I think I mentioned before that I left school over 20 years ago with no qualifications so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about that. I know a lot of people always wonder how that happened.
I was always classified as being the class 'trouble-maker' - I had no attention span, I was easily distracted (usually by my imaginary friends - who I preferred to my schoolmates), my memory was useless, I was forgetful, I didn't listen to the teacher, I could never sit still and was always fidgeting, I was a chatterbox, I never waited my turn... as I got older it just got worse and I would react... ah... extremely to any criticism from teachers - or anyone. The oddest things would make me laugh (especially when they made other people cry), I would get very angry very easily and take it out on both myself and other people. I had severe mood swings.
I lost track of the amount of times I was sent to the head-teachers office, sent to sit in the corridor, put in detention. I was kicked out of school multiple times. It got to the point where nobody even bothered any more. Did Lucy even go to school? I stopped going. I didn't take my exams.
No-one even noticed.
Fast forward to now and I have diagnoses of schizo-affective disorder and adhd. Schizo-affective basically being schizophrenia with bipolar. And attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. My main symptoms/struggles (which do overlap both):
Disorganised thinking. Being unable to organise myself. Short attention span. Poor memory. Not being able to stick to tedious tasks. Self-harm. Depression. Mania. Hallucinations/Delusions (seems the best friend I've had since I was about 3, who has pink hair? She's not real!). Not being able to sit still. Fidgeting. Excessive talking. Not being able to wait my turn. No concept of consequences.
See the overlap there?
I'm sure if I was in school these days, it would have been picked up. I would have been treated. I may even have thrived - because I really do enjoy learning. As long as I can do it at my own speed and in my own way.
The important thing is that it has
been picked up, that I am
being treated - both meds and counselling - and that I have found ways of coping with my... quirks.
Which is what brings us to toady. And starting to study English and Maths. I'd like to do Science (especially Physics) too but S was right when she said to start with these as I'd need them to be able to do science.
With English, I've been using the workbooks printed by a company called CGP Books
who are the UK's main publisher for education books. I am starting at the beginning with what's known as Key Stage 1 - age 5-7
In the last couple of days I've learned what nouns
are. What verbs
are. What adjectives
are. I use them all the time but I couldn't have told you what they are. Nouns
- they're things, like Lucy or anger or pizza or Wales. Verbs
- they're doing words, like typing or fucking or learning. Adjectives
- they describe nouns, like purple or hard or sweet. They can also be used to compare
things - harder, fastest, stronger, slowest.
Isn't it weird how we can use the language but not know what it's individual parts?
We've ordered the CGP KS1 books for Maths and Science too - looking forward to them coming and being able to really get on with it.
I've been using the website Khan Academy
for my maths - working through their 'missions', which are great because you do a few problems so the site can work out your level and guide you through learning, practising and 'mastering' each skill.
I completed the 'Early Math' mission which was mostly counting - then adding, subtracting, measuring, time, money, and shapes.
And now I'm working through the 'Arithmetic' mission - more advance adding, subtracting, multiplication and division. And pretty damn new to me topics like negative numbers, absolute value, decimals, and fractions.
For the first time in my life, I've been able to do long division. One 20 minute video and a couple of hours practice and I'm getting them right 85% of the time. The guy does the videos with different colours so I actually had this visual and 'ohhhh' that what 'bring the number down' does.
I've been doing things today like absolute values and improper fractions. I was talking to J on his lunch break and he had NO idea what I was even talking about. S said they hadn't invented fractions yet when J was at school! ;)
One of the things we need to work out is the length of time I'm able to study for. I've been doing either 10% of a mission or practising 5 skills on Khan. And I've been doing just a double page spread in the English books - but I think I can probably manage more. Trial and error, that'll be. Just like everything else.
So far so good though. It's all fitting into my daily schedule - which I'll have to show you one of these days!