After having such an awesome summer it was time to return to school. I enjoyed going back to school so I could see my friends one a regular basis. Even though I did not have a big abundance of true friends I had lots of acquaintances. One of the biggest things for me was that I was going to be an upperclassmen! Me a junior, I could not believe it. This meant I could go off campus for lunch. Tonya got a car that summer so her and I would always go to Taco Mayo, Carl’s Coney Island, Sonic, McD’s, or Arby’s. We would usually meet some friends there to eat. As the school year began walking to and from class wore me out quicker than before. I was not used to walking that much because I would mostly stay close to home during the summer. Of course it did seem to get a little easier the more that time went on (FYI, my high school was not wheelchair accessible in case you forgot). Like always I would set up my classes so I would not have to travel far. During this time I started having two people to help me walk. One person on each side to hold on to. I cannot remember who started it but I would get piggyback rides sometimes from the cute boys! You heard no complaints here! To be honest I think they did it just so they could get out of class early, but I didn't care because I was getting piggyback rides from cute boys!
I was enrolled in the same business class that my brother was when he found out that FA was a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I was also excited to be able to participate in the fundraiser for MD they were having that year. The club that was affiliated with the class was DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). Every year they would hold a state wide competition in Oklahoma City. It was on a weekend and would be about business opportunities and politics. They held several different competitions throughout the weekend. One of them was for public speaking. Because I was in speech class and had gotten an award everyone wanted me to go represent in the public speaking category. I was nervous about going for none of my good friends were in that class and going to go, but I had agreed to go. The topic of my speech was to be about leadership, but writing the speech was the farthest thing from my mind. I was all worried about who my roommate was going to be in the hotel room, wondering about getting in and out of the shower, if things would be easy for me to be able to do my normal routine, and who would help me with the small things. I ended up borrowing a couple of dresses to wear during the weekend from Tonya. Then I only had a few dresses that I would wear to church on Sunday mornings. I had an extremely difficult decision to make. I knew what I had to do. Since I would be wearing dresses/dress shoes for the weekend it would be so much easier to bring my wheelchair. This was the first time that my classmates saw me in the wheelchair. I was so afraid they would look at me differently and not want to be near me. I was so afraid of what other people thought of me so much it would put a haze on who I really was. As usual I was the only physically disabled person there. Everything ended up being okay. Everyone excepted the wheelchair, and some even liked sitting in it and trying to pop wheelies! My classmates were helpful when asked. I still had issues with asking for help. In my mind I appeared more disabled when I would ask. So I tried to do things all on my own. Instead of trying to take a shower and fall or something I just would wash up at the sink using soap and a wash cloth. To avoid having anyone see me make a fool of myself I would spend and lot of my down time by myself. I do remember spending some time with several girls in one of their rooms singing at the top of our lungs to “Hotel California” on the radio. I ended up getting third place on my speech! I was exstatic considering my focus had not been completely on the speech. All in all I had a good time. It was stressful for me and was glad to be home, but was glad I did it.
Did you ever take an overnight trip with a class from school? Did anything crazy happen? Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S