Apr 9, 2023Liked by Penfist

Thank you for sharing this Pen. I have known many people through my life that have undiagnosed ADHD. Back when I was in school (a really long time ago) the kids were just labeled hyper, inattentive, or troublemakers. It’s known now with proper treatment, or even just understanding how the brain is processing, people with ADHD are some our most brilliant, creative and productive. If you haven’t read Thom Hartman’s book about ADHD, “A Hunter in a Farmers World” it’s a good one. Thom has ADHD and had researched it extensively.

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Pen, this piece was an uncommonly brave act. Thank you for the insight it provided as I get to know you.

In my teaching days I read hundreds of these. It became easy to spot the good psychologists from the weaker. You had the good experience to have one who translated your life experiences and commentary wisely.

The mystery is whether it would have affected you or your teachers and those who interacted with you 30 years ago as profoundly. Now you bring a lifetime’s experience to it and have had literally dozens of “Aha” moments. My personal experience was that such a report didn’t necessarily affect the child as much as it provided parents a cudgel with which to legally beat the school and demand differentiated education (that’s how it works in Canada - a Psych-Ed report is a legal obligation to a school.

Even at that, even with a more suitably tailored education, what was really transformational was that one teacher who relentlessly believed in you and poured his/her soul into helping you. Some kids found that person. Some didn’t.

I continue to admire your persistence, your ability to scramble under, over, or around deep obstacles. It feels to me like a life well-lived. I hesitate to even write that because I had things considerably easier growing up, and it feels judgmental to say that.

One last point, based on an earlier post. You talked about the quest to live in a technocratic utopia. I am interested in your more fully developed thoughts on that because I am suspicious of both words.

Thanks again.

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Never fear ... by now learning is hardwired... I knew long ago a lifetime wouldn’t allow me the time to learn everything I wanted to know about this amazing experience... from stars to planet... and everything above and below.

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I’m undiagnosed ADHD. But fairly certain, nevertheless. I began researching it in my 30’s. I’m the oldest in an alcoholic family. My parents, certain there was something wrong with me, mentioned their concerns to the family doctor who prescribed EEG’s into puberty. Because I was fairly attractive and singled out at home, I learned social skills quickly. Traits I developed from growing up in an alcoholic family include an uncanny ability to read a room, empathy, and codependency. I loved school and did well until late high school when rebellion kicked in, having had enough of the hypocrisy of alcoholism and church on Sunday. I used hyper focus to my advantage as often as possible, still do, honing my curiosity and learning as much as I could about the things that interested me. I spent a lot of time at the library. The best compliment I ever got was from a neighbor with a PhD in agriculture who taught at University... who told me I was as educated as many of his colleagues and more informed than most. I never attended university, but I also, never stopped learning. Still.

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