In 2008, I wanted to go to college and improve my English skills. It was going to be impossible for me, or I thought, to go to campus in person. How am I supposed to get there, and pay school fees, and materials, like books and notebooks, it was something unthinkable. I made a comment to a friend, and I was told something really cool! This friend advised me, I could take classes online, and for free, these were so good and exciting news. I asked my (CNA) nurse assistant, where I should start, and which school. He was very nice and helpful, and sit down with me to look at the Santa Rosa Junior College website. We found the contact information for some lady there, a clerk, and gave it a call. We thought that person, answering the phone call, maybe, gave us some information, and point us in the right direction. We were in luck, someone did answer and told us where to go. I was able to get in contact with, Nancy Chinn, the person from the disabilities resources department. She told me, she would like to come to my place, and talk, in person, about the matter. So fortunate, I felt! She came with her colleague, Tara Johnson, I don’t remember the exact date, to be honest, sometime in the summer of 2009. We talked about the options, and they thought, my English was not bad, by the way. I could only take free and online classes, I explained to them, okay, no problem, they said. I was able to take English classes online, I was happy, but not satisfied, I wanted to take real courses, more complex ones. Well, at least, I had something to keep my mind busy.
By the end of the year, an American couple, the son, and daughter-in-law of my roommate, I loved that roommate, an elderly man, like my own flesh; they gave me the biggest gift EVER! They sponsored me. I was in a wheelchair, otherwise, I would’ve fallen backward. I used to watch that sort of thing happen in soap operas when I was a little kid, and I thought “oh man” I wish that could happen to me, OMG! Over 25 years later, it did happen. I didn’t have any MULA to pay for school fees before, but suddenly, I had money to take any class I wanted. Since then, I could even go to campus, and see the instructor face to face, all thanks to God, who has been looking out for me; putting such amazing people, like this American couple, helped me succeed in my life.
I could go and take swimming classes, which for a person in such condition, were classes for wetting your “butt” or half of the body, I really like them, anyway. These classes were meant for people, who had some disabilities, and limited mobility issues, so they were able to get some PT. I needed to have somebody with me to help me get into the pool and do therapy, otherwise, I couldn’t take it. I had a caretaker with me, but I needed another person, so one could hold on from my right arm, and one from the left one, and kept me floating in the water, it was FUN! Unfortunately, these classes didn’t last long, I was able to take two semesters, maybe, I’m not certain, but I didn’t qualify anymore. Perhaps, I wasn’t making any progress, yeah, that could be the reason.
I was interested in getting my GED certificate, so I started working in the computer lab at the DRD, a couple of days a week, it was “hard”! I mean, I didn’t have many studies in my hometown, 6th grade only, Elementary school in Mexico. My family was impoverished, and couldn’t afford to maintain my studies going forward, thus everything was new to me with respect to the GED. I was doing good with the simulation testing and studies though, I thought the real exam should be not too bad.
When I felt like I studied enough, I scheduled my appointment for the actual exam. The GED was composed of several lectures, Math, Written, Reading, Science, etc. I took math first, and I failed 😝 yeah, unfortunately, I did bad, bad, bad! I did the same with Written and all the other subjects, 5 in total. Luckily, I am a stubborn person, and didn’t stop until I passed them all, and got my piece of paper!