Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Common Misconceptions about Vocabulary

The strange thing about life is that you live, you learn and you carry on.

carry onI am about to confess something that I rarely bring up. Grind your gears, you might be tossed off your feet on this one.



Yup! That's right! You read that right.

Allow me to reiterate, if I may.

I am a dyslexic high school drop out.

insaneThroughout the years I've had to learn how to cope with people judging me by my shortcomings. That's something that I've had to encounter for far too long.

A while back I overheard a conversation in which some strange guy told some lady that stupidity comes from the lack of a formal education and that an extensive vocabulary is the product of a proper education.

I don't know how true that is though.

If you may, I'd like to share a little bit of my story with you all. Perhaps it will help you understand why that remark agitated me to no avail.

I had an unfortunately hard upbringing. More than most could imagine. I don't want to give you my sob story as it would be too much to write at this moment, but suffice it to say that family was more important than education. And education was impossibly hard due to life circumstances.

Due to an unavailingly hard childhood, I wasn't able to pay much mind to school. Yet, whenever I did get around to going to school on a regular basis—IF you could call it that—not only was I lost in translation, but having dyslexia made it especially hard to keep up.

I couldn't even read until I was well into the 4th grade, and even that was little to none.

Suffice it to say that by the time I'd reached high school, I was only attending so that my parents wouldn't get child protective service called on them. But I felt very much like a fly in a glass of water—in over my head and unable to catch up with the fray.

As soon as I turned 16 my life changed drastically. Amongst those changes was the choice to drop out of school.

It wasn't that I didn't want to learn, it was that I yearned to learn, but couldn't do it in the same way that others did. So, instead of remaining drowned by the inescapable, I opted out.

Some years later I got my GED and then went to trade school twice for two different trades; Administrative Office and Early Childhood Education. However, that transpired after I'd learned that I had dyslexia and found alternate education options. Things better catered to my specific needs.

Of course, in many peoples' eyes a GED and trade school isn't good enough. That may very well be true, but I did the best with what I had. All of this still doesn't change the fact that I am, indubitably, a high school drop out.

Overhearing that high school dropouts are stupid and have poor vocabulary skills made me feel some sort of way. Here is the reason why:

Anyone who reads my books, my art, will undeniably find that my vocabulary is very extensive. Moreover, those whom intermingle with me will also tell you that I am unquestionably intelligent. Particularly in things like science, history and the long lost talent of common sense.

True story, the people that know me best call me TERI (The Encyclopedia of Random Information). Why? Because they believe that I have an intelligence that is above par, and know that I mentally archive many random things; from science facts, to arbitrary statistics, and much, much more. Guess what? I do that with dyslexia, being a high school drop out, and all.

let-me-be-clear.jpgIt's pathetic that some people become blinded by a "black and white" frame of mind, and don't give an credence to the gray. Gray comes in many shapes and sizes, some good and some bad. I've experienced them both.

My grandmother (may she rest in peace), for example, had NO education. None. Zip, zilch, nada. She did not go to school, she didn't so much as know how to read. While the bible that was showcased in her living room was opened to Psalms 23, it was mostly for show, because she couldn't read a lick of it. She had memorized it from the many times she'd heard the priest read it aloud.

Yet, she was FAR FROM STUPID and could communicate her thoughts, feelings and wants with no hindrance whatsoever. Many times over her thoughts transcended monotonous, every day thoughts.

Stupid, she was not.

She was just at a social disadvantage. One which impeded her ability to have a formal education. However, my abuela (grandmother) was my role-model in every way. She was highly intelligent, had the wit to match and skills that some people lack today. Most of what I learned, I learned from her.

Here is the misconception:

The word "stupid" per Dictionary.com means:

Lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.

Ignorant means:

Lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact.

So, once again ...

lets-be-clearMy abuela may have been ignorant in some subjects, as she did not have a formal, bookish type of education. However, she was FAR FROM STUPID.

I truly believe that we are all ignorant in some things—no one knows everything ... except The Doctor. The Doctor knows everything.


Furthermore, I've know and interacted with highly educated persons that are incredibly dumb. People that have absolutely no common sense or even basic social skills, for that matter. People which have diplomas of all kinds, but their understanding is limited to book smarts and nothing else.

On top of that, I've read and reviewed books of writers whom claim to have all sorts of degrees (you name it) and yet their writing skills are lackluster at best.

So, to all of THAT, I say this ...

ALL high school drop outs are neither stupid nor illiterate!

I certainly am not!

And, if after reading this post you still think I'm stupid and/or have a lackluster vocabulary, then I invite you to pick up one of my books. THEY say it all.

Just_sayingUntil next time everyone!

Y :)


  1. This is a great post, and much needed. Thank you for sharing your story, Y :)

  2. Thank you for the courage to write about something so intensely personal and to do it with such honesty and humanity. Your post will certainly leave me thinking.

  3. I also have encountered many "Book Smart" individuals who can't seem to function in the real world. I was a member of a writers group for a few years. It was very intimidating at first. I believe I was the only member that wasn't a college graduate.

    I quickly realized these people were no smarter than me. While they were busy getting their degrees I was out making a living, raising a child and learning life lessons. Now colleges give you credit for your life experiences. Glad you don't let other peoples degrees and prejudice intimidate you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Excellent post, very inspiring on many levels.