Thursday, July 30, 2009

Development Summary

When I started this class, I wasn’t sure what it was that I was going to learn. I was surprised to learn that how I was raising my daughter was how the experts suggested. I took what my parents taught me and applied it, I’m not sure if they read any books by the experts beside maybe Dr. Spock, but I feel that they did everything just the right way. They passed on their knowledge to their kids, adopted and birthed kids alike. I like to think that they helped raise more than just their three kids and the six grandchildren that we gave them.

This personal profile project helped me to fully realize that we didn’t have a whole lot of material possessions growing up, but what our parents gave us was worth much more than anything that they could have bought for us. For them to take their young family of my parents and my sister, and move to California where they didn’t have any relatives or friends was a huge leap of faith. To make it work out here on their salaries was an act of sheer will on both of their parts. They saw that they wanted a better life for their family and they were going to do what ever it took to get to that Promised Land. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said “I’ve seen the promise land, though I may not get there with you…” That’s was my parents philosophy without even really knowing it. They worked hard all of their adult lives so that their children could have a better life than what they had. That drive is very much evident in each of their kids lives today, we all want our own kids to do better than what we currently have.

I’m glad that my parents instilled trust, autonomy, initiative and industry in my siblings and myself. We have been able to establish our own identities through adolescence and intimacy as young adults. As we move into Middle Adulthood, I’m noticing that we are becoming satisfied with where we are in our lives and our ability to provide the same good traits of the Erickson Development model as our parents were able to instill in us.

With this model and the Piaget model to learn from, I’m almost looking forward to moving into the Older Adult phase, sitting back as I retire on the beach of Tahiti drinking my Mai Tai after a long day of scuba diving and reviewing my accomplishments that led to my being able to live the way that I’m living. I’ll be a large part of my grandchildren’s lives, just like my mom was a large part of her grandchildren’s lives.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puberty and High School

I've been taking a class at the local Community College and have to write a paper, this is what I have so far.

Puberty was rather unkind to me, I got the really cool cracking voice, acne and glasses as my eyes went through their own turmoil. I was stuck between maturing and still being the geeky kid for most of my high school career. To add insult to injury, my parents thought that this would be a great time to get braces. I now understand that the delay in orthodontics was mainly due to the lack of insurance, but at the time I just thought that my parents didn’t want me to be dabbling in teen age sex. All of my friends around me were getting their physiques and were having girls chase them. I was always the odd one out.

During school I loved the sciences, I had great teachers who taught because they wanted to be there, not because they haven’t been able to write the next great American classic novel. I thought that I had a better connection to the adults in my life than I did with my peers. The person who had the largest impact in my life was my dad. He taught me how to be a man, camping, working with my hands and how to be respectful of women. “Treat them as you would want your mother treated”, that has stuck with me all these years.

My grand plans for after school was to travel the country. Through out high school, I had a map of the United States with little pins in it marking places that I was going to visit starting the summer of graduation. I had saved most of my money from my jobs that I had since I was thirteen. All of my plans changed the day of November eighth nineteen eighty-eight. That was the day I was called to the principal’s office. When I got there, one of my neighbors was there to tell me that my dad had suffered a massive heart attack and didn’t survive. It was a very rough rest of my senior year, all of my savings went to my mom to pay for the mortgage on the house because growing up, I learned that family came before self. I left the map on my wall though to remind me that I can still go on my trip, it will just be postponed for a little while.

The night my dad died, I realized just how many people he touched, and just how many people I considered friends. Most of my senior class showed up to console me and pay condolences to my family. Our tiny house was packed with kids and adults alike, family, friends, co-workers, bosses, teachers and pastors. I wanted to be alone, but they knew that would probably be a bad idea. They stayed with us all night to make sure that we were going to be alright. It was probably the longest night of my life.

I went back to school the next day so that I could give my mind something to do. I didn’t have a tenth grade homeroom, I didn’t have homeroom throughout high school, but my first period teacher tried to tell me that I should go home, but I told her that I needed the mental stimulation more than being out of school. We had a Mexican stand off, she wasn’t going to teach until I went home, and I wasn’t leaving. She did ask me to stay after class. She told me that I was the most hard-headed, stubborn, mentally strong child that she had dealt with in a long time and then told me that her and the other teachers were praying for our family.

I’m not to sure how much culture came into play during this time in my life, we lived in a very racially and culturally diverse area. There was a large influx of Vietnamese and Hispanic families. Most of the kids I grew up with were African-American, Chinese, Hispanic or Caucasian. The one thing that my parents did teach was to celebrate the diversity, that’s what made the spice of life.

The group of friends that I had and hung out with on a daily basis was the kids I grew up with. Some new ones who had moved into our school, but all welcome. We were lovingly called the "Odd Squad" we were made up of the Jocks, the “Stoners”, the smart kids, the dorks, the geeks and then there was me. I was told that it was hard to classify me, I told them that was because I was me, I didn’t want to try being anyone else.