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Monday, August 23, 2010

I have geographical dyslexia

I am not even sure if that's the correct label for it, but I think it's close enough. I can get lost in a paper bag. I have trouble telling my left from my right, which I am a bit ashamed to admit. I am terrible at reading maps, and truth be told, I failed every test over them when I was in school.

When I have to go somewhere new, I always have to print out the directions from MapQuest. I can't just read them and remember which way to go. I have to have them right there in front of me to read, and the little map that comes with it, forget about it, I don't even bother to print it out anymore. Even after I go to a place once or twice, I still need the directions, especially if it's not a place I drive to every day.

My aunt asked me once how I found people's houses when I was working at the newspaper and would have to go there to do a story. I handled it in two ways. One, I asked them to come to the paper. If that didn't work, I mapquested it.

So, next Monday, I start my senior year at MTSU. The campus is huge and scary, especially to someone who gets lost very easily. Brian and I went today and walked my route to class, but I am so scared that I will get there on Monday and won't be able to find parking in the lot where I plan to park. If that's the case and I have to go to one of my back ups, there is a good chance I will never find a way to my class. Parking is a nightmare on this campus, and it was one of the most frustrating things I ever experienced when I went there in 1998. In fact, it, along with a few other factors, was one of the reasons I quit when I did. I could never get to class on time, no matter how early I got there, because I could never find a parking spot and when I did, I couldn't find my way to class because of my "geographical dyslexia."

Add in the fact that I have a very real phobia of driving long distances, especially in inclement weather. I had a very bad wreck in 2001, and since then, I am terrified of it. I have almost had a panic attack if the rain is so heavy I have trouble seeing. Slowly but surely, I am getting better, mostly because I have forced myself to drive, but I am so worried about days it rains. It's a 45-minute drive from my house. I really wish I could have gotten all my classes online.

I am excited about my classes this semester. I am taking Sociology of Families, Behavioral Modification, Learning Theories, Research Methods and its lab and Foundations of Mental Health Counseling. I know I will love these classes and succeed in them, if I can just get past this fear. Luckily, I only have two classes that meet regularly on campus, which helps because I won't have to try to find my way all over campus. Those two classes meet in separate buildings that are very close together.

I can't believe I'll probably graduate in May. I have made the decision to probably start my masters next fall instead of waiting and taking a break. I have also decided that I want to get my doctorate, too. I know I'll be heavily in debt, but it will be worth it.

1 comment:

Ami said...

Don't be afraid to ask for directions once you get there. Go an hour early if that's what it takes.

You can do this.