Ken’s Story

I am 60 yrs Old, and counting, fast!

My problems when in school were the result of being stupid, or being a troublemaker. Taking time to think something through was a sigh that you were slow. In Elementary School the Nuns used to love to give me a rough time because to them I was just a rebel or worse, Lazy. Pulling on your ear to get your attention was the norm. My ears were sore for the next 15 yrs. You start to believe it yourself. In the upper schools things got worse, much worse. By the time I was in the 9th. Grade I had run away on adventures, gotten into many fights and just generally was looking for that individual distinction we all seek by being a rebel. Why not, it was the only thing I did that got me attention. Back then there was no ADD or any other excuse; you were just a kid bound for trouble.

Out of control and thrown out of school by the time I was 16, let back in at my Mothers insistence it lasted for only a few months. I could barely read, couldn’t spell (still cant) and had no other marketable skills. Enter my Father, he wasn’t the least bit intimated by my large size and attitude. You want to be a tough guy, come out to work with me. Push these guys around all you want meaning all his working buddies. They were all Brick Masons and Hod Carriers. Needless to say my tough guy attitude didn’t work for one minute. That was over 43 years ago and that experience showed me that I could be somebody. That I could be a part of something, and that I could excel at something meaningful.

Later while dealing with my Daughters school problems it was established that she had ADD. Even then though there was no money in the school system for special classes to help her, so the school system just moved her ahead through the grades. My Son also suffered from the same problem. It was during those years of trying to get a handle on my childrens problems that this family gene thing started to become clear.

It is just going to take that special Want or Need that provides the incentive for those of us who have this problem to move back into the Pain zone. The Pain can be really to much to suffer at times. Those major hits to our egos are frightening.

Not being able to spell the simplest of words (thank you spell check) or do any Math was O.K for the first ten years as a Brick mason. Ones worth is measured by his productivity in my new vocational field and I was the best. (Having been taught by the best) Later when my work demanded more of these two lost skills (math and spelling) they somehow came over me like someone was whispering the correct way of doing things in my ear. It was truly amazing, when we Have-to or really Want-to, and can do the problems in your own time, there always was a way, the problems answers came.(use the force Luke) Most of the time the solutions were different than the standard way of doing things, but solutions non-the less. (Sometimes, downright genius)

Somehow we all made it through the other side. Now, in these times, where the Good jobs only come to those with Degrees both my kids are missing out. However I am sure they will do well in life.

Being retired and having the time to reflect on these experiences it is evident that my adult life was really good. I had opportunity, meaningful work and a great couple of Kids.

If I could just spell a little better, this machine sometimes cant begin to recognize my words. Yes, We have to try much harder than most at a lot of things, but you know, if we really want something and I mean want it with passion, we can own it. A focus that is undeniable sweeps over us and our handicap then becomes a gift.

Ken L. 11/2002