Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mental Illness and College

This is the second half of last week’s blog .  I never gave up on college as I knew it was my only chance at succeeding in a good life.  As I did not want to work a construction job any more.  The disability office was going through changes and I started working with a program called student support.  I kept taking computer classes and they were not working out and they told me one lower grade and I would be suspended from college.  I told the professor as I did the work that if he would pass me this semester I would not take any more computer classes.
Student support told me to look for a new major and they told me since I had drug and alcohol experience I should take those classes as a major.  I did and I still was going half time to school so I would not fail. One class I had to take was geography and was not doing too good in it. We went on a field trip to red rocks and the teacher drove me back as I do not drive.  On the way we talked and I ended up telling her I had a disability she told me about the disability office and that she would give me a no credit if I wanted to go to the disability office and take the class again next semester.  I told her no I would talk to the disability office and still try and pull this class with a good grade.  The whole class was not doing so great and the teacher gave us a copy of the final test to review.
I took my home and that whole weekend at work and at home I studied that test and memorized it.  I passed all except where places are in Colorado.  The teacher had said never ask me the directions because I will get you lost.  I passed the class and I think my being locked up for the last ten years is why I never knew where to go in Colorado.  I only knew Canon city and the state hospital in Pueblo.  Also for that test the disability office let me take the test in private and with someone reading me the questions. I read the answers right off from memorizing the test.  In another class I had failed the first test than I talked to a student about helping me with the notes.  She did and I brought up the grade and the girl that helped me was the top scorer in the class from helping me.
I finally was at the last year of my classes and took internships in drug and alcohol counseling. It all went good until my last internship then I was leading a group of teenagers about drug and alcohol.  I was not supposed to be leading groups since I was not certified yet but wanted to learn all I could.  There was a young man in the group that did well in the group but the people who owned the center were going to have this young man kicked out and fail him because his parents did not see anything wrong with marijuana which he had been caught with at school.  That was the people I wanted to help teenagers from making the same mistakes that I did.  I was angry and finished and graduated but that spring I enrolled in a Master’s program at University of Colorado at Denver. It had took me eight years to finish my bachelor’s although I wanted to work at something I felt good about so I went back for my Masters.
I finished that Master’s and learned how to do research.  That is what I wanted to do now. I also was involved in the disability office there and had a note taker.  I finished faster in three years and finally was able to work in research.

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