Tuesday, May 21, 2013

School troubles

As I was running today I was thinking that I want to create a blog for my mom and teach her how to do it so she can write some stories down throughout her life and make a book for my sister and I that I can share with my kids and so on. (hint, hint, mom if you're reading this. I'm making you a blog when we visit). Then my thoughts turned to my life and writing some things down that happened before I started my own blog. I thought I'd write about my school troubles throughout each stage of life: Elementary, Junior High, HS, college, and post graduate. It kinda all begins in my young childhood. It wasn't until I was 3 years old and still not talking that I finally got tubes in my years and my mom realized I hadn't been hearing this whole time. I had tubes multiple times that caused scar tissue on my eardrum. This caused some hearing loss and then I had to do some major catching up with my speech.

Elementary: In elementary I had to sit in the front of the classroom to hear the teacher well and read her lips. I did that a lot because background noise definitely impacted my hearing. I remember practicing for spelling test was difficult for me. I always spelled words phonetically, which in the English language, doesn't always work out so well. I did well in school because I behaved well, tried my hardest, and wanted to excel. At this time I struggled outside of school visiting my read dad and step mom every other weekend. I hated those weekends I had to visit my dad. I love my dad and all but the spirit in the home was different than what I was used to. The weekend went like this every time. 
Friday night--go to Del Taco for dinner and then go to the kids club at the gym while my dad worked out.
Saturday--watch a few cartoons. Go to my half brothers soccer game and was embarrassed when my dad would yell at my brother and the refs. Go to McDonalds for a happy meal. Go grocery shopping with my step mom. Play soccer with dad, brooke, and brothers at a school field.  Pizza for dinner.
Sunday--go to a Catholic church in the morning with my step mom, brooke, and brothers. Dad stayed home. Come home and play in the backyard and/or playroom. Clean up, pack, and Kraft Mac-n-Cheese for dinner. 
I was so excited on the 20 minute drive back to my real home. I don't blame my real dad, but I just didn't have fun and didn't feel the love like I did with my mom and other dad.

Junior High: Such an awkward age with caddy girls who didn't like me because the boy they liked liked me. Still shy, still a good, hardworking student. In Junior Nat'l Honor Society. Puberty. Don't remember much cuz I didn't like the school--snobby people. Went to Washington D.C. Went to the school dances. Co-ed parties, spin the bottle, and believe it or not being exposed to drugs and it was offered to me. Seems way to young. Was good at saying "no" and no kissing boys yet for me. Also was sealed in the temple with my family.

High School: Not so shy anymore and way more social. Participated in x-country, basketball, softball, and dance and other extracurricular activities. Went to most all the school games and dances. School seemed hard in the sense that it didn't come easy for me. I'm sure most people thought school was easy for me since I was always in the top 100 of my class and was in honor classes and Nat'l Honor Society, but it wasn't. I always got help from teachers during lunch or after school and it helped that my parents were teachers that could help me too, although, I think most times my math lessons with my dad ended in tears of frustration than learning the concept. I fought with my sister as can be expected and sad to say I was glad and felt a sense of freedom when she left for college. I felt she soaked all the attention from my parents and when she left my relationship with my parents was strengthened (not like it was bad before) and my identity as Lauren and not Brooke's little sister was acknowledged. I also enjoyed not getting patronized and somewhat bullied too. My parents taught at the same school I went to. I liked it. They kept out of my hair for the most part, which I'm sure was hard for them. Needless to say I didn't have a boyfriend until my senior year and wasn't making out in the halls like most couples did. Was accepted to BYU, was homecoming queen, got my Drivers Liscense when I was 16, received my YW recognition, and some other rewarding things. I was pretty much on top of the world....then college started.

BYU: When I think of BYU, the word humility comes to mind. I was now a little fish in a big ocean.  School was definitely hard my first two years. So hard that I was even on academic probation one semester. The sad part is that I was studying my bootie off and nothing was working. Prayer was a huge part in my life pleading for some added intelligence. There were lots of tears during this time. The "testing center" was my enemy. I hated that place and most of those tears came from walking home from that dreadful place. Seriously I was starting to believe I was mentally retarded or something. It wasn't until my junior year that things changed. I don't know what it was but my studying was more effective apparently because my grades picked up to my high standards. My diligence and perseverance was paying off. Picking a major was a struggle also and during a temple visit one morning I distinctly knew Linguistics would be my major and my minor would be Communicative Disorders. My freshman  year I lived in Helaman Halls, Stover. My heart was broken by someone and I broke someone's heart as well. Sophmore year--Village Square (I think it was called that) and Junior and Senior year: Liberty Square. Luckily I had roommates that I still talk to today. They were all good girls and we all got a long. It was a relief I didn't live with a PSYCHO. I'm proud that I graduated without getting married at BYU. Not like that is a bad thing, but I think I surprised many people that I didn't. I love surprising people ;) Graduation day was exciting and my biggest accomplishment up to that point in life. I succeeded on my own. I had a lot of support from my parents, friends, and of course the Savior. But I had done it on my own. No one bailed me out. Trust me there were times I wanted to quit.

Post-grad: I moved back with my parents and got another BA in Communicative Disorders. It didn't take long because it was my minor at BYU. After I got married we decided I should get a MA in Education. I went through all the classes and paid a pretty penny and then I just had to take one test to graduate. The test was about 120 bucks. I took it 8 times and never passed it. The agony, the tears, frustration, feeling of defeat pained me every day. Every time I studied for this test I tried a new strategy and every time I got the letter saying "FAILED" I cried and landed on my knees in tears and prayer. Finally, I gave the problem to the Lord and he took the burden of stress off my shoulder and I decided to take a different test (for elementary ed instead of HS math). I took it once, there were 4 parts and passed them all at one time. I was shocked when I got the letter saying I "PASSED." It had taken me over a year. Once again, my perseverance and diligence paid off. I was 8 months pregnant with Sydney when I graduated and I was so proud that I wasn't defeated and that I had accomplished this on my own. I had support from Jeff, family, and friends. I learned that anything rewarding in life is hard work and in many cases requires blood, sweat, and tears.

Now I'm so grateful for the education I received. I don't currently "work" in the workplace, but I have something I can use if I need. And most of all I learned more about sacrifice, hard work, picking up myself when I didn't think I could than I did about teaching kids. To my Heavenly Father who knows me, is always by my side, and listens to my prayers, and loves me is a treasure. I'm happy to know and believe these things rather than walking through life feeling empty and anonymous.


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Lauren that was awesome! Although some of the details are scant, it really reveals a great deal about your character and the molding of it. I feel priveleged to have read it!

Marianne Sharp said...

Thank you for sharing. Knowing how hard you've worked to gain your wonderful education, (which always seemed to come easy for you) only makes me love you more. Love you bunches,
Grandma Marianne

TimShawSr said...

Precious Lauren,
I have known that there is so much more to know about you, the life experiences that molded the strong, resilient and capable woman I know you to be. I have wanted so much to know you better, to come to know what experiences made you the wonderful woman you are. I have made several not very successful attempts, due to my own ineptitude, at trying to get closer to you to come to know this part of you. The last before Macie was born, then and got that stupid pneumonia which shut me down for two months at such a critical time in your family’s life. But, when I was lying in the hospital and read this entry about your growing years, and your challenge with education, I wept. This is exactly what I knew was the sort of tenacity and struggle that makes a woman of your caliber, and I felt privileged that you allowed me to know this about you.

And most amazing to me is that is so closely paralleled my own struggle in school, and other experiences. Even down to the struggle with phonetic spelling, but you can throw in the almost inability to read until the 6th grade, and sever stuttering through my teen years stuttering in my story.

I am so impressed with how you stuck to your guns and pressed forward through the adversity. You take all those years and condense it into a few minutes and there was the strength and courage demonstrated in giving birth to Macie, something I think almost all men would collapse under. I can see you in the BYU testing center so well, been in there a few times myself. But, I don’t know if I would have kept at it and searching through 6 failures.

There have been a handful of times in my life really impressed by the Lord in an unmistakable fashion. One was that day in the parking lot of the MTC when we said good-bye to Jeff and I talk to you for the first time in the parking lot after. I knew beyond a doubt of the character you possessed of strength, tenacity in trial, never giving up on a goal and a relationship with the Lord born of trial. I wrote Jeff and told him, “that Lauren I just met would drag you into the celestial kingdom, and you would be an idiot to let her out of your sight.”

Ever since then I have wanted to really know you better. But, my own life was always in such turmoil because Jeff’s mom had left me by that time and it was like a nuclear bomb had gone off in my life…. I just wasn’t so sure I was someone you wanted to trust. But, I feel so satisfied and joyful that you have written this, thank you Lauren. I feel like I understand some of the process that made you the absolutely faithful woman, wife and mother I know now.

With the deepest respect,