College, History, School, Teaching

World’s greatest college professor; Dr. B!

When I first began my “adventure” as a college student, during my second semester I met a professor that would change my life for the better. It isn’t very common that students become friends with their professors and the professors’ families, but that is exactly what would happen to me.

This professor was a history professor at LSU-E, Dr. Tony Baltakis. When I first started his class, I just went to class and loved it because he made history interesting; I also liked how “if you tried,” he’d “work with you,” and try to help you as much as he could. Other than that, we were just a student and professor, nothing unusual. Until one day, the elevator was out of order and I needed it due to my physical limitations and the fact I used a rolling backpack (which doesn’t mix too well with stairs,) “Dr. B” as we often called him, saw me as he was heading to the staircase and asked if I needed him to “carry my bag and me,” to which I laughed and told him, “I got two working legs, Dr. B, but if you could bring my backpack for me, that’d be great.” Turns out his wife, Mrs. Donna, had Polio and had limitations as well, so he seemed to have a “soft spot” for those with special needs. After that, when he’d see me around campus, he’d joke and pick at me, “there’s my girlfriend,” to which I would pick back, “you better watch out, Dr. B, I’m gonna tell Mrs. Donna on you,” hile laughing.

His birthday was the end of the fall semester in December, and I got my mom to bake him some yummy treats (to share with his family if he chose- after all, it was mainly for his birthday) but Mom put in extras for Christmas treats, as well (Yes, I know, My mom is pretty awesome LOL.)

Dr.B’s teaching methods involved putting his powerpoints up online for the students to print out or to use their computers to add in notes he gave in class that wasn’t included in the power points, he also would review what material our tests would cover, he’d go over the guidelines to the way he wanted our book reports done, and he had an “open door,” office policy- if students had questions, he’d allow them to ask in class or if they were “Easily embarrassed,” after class/ during his office hours. As long as he saw students giving effort, he’d “work with them,” offering bonus points for certain things that encouraged learning (museums and such,) or for attending the performing arts performances through LSU-E that He and his wife were in charge of.

He only had a couple of “pet peeves”: playing with phones during his class, heads down on the desk, or some falling asleep during his class. I only saw one or two students get tossed out of class when the pet peeves happened. Dr. B would often say that he didn’t mind students debating if they had a difference of opinion, but I saw plenty of times he’d get on his “soapbox,” as we called it; I think some students would debate him just so he’d get on the soapbox and waste the class period.

Whether it be him on a “soapbox” rant or his actual history lesson, it kept my attention either way. He wasn’t like some professors who try to force their views down their students’ throats; being a professor of History; he’d present both sides and the history behind them. It was really interesting. 

To Be completely honest, before college, I wasn’t at all fascinated with history, but after the first history in college, with Dr. B as my professor, I went on to take 2 other history courses that he also taught(1 of which wasn’t required for my degree.)

A year or so later, I had to go up to St Louis, Missouri to have halo traction and back surgery

for my severe Kypho-Scoliosis (159-degree curve, 18-20% lung capacity, and my ribs had twisted around my spine.) I spent 7.5 months in halo traction and 2 or so months for surgery and recovery in St Louis; Miles away from my home, family, friends, and loved ones. Dr. B and Mrs. Donna often wrote to me either letters in the mail, email, or through Mrs. Donna’s Facebook; following my updates on my health progress and such, sometimes they were also my “pick me up” when feeling down or upset and would give me encouragement or advice. 

When I got home after surgery and resumed my college courses, upon seeing me for the first time since I had my surgery, Dr. B, hugged me and was amazed at how“straight” I looked now and that I had “gotten taller.”

Even though I am no longer at the college that he teaches, we still keep in touch. Even when I struggle with courses and have moments of doubt and wanting to give up, he and Mrs. Donna, are there to encourage me, support me, and remind me that maybe I can do my dreams differently. I am pretty sure (actually I know for a fact,) if I straight up quit college altogether, he and Mrs. Donna would be on my case like a lot of my family and friends, to which I appreciate and love them for. Mrs. Donna often asks about me and college and reminds me, “Dr. B and I want you to get that degree!” I just love having my own little cheering section in my life outside of family (Family kind of has to support you. lol.)

Dr. B, about a year ago, got into a motorcycle accident and got badly injured. Upon seeing that on Facebook, I was instantly heartbroken and upset that something like that could happen to such a loving, great guy like Dr. B. 

When I had time and a ride to bring me (even though I drive, I been having more increased pain lately due to some rods from my surgery being broke-since then have been fixed with new surgery Aug. 2019,) I went spend an hour or two visiting with him. It was so good to see him, even though he had a cast and looked like he was in pain.

If anyone is deserving of a Teaching Excellence Award, it is Dr. B.(Actually he deserves alot of awards and praise not just for teaching!) He not only makes history enjoyable and interesting, but he taught me a lot of other things too: compassion and empathy for others, to help your fellow man or woman, not to “count myself out,”/ to have confidence in myself despite my limitations, the list could go on forever, but you all get the idea; he’s a dang-great professor and an even greater family-friend.

I love you, Dr. B and Mrs. Donna! Thanks for being such an amazing part of my life. PS we are due for a catch up visit. Lets do a dinner get together soon; My fiance and I can cook and we can just chill out and catch up! It’ll be fun! ❤ Anyway Love yall so much and have a great day and hope this makes yall day ❤ Hugs!

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Cashapp or Paypal: Be a pal and help me!

Back in Sept or October, I accidently dropped my laptop and since then it has been on the fritz not turning on unless plugged into a TV screen via HDMI cable (until recently when that even stopped working) and I am currently using Ipad tablet, mobile phone, and mom’s laptop to take care of things I need to do online; However, I like to blog and do Youtube. I cannot do these things without proper equipment. I have a tripod, I have a 10 year old camcorder (Toshiba HD camio I think—could use a newer more updated one), a 4 year old digital camera that has video capabilities (Olympus TG-4); I also have several different web-cams.

In addition to equipment, I also need money to implement some of my content ideas: Shopping hauls, bark box for Beignet, Pet store trips with Beignet and buying whatever she “touches,” As Seen On tv product testings, doing stuff with my fiance’ niece, Serenity, in addition to other things that would be fun content. however, it all requires money and due to having been in a $700 apartment+ $222.00 in internet/cable at Cox+ $20.00 water bill+$60-$100 (varies) Electricity bill and only receiving $783.00 in SSI a month and my fiance’ currently out of work and despite putting in multiple applications and resumes in various places, he is having a hard time finding a job.
Thankfully Feb. is our last month of rent, we don’t have any internet/cable with cox this month, we do have the water and electricity that equals about $50.00-ish, but then we also have a few bills here at my parents house- they let us move in while they truck drive: No rent, we handle: cat food, water bill, internet, and electricity- but for this month we just have the water bill for mom’s house and thats about $30.00 ish.

I know after this month, things won’t be as stressful money wise. so even if its just a few dollars, it will greatly be appreciated and with your help, you can help build a better channel/blog with better content from me! So thank you in advance!

Much Love,

– Jamie

(Paypal info- email address is: Jamie.cormier@gmail.com)

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New youtube Video- Facebook Live video

I did a Facebook live at 4 this morning, having not had much sleep due to massive pain and spasms from the cold, wet weather here in Louisiana.

It is very random and silly, I was sleep-deprived (I did have a few hours, not many), on pain meds and melatonin that had the opposite result of what they normally do- normally knock me on my ass and make me sleep but no luck this time.

It is rather hard to sleep through what feels like every muscle in your back/spine tightening, twisting, pinching, jumping, and twitching. It feels very weird and can also make the nerves in your insides itch a lot!

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another sleepless night; chronic pain and tears.

A bad storm passed through Louisiana this week so it has been quite a bit of sleepless nights for me lately and then add in the dreaded once a month bullshit us females have to deal with, adding in stress, anxiety, hormones, emotional roller coaster, all that (sarcastic tone) “fun.” Tonight, I tossed and turned for 2 hours while my fiance’ just lays next to me snoring; sure, I could wake him up and make him suffer with me, but that is selfish plus he works to provide for us, so I guess he needs the sleep more than I do, but it sure would be nice to be able to talk these things out instead of blogging them.

I have a mattress that can elevate the head, it helps with migraines and sometimes my upper back (then I gotta deal with my lower back and hips hurting), but tonight my upper back is hurting and I am not even gonna use the head-elevation because lately it has been making my fiance’ back hurt in the morning; which sent me down the dreaded “rabbit hole” of the uncertainty of a future together: What if I become bed-ridden, what if he has to help me with everything more than he does now? That isn’t what he signed on for! It isn’t fair to him. I know he made a commitment to me and he constantly reminds me of it anytime I start crying and freaking out about how much pain I am in and the fears that sends into me about how uncertain my life and future are; I just don’t want him to have regrets or resentments. I love him, I really do, but when these fears kick in, I go into flight mode and tend to push him away, thinking I am saving him from being stuck in a sucky future with me and my damn disability. How can I expect him to accept it and what it does to me, if I cant even accept it completely myself?

If there was a pill created to make me “normal,” like everyone else in society, I would take it! Even though I also feel like having my disability has made me a well-rounded, wise, empathetic, compassionate, supportive, loyal, passionate person. Does it make me a bad person? Why is it I can be a support system and cheerleader for others with disabilities but yet I cant even accept myself completely? Does it make me a hypocrite? Maybe its just the pain talking; well the pain and the damn devil. I need to really work on myself and loving myself for me; whole-y and completely. Maybe after my surgery to fix my rods, maybe my pain will be better, and I can start being happy again. One can only hope.

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Xrays and Shreveport LSU E.R. visit (Feb. 2019)

my wound care doctor suggested going to ER at LSU med center in Shreveport to just have them look at my back and consult about the broken rods. Mostly a wasted trip..I knew the rods were broken and I was pretty sure they weren’t gonnado any surgery on me; plus the doctor’s name was “dr. Sin” LOL..Never trust a doctor with the name Sin! JK. I am sure he is a great doctor, but I already have my hopes set on Dr. Kelly in St Louis since he trained under Dr. Lenke (who originally did my surgery)

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latest update in the winding road that is my life….(January 2019)

 The latest update in the winding road that is my life…. I got a referral to LSU Medical in Shreveport and then also the former care coordinator for the orthopedic surgeon that did my surgery, is trying to get me into the guy that took my surgeon’s position in St Louis, when my orthopedic surgeon moved his practice to NY. Due to neither NY or St Louis takes out of state Medicaid, or Medicaid at all, The only way I can see the Dr. That took my orthopedic’s position in St Louis, is by applying for “hardship assistance.” *Fingers crossed that works.

In other news, my fiance wants to move to St Louis, MO, because he thinks if I am on their Medicaid system, then the ST Louis hospital will have to accept it, plus he is under the impression I’ll get better SSI check (newsflash Hun, the max is $771.00 which I currently already receive.)

I also realized it will be different this recovery time, due to my former physical therapist no longer practicing, I will have to do it through the hospital. UGH!

I also realized I will probably miss my Beignet more than I missed my Mya; If that’s even possible. I love deeply and the thought of once again being away from my own bed, my own apartment, everything familiar and no Beignet to love and snuggle, hurts my heart. I also realized I won’t be in the children’s hospital wing this go-round, so the therapists will probably be tougher, and not as much fun recreational activities to keep my mind off the pain. Well, I guess this is my life punishing me for acting irresponsibly after my first time recovering after surgery. Karma sucks! LOL