Tuesday, February 26, 2013
By this time I realized that I wasn’t going to really have a career without a grade twelve and found out you only need a grade ten to join the Canadian Forces. April of 2004, I signed up for a Program that the Canadian Forces was running; it was called the “Tommy Prince” program. Tommy Prince was the most decorated Aboriginal in the Canadian Forces and they ran this course to try and recruit more Aboriginal people to show them what the military life was like.
After completing all my training I was posted to Shilo, Manitoba, (Western Canada) to the First Regiment of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. In 2007 I started work-up training to go to Afghanistan for 2008. In February of 2008, I flew into Afghanistan where I would stay till September of that year. On my last day, our last road move, I was involved in an Improvised Explosive Device, (IED) where I was exposed to a blast less than fifty meters in front of me that took out an armored vehicle along with the whole road. At the beginning of 2009 my co-workers and family started notice a change in me. Not long after that, I would spend the next two years being treated for Post- traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), Traumatic brain injury (TBI), and loss of hearing in my left ear.
In the fall of 2011 I asked to be released from the Canadian Forces and they allowed me to work at completing my high school starting six months before my release date (February 2013). I’m currently enrolled at the Swan River Adult Education Centre in Swan River, Manitoba. I enrolled in grade twelve Math and English and completed that in December 2012. In January I started working on Geography and a course called Life Work Transition as well I’m taking Physics twice a week in the evenings.
Returning back to school was a big change and challenge for me or anyone who goes from full time work to full time student. I not only had to adjust to the different life but also with the stress that after suffering a head injury was I going to be able to retain what I will learn in school day to day. With half the School year left and nothing but positive outlook, I wish I would have done this years ago and not waited so long.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I grew up in a Hutterite Community in Maple Creek, SK with a German dialect as my main speaking language. I learned English, but it was not encouraged. Learning to work was more emphasized than education. Mom was the head cook of the colony. With nine in our family, she was busy sewing, house cleaning, and my dad was just as busy. We just didn’t have a good elementary school teacher, and my parents had no say. At age fifteen you were considered an adult. My school was done, and I was expected to work with the ladies doing gardening, cooking, sewing, and a lot more different activities.
As naive as I was, I left home at age twenty by myself and in the dark, and moved to Lethbridge, AB. Yes, life was hard not having a good education. I had to work to pay my bills, rent, and food. I found a low paying job at $4.00 an hour at a pizza restaurant, and later on I worked at the Lethbridge Lodge starting wage was $6.50 an hour. I was barely meeting my needs, so I decided to go back to upgrade myself. I struggled a lot because the classes were too big and I couldn’t visualize when I was reading. Growing up and having no T.V. or magazines made it hard for me to comprehend. I had no problem doing Math, but when it came to doing a word problem, I just couldn’t understand the concepts of what I was reading. Deep in my heart, I needed to work on my reading before I could continue to finish my education.
At that time, I met my future husband, who lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We got married August 3, 1991, and moved to Portage La Prairie. We had two boys and one daughter, and I was a stay- at- home mom. My main goal was to make sure they learned how to read. On July 2001, my husband found a different job at the OSB plant in Minitonas, as an electrician. My younger boy was eight months old when we moved.
Little did I know that I would have a day care in my home! I stated up by taking care of one of the teacher’s children, and then word got out. While reading to my daycare children and my own children, my comprehension improved. I have to give praise to my daughter and my oldest son who encouraged me to start reading their level of middle year books. I started to have a love for reading. Last year in 2010, I made another big decision. I have decided to go back to school, and get my grade 12.
Going back to school was very difficult. I left behind some parents as their children’s daycare worker. This was upsetting to the parents and me. I had a meeting with the community, and they are in the process of getting a daycare to fill my space. My dreams are to work with little children once I finish my grade 12 in the public school system as an educator assistant.
Although it took much courage, coming to Swan River Adult Education Centre has been a joy. It seems what I learned from work experience makes my school easier. Best of all I enjoy reading much more, and can understand the concepts better. I will cherish my past and live for today. I have a dream that I can complete school and have a brighter future. For me, I see the possibility of a miracle.
Rosa Waldner, Swan River Adult Education Inc.
This story can be found in the spring/summer 2012 edition of Write On Magazine published by the Literacy Partners of Manitoba.
The sun comes up in the morning
and then evening comes it sets.
In these moments of life,
we can chose to live our lives fully like the sun
pleasing ourselves or live somber.
It’s a choice, we all have to make
either we walk the path of life in a positive way
or we can be moping
by feeding these negative thoughts into our life’s.
No one will do it for us,
we have to make a step
forward and speak words of life.
Choosing not to be despondent
On yourself, can be health to your body and soul.
There are days when, when we have
These dark somber clouds hanging down,
But we can light a candle by lifting these clouds
and let words of life coddle our minds.
Let us draw strength from words
of inspiration that can lighten our life’s
and help us rise up like the sun.
By Rosa Waldner
This is a poem, I wrote that really spoke to me. I read a book that my teacher suggested to me as a summer reading project, In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier. I was given some words and then I wrote this poem. The book is awesome if any of you want to read a good summer reading book. It touched my heart.