Kelsey Thompson 9-25-07 EDUC 3013 Dr. James Autobiography Section 1 I was a planned baby. A few years after my parents were married my mother told my dad that she thought it was time to have a baby, and he didn’t disagree. About a year later I was born. When my mother got pregnant though she hadn’t realized it. She went to the doctor because she thought she was having problems with her gall bladder. She was later very relieved to learn that she was pregnant and did not have any complications with her gall bladder. Early on in her pregnancy she worked at International Paper in Pittsburg, our hometown, but she lost that job when her employers discovered she was pregnant. Another woman who had worked there before and had gotten pregnant decided to quit working, the company thought my mother would do the same thing and decided to fire her before she could quit. My mother said she couldn’t remember the first time she felt me move, but that it was probably around 4 months. She does remember that her breasts started to swell at about that time and she became very tender. One of the things she remembers best is that she had the hiccups quite often around five months and that during this time I became quite active. Her lifestyle at home though didn’t really change. Other than losing her job, she continued to be active and do housework until the last month when she had to remain on the couch for most of the day. My mother and father decided not to have any prenatal tests preformed, nor did she want to know if I was a boy or girl. I don’t think that if she had had any of these tests preformed it would have made any difference in her choice to have me. I say this because I know how she feels about abortion now and while she was pregnant she was reading a book and the main character’s name was Kelsey. She then decided that if I was a girl she would like to name me Kelsey Dawn because she thought it was pretty. My dad on the other hand liked Meagan Faye. My mom won out though because they decided KD would look better on a boardroom door than MF, which is something that only my mother would think of. When I asked my mother if she was hoping that there were any family traits that would inherit or would not she thought very hard about her answer. She told me that she didn’t even remember thinking about it. I can think of a few characteristics that I would rather not have or that I wouldn’t want to pass on to my children, but she surprised me by saying no because she worries about everything. I guess this shouldn’t surprise me too much though, because my grandpa, her dad, had not begun to have heart problems. This might have been more of a consideration when she was pregnant with my brother since heart problems tend to be more prevalent in men. When I was finally born, it was in Pittsburg, Kansas in the Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center. My mother spent about 24 hours in labor and did not even have a natural birth because her kidneys eventually shut down. While my mother was in normal labor she was able to sit and watch television, after her kidneys began to shut down she had a panic attack of sorts because her hormones were all over the place at this point. The doctor took me by c-section and my mother didn’t get to hold me until her health stabilized the next day. I was born on a Saturday, my mother got to hold me on Sunday, and we left the hospital Tuesday. While I don’t remember the first few weeks at home my mother says that they were “nice.” She said the house was calm, so I guess that means I wasn’t a very loud and fussy baby. There were no significant problems after my birth that required a trip to the hospital or doctor, and I never stopped breathing in my sleep. In those weeks my mother stayed home with me while dad continued going to work about thirty minutes away every week day. Mom told me that her lifestyle didn’t change very much even after I was born, so that must mean that they weren’t very active before I was born. She did go back to work though when I didn’t have to be fed every couple of hours. For the first half a year I slept in a basinet in my parents’ bedroom, I would go to sleep for about 2-4 hours and then wake-up, eat and go back to sleep. By the time I was six months old I was sleeping in a crib in my parents’ bedroom and sleeping through the night. During those first six months I was mostly breast-fed, after that I made the transition to a bottle, I imagine the coming of teeth had something to do with that. At nine months I began to eat solid food, and make a mess. Other than the mess making my mother told me I had one of those boxes that has different shaped slots that you put the yellow pegs of all different shapes in. That was my favorite toy, and I can see that, but my favorite game to play was “this little piggy.” The book I liked the most was Cinderella, this was also the first Disney movie I owned, but I also liked the Bernstein Bears. Both of my parents played with me and read to me, but my first word was mama. I think my mom got a kick out of remembering this because I am decidedly a daddy’s girl. When I asked my mother if they did anything to stimulate my intellectual development she looked a bit puzzled. “We just read to you a lot and I sang to you.” I even remembering being read to and my mother singing me to sleep. I don’t think my parents saw this as intellectual stimulation at the time, just that they were being good parents by spending time with me. I would say that because my parents did spend time with me and saw to my needs, like removing a cat from inside the house when I was sick, that I was a very trusting baby. No one had ever given me a reason to mistrust them and I think now that I can be trusting, but I have come to believe that trust is a thing that must be earned. That development though I believe came about because of my later childhood. My mother says I was a pretty easy baby. I didn’t mind strangers, in fact she said I liked pretty much everybody. There were those people who made me cry when I was held by them though, my dad likes to tell me those stories. Based on this information I would say that I was a securely attached baby. My mother also told me that I would only really fuss because of separation from her the first few times she left me with a baby sitter. I think that based on what I was told I was an easy baby. I was curious, liked new people, didn’t cry when left a the baby sitters for more than a few days, and functioned on a pretty stable rhythm, even when I wasn’t sleeping all night. My mom’s strongest memories of me though had nothing to do with my temperament then, but probably have affected my temperament now. She told me that whenever I would hit a certain age marker she would dress me up in a whole bunch of different outfits and take pictures of me. Now I hate dressing up, give me jeans and a t- shirt, and I don’t really like having me picture taken very much either. Based on Piaget’s sensory motor stage theory I was a normal. I was also a physically strong baby. By the time I was a month old I was able to hold my head up and I surprised my mother by rolling over from my stomach to my back at 11 days. When I was about four months old I could roll over from my back to stomach and did this repeatedly. I also had a walker that had a red rattle attached to it on some sort of spring. My mother told me I loved to play with this and let it make sounds as I would pull it all the way down and release it. Another toy that helped with my sensorimotor development was a musical bunny that I liked to play wiht. At six months I could crawl and loved to chase the kitty named Frank. At this point I also liked to pull myself up to the couch and look out the window, apparently the outside world intrigued me. By the time I was a year old I could say ten words and my mother says I could say them very clearly. All in all I would say my development was very normal in some ways and a little advanced in others, mainly in the physical aspect, since I took my first steps at nine months, but was almost able to run at about a year old. Kelsey Thompson 10-16-07 EDUC 3013 Dr. James Autobiography Part 2 I was my mother’s first child, and she is a natural worrier, and so I was the baby she watched the closest. This being the case the only illness I experienced that almost every other child does not, at an early age anyway, was a severe case of pneumonia. I think I caught it just before I turned two and I ended up needing to be hospitalized. After that our once indoor cats were indoors no more. With this above exception I was a fairly healthy child. I caught the chicken pox while I was being potty-trained, which I definitely remember. There were also the occasional ear infections, brought on by allergies, but I never had to have tubes in my ears. Before I reached kindergarten though my tonsils were removed because my mother got sick of me getting minor infections and thus being constantly grumpy. I remember that surgery only because I got to eat ice cream afterwards, which was not a very great occurrence. Like other children there were scrapes and bumps, glass in the knee, bee stings on feet, but I only carry minor scars from those occasions and still have yet to break a bone, despite being extremely clumsy. One of my earliest memories actually involves one of those bumps. I do not know for sure how old I was, but I was still in a crib and old enough to stand while holding onto the side of it and I wanted out. Somehow I managed to get the side of the crib to come down a little bit and pull myself head over heels out of the crib. My mother says I flipped out of the crib and landed pretty hard. As far as I can tell though, no serious damage was done. My preoperational stage was different than the norm. When I was little I asked lots of questions and my parents said that when I had a misconception they explained it to me and then I said “okay” and went along my way. An example of the only reoccurring misconception I had was that I would call my dad’s cousin Aunt Rene. My mother was always telling me, “Rene isn’t your aunt, she’s your cousin,” but that did not stop me from calling her that, I still think of her as Aunt Rene in my head to. I think I developed this habit because she had children my age and so did all my other aunts, so she could not possibly be my cousin, she was so much older than me that she had to be my aunt. This example describes both preoperational and operational thought because I made a logical conclusion based on my past experiences. No one had ever called her Aunt Rene in front of me, but because she had children my age that I played with she also had to be my aunt. During this stage children are said to show egocentrism to a large degree because they do not realize that other people have opinions different than their own. This aspect of the preoperational stage was not very strongly developed in me as far back as I can remember. I think I was more aware of the differences between me and other people because I was a little bit different myself. I was the little girl who watched TNMT and liked to watch daddy skin rabbits and fish. I had no qualms about eating Bambi’s mother, the second time I was told that, and I would go outside and ride the nanny goat or the bloodhound, if she had gotten loose or did not knock me down first. I think that because I was such a different child I was more excepting of other’s differences, I saw that my other female cousins my age did not have a goat to ride, one of them had a horse instead and they did not receive a bow and arrows for their 5th Christmas. (The only rule I was given was not to shoot the dog.) When I played with them though we found things we all liked to do, like play with dolls and play dress-up. I went to preschool at a catholic church in Pittsurg. My mother would drop me off on her way to work at the college, and when preschool was over she would either take me to a baby sitter or we would go home. The thing I remember most vividly is playing outside. There was a short, sturdy tree in the back yard that we all pretended was a helicopter. Some of us would stay on the ground and be the wings, running around in circles until we were to tired, and the rest would be pilots or gunners as we chased down bad guys. Sometimes we were even a medical helicopter and had medics that would climb down and grab a victim to take to the hospital. My two favorite movies were Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. My favorite series to watch were Batman, starring Adam West, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I would run back and forth between the kitchen and the living room screaming the theme song until my mother threatened to turn off the T.V., and The Greatest Story, back before Veggie Tales when the characters in the bible stories were people, not pickles. I also watched T.V. with my dad. We watched Star Trek most often, Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation. I loved T.V. shows in which there was a bad guy and a good guy and as a child I had a very well developed sense of justice, which means that I still do, and I still like those shows. For example, my favorite western is Quiqley Down Under, and I still love action cartoons. A lot of the T.V. I watched was a bit old for a preschooler so I had to “think” a lot about what I was watching and got to be pretty good at asking questions, which has helped me now in college. From a development perspective I do not think I ever took more to the initiative side over the guilt side, or the other way around. Until very recently I was never very goal directed, nor competitive. I did have quite an imagination, the Turtles might have had something to do with that, but I usually kept it to myself. I’m still not a big planner either, but I think that is because plans never work out the way you plan them to, so I just save myself some planning time and fly by the seat of my pants a lot. On the other side, when I had to be I was a very realistic child and am still fairly realistic. My feet are firmly grounded but that doesn’t keep me form looking at the clouds, would be a fairly just way to describe me. I’m also not extremely socially comfortable. I’m not awkward, but I just don’t care to be around a whole bunch of people. Is the core ego strength of purpose modeled in my life? Yes, but only because Erikson didn’t take Jesus into account when he theorized about development. I’ve never been driven or really cared about anything passionately until about my sophomore year in high school. That’s when I became a Christian and gained some purpose and direction. I think I started out without purpose and direction because of some mixed parenting at home. My mother and father have slightly different philosophies when it comes to parenting and I was the guinea pig. My mother is pretty authoritarian and my father is authoritative. With my mother you did what you were told and that was that. If you disobeyed you got spanked. My father on the other hand would tell me “don’t do this because...” When I was about five my father took me fishing. He thought I was right behind him, but I had stopped to look at this pretty bush on the side of the lane. It was shiny and I hadn’t ever seen one like it before I decided to use my senses and investigate a little bit. Thankfully, by the time my father realized I wasn’t behind him and turned around I hadn’t put anything in my mouth, yet. He rushed back and pulled me away from the bush, while explaining to me that poison ivy was not something we played with, and now we would have to cut our trip short so I could have a bath. Had that have been my mother she would have been furious that I had not stayed right behind her the entire time and I would have likely been spanked, after my bath, because she is sensitive to poison ivy. I haven’t got it since, but that is not due to a failure on my part. Kelsey Thompson 11-05-07 EDUC 3013 Dr. James Autobiography Section 3 I do not remember much about grade school. I think I was pretty neutral about having to go to school. It wasn’t something I enjoyed, but I didn’t hate it either. I would get on the bus in the morning and get off of it in the afternoon. Sometimes I would get to watch lots of TV, but lots of times I would go outside and play. My closest friends during my early grade school years were my cousins. I had an abundance on cousins, most of them close to my age, but none of them went to school with me. There were also two children that lived close to me, Ashley and Brandon. Ashley was two weeks younger than me and lived with her grandparents at the end of the lane. Ashley was always in trouble, yet she rarely seemed to be able to drag me into it with her. She had lots of issues, actually until the middle of high school I always managed to attract people with all sorts of drama in their lives. Brandon was about five years older than me and he was like a big brother. He would get off of the bus with Ashley and I and make sure we got across the street okay, then he would go home. Often he would come over, probably after he had done his homework, and we would play. If it was nice out we would play outside, if it wasn’t he would play with me inside, most often with my barbies. He was a pretty cool guy, he was never to macho to admit it either. Around the fourth or fifth grade I had another friend named Erica, who also had lots of issues. She, Ashley, and I would spend lots of time at recess together and since she didn’t live too far away I would get to go play every once in a while. Ashley and Erica would fight a lot, and it was a little stressful for me. They were both nice to me, probably because I was nice to them, but they were mean to the other girls in the class. Very often I had to play the role of peace maker between the girls in my class. I remember not liking that very much, and I never grew into liking that role, not even in high school. I think most of the time I would remind everyone to be nice to each other and reprimand them when they weren’t. In fifth and sixth grade I had a good friend named Jerri. She had just moved from Parsons with her family. She had a twin sister named Jaymee. Jerri and I had a lot in common and we were both pretty mature for our age so we started spending more time together. She did a lot of pouting, I decided that since she was usually in a pretty sour mood that I should spend more time with another friend that I had for a long time. Tierra had been my friend since kindergarten, but before we had each had our own other friends. In the seventh grade we both found ourselves extremely dissatisfied with our current friends and started doing everything together. She wasn’t allowed to come over and play though because she was a Jehovah’s witness and I was not. I think overall I spent a lot of time in grade school working on my cooperative development skills. I played the peacemaker at home with my brother and sister, at school with my friends, and at church with my friends and cousin there. (I didn’t go to church in the same town I went to school in, it was about 15 minutes away.) I think that now I am better at seeing all the sides of an issue because of that and that I have become a decent negotiator. It wasn’t until the sixth grade though that I started to apply myself to school. Before then I had never had a teacher that had made me truly interested in learning. In second grade I had a good teacher who made school fun and interesting, but that was not a good year for my class. One of our classmates died that year in a car accident. I feel sorry for our teacher, Mrs. Martin, she had twenty grieving second graders to encourage, she did an excellent job of helping us cope with the loss of friend though. In sixth grade I had a teacher named Ms. Rhodes. She has been my favorite teacher hands down. Before I came to her class I was a C-average student, I really did not care about school at all. Halfway through my sixth grade year she looked at me and said “What are you doing? I know you’re smarter than this.” She encouraged me to do better and got me interested in learning. Because of her I learned to love literature and to write, I never got the hang of grammar though. Thanks to her influence I pushed myself in high school and was a co-valedictorian in my class. Ms. Rhodes wasn’t the only positive influence in my life at that point either. My mom and dad, my grandparents, and my aunts and uncles are one great big support system. I knew that they were all pulling for me, and all my other cousins too. I can’t remember a single time when I had a question that I was told to go away or ask later. I especially learned a lot from listening to their conversations. My grandpa Thompson taught me that democrat was a dirty word and that being a tree-hugger was not something that was considered desirable. My grandpa Jones taught me the importance of listening, and my grandma’s reinforced the concepts of honesty and patience in me. My Aunt Susie showed me it was okay to be silly and have fun, and my older cousins taught me through example that growing up wasn’t so bad. Because of the strong family base I had, and the encouragement I gained in school I became more interested in doing things. I played volleyball and basketball, was in 4- H(which I did just to keep mom off my back, I hated 4-H), and began to take guitar lessons. Later I found I was a little too industrious though and had to choose something. I decided that I would still really like to play sports and I was not allowed to stop participating in 4-H, so I dropped guitar lessons. That is something I still wish I hadn’t done. I was always allowed to help dad in the garage and mom in the kitchen, i.e. sweeping the floor, so I really liked to feel useful. It’s even hard for me to sit and relax, but I’m learning to find a happy medium. I relax by working with my hands. I jr high I got an outlet for this through rocketry in 4-H. When I was seven or eight my dad made a dune buggy, frame, motor, and everything. Guess who got to help him? I got to see the payoff of learning to use your hands first hand. He would take me for rides a lot, we would even go to church in the buggy when it was warm. We’d meet mom there of course, it was only a two-seater. I grew up in church, and know my Baptist doctrine pretty well, but I did not really make a decision to follow Christ and give Him everything until high school. When I was in fifth grade I went forward and prayed a prayer, felt good about myself and went on with my life. At that point I understood that I needed a savior, but I had no idea of what it meant to make Jesus my lord. So, while I won’t say I lived a lie for five years, it was pretty close. God was more of a grandpa to me than the majestic creator of the universe. I was already a “good kid” so everyone else was fooled too. God wasn’t though, and to be honest I wasn’t either. I was a very angry child, and while I managed to hold it in pretty well, my brother and sister got the brunt of it. I’m sure that they didn’t not see Christ in me. As I have mentioned before in class, where I’m from we’re all white. Parsons is called Browntown because of the large black population there, compared with everywhere else. Frontenac has been referred to as Wopville, and Mexicans are always dirty. Where I am from people are big on first impressions and hard work, if you blow either of these you’re sunk. I also highly value hard work, and a first impression is very important to me. If a person doesn’t make a good first impression with me that person has to work pretty hard to make it up. Where I come from people are very self reliant and to have to accept help from someone else is one of the most humiliating things that could happen to a person. But it amazes me the community that I see against this hardened backdrop. Farmers come together for the harvest, if there is a fire or something along those lines the people of the community pitch in to help each other out. Because I have seen men and women work hard to support themselves and then accept help when they know they can’t do anymore has really shaped my view of the world. To be quite honest I do not have a very favorable view of welfare nor any organizations that just give money away to people. While I know some people do need the extra help I agree with Paul, those who will not work do not eat. Kelsey Thompson 11-27-07 EDUC 3013 Dr. James Autobiography Section #4 I do not remember too much about late jr high or high school. I was a late bloomer though. When I got to high school I was a stick and so were two other girls in my class. I did not pay too much attention to what anyone, let alone myself, looked like. Therefore I wasn’t very self-conscious. I didn’t pay much attention to boys or girls with drama, but I did notice when all the guys I had been taller than all my life suddenly got taller than me. I absolutely loved to read. I read all sorts of books, but my favorites were fantasy books. I would put myself in the book, make up my own character that fit into the plot and sometimes make up new endings for books. When I would do that the story would go on and on. The main characters and I would continue to fight villains or just hang out. Despite being very imaginative I was never very emotional and still am not. I am constantly having to tell Dr. Farris this in papers that I write for him because he always wants to know how we feel. I am very task oriented and so I don’t think about how I feel about something, I just do what I need to do as well as I can. As far as I can recall I’ve been this way, it hasn’t really changed. I never actually thought myself as invincible or unbreakable. For me there was a clear line between fantasy and reality and as far as I can remember I had always been a very clear line. But I did like to imagine about being in a fantasy and the characters in the books I read were my audience. They were the ones who saw my every action and great deeds performed. Aside from learning to drive the riskiest behavior I ever undertook was talking back to me mother. She didn’t take any sass of any sort, whether good humored or not, but my dad and I are champions of sarcasm, and over time my mother has learned that not everything I say is serious. I was a pretty shy kid in jr high and early in high school and I still can be, but I gained some friends in high school that really tried to get me to lighten up. Some of these friends I played sports with, some I just had classes with. But I think the times I was most reckless were times in the field with horses. I have always loved horses and half way through jr high I got the chance to start riding and spending time in the field with them. I think that I developed a pretty strong sense of identity. Yet I never really encountered a time of crisis in my life. I think the closest I have come to a crisis was coming to college. My parents gave me a great base and in high school I developed a strong foundation by becoming a Christian. I had always known all the answers to the questions, but they became real to me when I was in high school. I was actually pretty unshakable. I had some friends who kept telling me they were going to break me and get me. And while to some that may not sound like very friendly behavior, they did me a favor. I know that while the people in my life aren’t out to hurt me they don’t always have my best interests in mind. The core ego strength for this stage is fidelity, and I tend to be loyal to a fault. I know no one is perfect but that doesn’t keep me from defending my friends against assailments from others. I would say that the identity status that best describes me is identity achievement. I have known for about five years who I am and that has not changed. My identity is in Christ and that is not going to change. I also know what I want to do because God told me its what He wanted me to do. He is constantly reassuring me that where I’m headed is where I should be. I was created to glorify God by teaching, I’m good at it, I love it, and its what I’m supposed to do, even though its not easy. In high school I really didn’t have a clique. I didn’t really fit in with one set group of people so I just floated. I was a smart kid that was an athlete and sung in the choir. I was also the good kid, that never did anything wrong. I spent a lot of time at home with my family when I wasn’t at practice or school. I had some good friends in my youth group from another town and few good friends at school. I usually hung out with whoever was around. Because I spent a lot of time with my family there wasn’t too much conflict. My mom kind of became the bad guy, I was told no a lot in high school. That never really developed into a big problem, I would just watch TV with my dad when I couldn’t go hang out with friends. My parents really did me a huge favor. I’ve always had a pretty sure base because they’ve always been there for me and supported me. Because I was securely attached to my family and encouraged I was able to trust my parents even when I was in high school. I think this has really helped me develop my sense of self. I should tell me parents thank you.
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