Friday, September 28, 2007


Did you ever have a week when you felt that Friday would never get there? I had one of those this week. All in all, the week went by at the same speed as it always does. Time is like that. No matter how we perceive it, time trudges on at the same pace/rate as always. I had gotten an email once that was about the perception of time. It was so true--I just wish that I could remember it. It included the perception from the points of view of how long 9 months is to a pregnant woman; 1 minute is to someone in the electric chair (I think); an hour is to the parent of a child in the ER; and other such things. Time can feel like it stands still or that it is flying by you--and yet it is the same second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

There really is no explanation to why it felt like time just would not continue so that Friday would get here. I'm sure that I could find lots of excuses for it; I didn't feel well towards the end of the week thanks to a cold; SPED paper work has changed once again and we've been having extra meetings about it; my teacher assistant is afraid she's had a stroke or something since the diagnosis and medication for a severe sinus infection has not changed her condition; the loss of a student I had taught for 8 or 9 years--and I'd known him the entire time he'd been enrolled at the school (from the age of 3 until he was 18 and no longer able physically to continue to come to school). He was 22 when he died on Monday. He was so precious and loving to all that he met. He touched the lives of everyone that he came in contact with. Yes there were some that felt pity or disgust due to the fact his body had twisted so terriby over the years. He couldn't talk or walk. He was tube fed and had to be cared for all of his needs. But he was a very special young man. He had such a charismatic personality. His smile would light up the entire room when he flashed it at you. He had eye lashes that most women would kill for. His hair was so soft and curly. He had the ability to draw you to him with just a look. He had a sense of humor that matched his outgoing personality. He found pleasure in music and often would sit on the couch at home and listen to his sister play the saxaphone. I could never explain just how much this young man touched not only my life but so many others in their walk through life that crossed the path with Paul.

Winston Jr., Paul H.

Mr. Paul H. Winston, Jr., 22, of D'Iberville, MS, died Monday, September 24, 2007, in Biloxi.
Mr. Winston was a lifelong resident of the coast. He was a very resilient young man who had a very charismatic personality. The room seemed to light up when he came in with his infectious smile and bright eyes.
He is survived by his parents, Paul and Vilma Winston; sisters, Emmalee Winston and Christine Winston, all of D'Iberville, and two nieces.
Visitation is Thursday, September 27, 2007, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue, in Biloxi. Funeral services will be 12 p.m. Friday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Biloxi. Interment will follow in Biloxi National Cemetery.
View and sign register book at
Published in The Sun Herald on 9/27/2007.


Dr. Lecter said...

GIRL! You have had one doozie of a week. I cannot believe SPED would change a form; fortunately for me we do not have to meet about it unless it will be in our normal monthly meeting.

I do not know why you feel computer illiterate as you have taken this blog thing and taken off. I think you should think about writing a book!

Sorry to hear about the loss of your former student, but I will leave you with what a child told me last year about the loss of his grandfather - God just needed him more than we did.

Dragon's Dolphin said...

You are not the first to tell me that I should write a book. I've been asked to write a cookbook--and I've started one that is for family and friends, but won't be published.

Several years ago one of my assistants said we should write a book on the different types of feces we see on a daily basis--yes it was a joke, but when you're in a S/P class, sometimes you see more than you ever want to. We had their bm's categorized into colors, shapes, sizes, texture and consistencies, and don't forget the ones from the colostomy bag we used to have to empty/change daily. Yeah, we're a little sick in the head--but you do what you have to to get through a day or a week. And often humor is the only way.

I've had people tell me I should write a book on how to get along with parents--as mine often seem to treat me more as family than as their child's teacher. Although I have had the extremes. On one end, I've had one parent threaten to shoot me if she ever saw me off school property. Less than a week later my back windshield was shot out as I was driving home. While on the other end, I've had parents refusing to keep the child in school/services unless their child was kept in my class.

Even yesterday my assistant told me I should write a book on all my experiences for the last 22 years--and include all of the students that I have lost to God over the years. But I could never write a book. It would end up boring and know one would want to read it.

Just as with this blog--after these 7 weeks are over, no one except me will probably ever see this blog. Each of you will go on with your teaching as per usual and no one will see any of the ideas or brainstorms (as my assistants call them) I put here.

Thank you for your compliments on my computer literacy. Things like this are easy for me--just think, type, and post. Where I'm going to get into trouble is the next several weeks. Everything I've learned about computers has been from me sitting and playing--testing this command or another. So far I haven't crashed the hard drive or wiped out any important files. I figure I must be doing something right. But when they talk about wikis, podcasting, RSS, etc., I am lost.

I have had many of the teachers in the school come to me if they have computer problems--as they don't know what to do to fix them. It's usually a simple problem, "Did you turn it on?" "Did you hit the print icon or save icon? How many times did you hit the print icon? Well that's why you're getting 50 copies of it then!" "No, you won't find it on your hard drive, it is in your 'O' drive. Everything is switched over through the servers at the time you shut down your computer." "Did you shut down the computer correctly or do a hard shut down?"

As far as the new SPED form: you probably already have it. It is the new educational Environment form that came out in July (AFTER we had all of our IEPs written, as we do ours in the spring). It is yet another form that must accompany the IEP. So we are having to go back and do them. They have already changed the directions on how to do them twice since we learned of the form!!!!UGH!

You know Dr. Lecter, your student was right. God did need Paul more than we did--of course I know that God has always used him. And I know too, that God needed the other student's mom at this time. (Did I even mention that in the original post?) But when the child has so many autistic behaviors and is not understood by very many, it does have us questioning, "Why?" And like Job, I can get angry and I can yell and scream and whine; but through it all, I trust that God has a plan and has the big picture in mind. And I trust Him to do what He feels is best for all concerned.

Susan Williams said...

May God strengthen you in the loss of your student...thank you for sharing with us. As far as the SPED sense of humor, I think we all fall on that trail sometimes. We have to to maintain our sanity! Have a wonderful week!