Thursday, May 31, 2007


I really have no idea why I am sharing this story, but I am! This was another memory for me during my senior year. Yo quiero Espanol! I took Spanish all four years of high school. We lived next door to Mexicans who would speak Spansh to me all the time, and I got to where I could understand them pretty good. I wanted to know more than they did (like that was ever going to happen), so I took all of the Spanish classes I could! I became very comfortable friends with the other students in my class. We were in Spanish 4 together and had the other three Spanish classes together. We were all wonderful friends with our teacher, Sra. B! Everyone in class was given a Spanish nickname. I was called La Rey which means the Queen. Our class was fairly small so the Spanish 3 class would sit in a different area but be in the same classroom. Sometimes we would have challenges between Spanish three and us. We played loto (bingo) all the time. It is played just like the English version. It gave us the opportunity to practice our numbers in Spanish. We decided to play win, lose, or draw and give the Spanish three a run for their money! Due it to my chicken scratch one of the girls was going to draw for me. They wanted to give me a chance to conspire with her on what to draw so they put a chair by the chalkboard. It had no arms to it. I thought to myself "I did not fall off of the no armchair at the Halloween spook house so I can do it!” So I got on the chair, right away it made me nervous, but my anxiety’s about it went away. I was sooo comfortable being me around these amigos. They were my amigos no matter how drunk I looked! So the games began…at first it was all calm. We (Spanish 4) were ahead! Spanish three was gaining the lead and we could not let that happen. So we all started shouting answers and getting excited. Not when I am on the chair with no arms! You guessed it, I lost my balance and fell to the floor. What a graceful move I made though by landing as though I just slid in to home plate! Like an umpire Sra. B told everyone "Time out" while I dust myself off, and get back to the game! I did not move to a desk which would have probably been the smart thing, but I get back on the no arm chair. The game resumed, and J Lo and behold if I did not do it again! I never hurt myself, and was laughing. When everyone else saw that I was okay and laughing they laughed right along with me! Of course, we (Spanish 4) won the game!!!!

I loved being in that class. I could be myself, and not have to worry about what anybody else thought. I struggle these days still with that same issue. I still find myself not wanting to do things because of the way I will look to others. There are few people I can do that with. Can anyone relate? Please share a experience. I would love to hear it.

Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S

Sunday, May 20, 2007


This was an unbelievable year for me. I learned to be comfortable in bringing and using my wheelchair when I could at school functions. I was not left out of activities or made to feel any different like I thought I would. That's what I get for assuming! You know what they say about what assuming means? Ass + u + me!! It would make some peeps feel helpful just to be able to push me! Which made me feel good. Sometimes I would get out of my wheelchair, and let other peeps get into it and try to pop wheelies! The theme for the year was “memories last forever ", and I made sure I was not going to regret doing just that. I never once stepped down from doing things because of my disability. I knew a way would be found for me always.

Anytime us seniors got a chance to get out grub on we were game! Whether it was for breakfast, lunch, or her even a just a party! Someone would have to help me get my plate of food. This bothered me just that I could not independently get it myself, but it was just a good thing, and I am not picky! I would usually say to get me a little of everything then if I wanted more of one thing I could say. We were always doing something silly! They always had someone singing (usually our class chaplain Wendy ). I don't have many pics from these. But I will share what I do have, and put a caption below each pic.
This was taken during our Thanksgiving luncheon. This is the man who made every senior activity possible! He was our senior sponsor, Thank you Coach Nance! I am not sure if you can tell it on the wall is the Turkey legs contest. Some of the teachers took pictures of their legs and we got to get guess. The winner won a Turkey! We also got to vote on who had the best looking Turkey legs and the teacher also won a Turkey! I cannot remember who won, and I have slept just fine without knowing! It was just a good thing that my turkey legs weren't the ones being voted on!!

CAPTION: A feast it is at the Christmas luncheon! Everything looks so good that Wendy just cannot decide! Getting our grub on while sharing some of our favorite Christmas carols was on the agenda!

We had a door decorating contest between homerooms for Christmas. My English homeroom class won!
CAPTION: It is the All-American game, of suck-n-blow played at the Valentines Day party. Did Jeff suck his way to Melissa's heart, or did she blow him out of the water??? We even know decorated little Valentines bags and put little Valentine cards in them:) I had thinking that the goal of the party was to get us full of sugar, and send us on our way LOL!

I've already told you about the Halloween costume contest and spook house. We also had a scavenger hunt at the big mall (Woodland Hills) in the area. Of course, I brought my wheelchair to use. It was short lived though, because we were asked to leave the mall! The hunt was sat up so innocently. Getting wrappers or receipts from certain stores. There were about 40 of us 92ers there along with some teachers. We were all wearing white sweatshirts with royal blue big letters that said "seniors 92"! I think we spooked the Barney Fife security for they were probably thinking "What in the world are all those there younguns in white sweatshirts doing at our shopping center?" We left and cheered ourselves up at our local hangout joint…Mazzio’s!

 Another memory was at Thanksgiving where we enjoyed making smores, and riding on a hayride at one of the teacher’s ranch. I brought my wheelchair this time as well, but feared running over road apples!! It was cold, but warm by the fire! I did have a hard time getting up into the bed of the trailer for the hayride. I just sat right in the middle because I wanted to be the needle you find in the haystack! They did their best to scare us going through the maze, but it was not happening! One of the teachers (Coach Hart) gave me a piggyback ride back to my chair after we got off the hayride! We learned our lesson when trying to push me to get to the hayride. Thanks coach!
One of my good friends, and fellow 92ers, Melissa and I would go to every home basketball game together. It was accessible to get into the gymnasium. I would take my wheelchair, and sat at the bottom of the bleachers and Melissa would sat right behind me. After that game everyone would meet up….Where? Mazzio’s!!

It’s time for the annual Senior Easter Egg Hunt held on the campus. We had really pretty campus grounds that were kept up so nicely. There was a little bridge with a babbling brook going underneath it, and lots of greenery and trees. This was heading from the main building to the stadium. Several teachers went out there to hide the eggs before. They were plastic egg's filled with candy and goodies! I used the nurses wheelchair instead of my own. I did not want to get mine all muddy, and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that from the beginning. It was one of those old hospital looking wheelchairs, and I did not want anyone to think I was trying to be sexy in that! Because of my extra baggage they let me start hunting for the egg's first. My friend and fellow 92er Eldon decided to give me a push. But not a gentle push for we were on a mission to get us some eggs! It was easier to push me on the back wheels, because the little wheels in the front would get stuck in the ground. So leaning me back and letting the wind blow our hair was what we did! I can't remember how many eggs we found, but it was very fun! My last memory that I will share with you is when we went canoeing down the river. This was the same river that I went down on an intertube when I was younger with my parents. I did not bother bringing along my wheelchair. Peeps would carry me to the boat. We all knew I could get barely walk on flat ground! And yes when I had to go, well ya know, I went in the river! But we never did tip over!!

I know there were many more memories, but this is just the few that top my memory right now. I am so glad that I did not let myself not do those things. Look at the fun times I would have missed out on. The life lesson that I have taken with me here is to just be yourself. People are going to like you for being you. Do you have a fun school memory that you would like to share?

Thank you for taking the time to read, Miss S

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Around the first of December in 1991 I was chosen to talk on a morning show in Oklahoma and represent us folks with Muscular Dystrophy. A highly respected gentleman who owned a car dealership in Oklahoma (Crown Auto World) was doing a fundraiser where the proceeds went to MDA. He came to promote that and I was there to represent. He was a very nice guy with a big heart. We became good friends. It was very early in the morning, and I am sure I had bags under my eyes to prove it! The owner spoke about making an appearance in the ballet performance of the Nutcracker in several weeks. At that time I had seen the Nutcracker a couple of times and loved it! I told him to break a leg for his debut!! He told me he would love it if I could come. He gave me three tickets. I was very excited about going.

My mom, my friend from school Maria, and I went to the show. I brought my wheelchair with me. It would be easier for me, and for those helping me as I was dressed up in a dress and had dress shoes on. My balance is worse when I am in dark places such as the theater, or outdoors and night. My night vision leaves something to be desired as well. You thought I was drunk in the light just wait for it to get dark!! There was a big group of folks that were there to see the owner. Some of them I knew from MDA while some I didn't. We went into the theater together as a group. As we went to our assigned seats we realized it was near the front, and in the center. And of course there were not accessible seats nearby. I did not want to stay in my wheelchair during the play anyway so it was okay with me. One of the guys was going to help me to seat. Just as we were to my seat an usher came over to say that due to fire laws I would need to stay in the wheelchair, and sat in the wheelchair section. It devastated me to not get to sit with my group. My mom and my friend got to sit with me, but I still felt alienated. I threw myself my own little pity party on the inside. It was all my fault, and if it wasn't for my stupid disability we wouldn’t be subjected to sitting in tin buck two away from my peeps! Not only was I sad, but also embarrassed. I cried all during the first act. I tried to not let it show though, and keep a smile on my face. My peeps did come to chill with me at intermission. This did make me feel better, and tried to change my mindset and enjoy the rest of the play.

On the way home after we dropped Maria off at home I broke down and began to cry. I told my mom how I felt. She said "Look Stephanie, if you did not have this disability you would not know any of these people or be able to have the opportunities that you have had." It made me think. She is right. Something good always comes out of something bad. It put a new perspective for me on how I think about and deal with things.

This is something I still struggle with for as you know the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side. Having this happen though did make me think a lot about how I deal with certain issues. Sometimes it feels easier just to give up and be depressed, but who wants to hang out with someone like that. Have you ever had a situation like this that you would like to share?

Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S