Friday, June 8, 2012

Catch Up

It has been a year and a half since I last wrote.  It has been a year of ups and downs.  Times I want to remember and times I wish I can honestly forget.  I wrote last right after I graduated from college.  Things were looking good for me.  I had my grad school applications in, I was living with my best friend, I had a job, and I had plans for the future.  I was excited to continue on with my life post undergrad.  Fast forward two months and I got my first rejection letter from BYU, the school I wanted to go to above all others for my Victorian Literature grad program.  Go forward another two months and I got rejection letters from 4 more schools.  From February through about September I was in and out of depression trying to figure out my life and where I would go from there (hence why I didn't write during that time).  I'm writing all this because I have finally come to a peaceful time in my life where I am happy being me.

For over a year I didn't even want to think about grad school.  I had the mentality that I could not handle the rejections again.  I literally was sick for about 4 months solid because of the stress of trying to answer the "What now?" question, and I did not want to get my hopes up again just to get them crushed pulverized ("crushed" wasn't a strong enough word for how I felt during that time).  It has only been within the past few months that I have really started to think about trying again.  I have never been the type to quit.  When I had major knee surgery I lost all my muscle mass in my left leg and it messed up not only my times in swimming, but my technique.  Instead of giving up, I worked harder than I had ever done before.  It took me three years to get back to where I had been.  When I was looked down upon because of my dyslexia, I would hold my head high and proved the nay-sayers wrong.  I had a swim coach once that would have us jump into the pool right before a muscle-tearing, lung-bursting, agony-inducing, turn blue in the face with tears streaming down set and yell, "I LOVE A CHALLENGE!"  I have never lied so blatantly as I did whenever we had to do that, but in all honestly I never backed down from a challenge.  It's just who I am.  So when I heard a song by He Is We last summer with the lyrics, "I'm going to open my mind to all these new found exciting possibilities.  I'm making all my own plans.  Throw all my old ones away.  Gotta grow up be someone.  Draw a map, find a path, take a breath, and run."  Those were the words I needed at that particular time in my life.

After that, I made up my mind that I was going to accept my life the way it was and move on.  I wasn't going to dwell on what I didn't accomplish and instead set out to achieve new goals.  Have I achieved them yet?  No.  But I haven't given up.  I have gotten a new GRE study guide (bleh), and hopefully will take the test later this summer.  I want to at least get that done and figure out the next step later.

Well, that is the update on my life.  I figured I needed to explain why the absence.  One of my resolutions is to start blogging again and I'm going to try really hard to be better at it.

Love always,


Friday, December 17, 2010


Sorry for not writing lately.  It's been crazy with school and grad school applications.  But that is over now and I am officially a college graduate!  So excited!  I'll try to update more often now that I finally have time to breathe.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Since the GRE has pretty much taken over my life for the past little while, it will probably dominate any blog posts I do from here until November 24 when I finally take it.  Right now I'm mainly focusing on studying the vocabulary words, and I have to admit it is a lot harder than I thought.  Mainly cause I can't pronounce about 25% of the words.  One word that I can pronounce, however, is "academic" which has my favorite definition ever--related to a school; not practical or directly useful.  Makes school seem pointless, doesn't it?

But back to the unable to pronounce the words part.  I HATE this word...indefatigable.  That does not roll off the tongue by any stretch of the imagination.  It means tireless, and this is how the book used it in a sentence, "Although the effort of taking out the garbage exhausted wayne for the entire morning, when it came to partying, he was indefatigable."  (WHOA!  I just literally figured out how to pronounce that word as I said it out loud while typing.  It's like fatigue but with an "inde" in front of it.  I love epiphanies.)  Even though I can now pronounce it, I have to say I still hate the word.  Really, who would use it when tireless works just as well if not better?  There is a common misconception that when writing a paper or story it is better to use big words like indefatigable.  False.  When writing anything, use the simplest words that still convey your emotion or meaning.  It only weighs down what you're trying to write when you use obscure words or words with more than 3 syllables.  So all you poor spellers out there, don't feel bad if you can't spell the hard word, usually the easier word works better anyway.  Trust me, I'm an English major.  I have read and written more papers than I care to admit to, and the ones that are always the best are the most straightforward with common, understandable language.

It called circumlocution, fyi.  My german teacher always told us to circumlocute (I know circumlocute isn't a word, but I needed circumlocution as a verb and not a noun so I made up my own word) around a word if we didn't know it.  Let's say I didn't know the word dark in german but I knew black.  So instead of saying the dark night, I would say the black night.  Not quite the same thing, but close enough that it really doesn't matter.  The same thing with spelling.  If you know a similar word that you can spell, use it.  Don't worry about the word you can't spell.  I can't tell you how many essay tests I've had to work around because spelling was part of the grade.  I would find out halfway through a word that I really had no idea how to spell it correctly, so I would go rework the sentence to use a word I did know.  Be willing to use smaller words or a more wordy sentence if only to play to your strengths.  It reminds me of a test in high school for my Political Science class.  Mr. Crump gave us back our essays and I had spelled "separate" wrong.  I had spelled it "seperate."  I guess a lot of kids in the class had done the same thing because he actually stopped the class to teach us how to spell it.  He said something along the lines of, "'A' students can spell separate correctly because there is an 'a' in it.  Not an 'e.'"  I had always had trouble remembering if it was an "a" or an "e" but after that, I never forgot.  Good ol' Mr. Crump.  Love that man.

So, yeah, circumlocute.  The end :)

P.s. my dad just corrected me on the pronunciation of indefatigable.  Yep, even after my epiphany I still got it wrong.  Just another reason not to use ridiculous words.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chagrin vs. Chargin

In procrastination in studying for my GRE, I've decided to write a belated blog post instead.

This one has been in my mind for a while just cause its kind of funny.  Up until two years ago, whenever I saw the word chagrin I automatically switched the "r" around and changed it to chargin (pronounced char and gin put together if you couldn't figure that out :p).  Mixing up my r's or putting r's in where there are none as been a problem with me for the longest time.  I remember sitting reading the "See Jane Run" type books with my mom and she would get really frustrated with me because I would always add in r's.  I would be in tears and she would be too because I couldn't figure it out.  I would sound the word slowly and say it correctly but as soon as I tried reading it over again quickly the r would pop back in.  It turned into a pointless cycle of frustration.

Well back to the story, I was talking to my sister about the Twilight books and she was complaining about how Stephenie Meyers always uses the word chagrin.  I couldn't remember one time when it was used in the book, and in actuality, I couldn't ever remember reading or hearing that word before...ever.  So I had to skim back through to see if I could ever find it.  Nope, never found chagrin.  Not until a year or so later after this conversation did I reread the books and stopped at what I thought was chargin.  At that moment a light bulb clicked and I realized that for the past 5 some odd years, I had always read the word wrong.  Thankfully, I never read out loud to someone and mispronounced it or used it in a paper.  I knew the meaning but never sounded it out correctly.  Now whenever I read, I still have to catch myself with it when it pops up and I now hate the word.  I notice it to much so it seems to stick out like a sore thumb to me.  I don't think I will ever use it in my own writing because of this deep seeded animosity towards a word I once could not pronounce correctly.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Scraping By

So a mentally handicapped boy at work this past week asked if I would help him with a text.  He asked if I could spell general conference and without hesitation I said yes.  As I was typing it out, I realized I forgot how to spell "general."  I spelled it "generle," "generel," and on the third time I finally got it right.  How depressing.  I'm just glad I finally got it right in the end cause that would have been embarrassing if I hadn't. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Break from My Soap Box

So I know this is a blog about dyslexia but I just can't help myself, I'm just so proud of myself for writing a villanelle that I have to share it.  Just as a quick summary of what a villanelle is, it is a ridiculously hard type of poem to write.  There are 6 stanzas with the first 5 having three lines and the last one with 4.  In the first stanza, the first and last line are used alternately as the ending line in the rest of the stanzas with the final stanza ending with both lines.  Oh yeah, one last thing, there are only two rhyme schemes in the entire poem.  So the rhyming follows this pattern ABA, ABA, ABA, ABA, ABA, ABAA.  Confused?  Don't worry about it, it will all make sense it just a second.  Now for the poem

People close their eyes and hide their faces
From the bitter burning of setting light—
Waiting, quiet, for the empty places.

They raise a whisper to fill the spaces,
Testing darkness but at final night,
People close their eyes and hide their faces.

Blackness follows and Silence chases
Those men who've stopped amidst their endless flight
Waiting, quiet, for the empty places.

Searching, praying, for a few last traces,
Afraid to vanish in the hollow sight
People close their eyes and hide their faces.

At end of day, men find tired paces
That softly anguished under waning might,
Waiting, quiet, for the empty places.

Here, now gone, and Tomorrow races,
Leaves a longing for what once was right.
People close their eyes and hide their faces,
Waiting, quiet, for the empty places.

And p.s., the only reason this poem is as depressing as it is is because I was listening to the song Mad World on repeat and that translated into this poem.  I am what I listen to.  And as my teacher says, "You have to separate the poet from the narrator."  Your English lesson is now down. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Unity in Multeity (if you get this reference before the end of the post you should be an English major)

I know it's been a while since I've last written...mainly because I've been busy with work and playing, but since my mom came into my room tonight and told me I should write again I thought I better.  Who cares if it is 1:20 in the morning?  I'm a college student; I thrive on 3 hours of sleep a night.

Well I'm going back to my favorite internet source of wisdom for this blog post.  Wikipedia, along with the symptoms (wow...I just had a brain fart/dyslexic moment with that word.  I just spelled it simtums.  Thank you spell check even though I had to try spelling it four different ways before it actually could detect what I was trying to write and give me the correct spelling.) of dyslexia also gives some other learning disabilities that usually go along with it which I just happen to have.

Here they are:

Cluttering--a speech fluency disorder involving both the rate and rhythm of speech, resulting in impaired speech intelligibility. Speech is erratic and nonrhythmic, consisting of rapid and jerky spurts that usually involve faulty phrasing. The personality of people with cluttering bears striking resemblance to the personalities of those with learning disabilities.

Dysgraphia— a disorder which expresses itself primarily through writing or typing, although in some cases it may also affect eye–hand coordination direction or sequence oriented processes such as tying knots or carrying out a repetitive task. Dysgraphia is distinct from dyspraxia in that the person may have the word to be written or the proper order of steps in mind clearly, but carries the sequence out in the wrong order.

Dyscalculia— a neurological condition characterized by a problem with learning fundamentals and one or more of the basic numerical skills. Often people with this condition can understand very complex mathematical concepts and principles but have difficulty processing formulas or even basic addition and subtraction.
So here I go again listing times where I have demonstrated these very qualities:
Cluttering--Well this is an easy one to remember.  It pretty much haunted my childhood and haunts me to this day.  Almost every time I opened my mouth my parents would tell my to slow down and speak clearly.  I would jumble my words because my head would travel faster than my mouth.  I could never get the words out quick enough.  This came back to hit me just a few weeks ago at work.  I work at Home Depot for the summer to earn money for school.  I started out in the garden department but was transferred over to cashiering to receive more hours.  One of the first days as a cashier I was asking a man if he wanted to open a Home Depot credit account (against my will.  I hate having to ask that stupid question).  It was early in the morning and my mind wasn't fully awake and so I blurted out the schpeal, "Would you like to save ten dollars on your purchase today and open a home depot account?" but I'm pretty sure it ended up coming out along the lines of, "woulda lita save ten dollars onurpurase today and opena home depot account?"  Well the guy was rude about it and said to me, "You got to speak clearly if you want my to buy anything your selling.  Talk slowly or I'm not going to listen.  Now say that again and clearly this time."  Gahhh...I wanted to slap him.  Couldn't he have just said, "Could you repeat that?"  Did he really have to make me feel like an idiot.  So there I was blushing while being chastised by a guy who didn't know me from Adam, having to repeat myself with a smile on my face pretending what he said to me didn't hurt.
Dysgraphia--This one is a hard one to pin point.  I think it comes out most evidently when I play the piano.  It says that it demonstrates itself while typing, but I think the process for fingering piano keys and keyboard keys are the same.  I love to play the piano but I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, amazing.  But then again, I'm not horrible.  I'm okay for having taught myself after only about a year of lessons.  Even though I know I song and I have played it for years, I can never quite get it perfect.  No matter how hard I try, I can't get my fingers to go in the correct order or at the right speed.  They are simple mistakes that I know I can do correctly but I never am able to.  But I really don't care because I just love to sit at the piano and learn new songs.  Along with reading, writing, and swimming, piano playing is one of my favorite escapes.
Dyscalculia--Wow...I have this one to a T.  Junior year in high school I took AP Calculus while at the same time I took AP Physics calculus based.  I passed the calc test with a 5 (for those who don't know the rating system,  a 5 is the highest you can get and a 1 is the lowest) and I failed the physics with a 1.  The difference between these two classes wasn't the math: it was the setting up of formulas.  I understood the math perfectly.  Rotate a curve around the Y axis and ask for the problem.  Ask me to set up a formula of a mass of a car traveling around a loop at 10 miles an hour and wanting to know where the force equals 0 (don't know if this problem is plausible) I couldn't tell you cause I didn't know how to set the equation up.  I could do the math for the problem, I just couldn't get to the part where I could do the math.  I just always thought I was retarded when it came to physics but having read that there is a disorder for the problem I had it makes perfect sense now.  Yay for justification!  I have an excuse for bombing physics now.  For years I had wondered about why I couldn't do the formulas.  I had commented on it with friends in my physics class and people I had met in college.  I honestly had no idea why I could do the math without a problem but for some reason the supposedly easiest part I failed at.
Well there's some more from the wonderful life of Katie.  I'm not going to lie...dyslexia and all the other problems that come with it suck, but guess what?  You can look that annoying old guy in the face and say, "Yeah, I talk funny cause of dyslexia.  What's your excuse?"  Scapegoats are awesome.  Haha...just kidding.  But really.  There are reasons you are they way you are and your not alone in it.  It's nice knowing I'm not the only one you can't figure out a formula even if it was tattooed on the inside of my eyelids or are butter fingers when it comes to typing/keying. 
As Coleridge says, "Unity in Multeity"  both in those who suffer from dyslexia and the other problems that come with it.  "Dyslexics of the World, Unite.  You have nothing to lose but your chains!  And your poor grammar!"  :)