Monthly Archives: March 2012
I have always been a reader, even from an early age. It started with a weekly subscription to The Story Teller. Every week my mum would collect a magazine filled with stories that came with a tape and I would sit, listen and read alone. That was my education into reading and all before I started school.
By the time I was around eight or nine I was becoming bored with the normal children’s books and started rifling around my mums bookcase for things to read and that’s when I discovered two of my literary heroes.
Stephen King and James Herbert kept me entertained for hours and sometimes even frightened me senseless, but I loved them and I still do. There were also the Pan’s Book of Horror Stories, which I still have, and that always gave me sleepless nights, yet I still loved them. I think this is where I understood how words could bring out strong emotion in people. For me, it was fear. The collection of words that created a narrative that in turn would drive my imagination so much that it brought with it such fear excited me. I wanted to do that.
I have never understood how anyone could not love to pick up a book. It seemed ridiculous, until I had my daughter. For her reading has always been a chore and much to my frustration I tried everything and anything to figure out why she wouldn’t read. Then a couple of years ago an optician said to me after she passed her yearly eye test. “Have you had her checked for dyslexia or Mears Ilen: www.irlen.org.uk.” So I took her long to be tested and that’s when I discovered just how difficult it was for her to read.
We all have our inner reading voice and a little movie playing as we read. It helps build up a picture of what the writer is trying to create. For her that doesn’t happen. She reads the words, and that’s it. They have no meaning to her. This is because that if she reads black print on white paper all the text moves around. It takes all her effort just to read the words that there is not enough brain power to find the words emotive meaning. After the test, we discover that the colour she can read from is blue. “That should sort it out” The tester says ” but if not then she needs to be tested for dyslexia as well”
Now this is where it becomes interesting. After speaking to the school they tell me she has had a test in her first year at high school. I asked what the test involved and they said that they made her read a few paragraphs from a book. Her reading age is around 10, but that’s ok, just as long as she’s reading. To which my reply is “So you are happy that at 14 her reading age should remain at 10”. “Yes” is the answer.
We are now coming up to GCSE’s and of course exams are becoming difficult. She has little understanding of what the question is asking. The problem is is that I know form previous experience that if someone read that question out to her, she would answer it in a shot. So what this all boils down to is funding. The higher education faculties have the funding to diagnose those with reading difficulties, where as High schools and pre-schools don’t. It seems that each institution passes a child on through the system in the hope that someone else will catch them and foot the bill and that’s when children get lost in the educational system.
I find this very sad that the enjoyment of books is being missed by those children that have been left behind due to difficulties. At fifteen now, my daughter is resistant to reading, because its too much hard work and the support has not been given. If at primary school those difficulties were spotted and dealt with than maybe children like my daughter would learn how to handle their conditions much better.
Reading and enjoying a book is a valuable gift to be enjoyed by everyone and it saddens me that some are not able to have that experience.
I have always been very fortunate in my life to have some good people around me, who have helped shape who I am and where I’ve ended up. My parents, of course, lay those foundations. My upbringing was a hard, but good one and was always taught the importance of good manners and respect for others. I suppose as a child you don’t always appreciate their efforts, but as an adult that respect is tenfold.
Then came my friends some of whom I remain very close and they impact me in different ways. I have friends that fire me up when I feel so low and even lazy. They always manage to say the right things that causes a snowball reaction in my mind and things happen just by being in their presences.
There is the calming ones. Being around them always stills me. I am a manic person, who darts around like a mad arsed fly and yet, its these friends that stills the manic storm inside.
Then finally there are the ones who just push and push for me to do better. Every time I fall down they are there to pick me right back up again. They are also the ones, who like my parents give me the occasional kick up the backside, because many times I need it.
I sometimes don’t think people realise just how much impact they can have on a person’s life whether it’s bad or good. I suppose it’s part of that rippling effect that all that give out moves through one person to another. One such person, I have only met once at a friend’s party and though I probably only spoke to him for maybe an hour or two and then added him as a Facebook friend, I don’t know if he realises how much influence he’s had over some decisions made.
This website for one is because of seeing what he was doing with his own and after talking to him at length about self promotion and its importance, I decided to sort myself out. He gave me a kick up the backside and without realising it. He’s taught me the importance of self belief and how to convey that in my self promotion and continues to guide and sometimes push me in the right direction.
So the point of this post is really to say a big thank you to all you have stood by me over the years. Old and new. But also to really think about your actions towards another person. How are you impacting on their life? Is it in a good or bad way? Because nobody goes unnoticed in this world. Even if you feel that you are worth nothing to noone, someone out there has been impacted by something you’ve done. We are all part of the same lake and are all making ripples.
A very good friend of mine, vividkitty.wordpress.com sent me a link where a female CEO talked about why there are very little women in positions of power. She talked about the obstacles women face and one of them was children. Now, I had my daughter young, and I fell into severe postnatal depression. I tool pill upon pill, tried talking to people, but nothing helped. In the end I took a part time job and lo and behold I began to climb myself out of the dark pit I had fallen into. At the time I took the job my daughter was 3 months old and with the help of my parents I continued working longer and harder in order to achieve a good life for my family. I was very lucky in the fact that I wasn’t alone I also had a working partner, yet as a woman and a mother I would find myself ostracised by other mothers because of my choices. One example was by the time my daughter was attending primary school I was working full time and so it was very rare I would take her or pick her up. There was a school bus that would pick up and drop off near my parents and so things were like clockwork. However, what I did discover after a few years was that whenever there was an headlice outbreak it was my child that was being blamed for starting it. Then, being in my early twenties and not being the woman I am today I hung my head like the shameful mother and carried on. The reality was and still is:How on earth did they manage to pin point a source, because those of us that have had to battle headlice and believe me it can be out and out war, know full well those things go around in circles more times than a donkey in a blacksmiths.
Having thought about this and putting this into context of the sort of parents they were at that school, because I was never seen at the school and was not involved in PTA and cake stalls that automatically made me a bad mother and of course if I was a bad mother then it is logical to assume that I would allow my daughter to be continually infested without any treatment.
Nowadays I don’t let such things affect me especially as things are in reverse now. I am at the moment a student hoping to train in teaching and so I am not working and am now a single parent. This means money is tight and I cannot afford the latest Jack Wills clothing range etc. My daughter is now 14 and is now penalised for being poor by other kids, so, yet again I am a bad mother for not providing.
It seems like a neverending vicious circle where as a woman and a mother you can’t do right for doing wrong. If I worked hard and was never at home, but she had everything than I would be selfish. If I don’t work and always at home, but can’t provide as expected than I am lazy. Mothers get a rough deal as the government want us working, but want us have stable homes and there only seems to be sure fire answer to this problem: We as women, must find ourselves a meal ticket. Go out and find a well paid man, marry him and let him provide. That way we can stay at home and bring up our children correctly and then our meal ticket…erm..sorry…husband will bring home the money and provide.
I am going to end this post with my own views and truth. I have worked and provided for my child and also taken time out from work to try and acheive a qualifaction that can improve those prospects. My daughter may not have the latest gadgets or clothes line, but she is well cared for, stable and most importantly loved. I live my life for myself and my daughter and if such a time a man does enter my life it will not be as a meal ticket. Everything I own I have worked hard to pay for and that will continue. A man should be an addition not improvement. Also when children are born you are not given a manual to tell you what to do, just because another mother does it differently it does not mean she is bad, it just means she has different ideas.
I bid thee welcome to my author webpage.
This is a place where I hope you can join me in my trial and tribulations as a struggling writer. I want to share all my thoughts and ideas on future projects as well as ones that have already passed. Also this will be a place to showcase all my creative works and gather opinion and criticism all the way.
So read away and enjoy yourself and don’t forget to leave your mark in the comments box.