Saturday, March 3, 2007

University & Dyslexia

My second week of university classes begin tomorrow. My first week was great! I'm looking forward in learning about medieval poetry, art, and history (both medieval and New Zealand).
I've always been intimidated by poetry and find that I still haven't crossed the mine field. You would think at 43 years of age I would be more confident but I'm actually more timid. Youth is a wonderful confidence booster. You can look death in the face and still feel you'll come out the winner. Yet, I am optimistic and hopeful that I will do well...fingers crossed.
I have come a long way. This time last year I was waking up around 4am feeling nauseous and panicked. Pacing back and forth on my patio that early in the morning, consoling myself, must have seemed odd to anyone who may have been watching. Bit by bit, the days got easier. After two weeks had passed, I felt I should have been wearing a T-shirt that said "I survived the first two weeks!" The rest of the year was wonderful except for the pressure of exams...I loathe exams. I don't work well under intellectual pressure (pressure for designing is great though because I can push myself and still get the results I want).
Towards the end of the academic year of 2006, I had myself tested for dyslexia. This is going to sound really peculiar, but ever since I came to New Zealand I've had my right and left direction switched. Go figure! I say "Go right.", but I point left, and "Go left.", but I point right. And if anyone says to look at the beautiful house on the left, all heads turn to the left but mine, which is turned right. I can't tell you how many 'beautiful' scenes I have missed since we came here. It took me 2 years to get my driver's licence because I feared I would not be able to follow the directions of the person testing me. I did, however, pass the test :)
When I explained this to the person who tested me for dyslexia, naturally I saw a look of amusement on her face. However, after telling her that I have to dial a telephone number several times because I dialed them wrong, she took me more serious and ran me through 4 hours of testing. The result was that I didn't suffer from dyslexia but rather a poor short and long term memory. Yes, that does explain a lot, but it doesn't explain the left/right directional dysfunction I have. She couldn't explain that.
I also learned something else from those tests...I am an intelligent person! I didn't think I was unintelligent...I just thought that after being around children, my constant companions for 20 years, that I had lost my ability to reason and think. I did read over the years, but I have never been a critical reader or thinker. I've never interacted with what I read. The most challenging aspect of university is not the notetaking, assignments, or exams. Rather, it is the opinion you must formulate and argue...yikes! An opinion? but I've always kept my opinions to myself. Well that sure changed in 2006. It was an enlightening experience.
Knowledge is Power.

5 comments:

Clara Bernardo Crochet said...

Hi, mindy
I´m from Brasil and I´m in passion about your work. I took a look at your Irish crochet ├ílbum.

It´s a marvelous art of yours and your kind feeling to your Brian brother is amazing.
So, i´ll love to "talk" with you!
Hugs and congratulations
Clara

Nell said...

Hi Mindy!!
The course on medieval poetry,art and history sounds very interesting. We share the similar right and left dyslexia. I often wondered what that was all about. LOL Warm Wishes from Colorado (where it's finally warming up a bit).

Mindy said...

Hi Clara
I’m flattered you like my work.
I hope you give Irish crochet a try. I know you’ll love it.
Nice picture!


Nell, I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone.
I guess I AM normal after all…LOL.
I think my problem started when we arrived. I felt daunted over the thought of learning to drive on the right side. My husband said, “No problem. Just always think ‘right’”. Ever since then, I’ve been right/left dyslexic….good grief!!
I can’t wait until it turns colder here. Auckland is so humid in the summer…ewe!

esther said...

Tonight my sil shared that her very creative & smart little girl has some dislexia with the reading and such. She researched and found that her little brain perhaps sees things in more of a 3D mode rather than liniar. So you see you actually have an advanced brain that brings you more creativity.

Mindy said...

Hi Esther :)

Well, let me affirm your point…my visual abilities are far above average on the higher end of the scale. I have an excellent visual ability. I think when I left the assessment I had the examiner in utter confusion…LOL. The key to my learning successfully is to balance my poor memory skills with my high visual ability. Yes, that means mind maps. Have you ever seen a beautiful mind? Do you remember the part of the movie when Alicia walked into her husband’s office to find papers all over the walls? Need I explain more?...LOL!!!

Thanks for the positive feedback Esther. You have given me more hope :)