Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Regrets & Confirmation

Pearls and Dreams

Tonight, I went to a friends graduation from Junior college. 37 years old, and getting her associates in accounting. She and I have both talked about the fact that we made poor decisions right out of high school to not go to college. While she struggles academically far more than I do, or did, she still could have gone to college fairly easily.

My reasons were of fear and stubborness. Hers were of pure fear. I had a full 4 year, full ride scholarship offered ... and didn't take it. She didn't even apply.

When I graduated high school, I had a skill. An employable skill. While I didn't use it to get a job, I could have. I did do it volunteering in church. When I moved back to Colorado, I did substitute for a friend in the University (and got a job offer from the University ...get certified, our expense, you have a job!)

I didn't do it.
My skill? Interpreting for the deaf. My reason? I didn't think I could pass the test. This wasn't stubborness ..this one was fear. Pure fear. Every certified interpreter I knew was over the age of 25. I was all of 18. How in the world could I have the skills necessary to pass the test? Are they nuts? Besides, you have to reverse interpret too ..and I'm not near as good at reading sign as signing.

I moved back to Oklahoma ...and we (a friend and I) started a deaf ministry and sign (to music) ministry at our church. Soon, a certified interpreter found us, and started to come. She encouraged me to get certified. At the time, I could get a lifetime (with the need for retesting,but as long as I continued to pass the test, or could re test, I'd be certified...the rules at time of certification would remain in play)certification. I, again, looked at all the certified interpreters I knew. I was 19 ... no way!

No way could I be good enough!

So, life went on. I didn't become certified and life took me down twists and turns I did not expect.

At the age of 23, I realized the drastic mistake I'd made with college. I entered the junior college my friend just graduated from. I became a special education major, emphasis on deaf education. They tried to convince me to enter the interpreter training program instead. It was only 2 years, I could become certified right away, and get my degree after, and then the college would allow me to teach classes while paying for my education while I finished my education to become a certified interpreter's instructor.

No! Not me! I'm not 'old enough' not mature enough ..not ...enough.

24, the day my son was born ... I got sick. My muscles stopped working right ...and my life became about survival. Interpreting, signing and everything pretty much took a backseat. Figuring out how to live with my disease became the task of the day. I honestly didn't know if I'd ever sign again.

By the time I was 32, I started to sign again. To music, not interpret. I knew I didn't have the endurance (and don't) for interpreting. I was surprised, after a few years not of signing, how quickly it came back to me ... immediate and complete.

A couple of years ago, the interpreting started to make me think ... obviously, I can't do it full time. I couldn't do it dependably ... I can't depend on my health ..but maybe for an hour, here, there ..as a substitute? What if I got certified?

So, I checked into it. WHOOPS. Now, it is a degreed position. You have to have an associates degree. So, Don and I talked. Is it worth paying for a degree to do something that you know how to do ... to do something that you can't earn a living at, to do as almost a 'hobby' ... it seems like a big risk if you don't think you can pay back the degree. (I also checked into seeing how many of the sign classes I could test out of to save on the cost of the degree ...zero, it's a tracked program, I'd have to take sign 1 ...uh, no thank you)

A year ago, a man who was deaf came to our church. They asked me to interpret. I, told him it'd been almost 17 years since I'd interpreted ... but I'd try. I sat in shock, as I interpreted that Sunday. My pastor can talk rather quickly and wildly ...and yet. I didn't loose any interpreters skills. I joke that I think in sign language. I must, more than I thought.

So, it still bugged me. I can still interpret. Well. I haven't lost a bit of my skill without using it in 17 years. I'd seen certified interpreters over the years and understood why everyone was pushing me as an 18 year old to get certified. I definitely could have passed the test.

Should I swallow the umph and take the sign classes I could teach. Should I pay the money I might not be able to earn ..to get the certification I should have gotten ...

I go to the graduation tonight ..and 2 of the instructors are interpreting ... and I watch ... and I'm stunned.
I have my answer.
The number of mistakes made ... was absurd to say the least. My friend said she sat down there telling her friends that her friend was better than those two interpreters. She asked those that she was sitting with if they were student intpreters. No one knew. She knew by watching ... I'd done better at 17 years rusty.

So, I felt two very strong emotions tonight ... confirmation that I don't need to be paying for a degree that I can't earn to pay back ...to be taught by people who I know more than.

And regret ... that blasted regret for the decision I made at 19 ..for not listening to the wise counsel, for not believing in myself ... for not understanding that God doesn't call the equipped but equips the called and he'd equipped me.

I have my answer for what to do now. Especially with the tremors and joint pain. But the regret ... oh boy ...if you're young and reading this ...and someone tells you that you're good at something ..and to reach for the gold ring ... reach out ...grab it! The worst you can do is miss!

Dreams went to the back seat,
As life took on its own sad beat.
Running from here to there,
Everything overwhelms me with care,
Time takes it’s toll of life,
On top of pain comes the strife.
Dreaming seems too distant,
Reality tells me that I can’t,
Everything works against me,
Abba says “Time to look and see,
My heart I gave, so you could live,
Abundant life is my joy to give!”
Growing, changing every chance,
Alive again with dreams to dance,
In Christ, I live to share His hope,
No longer looking to self to cope!

© 2003 Peggikaye Eagler


  1. ok im redoing your name ;)

    Doing what you know you can
    Reviewing your options and trying again
    Energising you already known talent
    Ability to accept mistakes and start again
    Multiplying your skills
    Inviting people into your life
    No turning back
    Giving God the full coiperative in your life.

    LOL ok my slant ;)
    And what an awesome gift you have :)

  2. What an incredible gift... I have always thought sign was a beatiful language... I once worked with a young lady and she and her intereperter would talk differntly then the regular sign I asked about it and they said there are kinda like two versions...the basic kind and the body kinda. The body kind is when you use your entire body to talk it was amazing to watch them, I cannot fully describe it but you already know lol Sometimes I felt that if I paid attention enough I could grasp what they were saying cause it seemed so obvious... Sometimes I watch the sermons on late night tv with the interpreters (volume down) just cause i like to watch the interperters (i know Im a little weird;)

  3. I had the most fun making a mistake this morning in sign!

    Because of my shoulder, obviously, I'm not in a position of signing for the musical. However, I am working with my pastor's daughter for her to sign.

    Now, what is so special about her signing, is that she is a 16 year old child with Down's Syndrome. Her mother and father were videoed talking about how when she was born, the prayers of their community at the time, got them through the shock. How the prayers of the communities they've lived in, have continued to help them and given them wisdom to deal with her special needs.

    They talk about her being one of the biggest joys of their lives.

    Then we sing a song about God's faithfulness. In the middle of the solo, the choir and congregation will sing Great is Thy Faithfulness. When that song is over, the soloist will come back out to sing

    This is my anthem, this is my song, the theme of the story, I've heard for so long. God has been faithful, He will be again. His loving compassion, it knows no end. He's always been faithful, He's always been faithful, He's always been faithful to me.

    The pastor's daughter signs that. Well, when she was from about 4 to 6, she was in a sign choir, then they moved here to Tulsa and there wasn't one. When she was 8, I moved into the church. She's continued to watch me sign, and kept up her signing that way. So, I was asked to work with her to sign it.

    Well she had the song down, but when the spotlight came on, she froze without having me to watch. So, I'll be in front on the floor signing for her. Today, I skipped a phrase and signed one too soon ...and SHE got it right. She grinned from EAR TO EAR as she realized that she'd signed it correctly and Peggi signed it wrong. It made her day ..and mine.

    I took great joy in telling the choir that the time that we'd signed the different signs ...she was right!!!

  4. You may want to reconsider going to school for the certification.

    Just going to school, in and of itself, will afford you many other ways to expand yourself and will give you benefits that you can't measure or even anticipate receiving.

    I have found that going to school has strengthened me too.

    While you may not see a return financially, you may recieve much more in added blessings.

    You could probably qualify for a government grant for the schooling too.

    Just a another view from a different rear view mirror.

    ;+ )


  5. I agree with T.J. Reconsider your decision. You very well may qualify for a gov grant or a school specific one. So you know more than the teachers...great!! Then you sail through with a 4.0 GPA!! Also, most community and Jr colleges have programs to help the disabled. You don't have to be legally disabled to use them, you just have to have a doc willing to say that you could use their services. I go through disabled services myself. The services I get are, I may use a tape recorder in class (whether the teacher allows it or not), I get consideration for abscenses (if the teacher allows 4 total and I have 6, they can't drop me or lower my grade on attendance alone), I may leave class to "manage disability symptoms" as needed, and I may take tests in the testing center with extra time if needed (I only use that for math and science classes). There are many other accomodations that they have. Another one I can think of that might help you is "adapted PE"...I don't qualify for that one because my disibilty isn't physical, but I have a friend with FM and she takes swimming in adapted PE...they have people that help the student in whatever way is needed and they do special exercises in the pool, this has helped her manage symptoms a lot. Oh, one other thing...you could consider taking the beginning classes as credit/no credit instead of for a grade...that way if you really just can't do it because it's to dang easy...then it doesn't hurt your GPA in any way. You could also look into the appeals process regarding challenging the classes. You very well may be able to bypass them altogether.