During my first year in the nursing home, I started to get interest in taking classes at the SRJC (Santa Rosa Junior College), but as they were too costly and I didn’t have any resources, I looked for free classes online. I went to the college’s website and start looking around, even though I had no idea of what exactly to look for. One of the CNAs helped me to find the right people and to contact them. I was very lucky to find a very kind and awesome lady, who works at the DRD (Disability Resources Department) department, she offered herself to come all the way here to meet with me and discuss about it. She came in company with one of her colleagues. We introduced each other and proceed with the registration process.
I took one or two, not sure, semesters of free English classes online. The fact that they were through internet wasn’t my favorite thing, but I didn’t have any other choice, no money to pay transportation, and I had to have a caregiver with me in order to go to campus.
I consider myself a very fortunate individual, my mommi must be watching over me, because so many great things have happened to me since I’ve been here in the nursing home, I can hardly believe it, sometimes!
A very dear elderly man, I loved him very much as my real grandpa, was put in my room. The other three guys were discharge already, the two younger ones went home, and the Filipino elder man was transfer to another facility closer to his family. I met my grandpa’s son, one of them, and his future daughter-in-law. One day in the afternoon during one of their visits to him, I was sitting in front of my desk playing with my laptop. I heard his family telling him, nosey me, huh, should you ever need something let us know right away, tell the nurse whoever is taking care of you to give us call and we’ll come in to see you as soon as we can; I felt the impulse and necessity to let them know somehow, I could email them if he needed something, or they could check on him via emailing me. I printed out my email address with a short note and give it to them, they were very grateful and I feel very good because I did a good deed. We became very good friends, whenever they visited grandpa, I got a hello and a little chat. One day, December 2007 I think, oh my God! They gave me a big, big, big surprise, one that would change the way I see things. Suddenly, I was given the privilege to get far in life even with my disabilities. I will always be in debt with this couple, because they not only lent me their help, they gave me hope. I thought such things happen in the movies only, but it happened for real.
They offered their mental and financial support to me for my studies and anything I needed, I did not know how to take this, how to react. I actually sent an email to them and ask, are you serious? Am I have to do something in exchange? Hahaha! Stupid me I thought, what a question. I offered my apologies and gladly accept their help. My dreams started to fly and look a little bit more realistic and achievable.
I wanted to get the G.E.D (high school equivalency certificate) because I thought to have a school document was very important, I don’t know why, but I did, and I only went to elementary school in Mexico, so I had nothing. I got myself a study book, so I could study hard and get it over with quickly. I used to go to campus to take pre-test and get ready for the big one, they didn’t seem so hard to me, a piece of cake, I thought. It was compose into 5 sections, I think, Reading, Writing, Math, Social studies and Science, I started with math, OG! It was harder than I thought, I didn’t consider myself so hard headed, but when I took the test, I came back home convince I was. Yes, I failed, many times, I had to re-take them again, again and again, until God had mercy on me. It was bad very bad and embarrassing, but I did it, eventually!
After I got the G.E.D certificate, I wanted to go for a career, but as a person with such limitations, it was really difficult to pick something that I would fit in and, of course, I like. I thought to study business administration or public accountant, but as I couldn’t decide which one, I took one class that helps students to be more confident and choose wisely. It was curious because both of the choices I had in mind, neither one result to fulfill my expectations, afterwards. I wanted something that wouldn’t require much writing and involvement in the community, if my hands could work, I could do anything, but I must play as if they weren’t there, I thought. As the class was coming to an end, now I too had a more clear idea of what I wanted to become. Web-developer (build websites) was my last and ultimate decision, because it was something I could do in a computer, from home and I enjoy computers………