My Wonderful Life

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Chapter 2: chapter 2
(by Maheen Wickramasinghe, added on 25 October 2013 10:14 AM)


In 1988, my family and I moved to Canada. My parents found out that the education and facilities are very good in Canada, and boy! were they ever right. I moved there when I was 4 years old and lived in a city called Brampton, which is in the province of Ontario. I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with the people so much there. I started kindergarten in September of 88. I was in heaven with the teachers and students at the school. It was at this school where I learned braille, which is something all blind people use to read as blind people canít read print. I was able to read braille almost immediately after learning it. You see folks, I was able to learn basic courses very fast. It is only advanced courses that I found extremely difficult to learn. I had to go through some rotten times with certain teachers who gave me a hard time in not being able to understand my learning disabilities due to my rare eye condition, and friends and neighbours, this is what caused my depression.

My parents got me my first electric piano on my 5th birthday! Oh my goodness, was it ever a dream come true! I absolutely fell in love with it and didn't stop playing. I can even remember waking up very early one morning I believe it was around 4 or 5, wanting to play the piano! It was funny! Music was such a blessing to me, and it has been a blessing to this very day. I loved to explore the rhythms on the piano and at that time, I loved anything that had a rhythm to it. Sounds, was something I loved. You see friends and neighbours, when I was growing up and I have come to know about this from a lot of blind people from a school I attended, which I will tell you more about later. I liked anything that was very beaty. I loved the sound of drum beats and drum rolls. I began this habit of continuously rocking back and forth to anything even when the music was turned off. I even did something very embarrassing. I flapped both of my hands very badly and I mean, really badly like a bird. I can't quite understand whether this had to do with my illness or eye condition, but I became extremely hyper. I would not even sit or stand still in those early days. I moved my head from side to side, do all sorts of embarrassing, crazy things while sitting down and standing. Oh gosh, it was a complete utter embarrassment especially when I was out in public. I humbly regret the way I behaved in those days. It was so rough. I even had this continuous habit of laughing non stop and giggling over and over for things that were not even appropriate. People must have gotten so sick of me in those early days, wow! I would laugh so long and so loudly like a crazy boy. Some people rightfully, complained to my parents about that giggling habit and they too found it difficult for me to stop. Folks, it was through these difficult times and habits that I also developed a speech problem. I still can't quite make out whether it had to do with my sickness, my nervousness and anxiety beginning, but I developed a stutter which was very severe. At that time, I did not know how overwhelming it was for me until now. I did not know what the word, nervous, or anxious, meant. I kept on stuttering so badly until finally, my parents took me to a speech theropist at the school I went, which I will talk more about later. My stutter did not quite go away until I actually began taking medication. This is quite freaky. Through all those embarrassing habits and problems, I still made friends with extremely loyal people and I loved them deeply. I still think of them very much. I didn't overcome those embarrassing habits of rocking and flapping until I reached the age of 15. I then began to realize I had a problem, and I realized those habits were becoming an embarrassment to a lot of people. I have not rocked back and forth or flapped ever since. I know I'm getting ahead of myself here, but as I was saying, I loved my first piano very much. I still have that piano and it remains in Sri Lanka. I am soon hoping to get an updated electric piano as I want one very badly. I celebrated my 5th birthday in Canada, but my memory isn't too good with that day.

My parents first took me to look at a school for the blind in Brantford, Ontario when I was 5 years old. It is called, W. Ross McDonald. I can actually remember my parents taking me there and having them play audiobooks. I began laughing and the teachers had to quiet me down. Well, I guess my parents thought I was too disabled and didn't have enough learning experience to keep me at that school, so they transfered me to a beautiful school in Brampton, which I call, the turning point in my life. I just loved it. It is called, St. Brigitte school. There were two blind students at that school. Myself, and another beautiful girl who unfortunately has a lot more severe disabilities than I do, bless her heart. She was and is, a beautiful person and it breaks my heart she had to go through so much. I had several tutors in my classroom. In sighted schools with blind people, the staff have to higher tutors to help them with their work. I brailled out my homework, and my wonderful tutors printed the work out for the teachers. It was all fun! I can remember writing day to day journals about my evening, about my favorite subject, music, and other things. I would even make up funny child like stories which were quite amusing, some of which I will not go into in this book as I did write one completely inappropriate story which would not be appropriate to talk about in this book. I loved to read children stories in those days. I learned a lot of very interesting subjects like French, English, mathamatics which I love, geography which to this day is my worst subject, science which is also my worst subject, pottery which I absolutely love, and music. Our music subjects were much different than to what I was used to back then. I can remember so well playing with plasticine, which I just loved. I can remember making snakes and balls with those plasticines and really loving the feel of those playdoughs. I loved it! In September of 1992 when I started grade 3, I met an absolutely, beautiful tutor who to this day, remains a close friend to me and my parents. I won't mention her name. I decided not to mention any names in this biography. She became extremely special and dear to my heart. She taught me lots of wonderful things and she became a very special friend to my mother. It was a huge blessing to have had her as my tutor. She even hired my mother to look after her baby son when he was born! How about that! She remained my tutor until 1996, when my family and I moved to England.

I began composing music as far back as the age of 6. I of course composed nonsense tunes and not really serious songs. I just liked fooling around with the keys on the piano and making up silly little tunes to try to compose my own songs. Now, friends, I cannot at all get the hang of reading or writing braille music. I just cannot make myself to learn music writing what so ever. I can only compose tunes and lyrics. Braille music is very difficult for me for some reason. When I was 7 years old, I composed a song for my mother, which I called, The Wedding Song. Now, being a professional that I am at last now, I know you should never copy a tune or lyric when composing a new song. Now, with The Wedding Song, I copied the introduction of an old Jim Reeves Afrikaans tune which I fell in love with. The song I copied The Wedding Song from is called, Tahiti. Well, needless to say, I played that song over and over and my family loved it. I had a ball. Music, to me, is the best theropy and medicine for everybody. It is imposible not to like music as it is so important in our day to day lives, in my humble opinion.

I started going for piano lessons in Brampton, Ontario, where I learned classical music. Classical has never been my favorite and I stopped learning classical at the age of 18, when I realized it was a waste of time and wanted to pursue country music as my hobby which to this day, is my number 1 love.

I learned a song when I first went for piano lessons in Brampton, and I finally got the urge to play at a competition in the summer of 1992. I played a classical tune called, Minuet In F Major. I actually can still play it to this day! I won a trophy and oh friends and neighbours, it was a dream come true and a huge thrill. I of course wasn't humble enough to be thankful, but I can remember playing with the trophy like it was a toy. My music career, from that day forward, has been a career that is continuing to this very day.

End Of Chapter 2.

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