Mass Shooter Profiles

As reported LAST WEEK, I’ve started to compile a database of mass shooter profiles.

I didn’t get near as much done as I would’ve liked. All the same, I’m going to publish my labors up to now.

I haven’t collected all the data that I’d like to and, as a result, I haven’t started running basic statistics (frequency tables, etc.) But, there are a few curious trends I’m picking up on.

Firstly, I’m using the top 20 shootings listed HERE as a starting point. Wikipedia has a similar page, but every fact is linked to a more credible reference. During my initial sweep, I didn’t take note of how many guns the shooter had or the category of the weapon(s). I will continue to add –

  1. Gun data
  2. More specific notes about the shooter – including analyzing background. The words “autism”, “Asperger’s”, “loner” and “bullied” are mentioned frequently – I’d like better numbers on that stuff for each shooter
  3. More shootings. I’ve decided to go beyond NCLB, but not rule it out as a key factor in our troubled times.
    1. NCLB era shooters can be isolated from the rest of the shooters to see if they possess some unique characteristic that might point more definitively to issues caused by the parameters of NCLB

A few curious coincidences (curioundences?) I’ve found are –

  1. The prevalence of social development disorders, like autism spectrum disorder mentioned above, and
  2. The desire to enlist or successfully joining a branch of the armed forces.

All that said, here is the table that I’ve labored to produce. Again, it’s not finished, with the way things are going it’ll probably never be finished, unfortunately. If there are any variables you feel should be included, please leave a comment.

Uhh, I dont’ know why, but despite all my effort to get the data into an embedded spreadsheet, it defaults to the bottom. Scroll up a ways to see the content.

Doctor Pillow…Talk

The universe has spoken to me once again (for previous occurrences describing words descending upon me from the totality of existence, read HERE and HERE). I’ve experienced a singularity of my present and the experiences HERE chronicled.

You see, I got a comment on the above linked post from a woman whose husband has sustained a brain injury and is contemplating having a Baclofen pump “installed” (for a compendium of my posts concerning the Baclofen pump, direct the graphical representation of your mouse (i.e. “cursor”) HERE and apply pressure to the left button on said mouse). It is to these good people, that I dedicate this entry.

Listen, the battery on my pump was near death, so I had to have the whole pump replaced.

This I did, or rather had done, two days ago. There are a few remarkable occurrences that I would like to relate to you, dear reader.

1.          This first point is not particularly remarkable compared to the other two, but deserves to be mentioned – the procedure was performed by the fabulous Dr. Deborah Fisher. She does surgery, pump refills, Botox injections and pain management, all with a very cool South African accent. She is, without a doubt, one of the good ones and one of my favorite people.

2.          The name of the anesthesiologist was, I sh*t you not, Dr. Pillow. Put another way, the man whose responsibility it was to put me to sleep was named “Dr. Pillow”. Dr. Pillow had an assistant named Rip Van Blanket*…twas the darnedest thing that team Pillow/Blanket should manage my sleepy time…

Syringe Doc Pillow Head

3.          True to their names, the Pillow/Blanket duo had me so stupefied that, when I woke up in the recovery room, I could swear I was in a staging area, awaiting the procedure. I was nearly set off when this blue flaming nurse asked me if I wanted something to drink, I had to check myself because I was indignant that this guy was trying to thwart this procedure that I worked so hard to set up by offering me a drink minutes before it was to be performed.

The hoops I had to jump through to get this operation scheduled is a saga worthy of its own post. Moreover, my recovery from this procedure has been much smoother than when I got the first pump. For next time, I’ll give a full summary/timeline of the major events associated with the pump.

That the words on this website have reached but a few people is reason enough to keep it up.

 

FIN

 

@JarrettLWilson

 

*This name is total bullsh*t, his real name was “Todd” or “Bill” or some other such name common to a suburban, middle class white male. He didn’t say his last name, so for purposes of this blog let’s say his last name was “Valium”.

The Hierarchy of Suck and a Two Headed Duck (that rhymes and you know it does)…

“You’re one of the good ones…[insert name]”

       Ren, the comically cantankerous cartoon Chihuahua

Very broadly, there are three types of people – 1. People who suck, 2. People who don’t suck, and 3. The good ones.

The first two are pretty self explanatory – people who don’t rack the 270lbs they just squatted from the Smith machine (seriously you guys, that’s three 45lb plates on each side) are the suckiest of what I will call the “undistinguished suckfaces” – those who suck, but not at a professional, Kathy Griffin level. So that I don’t digress on the sub-hierarchy of suck, I’ll just say that the “undistinguished suckfaces” are but a drop in the bucket of suck (or “sucket” if you will). The middle genus in my criminally simplistic taxonomy of human temperament are those who don’t suck.

The beauty of this type of class of person is that you don’t have to do much to get in, just NOT suck. I’ll put it to you like this, dear readers-

Roughly 3.14 kajillion times a day, we are faced with some choice. It could be as simple as choosing breakfast – Cheerios or leftover Chinese? Or as complex as pressing a button to test a missile, thereby risking the lives of millions of people (if you’re Kim Jong-Un).

In simplest terms, each example contains two or more broad paths. Each path is quite broad with a dizzying circuitry of tributaries and “roads less traveled”. Each path, no matter how broad or narrow, trodden or smooth will do one of two things – 1. Suck , or 2.Not suck. When you reach the threshold of these paths, ask yourself one simple question, will the result of my decision to take this path cause suck for me or anyone else? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck.

If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– will the suck of my decision outweigh the potential positives? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck.

If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– will this decision place the brunt of the suck on someone else? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up question– must I take this path to achieve my ends? If the answer is no, go forth onto that path that you won’t suck. If the answer is yes, ask yourself a follow-up ques….

Actually, at that point, it’s best just to forget about your ends and NOT make that decision.

This leads me to the upper echelon of the quality ‘o people structure.

I’ve adopted the term “one of the good ones” to describe these people.  Such people go beyond the requirements of NOT sucking and make things less sucky for others. In short, they suck the sucking out of things that suck. They redeem the ever growing population of the “sucket”.

I’d like to tell you, Internet, about one of the good ones as I rank her. Her name is Kay, this is her likeness as of Christmas 2016 (I think).

20160104_181217

I met Kay when she commissioned me to convert some home video tapes (Hi8, I believe) to DVD.

Turns out, Kay and her husband, Dan, are pretty neat, what with their family of ducks, old jukeboxes and antique Japanese gambling machines. To honor her uniqueness, I’m officially declaring her “one of the good ones”, and, like I did with Dr. Shearer HERE, I’m going to conjure an origin story. That is, the story you are about to read is entirely fictitious and any similarity to actual people, places or mystical ducks is purely coincidental (and frickin awesome!). Here we go –

Like horns upon a goat they lay.

High atop Mount Fløyfjellet

Storhorn and Lillehorn sit,

Keeping watch over the islands of Norway.

 

The village elders often say

That between the spires is a connection

To another dimension,

Where mystical creatures live and play.

 

It happened upon a day

There arose a great upset

When village was met

By a bundle so fey.

 

In the mild month of May,

The people of Austvågøya did find

A basket seemingly left behind

Floating in the bay.

 

To their dismay,

A baby they found within;

How could it have been

That a baby should come this way?

 

The village elders did carefully assay

The coming of this child

As if from the wild;

But none could say…

 

… whence her home might lay,

Until Sigurd stood forth,

Pointed to the north

And opened his mouth to say…

 

… “I know from whither this child did stray,

By some folly she was let…

…Out the doorway atop Fløyfjellet

From thither did she come this way.”

 

This he did convey

To the villagers there assembled.

Oh how they stirred and trembled

At the thought of a mystical doorway.

 

With intent to allay,

Sigurd boldly spake,

“On the morrow I shall take…

…this child back that way.”

 

The people thought him fey,

But in his words they found relief

In the face of the belief

A ransom for the child they’d have to pay.

 

And so the next day,

Sigurd set forth

On a journey to the north

That he might defray…

 

… any cost for this child gone astray

And so he climbed high, then higher

To reach the twin spire;

The frame of the dimensional doorway

 

Facing the columns he did say,

An enchantment to lay bare,

Any charm hidden there

And thus show him the way.

 

At that moment darkness overtook day

A glowing portal did appear.

So Sigurd buried his fear

Set on returning the little girl, come what may.

 

So, valiantly he passed through the array;

Like in vacuum his ears did pop,

He spun and wrenched and twisted non-stop.

It felt like the kneading of clay.

 

He peered hither and thither to assay

A scene before him so queer,

Sound but a hollow din, sight but a chromatic smear.

He held aloft the child gone astray…

 

… then opened his mouth to say,

“Behold, I bare a child of your domain,

And I would parley to ease any disdain,

And enmity towards my village by the bay”

 

At that, Sigurd’s eyes met with a curious display;

The sounds of his voice were as ripples on a pond,

Wrinkling and warping the air beyond.

In reply, a surly voice squawked “who are they?”

wp-1499003794572.

 

The words seemed an aural melee

Attacking sight and sound with such force,

Sigurd gleaned the sound’s source

He spied an abomination heading his way.

 

Of all the oddities Sigurd saw that day,

None were so queer as this.

A creature common enough, but grotesquely amiss.

Hark the full tale, ere you gainsay –

 

The creature on its way

Was a duck I tell you,

Not with one head, but with two!

The two heads conversed in a manner so fey…

 

… gouging and pecking away

At the neighboring head

While squawking so loudly as to raise the dead;

Sigurd knew not which head held sway

 

Ere the squawking and pecking would belay

Sigurd spoke this query,

“I’ve wandered far, and am weary.

What of this child, a ward gone astray?”

 

The left head squawked, “SWORD GONE AWAY!?!”

The right head pecked and squawked with derision,

“ NO, YOU DOLT. THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION!”

It squawked what was surely a mainstay…

 

… of the conversation most every day

For it was, the loud squawking and jeering

Resulted in loss of hearing;

Making any message difficult to convey.

 

Sigurd feared there would be no end to the fray,

That his quest had been for nought;

That this child, the realm had already forgot.

He resolved to leave without delay.

 

Sigurd sighed, overcome by dismay.

As before, sounds he made

Were given shape, and in physical form, did pervade

And ripple the air like water in a bay.

 

Upon reaching the creature, the head of gray

Began a raucous declaration,

Squawking “We feel a queer sensation!”

In a manner so fey.

 

The creature’s voice like a woman so gay,

With the occasional raucous “quack”;

Considering the creature, Sigurd turned back…

as he thought Why’d I come this way?

 

Then something happened, he decided to stay,

Just as if he had voiced that question

“I have a suggestion”

Quacked the head of grey.

 

Sigurd’s mind fell into disarray.

It came to Sigurd

That this beastly bird

He should here and now slay.

 

Through some diabolical relay,

They heard the thoughts in Sigurd’s head;

That he would see them dead

Ere they’d had their say.

 

For then they did display,

A visage of death

With fiery breath

And razor sharp talons to flay.

 

Deliver me from this beast I pray

Thought he in desperation

“Leave the child for obliteration?”

Said the beast to Sigurd’s inner mislay

 

“Creature, how is it that you can say

Answers to questions in my head

And to thoughts I haven’t said?

Tell me true, and do not play.”

 

Grey head spoke without delay,

“You know nought of your location,

We know much of your vocation”

Spoke the duck with the head so grey.

 

At this, Sigurd did display…

…a countenance of dither

That he should come hither

And be subject to such play.

 

After some delay,

Sigurd, with his mind clear,

Queried, “what know you of my vocation here?

I ask of you, if I may.”

 

This answer, to Sigurd, they did purvey –

“You seek the repatriation,

Of the youth in your possession.”

They know of the child found by the bay…

It’s Good to be Alive

Wonderful MeHappEaster, interwebs! Or happy Easter if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. I come to you today because my heart has been stirred. I frequently listen to NPR via the NPR One app. A featured story today was that of widowed parents of young children. Rather, the widows did the talking, but the subject was more centered on how the children will turn out and how to best remember the child’s father (listen to it HERE).

This topic really resonates with me. You see, I nearly died (more details HERE). I’m not fond of saying that. It’s too dramatic and it smacks of hyperbole.

Still, I suppose I’ve come closer to meeting the reaper than most. At the time, I had a two year old daughter at home. By the expert skill of Dr. Jonathan White and the loving support of my now ex wife Jessica and my parents, I persist in respirating, masticating, cogitating, pontificating, etceterating, and most importantly, continue participating in the upbringating of my daughter(ating…).

It is altogether fitting and proper (thank you, Mr. Lincoln) that I would choose this day to blog on this topic. On more than one occasion (such as HERE and HERE) I’ve asserted the notion that, in a figurative way, Jarrett Wilson died from a brain hemorrhage in May of 2009. He was given new life in September of that same confounded year. The resurrection thing is the only similarity between me and Jesus; I have trouble enough walking on land, I can only change water into Crystal Light or coffee and my dad, as cool as he is, is not God.

I think I’m digressing here. What I’d like to relate to you, dear reader, is that I’m glad to be alive. I think I’ve said that before and I try to give the impression that I’m grateful, but sometimes, it just needs to be declared.

To be sure, being alive is hard sometimes. On the other hand, life is beautiful – there are beautiful people everywhere, the way they comb their hair, it makes me want to say… it’s a beautiful world… it’s a beautiful world…

That said, there are a lot of things that suck, another way to say it would be there are a lot of things that suck because of stuff I did. I let these things occupy too much CRAM (read more HERE). For today at least, I’m going to revel in the singularity of each moment. A singularity in that each moment is a culmination of a heartbeat, a breath of sweet, sweet air, some thought to move us about the day and being with good people. 🍻

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

The More You Know…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand…Pictures…

All Done…or 93 pictures if you’re the GIF above. By that reckoning, if a picture is truly worth 1,000 words, that GIF is a tidy package of 93,000 words. Add to that the words you’re reading, and you have the world’s longest blog post. Honestly, I almost could’ve written 93,000 words in the time it took to make this GIF.

While I explain what it is, I’ll explain how it was made. I have the MRI images for most of my scans, in total I found/used eight sets of scans. Then, I made some pictures with my webcam of my profile and the top of my freakishly large head. If my math is correct, that makes 8+1 = 9 sets of images. Each set has roughly 10 pictures – including multiples of the original and duplicates of the fading shots. The sequence of the scans is chronological (For instance, a scan from 2010 would come after a scan from 2009, a scan done in May of some year will come before a scan…scanned in September of that same year…and so on).

The images are labeled with the reason for and date of the scan. I’d only point out the first scan from May, 2009 showing a big blob of white stuff just below the very center of my brain profile and slightly off center looking at the top. It’s almost as if someone tried to white it out. Really, it’s blood, the doctor injects you with the air from inside a blacklight, then your blood glows white.

The magnetic manipulation of the various cells and particles that form a mass called “Jarrett” (Magnetic), and the clicking and knocking noises (Resonance) labored to produce this Image a few days after the hemorrhage.

The magnets and sounds continued their unlikely coupling through my skull on August 15, 2016, one day before my appointment with my neurosurgeon (I verbally sparred with both the doctor’s office and the insurance company for a month and had to reschedule twice, but that’s a different story altogether).

On the last MRI image, notice all the white out has been removed. When looking down from the top of my head, the “cavern” that the cavernous malformation called home is still a dark hole. I can only speculate that this is why I forget stuff almost as quickly as it pops into my head, it gets sucked into this vortex of blackest black, of darkest dark, of ebon opacity, of obsidian obscurity, etc.

Anyway, this GIF sums up seven years of the physiological side of brain injury recovery. I’ll stop writing now as this post has now reached a staggering 93,443 words.

This is all to say that my latest scans show no activity, and my recovery continues.

FIN (93,460 words if counting the number)

@JarrettLWilson (93,468)

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/

 

 

 

 

Presenting – My…Presentation

I used to work at a middle school.

I’ve was employed there in some fashion for a number of years.

My first two years I taught 8th grade US history and coached boys’ athletics. The next year I taught 8th grade English and coached girls’ athletics.

At the end of that school year some blood vessels in my brain leaked like so much kiddie pool left to rot in the sun.

I taught 8th grade English for half of the next two school years. I came back the next school year as the assistant librarian and have filled that role for four years.

Assuming my math is correct (2+1+.5+.5+4), I’ve been working there for 21,554 years – this raises a few questions.

Firstly, I’m only 32 years old. Secondly, the school has only been there for 40ish years. Let’s round that figure down to eight school years.

I did so enjoy working with students. Thing is, I’m was’t like any of the other teachers/professionals in the school.

When I returned to teaching after the hemorrhage, I created a PowerPoint presentation about my condition to show to my class to prepare them for my uniqueness.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to the new seventh graders. I modified the presentation to fit my condition today. I thought I’d share it with you, the internet –

1

This is the title slide – note that it has the title written (in English, no less!) on it.

2

This slide is for a handout. The students were given the same graphic, but with blanks. In essence, they started with an empty brain and ended with a full one (symbolic, no?)

3

In the same fashion as the previous slide, the students filled in the blanks on the same graphic.

4

This slide is a pictorial representation (pictoriational?) of the functions of each lobe. For instance, the temporal lobe (orange) controls the instinct to swat things away from your ear (actually, that represents hearing), and the frontal lobe controls the confusion that comes from staring at gibberish on a sign post (actually, that represents planning).

5

Now we get to my contribution – you see, the seventh grade reading classes at the school where I work are covering non-fiction. They are reading Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson – the brain surgeon that removed half of a girl’s brain. One of the teachers is a friend of mine and asked me to present my experience as a primer. The image in the slide is my brain (isn’t it beautiful?). The white dot in the middle is my cavernoma isn’t it (or rather, wasn’t it) ugly?

6

Not much to say about this slide that isn’t in the slide. I’ll just add that the symptoms listed are enough to get you a 20 minute helicopter ride.

7

Much like the image in the “My Brain Issues” slide – the head pictured is my head. My head is perfectly round and my brain has many different colors. I know what you’re thinking, “But Jarrett, there weren’t no color in the other image and your head ain’t perfectly round.”

I’ve a twofold reply to this comment. First of all, I was joking – that’s not my head. Secondly, you need to work on your grammar. Moving on, this one has info about the surgery. That fact weighed heavily in my decision to title the slide “The Surgery 9/2009.”

8

A few summers ago I went on a tour of a Nair factory – this happened to be the day that Gillette planned to sabotage the Nair factory. They set explosives…I’m tired of this explanation. It started off with promise, but now I hate it!

Truthfully, a few summers ago I wanted to see the scar, so I shaved my head.

9

This slide is linked to a file with moving pictures and sound! This “video” is about *drumroll* neuro-plasticity! A fancy term denoting the brain’s ability to form new connections.

10

This is a visual representation of how your brain thinks. For instance, you see a donut with your occipital lobe. That info shoots to your frontal lobe and activates your happy gland. Your happy gland shoots a message to your parietal lobe “GO GET THAT F’N DONUT!” Someone gets it before you can, so your temporal lobe tells you to break out your megaphone and shout obscenities at this person and threaten to call the police. This guy grabs a nearby napkin dispenser and wangs you in the Temple…

11

…That blow to the Temple gives you a TBI. Your brain rewires itself and finds an alternate route to your happy gland.

12

I included this slide to give the students an explanation as to why I sometimes shake when I speak and why I walk with a limp and hike up my left arm like so much Bob Dole. It also helps explain the little girl in the moving picture mentioned earlier. It also gave me a chance to…

Treating Hypertonicity with Pic

…mention the painful treatments. One thing I’ve learned from working in a middle school is that, as much as the kids want to be treated as adults, they still love to hear about people getting poked with needles and meeting a real life cyborg.

13

I like to pepper in some humor here and there to make sure the kids are awake. When this slide appears, it’s accompanied by a very loud, obnoxious laugh.

15

I don’t really do any of these anymore, but I mention it because I did it for so long, and it drives home the point that I’ve had a long road.

16

In my mind, all of these will someday be replaced with “Painfully normal”. For purposes of this presentation, it gives the students an idea of what to expect when they see me.

17

It can be difficult to work around young people with my disabilities. Instead of hiding or pretending that I’m no different, I encourage the students to come talk to me if they have a question. I want to think that I’m an ambassador for the disabled. Hopefully, these students will apply what I’ve tried to teach them to others with disabilities.

I included the last bullet because I’ve had some students speak very loudly and very slowly to me. You see, they have to tell me their student ID number to check out a book. In previous years, a student or two would speak to me as if I was unable to type and listen at the same time.

18

I’m a pretty smart dude and I can be pretty creative, but I didn’t discover any of this and I didn’t make this sh*t up.

If there’s one thing I learned in college, it’s that Keystone Light is super cheap and tastes like weedkiller. If there’s a second thing I learned in college, it’s that plagiarism is bad (I remember a syllabus that said there’s a special place in hell for those that plagiarize).

We try to instill that fear into the students, so I model the proper citing of sources.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Finding Direction (literally and figuratively)

Please excuse my recent absence from contributing to this blog. You see, this entry is the 129th post to this blog and 1+2+9=12. The 12th letter is L. L is the Roman numeral for 50, therefore I had to wait 50 days (give or take) to post again.

Truthfully, I’ve had a lull in my desire to write. My muse has been elusive (emusive?), but I still like to put words together in a meaningful fashion.

How am I to proceed without inspiration? If inspiration won’t come to me, I’ll go to it and force it to do my bidding. I will be inspired by the word itself. By that I mean that I’ll think of a topic relevant to my recent goings on that starts with ‘I’ and stew (mmm…stew) on that topic until I can’t stew (mmm…stew) no mo’.

After that, I’ll move on to ‘N’ and wax eloquently. After ‘N’ comes ‘S’, and so on in that fashion until I’m I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D.

That said, I’ll begin with ‘I’. I’m reluctant to discuss this, for fear that something will happen to spite this trend, but this being a blog about my brain, I have to report that there is nothing to report. In other words, the trouble spot in my head has been INACTIVE. This is due in no small part to the brainstem cavernoma resection performed by Dr. Jonathan White almost five years ago (read more HERE and HERE).

Fortunately, I only had one cavernoma (more info about this little evil thing HERE and HERE). There are people out there with more than a few of these dastardly raspberries in their heads. There’s a faint possibility that mine will grow back, that’s why I’m happy to report that nothing is going on.

Inactive is the exact opposite of my NON-STOP attitude toward recovery. My advice to anyone faced with a major life change is to go go go. Things are different now yes, but when you stop, you let the life change beat you (Jarrett ain’t gonna get beat so easily).

For instance, even though I still try to talk myself out of going EVERY time, I go to the gym and work out/therapize myself at last twice a week. I wake up super early to prepare for work. Sleeping has become a necessary evil. I don’t enjoy it like I used to; I only do it because my body tells me to. If I could live without sleep, I would. Also, my daughter never stops, so I have to keep moving to keep up with her (more about her later).

On the topic of movement and direction, I’ll move to ‘S’ and tell you about the anomaly of SOUTHWEST. A while back, I had to replace the battery in my car. Being without juice for a brief period, the compass in my car reset. After not calibrating it for a few weeks, the car did it itself. I’m not sure if the car was playing a joke on me, I live near a magnetic anomaly or my car just doesn’t understand that there are four directions, but no matter which way I drove, I was going southwest.

Therefore, I’d leave for work in the morning going southwest. I’d turn left and head southwest for two miles. Then I’d turn right and drive southwest for about three miles…I think you get the point.

In essence, if you were to ask my car for directions, it might say something like this – “start out by going southwest, after you get to the third stoplight, turn and go southwest until you get to an overpass, then do a U-turn and drive southwest for half a mile and you’ll see the donut shop to your right (southwest).

Ok, this is fun, one more – the GPS on my phone and my car discuss directions. My phone says, “head north for about two miles. Then you’ll see the exit for HW 56,  take a right, and head east for three miles, at the second stoplight go north. Go straight through next light, then turn left and park by the north gym to get Jarrett to work.”

My car would repeat these directions back, “head southwest for about two miles. Then I’ll see the exit for HW 56,  take a right, and head southwest for three miles, at the second stoplight go southwest. Go southwest through next light, then turn left and park by the southwest gym to get Jarrett to work.”

My car has since expanded its horizons and embraced all four directions. During that time though, giving directions was easy. “How do I get to X?” I’d chuckle and say, “Just go southwest, silly!”

This entry is getting overlong. Therefore, ‘P’ will stand for PATIENCE. You see, you’ll have to patiently await the rest of the list. I will continue to be INSPIRED on my next entry (a few weeks).

Until then, stay busy and head southwest, unless you need to go southwest.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

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