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Advocating for my son and students all the way …


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My special friend and deputy CEO of In Our Home Inc

Hello World, that is my first son Alain (for those just hopping on my blog). He turned 14 years last october 8th and we went to a Chinese Buffet for a first time – they  (all 3 boys I have) had a great time.

Now, Alain is in form 3, I guess middle high in the US or so. Recently, when writing about experiences I had in his brother’s school with two teachers, I also mentionned some I had in his own school over some grade scores he had been removed for some reason I couldn’t understand. He is a very hardworking student, has always been on honour’s roll since primary school and takes a lot of pride in his performance – of course I do too although I try to make him not put so much pressure on himself. One of his teachers gave him a 2/8 in a question because he forgot an element, and yet his friend who gave same illustration forgetting same element got a 6/8. When he went up to ask the teacher showing his friend’s paper, his two marks were substracted and added to this friend’s.

Of course I marched to that school the next day and spoke with the proprietor and dean of studies. I was assured the grades will be reviewed. Ha same afternoon, he comes back home with another paper taught by the same teacher where he gets 3 answers marked wrong which I know are correct. I am getting itchy and go back to the school the next day. The teacher whom I don’t see, had told the dean the previous day Alain was rude in his approach to asking about his paper, and he left out some words (critical to a complete answer it sems) and actually …… I left the new paper and requested for a meeting with this teacher and the dean.

The meeting was arranged for last friday at 7.30 am and I was there of course 15 minutes ahead. I explained the situation again, said my concern was in teacher/student relationship which appeared to still be one of ‘teacher knows it all’ (Alain told me he was adviced by the dean to stop ‘challenging’ his teachers). I said at home I didn’t know it all and we ran the home as a team and I told them I was sorry when at fault. The teacher gave his own explanations; and well all is well that ends well.

Some relationship dynamics have changed over the past century and one of these is students/lectuers or teacher etc. Back home, it may still be a big challenge finding a balance and even letting parents in (in his school PTA’s are once a year only – imagine that) and hmm some parents simply don’t even want to know or be involved anyway.

I therefore advocate that students/pupils be let to express themselves and taught from a young age how to do so politely  (I however doubt Alain was rude – teacher may just have been embarassed he even came up to him in class and brought along a friend’s paper and well in our schools you may not see a teacher after class hours because they teach and go unless they have another class after a while and you are also out of class you know). Students also get a bost by their parents’ involvment and their teachers taking them as human beings and not just people to be taught sort of.

Finally, Alain got his marks reinstated and got good grades overall for this first sequence (he feels slighted he was second in class -but that’s ok by me).

Sharing to inspire parents and advocates, it ain’t easy but often it is worth it.

Have a nice week us all

 

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Questions for an Author P2 – Birth of a new Brain Healing From Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane Harwood


 

Yesterday, Dyane was telling us about the most difficult chapter she wrote. We continue from here:

  1. How did you deal with that?

I had to take plenty of breaks from writing the “One Pill Can Kill” chapter, which helped a lot.

  1. Did you learn anything from writing your memoir and what was it? I learned that I was stronger and more disciplined than I thought I ever could be, and I found those things out relatively late in life (my mid 40’s) which goes to show that late blooming (in terms of achieving our lifelong dreams) is possible!

  1. How long did it take you to ‘give birth’ to the memoir we would very soon be seeing on the shelves? Ten years! And they seemed like dog years!

4) The Message

  1. Do you have any advice for other memoir writers especially those living with a mental illness? Surround yourself with those who believe in you and your writing. Find a writing mentor if you can! One thing I wish I had done years ago was join the National Association for Memoir Writers (NAMW) because they have a ton of support and advice for memoir writers – really incredible resources! They also have membership sales twice a year and you can email them to find out when they are. You may also be able to work out a payment plan with them I believe – I paid less than $100 to join, which was still a big deal for my budget, but it was completely worth it. In terms of mental health, if you’re going through a rough path, allow yourself to take weeks, months, even years off if you need to. I took lengthy breaks – I had to – and that’s why it took me so long to get the book done. But what comes first is mental stability.

  1. Was it easy to get a book deal and how did you fare in the negotiations if we may pry? I wish I could say I had an agent because many people don’t think you’re a “real” writer unless you have an agent. That is no longer the case. There are many more publishers nowadays that accept manuscripts directly from the authors, which is wonderful. But what I did have was a generous friend who knew one of the publishers at Post Hill Press. She enthusiastically recommended my proposal to him; he reviewed it and ultimately he offered me a contract. Before he worked at Post Hill Press, he worked at “Big Five” publishers for many years in high positions, so I felt pretty great that he believed in my proposal.

Any other writing projects, blogging, support groups, etc? For now I’m promoting the book and giving talks to perinatal mental health and bipolar groups in the Bay Area. I’m also getting into the world of podcasting, as you know! I really enjoy it! To hear my first podcast please go to Dr. Katayune Kaeni’s “Mom and Mind” website – and find that right here:

My second podcast is on Podcast One’s “Mind Full” program with mental health advocates Alisha Perkins and Colleen Lindstrom. I let myself loose on that episode, so kindly check it out here:

3. Where will your memoir be found, and any book tours already scheduled? You can buy my memoir on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, R Kobo and iBooks. Thank you so much, Marie, for giving me this opportunity to share my experience with your followers, I will definitely update you with any book tours I have.

Thank you very much Lady Dyane my heroine for answering our questions. We hope to stay informed of different updates with your projects.

Please visit Dyane’s blog and her website for more on her writings and mental health advocacy.

If you dear gentle readers and followers have any questions for Dyane, you could leave them in the comments too.

 

Book Review: High Tide Low Tide The Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder


High Tide Low Tide

Unconditional Friendship tested in dire times of need and deed

This memoir is like none I have ever read before in the sense that it literally took me through high tides and low tides before I found a balance again. I am not the first reviewer of this book to say it is not a read for the faint of heart. The authors when I interviewed them told me it was merely their intention to share their complex friendship between one ‘well’ person and one ‘unwell’ person, made all the more intriguing by the over 3000 miles seperating them. Indeed, they have physically met only once and yet, Martin Baker (the well friend), is from every indication Fran Houston’s (the unwell friend) main carer. How wouldn’t he be when we know (and I know from personal experience) how easy it is to lose relationships with both friends and family when you live with a mental illness.

This memoir will challenge you and your beliefs especially about mental illness, inform you, soothe you and yes challenge you again to be and do better, be you well or unwell. One thing I find interesting is how the friendship is not only so open, but how both friends are candidly so honest with each other. They have some mantras I am already copying and loving such as Care but not Control;  Give me what I need and not what you think I need; and many more al so soul searching. It is simply awesome to read all this. The way they virtually go on trips, navigate their days and engagements and plan joint projects like writing this book together you know.

Talking about style; the way this book is written makes it a very comfy read once you make peace with the soul search, because hardly any technical jargons are used. The book shows some indepth research, one which Martin also admits to carry out to learn how to better take care of his best friend. Indeed, Martin admits to have read far and wide, joined some associations and talked with lots of people both on and offline. Their book may be a guide no doubt but a very soulful and invaluable one. Fran Houston could have a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis but she is every other friend too. Unconditional Friendship tested both in times of need and deed could not have been better demonstrated. I can’t but give this book a raving 5 star while recommending same without the least reservation to others be you well or unwell.

P.S:  Kindly Check out some previous posts about this memoir and its impact on me below

  1. Stabbed Soul…
  2. Five Reasons why I’ll finish reading…
  3. From Apprehension 2 Anticipation & Appreciation…
  4. Martin Baker My Model & Hero
  5. Interview of Co-Authors of HTLT P1 & P2

My poetry clip of This Little Light of Mine, to inspire someone like myself


Ha, the internet connection has been terrible since morning. Only the phone can manage to find any network. I mean I have almost become a social media addict since morning. And then I remembered my poem which my Dearest Donna turned my recitation into a clip. May it inspire someone to let their line shine wherever they are or whatever is up. I have on my part expanded my networks on WhatsApp and LinkedIn and learnt how to prepare docs, concert to PDF and share same via WhatsApp etc. 

It can always be better, even my swollen eye is getting better. I just decided not to dwell on it and to apply whatever it takes to get it going.

Happy Tuesday all

An official BBB 4 me at this point


Hiya my gentle readers and followers,

I have decided to take a BBB… OHh a brief blogging break.

My last few posts have surely revealed some about my current state of mind and matter, and so a break is highly needed. I wish I could travel for some much needed me moments. But Nada, not especially for a single mom of 3 boys with one of them not going on any Easter break because well he is in an ‘examination’ class.

Am just taking a BBB from writing, not reading and commenting. I think something like 7 or 10 days you know. I plan to blog daily in May which is Mental Health Awareness Month and so yes I need to get my grove back sooner than later.

So, see you over at your blogs…

Have a great week aheas

GUEST POST: Before we blame our children’s choices, did our ACTIONS or INACTIONS influence them?


I have hardly followed a blog for a a few months and then offered a guest post. I was moved by all what I have been learning and sharing on this blog, and as a parent I realized any healthy choices I made in life wasn’t for me only. Just like Michelle Obama’s campaign Let’s Move, I have come to realize I can’t expect healthy kids if I don’t set healthy examples in all areas of my life. It was an honour to be so promptly hosted on such an awesome blog. I hope my post inspires and motivates many parents on the blogosphere. Namatse

All About Healthy Choices

I have been given the honor to host a guest post from one of my recent followers and fellow bloggers, Marie Abanga. I appreciate Marie’s candor and the comments she leaves on my posts accompanied by some very personal examples, provoking positive reflections and reactions. Join me in welcoming Marie on my blog as she shares what she has come to understand making healthy choices should mean to a parent.

Please place all “likes” and “comments” directly on Marie’s blog site

after she re-blogs it to her site!!!

I am currently involved in a local project that will keep me off my computer for the next two weeks. Looking forward to catching up with everyone when my project is completed!

UPHOTO_20170317_173209 400 Marie Abanga

Life is really all about healthy choices, not only what we eat but also how we eat, how we help that food spread itself out in our bodies…

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