Escalators Are Dangerous!

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I just watched a video that reminded me of an incident that all people need to know, whether or not your are 7 or 70.  Two years ago Frank and I went to a concert in Orlando and stayed at a very nice hotel.  About 5 minutes before the program was over we left because Frank has problems walking and didn’t want to be in the way when people were hurrying home.  We were staying at the hotel that was linked to the program venue, so we proceeded to the escalator that would take us to our hotel.

We had looked for an elevator to go down on the way to the program, but two different ones did not take us to the right area of the hotel.  We kept walking until we spotted the escalator to take us down.  There was no problem.

However, on the way up the escalator, Frank’s shoestring/shoe caught in the escalator.  He yelled at me that he couldn’t move his foot and I walked up close to him to hold him up.  He couldn’t lift his foot, so I told him if he felt like he was falling to just sit down.  While I was holding him with one hand and holding the railing with the other, I find myself falling backward.  I don’t know why this happened, but Frank thinks he was because someone shut off the stairs…I know it wasn’t that because when I fell backward, I flipped over two times and only stopped when the stairs quit moving.

While I was falling, I felt as if someone had wrapped me in a large quilt   I did two back flips and never felt a thing.  I even hit my head on the side of the stairs, but never felt it until I got up.  When the escalator stopped, people came running to help.  I was at the bottom of the escalator and Frank was at the top.  I could see that he was down but couldn’t see if he was hurt.  I lay very still until I felt I could move and then stood up.  I had no shoes on at that point.  I picked them up as I walked down the last two steps.  There was a couch at the bottom and I wobbled my way over to it.  I could hear the sirens coming.  Someone from the hotel came to see if I was okay and someone else was helping Frank.  I yelled at him and he said he was okay.

The paramedics arrived and started asking questions and looking us over. Frank had blood all over him and they were wiping his legs off.  I could see that he had really been hurt a lot worse than I.  He also needed someone to find his shoes.  I lost my sunglasses, my purse and some things out of my purse.  The staff at the hotel picked up all my things and had them locked in my room so they would be there when I got back from the emergency room.

We were both taken to the er by an ambulance.  We had to have a tetanus shot and I had to have a CT scan to make sure I had no brain damage.  Frank had x-rays of his legs.  I took pictures of his markings.  He had them on his face, his throat, his arms, and his legs.  ( I will try to find a photo to attach to this blog.)

After hours in the er, we finally got a cab to take us back to our hotel.  We hit the bed with exhaustion!!  We had to followup with our doctors that next Monday and both of them said the same thing, “It’s a wonder you lived!”  

I have severe back and neck problems (not from that fall), and I know that God’s angels were there that night to shield us from death.  I know that the quilt around me were angel wings.  God protects Frank a lot, too.  Frank is a very big and heavy man, and it was a miracle he had no broken bones from the incident.  

I told you I would share other God encounters with you and this is surely one of them.Image

God Bless! 

Short Note: Money!

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Another time to gripe about the medical bills.  I don’t know how others survive.  We do the best we can.  We have insurance and co-pays and supplement for meds.  We even buy from meds by mail…both of us…and today I spent $70 on medication for Frank; yesterday we had 2 co-pays of $40 a piece.  that is a total of $150 that we do not have.  We spent it of course, but now have to worry about the rent and whether or not we have to move again.

Why can’t things be simple when you’re old?  This is enough to drive one crazy.  I hate to complain, but my gosh, both of us worked our butts off for years, and now we can’t even retire.  Frank can’t work, but I guess at 70 I am going to have to do something to pay the medical bills.  Obamacare!  You sure didn’t help us…the middle class is still paying through the nose.

Thanks to my readers for baring with me.  I will figure this out somehow.  Any suggestions?  If I move it is going to cost me about $2000 and then money for apt. down payment and first month rent.  I don’t want to move again.

God Bless!

I taught a Vampire!

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That should get your attention!  I did have a student who thought he was a vampire.  He would prowl at night and drink the blood of animals he would kill.  He would take his girlfriend with him.  I learned all of this from teaching in a non-traditional program.  I also had some other freaky kids who were Satan worshipers.  If you want to read more, first  you have to read my blog about my non-traditional classroom.  Then I will post more.  Enjoy!

Non-traditional Classroom

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There is a photo of my last classroom posted on this blog.  It had a green chalk board, turquoise linoleum, tablecloths on the desks, and much more.  Along the chalk board at the top are photos of my students and some of their children.  Also on the walls are finished projects/posters from the students.  A combination of smells, sights, colors, and tastes made this room special.  It also had six computers, three video players, several tape players, and a CD player.  Hanging above my desk was a large TV that was used for special events that were broadcast. I would have liked round tables and sofas in the room, but they weren’t available.  This is the home of non-traditional teaching/learning.

As a classroom teacher for over 38 years, I want to share some of the highlights of my experiences with my readers.  I loved teaching and would not have changed a thing, but that is because I never was a stand-up lecturer.  I did plenty of teaching, but it wasn’t in front of a blackboard (green, in my class).

My students were from different high schools.  They came to me because they had had a difficult time in traditional school.s.  They had learning problems or behavior problems.  Some were pregnant and couldn’t stay in regular classes.  Some came from out of state and had to make up credits in order to get a high school diploma.  Some were there because the courts were giving them one last chance at making a change for the better.  I taught drug-dealers, prostitutes, doctors’ children, other teachers’ children, and once in awhile a Satan worshiper or a vampire. Yes, one student thought he was a real vampire.

I am just your average teacher.  I made average grades in high school and college.  But what I had that made the difference was several learning disabilities and Christian love toward my students.  I didn’t find out about my disabilities until I had taught most of my life.  I was in a class for teachers about how to teach according to the learning style of the student.  I took a simple test and found out that I had a HEARING disability and a READING disability.  How could i go through college and graduate school with these two glaring disabilities?  That was my question to the professor who taught the class.  She asked me about my teaching style and my classes.  Her answer was simple.  “You found a way to learn by teaching yourself and by-passing the disabilities.”

She was right.  I knew all along that I struggled much more than my peers with learning, with reading, and with listening to lectures.  My saving grace was the ability to overcome.  I learned to read with a pen.  I took copious notes.  I circled key words: I highlighted sentences.  I reread everything I had to read.  No one knew of my disabilities.  How I got through grade school is a mystery to me.

This is where we begin…  teacher with disabilities teaching students with disabilities. Some combination!  I knew what I did was not the usual but it worked.  I taught students who had troubles and helped them overcome the pitfalls that  I had experienced.  If they couldn’t understand what they read to themselves, I would have them read aloud and then listen to it. I would show them how to read a paragraph at a time, ask themselves a few questions, and then answer those questions before going forward.  This was doable because there was no time limit on how long they took to learn.  Amazing concept!  In regular classes, we teach to the middle range of students:  the good ones get bored and the slow ones are left behind.  Next week we move on to another subject.  Doesn’t seem fair, does it?  Well, it isn’t.

In non-traditional classes, students have the time they need to learn.  This also helps those who are very capable.  They can go on ahead and finish faster.  The one principle that I insisted upon was completion of tasks and testing out of the subject. Students could not by-pass the work; they couldn’t take a “F” and go to another level.  Of course, this is hard to track, so I had to have very detailed lesson plans for each subject, post tests for each level, and materials that met all the different styles of learning: audio, visual, reading, and tactile. When they came to class I would test them for their learning style, explain the methods used in the classroom, give them the rules of behavior and progression, and have them color in a sheet that gave me lots of information about their likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc.

My classroom was non-traditional in other ways:  coffee in the morning, cereal available, water allowed in bottles at all times, music playing softly in the background, and a teacher that was available when needed. In one classroom I might have 30 students, but they were taking different courses.  I taught English 9, 10, 11, and 12; also creative writing, mythology, the American short story, drawing I and II, and sometimes “journalism.”  We produced a literary magazine each year with students contributing writings, paintings, poetry, and drawings.  These subjects each had a syllabus, at least 8 tests, a final, and a project.

Each year I would have at least 300 students.  Many would complete and graduate.  Some left and came back later to finish.  Some gave up, but not many.  Most would go on to college.  I have taught future doctors, lawyers, English teachers, artists, and mothers and fathers.  I loved every minute of it.  Most of my years  of teaching were focused on non-traditional concepts.  I truly believe we could change the world if we would change our educational system.

In future blogs, I will talk about some of my most bizarre experiences as well as some of the most fulfilling.

God Bless.