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Dyslexia awareness, it should be a thing.

20 Oct

it’s been a little while since I’ve been able to post something, so while i was sitting here procrastinating instead of doing home work i though i may as well put my procrastination to good use. Time for a rant post!

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The Saturday just gone, I was lucky enough to be asked to be a panelist for an organisation called Square Pegs, an organisation that is trying to spread awareness about dyslexia across my home state of Tasmania. As anyone who had read my blog before knows, i have dyslexia. Sometimes it’s obvious, other times not so much. So it’s a subject I feel strongly about.

As a writer I cop a lot of criticism when I make a mistake, either in a post or in a draft or a report and while I work hard not to, it still happens. So to say I have a passion for speaking out about dyslexia is an understatement. I’ve had many an argument over the subject and frankly I’ll have many more. So when square pegs approached me and asked me to join their panel I was happy to. Because hey, that’s the kind of person I am. I love to talk, and I love to talk about things I know a lot about, so it was really a win-win for me.

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What I was surprised to find out, well actually not really all that surprised as I kinda already guessed this, but Tasmania has practically nothing to help support people, children in particular with dyslexia. Children with learning disabilities, not just dyslexia, but all of them fun things, in Tasmania, have no support, while every other state in Australia dose.

Growing up, i figured that out first hand, and I was one of the many kids that had to struggle through school, being called stupid, all because my brain decided it doesn’t want to work the way other peoples do. It’s estimated that 10-15% of the population suffer from Dyslexia. 10% you say, well that’s doesn’t sound like a lot, actually, it is. Think of it this way there is a estimated 513,400 that live in Tasmania, so if my maths is correct and i think it is, i’m amazing at math, potentially 51,340 in Tasmania alone have dyslexia. Fifty-one thousand people, who grew up thinking they were stupid, because they had trouble reading and writing. Fifty-one thousand people who stared at the pages of books and wondered why, why was it so easy for the kid next to me when I’m sitting here trying to decode this gibberish they call English. Fifty-one thousand people who had no support, no guidance, nothing to help them through it. That’s a lot, but to bring it down to a small scale 1-10 children suffer from dyslexia. In a class of thirty children, three of them will be dyslexic. The sad thing about that is those three children won’t get the help they need. They won’t love school like their friends, and maybe, just maybe they’ll start to believe all those people calling them stupid.

Dyslexia won’t kill someone, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Children with dyslexia often feel, alone, different, frustrated, and angry, because of it in school. As much as our bad spelling and grammar annoys you, it annoys us even more. We know how to talk, we just have trouble getting that on a page. Have you ever been called dumb, even when you know your not? Have you had it happen so many times that you start to believe it? I have, and so have so many other kids out there have as well. In the school, i was written off as stupid and lazy. The only reason I learnt anything at all was because I refused to believe that, well most days anyways. I knew I wasn’t stupid, and here I am, 23, science student at university and a published author. Was it easy? hell no!  had to work my butt off to get here. Will it ever be easy? definitely not, but having support, having the resources to learn, giving these kids a chance, will make it easier for them. having help, having people who understand how we learn, and how we work is going to make a huge difference.

So if any of you out there actually made it to this point please Check out Square Pegs (links below!). It doesn’t matter if you are a native tasweigan, Australian, or form anywhere else in the world, please share because awareness and support is the only way this amazing organisation is going to be able to do the good i know it can.

website: http://dyslexiatas.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegstas

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Breast Cancer Awareness

22 Mar

Facebook is going off with women posting ‘naked’ selfies, for breast cancer awareness.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of selfies, I hate my picture being taken, but I liked this idea. Will it help in the grand scheme? No, but it take a certain amount of courage (for women at least) to post a picture of themselves without make up. Especially in a world that places so much stock in looks. Originally the idea was to post a picture of bare breasts, while I’m sure some people out there might have preferred that idea, it was rightfully decided that it would turn into more of a spectacle than anything.

I’m not vein, but I will admit, I will not leave the house without at least foundation on and not to mention hair gel, (need something to take the wild mess of my curls) but I too decided to do this. The women, out there, who are fighting, have fought and won, fought and lost, to breast cancer you have my utmost respect, and admiration, for your bravery and courage in what must have been such a hard time. So if posting a ‘naked’ selfie can help in any way to increase awareness I’m going to do it.

So please, everyone, share and post your own, help spread the word 🙂

 

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have an awesome days guys!

shan

Okay guys, I get it! but bullying is not okay!

16 Mar

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This is going to be a little rant post, because I’m just a little bit over having to say it.

As anyone who reads my blog regularly will know, I’m dyslexic, a uni student, and I love to write!

I mention those three things quite a bit.

But I want to make it clear that I’m not perfect. I don’t have perfect grammar, I generally suck at spelling and I am really bad at self-editing. I know this, and I do everything I can to try and improve. I have so much, but no matter what I do, I will never be perfect.

I have a best friend who screens all my posts before I post them. Now, she’s a vet nurse, not an English major, a writer, or an editor. So she’s not perfect either.

I hate that at the beginning of the post’s I have to say,’ look, I’m dyslexic, sorry if I stuff up.’ yes, I know mistakes are distracting. Yes, they seem unprofessional, but the thing is I’m no professional. I don’t get a million views a day, and I don’t ever expect to really. So yeah, I’m sorry I suck, I’m sorry I make mistakes, and you know what?  If I could change it, I would, trust me.

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Being Dyslexic is not easy, it’s not fun and unless you have it yourself you can’t possibly understand how frustrating it can be. When I was in school, I tried four time harder than any kid my age did. I couldn’t understand why, reading, writing, spelling and grammar all come so easily to my classmates and I struggled to keep up. I worked so hard at it that it wasn’t until I reached year 11 that I even knew I was dyslexic. I thought I was stupid, I believed that I was just bad at English. I was and A to B student, in maths, chemistry, biology, psychology, physical science, so even then I couldn’t work out why it was so damned hard. Even, in those classes I had difficulties, but I had just gotten so used to it. It was my biology teacher, who originally suggested I had a learning disability and booked me an appointment with the school councilor to be tested.

I was out raged; I couldn’t believe that anyone could possibly think I had a learning disability. I worked hard damn it! I got good grades, but still, deep down I knew it shouldn’t be that hard, I knew I wasn’t dumb. So I went along and I done the test. I was so sure it was a waste of my time, until I got there. I felt like a child sounding out words, reading cards, matching letters to pictures and at first it was easy, until it wasn’t. It was during this test, I realised just how bad it was, it was a wake-up call. My entire life, no matter what I had done, people had always written me off as stupid and I wasn’t. I was also given an intelligence test, but I received no response on the day. A bit over two weeks later I was called back to the councilors office, sat down and told that I was dyslexic. That I had always been Dyslexic and that it should have been caught at a much younger age. She explained it all to me, what it was, how it affected some people differently, and that it was just a matter of working out what works best for me. My reading and writing was at a level much younger than I was, and I felt like an idiot. the councilor  told me that I wasn’t stupid, a fact I had always firmly believed, but in fact I had a IQ of 116 which was above average. Not extremely high, but still, it made me feel better.

I was upset at first, finding this out, but in a way, it was a relief. I learnt new ways to teach myself new things, and I decided then and there that I wanted to write.

I had always loved to read and write, I read slower and my writing was full of mistakes, but I have hundreds of note books filled with stories I wrote when I was younger. I decided I wasn’t going to let dyslexia stop me from doing something I loved. So I did, and I still do. It’s what made me write this blog. Sharing knowledge is the best way to learn.

So that’s what I do, and apparently a few people out there can’t accept that. I don’t want to stoop to their level, because having to deal with it myself is bad enough but, if you was a true writer, you would understand the passion us writer feel. The joy it brings just to write and share our stories with the world! But in reality this is my space. I post because I like to do it, and because I want to share advice with other writers.

Now I shouldn’t grumble too much, I have some awesome readers, which are super nice. But others? Not so much.

Remember guys, leaving nasty comments is a form of bullying. It’s not fair to me, and saying it doesn’t make your life better in anyway. I won’t approve them, so if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t bother, because I don’t want to read it.

I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but each time I post somewhere, either here, on other blogs, or guest posts, there is always that one person. The one who could have corrected me nicely, but didn’t, instead they poke fun at me, and at a piece I have worked so very hard on. And it hurts guys. So yeah, I could stop posting if I don’t like it, but you know what? You could also stop reading. I didn’t force you here; I’m not making you read, if it bothers you that much, stop. It’s that simple.

So next time you run someone down because they are dyslexic, think about it for a second. Remember how hard that person works, have some consideration for what it feels like to be in their shoes. This is good advice in general. Bullying is never okay, it hurts, and it’s not nice. Take a second to think before you post nasty things to people’s blogs, walls, photo’s, anything. Because I guarantee that if the roles were reversed, you wouldn’t like it either.

Anti_Bullying

shan

Another Haunted House Post!

4 Mar

Hey guys,

Thought since I haven’t done a post in a while I’d do one now.  Of course this was a decision I made at four o’clock in the morning, so I promised myself I wouldn’t post this until I re read it in the morning. I suffer with a case of insanity when I’m tired but in all fairness I have that when I’m fully awake as well.

A little update before I get into the title subject of this post, I have decided to write a more in depth query post. My original post got a lot of views, and still does, even now, so I decided to go more in depth. In order to do that, (and this was not the sole reason either, but it sparked my decision,) I am taking a class on the art of query writing. It’s a two week class, in which a literary agent will be teaching me, and my fellow class attendee’s the art of the query. Also critiquing and helping us write a compelling one. So I’ll take notes, be a good little student, and relay all I learnt to all you writers out there in Webland, for free, yep totally free :P. I’ll also post a copy of my finished and amazing Query, when I write it, as an example. So that should be fun.

This is actually the second time I’ve written all this, I didn’t realize my charger to my laptop had unplugged it’s self until my computers little alien head started flashing red and the screen went black. It didn’t even save as a draft! I was pretty annoyed and in my fit of rage at my damned computer, I forgot half the stuff I was talking about, though I think I got the important bits.

I have mentioned in a number of posts before that my house is haunted, it truly is. I know there are a lot of sceptics out there but honestly, some of the stuff that goes on here is just too hard to explain. I think the most exciting thing is that I am now not the only one who had witness the stuff that happens. For a little while there was a serious question of my sanity, (though sadly that is nothing new really) and no one believed me.

So there are four people in my house. Me, (poor broke uni student, who gets free board, thanks mummy!) my brother, (typical brother, mummy’s favourite, unwilling to move out), my lovely mother, and of course my daddy. Also my dogs, but they don’t live in the house, so they don’t count, plus they can’t talk, so they really don’t count.

Usually I have been the only one who has experienced all this strange stuff. My brother did when we were younger, so either he’s just stopped mentioning it or it really only happens to me.  Well not anymore, the other day it happened to my mum, my sceptical, non-believer of a mother! I was so happy; not happy that it freaked her out but happy that someone finally believed me.

This was how my mother’s experience went.

We live in a three bedroom house, my room, the bathroom and my brother’s room make up the back of the house. Then there is a hall, which passes my mother’s room down into the lounge and kitchen. In fact, I’m going to draw you a little picture because setting is important, especially in this case.

          

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So anyways there is a very accurate (not…) floor plan of my house. The blank space coming from the bathroom is the hallway (I forgot to label that), back to the story.

I was in my room at the back of the house, reading a book on my bed, when I heard the front door creaking. Our house isn’t like huge, so you can pretty much hear everything everywhere, which sucks, any who, my mum who was watching TV in the lounge says my name, quietly at first. I assumed she was on the phone so I ignored her. But then she yells my name asking me where I am. I yelled back, like the civilized person I am, saying I was in my room.

She then tells me come down to her, so i did.  I left my room, glanced into the bathroom as I tend to do when I leave my room. Don’t know why, but I always do it, it’s a weird habit of mine and walked down to mum.  When I get to the end of the hall I notice the front door wide open but the screen still shut.

So I stopped at the lounge room door and asked her what she wanted.

She then asked me if I just came through the door.

I was like no, I was in my room, and I just told you that.

She nodded slowly then asked me “is there someone on the front steps that could have opened the door”.  Now I had only recently come home from work, so I know the screen door is locked because I locked it after I come in. So in reply i said “no, the door’s locked, why?”

She didn’t believe me, so I checked it and it was still locked. confused, I asked her what this was all about, why am I checking the doors? Then she told me the door just opened, slowly on its own, like someone was coming through it.

Our door opens inwards so you have to pull them to open them and this was a 30 degree day, no breeze, outside, so i know it didn’t just blow open. Besides it has one of those door knobs you twist, so you have to turn it to get it open.

I believed it instantly. I’d seen it happen to my bedroom door a number of times, so I knew it happened, but mum never had. I checked the latch on the door and all just in case, but it was all fine.

I then started with a whole lot of ‘I told you so’s’ and victory dancing, which seeing my mum was freaked out, wasn’t very sensitive of me but hey! I was right!

After that I headed back up to my room only to stop dead in the hall, from a case of freak out myself. All the doors of the cupboards in the bathroom were opened. There are five cabinets in there and all five doors were open. Freaking out myself, I yell for my mummy and told her what else had just happen, seeing it must have happened in the time I was down there with her because, I know, for a fact they were closed when I walked down.

I closed them all, super-fast and spent the rest of the day until my dad came home hiding in the lounge. Nothing weird ever seems to happen there so it’s safe.

I want to say that was the weirdest thing that had happened lately, but it wasn’t, this next experience nearly had me in tears, I was so scared.

I was home alone. It was the middle of the day, and I was again in my room, door shut, reading a book.

I heard a male’s voice in the hall. I ignored it, because my brain instantly figured it was dad. Footsteps walked up the hall, (we have wooden floor boards, so when you walk in with shoes on it’s really loud), stopped at my door and then someone cleared their throat.

I glanced at my door expecting my dad to push the door open and talk to me. Nothing happened. I sat up and looked to the door, getting worried. I called my dad’s name, and then realised, oh man he’s at work. It’s lunch time.So I figured it was my brother, so I tried him instead, nothing.

Instantly I thought, oh crap! I didn’t lock the door there is a robber in my house, I’m being burglarized! So in an act of bravery, I grabbed my hockey stick, and pulled open the door.

Heart pounding, hockey stick at the ready, I searched the entire house. No one was in the house and I know what I heard. Puzzled and getting increasingly scared I stood at the end of the hall, wondering if I should leave the house or not. My keys were in my room, I could just go get them and leave. Go to the park with my dogs until my brother or father came home, then the footsteps happened again. Right behind me,  but this time, they were coming down the hall toward me.

All pretense of bravery aside, I screamed, ran to the back door as fast as I could, dove outside, slamming the door behind me, and hugged my staffy for dear life.  I called my poor mum in tears, and then my cousin, because I was too scared to go back into my own house. Neither of them could get to me, and I sure as hell wasn’t going back for my keys.

So I sat outside for four hours with my dogs for protection, until my dad came home from work. I told him when he asked me why I was sitting in my dog’s chair (my staffy sleeps in an arm chair on the deck, I think I have a picture of it…)

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Well that’s a couch, but he ate that one so it got thrown away, though the chair looks just like that, except it’s a chair.

Anyways, my dad asked me why I was curled up in the dog’s chair, which was because I was getting cuddles 🙂 so I told him the whole thing, including how I had spent the last four hours chilling with Titan.

His response?

“Shannon, you watch too many movies.” Then he walked off.

Yep, that was all I got, one of the most terrifying things I have ever experienced and that was it.

Thanks dad, appreciate it!

shan

Australia Day!!!

26 Jan

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Happy Australia day everyone! (well everyone in Australia!)

I hope all you Aussies out there had an awesome one.

I, like a great few of us had to work today, but don’t be sad, penalty rates are awesome! double time and a half baby!

On the plus side i did get to finish at lunch time and home now to have a BBQ with the family. So I didn’t miss out of the Aussie tradition after all 😀

wishing you all a awesome day, a safe one, and in most case a happy hangover!

Meanwhile-In-Australia...

HAPPY AUSSIE DAY!!!