Specially Wired Not Dumb
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
It was time to go to kindergarten, and I was very excited. Now I could go to school like my brothers and sister, which made me a big kid. Unfortunately, the 1970s were not kind to children with hyperactivity. Soon after school started, Mrs. B decided to tell my mother that I was not smart enough to learn, and she felt I didn’t even want to try. Due to me being very active and chatty, my teacher quickly made it know that she did not like me and was not happy to have me in her class. Little did she know that her hurtful words would continue to haunt up into my adult years.
It was a year before the Learning Disabled room finally launched in the Southfield school district. I was in fourth grade having a tough time learning how to read. That was the year mom took me to Detroit Children’s Hospital to have me evaluated to figure out what was “wrong” with me. After many tests, my doctor declared that I was Hyperactive and put me on Ritalin; they also figured out I needed glasses. At school, my teachers did not understand how to help me. They decided to have my friend Earl and me, 4th graders, walk down to the 1st-grade class for the reading time, where I would once again have my Kindergarten teacher who did not like or believe in me. I can remember a normally very happy girl-crying daily at school, even on the playground. Something had to change.
Our school district finally opened up a classroom for kids with learning disabilities. Mom informed me that I had to leave all of my friends at Eisenhower elementary and go to Southfield #10, which happened to be right next to my grandma’s home. Mom bribed me with changing schools by telling me I could see grandma every day at lunch. I really loved her so that was the perfect bate.
At my new school, I finally had a teacher who was sensitive to my learning needs. Unfortunately, there was a serious in-class problem in my mind, many of the students there were mentally disabled and somewhat low functioning and I felt as if I were a square peg in a round hole. According to the IQ tests at the Detroit Children’s Hospital, I was very smart and needed help learning how to focus and channel my intelligence. Once again, unknowingly, my well-meaning school was unintentionally reinforcing the bad seeds that were planted in the heart of a kindergartner years earlier.
It was time for high school. My stepmom took me to the local school to sign up. LuAnn believed in my ability to learn and wanted to make sure that the school LD room was the offer to me so I could thrive. Unfortunately, the counselor did not understand my needs and registered me for classes filled with stoners who did not want even to try to learn. I was a fish out of water. On the first day in my math class, the teacher gave us a times table test, which I finished and then he announced that he did not expect me back in his class again. It was obvious that I needed the “regular” class track and an hour of LD class where I could get assistance with homework and test taking. This schedule suited my needs, ending my freshman school year with a 4.0. Finally, the keys to breaking that damaging word over my life as a kindergartner started to be stripped away, but it would take until I was 43 to understand my potential.
My daughter attended Aquinas College, a local college in our town. She and my husband decided that I would benefit from finally getting my Bachelors, so I scheduled an appointment with the Continuing Ed. Adviser and started my college journey. I must be honest, that first semester was tough, but my husband and daughter lovingly stood by my side encouraging and helping me succeed in my classes. After 5-years of school, I graduated with an English Literature major and Writing minor, with a 3.2 GPA. The hurtful spoken word that Mrs. B spoke over me had finally lost its grip on my life.
2013 to Present
After finishing my undergrad, I achieved two Masters, an MBA and MA TESOL with an accumulative GPA of 3.9. Currently, I am enrolled in the Ed D program at a local university, where I will graduate in three and a half years. Finally, my life is not tied to a hurtful word spoken against me back in 1970. God has completely broken the false identity that I chose to carry for so many years. I am not broken or defective. God has creatively wired me to achieve the plans and goals that he has ordained for my life. I can only be successful in moving forward when I choose to take off the damaging identity lie and put on God’s true identity that I have been created to be great in God’s kingdom. Also, it is my job to figure out how to achieve this goal and do it with all my heart. Was it always an easy journey? No! But God’s grace and help from my family members moved me forward to thrive in all I lay my hand to do. I am truly specially wired and not dumb.