Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More High School

I'm sitting here waiting for the Norco to take effect. My latest corticosteroid injection hasn't begun to work and it's been 6 days. 6 pain filled days. I did make it back to the gym this morning and I did 2 miles on flat ground and at 3,2 mph. Far below what I usually do. I had to get back to the gym because I didn't want the Norco filled mornings becoming a habit. I tried the pool but only lasted 10 minutes before the pain had me drying off and looking for the car keys.

And before I go back to High School memories I will tell you that the solar installation is complete and we're now on line, selling power to the power company. We have a link to a webpage that shows us the current amount of power being produced. We can see the immediate effect of a cloud drifting into the path of 'our' stream of photons. I can see now that a cloudy day will become personal for us.

Also, the construction noise behind our house continues unabated. Dirt movers of all sizes parade back and forth, visible not 20 feet away from our kitchen window. When we bought the house there was a small ranch behind us and the 15' setback  didn't bother us in the least. Now it does!

Back to my freshman year. I had been put on the 'College Track' by my counselor. I had just gone along with it. I had no interest in college. One of the classes I had to take was Algebra and the teacher's name was Bernardi. He was a Major in the Army reserves and ran his classroom as if we were all privates in his personal platoon. If you made a grievous error in your calculations you were sent outside to 'police the grounds'. What? He explained just what that entailed and within a day or two I was well acquainted with policing the grounds. I could not  understand algebra, I couldn't relate to unknowns like x,  To make it worse, you were frequently called up to the board to explain how you arrived at the answer. In my case it was how I didn't arrive. I would be standing in front of the whole class when he dismissed my algebraic incompetence with "Go outside and police the grounds!"

At mid semester I would be summoned back to my counselor to explain my D- grade.  I had no answer; I simply did not understand algebra. She would remind me that I had an IQ of 142 and was not working up to my potential. She used this particular 'club' all through high school. 'You're not working up to your potential!' By the time I was a Junior, I had given up listening to her altogether.

I was taking Spanish that year and Miss Murphy was the teacher. She was an erratic teacher. Stern one minute and your best friend the next. I was very good at pronunciation and lousy at sentence structure. She frequently called upon me to do the readings or whenever she wanted the class to hear how a word was pronounced. "Please let the class hear how 'ferrocarrill should be said," I just loved to roll those 'r's. And since she spoke Castilian Spanish I quickly learned how to lisp as well as any good Castillian. Even with good pronunciation I could only muster up a C., but I was 'her friend' and would see her later when I took Spanish ll as a Junior.

I finished up the year with that same D- in Algebra and moved on to Geometry. I wasn't given a remedial course, just moved on up the line. But in Geometry I shined. One, the teacher was great! He explained everything and with geometry I could see the lines, the angles and they all made sense! They were almost physical objects. I could measure the lines and calculate the angles. There were no 'unknowns for me to worry about. For someone with ASD, unknowns are worrisome. We deal with reality; things we can see and touch. I got a B+ and was spared a trip to the counselor for one semester.


  1. That sounds so much like my high school experience. I finished Algebra with a D also. I was too shy to approach the very stern teacher so my grades slipped every quarter until the final D. I was so discouraged that I never took another math class. It wasn't until years later that I realized that Geometry may have been a different story.

    1. I'm sorry...but your D makes me feel better. Only because I always thought I was the only that went through that terrible algebra torture. As you can tell, I am still bothered by it 60 years later. I think my good luck with geometry was aided by the fact that I was taking Mechanical Drawing at the same time.