I went to a jr. college for two years . Then I transferred to a four year college. It was a state college in Glassboro. Glassboro is a small town, very rural. Its claim to fame in the 70s it was the place chosen for a coference between the then Russian leader and the president Jimmy Carter.
The two year college I initially enrolled in was on the mainline suburb of Rosemont. In case your unfamiliar with the term Mainline it originated when there was a train route from Philadelphia to Paoli. The towns in between were for the most part, pretty upper class. There were prep schools and stately old established institutions and buildings. It was a place for the well to do. Vanguard the high school I graduated from was one of those prep schools.
At the time when I went to both institutions of higher learning there was no idea I was Tourettes. Either that or in retrospect that the tics , at the very least, become much more mild.. On the other hand what I knew of this neurological disorder was that there was a tendency to curse and speak other vulgarities. I didn’t know at the time that that was true of only between ten and fifteen percent of people with Tourettes or a vocal tic disorder.
I was so not realizing I could be diagnosed with this neuro disorder that I thought to myself well at least I don’t take after my mother’s cousin, Vincent. (Not his real name)
I graduated with an Associates in Arts degreee. I went further with my higher education but never received any more degrees. I took some courses in advertising, aesthetics and a journalism course by a reporter from the Associated Press. at Temple U. Center City campus. I was living in center city at the time. They were interesting courses but I wound up spending about five years as a medical typist (dictaphone) for several doctors. But mainly I worked in rehab with various people with disabiiies. It was a rewarding life in retrospect. However it ended when the agency lost its funding. I felt most sorry for the clients.
My high school days.
I went to two high schools. The first was within walking distance and a public school. I don’t want to name the school. I’ll just state it was in South Jersey. The second one was several miles from me in the western suburbs of Phila. PA. It was a car and train ride away. I was living in New Jersey in Camden County. It was a private school for kids with learning disabilities. The term then was minimally brain damaged. I cringed when I wrote that phrase. I felt horrifically stigmatized. I remember quite a few dreams where I would be back in the regular school. But that was never to be.
The reason I transferred to the other educational institution was I felt so isolated in public school. It was a school like many high schools back then and now as populated by clicks. I was in the leftover click. The click for the kids who couldn’t get into the official clicks. I think in retrospect I suspect my tics prevented me from being more liked. The other students viewed me as weird with my list of tics. Back then I never knew they were tics. Back then I wasn’t cognizant I was doing anything out of the oridnary or I didn’t realize what they were. I constantly grimaced , twitched my nose, jerked my headI snorted, Every few minutes I cleared my throat. I tugged at my clothes. My mother told me I did this when I was in the crib. I happen to trust what she said. After all I was too young to remember. I just thought these movements were a part of me. I extended my arms, my legs as if I was reaching for something or kicking an imaginary foe. I repeatedly brushed hair out of my eyes. Even now I hate the feeling of hair on my forehead. Even when I’m in bed, The irony of being teased I felt unmercifully is the school was for kids with special educational needs. What now a days would be called learning disabled or as some folks like to say learning different. So here I was being considered really different by kids who others thought were so different they and I needed to be in a special school.
The word Tourettes was never mentioned. I happen to hear of it since I was little since my mother’s first cousin Vincent was diagnosed with it. Vincent is a psuedonym for privacy sake. I thought everyone with the neurological disorder screamed obsecenities and curse words. I learned fairly recently that only at most twenty percent of people with this tic disorder do this. I discovered much in the support groups I’m a member of on Facebook and other non Facebook groups. I belong to FB groups for adult tourette persons, general ones and others. I learned it doesn’t seem to be unusual to persist in tics when one is grown. Tourettes can come from one’s maternal side. Perhaps most important it can debilitating for some. It is not a condition to be made fun of . Mine is mild to moderate at most.
Life was not completely a bed of thorns in high school. I met the man who became the love of my life. I wrote of that in a previous post . The high school graduation speaker was then state senator Thatcher Longstregth. He was a Republican. I am a Democrat and I was back then. But he was such a colorful personality and a great motivating speaker.
My drama teacher taught Harold Prince. My Language arts teacher taught us the beauty of different cultures and mh art teacher encouraged her students love of being creative. Language arts was my private high school’s name for English. I loved that class since I loved to do creative writing.
From high school I went to jr college. Cushing Jr. College in Rosemont PA. I earned an Associate in arts in liberal arts. I went on to go to Tyler school of Art at Temple U. center city campus and was a paert of group shows for disabled artists in Phila PA and suburbs, NYC, Baltimore MD, Wash DC
My character Seymour Toze is based on my high school boyfriend and later my true love. He is featured in http://societyfordaintydamsels.com