Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good-bye Christmas Vacation

Starting Monday it is back to school.  I am excited and nervous.  I have a stressful workload this semester.  It is my SR Block of classes that you have to take before student teaching.  The upside: I will be back in the schools more this semester, learn more than I can even think about, and these textbooks actually look like books that I will keep for reference.  The downside:  CRAZY BUSY!!!!

I ventured onto campus yesterday to buy my textbooks.  For one of my classes, we have an assignment to read the book A Child Called "It."  I read the syllabus for the class and the assignment for this book was due within the next month.  I was bored today and decided that I would get a jump start on reading the book.  I had NO CLUE what was in store for me.

The author of the book, Dave Pelzer, was abused by his mother as a child.  And when I say abused, I mean one of the worst abuse cases that California had ever seen at that point in time.  Pelzer's childhood started out normal.  His parents were madly in love.  He had two brothers and life was great.  Then one day, for unknown reasons, his mother snaps and starts abusing him.  She never laid a hand on his brothers.

Pelzer was denied food which led him to steal food from his classmates' lunches at school.  He was beaten physically and emotionally.  The abuse got more severe as time went on.  It was so severe that I was close to vomiting, crying, and wanting to beat the hell out of his mother myself.  He was basically treated as a Prisoner of War.

After several years of abuse, his 5th grade teacher, principal, and the school nurse put a stop to the abuse and Pelzer was taken away from his home.  (What ticks me off is that he was at this same school for several years and showed several signs of abuse.)  Pelzer went on to lead a normal life and served 13 years in the Air Force.  He is now a speaker and an advocate of child abuse.  He was determined that he would not be a victim of past, no matter how dark it was.

There was a quote that really stuck with me:
After years of struggle, my purpose became clear, for above all, I came to realize 
that America was truly the land where one could come from less than humble
beginnings, to become a winner from within.


David Pelzer is a true inspiration and God Send to victims of child abuse.

This book is a must read, but I will warn you to have a box of tissues and be prepared to read of unheard of conditions of life.

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8 comments:

  1. The book is one of a series of his life - when you can read the other ones, you should he is quite an inspiration.

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  2. OMG. I read that book for "fun" back in college because I'm fascinated with what the human spirit can overcome (read Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Prison if you like this genre).

    However, I didn't remember that he joined the Air Force. And I've never read "A Man Called Dave" or the other ones. They are on my "list" of ones to read!

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  3. Wow, that book sounds so good, but so sad! I'm so emotional right now, I better wait until I'm not so mental :P HA! I hope school will go well for you. I remember my mom going back to school when Becky & I were about 7 years old. She has taught for many years now & it was always so great to have my mom home in the summers & holidays.

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  4. Wow his quote definitely brought tears to my eyes. I don't think I could stand to read something like that, though. I'm such a baby.

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  5. I read that book a couple of years ago and I remember crying my eyes out!!! I'm glad you really liked the book as well.

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  6. I also read that book in college. What stuck with me was that none of his teachers along the way helped to stop the cycle. I always think of that when dealing with difficult home situations. If I don't do anything, who will?

    And you are so right that being in the schools will be good. My last two semesters of college are when I learned the most. I hope you get good mentor teachers, but I know that even if you don't you will learn something from them.

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