Friday, April 29, 2016

IS THIS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE DYSLEXIA?

I had an unforgettable experience while I was in Towson, Maryland for the annual IDA Branch Council Meeting, (a strategic planning marathon for branch presidents of the International Dyslexia Association). I was running at Towson University across the street from the Marriott where we all were staying when I spotted this unusual lawn sculpture.


At first I thought it was just a piece of interesting abstract art, but as I continued running, I saw the image from a slightly different angle. The lawn sculpture seemed to be taking on some sort of form.


It wasn't until I was directly in front of the design that I realized it was a word!


Now I don't presume to know what it feels like to have dyslexia. It is such a multi-faceted experience,  but I couldn't help but wonder if I had just caught a tiny glimpse of what it might be like to be a struggling reader.

At first the pattern on the lawn made no sense at all. It was impossible to extract any meaning. Then it started to take shape, but still held no meaning for me. I was totally in the dark. When the symbols finally all came together, it was a revelation to realize I was reading a word. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have this type of experience with every single word I tried to decode... every day... 24/7, but many of my students understand this all too well.

I guess that's basically the reason why I'm involved with the International Dyslexia Association and why I'm participating in the TeamQuest fundraiser to raise money for the important work of IDA. It's certainly not because I'm a runner.


I'm sort of turning into one though, and I've got to say, it's adding an interesting dimension to my travels. I've been doing a lot of traveling the past couple of months, but I'm still managing to keep up with my half marathon training. I squeezed in a four mile run around this lake with my daughter when I was in Colorado on April 9.


Two weeks before that I went on an early morning run through Seaport Village in San Diego on March 28.


Two days before that I did nearly 7 miles (half walk, half run) in the California Dessert on March 26th. Setting a goal to run a half marathon has been an amazing experience for someone who could barely run half a mile two months ago. It just goes to show that the challenges that are the hardest for us are the ones that are often the most worthwhile.

As part of my training, in two days I'll be participating in the Run for the Zoo 10K. I couldn't be doing any of this without the support and encouragement of my friends and family. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this crazy journey.

If you'd like to know more about why I'm involved with TeamQuest and/or would like to contribute to IDA through this amazing fundraiser, please visit my page at Carolee's TeamQuest Page.

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