Ms. Joe, or should I call her Ms.  Sloppy Joe or Ms. Cuppa Joe?

Silly names aside, I’ve been blessed to work with some stupendous individuals, and I’ll truly miss each and every one in his/her own special way. If my new coworkers are half as amicable and professional (amifessionable?), then I’ll be a happy camper.

Speaking of camping, my new job will be at a clinic as development coordinator – fancy, huh?  Aside from coordinating development and what have you, I’ll be writing grants that the clinic will continue to do business. What does this have to do with camping? Nothing! I just needed a segue to my new job. I’ll still try to make a connection. The “Shepherd” in the title refers to the name of the clinic. A shepherd would often have to camp out to keep an eye on his/her herd – there’s a very tenuous connection for you, you’re welcome.

Speaking of cake…wait, I never mentioned cake except for the instance where I mentioned that I didn’t mention it. A dear coworker of mine got me a cake, this cake –

One cake to rule them all

A few things to note about this cake –

It’s from Mom’s Bakery, so it’s as if pure joy lay Bakery with infinite serenity Bakery and had a child, named it “Mom’s”. I’m going to keep trying to explain the transcendental, otherworldly properties of a cake from Mom’s Bakery, but whatever explanation I conjure will not be sufficient. Maybe this next story will give you some idea of the worth of a Mom’s Bakery pastry. have a gander –

Listen, my coworkers and I, with the help of a few select students ate 3/4ths of this cake until I was bade to take it home. I ate about half of what was left and realized that, despite my commitment to healthy eating, I didn’t have the willpower to not eat every crumb. Therefore, I was forced to throw the rest away – reserving me a special place in hell. In the book of Revelation, I believe it says something like “…and the adulterers will be confined to the 7th ring of hell, where Netflix is not. Below them, in the 8th ring, are the douchebags that walk on the wrong side of the aisle at the grocery store, for the Lord God hath declared you s shalt keep to the right, just as in an automobile; it is written that these infidels will only have access to Celine Dion’s and Barbra Streisand’s stations on Pandora.  In the ninth ring w will be those who wantonly discard cakes and other delicious pastries from exceptional bakeries.  These wretched souls will have access to Netflix, but the remote will ever be out of battery.”

FIN

Trunk Rotations can be Hazardous

…ln other news,  Jarrett Wilson managed to snap,  krinkle and/or pop the catheter of his baclofen pump at an intense workout on Monday.  He began to experience increased spasticity that night and ever more as the week went on. The initial suspicion was nuvigil withdrawal but after going bac…lofen  through the symptoms,  baclofen withdrawal seemed a more prudent diagnosis.  The first and most obvious sign of baclofen withdrawal is enhanced tremors and spasticity – the patient will shake as if his insides were some diabolical popcorn machine. Next,  the patient might start hallucinating. Our sources report that this symptom had been seen in Jarrett,. Let’s go to Chuck in the amusement park cafeteria for more details. Chuck: Thanks, Flo. The great and powerful writer of this blog wants me to tell the readers that he’s abandoning the news room bit – it started off pretty cute, but now is kinda like a turtle, slow with no discernible direction. I figure I’ll just be straight up, here are the facts –

As Flo mentioned, while doing some trunk rotations at the gym. I figured I’d add more weight that day, because that’s what you’re supposed to do at the gym and what’s the worst that can happen? As if the universe was listening, it replied by creating an unexpected pop in my abdomen and sending me into baclofen withdrawal. At work the next day, it was becoming harder and harder to control the tremors from my left leg. I started becoming concerned when having sudden temperatures changes in some isolated part of my body. I entertained the idea that the temperature and body part might symbolize someone’s attitude toward me. For instance, if my butt got really warm it’d mean somebody thought I was a hot piece of ass. If my shoulder went cold it was because someone thought I was unjustly ignoring him or her (i.e. getting the cold shoulder). I needed more period that something was amiss so I took my blood pressure. I’m glad I did, it was freakin high. I called my all things disability doctor, and she told me to go to the ER.

Within 20 minutes I’m in my principals hot rod headed to the ER. They got me in for a CT scan of my noodle and found nada – the ER doc prescribed something for anxiety and I was on my way.

The next day, PM/R doc and I puzzled over it – baclofen pump? Medication reaction? Another hemorrhage? Global warming? Not enough donuts in my diet? There were signs everywhere, but the answer was oh so elusive. Think of it like The DaVinci Code meets neurological disorders. In essence, we were looking for Da – Neuro Code. After that first meeting, there weren’t any dead bodies with clues written on them or ambiguous paintings to draw direction from, so we improvised, discussing symptoms and recent med changes. We decided that it was a complication caused by my skipping my nuvigil doses the weekend before. I would continue on nuvigil as usual and my hot ass wouldn’t be giving anymore cold shoulders.
After another day of tremors, temperature anomalies and high BP and a trip to the ER, it was back to the PM/R doc to reassess. The more we spoke on it, the more it pointed toward baclofen withdrawal, so she scheduled surgery the next day.

Turns out, we were right, the catheter leading from the pump to my spine had snapped. After replacing the catheter, my body decided to bleed a lot, there was concern that the blood would put too much pressure on my spine. Luckily, that fixed itself, however, I still had a leak – much the same as the great CSF flood of 2011 after the pump was first put in.

Listen, the brain and spinal cord are very particular about the amount of fluid they will sit in. If they sense that the amount of CSF is not just so, they demand that my head fill with an abundance of discomfort juice and that the discomfort juice should spread to my stomach and take the form of bile and partially digested food and exit out of my face portal with much heaving and dramatic bellowing.

To assuage all of these various fluids, a new fluid must be introduced as mediator, to “patch” things up if you will. Put simply, my blood is injected at the site of the leak and clots, sealing the leak.

A few hours after having this done, the discomfort juice was gone and the contents of my stomach would continue their course to exit out the correct portal. In fact, the improvement was so great that the Dr. decided to send me home that day.

That was two days ago, I’ve been holed up at my parents house resting since then. I hope to return to work later this week or early next week.

I’ll check back after I know more. FIN

@JarrettLWilson

How Standardized testing contributes to Global Warming and Other Curiosities

INSPIRATION! I found you! It was hiding in the vast tangled forest of the rules and regulations that is standardized testing.

You see, I work in a middle school and state testing days are quite an ordeal. The only comparison I can think to make is what a building would have to go through to prepare to receive the president (a lame comparison, I know. I’m still shaking the rust of my inspiration gland).

EVERYTHING is considered a threat (to test security), every corner is monitored by highly trained personnel (i.e. the next name on the alphabetized staff roster as duties are assigned), and the event is catered (insofar as you can say that school lunch is a catered affair). My duty was predetermined at conception.

Listen, I’m a dude. Society dictates that I potty in a room where only dudes are allowed. Rumor has it that there are similar rooms for chicks, but I’ve never been in one. During state testing, the restrooms have to be monitored. The students like to have think tanks after going potty. Such a clandestine rendezvous might cause a student to score a little higher and help him or her land a job that he/she is not qualified for (before discussing it in the bathroom, he/she thought the square root of 64 was 116, or that George Washington discovered America, or something).

Such a forbidden meeting might go like this (it’s funnier if you imagine them speaking in British accents): “The answer to #4 is unequivocally option ‘C.'” Says George. Carl scoffs at this, replies “I’d put ‘C’ if I wanted to get it wrong!” Jim busts in and says, “Will one of you please hurry? I really need to go potty.” He then starts doing the potty hop on one leg. George and Carl, having agreed that the answer is actually ‘D’, have moved on to discussing the merits of multiple choice testing and are too engrossed in the subject to hear Jim’s urgent request to pee (peequest?). Just as they decide that short answer questions would be the best assessment tool, but too difficult to grade, Jim soils himself. Now Jim rushes to finish the test so he can go home to change his pants. He ends up failing the test, and repeats the grade. His self esteem is shot, he stops trying in school, and is forced to take a low paying job at an aerosol can factory. As we all know, aerosol cans deplete the ozone layer – contributing to global warming.

In effect, not monitoring the bathrooms during standardized testing contributes to global warming.

This brings us back to my conception. In order to prevent cheating, rousing discussions on testing methods, and global warming, the people who create and enforce standardized testing (Satan, Barbra Streisand, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) have decreed that all potties be monitored during standardized testing. As a male, it is altogether fitting and proper that I should do this.  Getting back to being I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D (part one HERE), ‘P’ will now stand for “potty monitor”.

In keeping with the topic of standardized testing, ‘I’ stands for “Irregularity”. This is a very common, yet much maligned term used for any aberration from testing procedures, which is pretty much everything.

For instance, I told a student to “knock it dead”, ‘it’ being the science test. Moments later an owl flew by and dropped a letter at my feet. It was addressed to “Test Defiler Wilson”. I opened it and it started screaming at me (sounded like Tom Cruise). It said, ” It was reported at 8:03:56am that you bade a student to ” knock it dead” in reference to a test. This is in direct violation of subsection ee of decree 17 of chapter 119 of section four of the third edition of the educator code, copied here for your convenience: Thou shalt not wish luck to any student the student to figuratively use violence between 8:02 and 8:07am. Examples: “knock it dead,” “kick it’s butt,” and “slay that puppy”. For this irregularity, we’re taking away your stapler. May God have mercy on your soul.”

I can’t give you an example of a real irregularity – that, in and of itself, would be an irregularity. However, I can tell you that ‘R’ stands for refill.

When I write the word ” refill”, you probably think of an icy cold beverage at your favorite local eatery. That is quite far from I’m talking about. I refer, of course, to going to the doctor to refill the pump in your abdomen with that sweet, sweet muscle relaxer called Baclofen – which is 1,000 times stronger than the oral stuff. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, I’ve provided some pictures for you. These shots capture the wide variety of emotions that surface during a refill (read the captions for more info).

Primary emotion - euphoria. I never learn, every time I go in for a refill, I think they're going fill it with Pepsi or something, so I'm very excited. But...
Reading the Pump. Primary emotion – euphoria. I never learn, every time I go in for a refill, I think they’re going fill it with Pepsi or something, so I’m very excited. But…
...then comes the dread of knowing that, even if they do fill it with Pepsi, I'm going to get poked. Primary emotion - dread
Dawning the Pump               …then comes the dread of knowing that, even if they do fill it with Pepsi, I’m going to get poked. Primary emotion – dread

 

Primary emotion - boredom. I've been stuck with A LOT of needles. I'm not bragging when I say that getting stuck with a needle is as routine as going potty.
Prepping for the Poke. Primary emotion – boredom. I’ve been stuck with A LOT of needles. I’m not bragging when I say that getting stuck with a needle is as routine as going potty.
The Stick. Primary emotion - rage. Like I said in the previous pic, getting poked doesn't bother me. If I recall, I was so upset on this particular occasion because they didn't have any "Where's Waldo" books in this exam room.
The Stick. Primary emotion – rage. Like I said in the previous pic, getting poked doesn’t bother me. If I recall, I was so upset on this particular occasion because they didn’t have any “Where’s Waldo” books in this exam room.
Sucking out the old stuff. Primary emotion - stunned sadness. The old Baclofen had been a part of me for a few months, now it's gone.
Sucking out the old stuff. Primary emotion – stunned sadness. The old Baclofen had been a part of me for a few months, now it’s gone.
Pumping in the new stuff. Primary emotion - contentment. I'm just about done and the medical assistant has gone to get the "Where's Waldo" books
Pumping in the new stuff. Primary emotion – contentment. I’m just about done and the medical assistant has gone to get the “Where’s Waldo” books

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

 

 

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