Different Strokes

At the time I posted my rant about the unrealistic demands of my online Ethics class–not to mention the fact that the course was written by someone other than my professor–my mother was hospitalized because she suffered a stroke while working in the pharmacy. The stroke affected the left hemisphere of her brain, which controls speech, language and cognitive thinking. It wasn’t bad to the point where my mother lost her speech entirely, no. Rather, the stroke gave her a mild case of speech aphasia, which causes difficulty in speaking, reading, writing and listening but doesn’t affect intelligence in any way, not even memory (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).

The first night in the hospital bed, my mom had trouble coming up with words to say, especially with the stroke team asking her 20+ questions about her personal information (age, date of birth, etc.) and the events that led up to her stroke to begin with. The next four days her speech improved, but she was confusing gender pronouns and names, calling me a “he” and my brother a “she,” and sometimes calling me by my brother’s name. I got a little impatient with my mother for giving me a male pronoun, but my brother told me that I shouldn’t act that way towards someone who recently suffered a stroke–especially when the stroke patient is the same person who brought us into the world.

Yesterday, my mother returned home. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of her speech.

++++++++++++

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m looking back on everything that had transpired in 2015. The other day as my bus was running late to take me to my Journalism class, I kept saying that I wanted this year to be over already. It was basically one episode of misfortune after another–my stepdad’s chainsaw injury to his arm on Valentine’s Day; my grandfather’s death after a fall at his assisted-living facility that rendered him comatose two days after Mother’s Day; my brother’s car accident just 30 days before Halloween; and now, my mother’s migraine-induced stroke a week before Thanksgiving. While I am thankful that most of my family is still alive, all these unfortunate events, especially my mother’s stroke, have affected me to the point where I am contemplating on taking a measure that may cause some people to raise their eyebrows: taking a break from school after earning my Associate of Arts degree.

Although a good education is essential, I hate to see that the mantra of the American education system is “Go to college because you’re SUPPOSED to, NOT because you want to learn the tools of trade you wish to get into.” I heard that I don’t necessarily need a degree of any sort to get into the writing field as long as I have the skills to write well–and I have been honing my writing skills since middle school, if not earlier. Other than that, I am very upset with my online Ethics class requires me to write three essays in one month, and with Voc Rehab for making me major in Mass Communications in lieu of English or Creative Writing. I would choose one of the two as a Minor, but still. And a degree is not exactly worth anything in this day and age, so why even bother?

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