Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Mother's Collection of Stories

Thank you for visiting this collection of my mother's stories. My mom, Connie, passed away in December 2011 at the age of 68. She grew up in South Dakota, moved to Iowa in her late 20s, got married and raised two children. She also did it while having a certain form of Muscular Dystrophy.

Mom wrote these stories over the years, for writing classes she took, or just simply to write. Many of the stories are personal, with details about her growing up in South Dakota or her life in Iowa. There's even the story, The Green Light, about her learning to drive at the age of 28.

There's also the story about the passing of her mother, The Night That Changed My Life, where Mom wrote about how her mother's passing ultimately led Mom on her path to Iowa, her husband and two children.

Some of Mom's stories she wrote out by hand, others were typed. All have now been entered here to share with whoever wants to read them. I hope this site serves as a fitting memorial. -Connie's son, Steve, June 2012 

Introduction: Connie from South Dakota 

Growing up in South Dakota
Going out on her own
Life in Iowa
Disability awareness
Mom's Family
Mom's 1994 paper on education of children with disabilities
Creative Writing

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Learning Cannot Be Scheduled

This is a paper Mom wrote in the same class as she wrote her From Dependence to Independence paper. In this paper, Mom talks about children being ready for school, and sometimes learning at different paces.

Near the end, though, Mom adds the personal notes that make these papers so great. She references her experiences on the playground as a child. She also remembers her one year at the local crippled children's school when she was about 13, as giving her her voice. She's previously written about the school as letting her down academically.

She talks about how the family got through Mom's sister-in-law's family coming from Germany, when each family didn't know the other's language.

The photo is of Mom in the 1960s, from her photo album.

Society has set down a schedule for everyone in regards to their formal education. When a child has reached five years old, he/she attends kindergarten, at six he/she starts first grade, and so on. Education is set down in an orderly manner - or is it. Is a child always ready to learn at these scheduled times? Some kids are not. Does this mean that they are slow? Or does it mean that they are the proverbial "late bloomer." How do you get a child ready; and how do you keep them interested in school.

There are times when you have to stop trying so hard. The individual has to find out for himself. Not all education after all, comes from formal learning in schools. Sometimes the best lessons can come from "the old school of hard knocks." The lessons of "life" can prepare the child for the formal schooling later. Learning cannot be scheduled, nor is it derived from books. More and more older students are returning to school to either complete earlier attempts at college, or to enhance the individual's personal goals.

When the child is younger, of course, they will need guidance. They will not be able to choose for themselves, so it is up to the parents and teachers to keep them interested and ready. Small children need to be enthusiastic about learning, at whatever level they are at. To quote John Ciardi, a noted American teacher and writer, "No one gets to be a human unaided. There is not time enough in a single lifetime to invent for oneself everything one needs to know in order to be a civilized human."

This philosophy is good but I don't feel that we need to know it all. What we need is enough knowledge to get along in this world of ours. Perhaps we can even help change the thoughts of one or two other people along the way; than I would say we accomplished much.

The first education we received, of course, came from our family. This family unity and protection will say much for the child on how her individual personality is set. If she is to be aggressive, it will show here. If she is to be shy, it will show here. Special talents can be brought out here also. Setting play blocks in a certain fashion can be a form of art work or construction work. It will by no means seal her fate in any way, but all of these little creative talents need to be rewarded and encouraged.

By making this early learning a fun experience, you can teach the child that exploring new subjects will be fun. As the child begins preschool or kindergarten, this fun way of learning continues. It takes a lot of patience to work with a room full of 5-year-olds. Here, however, the real personality will come out. Whether it is social time, when the kids interact with each other, or rest time when perhaps one child will not rest. The particularly shy child needs guidance here. Maybe to the point that you discuss with the parents as to whether he is ready for this world yet. Again, not everyone will learn at the same pace. This means nothing except that they are an individual.

As the child grows up through the Grammar school, we need to watch carefully for the slower child. This child cannot get lost in the system. These are the most important years to keep the child interested in the basics of math, reading and writing. There needs to be some extra help here if needed. Once these children are lost in these lower grades it is very difficult to get them back to the proper level at the higher grades. It takes all the fun out of school if the child cannot keep up.

There are programs in a lot of schools around the country that bring in some of our senior citizens to aid with the extra help needed for these children. This works very well and benefits both the seniors and the children. The children in the lower grades see these seniors as perhaps the grandparents the children may or may not have or see very often in this transient world we live in. There is much to be learned from these seniors other than reading or writing. Their experiences can keep the child interested in learning.

As with the slower child, we must also think of the fast learner or the advanced child. These children soak up everything you give them. It becomes a challenge to keep these children excited about school. One way could be to use these children as tutors of sorts with the other children. Let a good reader help a slower reader. The teacher will have to monitor this at first to make sure they are benefiting each other. This responsibility with both parties could help them. Extra projects for the advanced learner in a subject that is of interest to them. I do not believe in most cases that a child should be advanced to another grade. They could take subjects with that grade, but should for the most part stay with their own class.

A child on the playground, playing a game, or just watching. An experienced teacher can tell a lot from this scene. These are the social skills that we learn, when we are ready to learn them. We all know that children can be cruel and this especially can happen on the playground. I got to a point in school that I hated recess, and especially noon hour. I was glad to get into the upper grades when we didn't have any. I was so shy it was difficult to play in large groups. I was fine in the small group setting. In organized games we must see to it that everyone gets to play. Nothing is more hurtful than not to be chosen for each side. The self confidence is gone. There are times though, when the children need to be left on their own to get involved. Here is where your real leaders show up. This does not mean that the "wall flowers" will not be leaders in the future. Sometimes when children grow and are outside of this usual group of kids they begin to emerge and bloom. I believe that I was like that. Painfully shy in grade school, I went away to school one year and learned that I had a voice and sometimes it was worth talking, and people listened.

We cannot force people to think the way that you think. History taught us that from the famous "Great experiment" with the Indians with the William Pratt schools. He thought he could make the Indians into white men. It is fine to teach the Indian how to read and write and all about the white man and how they learn, but you cannot stamp out their basic personality or heritage in the process. People must be free to think for themselves. This kind of brainwashing is never permissible, although it has been tried throughout history.

No we cannot force learning on anyone but we can add to their knowledge. Sometimes there can be an exchange of knowledge. When I was a little girl, my sister-in-law, who came from Germany when she married my brother, decided to bring her sister and family here as well. Their escape from behind the "Iron Curtain" was the topic of many dinner table conversations. They had two daughters, one of which was my age. They spoke no English and of course I spoke no German. There were many afternoons spent with little more than sign language spoken. I feel I learned a lot that summer, and I'm sure that they did. Children left to their own resources can make it fine.

Much of this learning that I have spoken of is not necessarily learned in the formal school setting. Mr. Robert Pirsig, a noted teacher and writer, said that classes do not stop when you leave the school. He says the "real university" has no specific location, but is a state of mind, a continuing body of reason itself. Along with this reason, I feel, is the common sense that has to be in all of us if we are to survive. I have known a lot of well-educated people, with many degrees, but lack a basic concept of common sense. Their thought process is locked in a book somewhere and they can't bring it out. Then there are many people that I have known, who, like my mother, had very little formal education but could relay all kinds of common sense. If I had my choice, I would take the common sense over the book learning. When you have common sense, you will achieve the goals of a "real university."

Connie, May 14, 1994

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paper Research: Remembered As

This is the tenth, and final, of these process logs from Mom's folder. They're sort of logs that document her research for her spring 1994 paper From Dependence to Independence. Instead of a log, though, these are more like mini-papers that are interesting on their own.

I'm leading this one off with a two-paragraph opening to this project of Mom's. The opening is the final piece of this project to post.

In the process log, Mom talks about including those with disabilities in activities. At the end, she talks about what she wanted to be remembered for.

The photo is of Mom at her retirement party in 2009.

My definition of interpersonal intelligence as it pertains to my special project is this. Many disabled children and adults are left out of the extracurricular activities in many schools. All the activities are centered around the able-bodied, such as basketball, baseball and almost any sport, many clubs. These organizations are not geared for the disabled child. Sometimes with the right encouragement from a friend or teacher, it wouldn't take much to make the club available to the child.

Schools can be made accessible to anyone with any kind of disabilities, with some simple accommodations. These kinds of obstacles can be referred to as interpersonal problems. When these physical obstacles replaced, the disabled student can settle down to the fine art of learning. Without the worry of how to get to the next class, whether it be up the flight of stairs or down a long hall, things can be adjusted so the disabled child or adult can get there with the necessary books and paraphernalia needed for class.

Along also with the outside physical influences, the outside student influence is also a factor. Many times the students can be very gracious. They take it upon themselves to help and suggest. In recent times, with the disabled student at the forefront of everyone's eye, this objectivity can be natural. However, from the times of most of the teachers have grown up and lived in, it is not natural. Many of these adults have grown up when these kids were hidden from society. A few years ago, these kids were considered untrainable and ineducable: Not much was tried.

Consequently, these students are not high on the list to choose for special committees and privileges. The teacher probably does not call on the disabled students for much discussion. If they are able to communicate readily, they probably are not able to speak loudly enough to compete with the rest of the class. They also would not be selected to take part in any non-competitive sports, even if their intelligence shows them really able to do these sports. Many times also the disabled student would not be the first choice to do some peer teaching.

My son has a disability. He cannot walk very well without his braces on. His intelligence, however, is very high. He carries a 3.5 GPA most of the times and has had a 4.0. His strongest classes are math, science and history. Yet, he probably would not be the choice to be used in peer teaching. I can see him in a teaching role. I can also see him in a very influential role.

My topic also fits into the intrapersonal intelligence role. Out of necessity the disabled student is in a self-paced environment. If the school system will not aid the advancement of these students, then they must proceed on their own.

In order for the disabled student to participate in any extracurricular activities, the activity must be individualized for that particular student. Sometimes even the instruction for any subject is individualized, in order to have an idea of where the student stands academically. Solo games and sports are invented to keep the students occupied.

Along this line, however, is the big problem of self-esteem. In an effort to keep the student separate with their own projects, we may have created some of the same problems of segregation as before. In order to make the disabled feel a part of the system, the student has to be brought into the system. A plan needs to be made to bring that student into the activities that he is interested in. If he is interested in reading then create a reading club. If he is interested in sports, but just cannot participate in them actively, then try him or her on as a captain or score keeper. If the student likes to write, get him in as a reporter of the events that he is most interested in.

Maybe chess, checkers, or any board or card games have clubs in your school. Make every effort to establish what this student is interested in. My son is very interested in sports, but he can't play them. He is an avid baseball card collector, and could tell you the stats of any of the players of the major leagues. He could very easily be a scorekeeper.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough the importance of self-esteem. This is important to any student, but is imperative to the disabled students. The student has to believe in himself before he can want to accomplish anything. He has to feel that the other people see something other than his disability when they meet him. He needs to be able to convey his thoughts to others in such a way that everyone is put at ease. First and foremost, the disabled student is a person, then he is a student, then he is a student who happens to be disabled.

I have always wanted to be remembered as an individual with talents, and willing to share my talents with anyone, and I just happened to have a disability. I hope that I was hired for my job not because of my disability, whether to fill a quota or what; but in spite of it. I expect to meet a lot of people in my lifetime, I hope that I can influence some of them, in one way or another.

Connie, April 16, 1994

Viewpoint on Mainstreaming

This is a short introduction to Mom's project on mainstreaming of disabled children. It lays out the aim of her 1994 paper From Dependence to Independence.

The photo is from Mom's photo album, a man holding the door for Mom in the 1960s.

My viewpoint on the topic of handicapped kids in schools is that as long as the kids can keep up with the other children, they should be "mainstreamed" when available. Each child should be able to learn and work to their fullest potential, whether they are disabled or not. A child in a wheelchair should not, for example, be prevented from attending the school that will challenge him or her most, because of something so basic as elevators or railings.

Educating the public is an entirely different matter. When the young men came back from Vietnam, the public got a strong dose of visibility. These disabled young adults were not to stand for being shut away "invisible." They proceeded to further their education and get high-paying jobs. Many of the legislation came from this group of disabled young people. 

Connie, Feb. 6, 1994

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Paper Research: Interesting Conversation

This is the ninth of these process logs from Mom's folder. They're sort of logs that document her research for her spring 1994 paper From Dependence to Independence. Instead of a log, though, these are more like mini-papers that are interesting on their own. 

In this one, Mom recounts the interview she had with the mother of one of her religion students. Mom also talks about a speech she was to give at the church.

The photos are of Mom from the 1950s at the family farm from a photo album of Mom's.

Thank you very much for your help with my paper. I have been working on revisions. I'm not sure if I will get all of them fixed. I had a very interesting conversation with the mother of the little boy in my class. I guess I have really changed my mind on mainstreaming all kids. The only exception are the kids that may be disruptive and destructive. This kind of exposure for the other kids can be very damaging.

I had some interesting questions to ask her. This is far too much information to put in this paper, but I found it very interesting. She asked if I had ever read the book Under the Eye of the Clock, by Christopher Nolan. I had not, so she is going to get me her copy. Apparently Christopher Nolan was and is like her son. I guess it is real soul searching.

I asked her what her goals were for her son. The first and most important goal is being able to communicate with people. She says that she knows what he wants usually, but that is because she lives with him all the time. The psychologists were able to do an IQ test on him, by using a very patient and adaptive process. It was shown that he has a good IQ. Now to be able to tap that knowledge. I asked her if she was able to see improvements in her son in the last few years. She said there was quite a bit of difference. He is able to recognize pictures of things.

I was also curious on how the experts decided when he passes to the next grade. Obviously the usual methods won't work. She said that the teachers and parents get together and do an IEP (Individual Evaluation Profile). Here everyone gets to evaluate the child's progress.

Grant Wood Area Education Agency (AEA) Used early childhood intervention with regular visits to her son since he was 2 months old. He has gone to all day preschool very early. It was essential for him to begin a regime early as he can't soak in as much from other sources as normal kids can.

There are many programs used in the schools for the severely disabled. One is called a circle of friends. Here, there is a group of kids volunteered to be a friend. They call on the child and just visit. Much of this comes very natural to kids, especially kids who have been brought up in this atmosphere. Kids are very flexible, if you let them be. The kids are not put off by the chair, or even by the fact that this child cannot talk back. It is kind of like when you put two kids together that don't speak the same language, somehow they manage to communicate.

I asked her if with this child in the classroom it is more work for the teacher. The little kids are constantly begging for turns to take care of him. They fight over who is going to do things for him today, much in the same way we used to fight over who got to help the teacher erase the board. I do know that with myself and my class they always want to help me, too. Last year, I had three kids fighting over who will carry my books, who will open the door, etc. It brought back memories when I was younger that my nieces and nephews wanted to help me with my braces. They loved all those buckles.

The mother also said that the city is advanced far in helping kids like her son. She lived in California for a year and couldn't find an agency to help her. I personally feel that this city is more accessible than most cities its size. There are few stores or businesses where I cannot go. The grocery and variety discount stores like Wal-Mart and Kmart, go out of their way to accommodate with wheelchair shopping carts. I wonder how often they get used. All of the schools are pretty much accessible. The university, however, needs a lot of help. There are many buildings here that cannot be gotten into, or the accessible doors are rather obscure back doors. There is a lot of work that has to be done here.

I asked Julie in the class if in her research there were many mothers doing home schooling if they had a disabled child. I was a little surprised by her answer. I guess it is not recommended for the disabled child as the child becomes much too dependent on the mother. If this is all the child knows, he cannot expand his knowledge. I would think this would be a worry with a very withdrawn child. It is easy to feel comfortable at and at home only. That is one reason why I don't think that I could do home schooling. I would be afraid that I would be making them too dependent on me.

I'm having trouble keeping my mind focused today, but I know that I have to get this log done. I have to give a speech tonight at church and the closer it gets the more nervous I get. Sometimes this Mass is very crowded, anyway, it is very big. I want to do a good job. I always feel that anything I do is not only for me, but for all of us. Maybe there will be someone in the church that will think "If she can do it with her busy schedule, then why can't I?" Guess I will never know if that happens. I would love to be asked to speak at classes or businesses on this topic. Enough of that, it will be over soon and I will either fall on my face or do a good job. I will let you know next week.

I really want to write. I have a sewing class going on now, also. I would love to write a sewing column for the newspaper. I think it could be very helpful. I approached the local paper on this. They said that they didn't have room. I want to get some articles made up when I get time.

Connie, April 9, 1994

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paper Research: Reached a Point

This is the eighth of these process logs from Mom's folder. They're sort of logs that document her research for her spring 1994 paper From Dependence to Independence. Instead of a log, though, these are more like mini-papers that are interesting on their own. 

In this one, Mom talks about trying to set up some more interviews for her paper. More interestingly, though, she talks about some more of her own experiences, surgeries and why she wants to write.

The photo is of Mom and sisters in the 1950s. Mom is sitting in the middle back, a cast on her leg can be seen.

I still have some interviews to do, but for some reason I am kind of at a stale mate. I have had a number of people read my paper, so I have a number of corrections to add. I am still not real happy with my coverage of the special education in the classroom mainstreaming and inclusion. I feel like I need to talk with another parent and also talk with someone at Grantwood AEA. I have had some dealings with them in the past and I feel they can be very helpful. Like I said I seem to be at a dry spell. Maybe this week I will feel more like continuing.

It seems like once I wrote the paper and finally got it together that I'm done. I'm glad you gave us a little bit of breathing room between the next draft. I will be very interested in what you have to say about the paper. I feel it is a masterpiece, of course.

I also have obtained the address of my first and second grade teacher, Sister Mary Pius, and have written to her. I hope to receive an answer before the final draft. What if she doesn't even remember me? That would be funny. A year ago, I wrote a fictionalized story (Connie's World) in a fiction writing class here at Kirkwood. The story was of me in the second grade. I described my efforts and struggles in the second grade. This teacher was a central figure in that story also. It will be exciting to see if she remembers, but I would clearly understand if she does not. I'm hoping she can offer some thoughts on how it was from her standpoint so long ago.

I also had a call into the mother of the little boy in my religion classroom. The dad sounded real enthusiastic, but she has not returned my call. I hope to see her this week, so maybe I can talk to her. I would be real interested to hear her thoughts on mainstreaming and how she feels that it can or will improve the status of her little boy. I would also like to visit with her on how he was before. Has he improved?

It is interesting, but over the years I received so many questions about a variety of things. Everything from, "How do you manage at home?" to real private questions of how can you make love, or even think about getting married and having children?" Some of these questions still amaze me, although of course I answer them as best I can. People automatically presume that when you go to the doctor and he does surgery that will "fix" everything. For instance, when my son had some surgery on his foot two years ago, people assumed that this would make him so he would not need his braces at all. That is not true, it only made things a little easier. I am amazed at most people's confidence in doctors. For them, whatever a doctor says is OK. No wonder there are so many people trying to do everything there is to do to medically to live longer."

Well I have learned a lot in the past few years. That is "living" isn't everything, if you don't or can't do anything with that life. That is why I suddenly have this urge to stop some of the myths that people have with disabilities. It is quality, not quantity, at how we spend our life. I intend to get the most out of life that I can, knowing that this body of mine will not take much abuse. I know that I cannot take being on a respirator or anything heroic like that. That would be part of the extraordinary means that they speak about.

Back to my topic, sorry that I got off onto something different, but it isn't really different. For the most part, I have reached a point in my life when we have to realize that perhaps the only miracle that I will see is that I am still alive, I have a brain and am not afraid to use it. I am able to get around on my own and do many of the things that I want to do. Once I know the things I can and cannot do, life can take on a whole new meaning. Oh, by the way, it has to be my decision to decide what I can and cannot do.

I would love to speak on difficulties for the disabled, except that there are a lot of people that are worse off than I that I feel a little inept in speaking for all disabled. Maybe I am a bit more articulate than some people, though. In other words, I have a big mouth. That is why I started a story about a child who is disabled and of her struggles. There are no miracles here, either, just facts about some wonderful people and some not so wonderful. For those who cannot seem to change their image that disabilities are debilitating, there probably is no answer. But for the individual who has an open mind and believes that everyone has a right to his or her happiness, I would be glad to speak with them and enlighten them further. These people are a delight to visit with as you talk frankly with them. I hope, however, that is not the only reason why people are friends with me. I always said that I never wanted anyone to hire me because of my disability, to fill a quota of sorts, but in spite of it.

It will be real interesting in a few years, when these kids grow up and take over the country. We will see if there are any change of attitudes. These kids who have gone to school with the disabled children and have treated them with friendship. Their attitudes should be a whole lot different than those of their parents, who were separated from anybody like that.

We can only hope that the attitude will improve. From what I have observed so far, I am encouraged by the behavior of the young kids, even with me. My religion students rarely ask questions anymore and are always willing to help.

Connie, April 2, 1994

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paper Research: In the Classroom

This is the seventh of these process logs from Mom's folder. They're sort of logs that document her research for her spring 1994 paper From Dependence to Independence. Instead of a log, though, these are more like mini-papers that are interesting on their own. 

In this one, Mom talks students of varying disabilities in classes. She also talks about her own methods of getting around having to carry heavy books to classes.
The photo is of mom at her college graduation in 1972. The man she is shaking hands with is identified on the back as one of her teachers.

Where to begin is a big problem. There is much to say about mainstreaming and inclusion. Some of which I am a little unsure about myself. A lot of this I was unsure about in the beginning of this project. No one really knows what a small child can learn from just being in a classroom with normal children, watching what normal children are doing. (In my religion class,) One student in particular has watched the progress of the class now through out this year with seemingly little recognition. He can't talk so we don't know exactly what he is even hearing. In the last couple of weeks, however, I have noticed a little bit of excitement. I begin to wonder what is locked in that little brain of his? What is he thinking of us? He obviously can hear us, or he wouldn't get so excited when he sees us.

I was talking to my sister-in-law this morning. We were talking about this topic. She reminded me about this neighbor of ours years ago. They had this little girl who was birth injured or born retarded, I was never sure of which it was as it was never talked about. I only seen this girl once although I knew she existed. At this point in time, no one talked about these things. From what I observed she was unable to get around on her own. Her bed was put on the floor so she would not roll out, I'm sure. When I saw her briefly she looked as though she was in her early teens, which put her a little older than myself. She never, of course, went to school. That would have been unheard of for that day and age. She eventually was institutionalized.

I got to thinking about the little boy in my classroom. This little boy has so many advantages because he was born now and not a few years ago. That little girl from years ago could have been in a classroom soaking up life by osmosis, as you will. It is truly amazing how the other children adapt to these children in the classroom. They become more tolerant of each other and many of them become more helpful. They become used to seeing this little person like themselves in a wheelchair. They talk to this individual and help him as allowed. What a wonderful world this will be if these kids grow up and keep this feeling of tolerance in their adult life.

When these children are in the classroom, the teacher will need a teacher aid. The teacher needs to acknowledge that the students are there and give them that special attention, but the teacher aid will have to do most of the work involved with the student, under the watchful eye of the special education teacher and therapist, who will make regular rounds of the rooms with her students. There possibly should have some special classes with this special education teacher, also.

I have to do some more reading that this friend of mine gave me. There are some statistics on the future of these kids. How far can they go? I'm sure each case is different. One thing that I have learned through this research is that it is OK for us to feel sorry for someone worse off than we are. This is perfectly OK. Even I tend to feel sorry for these kids that seem to be in another world. All I can imagine is all the life that they must miss, communicating with their family and friends, thinking and reading about something that interests them. How can they tell you what interests them? There are many disabled children who do grow up and learn to communicate with others.

Love and discipline can do wonders for seemingly hopeless situations. The thing to remember is that there is always something that can be tried. We have to keep an open mind. There may be some teachers who may have a little trouble with these students in their classroom. Just remember, treat them as children. After all, that is what they are. In some cases they know much more than you are trying to teach them. Too bad they cannot communicate in the usual ways. Their methods will be a little different. After the year is finished you may wonder who has done the teaching, and who has done the learning. This child may have taught you a lot that you had not planned on.

Of course if the child is not that disabled, say the child's disability is only physical, these children try very hard and learn quickly. Maybe the only help they need is in carrying their books to the classroom. Sometimes this is solved by a classmate. When I went to school my school was small, so we never moved from room to room like they do now. We only moved in high school. Here, too, most were in the same classes, so someone could carry my books to class cause they were going to the same class as I was. Now, however, my children are in such large classes that they aren't in any classes with the same people. I'm not sure how to solve this problem. When I went to college, I made a big bag so I could carry my classwork in it. The only problem was the books were so heavy. Even only one book can weigh a lot. I asked the individual teachers to see if it was OK if I didn't bring my books. Of course it was OK then if we used books in class I looked off someone else's book. That is how I have solved the problem. There are so many other ways like keeping two books, one at home and one in class. Most teachers are more than willing to help.

Connie, March 19, 1994