Posted in Dys-Adventure

Background Noise

I understand that there are actually a lot of people who function better with some kind of background noise.  A lot of people need music to focus on their homework.  Or need to chat while working.  I am not  one of those people.  Quite the opposite really.

At work, I was trying to make a design for a shirt.  The design was done and I was measuring it to the correct size to put on the front of a shirt before sending on to be screen-printed.  It was Friday, last week.  Everyone was ready to go home and someone was playing music loudly.  Pretty much everyone was enjoying it.  But I couldn’t read the ruler on my screen to see how big the design was.  In the end, I counted the tick marks because the numbers wouldn’t let me read them.

II consider myself lucky to be able to read, but it’s not always easy.  I need almost complete silence to be able to read and comprehend.  Last Friday reminded me of something that happened over and over again in school.

One of the worst experiences of my childhood was when teachers would play music while we worked as a treat.  Several teachers that I had growing up used playing music as an incentive for the class to be quite.  One in particular that I remember would play music during our Friday math test.  On Monday she would tell us that we had to be quiet to hear music on Friday.  The class would get quiet because they wanted to have music during the test.  Some people’s grades actually went up because they were able to focus better with the music.  On Friday our teacher would tell us that because we were good she would play the CD.  But, first she would ask:

“Does anyone need it to be quiet while they are taking the test?  If anyone wants it quiet everyone has to wait until the test is over.”

I would raise my hand.  Someone would tell me to put my hand down, sometimes call me names.  Then several people would tell the teacher to play the music, it’s fine.  “It helps us concentrate.”  Then she would play music during the test.  My grades in math were pretty mediocre that year, but I did memorize all the words to “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow.

Do any of you need background noise?  Or are you like me and need quiet to focus?  I’m genuinely curious because I’ve always felt like the minority on this and wondered if I actually am or if the people who prefer noise are just louder.

much love, AK

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Author:

I'm a recent college graduate with dyslexia making my way in the world.

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