My bio is basically supposed to be something I write about myself; saying nice stuff about myself; getting another person who likes me to relay all that nice stuff back to you; you being, the naive listening audience actually believing that the other person actually wrote all this nice stuff about me. “Jerry was born in 1959 and is the nicest guy in his neighborhood,” yeah right.
So, let’s dismiss the “cloak and dagger” stuff, here’s the real stuff on me, from me…
Back then (1978 to be exact) I graduated from Community College and naturally I knew all the answers. And, now, three plus decades later, I’ve come to the realization I don’t even understand the questions.
And, over the years “the bosses” kept sending me for schoolin stuff; to colleges, universities, workshops and other schoolin places. Them bosses really musta thought I needed lots of schoolin stuff because they sent me off schoolin a total of 47 times over my career. I even held three instructor certificates in relationship stuff.
Imagine; all that schoolin stuff and I still don’t understand the question.
Oh well, I got to work with lots of good folks in all rungs of the people ladder. I was even a Higher Up (HUP) at one point, though please don’t share that with too many, HUPs (mentioned several times in my book) are not that popular.
In addition to the bosses, were also the parents, Bob (Bompie) and Mollie (Nani).
Early on, they informed the lot of us five kids that when we grew up it was our duty to give back; to help out; and to do it for free…what!
Admittedly, that was pretty good advice; so much so, the book has a chapter about volunteering.
Volunteering, as I’ve found out, is a great place to meet lots of people and tons of Regular Folks; a great place to keep me out of trouble; and a great way to anchor me so I don’t drift off to sea. Volunteering also gives me lots of practice in interacting and negotiating with a large variety of personality types; the fun types, the kooky types, the serious types and the “you name it” types.
My volunteer world includes/included: coaching, scouting, lots of volunteer work through various service clubs and as an editor for newsletters. In addition to that, I volunteered for my town, my province, college/universities and the Texans. I particularly liked working with the Texans because they have a lot of Regular Folks living there, plus they said I have an accent (and that’s pretty groovy).
“Jerry, where ya all from, you got a accent.”
“Really? I have a accent, eh.”
The other thing my wife Beth and I did was house people. I think this housing of people was a poor attempt by us to blame the mess in our home on others, like;
“Who left all those dishes on the counter and look at the stains on the floor, it must have been…”
Anyway, we had all of our kids friends hanging out at the house; we had young adults from Katimavik and Canada World Youth programs live with us; we found a couple of Cuban immigrants and they lived with us; and we had folks who needed assistance with reading, writing, arithmetic and other stuff living with us. Nowadays, they are all gone, and we still have dishes on the counter and stains on the floor. Well, I guess the truth finally comes out doesn’t it…Oreo the cat did it!
In addition to volunteering, my former boss, John (also mentioned in the book), was also kind enough to include myself and other folks in MCRI to participate in the closing of the two N.B. psychiatric institutions, which also meant reconnecting many people to their families and home communities and the creation of several new residential programs so people with “disabilities” could live in safe and self-sufficient ways.
What else, oh yes, my lack of hair. This was caused by being on Boards, Associations and Advisory Committees. I suppose it could be genetics (half of the male Kirkpatricks are bald) or it could have been those eighties hair perms I had; nope, I think it was all those board, association and committee meetings caused my hair to thin.
You see, over the years I sat on bunches of municipal, provincial, federal and international association/boards/committees. I was a director, a secretary, and even President (scary). I enjoyed the people, the gatherings and the social time (especially the free wine and cheese socials); however, for some reason, we were also supposed to have meetings and do stuff, and those meetings are the best way in the world to lose your hair. This is because time efficiency and meetings are rarely mentioned in the same sentence.
So, my theory is that I have thin hair because I pulled it out at meetings (and believe it or not I wrote a chapter about meetings…yawn).
Finally (much to your relief), I am almost done this bio. Here are a few of my favorite things:
I enjoy Ball Room dancing, running, roller blading, lawn bowling, and playing Bridge/other cards and games. And, yes, I play hockey; trip, hook and illegally check people and then run home and design greeting cards and make Japanese Origami. I call the former my last attempt at being a “man” and the latter my future nursing home activity; after all, my kids (teenagers at the time) promised me that as soon as they were able, they were going to; “Put me in a home, a really bad home.” One should always be prepared for that, especially since they have yet to say they’ve changed their mind.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that growing up with a family member who is affected by the challenges and labels of “disability,” my parents taught me early on that it is my duty and responsibility to serve other people whenever I can. My ongoing wish is that we try and treat each other with a “People First” philosophy; meaning that all of us folks have disability stuff but we should not be defined by that stuff.
So there you go, probably more than you wanted to know…and, oh yeah; why should you buy this book?
Well, for the same reason I bought my own book, so that I can assist people to live self-sufficiently and safely. Living with any type of disability can be a real crappy deal and it’s even crappier when you’re forced to live it out unsafely.