Diary of a homeschooler who was never home

Diary of a homeschooler who was never home

It should be called car schooling.

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After attending kindergarten, my parents made the decision to homeschool me. Many events lead them to choose this lifestyle for my siblings and I. Having a little brother who was often in the hospital and certain situations at school, such as physical encounters and shootings nearby, made homeschooling the best option for us.

I'll be honest, my education was far from the 7 or so hours in some classroom 5 days a week. Most of my school books were brought along with me and finished in the car on the way to field trips, volunteer events, and seeing family. Yes, my handwriting was awful due to being in a car.

During the time I was homeschooled, I slightly despised it because I felt like I was missing so many of the things other kids were experiencing; however, after shadowing a student at a private school for only a day I realized sitting in a classroom and working on their schedule would be miserable for me.

I've had many adventures through this lifestyle that I wouldn't have gotten from a public/private school. By the age of 12, I was teaching entire school groups about science at a local camp which I volunteered at for 6 years. My love for people has been sparked by being around all age groups, instead of just my own age. It was my fault for never feeling a belonging with other homeschoolers and tearing myself down about my education. I consider myself to be motivated and hard hardworking because that was my best option for being homeschooled. If I wasn't fitting my school work into my schedule (if you can even call it a schedule) every day was immensely different from the day before.

The main struggles were the treatment received from other people. It's baffling how you can immediately be judged based on where you were educated. Even adults would make snarky comments about it. I remember going to a career expo for 8th graders with my homeschool group while tons of other public-school groups were there also. Each career table had freebies for everyone except one table, who after finding out we were homeschooled put her supplies under the table, critiqued us for being homeschooled, and said her stuff was for school groups only.

It was moments like these when the blood rushed to my face as I had to take a deep breath and fight off tears because adults were making me feel inferior and dumb compared to others.

Despite the few negatives about homeschooling, I can at least say I've had numerous life experiences from it. Wherever you were educated let the story be yours and never let anyone make you feel ashamed of where you come from. Although I'm done with homeschooling and attend a university, it's still a big part of what shaped my personality.

Cover Image Credit:

@jacimariesmith/Instagram

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5 Things I Learned While Being A CNA

It's more than just $10 an hour. It is priceless.
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If I asked you to wipe someone's butt for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to give a shower to a blind, mentally confused person for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to simply wear a shirt stained with feces that was not your own for 12+ hours for $10 would you do it?

You probably wouldn't do it. I do it every day. During the course of one hour I change diapers, give showers to those who can no longer bathe themselves, feed mouths that sometimes can no longer speak and show love to some that do not even know I am there all for ten dollars.

I am a certified nursing assistant.

My experiences while working as a CNA have made me realize a few things that I believe every person should consider, especially those that are in the medical field.

1. The World Needs More People To Care

Working as a nursing assistant is not my only source of income. For the past year I have also worked as a waitress. There are nights that I make triple the amount while working as a waitress for 6 hours than I make while taking care of several lives during a 12 hour shift. Don't get me wrong, being a waitress is not a piece of cake. I do, however, find it upsetting that people care more about the quality of their food than the quality of care that human beings are receiving. I think the problem with the world is that we need to care more or more people need to start caring.

2. I Would Do This Job For Free

One of my teachers in high school said "I love my job so much, if I didn't have to pay bills, I would do it for free." I had no clue what this guy was talking about. He would work for free? He would teach drama filled, immature high school students for free? He's crazy.

I thought he was crazy until I became a CNA. Now I can honestly say that this is a job I would do for free. I would do it for free? I'd wipe butts for free? I must be crazy.

There is a very common misconception that I am just a butt-wiper, but I am more than that. I save lives!

Every night I walk into work with a smile on my face at 5:00 PM, and I leave with a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear every morning at 5:30 AM. These people are not just patients, they are my family. I am the last face they see at night and the first one they talk to in the morning.

3. Eat Dessert First

Eat your dessert first. My biggest pet peeve is when I hear another CNA yell at another human being as if they are being scolded. One day I witnessed a co-worker take away a resident's ice cream, because they insisted the resident needed to "get their protein."

Although that may be true, we are here to take care of the patients because they can't do it themselves. Residents do not pay thousands of dollars each month to be treated as if they are pests. Our ninety-year-old patients do not need to be treated as children. Our job is not to boss our patients around.

This might be their last damn meal and you stole their ice cream and forced them to eat a tasteless cafeteria puree.

Since that day I have chosen to eat desserts first when I go out to eat. The next second of my life is not promised. Yes, I would rather consume an entire dessert by myself and be too full to finish my main course, than to eat my pasta and say something along the lines of "No, I'll pass on cheesecake. I'll take the check."

A bowl of ice cream is not going to decrease the length of anyone's life any more than a ham sandwich is going to increase the length of anyone's life. Therefore, I give my patients their dessert first.

4. Life Goes On

This phrase is simply a phrase until life experience gives it a real meaning. If you and your boyfriend break up or you get a bad grade on a test life will still continue. Life goes on.

As a health care professional you make memories and bonds with patients and residents. This summer a resident that I was close to was slowly slipping away. I knew, the nurses knew and the family knew. Just because you know doesn't mean that you're ready. I tried my best to fit in a quick lunch break and even though I rushed to get back, I was too late. The nurse asked me to fulfill my duty to carry on with post-mortem care. My eyes were filled with tears as I gathered my supplies to perform the routine bed bath. I brushed their hair one last time, closed their eye lids and talked to them while cleansing their still lifeless body. Through the entire process I talked and explained what I was doing as I would if my patient were still living.

That night changed my life.

How could they be gone just like that? I tried to collect my thoughts for a moment. I broke down for a second before *ding* my next call. I didn't have a moment to break down, because life goes on.

So, I walked into my next residents room and laughed and joked with them as I normally would. I put on a smile and I probably gave more hugs that night than I normally do.

That night I learned something. Life goes on, no matter how bad you want it to just slow down. Never take anything for granted.

5. My Patients Give My Life Meaning

My residents gave my life a new meaning. I will never forget the day I worked twelve hours and the person that was supposed to come in for me never showed up. I needed coffee, rest, breakfast or preferably all of the above. I recall feeling exasperated and now I regret slightly pondering to myself "Should I really be spending my summer like this?" Something happened that changed my view on life completely. I walked into a resident's room and said "Don't worry it's not Thursday yet", since I had told her on that Tuesday morning that she wouldn't see me until I worked again on Thursday. She laughed and exclaimed "I didn't think so, but I didn't want to say anything," she chuckled and then she smiled at me again before she said, "Well... I am glad you're still here." The look on her face did nothing less than prove her words to be true. That's when I realized that I was right where I needed to be.

Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I needed caffeine or a sufficient amount of sleep. My job is not just a job. My work is not for a paycheck. My residents mean more to me than any amount of money.

I don't mind doing what I do for $10; because you can't put a price on love. The memories that I have with my patients are priceless.


Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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To My Least Favorite Professor, The Bully At The Front Of Class

So much for free thinking, right?

ellzyah
ellzyah
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Hi, remember me? If not it's cool, but you did say at the end of class that I left an impact on you. Whether that was a good or bad one, I'm still not sure. But I can say with confidence that you most definitely made an impact on me.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

When I first started your course I was brimming with excitement. Your selection of reading material was on point, your assignments sounded fascinating, and it seemed that your energy and passion for your subject was unmatched. Seemingly, a course match made in heaven. However, upon starting your course, I realized what I believed to be your passion for your subject wasn't passion at all, but rather just a supercilious attitude.

I found this out pretty quick. It was evident in the way you spoke down to your students. As if they weren't on your intellectual level. We get it, you're a master of your subject. But how are you to encourage anyone to be passionate about learning when you shoot them down for trying?

I thought I would be the one to avoid your scorn, as I was doing quite well in the course. But, I was wrong. After our first big project, you had given me a slightly lower than expected grade, which of course was fine. I know not every project is worth an A. Yet, I was curious as to why — I mean, I checked every box on the grading scale.

Again, I wasn't angry, I just wanted to inquire how to improve my work for the next project. So, I asked you in what ways I could improve as any try-hard student would.

You took my inquiry as an insult and played the 'you get what you get, and you don't throw a fit card,' on me. You put words in my mouth and twisted the situation to make it out like I was whining because I didn't get the grade I wanted. You then went on to belittle my work, and myself as an individual. During the whole situation, I was flabbergasted. When a student is showing excitement for your course and a willingness to improve, you don't stomp on them. You teach them.

At that moment I realized you were really just a bully.

I also realized that I wanted to ace your course just to show you I could. And you know what, I did. How? I realized that if I wanted to get a better grade in your course I would have to trail off the straight and narrow path, and by that I mean ditch the grading scale. In the end, you didn't want us to create well, you just wanted us to create things that were pleasing to you. Your course really wasn't about being creative, it was just about getting your students to agree with you, to see the world only through your perspective.

Once I figured that out, I learned what you liked, how you functioned and started to cater to my projects accordingly. And to no surprise, my grades improved. You started to love my work because it didn't reflect who I was, it reflected you, and your opinions.

Sadly, you failed to teach what your course intended, which was free thinking. Instead, you taught that to get ahead you need to align your beliefs and opinions to those in power.

In the end, I left your course with a bad experience, but a positive mindset. Instead of being discouraged by your negative words, I used them as motivation and found a way to succeed. So, thanks for that.

A word of advice for the future? Treat your students better. We want to learn, and we like working hard. But when you treat us like ants, don't be surprised if some lose passion for your course.

Best Regards,

E.

ellzyah
ellzyah

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