You can upcycle 2-liter bottles by cutting them in half and using the top as a funnel, or inverting the top piece into the bottom half to make an instant wasp or bee catcher. Source
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is “Expect. Employ. Empower.” To gear up for this month, USFWS biologist Dan Spencer, shares how struggling with his disability brought him to where he is today. Talk about empowerment!
I am not stupid. This self-affirmation may seem like low hanging fruit to most, but this realization was profound given the history of how a learning disability influenced my academic struggles when I was younger. If someone had told me in eleventh grade that I would earn high honors majoring in biology, I would have laughed. If someone had told me that someday I’d become a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service conservation scientist and educator, I would have told them they were crazy.
I was diagnosed with my learning disability in second grade, and by then, it was already obvious to me that I was less than efficient at completing in-class reading and writing assignments. It turns out I had two of the seven main types of recognized learning disabilities. My visual processing disorder affects my ability to take in, process, recall and reproduce symbols. With scrambled letters in words and words in sentences, I loathed reading assignments. You would often find me hiding under my desk when teachers called on students to read aloud in class. And I wasn’t just last to finish the test; I trailed the next to last by a solid 10 -30 min. It seemed obvious to me back then that I was not only different but stupid.
My dysgraphia (a writing-based learning disability) was equally embarrassing. With deficiencies in processing and fine-motor skills, converting thoughts to paper was laborious and the results were grammatically inferior at best and illegible at worst. I would sheepishly turn in my assignments to my teacher, fully aware their red pens were about to get a workout. And sharing my work with peers? Humiliating is an understatement.
To address my struggles, I was regularly pulled from gym, the one class that gave me confidence and an energy outlet, to attend a resource room for tutoring. I was not the only one who noticed, so I would poke fun at myself and my situation in an attempt to beat others to it. This strategy was not always successful, as I endured plenty of negative experiences from being socially branded as “stupid.”
But perhaps I was smart all along. According to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, the question is not are you smart, but how are you smart? With my love for the outdoors, I would have been identified with having a strong “Naturalistic Intelligence.” Raised in Southwestern Connecticut, I was in close proximity to wooded areas and my thirst for all things aquatic was quenched at the local rivers and lakes, not to mention the marine environments of the Long Island Sound. When I wasn’t outside immersing myself in nature, I was often producing imitations of local vertebrates and invertebrates on my fly-tying bench in preparation for my next fishing trip. I also hadstrengths in the Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, and Logical-Mathematical intelligences. Unfortunately for me, Gardner’s theory, published in 1983, hadn’t yet trickled down to my schools.
"The question is not are you smart, but how are you smart?"
You have a heart of void, and shadows for blood, villain.
You have poison in your breath, and a laugh that cracks stone, villain.
You have a subtle mind that can split a knife, and muscles that can bend steel, villain.
Fear, itself, fears you, villain.
So when you are weak or tired or afraid, draw yourself up from your dark, sinister core and unleash the unholy, unknowable energy that drives you.