Thursday, May 15, 2008

*Warning! Heavy Topic* (Followed By A Bit O' Fun)

I apologize to my reading public, but since our return from vacation we have been inundated with life. I think I told a few of you that we decided to take foster care classes in an effort to learn all we can about fostering and adoption. We are still feeling pretty uncommitted but are hoping that through this process we will get enough information that we can make an informed decision through the spirit as to how we want to proceed.

The classes started the week we were on vacation so we missed the fun stuff like the introduction, the getting to know you with the other potential foster parents, and stuff like that. The class we began with was class #3, which was on Monday, and the class was entitled: Abuse & Neglect/Sex Abuse.

We knew this would be a hard topic to begin with but we weren't deterred by it, like I said we just want to get as much information as possible.

Here are some interesting statistics: Reasons Kids Come Into Foster Care

Domestic Violence-31%
Sex Abuse-27%
Physical Abuse-20%
Non Supervised-6%

We were forced to talk openly about slang words for body parts and the degrees of impact of different levels of sex abuse on a child and these were VERY specific and did not even include actual sex.

The class was not uncomfortable for me and I think that is because I knew that the purpose of the class was to educate and inform, as well as desensitize us. When a child feels he/she can trust you and starts to tell you about his/her abuse this class is supposed to help so that the caregiver doesn't freak out and remains calm, never prompting the child but asking if they would like to tell you more.

Last night's class was a follow up to Monday and was all about the developmental effects of neglect/abuse on a child's social, emotional, physical and cognitive progress.

To lighten this discussion up a bit I would like to tell you about a man in our class. Since leaving school I have been a bit down and I have been missing the classroom setting. This man reminded me of the really blogworthy contents of a classroom. He comments ALL THE TIME. He debates national statistics. He qualifies every question he asks with a rambling narrative. He raises his hand during EVERY discussion period. His wife never, ever says a word. Interesting dynamic. A lady that we sit next to informed me last night that this man spear headed a discussion on one of the first nights about wether or not foster care or birth parents should pay for a bicycle for a foster child. What?

Our first discussion last night was about developmental milestones for children 0-18. The challenge was that if we could predict the age that each milestone is reached in most (70%) of the population in North America we could go home and we could consider that class passed. The first questions had to do with being fully potty trained, when a child learns to walk, and that sort of thing. Of course we didn't get the answers right and we were in for the long haul (4 hours). So after question number 2 when our fate was decided and we would have to stay for the full class period the teacher starts trying to blaze through and give us the answers to the questions. This man decides he needs to debate about it. Why? For the love of free time and nights spent at home, why doesn't he shut his yap? Half way through a girl near me raises her hand and says, "How about we just learn the ages for the milestones without debating them so that we can move on?" Hello yappy man in the front, she was talking to you!

I feel for teachers in this instance. Has there ever been a class in all of history where there wasn't one of these people? Where you could actually have an enjoyable teaching/learning experience without the interference of the know it all? I know you all know what I am talking about because we all sit in Sunday School once a week and I am betting you have a very clear picture in your head of the person in your class who fits the above description. I may be a lot of things, but a know it all, class yapper I am not.


hyker said...

Yeah, yappers annoy me too. And yes, we have one in my ward. Not only does he yap....but he sends out e-mail yaps as well. Very annoying.

Into the Wild was an interesting read. I downloaded the movie the other day, but I still haven't watched it. I haven't read Under the Banner of Heaven. I don't know if I can get past the church stuff and all. You "outsider" writing about stuff he doesn't know anything about. But we'll see. I did really like his first book "Into Thin Air" which was about climbing Mount Everest. Good stuff.

Collette said...

Funny you wrote about your class. Just this morning, yes-this very morning, I was wondering what you guys had ever decided about adoption. I was remembering talking to you about the options at the cabin one year (probably about 4 or 5 years ago). It was a totally random thought this morning. There is a couple in our ward that are foster parents.
And yappers are annoying. Sometimes I feel like yapping, then I remember that I may get to leave early so I refrain!

mom/Janet said...

Bill proposed the idea of taking in foster children about 3 or 4 months ago. We do have alot of give but I'm not sure I'm ready for that right now, especially with Ella in the picture. I want to be free to go see if if I can. Also, I'm not sure I could handle having them leave if I happen to get really attached. I'll be interested in knowing what you do.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I am a "yapper" and I am sure an annoying yapper, at that. I first became aware of it in S.S. when I was about 12 or so. I raised my hand to answer a question, and my cousin George said something to the effect that Georgia always answers ALL the questions. Up until then, I raised my hand to answer questions because I loved the dynamics of question/answer. I just felt so exhilarated about being in a learning situation. I honestly was totally unaware that yappers were not appreciated.

I still have a tendency to dominate in certain classes, and sometimes have to physically restrain my arm from shooting up and my mouth from shooting off. I try to limit my comments to one, or less, each week. Not always successful. Sorry.

I can't speak for his other books, but Jon K. failed to reach his objective in Under the Banner of Heaven. Unless his objective was to demean the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. He just couldn't get away from that. And some of his stuff wasn't factual either. Unfortunately, that combo made me wonder about the integrity of his other books, as well.

I read a review of the book in BYU Magazine some time ago, and it also noted J.K.'s inability to stick with his objective.

Brittany said...

first i want to say that i loved your top ten list! harold falling asleep is totally classic! now that i've told you all about that...

i'm glad to hear that you are taking those classes. i just think it's so wonderful when people open their homes to those in need.

as far as that chatty guy - i know exactly who you're talking about...

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

Oh my goodness, that is funny. I have this writing class and I have that exact same guy in my class. I think he was ignored as a child and so makes it his mission in life not to ever be ignored again...poor wife.

I think its wonderful that you and H are considering adoption or foster parenting. There are so many children in our world who need good, loving, strong parents. The two of you would be perfect. I know its a lot to consider.

Katie and Gary said...

Damn those yappers! Just let us get through the material already. Last time I checked I came to listen to the teacher who has spent countless hours researching the topic. I actually had to tune out some of my science classes at Ricks so I wouldn't get confused by the yap yaps (female yappers) up front. Now that I look back, I had grounds for lawsuit material. They literally waste so much time! I mean does it really matter why the body has a cascade response at the cellular level to inflammation? It just does!!

Jules said...

This is one of the reasons I prefer Young Womens over Relief Society. I know I have to brave it again someday, but it's very difficult. We have some wonderful sisters who bless their hearts, cannot let a subject pass. The funny thing is they tell the same stories week after week. This is fresh in my mind because they made all the sisters go to RS for Mother's day. I love the RS program don't get me wrong, it's just hard to get through a lesson sometimes.

Reno Wells said...

I am in primary and I have the a couple children that are yappers in the making. I think about their parents and they could easily be classified as yappers. Poor kids never had a chance.